Island Updates

mainland updates

Campus Visit: University of Vermont

Alice and I visited the University of Vermont (UVM) campus in Burlington, Vermont on November 13 and 14, 2014 to meet with faculty and brainstorm future collaborations with the University. This trip was a great follow up from working with UVM senior Chloe Tremper last summer as part of an internship program with the University. Luckily, UVM is situated just up the road from Lake Champlain, so we didn't feel too land-locked during our stay! (Not to mention Burlington has some amazing restaurants and coffee shops).

While on campus, we checked out some of the ways UVM is communicating their sustainable design initiatives. One of these is through this awesome  building dashboard , which, paired with a series of sensors in their buildings, tracks electricity and natural gas use of their LEED certified buildings.

While on campus, we checked out some of the ways UVM is communicating their sustainable design initiatives. One of these is through this awesome building dashboard, which, paired with a series of sensors in their buildings, tracks electricity and natural gas use of their LEED certified buildings.

We had a jam-packed visit, and were excited to come away with a number of good connections and potential opportunities to work with UVM. Some of these include continuing to host Perennial Interns from the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources, support course trips out to Hurricane Island for a applied field science opportunity, and offer undergraduate and graduate students on-island research experiences during the summer.

Many of UVM's classes are designed to have a service-learning component, which means that student groups pair up and work with community partners on an identified need from the partner organization. Going forward, we could potentially send data collected on Hurricane to a statistics course where the students would learn statistical analysis techniques by working with our data during their semester. This would provide an opportunity to extend our island classroom well beyond Hurricane, which is exciting, and also help us organize and synthesize our datasets. All in all, our visit was well worth the trip and we are looking forward to working with UVM in the future and getting more students out to Hurricane!

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Campus Visit: Thompson Island

Post by Emily Peckham Gannon, Development Administrator

On October 30, 2014, we made a trip out to the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC). Our trip planning really began years ago, when various directors and advisors urged us to take a look at what TIOBEC was doing on a similarly-sized island in the urban setting of the Boston Harbor Islands. Advisor Andrew Bendheim, Board Members Peter Willauer, Chris Carrigan, and Ben Willauer, and Executive Director Barney Hallowell have each had rich histories with TIOBEC over the years.

Ready to depart South Boston for Thompson Island

Ready to depart South Boston for Thompson Island

Our host, Arthur Pearson, Executive Director of TIOBEC, met Hurricane staffers Barney Hallowell, Emily Gannon, and Alice Anderson at the dock to board their transport boat, the M/V "Outward Bound." As we steamed out to Thompson Island from the port in South Boston, we passed container ships, islands with old forts and asylums, and Logan Airport—reminding us how similar our journey from a busy port to an island is, yet the sheer scale of Boston is a stark contrast. The Boston skyline is visible from many parts of Thompson Island, yet there is a peaceful wildness to it.

Emily, Olga, and Alice enjoy a campus walk and some beautiful fall foliage

Emily, Olga, and Alice enjoy a campus walk and some beautiful fall foliage

Upon arriving on Thompson Island, we rode all over the campus with Arthur. A portion of the island is in conservation with a salt marsh that includes monitoring equipment, and the old homestead foundation is there. It was fascinating to see the old root cellar and a cemetery that the staff and friends of Thompson Island have been rehabilitating. We saw wild turkeys, hawks, and students in two programs that were taking place on Thompson Island, both with engaged in leadership activities at high ropes courses, and we spent a wonderful afternoon touring with our new friend Olga Feingold, Program Coordinator at TIOBEC.

We enjoyed dinner in the dining hall with participants of the overnight programs and TIOBEC staff. It was a perfect cap to an amazing day on Thompson Island before we retired to comfortable rooms in the Headmaster’s House, one of the beautiful old brick buildings on the campus that remains as a solid reminder of Thompson Island’s storied history as a school. We had a wonderful visit and look forward to continued sharing of ideas between our organizations. Thank you, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center!

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