Past News and Events

UPEI co-hosts with the University of Aruba
1st International Island States/Island Territories Conference: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement

March 26-29, 2019
The first “International Conference on Small Island States and Subnational Island Jurisdictions” was hosted March 26-29, 2019 by the University of Aruba, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (COE) and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, which is shared between the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada and the University of Malta.The theme of the conference was “Island States/Island Territories: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement.” The conference appealed to scholars, policy-makers, NGO representatives, students and members of the general public who networked and shared knowledge on Sustainable Development on islands. In total the conference had approximately 100 participants. Several geographic regions were represented, including the Caribbean, Pacific and Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS), Australasia and the North Atlantic.

There were 18 local conference presenters, with a multi-disciplinary participation, which included local lecturers from three University of Aruba faculties: The Faculty for Accounting, Finance and Marketing of the University of Aruba (FEF), the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS), and The Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Management Studies (FHTMS). The conference also awarded 6 international Student Travel Scholarships and 20 local University of Aruba students joined the sessions as part of their curriculum. Scholarship winners included Owen Jennings, a graduate of the MAIS program and now a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, a current student in the MAIS program.

Scholarship award-winners with Conference chair Jim Randall: (l-r) Joris Sylvie, Université des Antilles; Zhannah Voukitchevitch, University of Ottawa; Kristin De Kroon, University of Waterloo; Azell Francis, Georgia Institute of Technology; Owen Jennings, University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, University of Prince Edward Island.


The international participants enjoyed an Aruban Welcome with a conference dinner at the Old Cunucu House and a field trip to Aruba’s San Nicolas district where they also visited the Industrial Museum to get to know about Aruba’s island history.

Additionally, we are very proud to have had two female Heads of Government as keynote speakers addressing integrity in governance and the resilience of islands; both the Honourable Evelyna C. Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba & Minister of General Affairs, Integrity, Energy, Innovation, & Government Organization, as well as the Honourable Leona Romeo-Marlin, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten & Minister of General Affairs, graced us with their insights.

The community enjoyed a free public lecture by Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino organized alongside the conference on the evening of March 28, whereby the University was honoured to receive the attendance of the Governor of Aruba.

Screen capture from Aruba Today 

The conference’s international planning committee is chaired by UNESCO co-chair, Dr. Jim Randall (UPEI). Local co-hosts included Deborah Alexander from the Centre for Lifelong Learning at University of Aruba, Glenn Thodé, Rector of the University of Aruba, Patrick Arens, Business Director of the University of Aruba, and Arno Boersma and Francielle Laclé from the COE. The planning committee comprises scholars from several academic institutions including the University of the West Indies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Malta, Leiden University, and the University of the West of England.

Jim Randall noted that this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the intellectual capacity and hospitality of the University of Aruba and the island in general. “Several first-time international delegates said to me that this will not be the first time they plan on visiting Aruba,” he said.

The Planning Committee is grateful for the contributions made by the sponsors to this event. These include The Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Guardian Group Fatum, the University of the West of England, Aruba Tourism Authority, the Think to Do Institute, Smit&Dorlas, and Aruba Aloe.

For more information, contact


Measuring Quality of Life on Prince Edward Island
featuring Gwendolyn Colman, Dr. Jim Randall, and Wendy MacDonaldThursday, November 22, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Don and Marion McDougall Hall, MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242
WATCH THE VIDEOThe public was invited to the Harry Baglole Memorial Public Symposium in Island Studies, “Measuring Quality of Life on Prince Edward Island,” on Thursday, November 22, 7-9 p.m., at UPEI’s MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242, McDougall Hall. This event was sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.The principal speaker was Gwen Colman, who, in 1997, along with her husband Ron, founded Genuine Progress Index (GPI) Atlantic, a pioneering research organization in creating new measures of wellbeing and progress. Gwen will be speaking about GPI’s work in collaborative development of wellbeing measures with communities in Bhutan, New Zealand, Thailand, and Nova Scotia.READ MORE…
Dr. Jim Randall was invited to present a keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Blue Economy Forum, November 13-14, 2018, in Ningbo, China. The theme of this 5th APEC Forum focused on “Local Blue Economy Practice: Policy and Approach,” which has gained prominence in recent years as a popular development strategy among island and coastal communities through its vision to achieve marine sustainable development and human well-being.
SSHRC-funded meetings to create research relationships and partnerships in field of island studies
Charlottetown, PEI (September 10, 2018)— UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability hosted a weekend of meetings with representatives and researchers from a dozen islands around the world. This unprecedented gathering of scholars in the field of Island Studies is made possible by a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project will build relationships between researchers and will fund up to twelve graduate students.“The Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chairs in Island Studies and Sustainability are to be commended for organizing this very important initiative, which will bring together representatives of small island states to develop strategies to address their unique issues regarding sustainability and sovereignty,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, UPEI’s Vice-President Academic and Research. “Island jurisdictions are often viewed as vulnerable, poverty-stricken, and destitute, but research shows many of these islands are better described as innovative and entrepreneurial.”This meeting brought together six representatives of small island states (Iceland, New Zealand, Mauritius, Palau, Cyprus, St. Lucia and Grenada) and six representatives from non-sovereign, sub-national island jurisdictions (Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, La Réunion, Lesbos, Guam and Tobago). These groups will compare experiences, to see whether statehood is a boon or hindrance when implementing sustainable practices in social-political, cultural-artistic, economic, and environmental areas.“Take an island’s ability to respond to a natural crisis, such as a hurricane,” said Dr. James Randall, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. “If that island is a sub-national jurisdiction, is it a benefit to know the larger government will be there to help them respond, or will an independent island state be better equipped to determine what is needed and implement that plan.”The project will develop a set of measures of sustainability and sovereignty by undertaking household and focus group surveys using comparisons of six pairs of islands. The Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability will coordinate these activities, bringing together island researchers and solving issues using a local-to-global integrated approach.From L to R: Godfrey Baldacchino (Malta), Pia Hansson (Iceland), Margaret Paterson (UPEI MAIS student), Kimberly Wishart Chu Foon (UPEI PhD Environmental Sciences student), John Telesford (Grenada), Ioannis Spilanis (Greece on video), Gerard Prinsen (New Zealand), Patrick Watson (Trinidad & Tobago), Rob Greenwood (Newfoundland), Laurie Brinklow (PEI), Robert Gilmour (VP Academic & Research, UPEI). Lots missing, including the Principal Investigator Jim Randall (UPEI)The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing talent, generating insights and forging connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.
From L to R: Godfrey Baldacchino (Malta), Pia Hansson (Iceland), Margaret Paterson (UPEI MAIS student), Kimberly Wishart Chu Foon (UPEI PhD Environmental Sciences student), John Telesford (Grenada), Ioannis Spilanis (Greece on video), Gerard Prinsen (New Zealand), Patrick Watson (Trinidad & Tobago), Rob Greenwood (Newfoundland), Laurie Brinklow (PEI), Robert Gilmour (VP Academic & Research, UPEI). Lots missing, including the Principal Investigator Jim Randall (UPEI)The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing talent, generating insights and forging connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.
UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability donates books to the Robertson Library
Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino has donated several of his latest publications to the Robertson Library. Included are five books in the Rethinking the Island Series (Rowman & Littlefield), which he co-edited with Elizabeth McMahon and Elaine Stratford, as well as two books he edited: Solution Protocols to Festering Island Disputes: ‘Win-Win’ Solutions for the Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands (Routledge, 2017) and The Routledge International Handbook of Island Studies (Routledge, 2018). The Library and our Island Studies community thanks you, Godfrey!
PEI’s Georgina Pope subject of new book:
Called to Serve: Georgina Pope: Canadian Nursing Military Heroine
Sunday, June 24, 2017 | 2 p.m. | Eptek Art & Culture Centre, Summerside
Island Studies Press launched its newest book, Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Nursing Military Heroine, by Katherine Dewar in Summerside on Sunday, June 24, 2 p.m., at Eptek Art & Culture Centre.
Called to Serve documents the life and times of Prince Edward Island’s Georgina Fane Pope (1862-1938), daughter of William Henry Pope and Helen Desbrisay Pope. Her journey takes us from Charlottetown, where, inspired by Florence Nightingale, she developed a “burning desire” to become an army nurse; to the Boston States where she trained; to the battlefields of Africa and Europe where she served as a nursing sister and Superintendent of Nurses―and helped establish the nursing corps of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Matron Pope was the first Canadian Nurse decorated with a Royal Red Cross, 1st class, by Queen Victoria.In 2007 Georgina Pope’s bronze bust became one of the 14 heroic figures forming a part of the Valiants’ Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. She also appears on the Canadian $5 coin.Katherine Dewar is the author of the award-winning book, Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War, 1914-1918. Katherine is retired from a career as a nursing instructor at the PEI School of Nursing, and is now committed to researching PEI’s colourful nursing history.Those Splendid Girls was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, won the Publication of Year award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and the City of Summerside’s Heritage and Culture department, and Katherine herself is the recipient of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Award of Honour for her outstanding contribution to Prince Edward Island Heritage.Books are now on sale for $27.95 in bookstores.
The Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore Annual Meeting
May 25-27 2018 | UPEI Main Building FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
OPENING REMARKS: Friday, May 25, 5-6:30 p.m., Main Building Faculty Lounge, followed by LECTURE: “Recueillir, conserver et partager la chanson traditionnelle acadienne de l’Île-du-Prince- Édouard” by Georges Arsenault
LECTURE: Saturday, May 26, 5-6:30 p.m., Carriage House, Beaconsfield, 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown: “The Witch & the Song Maker as Law Givers in Island Farming & Fishing Communities” by John Cousins
ROUNDTABLE AND READING: Sunday, May 27, 11 a.m. to noon: “A Tribute to Sandy Ives,” with Laurie Brinklow, John Cousins, Pauleena MacDougall, and Rob MacLean of The Homestead Players***
Two pre-eminent Island folklorists received prestigious Marius Barbeau MedalFrom 25-27 May 2018, The Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore held its annual meeting at the University of Prince Edward Island in collaboration with the Institute of Island Studies.This year’s theme, “Carried on the Waves: Contemporary Currents in Folklore and Ethnology / Porté par les Vagues: Courants Actuels d’Ethnologie et de Folklore,” inspired researchers to explore the flow of expression among various groups over time and place. READ MORE…
John Cousins wins PEI Book Award
The Prince Edward Island Book Awards were handed out at the Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards in Charlottetown on Saturday, May 25, 2018, and Island Studies Press’s book, New London: The Lost Dream by John Cousins, won the award for non-fiction. Congratulations, John!Shortlisted in the poetry category was Jane Ledwell’s Bird Calls.





The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road
Islands Economic Cooperation Forum
now online

The Annual Report on Global Islands 2017, published by Island Studies Press in partnership with the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Hainan Province, was launched at the Boao Island Economic Cooperation Forum in April 2018. Executive Editor-in-Chief is Dr. James Randall, working with Editor Dr. Laurie Brinklow and Designer Joan Sinclair. READ MORE…



Book on Owen Connolly chosen PEI’s Publication of the Year for 2017

The book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy was named PEI’s Publication of the Year at the annual PEI Museum and Heritage Awards ceremony held February 20, 2018, in Summerside. The book tells the rags-to-riches story of Irish immigrant Owen Connolly, who is best recognized today as the man whose bust sits atop the Churchill Arms building on Lower Queen St., Charlottetown.

Upon his death in 1887, Owen Connolly was one of the wealthiest men on Prince Edward Island, and he dedicated his fortune to bursaries for young Islanders of Irish heritage, so they might gain a higher education and achieve career success. To date, his estate has provided over $3 million in bursaries, and benefitted countless thousands of Islanders. The bursary program continues today.

Eight of those Islanders, including contemporary entrepreneurs Regis Duffy and Danny Murphy, are featured in the book’s color section, crediting the importance of the Connolly bursary to their early careers. Their families, like so many others, couldn’t afford higher education so the Connolly bursaries were a godsend.

This award-winning book is written by Leonard Cusack, and co-published by Island Studies Press at UPEI and the estate of Owen Connolly. The book is available at Island bookstores, including the UPEI bookstore.

Author Leonard Cusack and researcher Lori Mayne receive their citation for Publication of the Year for the book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy, from Lt. Gov. Antoinette Perry, at the recent PEIMHF annual awards in Summerside.

Photo Courtesy Gov’t of PEI / Brian L. Simpson

ISBN 978-1-988692-09-8 (soft cover) $29.95
ISBN 979-1-988692-11-1 (hard cover with dustjacket) $49.95CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE HARD COVER


From Black Horses to White Steeds:
Building Community Resilience

Edited by Laurie Brinklow and Ryan Gibson, From Black Horses to White Steeds: Building Community Resilience celebrates and critiques the dynamics of innovation, governance, and culture in place. Case studies from both sides of the North Atlantic illustrate episodes of “turning around”; evolution, transformation, and visionary strategy that breathe new life into the term “think global, act local.

The chapters explore how various dark horses including minorities, small towns, peripheries, Aboriginal communities, those with little money, status, voice, or political leverage can rise to the occasion and chart livable futures.
From Black Horses to White Steeds is a companion book to Remote Control (ISER 2009) and Place Peripheral (ISER 2015).

“Rural folks have always been both resilient and resourceful. The narratives in this book are truly inspiring in ways to deal with the current and future pace as new technology and environmental change presents challenges and opportunities. Local communities everywhere will benefit from the insights contained herein.”
– Hon. Diane Griffin, Senate of Canada


“Like so many collections of case studies, this book provides plenty of inspiring examples. Unlike many, however, it includes useful international comparisons with thoughtful interpretations, methodological transparency, and respect for the limits of the techniques that make the cases useful for critical analysis as well as activism.”
– Bill Reimer, Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University


“That remote rural and island communities should thrive in this day and age might fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Yet, there is clear evidence of vibrant communities that creatively exploit the opportunities presented by their geographical predicament. No horsing around here: these are narratives of leadership, vitality, and resilience; crafted out of grit, imagination, and public / private / voluntary-sector partnerships.”
– Godfrey Baldacchino, UNESCO co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, UPEI, Canada

6×9, 378 pages with photos, charts, tables
Endnotes, Bibliography, and Index
ISBN 978-1-988692-07-4
Also available as a PDF


Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | 10:30 a.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge
Dr. Stan Brunn on
“The Changing World Language Map: A Megaproject in Progress”
Island Studies welcomed Dr. Stan Brunn, Professor Emeritus from the University of Kentucky, who spoke on “The Changing World Language Map: A Megaproject in Progress.” READ MORE
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | 7-9 p.m. | MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, MacDougall Hall, UPEI
Rural Tourism Policy: Iceland/PEI Consultation
Rural tourism was the subject of a public symposium at UPEI on Wednesday, May 24, 7-9 p.m., in the Alex H. MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, Don and Marion McDougall Hall.“Tourism, Place and Identity: Rural Tourism in Iceland and Prince Edward Island”– sponsored by the Institute of Island Studies and UPEI’s VP Research and Academic – featured Ms. Gudrun Gunnarsdottir of the Tourism Research Centre in Akureyri, Iceland.She was joined by a panel of authorities/practitioners in PEI Tourism, including Dr. Ed MacDonald of UPEI’s History Department, tourism operator Bill Kendrick of Experience PEI, and Ann Worth, Executive Director of Meetings and Conventions PEI. READ MORE

Monday, April 10, 2017| 7 p.m. | UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge

Island Studies Special Presentation
Electoral Boundaries Process on Bermuda
featuring PEI’s Chief Justice David Jenkins

The timing couldn’t be better. In keeping with one of the Institute’s goals to see Prince Edward Island through the lens of other islands, PEI’s Chief Justice David Jenkins shared with Prince Edward Islanders what he’s learned as a member of Bermuda’s Constituency Boundaries Commission. He delivered a lecture Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m., in the UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge.

While Prince Edward Island goes through the process of updating its electoral boundaries, over the past several months Justice Jenkins has been on hand as Bermuda underwent a similar process. This is his second stint: in 2009 he was invited to do the same thing based on the jurisdictional similarities between PEI and Bermuda – an island comprised of 36 electoral districts and a population of approximately 65,000 people. Justice Jenkins had also chaired the federal boundaries commission in 2003. READ MORE

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 | 7 p.m. | Upstreet Craft Brewing,
Allen Street, Charlottetown

Launch of Bird Calls: The Island Responds, by Jane Ledwell

Layout 1In 1854 British travel writer Isabella Lucy Bird visited Prince Edward Island for six weeks and published an account of her stay here that was both scathing and charming. Paris may be the gayest city in the world, she wrote, and London the richest, but Charlottetown was “the most gossiping.”

“I never saw a community,” she continued,” in which people appear to hate each other so cordially.”


November 4, 2016
A Tribute to George McRobie by Practical Action, UK

George McRobie 2010On November 4, 2016, Practical Action, a UK-based NGO founded by E.F. Schumacher 50 years ago, held a celebration of the life and work of one of its founders George McRobie, a close associate of E F. Schumacher and chairman from 1977 to 1983. Family and friends gathered at St Andrew, Holborn, along with many former Practical Action colleagues, to remember a man who was crucial to the development of the organisation over many decades. Download a slideshow of images from the event or listen to the tributes, including one from his wife, Susanne Manovill, who made generous mention of the Institute of Island Studies. MORE

October 27, 2016
CONGRATULATIONS to Diane Griffin, Institute of Island Studies Advisory Council Member, who has been appointed to the Senate of Canada!


Diane has been a long-time supporter of the Institute, having served on its Advisory Board and as Chair of many of our Public Forums over the years. We applaud her appointment wholeheartedly.

Diane will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Red Chamber – along with her passion for all things Prince Edward Island.





July 22, 2016
A Tribute to Long-time Friend of the Institute of Island Studies: Dr. George McRobie
by Harry Baglole

George McRobie 2010

Dr. George McRobie died in Charlottetown on Friday, July 2, 2016. The trajectory of his remarkable life took him from his birthplace of Moscow (1925), through his childhood in northern Scotland, his highly successful career in London and throughout the world, and finally here to Prince Edward Island, his half-time home since 2009. He was a man of great personal warmth and charm, much beloved by his many friends on the Island. READ MORE

Two good friends of the Institute of Island Studies receive awards at the 2016 Congress in Calgary!


Congratulations go out to Dr. Lisa Chilton and Dr. Edward MacDonald of UPEI’s history department, who were nationally recognized for excellence in research and service. READ MORE…


Monday, November 14, 2016 | 7-9 p.m. p.m. | Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre, Room 135, UPEI Campus
PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM: Sustainable Agriculture and the Island’s Food System


The Island’s “food system” was the topic of a Public Symposium held at UPEI’s Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre, Room 135, on Monday, November 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. In particular, the discussion focused on a move toward a more sustainable agriculture, with a stronger emphasis on local food and food security.
READ MORE and watch the video…



September 22, 2016 | Florence Simmons Performance Hall, Holland College, Charlottetown
Public Forum on Climate Change Adaptation and Islands | WATCH THE VIDEO


Climate change affects Islanders each day, says expert, Dr. Catherine Potvin, CBC Radio, September 21, 2016

“We can be ambassadors of our own fate”: A call to action on climate change, says Hon. David MacDonald, CBC Radio, September 21, 2016

Public forum on climate change tonight at UPEI: The Guardian, September 22, 2016

UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab will co-host a public forum on climate change adaptations and islands. The forum begins at 7 pm on Thursday, September 22, in the Florence Simmons Performance Hall on the Prince of Wales Campus of Holland College. Information gathered at the forum will be become part of a statement delivered at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this November in Morocco and will inform public policy in local, national, and international jurisdictions.

“Despite being minor contributors to global climate change, many of the 600 million islanders of the world are seeing their way of life, and indeed the very existence of their islands, being threatened by human-induced global warming,” said Dr. Jim Randall, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. “This public forum and the larger symposium is an opportunity to show how islands and islanders are being adaptive and resilient; and at the same time provide practical lessons to the rest of the world on how we should adapt to climate change.”

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, will prime the forum by presenting a summary of a two-day international symposium on small island resilience to climate change. “Building Small Island Resilience to Global Climate Change: An International Symposium” brings together 15 people from around the world to discuss how residents of small islands and coastal jurisdictions can build on their strengths and resourcefulness to respond to the consequences of climate change. The focus is on four areas: food security, renewable energy, innovation, and cultural heritage. Also hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab, the symposium is funded in part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA).

“The Government of Prince Edward Island is a proud sponsor of this international symposium that will provide a platform for participants to engage on the topic of climate change and small Islands. Small islands, like Prince Edward Island, do face unique challenges and we have an opportunity to be leaders in confronting these challenges by making proactive decisions on how we adapt to these new realities. As the Minister Responsible for the Environment, I wish all event organizers and participants a successful and engaging symposium and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of this week’s discussions,” said the Hon. Robert J. Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.

“Taking action to address climate change is an important part of building a strong and sustainable economy,” said Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “That’s why the Government of Canada has made clean growth and climate change a priority under the Atlantic Growth Strategy. ACOA’s investment of $35,190 to support this conference is part of our commitment to encourage innovation and create jobs while at the same time protecting our environment.”

Symposium speakers include climate and island studies experts who will bring their unique knowledge and skills to the table. They come from Australia, Vanuatu, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Gotland, Montreal, Toronto, St. John’s, Tignish, Lennox Island, and Charlottetown. Together with an invited group of engaged audience participants, the symposium addresses the pressing issue of climate change and small islands in an action-oriented and policy-focused series of dialogues that will provide public policy lessons for other jurisdictions.

“The symposium provides a great opportunity for us to focus on climate change and adaptation in respect to islands. The forum gives the public an important venue to have their input added to this discussion,” said Dr. Adam Fenech, director of the UPEI Climate Research Lab, who will help present the first draft of the symposium statement to the forum. The moderator will then invite comments and suggestions from the audience.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, or call 902-894-2881 or 902-629-5798.

Island Studies Press publishes two new books:
New London: The Lost Dream
The Quaker Settlement on P.E.I.’s North Shore, 1773-1795
by John Cousins. Illustrations by Jeff Alward
In 1773, a wealthy Quaker merchant from London, England named Robert Clark launched an ambitious, idealistic settlement at the entrance to New London Bay on Prince Edward Island, at what is today the end of the Cape Road, in French River. He brought skilled tradespeople and their families to the wilderness of PEI in the 1770s, with the dream of building a bustling commercial outpost on the doorstep of the new world.
Clark named this settlement “New” London, after the city he had come from. For almost 20 years New London survived and occasionally thrived, despite the harsh weather and living conditions of PEI’s north shore in winter, before colliding headlong with the realities of political and economic life in an infant colony during a time of war.
Drawing upon fresh sources and squeezing insight from existing accounts, author John Cousins delivers this remarkable piece of Island history, virtually unknown until now. He recreates the life – and death – of New London and its Quaker families, complete with heroes and villains, hope and disenchantment, miscalculation and ill fortune, and provides a fascinating portrait of early British settlement on Prince Edward Island.
6 x 9, 250 pages with illustrations, maps, photos
Endnotes, Bibliography
ISBN 978-919013-91-9

Time and a Place cover



AUTHORS: Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen, Irene Novaczek, John R. Gillis, Graeme Wynne, David Keenlyside and Helen Kristmanson, Douglas Sobey, Rosemary Curley, Jean-Paul Arsenault, Boyde Beck, Alan MacEachern, Kathleen Stuart, Claire Campbell, and Colin MacIntyre



Time and A Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island
Edited by Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen, and Irene Novaczek

Time and A Place tracks PEI’s changes from the Ice Age to the Information Age. Putting PEI at the forefront of Canadian environmental history, It is a remarkable work that illuminates the numerous forces that shape and change ecosystems.
With its long and well-documented history, Prince Edward Island makes a compelling
case study for thousands of years of human interaction with a specific ecosystem. The pastoral landscapes, red sandstone cliffs, and small fishing villages of Canada’s “garden province” are appealing because they appear timeless, but they are as culturally constructed as they are shaped by the ebb and flow of the tides. Bringing together experts from a multitude of disciplines, the essays in Time and A Place explore the island’s marine and terrestrial environment from its prehistory to its recent past. Beginning with PEI’s history as a blank slate – a land scraped by ice and then surrounded by rising seas – this mosaic of essays documents the arrival of flora, fauna, and humans, and the different ways these inhabitants have lived in this place over time.

Hard cover
416 pages, 6 x 9, 60 images
ISBN 978-0-7735-4692-0

Soft cover
ISBN 978-0-7735-4693-6

Time and A Place is a co-publication with McGill-Queens University Press. For more details and information on Island Studies Press titles, see:

Click here for an interview with editor Ed MacDonald.

July 22, 2016 | 11 a.m. | Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre
UPEI announces UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability
Chair will be co-held by Dr. James Randall and Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino

Dr. Robert Gilmour, Vice-President Academic and Research at the University of Prince Edward Island, today announced a new UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. The chair will be co-held by Dr. James Randall, a geographer and coordinator of UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program, and Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, a professor of sociology at the University of Malta and an Island Studies teaching fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Drs Randall and Baldacchino

“The UNESCO Chair is a singular achievement for the university, particularly for the program in Island Studies,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour. “The chair formalizes and reinforces the combined efforts of our former Canada Research Chair, Dr. Baldacchino, and the current coordinator of UPEI’s MAIS program, Dr. Randall, and, as such, significantly enhances the international impact of one of the university’s signature initiatives.”

The UNESCO Chair in Island Studies will work to establish and expand academic and research programmes on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs). It will operate from the premise that SIDS and SNIJs are innovative, entrepreneurial, and connected, not vulnerable, lacking, and isolated. The chair is one of 700 UNESCO chairs around the world and is the first in Atlantic Canada.

“The relevance of islands to our world at the moment is unparalleled. From political turmoil in the South China Sea, to the impacts of climate change, to refugee movements through Europe, to the role of offshore financial centres, stories about islands and islanders seem to be in the news every day,” said Dr. James Randall. “This Chair brings together the people and the organizations doing island studies research and learning in order to help us solve some of the great challenges facing our world.”

The principal long-term mission of the Chair of Island Studies and Sustainability is to contribute to the sustainable development of SIDS—a UNESCO priority since the articulation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000—and to extend this priority to SNIJs. The chair proposes to harness the insights and experience of island studies scholars, students, governments, and organizations worldwide, many of which the co-chair-holders, the Institute of Island Studies, and partners and supporters have already established.

“It is a great privilege to be the co-holder of the UNESCO Chair Program at UPEI along with my colleague Dr. Jim Randall,” said Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino. “UPEI has made huge investments in island studies over almost four decades and has developed a world class and world renowned reputation and expertise as a result. Most island studies roads lead to, or pass through, Charlottetown; the UNESCO Chair is a natural transition which now allows us to take the game to the next level, whether in public engagement, cutting edge scholarship, or research funding.”

“It is most edifying to see the strong relationship between the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Malta cemented with this prestigious UNESCO Chair appointment—a first for both our institutions,” said Professor Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta, in Malta. “In this way, our respective expertise in the study of islands and small jurisdictions is better recognized. I look forward to an even stronger island studies program, driven by the competitive advantage that our two institutions enjoy in this field.”

This chair is created through the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which has promoted international inter-university cooperation and networking since 1992 to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture, and communication.

For more information on the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, see

Tuesday, April 19 | 7 p.m. | SDU Main  Building Faculty Lounge
Island Lecture Series continues…

John Cousins

Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series, Lecture #4
New London: The Island’s Lost Dream
by John Cousins

The Island Studies Lectures Series concludes this season on April 19 with historian/folklorist John Cousins presenting a lecture entitled “New London: The Island’s Lost Dream,” tracing the rise and fall of the “Quaker” village of New London between the years 1773 and 1795. The talk – a sneak preview of a book to be published later this year by Island Studies Press – gets under way at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus.

New London was unique in the history of Island settlements. It was begun not as a community of scattered farms but as a compact industrial village stretched along “Leadenhall Street,” the road leading to the harbour mouth. The villagers for the most part were woodsmen, mill workers, and artisans: shoemakers, blacksmiths, coopers and woodworkers like the famous Benjamin Chappell. There was even a village doctor: Dr. Cullshaw. The plan of Robert Clark, the London Quaker who owned Lot 21, was to exploit the sea and the forest of his Island properties and export fish and lumber to the Caribbean. In return, products from the Caribbean – rum and sugar, for instance – would be carried back to the Island.

The village was unique in other ways. It was planned as a Quaker community and its core families were Quakers from London and from the southern and western counties of England – some of whose descendants still live in the area. Powerful Quaker industrialists in England, among them John Townsend, a London pewter merchant, and William Cookworthy, the founder of England’s porcelain industry, were Clark’s supporters. Yet, within 20 years, the settlement at New London’s harbour mouth had died.

Using eyewitness accounts and correspondence from the time, Cousins examines the village’s birth, its middle years and finally the “perfect storm” of events which led to the end of Robert Clark’s dream: the American Revolution, the business failure of Robert Clark, and finally the machinations of Island politicians who seized part of Clark’s property. In the end the dream of New London and its founders died. However, the first-hand accounts of its early days recorded by Benjamin Chappell, Thomas Curtis and Joseph Roake demonstrate that the courage, grace and toughness of the first New Londoners outlasted the death of their dream.

John Cousins was born in the fishing village of Campbellton, Lot Four, western Prince County in 1945. He has been a fisherman, a school teacher, a school administrator, a historian and a folklorist and has published a number of works on PEI history and folklore. He taught as a sessional professor of folklore in UPEI’s History Department from 2000 to 2014. He is descended from John Cousins and Mary Townsend, whose families were among the first settlers at New London.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

March 22, 2016 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI
Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series, Lecture #3

Jim Randall low-res

Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series, Lecture #3
Learning About Islands: Writing an Undergraduate Textbook in Island Studies
by Jim Randall

The Island Studies Lecture Series continues Tuesday, March 22, with a lecture by Jim Randall entitled “Learning About Islands: Writing an Undergraduate Textbook in Island Studies.” The talk gets under way at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus.

Islands have been incredibly important in how we understand the world around us. From our knowledge of evolution, biodiversity, the impacts of climate change, world music, and how adventure novels have influenced our tourist destination choices, islands and islanders have been front and centre. This talk is about one mainlander’s journey to discover the importance of islands, and his attempt in the form of a new textbook to convey his new-found love of our world of islands to others.

Dr. Jim Randall is the Coordinator of the MA Island Studies program at UPEI and the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Institute of Island Studies. His background is as a geographer, a field like island studies where it is important to have a passion for place and interdisciplinarity. Although he has had the pleasure of calling an island his home for only a few years, he looks forward to reaching the age of 106 so he can celebrate having lived on islands longer than on the mainland.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 | J. Angus MacLean Building, Charlottetown, PEI
Chair of the Institute of Island Studies and Co-ordinator of the MAIS Program
Dr. Jim Randall shares his thoughts on Quality of Life with
PEI Standing Committee on Health and Wellness

Some of my research has been spent looking at quality-of-life indicators. I was part of a team at the U. of Saskatchewan that assessed neighbourhood level quality of life of residents. This team included geographers, epidemiologists, sociologists and business management professors from university as well as City Councilors and representatives of the health district and community-based organizations in the Saskatoon region. This research was carried out several times so we were able to fine tune an instrument that we were comfortable was fairly accurate in assessing how individuals felt about their own quality of life (degree of “happiness,” sense of belonging). It also was used to help direct public policy (neighbourhood inequality, health determinants and perceptions of personal health and security). As I will talk about shortly, this is only one kind of instrument that can be used to assess quality of life.

Since coming to UPEI I have maintained my working relationship with this group. We carried out another version of this quality of life project several years ago, comparing perceptions of quality of life among residents in Charlottetown, Hamilton and Saskatoon. We employed a survey research company to carry out a telephone survey for this work and then followed up with focus groups, especially focusing on newcomers to each of these urban places. READ MORE

February 25, 2016 | 7 p.m. | MacKinnon Auditorium, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI Campus


The Geography of Local Governance on Prince Edward Island:
A Public Symposium

The topic of local governance is the focal point of an upcoming Public Symposium, “The Geography of Governance,” to be sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services. The date is Thursday, February 25, at UPEI’s MacKinnon Auditorium (Room 242), Don and Marion McDougall Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.  (The storm date is the following evening, Friday, the 26th.)

The reform of local government on the Island has been much discussed in recent years, especially since the release of the 2009 Thompson Report of the Commission on Land and Local Governance. At that time, the Island had 75 incorporated municipalities – many of them with just a few hundred people – and 70% of the province’s territory had no local government at all.  The situation remains much the same today. READ MORE

Remarks from Dr. Jim Randall, Chair of the IIS Executive on The Geography of Governance are now online! Here’s a teaser…

I served as rapporteur for the symposium on “The Geography of Governance” hosted by the Institute of Island Studies on February 25th. As such, it was my pleasure to summarize the ideas and discussion from the meeting. Ms. Diane Griffin, a Councilor from the Town of Stratford and a Vice President of the Federation of PEI Municipalities, gave a powerful keynote address.

Diane_GriffinShe reminded the approximately 60 people in attendance that ninety percent of the province still has no land use zoning and those living on the seventy percent of the Island that is still unincorporated have little recourse when developments are proposed in their backyards. There is very little to prevent someone from building an incompatible activity right next to you. Moreover, you and your neighbours will have to share the additional costs of servicing this ad hoc development; everything from snowplowing to road maintenance.  Borrowing from Justice Ralph Thompson’s recommendations in the 2009 Commission on Land and Local Governance, the provincial government is kick-starting the conversation by trying to get us to think about what constitutes a viable community. Is it a minimum population (i.e., 4,000 people)? Is it a minimum real property assessment (i.e., $200 million)? Or is it about following natural or social features like watersheds or cultural homogeneity?

(And click here for more on the Symposium – including the video)…

February 23, 2016 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI
Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series, Lecture #2

Tiber Colour Photo

“Mar bhlàth an fheòir” (“like the flowering grass”):
Gaelic Language and Song Composition on Prince Edward Island
Dr. Tiber F. M. Falzett

The Institute of Island Studies Lecture Series continues Tuesday, February 23, with a talk by Dr. Tiber F.M. Falzett, Research Associate at the Institute of Island Studies. His public lecture, “Mar bhlàth an fheòir” (“like the flowering grass”), focuses on the oral and written interfaces in local Scottish Gaelic song composition on Prince Edward Island. The lecture takes place in UPEI’s SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge, and gets under way at 7 p.m.

Dr. Falzett investigates a once vibrant, yet fragmentarily documented, tradition of local song composition and performance as expressed throughout the nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries among Scottish Gaelic speakers on Prince Edward Island. By engaging both contemporary printed texts as well as sound recordings from fieldwork undertaken among remaining speakers and semi-speakers in the second half of the twentieth century, a multifaceted and dynamic body of tradition is capable of being pieced together. In turn these reassembled fragments of oral tradition can be reinterpreted to reveal a multi-accentual dynamic in what has since become a silenced ethno-linguistic community. Ultimately, it is intended to place these expressive forms of intangible cultural heritage as created and carried down by Gaelic-speaking Islanders in the context of the wider multicultural zone of the Canadian Maritimes to which they once belonged.

Tiber Falzett’s current research explores the documentation and dissemination of archival intangible cultural heritage on Prince Edward Island. His doctoral research explores the relationship between language and music through sensory metaphor as expressed among Scottish Gaelic speakers on Cape Breton Island. A fluent Gaelic speaker as well as a singer and bagpiper, Tiber has presented his research and performed for broadcast media, including the BBC Television and Radio in Scotland and CBC, and is an active public folklorist in Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. He, his partner Giulia, and their dog Sofia live in Summerside.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

This is the second in a series of an Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series. Watch for details for another lecture about islands – near and far – March 22!

For more information, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

January 21, 2016 | 7 p.m. | MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI Campus

Two Amish men with haywagon

Island Mobility, Migration and Population Issues: A Public Symposium

The current dynamics of population change in Prince Edward Island will be the subject of a Public Symposium to be held at UPEI’s MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, on Thursday, January 21, beginning at 7:00 p.m. (The storm date is January 22.)

Population change has always been at the core of the development of small islands – and it is no different on Prince Edward Island. Every day the public media deliver news about some aspect of population: youth outmigration, rural depopulation, an aging workforce, temporary foreign workers, refugees, wealthy immigrant investors…. The upcoming Public Symposium will provide an opportunity for the public to hear about and contribute to the debate on several of the salient population issues that are crucial to the future of Prince Edward Island.

This event is sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.

There will be three featured speakers, beginning with Dr. Jim Randall, a geographer by training and a professor in the Island Studies program at UPEI. He is also Chair of the Institute of Island Studies and Co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies. He will provide an overview of the major population changes taking place on PEI from a “small islands” perspective.

Katie Mazer is a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Toronto researching the movement of workers between the Maritimes and natural resource industries ‘out west’. Katie’s presentation will focus on Islanders going west and migrant workers coming into the province through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Looking at government policies and economic forces that pressure people to leave home for work, her presentation asks: Why do so many workers have to go so far to make a living? (Check out her article in Briarpatch Magagine, “Making Islanders Mobile.”)

The third speaker will be Tony Wallbank, a retired business owner and draft-horse enthusiast who has spearheaded the upcoming migration of two communities of Amish farmers from southern Ontario to eastern Prince Edward Island.  The first Amish settlers will arrive next spring. He will tell us about the Amish, explain why they find rural PEI attractive, and review some of the challenges in this process of community resettlement.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend. Admission is free. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for discussion and questions from the floor.

Jim Randall Population Symposium Presentation:
Population Characteristics on Prince Edward Island as a Small Island: Setting the Stage

Katie Mazer Population Symposium Presentation:
Making mobile workers in the oil sands era

Ed MacDonald’s Rapporteur’s Report
(published in The Guardian February 12 and 16, 2016)
History and PEIs Population Dilemma 

Population Symposium Video (1:55:58)

CBC News coverage: P.E.I. is experiencing a demographic and cultural shift, experts say
(posted January 22, 2016)

CBC News coverage: Flexible Canadian workforce not necessarily a good thing, P.E.I. researcher says (posted January 21, 2016)

January 19, 2016 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI
Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series, Lecture #1



Vik, Iceland
(photo by David Cairns)



“So you want to go to Iceland…”

In the past several years, travel by Islanders to Iceland has grown from a rarity to a phenomenon. “So you want to go to Iceland…” is a guide for both the never-been-there-yet set, and for experienced travellers looking for new ways to scratch their Iceland itch.  The program includes Icelandic basics, a sample itinerary, a chance to question veteran Icelandic trippers, and a showcase of Iceland photos, submitted by the public. Send up to eight of your best shots to, and let him know if you want to do an oral commentary about your own adventure in Iceland. And if you don’t want to talk in the formal part of the evening, come anyway! There’ll be an opportunity for informal discussion and travel-tip-sharing during the intermission and afterward.

The event takes place in the Faculty Lounge in UPEI’s Main Building, at 7 p.m. on January 19. Sponsors are the Vinland Society of PEI and the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI. Admission is free and donations are welcome.

This is the first in a series of an Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series. Watch for details for another lecture about islands – near and far – February 23!

October 30, 2015 | 2-4 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge, UPEI
2nd Annual Island Studies Open House

The Institute of Island Studies and the Master of Arts in Island Studies program hosted the 2nd annual Island Studies Open House in the UPEI Faculty Lounge. The program included remarks from IIS Chair Dr. Jim Randall on the IIS’s accomplishments over the past year, and words from VP Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Robert Gilmour and VP Academic Dr. Christian Lacroix. Joan Sinclair of Island Studies Press spoke about the year’s publishing highlights and Dr. Jean Mitchell talked about her ongoing research on the islands of Vanuatu. Dr. Richard Lemm presented an Island Studies Teaching Fellow designation to Dr. Brent MacLaine (in absentia and now retired from UPEI’s English Department), in recognition of his longstanding work and dedication to the academic program. Finally, scholarships were awarded to several MAIS students. As always, a huge thank you goes to the scholarship donors.
2015 scholarship winners

Back row: Erin Rowan, Erwin and Joyce Andrew Memorial Scholarship in Island Studies International Island Award; Eric Gilbert, Dr. Peter and Mrs. Donna Meincke Graduate Scholarship in Island Studies; Mark Currie, The Bill and Denise Andrew Scholarship in Island Studies Gold Award; and Owen Jennings, UPEI Entrance Scholarship.

Front row: Izumi Nonaka, Erwin and Joyce Andrew Memorial Scholarship in Island Studies Canadian Island Award; Jennifer White, UPEI Entrance Scholarship; Stephanie Douglas, UPEI Entrance Scholarship; and Pooja Kumar, Carnegie Foundation Graduate Scholarship in Island Studies.

Missing from the photo: Sara Underwood, Bill and Denise Andrew Scholarship in Island Studies Silver Award.

In addition, Katharine MacDonald won the 2015-16 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Congratulations all round!

September 16-19, 2015 | Loyalist Country Inn, Summerside, PEI
Building Community Resilience: Innovation, Culture and Governance in Place International Conference

 The 10th North Atlantic Forum and 27th Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference, entitled Building Community Resilience: Innovation, Culture, and Governance in Place, was held in Summerside September 16-19. Keynote, panel, and paper presentations can be found at (disponible en français:

program cover-page-001

August 1, 2015 | 7:30 p.m. | Macphail Homestead, Orwell, PEI

2nd Annual Sir Andrew Macphail Memorial Lecture, with Dr. John Shaw, at Macphail Homestead Gaelic Festival.

May 28-31, 2015 | Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, Charlottetown, PEI
Climate Change in Culture Conference

University of Prince Edward Island
Call for proposals- January 15, 2015

May 26, 2015 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge
Guthan an Eilein: Island Gaelic Voices
by Dr. Tiber F. M. Falzett
How Scottish Gaelic language and culture has passed down through generations on Prince Edward Island.

January 6, 2015 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge
Welcome to an Icelandic Evening
Íslensk Kvöldstund á PEI

December 2, 2014 | 7 p.m. | MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI
Land Use at an Impasse? Public Symposium

Randall, James. (2014) Land Symposium Summary.

The past and present state of Island land use policy will be the subject of a Public Symposium to be held at UPEI’s MacKinnon Lecture Theatre, Room 242, McDougall Hall, on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

Islanders who are concerned about issues surrounding the use and abuse of Island land are urged to attend. The Symposium will begin with presentations by two veteran observers of Island public life over the past 30 years, Jean-Paul Arsenault and Ian Petrie.

This event is sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.

Ian Petrie has spent three decades with the CBC, in three provinces, covering resource issues, mainly agriculture. He’s lived for 34 years in Iona, eastern Queen’s County. Jean-Paul Arsenault served as Executive Secretary to the Round Table on Resource Land Use and Stewardship and the Commission on Land and Local Governance, and was a member of the team providing support to the Commission on the Lands Protection Act.

Mr. Arsenault’s talk will be entitled “Factors Affecting Land Use Decisions: What Were They Thinking?” He will present three examples of recent property developments in rural Prince County, in the communities of New Annan, Northam and Saint Nicholas, and the impact each has had, favourable or otherwise. Would stricter controls on land use be good for Prince Edward Island, or is the status quo the better option?

Mr. Petrie will address the topic “Why Farmers Fight Regulations.” He has covered agricultural stories on the Island since the late 1970s, during which time he’s seen the bond of understanding between producers and consumers continue to break down. During this period, consumers enjoyed cheap and abundant food, while profit margins on farms continued to shrink. This may help explain the negative response by farmers to proposed new land regulations. Is there a way out of this impasse? Mr. Petrie will propose one.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend. Admission is free. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for discussion and questions from the floor.

Past Projects from 2014 include:

Book Launch :Those Splendid Girls by Katherine Dewar
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at the Carriage House
Beaconsfield, Charlottetown
Beaconsfield launch Splendid Girls

“Mapping the Pre-settlement Forests of Prince Edward Island,” a talk by Dr. Doug Sobey
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7.30 pm

Dr. Doug Sobey, a research associate of the University’s Institute of Island Studies, and formerly at the University of Ulster, will give an illustrated public talk on the results of a study carried out by himself and William Glen (formerly of the Forestry Division), into the forest descriptions found on manuscript maps housed in the P.E.I. Public Archives dating from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Dr. Sobey will discuss what the descriptions on the maps reveal about the Island’s forest-types before their destruction by clearance and fire.

His research has been carried out with the support of both the Institute of Island Studies and the Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division of the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and the lecture will include the launch of a recently published research report on the subject.

Island Studies Open House
Monday, September 8, 2014 | 4-6 pm

Island Water Symposium at UPEI
Tuesday, May 20, 7:00 pm
Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242
Don and Marion McDougall Hall, UPEI


Dr. James (Jim) Randall
Water Symposium Summary

Dr. Ryan O’Connor
One Island, One Source A Review of the Literature Concerning Prince Edward Island’s Groundwater Resources

The future of the Island’s water supply will be the subject of an upcoming public symposium at the University of Prince Edward Island. In light of recent concern about increased pressure on our groundwater resources by urban, industrial, and agricultural use, this event is a timely one.

Island Water Futures: Assessing the Science will take place in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242 of UPEI’s Don and Marion McDougall Hall, beginning at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 20. The symposium is sponsored by the Institute of Island Studies in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.

This is a public-forum event with presentations by three speakers: Dr. Ryan O’Connor, Dr. Cathy Ryan, and Dr. Michael van den Heuvel.

Dr. O’Connor, a graduate of UPEI, is an environmental historian. His PhD thesis, written at the University of Western Ontario, will be published this year by UBC Press under the title The First Green Wave. His talk will provide a general overview of research done so far relating to the Island’s groundwater resources; he will review the various scientific papers, reports, and theses produced about the Island’s water supply.

Dr. Ryan is a professor cross-appointed to Geoscience and Environmental Sciences at the University of Calgary with a long interest in agricultural impacts on water quality. She leads a team of hydrogeologists working with agricultural scientists to understand groundwater in the fractured sandstone on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia as part of the Canadian Water Network’s Secure Source Water Network.

Dr. van den Heuvel is the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity at UPEI. He studies the effects of agriculture and chemical use on freshwater and coastal environments. His focus is the endocrine responses, immunotoxicology, and population health of fish. He is working to develop methods and solutions to best monitor environmental problems and better protect rivers in Prince Edward Island.

The symposium will be chaired by Diane Griffin, long-time councillor for the Town of Stratford and a former deputy minister of the provincial Department of the Environment. Last year, Dr. Griffin was awarded an honorary doctorate by UPEI.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend this symposium. Admission is free. Following the three presentations, there will be ample time for discussion and questions from the floor.

For information:
Dave Atkinson, Research Communications, UPEI
(902) 620-5117,

April 22, 2014 | Final report of the Institute of Island Studies Futures Committee

In the fall of 2013, UPEI created a committee to advise on the future operations of the University’s longstanding and widely respected institute for research and public policy: the Institute of Island Studies. The Institute of Island Studies Futures Committee, in cooperation with UPEI’s Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies, and Interim Vice-President Academic has released its final report, entitled: “One Step Back, and Two Steps Forward,” which is available for download and review.

Using as its starting point, an external consultants’ report commissioned in 2013, the report endorses the current mandate of the Institute as a centre for the comparative study of Prince Edward Island and other islands, and outlines a number of options for its future structure and operations. Two of the key recommendations entail adding a national and international scope to the membership of the Institute’s advisory committee and a strong commitment to the Institute’s role as an honest broker of public dialogue about key issues confronting Prince Edward Island. To that end, the Institute will organize two public forums during 2014, one in the spring and one in the fall, on water resources and land use issues.

In its report, the committee expresses its confidence in the future of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island and of the strong support from the University and community.

The full text of the report can be downloaded here.

For more information, contact Dave Atkinson, Research Communications at (902) 620-5117,

Past Projects from 2008 include:

  • 2007 Tasmanian writer in residence Tim Thorne at UPEI, Charlottetown
  • Youth Engagement and Mental Health

Past Projects from 2007 include:

  • PEI Writer Deirdre Kessler Heads off to Writer-in-Residency in Tasmania!
  • 2007 writer in residence Deirdre Kessler (UPEI), in Hobart, Tasmania
  • The Small Island Cultures Research Initiative Conference
  • Institute of Island Studies is Pleased to Announce “A World of Islands”: An Island Studies Reader
  • Island Studies Director Moderates Public Forum on Water Quality and Health
  • Institute of Island Studies Releases Museums Report, March 2007
  • David Suzuki and the Dreamers’ Symposium
  • The First Chiloe Internship
  • Northumberland Strait Ecosystem Initiative
  • CCEDNet Conference
  • Southern Gulf of St Lawrence Coalition for Sustainability Annual Conference

Past Projects from 2006 include:

  • 2007 writer in residence Danielle Wood at UPEI, Charlottetown
  • Institute of Island Studies Working with the Northumberland Strait Ecosystem Initiative Working Group
  • Island Studies Journal Now Available Online
  • Pacific Voices: Equality & Sustainability in Pacific Island Fisheries
  • Southern Islands Symposia
  • Virginia Tech University Environmental Issues Tour of PEI
  • Public Forum on Cruise ship Tourism
  • Island Studies hits Hawai’i
  • Retreat to Advance!
  • Learning from Research fellows and Associates
  • Chinese Islanders Book Launches and Art Exhibit
  • Tasmanian Writer Danielle Wood’s Residency at UPEI
  • The Social Economy Research Network events

Past Projects from 2005 include:

  • IIS Co-ordinates New Studies on the Atlantic Social Economy
  • Community Forest Dialogues
  • Memorandum of Understanding and Association Signed Between The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, IIS, and UPEI
  • Institute of Island Studies Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
  • Online Library Resources Expanded
  • Prince Edward Island Forest Policy Announced
  • GMO Report Presented to Standing Committee

Past Projects from 2002-2004 include:

  • Notes From a Public Lecture on University Avenue
  • Panel on Coastal Communities
  • Database of Islands VII Conference Papers

Past Projects from 1998-2002 include:

  • Islands of the world VII: New Horizons in Island Studies
  • Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM)
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Message in a Bottle: the Literature of Small Islands
  • Island Sustainability, Livelihood and Equity Program (ISLE)
  • Local Knowledge / Global Challenge: Smart Community Development
  • The Employment Summit and the Population Strategy
  • North Atlantic Forum (NAF)