COVID-19 Island Insights Series: Jamaica & Barbados

March 9, 2021 —
Jamaica & Barbados
What does COVID-19 recovery look like for tourism-reliant islands in the Caribbean?
The latest reports in our COVID-19 Island Insights Series come from Jamaica and Barbados, two island nations that are shifting towards more resilient, equitable, and sustainable tourism models. 

Click here to read more

MAIS Thesis Defense: Ian McIsaac

March 8, 2021 —
Master of Arts in Island Studies student Ian McIsaac recently defended his thesis, “Islandness: Factors influencing change in the Prince Edward Island Lobster Fishery” via Zoom. The session was recorded and is now available to stream on the Institute of Island Studies YouTube channel.

→ Watch now:

In 2015, the PEI Marketing Council created the Lobster Fishers of Prince Edward Island (LFPEI) Commodity Board after holding a plebiscite. Ian conducted research to better understand what factors led to the decision, and to discover if any aspect of islandness may have influenced this independent group of Island business men and women who compete with each other to catch the same fish.

NEWS: Info Session – Master of Arts in Island Studies @ UPEI

MAIS Info Session: Master of Arts in Island Studies @ UPEI

March 1, 2021—

Have you ever thought of completing a Master’s degree in, among other things, island tourism, sustainability, or international relations, all while staying on the Island?
If so, please join us on March 4th, 20201, for an information session on UPEI’s Master of Arts, Island Studies programs!

Master of Arts in Island Studies Information Session
Thursday, March 4, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 pm via Zoom
Everyone is welcome! Please email Laurie Brinklow at to receive the Zoom link if you would like to attend.


In addition to the traditional thesis-based option, you are now able to take one of three course-and work-study-based Masters specializing in Island Tourism, Sustainable Island Communities, or International Relations & Island Public Policy. Sessions will be delivered using a combination of face-to-face classes, video link and online, starting in September. Entrance Scholarships for these and the thesis version of the program are available.

Learn more at

New report from IIS Research Associate Graeme Robertson: One year timeline of COVID-19 pandemic impacting islands worldwide

February 10, 2021 —
New report from IIS Research Associate Graeme Robertson: One year timeline of COVID-19 pandemic impacting islands worldwide

IIS Research Associate Graeme Robertson has compiled a report titled One year timeline of COVID-19 pandemic impacting islands worldwide, which features over 600 articles documenting the impacts of COVID-19 on islands around the world from January 26, 2020 to February 10, 2021. The purpose of the report is to act as a resource enabling all those who are interested to undertake further research. 
Learn more | Download PDF

NEWS: Institute of Island Studies launches the COVID-19 Island Insight Series

Institute of Island Studies launches the COVID-19 Island Insight Series

Series will examine how islands around the world have performed during the pandemic

November 19, 2020 —

The Institute of Island Studies at UPEI is pleased to announce the launch of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series, an initiative led by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) and the Institute of Island Studies, in collaboration with Island Innovation. The series aims to bring together critical assessments of how specific islands around the world have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which their recovery plans are able to promote long-term resilience and sustainability.

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series will lead to a series of “thematic primers” aimed at assisting policy-makers and wider island-related stakeholders to encourage islands to move to a more resilient and sustainable future.

Every two weeks, Island Innovation will release COVID-19 Island Insights Series reports from two different islands via their website (

The first two instalments of the series were launched on November 2, and feature insights from Malta and the Egadi Islands (Italy). The next installments, released on November 16, focus on Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago. 

For more information about the COVID-19 Island Insights Series, to read the reports, and for a full list of the islands the series will cover, head to

NEWS: Two UPEI Faculty Members Win Publication Award

Two UPEI Faculty Members Win SSHRC Exchange Publication Awards

June 29, 2020—

Two faculty members at the University of Prince Edward Island, Laurie Brinklow and Lori Mayne, have been awarded SSHRC Exchange Publication Awards. Two $5,000 awards are given out annually to support the publication of manuscripts written or edited by UPEI faculty in the social sciences and humanities.

Both of these books will be published by Island Studies Press in 2021. Island Studies Press would like to congratulate the award recipients and thank the University of Prince Edward Island for supporting faculty publications.

A photograph of Lori Mayne smiling

Lori Mayne‘s manuscript, co-authored with Mo Duffy-Cobb, is The Chemistry of Innovation: Regis Duffy and the Story of DCL, which shares the story behind one of Prince Edward Island’s most successful companies and brilliant entrepreneurs.

A photograph of Laurie Brinklow, simling

Laurie Brinklow‘s manuscript is a collection of poetry titled, My island’s the house I sleep in at night. Drawn from interviews with writers, artists, and musicians from Newfoundland and Tasmania, the manuscript weaves their words with her own poetic imaginings and explores the theme of ‘islandness’.

Click here for the full press release.

For more details about these and other publications from Island Studies Press, go to

NEWS: Vital Signs report provides snapshot of quality of life on PEI

Vital Signs report provides snapshot of the quality of life on Prince Edward Island

November 19, 2019—

A new report from the IIS in partnership with the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) provides a snapshot of the quality of life and well-being on Prince Edward Island. Vital Signs brings together publicly available research data, the analysis of subject experts, and focus group feedback from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from different regions of the Island. The result is an easy-to-digest, comprehensive look at a wide range of interconnected topics from health to housing to education and the environment.  

To learn more and to read the report, visit 

NEWS: UPEI co-hosts international conference with the University of Aruba

UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the University of Aruba co-host the 1st International Island States/Island Territories Conference:
Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement

April 2, 2019 —

The 1st 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 UPEI MAIS program and now a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, a current student in the UPEI MAIS program.

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.

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.

Additionally, the hosts were 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.

Screen capture from Aruba Today

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.

The conference’s international planning committee is chaired by UNESCO co-chair, Dr. Jim Randall of the University of Prince Edward Island. 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 last 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, visit the official Conference website.


NEWS: UPEI signs MOU with University of the West Indies

UPEI signs MOU with University of the West Indies

January 7, 2019 —

In December, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) signed their first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to pursue collaboration in teaching and research to inform social and economic development in developing countries.

The collaboration is to be implemented through the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at The UWI and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at UPEI and may involve activities such as joint research, collaborative development of academic programmes, joint teaching and supervision of students, student and faculty exchange, joint publications, and staging of joint seminars and conferences.

The UWI, which is rated in the top five percent of universities globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, was established in 1948 and currently serves 17 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean, all of them with the exception of one being island states. With eight faculties across its campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus with a presence in all 17 countries, The UWI’s vision is to be an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean.
SALISES is a research and graduate teaching entity located within The UWI’s School of Graduate Studies and Research. It aims to be an internationally renowned institution for graduate education and research-based solutions in development. Its mandate is to conduct training and research of a regional, multidisciplinary and policy-oriented nature to serve the needs of small developing countries like those in the Caribbean.

Prof. Henry-Lee

Remarking on the collaboration, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, University Director of SALISES, said, “We at SALISES are pleased to collaborate with colleagues at the Institute of Island Studies. We share similar research and teaching interests. This collaboration will enhance our publication, research and teaching on sustainable development for small and vulnerable economies.”

Prof. Randall

For his part, Professor James Randall, Chair of the Executive Committee under the direction of which IIS operates and co-chair of a UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, said, “The IIS and its affiliated academic programs at the University of Prince Edward Island have established research and post-graduate learning networks with island-based colleagues and institutions around the world. We are pleased to start developing productive research and exchange relationships with the world-class scholars and graduate students at SALISES and The UWI.” 

The MOU is for an initial period of three years.

NEWS: UPEI signs MOU with Japan’s University of the Ryukyus

UPEI signs MOU with Japan’s University of the Ryukyus

November 22, 2018 —

UOR President Ashiro & UPEI President Alaa

On November 21, University of Prince Edward Island President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz and Island Studies professor and UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability Dr. Jim Randall welcomed a delegation from the University of the Ryukyus, an island university based in Okinawa, Japan. The purpose was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, to facilitate academic exchange of students and of faculty. 

Said University of the Ryukyus President Hajime Oshiro, “The University of Prince Edward Island and the University of the Ryukyus have been engaging in academic exchange led mainly by faculty members, specially, in the field of island studies. I myself specialize in island economics and was making research collaboration with the Institute of Island Studies of your university. The Research Institute for Islands and Sustainability of our university has also been collaborating with the Institute of Island Studies.”

Faculty from the two universities have visited back and forth since 2014, when Prof. Yoko Fujita, University of the Ryukyus Vice President and Director of their Research Institute for Islands and Sustainability, visited UPEI to attend the Excellence Network of Island Territories (RETI) annual conference.

In 2017, the University of the Ryukyus hosted RETI; both co-holders of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Drs. Jim Randall and Godfrey Baldacchino, attended.