Hurricane Island in the News

Coastal Conversations on WERU

During July, we were lucky enough to have Natalie Springuel, from the University of Maine Sea Grant and the host of Coastal Conversations on WERU, join us on Hurricane for a few days to learn about who we are and what we do. Her interviews with our staff and students are part of a three part series on youth on the Maine coast.

Young Mariners Go to Camp

Along with folks from the Downeast Institute and the Herring Gut Learning Center, Natalie shared our perspectives in the first show of the series, Young Mariners go to Camp, about the importance of getting kids outside on the coast of Maine in the summer. She interviewed Dr. Jenn Page about our programs and why we, and the other organizations, have committed to teaching about the ocean and coast to Maine kids, the next generation of Maine leaders. Read more and listen to the entire show here.

Young Mariners go to College/Graduate School

In the second installment of the series, Young Mariners go to College/Graduate School, she focuses on students using the Maine coast to develop the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to be the next generation of marine leaders, from undergraduates to PhD candidates. During this installment, Natalie interviews our Science and Research Director, Caitlin Cleaver, and our Research Assistant, Bailey Moritz, about their experiences in higher education in Maine. Cait is currently a PhD student at UMaine looking at the impact of scallop fishing closures and the potential for aquaculture on Maine's coast, while Bailey, a 2016 graduate of Bowdoin College has discovered a special aptitude for identifying marine species during her time on and under the water on Hurricane Island. Learn more and listen to the whole show here.

Collins, King Announce NSF Grant to Support Marine Ecosystems Research in the Gulf of Maine

Press Release (7/1/15,

Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, in partnership with Bates College will receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant totaling $24,952 to help coordinate research and training being done at a network of field stations in the Gulf of Maine. This grant will allow a network of small field stations in the Gulf of Maine to craft a plan in order to implement shared research and training goals. Read more here.

Downeast high school students survey green crabs

By Staff Writer (9/30/14, The Working Waterfront)

Read about our recent intensive field weekend with students from the Eastern Maine Skipper's Program (EMSP) here. Staff worked to design a mult-faceted kick-off event that launched the EMSP into their year-long exploration of the scope of the green crab invasion in Maine.

A Week on Maine's Hurricane Island

By Jaclyn Reiss (6/12/14, The Boston Globe West)

Read about our 10-day field research trip with the Cambridge School of Weston here.

Science and Adventure on Hurricane Island

By Abby McBride (11/11/13, The Bowdoin Daily Sun)

"In a cabin on windswept and rain-battered Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, 24 Bowdoin students clustered around a poster board covered with a winding trail of pink sticky notes – a timeline telling the island’s geologic and oceanographic history. “Glaciers retreat,” read one pink square at 15,000 years ago. “Sea level rises,” said another, situated 7,000 years later. Further down the line, in the 19th century: “2.5 million metric tons of granite quarried.”

What’s impressive is that the students figured much of that history out themselves, during a single intensive weekend of closely studying the land and water on and around Hurricane Island."

Read More about Bowdoin oceanography and geology student adventures on Hurricane here.

A Chance to be Hands on Scientists

By Carolyn Bennatti (10/1/13, GSA Matters)

Read about our program with George Stevens Academy in their newsletter on page 7.

Marine Matters: Hurricane Island Renewed, Reborn

By Melissa Waterman (8/8/13, The Free Press )

"F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that there are no second acts in American Lives. Perhaps second acts don’t occur in our individual lives- although to look at certain politicians, that seems to the contrary. Among Maine’s islands, however, there have been many second, and third, and perhaps fourth acts as communities on those islands evolve and evolve again. Hurricane Island is emblematic of that evolution. The 150-acre island southwest of Vinalhaven has experienced several incarnations, the latest of which is the most intriguing to me."

Read more about the fascinating past and present incarnations of Hurricane Island in The Free Press!

Outposts in the fight for the Ecosystem

By Phillip Conkling (7/31/13, The Working Waterfront)

"After three years of renovations, Barney Hallowell, its new executive director, is finally able to begin focusing on bringing students, teachers and residents back to the island. One of their visions is to develop Maine's 16th year round island community based on how to live in a carbon-free world while producing food, energy and shelter from the abundant resources that surrounds this legendary island."

Read more about the island research stations off the Maine coast here.

Consider the Cannibal Lobster

Posted by Tim McDonnell and James West on Wednesday, July 24, 2013  

 James West and Tim McDonnell of Climate Desk came out to Hurricane Island for a few days back in June to learn about the research Noah Oppenheim has been conducting on Lobster Cannibalism. Watch their video and read their synopsis of the current state of Maine’s Lobster Fishery here:


This is real grubby, hands-in-the-dirt kind of science

Kay Stephens, Penobscot Bay Pilot
Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 4:30pm

Interview with Alice Anderson, our science educator. 

“In other words, look up, look around, look down, get your fingers in the dirt and hoist your antennae up. Science is in every aspect of the natural world that permeates Hurricane Island.”

Read the full article from the Penobscot Bay Pilot Here.

Island science center aims to engage students, others in practical research

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 26, 2012, at 2:24 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 26, 2012, at 5:35 p.m.

HURRICANE ISLAND, Maine — With her head and shoulders disappearing into an old well hole and her rain boots held firmly by an earth-bound classmate, 16-year-old Natalie Murphy of Islesboro was intent upon the task at hand.
She and her Islesboro Central School classmates spent three days last week closely examining the water system of Hurricane Island, by pumping out the water in wells and taking note of their recharge rate and quality. The question is much more than academic for the young islanders, who depend on Islesboro’s water supply just as the former residents of Hurricane Island depended on theirs, said science teacher Heather Sinclair...

You can read more about this class and their program in the Bangor Daily News.

Big Gift for Small Program with Big Ideas on Small Island

Written by Ruth McCambridge
Created on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:21

This story is a nice counterpart to Bill Schambra’s article published today by NPQ, entitled “Philanthropy’s War on Community.” The reason the announcement of a $1 million grant to the Hurricane Island Foundation off the coast of Maine caught my eye is because of the mission and programming of the organization, which sounds both future seeking and completely integrated and networked with its surroundings.

Read more about the Hurricane Island Foundation at NonProfit Quarterly.

Island Becomes Summer School for Teachers

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff
Posted July 04, 2012, at 9:02 p.m.

HURRICANE ISLAND, Maine — This little island is once again seeing visitors, but instead of the granite quarriers of the late 1800s or the summer camp children of the mid-to-late 1900s, this time teachers and scientists are flocking to it.

Read more about the Hurricane Island Foundation in the Bangor Daily News.

Windows to the Wild: Memories of Hurricane Island

Aired 5/21/2012

Follow Willem and Ida Lang, and Maggie and Tucker their dogs as they explore Hurricane in “Windows to the Wild,” a series of programs that record the beauty, diversity, and character of New England’s natural world. Willem and Ida worked as Outward Bound instructors and decided to return to Hurricane 40 years later. This was filmed before we have renovated buildings, and we are happy to report that nearly everything is improved! It is still a great reflection on Hurricane’s many eras. Watch the video here

New Education Experiment Underway on Maine’s Hurricane Island

Published October 18, 2011 by Jay Field

“This is a school day,” says John Dietter, addressing a circle of high school students from nearby Vinalhaven. These students are on a field trip put on by the Center for Science and Leadership. It’s one of three new programs the Hurricane Island Foundation is starting . . .
“What we’re trying to do is connect up your experiences, things that you’re doing in real world, the stuff that you’re going to see and experience today, with the theories that you’re learning in your classroom,” Dietter says.

Read more about HIF at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

New Foundation to bring back youth education on Hurricane Island

Published on June 1, 2010 by Harry Gratwick

Things are changing on Hurricane Island. The Hurricane Island Foundation was formed in 2008 and recently signed a 40-year lease with the owner of the island, who wishes to remain anonymous.
The foundation will hire an island manager for this summer and begin work repairing some buildings. The Hurricane Island Foundation (HIF) is not part of Outward Bound, although Outward Bound staff is to help with island service projects.
Hannah Pingree, a native of North Haven, is Speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives. Her 36th district includes Hurricane Island, Vinalhaven and North Haven Islands. “The future of Hurricane Island is of great importance to our community,” Pingree wrote in a press release. “We are thrilled that the Hurricane Island Foundation is dedicated to serving our community’s educational needs as well as preserving the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.”

Read more about Hurricane Island in The Working Waterfront