School Programs

We are pleased to present our "A Day in the Life" short film series! Part one (out of three) is the perfect introduction to the incredible work we do through our youth programs out on Hurricane Island. Special thanks to Conservation Media Group for making this work possible and for supporting our fabulous film fellow Wilder Nicholson! See the video at the end of this page that highlights our High School, student-driven research programs.

Hurricane Island partners with local Maine middle-and-high schools, schools in New England, and colleges and universities to run field-research based programs that give students an opportunity to supplement their learning in the classroom. We are open to work with schools to design custom programs to kick-off the school year between late August and mid-October, or as a capstone experience from late April through Late June. Optional classroom support is available both pre- and post-program to connect classroom/lab study with the field work experience. 

Many of our programs are designed to give students first-hand experience with the scientific process. We introduce students to an aspect of the island (the intertidal environment, our sustainable infrastructure, terrestrial ecology, freshwater resources, or migratory birds) and then prompt them to generate questions and a field experiment around that topic. These programs help students gain first-hand experience working through the process of doing science: designing data collection forms, maintaining a consistent sampling protocol, synthesizing their data, presenting, and finally debriefing how the process went and could be improved if the experiment was conducted again. These skills are invaluable for students interested in pursuing field-research focused degrees at a college level. Because students have ownership over generating a new question, they also contribute to the efforts of our field research station.

We are also dedicated to helping schools connect and collaborate with place-based citizen science projects. Citizen Science Initiatives expose students to ways they can regularly contribute to science, reduce their own impacts, and become effective environmental stewards. We believe that when students are more connected to each other, their understanding and appreciation peer-generated scientific conclusions can help them appreciate the mindset and skills necessary to be scientists who make careful observations and use data to support their conclusions. 

All our programs are designed to align with the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasizing Practices, Content, and Crosscutting concepts. Our research equipment includes a variety of water quality testing equipment, compound and dissecting microscopes, transect tapes, dissection equipment, and study skins and skeletons.

Our programs range from 2-12 days in length, and may be fully customized to meet your curricular goals. Our staff is comprised of experienced field science and leadership educators who can lead activities and work with students one-on-one, collaborate with you, or act as facilitators for you and your educators. 

The focus is yours to choose, and may include marine biology, botany, ornithology, ecology, natural history, astronomy, oceanography, geology, art, history, or archaeology. We welcome your suggestions, and the opportunity to work with you to create a program that supports your curricular needs.

Please note that all participants in any of our programs must be covered by health insurance for the duration of their time on the island.

Authentic, impactful, place-based research is one of the hallmarks of Hurricane Island student programs, both in the summer and during the school year. We help students identify questions THEY are interested in and help them design and implement their own research.

Service Learning/ Community Service

Hurricane Island has partnered with organizations interested in visiting Hurricane Island for a community service day or for a service learning project. We firmly believe that "many hands make light work," and are always happy for the additional help to keep the island up and running and to jumpstart new projects! Contact us if you are interested in bringing a group out. 

There is something very special about having students immersed in an environment and unplugged from their daily lives. Field research is physically demanding and intellectual challenging, and it is far superior to a classroom situation. You become a part of your work in a way that never happens in a classroom. At Hurricane it was possible to work out the best program for the students. They allow their teachers to follow their own curriculum and enrich it by collaborating with the staff.
— Marilyn DelDonno, Cambridge School of Weston