Tag Archives: CSD

IS Alumni Back on the Cape this Summer

We want to welcome back all of The Island School alumni who have returned to Cape Eleuthera and giving back this summer!



Griffin Hunt & Tori Suslovitch, Fall 2011
Griffin Hunt & Tori Suslovitch, Fall 2011

This summer, Griffin Hunt (F’11) is working as a Summer Term Alumni Mentor at The Island School. He is co–leading the Tourism and Development unit, a course which explores the history of Eleuthera and the underlying socio–economic factors that have impacted its development through two–night down–island trips and participation in relevant CEI research. Specifically, students will be exposed to political philosophy, ethnography, and tourism practices, along with two conservation–oriented field days with CEI researchers. In college, Griffin is pursuing a double major in Public Policy & Law and Philosophy. In addition to teaching the T&D unit, Griffin serves as an advisor to a group of students and an EMT and is co–head of the Boys Dorm. This is Griffin’s third summer at The Island School and he is psyched to spend the term with a remarkable faculty team and 50 passionate students.  

Summer Term alumni Maggie Winchester (Su'11) and Kristin Treat (Su'10)
Summer Term alumni Maggie Winchester (Su’11) and Kristin Treat (Su’10)

Kristin Treat (Su’10) is going to be a senior majoring in Marine Biology at Florida Institute of Technology. She is a shark conservation and research intern this summer at CEI. She is so excited to learn and get field experience during my time here.  Kristin loves traveling, scuba diving, and trying new things. Maggie Winchester (Su’11) is a shark intern from Vermont. She studied abroad in Morocco, and in the spring Maggie will be graduating from the University of New England. She is really excited to be back in Eleuthera and be working with sharks again. Christian Daniell (F’10) is back as an intern with the Shark Research and Conservation program at CEI. He mostly lives in the UK, and I is currently going into his fourth year at Connecticut College. This is Christian’s third time on the island, his first being in 2010 as a student, then in 2012 as an intern. Christian is looking forward to getting out there and tagging some fish and help out in any way he can. Chase Goldston (Su’13) is interning with the Flats team this summer. He is going into his sophomore year at Colby College. Chase is from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He is a big Cleveland sports fan and loves dogs and being outdoors. Emilie Geissinger (S’08) is  a summer intern with the Flats Ecology Team.  She graduated from Bates College in 2014.  This past year she taught high school Biology at the Noble and Greenough School. She is very excited to be back in Eleuthera and participating in the awesome research going on here! Emilie plays  water polo with a team in Boston and participates in sprint triathlons for fun. Anna Jenkins (S’12) is in her third year at UC Berkeley and grew up in San Francisco. Anna is back at IS working with the Reef Ecology and Conservation research team and am very passionate about conservation regarding marine life and energy.  Anna’s hobbies include soccer, dance, and generally being outdoors. James Boyce (F’12) is back on Eleuthera and working as an intern in the Boathouse. He spent the first part of the summer on the 5 Gyres sailing expedition from Bermuda to the east coast of the US and is psyched to be back and helping out. Dana Biddle (S’13) is very excited to be back this summer. During her semester, she worked with Jocelyn on the lionfish and lobster research project. She is back working for Jocelyn on the Sustainable Fisheries team. Dana will be a sophomore at the University of Miami next year and is studying Marine Science. Dana Colihan (S’12) is a Reef Ecology and Conservation Research Intern this summer.  She was born and raised in New York City although Dana is currently attending Oberlin College in Ohio. She is an Environmental Studies major and a rising junior. Dana like bagels, fixing/riding bikes, and works at a Living Machine at Oberlin. She is super excited to be be back and to be doing work on sustainable fisheries this summer! 

A big crew of Fall 2010 alumni!
A big crew of Fall 2010 alumni!

Aly Boyce (F’10) is working with the Sea Turtle team for the summer. She is originally from Abaco- just one island north of Eleuthera! Currently, she is a rising senior at UC Berkeley double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Science. She is looking forward to getting to spend time with old friends and getting to meet many more! She also hopes to be able to explore Eleuthera and freedive as much as possible. Brandon Gell (F’10) is currently a rising senior at Middlebury College in Vermont. This summer he is working at CSD working on creating a the framework for a sustainable design competition to be held at The Island School. Brandon is psyched to be back here and is looking forward to catching up with old friends and making many new ones.

Fall 2012 alumni James Boyce and Ryan Schendel
Fall 2012 alumni James Boyce and Ryan Schendel

 Ryan Schendel (F’12) is working as a general systems intern at CSD. He is studying Sustainable Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. His project this summer is to connect the water cisterns underneath CSD with the pipe system throughout Island School Campus and CEI. Tamara Pletzer (S’12) is the aquaponics intern this summer. She is a second year at University of Edinburgh and is studying economics and math but originally hails from Colorado. Tamara loves scuba diving, swimming, among other activities and is looking forward to learning more about the aquaponics system as well as how to create the beds, grow tilapia and try growing different plants in the system! Whit Powel (S’09) is back for her third summer  teaching, advising, and shaping the young minds of Summer Term students.  This summer, she will be teaching the Sustainable Systems unit, advising, co-heading the Girls Dorm, and fulfilling the role of Dean of Students.  Her hometown is Shaker Heights, Ohio and she graduated this spring from Denison University. Catharine Pirie (F’10) will be returning for her second summer working as a Tourism and Development teacher, advisor, and co-head of Girls Dorm for the Summer Term students. She is from Hamilton, Massachusetts and is currently a senior at Hobart and William Smith colleges. Catharine is so excited for yet another amazing and exciting summer here! Tori Suslovitch (F’11) is a rising Senior at the University of Tampa where she studies Biology with minors in Chemistry and Education. This is her first time back on Eleuthera since her semester and she is excited to help teach Marine Ecology for the Summer TermMeaghan Kachadoorian (F’10) is from Connecticut and goes to school in North Carolina. She is really happy to be back and teaching Summer Term for the Tourism & Development and Sustainable Systems units. Katie Gougelet (S’08) is from Hanover, New Hampshire and a recent alumna of Dartmouth College. This is her first summer back to Eleuthera since Spring ’08 and she is excited to be here helping to teach and and get involved with all aspects of the students’ summer experience. Max Maloberti (S’10) is a Biology major and Junior at Dickinson College, PA. He is back teaching the Marine Ecology unit.  Ever since his semester, he has been wanting to come back so he is really excited for this summer.  Liam Macartney (F’13) is back and excited to be working with the Educational Programs team. George Giannos (F’10) is back for his 5th time since his semester working in CSD and helping oversee all of the interns at CEI and CSD this summer. Meagan Gary (F’07) is a Masters student at Florida Atlantic University and this summer/fall she will be comparing the home range and habitat use of different sized immature green turtles at CEI. After graduating from Colorado College where she majored in Biology, Meagan returned to CEI and was the sea turtle research assistant. Mike Cortina (F’02) has been working at CSD for 1.5 years as a Sustainability Teacher. Stanley Burnside (F’07) is a lead educator with CEI’s Educational Programs.

The Biodiesel Program Gets An Upgrade

In November 2014, the Biodiesel program at The Island School began an upgrade to the biodiesel manufacturing equipment. The update, which was recently completed, drastically improved the speed at which fuel is produced and also improves the quality of the end product. The upgrade included the installation of a drywash tower, a methanol recovery unit, and reconfigured the entire facility with new plumbing, pumps, flow meters, and electrical controls.

biodiesel drywash tower
Biodiesel Lab Technician Samuel Dorsent got up close and personal with CSD’s biodiesel manufacturing equipment as it was cleaned in preparation of the upgrade. Sam has been working with the biodiesel program since May 2014.

The Drywash Tower replaces the previous method of cleaning processed fuel, which used water. The dry wash tower shortens the production time to process 150 gallons of biodiesel to two days, as opposed to 10-12 days as previously experienced. This has increased our production capacity to well over 30,000 gallons per year, nearly 4 times our previous capacity, and well above our current fuel demand. On a yearly basis, the drywash tower saves the school nearly 20,000 gallons of water, over 750 man-hours of labor costs, and drastically reduced production costs.

Corey Broderick and Mike Cortina (F'02) stand next to the new SpringPro T76 Drywash Tower.
Corey Broderick and Mike Cortina (F’02) stand next to the new SpringPro T76 Drywash Tower.

A secondary piece of new equipment installed is a Methanol Recovery unit. As the name would lend you to believe, the methanol recovery unit enables the recovery of excess methanol from the glycerol waste stream of the biodiesel reaction. The recovered methanol can be reused back into the production cycle and offset a portion of the methanol the program needs to purchase and import from the US. The methanol recovery unit has the potential to reduce the cost of biodiesel production by over $0.20 per gallon; and since methanol is the most expensive of the three chemical ingredients that make biodiesel, financial savings are felt on a very short time scale.

Sam performs a titration on a sample of oil prior to reacting a batch of biodiesel.
Sam performs a titration on a sample of oil prior to reacting a batch of biodiesel.

The biodiesel program at Island School began as a student run research project in the fall semester of 2002. Currently, the Organization uses biodiesel in vans, surfs, trucks and backup generators. We will soon begin testing biodiesel in boats, which has the potential to save the organization significantly in fuel expenditures. B100 (100% biodiesel) burns much cleaner and more completely than diesel fuel from other sources, such as fossil fuels. On average, a reduction of 60% in particulate matter, 60% in carbon monoxide, 70% in unburnt hydrocarbons, and 100% in sulfur dioxide can be expected. Moreover, the main chemical ingredient in biodiesel is used cooking oil; a perfect example of a renewable source of fuel.

If you have any further questions, or care to learn more about the biodiesel program at The Island School, please email biodiesel@islandschool.org.

The Island School is on Google Maps Street View!

The Island School is excited to announce the launch of Island School Street View!  You can now take virtual tours of The Island School, Cape Eleuthera Insitute, and Center for Sustainable Design campuses, as well as iconic locations around the Cape as if you were there!   To move througout the tours, pan around the “photosphere” and click on the hovering arrows or circles located on the screen.

The Island School Campus Tour has six locations throughout the tour: The Flag Circle, Entrance, Boathouse, Dining Hall, Boy’s Dorm, & Boy’s Dorm Beach.
Cape Eleuthera Institute has four locations: CEI Entrance, The Wetlab, CEI Walkway, & Hallig House.
The rest (DCSM, The Sand Bar, The Offshore Aquculture Cage, Cathedral Rock, Scuba Class on the Cobia, and Weirda Bridge) can be found on main Island School profile page on Google Maps.
Click to see what it's like to dive The Cage!
Click to see what it’s like to dive The Cage!