Island Updates

Ecological Escapades: High School Island Ecology

Guest blog by Teaching Assistant Katherine King

  Students practice leaf identification through observation of various leaf characteristics.

Students practice leaf identification through observation of various leaf characteristics.

High School Island Ecology is here and Isabelle and I are psyched to be kicking off our very first open enrollment program of the summer. With students ranging from freshmen to seniors in high school we have a group ready and excited to learn this week. I have been really enjoying this week and the opportunity to share my love and knowledge of all the ecosystems and interactions in the Penobscot Bay, and particularly Hurricane Island. Our students arrived on a clear, sunny day and we got to enjoy a peaceful full moon hike after our lively game of Salad Bowl.

  Students transition from the land to the water in teams during our rainy day raft challenge.

Students transition from the land to the water in teams during our rainy day raft challenge.

The past few days have been packed full of exploring the various ecosystems we have here on Hurricane Island including the Ice Pond, Forests, Intertidal zone and more. Students also enjoyed listening to our Research Technician, Bailey, talk about the scallop research going on through HIF and what it means for the surrounding community. We even got to throw in a lesson on wild edibles upon request and forage for some yummy additions to our dinner and beautiful decorations for Phoebe’s birthday cake. Even a little rain didn’t stop this crew as two teams faced off in a raft challenge filled with teamwork and some good laughs. Of course, it wouldn’t be the full Hurricane Island experience without hauling lobster traps and marine debris.

By the end of the last day here on the island we got the chance to reflect on the wide array of activities and topics we explored throughout the week. Looking back on all the great things we were able to accomplish this week I am grateful for our curious and willing high school students from across the country. I am going to miss “getting sciency” and having fun with this great group of young people!

  The full, red moon rising over Heron's Neck lighthouse on Greens Island on the other side of Hurricane Sound.

The full, red moon rising over Heron's Neck lighthouse on Greens Island on the other side of Hurricane Sound.

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