Fall 2011 alumna, Tessa Tracy, returned to her high school, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, after her semester and needed a way to channel her Island School energy before she started to lose it. Therefore, she started the school’s Marine Conservation Club. In no time, the club had 40 members and was meeting on a weekly basis, under the supervision of faculty member, and IS Teacher Conference participant Paul McGuinness, who directs the Marine Science program at CRLS. Their focus for the 2012-13 school year was on the North Atlantic Right Whales whose population has dwindled to less than 500. To raise money for the endangered species, Tessa, as the Marine Conservation Club’s President led the group in organizing fundraisers, holding a dinner hosted by a club member’s family, wrapping christmas presents at a toy store, selling snacks during classes, and setting up potluck lunch sales. In the end, they raised $1,300 dollars and donated all of it to the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research Program. More donations to this program can be made here. As a result of all of their hard work, the Marine Conservation Club was nominated and selected for a 2013 New England Aquarium Ocean Stewardship Award. Below is a photo from when the club donated the money to the New England Aquarium:
Outside of fundraising the club has done a lot of advocacy work including making a video, getting signatures for a petition to regulate boat paths in Right Whale habitats, and writing letters to senators. Something they were especially proud of was organizing “whale week” where they set up activities in homeroom everyday for a week, like jeopardy or a video. They also organized an event each day like a food sale or “whale a capella”. In the future, they hope to do outreach in Cambridge’s middle schools.
Island School students leave campus charged with the energy to want to apply what they learned to make a difference in the world. Turns out that some of the best role models for our graduates are…their parents!
Yesterday Kirsten Dawson (parent F’04, F’06, F’08), Linda Cabot (parent S’11, S’13) and Molly Cramer (parent S’08) attended the Women Working for Oceans (W2O) “Leave only Footprints” event at the New England Aquarium in Boston to learn from marine scientists about establishing and monitoring some amazing habitat: the Phoenix Islands marine protected area in the Pacific ocean. Past events have educated on issues of ocean plastics, the impact of auto emissions on climate change and oceans, as well as “fight with your fork” (choosing sustainable seafood, eco-friendly packaging, and vegetarian option) approaches to addressing climate change. They walk the talk too – the vegetarian lunch by the Aquarium chefs was amazing!
Women Working for Oceans always ends their lecture events with actions steps, so The Island School Continue reading →
On Saturday, January 5th, over 120 Island School alumni, alumni parents, faculty, faculty alumni, and friends of The Island School gathered at the Marriott Long Wharf hotel in Boston, MA for the first semester-wide reunion in 2 years! The day started off with a strenuous psycho led by the one and only Chris Maxey. The fearless leader led the 35 morning exercise participants along the downtown Harbor Walk (and through the snow!), stopping to do “Nellas”, dips, 8-counts, and of course everyone’s favorite, Island School jumping jacks. To say that we stood out and got a few strange looks would be an understatement!
After morning exercise, attendees had the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces and meet new friends before settling down with lunch to hear from our guest speakers. Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Edd Brooks spoke about his PhD shark research and his partnership with the New England Aquarium’s John Mandelman, PhD.
John focuses on the conservation physiology of marine fishes, predominantly elasmobranchs (the sharks, rays and skates) and their lethal and sublethal blood chemical responses to anthropogenic stressors – such as fishing capture and handling, and acoustic stress – in marine fishes. He is currently partnering up with Edd Brooks and CEI’s Shark Research & Conservation Program. Together they delivered a very interesting presentation that gave alumni an update on the type of research going on at CEI, and also how CEI is moving forward and partnering up with other successful organizations with the New England Aquarium. After Edd and John’s presentation, everyone had a chance to catch up some more, visit the Aquarium, and visit some of the aquarium’s scientists’ wet labs. At the end of the day, alumni left the Marriott and split into their respective semesters for dinner and other evening plans.
Thank you all who came to the reunion and made it such a success! We can’t wait to get everyone back together again! To see more photos from Saturday, see our Flickr album here.
Miss out on this reunion? Make sure you update us with your contact information so that you don’t miss out again! Email email@example.com.