About the Institute of Island Studies

Since its founding in June 1985, the principal activity of the Institute of Island Studies 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.

Our Vision:
To be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

Our 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 and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.

IIS stained glass.300px wide

The Institute has a strong Governance structure, consisting of Executive and Advisory Committees, guided by established Purposes and Procedures and a Strategic Plan (2016-2021). There is also an active Research Associates program.

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 Institute of Island Studies is committed to contributing to the formulation and enhancement of public policy applied to small islands and, in particular, to Prince Edward Island. To that end, we will use our resources to engage stakeholders on current and topical island issues via public symposia, lectures, policy papers, and research projects. We will strive to be inclusive and take an objective, evidence-based approach to island issues, serving as a forum for collaboration and consensus among those with differing points of view.

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:

A photo of Laurie Brinklow smiling

Laurie Brinklow, PhD
Interim Chair, Executive Committee
Interim Program Coordinator, Master of Arts in Island Studies
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island
SDU Main Building 206
T (902) 894-2881

Maggie Henry
Interim Coordinator
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island
E mjhenry@upei.ca

Marlene Chapman
Interim Coordinator
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island
E machapman@upei.ca

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