Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that are not answered below, please feel free to contact us!


General Questions

Where is Hurricane?

Hurricane Island is 12 miles off the coast of Rockland, ME, in Penobscot Bay. It is 125 acres and 165 feet at its tallest point. The islands that surround Hurricane are Greens Island, Vinalhaven, the White Islands, Little and Big Garden Islands, and Little Hurricane.

 

Is there a town on the island?

The island is privately owned so there is no town on the island. A third of the island is kept private, while the other two thirds are for the Center For Science and Leadership’s use.

 

How do I get to Hurricane?

If you are taking a program with us you will be brought out to Hurricane on the Equinox - a local charter lobster boat. The Equinox’s capacity is 25 people, and the ride takes about an hour. Your group might also take a ferry to Vinalhaven, a neighboring island that has a year round community living on it. From there we would pick you up in one of our own boats and bring you over to Hurricane at an additional charge.

 

Can someone get in touch with me while I’m on Hurricane?

Yes- in our admissions paperwork for both young students and adults there will be a phone number listed as the Hurricane Island Phone. This phone is checked regularly so that parents and loved ones can reach their student.

 

I would love to visit Hurricane- how can I do that?

We welcome and encourage visitors to stop by the island while cruising around Penobscot Bay! The only way to get to the island is if you have your own boat transportation. Once you get to the Island, take a look at our information board at the top of the ramp to grab a trail map and learn more about our campus and programs. Please do not enter any buildings unless you are invited in by a staff member. We also host Volunteer Days (free) on Hurricane and offer multiple Farm-to-Table Dinners for a cost. Visit our Calendar of Events for more information.

 

How much are your mooring fees?

Our moorings that are reserved for guests are on a first come first served basis. There is a $10 fee for day use, and a $25 fee for overnight use. You are welcome to tie up your dinghy on the inside of our dock that is reserved for small boats. The outside of our dock is a loading zone for our programs arriving and departing, please do not leave your boat on that side.

 

Can I stay the night on the island?

There is no camping on Hurricane Island. The only way to stay overnight is to participate in a program.

 

What adult educational programs do you offer?

We offer a wide variety of adult educational programs - Check out our adult program page to find the right fit for you!


Parent Questions

What can I expect my child will get out of a Summer Science Program?

Your child’s time on Hurricane Island is going to be different than anything they have ever experienced before. When preparing for their stay on Hurricane Island, it is important that they think about island life and how it will be different from the mainland. The island community is very welcoming and will make sure that your child is well incorporated into the culture as soon as they arrive. They should also prepare to get dirty and hands on! We often spend our days in the lab or hiking around the island, which always leads to a good time.

Your student will receive age-appropriate science education in a safe and engaging learning environment from qualified educators. Younger students receive a taste of everything the Island has to offer, from the intertidal zone to our high cliffs, all in an experiential and immersive science community. Older students have the opportunity to get first-hand experience of working through the process of doing science, learning the animals and plants of the ocean and forests, and interacting with real scientists and positive educational mentors. All of this is combined with an ever-present commitment to a fun and spontaneous learning experience that will take them from our rowing boats to our climbing wall!

 

What are Hurricane’s off-the-grid facilities like?

Hurricane Island is well-equipped to support a thriving group of young scientists and leaders. Our facilities include a laboratory, two classroom spaces, full-service kitchen and Mess Hall, out-houses and composting toilets, and a shower house. All electricity is provided by multiple solar arrays and our hot water is heated by solar water heaters and we have an on-demand propane system for a back-up. The kitchen/mess hall, the lab, and teaching spaces have electricity (and lighting) but the other buildings on the island are not connected to the power grid. We ask that students do not bring any sort of electronic device that will need to be charged during their time on the island, but a battery powered head lamp will make the evening walk to their bunks much easier.

 

What are communications like on the island?

We ask that our students not bring any communication devices to the island (i.e. computers, cell phones, iPads). Cell service and Internet is not available anywhere on the island except for in the office space. In the event that a student must get in touch with a parent, the student will have the opportunity to call home but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

How can I get in touch with my child during a program?

Although we encourage our students to disconnect with technology during their time on Hurricane, we understand the importance of staying connected with you. In our admissions paperwork there will be a phone number listed as the Hurricane Island Phone and additional contacts for on-Island staff.

 

You can also stay connected via Facebook (Hurricane Island Foundation) and Instagram (@hurricaneisland) where we’ll be posting highlights from the week. You will also be receiving a mid-week e-mail update with pictures on the exciting things our program group is doing.

 

What if my child has allergies or takes medications?

All participants should bring with them any medications they may need during their stay. During your program our staff will be dispensing all medications and can accommodate specific needs or dispensing schedules. Prior to departure for Hurricane on the first day of the program, please be sure to hand over all medications to a HICSL staff member.

 

Is there financial aid available?

At the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership we are committed to providing financial assistance to students interested in our programs. We want to support students who are excited about learning and doing science on Hurricane regardless of their financial status. Please don't hesitate to contact us (programs@hurricaneisland.net) if you have questions about financial aid, or fill out the financial aid application form.

 

Who are the instructors?

Our programs are led by trained field scientists and educators, providing a level of instructor expertise and maturity you won’t find in other summer experiences. All of our instructors are college graduates and have science education experience. All of our interns are current undergraduates who are interested in science education. We look for individuals that are excited to share their knowledge about the natural world in a fun and engaging learning setting!

 

Where is pick up and drop off?

Participants meet on the mainland at our Rockland office on the first and last day of the program. The address is: 19 Commercial Street, Rockland, ME 04841. Our trip to Hurricane Island will take between an hour and 90 minutes. Students who are new to boating are advised to take anti-nausea medication to reduce the likelihood of seasickness during rough weather.  

 

How much do summer programs cost?

Our one week programs cost $1400. This includes all transportation to and from Hurricane Island, lodging, food, and programming. The cost for our two week Field Marine Ecology course is $2500. Financial Aid is available for all of our summer science programs.


Teacher Questions

Will Hurricane staff visit my classroom?

Yes! We are open to work with schools to provide classroom support pre and or post a program to connect classroom and lab study with the fieldwork and hands on educational experience. Please contact programs@hurricaneisland.net if you are interested in this option.

 

What type of programming do you offer?

We offer programs for 5th-12th grade students, as well as college and university students. We offer a wide variety of programming in ecology, marine biology, oceanography, history, and field research. Our programs are designed to give students the opportunity to supplement learning in the classroom with hands on outdoor educational experiences. Typically we give program options to teachers and have them pick and choose the right Hurricane Island experience for their students. The focus is yours to choose!

 

How long are your programs?

Typically our programs run anywhere between 2-10 days. However, our programs are mostly custom designed for each school to fit their interests, time, and budget.

 

How much do programs cost?

The cost of our programs are based on a per person, per day rate. Cost includes transportation to and from Hurricane Island, all meals and lodging for participants, and programming. Please email programs@hurricaneisland.net for a cost quote for your group.

 

What are Hurricane’s off-the-grid facilities like?

Hurricane Island is well-equipped to support a thriving group of young scientists and leaders. Our facilities include a laboratory, two classroom spaces, full-service kitchen and Mess Hall, out-houses and composting toilets, and a shower house. All electricity is provided by multiple solar arrays and our hot water is heated by solar water heaters and we have an on-demand propane system for a back-up. The kitchen/mess hall, the lab, and teaching spaces have electricity (and lighting) but the other buildings on the island are not connected to the power grid. We ask that students do not bring any sort of electronic device that will need to be charged during their time on the island, but a battery powered head lamp will make the evening walk to their bunks much easier.


Student Questions

Who are my instructors?

Your instructors are educated, enthusiastic, and capable college graduates who have experience in science and adventure education and are looking forward to sharing Hurricane Island with you. Some are young scientists themselves with advanced degrees and some are professional educators with a passion for experiential and immersive learning. We look for individuals that are excited to share their knowledge about the natural world in a fun and engaging learning setting!

 

What is a typical day on Hurricane like?

The day starts with a delicious breakfast in our galley followed by community chores. As a sustainable community, you become part of the team that makes our Island tick. Each morning you help us monitor our solar and water usage, maintain the compost, and help the chef keep the galley clean. Breakfast and chores are followed by a morning meeting with your instructor and fellow participants to talk about the day ahead. This is followed by morning program...maybe a lesson in the intertidal zone, a hike to forage food for lunch, climbing the old quarry, or taking off in a boat to pull lobster traps...depends upon the day. Lunch and free time follow morning program and then you have afternoon program which, again, depends upon the day and the theme of your program. Dinner is followed by a night program which might include an astronomy hike, a hike to Sunset Rock, or a bonfire. Lights out is at 9pm and then the magic happens all over again the next day!

 

Can I see photos from past programs?

You can find photos from our school and summer science programs by clicking here.

 

Who will be taking my program with me?

Students who, like you, have an interest in science and the natural world will be joining you from New England and beyond. There will be students from different backgrounds, experiences, education, and geography. Come to Hurricane with an open mind and readiness to share the amazing experience that is life on Hurricane Island!

 

Why can’t I bring my cell phone or electronics?

We ask that you remove the distraction of electronics from your experience on Hurricane with the hopes of immersing you in your surroundings to the fullest. Therefore, we ask that our students not bring any communication devices to the island (i.e. computers, cell phones, iPads). Cell service and Internet is not available anywhere on the island except for in the office space. So, plan to bring an inexpensive camera, a book, and a head-lamp. If you need to get in touch with a parent, you will have the opportunity to call home but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

Do we only do science?

Nope :) Every day brings the opportunity for all kinds of teachable moments and spontaneous experiences...on the climbing wall, on a boat, on the dock, building a bird box, jumping off the pier, or making a sculpture from found objects on the beach. Hurricane Island is an immersive environment for learning science as well as engaging in community and the Island experience. The Island is your new classroom!!