Tag Archives: Fall 2012

Island School’s New Eco-Friendly Uniform: A Human Ecology Project

Ryan Schendel and Jake Varsano (F'12) put the Recover Brand t-shirts to the test by wearing them during morning exercise.
Ryan Schendel and Jake Varsano (F’12) put Recover Brand t-shirts to the test by wearing them during morning exercise.

When we unveiled our updated Island School logo last fall, we also got to work on updating the Island School uniform to match. In fact, it was two Island School alumni who really got the ball rolling. During their Fall 2012 semester, Ryan Schendel and Jake Varsano decided to take on this daunting task as their Human Ecology final project. Determined to not only live, but also wear, The Island School’s mission to live well in a place, they began to contact vendors and test products. By the end of the Fall 2012 semester, they finally found their match in Recover Brands, a small eco-clothing start-up based out of Asheville, North Carolina that shares our same devotion to conserving the environment. We are excited to announce our partnership with Recover Brands, and introduce their products, made from 100% recycled apparel. We also continue to be proud of our students’ efforts to be leaders effecting change, especially once they leave The Island School.

“Jake and I saw an opportunity to apply the sustainability factor of The Island School campus to the clothing we wear – this was a chance to take responsibility of the origins of our uniforms and campus clothes and recognize the impact our clothes had on the environment. I think the project was and will continue to be successful because now Island School students can be proud of the clothes they wear every day because they know the story, know their environmental footprint, and see a continuation of the campus sustainability from the moment they put their shirt on.

As for me, I know after I got my Recover IS shirt, it reminded me of our sustainable campus. Every time I put it on at home, I remember how it’s different from my other shirts, and it reminds me of Island School’s sustainability. I think it’s important in the future for IS students to learn about Recover and their clothing, just like when we got a campus tour of our sustainable systems. This way, their IS clothing can have an impact, just like it does for me.” –Ryan Schendel F’12

“I am proud to say this new clothing brings The Island School another step closer to its mission of sustainability. I hope our project inspires future students to aim their projects towards something they feel passionate about and are confident will help improve our campus, allowing it to be the best model of sustainability possible. I would also like to note the efforts that were put in on campus by all who helped once Ryan and I went home. To quote Maxey, ‘It is not about the guy with the idea, it is about the guy who recognizes the idea and helps run with it.’ Well, something like that. It is time that we started wearing our mission!” –Jake Varsano F’12

If your wardrobe needs updating, or your old Island School t-shirt needs replacing, visit the new online store: http://www.recoverbrands.com/store/category/the-island-school.

Fall 2012 Lunch in Boston!

Although it has been just over a week since the Fall 2012 students returned home from their semester The Island School, that did not stop a group of them from getting together for lunch in Boston this Saturday. Nine members of the F’12 semester from the greater Boston area met up in Harvard Square with Island School’s Cam Powel and Hannah Mauck to see some familiar faces and also have the opportunity to talk about all things Island School. Welcome back! We hope to see you all at the January 5th reunion! Make sure to RSVP by emailing alumni@islandschool.org.

Maggie Bland, Chapin Atwood, Phoebe Shaw, Eunna Oh, Hadley Edie, Korinna Garfield, Jake Varsano, Campbell Peck, and Nathaneal Matlack
Maggie Bland, Chapin Atwood, Phoebe Shaw, Eunna Oh, Hadley Edie, Korinna Garfield, Jake Varsano, Campbell Peck, and Nathaneal Matlack

Game, Set, Patch!

By: Korinna Garfield, Sam Hastings, Atalanta von der Schulenburg, Maggie Bland, & Nathaniel Millard


Hello! We are team Patch! On this research project we are looking at the spatial and temporal abundance of fish species in Eleuthera, here in the Bahamas. Patch reefs are transitional juvenile habitats for fish after their early life in mangroves. One of the main reasons we are conducting this research, is to see if it is necessary that an MPA be established near Cape Eleuthera, based upon the fish population and habitat trends in the area. We hypothesize that patch reefs will have a higher fish biomass the closer they are to mangroves, there will be an increase in lionfish (an invasive species), and  Continue reading

Sea Turtle Team


Sea turtles are on the endangered species Red List. The most common species of turtle found in the Bahamas is the green turtle, which we are studying. Previous studies in the Bahamas have included nutrition, grazing, growth rates, and abundance, but none have been conducted on Eleuthera. Our study is currently being conducted just north of Rock Sound in Half Sound, on the Atlantic side of the island. The purpose of our study is to investigate the abundance, size, and distribution of green sea turtles in Half Sound and our hypothesis is that areas with an abundance of sea grass will have dense turtle populations. We have two main methods that we’ve used so far in order to catch these turtles. The first is by boat, in which we take a small skiff to Half Sound. We ride Continue reading

Learning About The Island School Cisterns in Math Class

By Cate Ellison

In our math classes this past week, we have been learning about the cisterns around campus that store our water. We learned about the five cisterns underneath buildings that we are currently using as well as a cistern underneath a building under construction on campus that will shortly be put into use. Water is a resource that we use everyday at The Island School, and it is really interesting to learn how the cisterns work, and how our individual water use affects the entire water supply.


At first, the idea of measuring our useable water based on the amount of rain, capacity of cisterns, and surface areas of roofs was a whole new concept to me, something that I had never thought of before. In our math classes, we talked about how daily rainfall multiplied by the surface area of the roofs that drain into the cisterns is the total volume of the cistern, but not the total useable water in the cisterns because we aren’t actually able to use all of the water in a cistern. Continue reading

Conche Diem!

Our research group is determining the population density of Queen Conch (pronounced “conk”) in South Eleuthera. Specifically, we are seeing if there is enough conch in the area for reproduction, since they are density-dependant. Conch is very economically, ecologically and culturally important in the Bahamas. Conch populations are declining because of overfishing and high demands for the meat in the United States. We are excited to take part in the research and we hope to help in the creation of a Marine Protected Area. Today we went out into the field and completed multiple 1,000 meter transects by towing two snorkelers at a time behind a boat while counting adult, subadult and juvenile conch. Alongside the conch we saw cushion sea stars, lobster, moon jellyfish and a large assortment of colorful fish! Honk if you love conch!
- Connor, Brian, Christina, Eunna, Nora & Maren