Science for Everyone

first impressions

First Impressions of Hurricane Island: Chloe

Post by Chloe Tremper (Summer 2014 Science and Education Intern)

Lots of familiar, lots of new.  My first impression started at the Hurricane Island Foundation office in Rockland.  I opened the door to the office and was immediately greeted by two very happy dogs followed by Cait, and I couldn’t have had a better welcome.  Once we pulled up to Hurricane Island itself I was immediately struck with how beautiful the island is. I couldn’t think of a better place to be spending my summer. Every staff member I met throughout the day was really nice and it was pretty apparent they are a tight-knit group of people who love what they do even with the challenges that come along with jobs like theirs.

Chloe on one of the Hurricane Island trails

Chloe on one of the Hurricane Island trails

After getting a chance to walk around the island a bit, everything seemed very familiar.  The forested areas on the island made me feel like I was back in the spruce-fir forests that I’m used to seeing on the mountaintops of Vermont. Dark-eyed juncos, golden-crowned kinglets, Swainson’s thrushes, all birds I’m used to hearing in the dead silence of a mountaintop, I’m now hearing with the crash of ocean waves in the background. On top of that, here I am on an island with an elevation of less than 200ft and I’m seeing mountain ash, red spruce, mountain paper birch, and balsam fir--it’s pretty neat!

Overall, my first impression of Hurricane Island was a great one.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the island better and being able to navigate myself around the trails. I am also really excited to get started with the ISLE classes and my research project to assess the health of Hurricane Island’s forest stands (more on that later!). 

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First Impressions of Hurricane Island: Collin

Post by Collin Li (Summer 2014 Science and Education Intern)

The voyage to Hurricane Island was swift. The cool breeze and frigid waters heavily contrasted with what I was used to, but I was too excited to lay eyes upon my home for the next two months to care. After unloading my gear, HIF staff gave us a tour of the infrastructure and I immediately noticed how environmentally conscience the Foundation is. Solar panels lined many roofs, skylights were installed in the cabins, and the composting "throne" toilets, and outhouses with Dutch doors were a plus.

Our hikes later that evening allowed me to begin to explore the inner parts of the island and learn about the local flora and fauna. The task seemed daunting at first, but it is great to be immersed in this learning environment, and with repetition I have been able to pick out the more vocal birds and trailside plants.

As I hiked the trails, I felt like I was walking through a scene of the Hobbit. The songs of white throated sparrows and Swainson's thrushes filled the temperate evening air. Mosses found their homes on rocks and the trunks of the towering white spruces. And the stars began to glisten as the sun set over the mainland. The Island is a place teeming with life and inhabited by the Foundation. Through their work, science education and sustainable living is fostered in the hopes of creating leaders within the field of science for the future. Looking forward, it is exciting to take part in the HIF mission this summer and see what we can accomplish!

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