What we do
The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the name of The Hurricane Island Foundation in 2009 and is a publicly supported 501[c](3).
Our mission is to integrate science education, applied research, and leadership development through year-round educational programs and a seasonal, environmentally-sustainable island community.
Hurricane Island is 10 miles southeast of Rockland and two miles southwest of Vinalhaven in the Fox Islands archipelago, Penobscot Bay, Maine. The island measures about one mile by one-half mile, totaling 125 acres. It has an interesting history as a granite quarry company and the base for the Maine Outward Bound School, which you can read about here.
On Hurricane Island, we are working to develop both the Center for Science and Leadership and our Field Research Station. Both of these initiatives will work together to help students and scientists participate in authentic, hands-on field science and collaborative leadership programs and experiences.
Our programs reach public and private middle and high school students, college and university students, graduate researchers, undergraduate interns, amateur naturalists, scientists, sustainable engineers, and volunteers who are committed to our mission and excited about the opportunities on Hurricane!
The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership:
The Center for Science and Leadership (HICSL) is a scientific and education community on Hurricane Island that provides experiential, hands-on education programs and research opportunities focusing on marine sciences, STEM education, human ecology, sustainable living technology, citizen science initiatives, and leadership in environmental stewardship for all ages from middle school to adults. Our goal is to excite people about doing science and about being leaders in the next wave of scientific discovery and environmental conservation. During much of the year, these programs take place on Hurricane Island--one of the most unique and beautiful settings on the Atlantic coast. In the off-season, our staff works with teachers and students to support, enhance, and develop experiential, project-based science and leadership education within the classroom.
The Hurricane Island Field Research Station is a small facility on Hurricane Island with a pier and docks on Hurricane Sound. When funded and completed, the research station will have water tables, work spaces, a small laboratory, and a classroom/meeting room. A SCUBA diving center and research vessel will be available for offshore and underwater research. The research station will provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate scientists and interns, as well as fishermen, to work with career professionals doing field research in lobster biology, climate change, and ocean monitoring. Students in HICSL programs will have the opportunity to work with research station scientists and learn about authentic, hands-on field science. Hurricane Island is ideally and uniquely located for a wide range of science education and research projects that cross several disciplines and are relevant to the ecological sustainability of Penobscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine.
More About Hurricane Island:
Because of its remote location, Hurricane Island is completely off the grid. We make every effort to be carbon neutral and environmentally sensitive in the operations and activities of the island community. Solar arrays generate power used throughout the island. All toilets are waterless composting types, including high-tech Clivus systems. Waste greywater is treated entirely in our constructed wetlands. We grow some food on island and have plans for a greenhouse, expanded vegetable gardens, and a chicken coop. All elements of community life on the island are used for education and demonstration for program participants and Island visitors and are the focus of specific sustainable living courses. Resource management on Hurricane Island is a challenge, but also an opportunity for meaningful learning and engagement. Through accessible, easy-to-understand infrastructure systems, we are teaching students, teachers, scientists, and other visitors about the physical systems that support human inhabitation of the island.
To learn even more about us, read this report by visiting naturalist Benjamin Lemmond! Ben covers everything from our geologic history, human history, and natural history.
Statement of Community
The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership is committed to the development of global stewards who are considerate of our common humanity. We strive to promote an inclusive environment honoring the experiences of each individual and to increase awareness of diverse backgrounds, values, and perspectives. To achieve this goal, we aim to create a secure and welcoming community, which respects the contributions of all individuals and embraces open and collaborative dialogue. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these expectations.