Category Archives: The Island School

Anderson Cabot Family Leadership Gift takes Sharing Solutions Campaign to the Crest of the Wave

Ed Anderson and Linda Cabot with Chris Maxey at the Anderson Cabot Hall dedication ceremony

Ed Anderson and Linda Cabot step up to the top of our giving pyramid with a $2 MM total pledge. In addition to helping us build the new Anderson Cabot Graduate Hall, the new leadership pledge allows us to focus on our campaign promise to Share Solutions. The commitment will help us leverage over $1 MM toward our endowment and $350 k toward developing a communications journey that will enable the school to share best practices with a wider community. In addition, funds have been allotted to collaborate with From the Bow Seat and help build awareness around the serious global challenge of plastic pollution in our oceans. Lastly, there is an effort to develop a film that can help call attention to the successful model and power of experiential and collaborative learning. In the gift letter Linda sums up their desired outcomes,

“Ed and I believe in the Island School mission and the transformational power of experiential learning. At the Island School students tackle real world sustainability issues, conduct independent research, engage in collaborative learning and challenge their personal best. These powerful experiences develop meaningful skills that will help students thrive in the real world and protect our natural environment. This is why we are proud to make a gift that will help sustain the curriculum and enable the school to inspire and share best practices with learning communities around the globe. We hope our actions inspire others to give generously as we believe that community efforts yield the largest and most positive effects”.

Linda Cabot cuts the ribbon and welcomes everyone to Anderson Cabot Hall

Ed and Linda’s leadership comes at a pivotal moment in our history as we look down the last year of our five-year campaign. With their gift we are approaching $17 MM and feel confident to be able to announce now that our new campaign goal is $20 MM. Mary Kate Barnes, Island School parent, Board Vice Chairman and Chair of our campaign shares, “It is amazing to witness a young school embark on a bold first campaign effort with the potential to stride so far past goal. Much of this effort is designed to build an endowment and strategic sustainable fiscal plan that looks out generations. I am also proud of the young development team, Mary Assini Sp 00 and Cameron Powel Fall ’04, both alumni living the mission of The Island School — Leadership Effecting Change.” The Cape Eleuthera Foundation Board thanks Ed and Linda for believing in us and helping The Island School strive towards a new level of sharing.

Both Ed and Linda are proud to say that their daughters Georgianna Sp ’11 and Noelle Sp ’13 both graduated as Class Caciques and to this day lean back on The Island School experience as the most transformative time on their journey through school.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Mackey recounts her deep-sea adventures with Dr. Edith Widder in the Gulf of Mexico

My journey started as an Island School student back in Fall 2006, before Cape Eleuthera Institute even existed. The bridge across the mangroves was just being built. After my semester ended I knew I wanted to do more research and come back to The Island School. I looked for any opportunity to come back. I returned multiple times, as a Dive Master, Alumni advisory, Intern, Research Technician, Research Assistant, and now as a graduate student. I been able to grow within the organization with endless opportunities and experiences to learn from. I have gone from being a student to now teaching students for the past four semesters.


My research is looking at the abundance and biodiversity of the deep-sea organisms living in the Exuma Sound. I use two specialized deep-sea cameras, the Medusa and the Pegasus. These cameras can be deployed to over 1000 meters deep and observe the animals that live in deep-sea environments. As some of the smaller organisms are extremely hard to identify on the video, I also use a series of deep-sea traps to study smaller benthic organisms.


I just got back from an amazing experience on a deep-sea cruise in the Gulf of Mexico with Dr. Edith Widder. The main focus of the cruise was finding new species that emit light through the process of bioluminescence. We had the Medusa on board, accompanied by the E-jelly, an electric jellyfish that emits small lights to replicate bioluminescence. These lights were used to lure deep sea organisms to the camera. We saw cutthroat eels, rattails, and shrimp on the film. As part of our research we collected samples of organisms that would potentially produce bioluminescence.


It was an unbelievable experience and I’m so excited to continue to research the largest and least explored biome in the world!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Summer update from the Reef Ecology and Conservation Program

With the arrival of the summer interns, undergraduate and postgraduate placement students several weeks ago, CEI researcher Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick has been able to tackle many different projects this summer. These projects include propagating corals at the nursery, filleting over 150 pounds of lionfish, conducting reef monitoring and conducting parrotfish feeding studies.

During March 2014, CEI installed a coral reef nursery at Tunnel Rock in collaboration with the University of Miami RSMAS and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Metrological Laboratories and CEI Research Manager Annabelle Brooks. In the face of rapid coral population declines, growing coral through nurseries has been an initiative to replenish wild coral. The team measured the growth progress and refragmented the coral that has been steadily amassing at CEI’s nursery.



Fragmentation of coral refers to splitting of coral to help increase coral colonies and therefore increase reproduction. Half of the fragments were re-attached to the coral nursery at Tunnel Rock, and the other half were set up at a new nursery site closer to The Island School.  This summer, the team will compare the growth and survival rates of the coral at these two different sites. The long-term goal is to transplant the coral frags out on the reef.

Lionfish filleted and dissected
Lionfish filleted and dissected

This summer the team is also being kept busy with the success of the Slayer campaign and has filleted over 150 pounds of lionfish- and has over 200 lbs to do! Over the past couple of weeks, a few local fishermen have delivered hundreds of pounds of lionfish for CEI’s “You Slay, We Pay Campaign.” These lionfish are also dissected to examine gonad development and stomach content, which can offer important insight on the invasion impacts.

Additionally, the team prepared for parrotfish behavioral research this summer. This prep has involved dive teams using a herding technique to catch the juvenile parrotfish, as well as setting up raceways in the lab to conduct a feeding behavior experiment.

Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick shows visiting Earthwatch group how to dissect and fillet a lionfish. (1)A few other exciting events include three of the reef interns completing their Advanced Diving Certification and starting on their Rescue, as well visit of a teenager Earthwatch group who assisted with research for a week.  Additionally, working with The Island School students to sample inland ponds and dissection lionfish was great fun.  The whole team is pumped for the rest of the summer and getting much more achieved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

The Island School Partners With Hurricane Island Outward Bound to Offer Sailing Expeditions

Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (HIOBS) is partnering with The Island School to launch an expeditionary sailing program to be operated out of The Island School’s campus in Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Thanks to seed funding from the Mactaggart Third Fund, the two organizations are looking forward to hosting groups and students starting in 2016.


In 2012, The Island School developed the concept of a sailing program. After deciding a partnership was the best option, The Island School was introduced to HIOBS’ Executive Director Eric Denny in 2013. It was in May 2015 when the dream took shape when a veteran crew from HIOBS sailed on an epic expedition from Florida, across the Gulf Stream and the Bahamas Bank to Eleuthera to deliver two sailboats, Avelinda and Eliza Sue, to The Island School’s Cape Eleuthera campus. Avelinda and Eliza Sue are 30-foot twin masted sailboats designed to sail quickly and navigate into shallow waters with extractable center boards. In keeping with the “human-powered” expedition ethos of Outward Bound, these open boats are oar powered by students when there is little wind. Designed and built specifically for Outward Bound, the boats can carry up to 8 participants and 2 instructors and will allow expeditions to sail out across the Exuma Sound to the Exuma Sound to the Exuma Land and Sea Park, the oldest marine protected area in the world.


“I see this partnership as a model for non-profits in the coming decade,” states Denny. “It brings two world-class organizations together to share their complementary areas of expertise to create an exceptional program that neither organization could accomplish on its own.”


The first step in this partnership is to integrate sailing into the existing expeditionary curriculum of The Island School’s 100-day fall and spring semesters and Gap Year program beginning fall 2015. In 2016, HIOBS and Island School will launch a 21-day expedition that includes sailing, exploring and studying around Eleuthera’s neighboring islands. The trip will include research, a coastal marine ecology and conservation course, focus on island sustainability, teach seamanship and leadership skills, and allow for team and leadership development.


About Hurricane Island Outward Bound

Outward Bound is a non-profit educational organization and expedition school that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom. Outward Bound delivers programs using unfamiliar settings as a way for participants across the country to experience adventure and challenge in a way that helps students realize they can do more than they thought possible. The organization established its first sea-based school on the coast of Maine in 1964. Hurricane Island, a remote island approximately 75 miles northeast of Portland, served as the summer base camp for sailing, sea kayaking, and rock climbing programs. For more information, visit

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather