Tag Archives: ocean

Alumni Spotlight: Francis Joyce (F’07)

Francis Joyce attended The Island School in Fall 2007 and went on to continue his studies at Bowdoin College, graduating in May 2013. Since then, he has been working in Doug McCauley’s lab at UC Santa Barbara. Part of his work has entailed helping with and co-authoring this paper on marine defaunation, which is animal loss in the world’s oceans. It was published in Science Magazine a few days ago and was also featured in a popular New York Times article.  This paper has even stimulated international news regarding concern over significant degradation of the oceans.

It is incredible to see our alumni like Francis making a difference world-wide, beyond the shores of Eleuthera. Congratulations, Francis! We can’t wait to hear about the work you do next!

Ocean Awareness Essay Contest

The film, From the Bow Seat (written and directed by alumni parent Linda Cabot), holds an ocean awareness essay contest every year that challenges high school students to think critically and creatively about environmental issues impacting the ocean. The contest invites students to write an original essay based on the film From the Bow Seat, or to explore a timely environmental issue beyond the scope of the film.

Awards of $2,500, $1,500 and $500 will be made to the first, second and third place winners, plus 15 Honorable Mention Certificates. In addition, $2,500 will be awarded to the high school science department of the first prize winner.

If you are interested in learning more about the contest or want to submit your essays, visit the contest website here. Good luck!


This year, the Human Ecology, Histories, and Literature Departments have collaborated on a series ongoing assignments. Each week students are asked to write a reflective essay that demonstrates their understanding of the themes from their coursework and effectively links these themes to their unique thoughts and experiences.  Enjoy reading how our students have deeply and personally engage with essential questions, important to their course of study at The Island School…

This Weeks Prompt:  How does culture affect one’s relationship with the ocean?

“The Glue that Holds Us Together” by Helen Russell

My first memory is at the beach. I was four years old at Bethany Beach, Maryland with my dad’s side of the family and I was playing in the waves with my grandpa. It was the first year that my brother was with us, having been born the previous winter and everyone was obsessed with the baby. Like a typical four-year-old with a new baby in the family, I was feeling pretty neglected. But that day my grandpa had said that he wanted to go to the beach just me and him, to have “grandpa, granddaughter” time. So we make our way to the beach, me with my floaties around my arms and my towel dragging behind me. The only way that I remember all these details is because of pictures I have of myself that summer. So we played in the waves and for the first time in my life, I wondered when the ocean ended. So I asked my grandpa how the blue went on forever and he said that it was like glue that held all the continents together. He said that they were so far apart that the glue had to stretch over the sides of the Earth and that if I could swim all the way out to the horizon, then I could see the next continent. So that was my first definition of the Ocean: the glue that held the continents together. Continue reading