MAIS News: Student Awards

MAIS Students Win SSHRCC Awards

We are pleased to announce that two of our MAIS students, Greg Elison and Alyssa M. J. Gillespie, are receiving awards from last year’s Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s Program Competition from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC)!

Congratulations, Alyssa and Greg!


Greg Elison: MAIS Thesis Student. Thesis title “The Path to Carbon Neutrality – Community Based Renewable Energy on Prince Edward Island”

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Greg received his Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Mount Allison University in International Relations and a double minor in Economics and History.

As a thesis student in the MAIS program, he has chosen to focus his research on regional development, economic decarbonization, and Islandness with the hopes of utilizing this interdisciplinary approach to explore the socio-economic factors that facilitate community renewable energy expansion on Prince Edward Island.

Alyssa M. J. Gillespie: MAIS Thesis student. Thesis title “Roots, Routes, and Rural Youth Retention on Prince Edward Island”.

Alyssa is a born and raised P.E.Islander with an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and English from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). As a Master of Arts in Island Studies thesis student, she is applying her degree to the study of rural youth on Prince Edward Island and their migratory habits.

Alyssa’s scholarly pursuits are anchored in her passion for child and youth studies, culture, and relation to place, and she has a particular interest in creative writing, specifically poetry. She has worked with the L.M. Montgomery Institute, housed in the Robertson Library of UPEI, since the fall of 2019 as an editorial assistant for the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies.

NEWS: Dr. Jean Mitchell named UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (January 20, 2022)

Dr. Katherine Gottschall-Pass, interim vice-president academic and research at UPEI, has announced the appointment of Dr. Jean Mitchell as the next UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at the University. Dr. Mitchell is an associate professor of anthropology at UPEI with extensive research and project experience in Indonesia, India, and the South Pacific nations of Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. In the role as UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Dr. Mitchell will take a broad perspective on small islands’ sustainability across the intersecting socio-economic, cultural, aesthetic, and environmental domains. Among other things, she will serve as an effective conduit for transferring innovative ideas; develop connections and collaborations; and contribute to research on small islands and the training of the next generation of island studies scholars and practitioners. The long-term mission of the UNESCO Chair at UPEI is to contribute to achieving the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This has been a UNESCO priority since the articulation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. This priority was also extended to Sub-National Island Jurisdictions. The UNESCO chair is hosted by the Institute of Island Studies (IIS). Established in 1985, the IIS is a research and public policy institute based at the University of Prince Edward Island focusing on the culture, environment, and economy of small islands around the world, with emphasis on Prince Edward Island. Drs. Jim Randall and Godfrey Baldacchino were named co-chairs in 2016, and Dr. Randall took on the role of sole chair until his retirement in 2021. Details on the UNESCO Chair’s work to date can be found at islandstudies.com.

Media contact:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949


Island Lecture Series: Arts and Climate Adaptation – Ilse van Dijke

ISLAND LECTURE SERIES | JANUARY 2022
Island Lecture Series: Arts and Climate Adaptation:
Ilse van Dijke
Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022 · 1:00pm – 2:00pm AST (UTC-4)
Watch video

(Hosted by the Institute of Island Studies · Jan 18, 2022)
In the first installment of the 2022 Island Lecture series, Ilse van Dijk presents the findings of the research she conducted as an intern with Island Studies and the School of Climate Change and Adaptation at UPEI. The research was funded by the Climate Sense project. In her research project, Ilse aimed to identify possibilities for the integration of artistic processes into climate change adaptation policies on Prince Edward Island.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Ilse van Dike is currently a research master’s student at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is following a specialization in islands and sustainability, with a particular focus on the theme of culture and climate change adaptation. Ilse recently completed a research internship with Dr. Laurie Brinklow from Island Studies and Ross Dwyer from the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. She holds a masters’ degree in human ecology from Lund University in Sweden, and a bachelors’ degree in cultural anthropology and development studies from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Report: Two-year Timeline of COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting Islands Worldwide

From January 2020, the Global Islands Network (GIN) website2 began to source and feature articles on how COVID-19 was having disparate consequences upon islands worldwide. Over the next two years 1100 articles were posted on the GIN News Desk covering some 150 different countries, territories or local jurisdictions. All these are individually named and listed, together with regions (i.e. Caribbean, Pacific, SIDS), on the contents page so that readers can quickly identify them and their associated articles. In addition, the main purpose of this report is merely to act as a resource enabling all those who are interested to undertake further research. As you would expect, the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 upon islands predominate throughout this series of press articles. Whilst the repercussions for island tourism are manifest there are ten additional thematic areas listing articles covering multiple other topics that are specific to islands.

Read the report | Download PDF

Island Lecture Series – January 2022: “Art and Climate Change Adaptation” with Ilse Van Dijk

banner with photo of Ilse van Dijk and text saying: Island Lecture Series
Art and Climate Change Adaptation with Ilse van Dijk
Hosted by the Institute of Island Studies @ UPEI

ISLAND LECTURE SERIES | JANUARY 2022
Art and Climate Change Adaptation
Ilse Van Dijk
Tuesday, January 18th, 2021 · 1pm AST (UTC-4)
Watch video

In the first installment of the 2022 Island Lecture series, Ilse van Dijk will present the findings of the research she conducted as a research intern with Island Studies at UPEI and the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. In her research project, Ilse aimed to identify possibilities for the integration of artistic processes into climate change adaptation policies on Prince Edward Island.

Climate change and climate change adaptation are increasingly represented in the arts. Previous research has to some extent established that the resulting ‘climate art’ can perform a variety of functions, in addition to its artistic value, such as articulating difficult emotions and translating complex information. However, policymaking for climate change and adaptation does not utilize the potential of climate art. In her research project, Ilse developed a concept for the integration of artistic processes into adaptation policymaking on Prince Edward Island. The research is based on qualitative data, gathered through in-depth interviews with artists, cultural experts and climate change adaptation policymakers on Prince Edward Island.

Interested in attending? Email us at InstituteofIslandStudieUPEI@gmail.com to register!


ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Photo of Ilse van Dijk

Ilse Van Dijk is currently a research master’s student at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is following a specialization in islands and sustainability, with a particular focus on the theme of culture and climate change adaptation. IIlse recently completed a research internship with Dr. Laurie Brinklow from Island Studies and Ross Dwyer from the School of Climate Change and Adaptation. She holds a masters’ degree in human ecology from Lund University in Sweden, and a bachelors’ degree in cultural anthropology and development studies from Radboud University in the Netherlands.


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[New Publication] COVID-19 Island Insights Final Report now available!

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is 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.

Text over an ariel photo of a coast line reading: COVID-19 Island Insights Series

[Press Release] IIS goes to COP26

On November 11, 2021, Island Studies went to COP – virtually! 

We were part of a hybrid event entitled Climate Change and Islands, hosted by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance in Glasgow, along with the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI and Island Innovation.  

The event, which served as the culmination of the Island Insights Series, asked the question:  What lessons can we learn from the responses to COVID-19 when positioning islands to become more sustainable? 

Islands in countries like Scotland have the potential of showing the way forward in promoting innovation when it comes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The event featured presentations on Scotland and climate change, renewable energy on Scotland’s islands, the effects of and legal responses to climate change on islands, and climate change from the point of view of youth and climate justice. Dr. Jim Randall, Professor Emeritus at UPEI, brought opening remarks on behalf of Island Studies at UPEI, and Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Interim Chair of the IIS, served as a discussant.

Says Dr Brinklow, “Having Island Studies and UPEI be part of the global conversation at COP26 was an opportunity not to be missed. I am proud of the work our colleagues and students have done on the COVID-19 Island Insights Series and the research we continue to do on climate change and islands. Islands are at the forefront of climate change and sea-level rise  – and, like it or not, Prince Edward Island is one of those islands. If we don’t want to be become three or four Prince Edward Islands, then we must continue to get our research out there and continue to ensure that our are heard.” 

The session recording can be found here (with the passcode kYS#ck0F).

Media contact:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949


[Research] PEI Wellbeing Survey

September 22, 2021 —

The Institute of Island Studies is embarking on a four-year study to better understand and assess the well-being and quality of life of Islanders. We would like you to be part of the initiative! Click on the survey link below to share your thoughts on how island communities could be better places to live, work and play. The survey is open until November 2021.

Full details available at islandstudies.com/research/pei-well-being-project


[Press Release] Island Studies leader Dr. Jim Randall retires

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (July 6, 2021) —

After nine years as Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and Chair of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) Executive Committee, Jim Randall is retiring. 

Professor Emeritus Jim Randall

Trained as an economic and urban geographer, this native of Ontario moved with his family from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George to Prince Edward Island in 2010 to take up the post of VP Academic at UPEI. In 2012 he became Coordinator of the MAIS program, teaching in the MAIS and Island Studies Minor programs and undertaking  a supervisory role for several Master’s students. When Jim arrived, the MAIS program had 28 thesis students and 21 graduates. Since 2018 when he introduced the work/study program, enrolment has more than doubled and MAIS alumni now total 50. More than half of incoming MAIS students are now international students. Students and staff agree that the current success of the program is due to Jim’s vision, persistence, and hard work.

As Chair of the IIS Executive Committee, Jim built on the Institute’s reputation as an “honest broker” that is recognized for doing research that contributes to evidence-based policymaking. This led to a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Prince Edward Island to research and produce the 2019 Vital Signs report that went into households across the Island, as well as various research contracts with the Government of PEI. The most recent, to undertake a four-year “Indicators of Well-being” study with the Government of PEI, is now under way with a province-wide survey set to launch in the fall.

Jim was named UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability co-chair (with Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino from the University of Malta) from 2016 to 2020 and became sole Chair in 2020. Throughout that time, he has demonstrated true leadership, securing several research contracts with funding from the Government of PEI, ACOA, the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CC UNESCO), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), among others. His most recent project is curating a series of 24 COVID-19 Island Insights papers from islands around the globe in collaboration with the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and Island Innovation. The papers form the basis of a policy initiative that will be presented at COP-26 in Glasgow in November.

The author of dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Jim is Executive Editor of and contributor to the Annual Report on Global Islands 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, published in affiliation with the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province. His groundbreaking textbook, An Introduction to Island Studies, was published in 2021 with Island Studies Press and Rowman & Littlefield.

Jim was presented with the Faculty Association’s Merit Award for Outstanding Service in 2019, and UPEI’s Katherine Schultz Research Recognition Award in 2018. Upon his retirement, the University bestowed upon him with the well-earned designation of Professor Emeritus. As Dr. Ed MacDonald (History, UPEI) wrote in his nomination letter, “As someone who has been involved with the Institute of Island Studies since 1986 and with the MAIS program since its inception two decades ago, I think I can speak with some authority when I praise the tremendous contributions that he has made to those two, closely related enterprises. He has devoted his considerable energy and abilities to both, and both have prospered under his leadership.”

A builder and visionary, Jim Randall has left a legacy that will stand Island Studies @ UPEI in good stead for years to come. But we know Jim won’t be a stranger: fortunately, he and his wife Brenda have decided to continue to call PEI home. And he’s already agreed to lend his expertise to ongoing projects, and will continue to be part of the Island Studies family.

Congratulations, Jim, on a well-earned retirement!

Media contact:
Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
amacdonald@upei.ca | (902)-566-0949


[New publication] Latest from the COVID-19 Island Insights Series: Canary Islands & Azores

May 11, 2021—

The latest instalment of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series shares critical insights from the Canary Islands and Azores. How have these European archipelagos responded to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and what do their recovery plans hold for future resilience and sustainability? Check out this week’s Insights reports to find out!

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is a collaborative project between the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG), the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), and Island Innovation. For more information about the Series and to read all of the reports so far, visit islandstudies.com/island-insights-series.