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Check out some of our upcoming events at Inian Islands Institute for the summer season 2017!

41584Human Ecology: Our Place in Nature

June 13 – July 5, 2017 (at the Inian Islands July 1-5)

Ten high school students and two teachers from The Harker School in San Jose, California will visit the Inian Islands as the culminating experience of their summer course in Human Ecology.  The students will conduct a comparative study of energy, agriculture, and fisheries between coastal California and southeast Alaska.  The course will blend science, policy, and literature, with students generating projects based on their individually selected roles: journalist, data scientist, fiction writer, photographer, or policymaker.  The Inian Islands provide the perfect setting for students to reflect on their personal interactions with nature while learning about interactions on a larger scale.

Replacing a building foundation in the rain ain't for sissies... Yet Tim and Harrison emerge from the underworld with smiles.

Building a strong foundation for a legacy is not always a figure of speech! (photo: 2015 work party)

3rd Annual Inian Islands Institute Volunteer Work Party

July 6-10, 2017

Now that the ambitious replacement of the shop house foundation has been completed, this year at the Hobbit Hole we will take care of some much needed projects including building a composting toilet and continuing landscape and gardening efforts.  We will also make a solid plan of action for the next phase of maintenance and development, including rebuilding/re-roofing the out-sheds of the warehouse, creating an outdoor kitchen, and designing a floating greenhouse and sauna.  We can’t wait to welcome our volunteers for the long work days and the nightly celebrations, bringing this field school to life!


Inian is a living classroom for sustainable lifestyles!

Inian is a living class-room for sustainability!

Nueva School to Southeast Alaska

July 17-28

With a focus on hands-on, immersion learning, this 10-day course provides students with a deep understanding of the mechanisms that conservation and environmental sciences use to understand the world. Using Southeast Alaska as a case study for understanding the impact of climate, students will come to understand that social and environmental challenges are complex and inextricably linked. Through this experience, students extend their understanding that ecological and sociological systems are place-specific yet globally connected. As such, students are compelled to reexamine their values and alter their behavior in order to live sustainably.

Zhi Ping Teo looks out from the highest point of the Island, towards Glacier Bay National Park.

A student in the 2013 Sophomore College at the Inian Islands

In the Age of Anthropocene: Coupled Human-Natural Systems of Southeast Alaska

September 3-22, 2017 (at the Inian Islands September 18 – 21)
Stanford University Sophomore College

In September, the Inian Islands Institute will be visited by a group of rising sophomore students from Stanford participating in a three week field couqrse on natural resource management and sustainability. The students will learn about complex social-ecological systems through the lens of forestry, fisheries, tourism and energy by engaging with community members and the local ecosystem. Time spent at the Inian Islands Institute offers a unique space to reflect on interactions between people and their environment and strategies for tackling resource management and conservation issues.

Past Events

Yoga Retreat with Jessica Lindmark, 2016

July 23-30, 2016
Taking our practice into the Wilderness!  For more information on future retreats, please contact Jessica Lindmark at

UAS Environmental Rhetoric Course

July 11-16, 2016
Hosted at Inian Islands Institute, this course through the University of Alaska Southeast featured professor Dan Henry teaching the art of persuasive arguments that lead to positive environmental change.  Through this course, students learned how to become more effective environmental leaders through the art of rhetoric.

Teacher Expedition with Discovery Southeast

June 12-16, 2016
For the first time, Inian Islands Institute partnered with Discovery Southeast to bring a group of teachers to the Hobbit Hole to discuss the intersection of people and place, education and the natural world.  What better way to reach more students than to teach the teachers?

Volunteer Work Party

May 2-6, 2016

Our second annual Inian Islands Institute volunteer work party was even more raucous than the first!  In 2015, our 20 volunteers got a huge amount done, including extending the boardwalk out to the dock, replacing the foundation of the workshop building, expanding the garden, and emplacing a drainage system.  Check out the blog post and video.  This year, we finished up the foundation replacement, set up a large yurt for more housing, built a kayak rack to hold our new fleet, and more.  All with good food, good beer, and good friends.

October Speaking Tour

In October 2015, after a break-out summer for Inian Islands Institute, Executive Director Zach Brown headed down south for meetings and presentations all along the West Coast — Seattle, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay Area — to keep spreading the word about Inian Islands Institute!

Stanford University Sophomore College Course

September 14-17, 2015
We were hugely excited that Stanford University returned to the Inian Islands after our first wonderful course in 2013!  In the second iteration, we learned about the interactions between social and ecological systems, focusing on 4 natural resources: fisheries, forestry, energy and tourism. Read about our first Stanford course here.

Yoga Retreat with Jessica Lindmark, 2015

June 7-12, 2015
Taking our practice into the Wilderness!  For more information on future retreats, please contact Jessica Lindmark at

Volunteer Work Party

June 1-5, 2015
It was time to get our hands dirty!  Fueled by good food and friends, we extended the boardwalk, put a new foundation under the workshop building, and worked on lots of other little tasks that need doing around the property.  We also found some time for music and volleyball and beer!

Earlham College Course

May 19-23, 2015
Students from Earlham College in Indiana made their way to the Inian Islands!  Their course, entitled The Ecology and Conservation of Southeast Alaska, led by the father-and-son professor team Brent and Quinn Smith, took them on a wild adventure to Juneau, Glacier Bay, Haines, and, of course, the Inian archipelago.  During their visit, we discussed issues of sustainability and local living in the context of what they learned in the greater Southeast Alaska region.





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  1. Paula Wolfson #

    Greetings Reader, My friend Duanni Hurd and I met Zach Brown on board The Sea Lion, The National Geographic-Linblad expedition tour of the SE Inner Passage: the July 19-26th tour.This was my first trip to Alaska and Zach’s first week on board the ship. We enjoyed having Zach as a naturalist on this sojourn!((It was wonderful to be in a Zodiac raft with him, while he discussed the wildlife. As it turns out we were in the Zodiac with him in a bay near to his hometown…I have a video of him speaking about the area, the otters, the seals…And shall post it soon…)….We hope to remain in touch with Zach to find creative ways to help support his fund raising efforts. And …miracles of miracles..we reside in Palo Alto and Los Altos. Hope to see Zach in October for one of his fund-raiser-presentations!

    Bravo to all of you in your fantastic labor of love!

    How does one come visit or have a mini-retreat?

    Zach’s fellow “Sea Lion – Polar Plunge survivor” – Paula Wolfson.

    August 5, 2015

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