Island Updates


Riley School

We enjoyed hosting the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the Riley School for a two-day exploration of Hurricane. There time on the island started off with lessons in leadership which were supplemented with fun group challenges and team building activities. The students identified some positive leadership qualities such as being a good listener and clear communicator, how to identify group needs, leading by example, and allowing for everyone’s voice to be heard. They also brainstormed ways in which they could apply these leadership skills back at Riley. 

Students learn how to band lobsters

The afternoon was filled with a variety of activities. Oakley and Josie led them on a history hike around the island, stopping at different points of interest to explain about the quarrying era that used to reside on Hurricane over a century ago. Alice led a lesson about lobsters and the lobster fishery, followed by a hands on art exercise. The evening closed with songs and s’mores around the campfire.

Their second day on the island started off with a hike around the perimeter trail with stops along the way to look at the botany and wildlife that live on Hurricane. An adventure into the intertidal between Two Bush Island and Hurricane proved to be exciting as students flipped over rocks and seaweed to find and identify sea creatures. Some students were brave enough to eat a live green crab. Their last afternoon was spent rocking climbing on the main face above the quarry. Everyone got a chance to try a few routes and expressed words of encouragement to their classmates as they challenged themselves to reach greater heights.

We had a blast with the Riley School students and hope they return to Hurricane soon for another fun filled visit!

Students enjoy a clear, sunny view at the high cliffs on Hurricane

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Marine Ecology ISLE

Students search through scallop "spat" bags with Field Research Coordinator, Cait Cleaver

Students search through scallop "spat" bags with Field Research Coordinator, Cait Cleaver

Our third and final ISLE program focused on the marine environment surrounding Hurricane Island. Students spent the first part of the week helping our field research coordinator Cait Cleaver with her summer research project focused on scallops. Students counted larval scallops that Cait collected at several sampling sites in Penobscot Bay. This project helped students understand what it means to do hands on field research with delicate specimens, and to be meticulous and accurate in collecting and measuring their subjects.

This week also caught the best tides and students spent several low tide cycles out exploring the intertidal zone. Students helped summer intern Collin Li pilot an annual intertidal monitoring survey and got hands on experience using transects, quadrates, and field guides to properly key out invertebrates for accurate data collection.

One of the highlights of the program was a fun day fishing off of Hurricane and Greens Island for mackerel and pollack. For some it was their first fishing experience but we came back with a huge catch. Students spent the rest of the day learning how to fillet and dissect their fish, and some even enjoyed smocked mackerel on their pizza for dinner.

Fun with Sugar Kelp

Fun with Sugar Kelp

The Rozalia Project For A Clean Ocean, one of our partner organizations, visited Hurricane during this program and showed students their remotely operated vehicle, Hector the Collector, which they use to extricate marine debris from the ocean floor in a non-invasive way. The Rozalia project also took students out on a beach cleanup and challenged them to create public service announcements about the problem of marine debris.

Students also spent a day exploring Vinalhaven after learning about Maine’s lobster fishery and hauling traps with local fisherman, Jason Day. On Vinalhaven students got to see the working waterfront and witness the “fish cannon” at Vinalhaven’s own lobster co-op. The rest of the day was spent swimming in the quarry and enjoying ice cream on a hot summers day. We had a fantastic time with this energetic group and enjoyed their enthusiasm for the marine environment. 

Register for our 2015 Marine Ecology ISLE program here!

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