With a background in both conservation and business, Philip Conkling co-founded the Island Institute with a vision of helping communities and owners balance natural resource protection and community development objectives. He is the founding publisher of Island Journal and the author of Islands in Time, A Natural and Cultural History of the Islands of the Gulf of Maine. He conceived and edited From Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy – An Environmental Atlas of the Gulf of Maine and most recently also conceived and edited The Fate of Greenland-Lessons from Abrupt Climate Change, which won the Phi Beta Kappa award for science book of the year. With co-founder of the Island Institute, Peter Ralston, the two were responsible for raising the funds to sustain the organization for 30 years and also led a successful capital campaign that raised over $20 million to endow the core programs of the organization they founded.
In addition to his work in organizational leadership and publications, Philip Conkling has extensive experience with and knowledge of education, alternative energy, marine resources and community development issues around the coasts and rural areas of America. He currently serves on the board of Fox Island Wind, a community wind power company that has brought energy independence to the communities of Vinalhaven and North Haven off the coast of Maine. Philip’s formal education includes a B.A from Harvard University (1970) and a M.F.S. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1976) and in 2013 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College.