Welcome to Shoals: Life on Appledore Island

Appledore Island is a near-pristine, coastal environment, and self-sufficient community. Our campus facilities are simple, attractive and designed for utility. Shoals generates its own electricity using a combination of wind,* solar and diesel generated power. We maintain systems for wastewater treatment, fresh and salt water distribution, and a SCUBA compressor to support diving operations associated with SML's academic program. For a full listing of our facilities, search for "shoals" on the Cornell/CALS facilities website. Our staff provide dining services and facilities support to keep our island campus and waterfront running safely and smoothly. Our pictures, panoramas and movies tell our story. The terrain on Appledore is rugged and the weather is subject to sudden changes. All participants should have modest agility and be prepared to assist (within each person's own capabilities) with community tasks on "food run" and "change-over" days, as well as pitch-in with the general upkeep of dining and res hall common areas. *See the wind turbine being constructed! (ppt).

Res Life
Listen to our students talk about life on Appledore Island! ALL program participants are housed two or four to a room in four modern dormitories with washroom facilities in each dorm. When high school programs are in session on Appledore, boys and girls live in separate dorms, and teaching assistants serve as "RAs" in each dorm. Shoals does not provide linens (except for Adult and Family Education programs). Dorm quiet hours are from 10pm to 7am; high school student curfew is 10pm. Fresh water is at a premium, so showers are limited, but salt water bathing is encouraged. Showers are located in Kiggins Commons. Our infirmary and administrative offices are located in Hamilton House. All Shoals staff have received basic first aid and CPR training; a doctor and/or nurse is available on our neighboring island, Star Island.

Labs and Classrooms
All campus laboratories are equipped with microscopes, and sea tables with continuously running seawater for maintaining organisms. The largest lab, "Palmer-Kinne Laboratory" has bench space for sixty participants; the Grass Foundation Laboratory, Kiggins Commons Lab and Laighton Lab are used for smaller programs. A modest library, and computer lab are located in Laighton House. Classrooms located in Kiggins Commons, Laighton House and Hamilton House have standard A/V equipment and wireless Internet access. CLICK HERE for pictures, panoramas and movies!


The kitchen is noted for its hearty cuisine, particularly fresh, local seafood dishes. Those with dietary preferences, such as vegetarians, generally find it easy to satisfy their needs. Meals are served cafeteria-style in the main dining hall in Kiggins Commons. Meal times are as follows: 7:30am/12:30pm/6:00pm on Monday - Saturday; and 10:00am (brunch)/5:00pm on Sundays. Snacks and beverages are available 24/7.

Mail services are fairly regular for most of the summer, but are subject to change or cancellation depending on sea and weather conditions. Most cell phones work on Appledore Island! Participants should plan to bring their own cell phone; in an emergency, Shoals staff will provide assistance. Internet service is provided via satellite; wireless hot-spots are located in some campus buildings.

Our waterfront fleet includes the R/V John M. Kingsbury (pictured below, on the right), the R/V John B. Heiser (pictured below on the left), and several small vessels. All are used for field trips to other islands, diving, oceanographic cruises and for transportation to and from the mainland. Time on board Shoals vessels is an integral component of all our programs!

Public Access to Appledore Island
For more information about days trips to Shoals Marine Lab, or to enroll in an overnight (non-credit) program, please visit our Public Education section.


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