Island Institute’s free summer lecture series returns to Rockland

Posted 2018-06-25

ROCKLAND – For the second year in a row, the Island Institute will be hosting a free six-week summer lecture series that will feature authors, artists, and experts sharing insights into life on the Maine coast, as well as their perspectives, reflections, and insights on everything from art and aquaculture to modern-day challenges and connections. Lectures begin Wednesday, July 11 and will be held every Wednesday through August 15th, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Events will take place in the fourth-floor conference room at the Island Institute, 386 Main Street in Rockland, and are free and open to the public.

The schedule for the 2018 lecture series is as follows:

July 11: Island Inspiration, Monhegan’s Art Colony 1895-2000

Artist and curator Leith MacDonald will speak about his recent research for a catalogue of Monhegan art. Using rarely seen paintings from a private collection, MacDonald will explore a variety of connections between the artists and their subjects on Maine’s premier art colony.

July 18: Confronting Rising Seas on Island and Coastal Communities

Sea level rise is a persistent and long-term problem. The predicted impacts on homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure, including working waterfronts, could structurally change the communities and economies along our coast. Susie Arnold, Ph.D., Marine Scientist at the Island Institute, will discuss the basics of sea level rise, including projections for future water levels, and how the Island Institute is helping Maine’s island and coastal communities adapt in the face of these changes.

July 25: Island Politics

Being faithful to your political convictions is not always easy on an island. Vinalhaven resident, business owner, town selectman, and author Phil Crossman will take a personal, humorous look at the intricacies of life on an island and island politics, and offer his dry take on how being faithful to your political convictions is not always easy on an island.

August 1: Island Insights and Inspiration

Acclaimed contemporary artist Barbara Ernst Prey will offer island insights and inspiration highlighting her four decades of island painting. New York-based but a longtime summer coastal resident, Barbara has a deep connection to the islands of Maine – her family was among the first settlers of Vinalhaven and North Haven, as well as the Midcoast and other Maine islands, and it is these islands and the structures that she is drawn to.

August 8: The Evolving Working Waterfront

Just what do we mean when we talk about Maine’s working waterfront? Is it just piers, docks, and moorings, or is there more that makes our coast “work”? Tom Groening, editor of the Island Institute’s The Working Waterfront newspaper, will speak about the battle to retain fishing access to the rapidly developing waterfront that began in the 1980s, as well as what assets remain and what challenges loom for the Maine coast, including quality of life, traffic, affordable housing, and an aging population.

August 15: Farming the Sea: Aquaculture in Maine’s Future

Nowadays, mussel and oyster farms are thriving enterprises, and new efforts at sea farming come online every year. The kingpin of aquaculture remains Atlantic salmon. Author and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins will take a look at what these new developments for land-based salmon operations will entail, especially for consumers, and try to dispel some of the more unfortunate mythology with which it has been tainted.

All Summer Lecture Series events are free and open to the public; however, space is limited and pre-registration is highly recommended. Coffee and snacks will be provided. For more information, or to register for one of the lectures, please visit For additional questions, please contact the Island Institute at (207) 594-9209, ext. 113, or email