Since its founding in June 1985, the principal activity of the Institute has been the initiation and co-ordination of research projects and public engagement activities. Areas of special interest have included Island culture, sustainable development, land use, and the knowledge economy. The topics dealt with have ranged from the present state of the Gaelic language on Prince Edward Island to a profile of traditional agricultural practices.

The Institute has a four-point mandate:

  • To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
  • To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
  • To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
  • To undertake comparative studies of Prince Edward Island and other islands.

In partial fulfillment of its public policy mandate, the Institute organizes public forums and lectures on major contemporary issues such as environmental policy, water quality, land use, economic development, and electoral reform. The Institute also sponsors workshops, seminars, and conferences. An integral part of its work focuses on the fourth part of our mandate, which links the local and the global. While firmly rooted in Prince Edward Island, the IIS has become a global centre for small islands research and development.

The publisher associated with the IIS, Island Studies Press, features books and videos dealing with aspects of culture and environment of Prince Edward Island. Our Online Library includes an extensive list of reports and papers stemming from our work since 1985. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact the IIS Co-ordinator.

The Island Studies constellation at UPEI also includes an undergraduate Minor in Island Studies and a Master of Arts in Island Studies Program, which is an interdisciplinary, and policy-driven graduate program that critiques islands on their own terms.

Finally, the Institute of Island Studies is the proud institutional home of Island Studies Journal, an open-access scholarly journal dedicated to the study of islands.

If you have any questions, please contact us directly by telephone or e-mail:

Jim Randall, PhD
Chair, Executive Committee
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island, Steel 124
T (902) 620-5013

Laurie Brinklow, PhD
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island, SDU Main Building 206
T (902) 894-2881


I am convinced that the love of islands, and
especially for small islands, is rational and improving.

Samuel Green Wheeler Benjamin (1887). The Atlantic Islands as Resorts of
Health and Pleasure. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, p. 256.