1. Effective niche manufacturing from small islands

  2. Sustainable agriculture and food security on islands

  3. Build heritage on islands: issues of preservation

  4. Energy and sustainability: The quest for the zero carbon footprint on small islands

  5. Marine biodiversity conservation and management

Group 1: Effective Niche Manufacturing From Small Islands


To appreciate the challenges of defining islands.

To determine the suitability of an island-themed brand, and of an island as a brand.

To assess the existing symbolism and evocative power of Lesvos as a sellable, winnable brand.

To design our own “Lesvos island’ brand and promotional messages.


For fieldwork, students will assess the extent, and success, of branding in practice by visiting: (a) the airport terminal; (b) a restaurant in Mytilini; (c) an ouzu factory; (d) a museum; and/or (e) an olive oil production facility. They will use a check-list to take down: (1) a list of place specific messages and products, (2) a determination their associated messages and cues, and (3) an assessment of their suitability, deep evocative power, and complementarity.


A better understanding of the challenges and difficulties of branding.

A deeper appreciation of the connection between product and place (terroir)

A honing of skills that will serve to critically evaluate the impact of a promotional message.

A comparative assessment of the success (or failure) of place, product and corporate branding in Lesvos in relation to other European islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Malta, Corsica)


Students are expected to bring along a souvenir/ product from their home island which, in their opinion, captures well what their home island is all about.

In the course of their fieldwork, students may wish to collect actual specimens, or take photographs, of products and messages which they feel correspond well with the Lesvos Island brand.


Baldacchino, G. (2006). ‘Islands, island studies, island studies journal’. Island Studies Journal, 1(1), 3-18.

Baldacchino, G. (2010) 'The island lure: editorial introduction'. International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Small Business, 9(4), 373-377.

Baldacchino, G. (2010) 'Island brands and ‘The Island’ as a brand: insights from immigrant entrepreneurs on Prince Edward Island’. International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Small Business, 9(4), 378-393.

Grydehøj, A. (2008). ‘Branding from above: generic cultural branding in Shetland and other islands’. Island Studies Journal, 3(2), 175-198.

All four articles will be made available as pdfs, and for strictly educational use.


1. The problem of islands: materiality or metaphor?

An introduction to the basic problematique of island studies is that islands are notoriously difficult to define. What size makes a piece of land surrounded by water too small or too large to be an island? Is a traffic island, or a kitchen island, an island? And is Zanzibar as much an island as Atlantis?

2. Making oneself heard: an introduction to branding, and island branding.

We are surrounded by countless stimuli competing for our attention, our custom, and our money. How do we beat this 'noise'? What are the main purposes of branding? And how much of 'island branding' is deceitful, and why? Why is "Greenland" - which is not exactly green - one of the earliest examples of 'island branding'?

3. Developing an island brand: techniques and inspirations.

What should one look for in developing an 'authentic' island brand. Why is product niching important for small islands? What are the basic associations and sensations that one seeks to promote and provoke? How much multi-sensorality is involved? A critical examination of a few 'island brands'. (Bring you own, and discuss.) The most powerful memories are those that (a) ride easily on existing ones derived from the same place, firm or product; and (b) conjure up strong and broad emotional responses. Let us design our own 'Lesvos Island' brand.

Group 2: Sustainable agriculture and food security on islands

1. Objectives

The study of former management system of agroforestry (sparse trees with an understorey that used to be cultivated but now is abandoned or grazed) and other agricultural landscapes in order to gain insights for future land management systems, mitigate climate change and provide a level of food security, with a focus on grazing management cultivation practices. The questions that will be addressed are:

- What were the main practices of former management systems of agricultural landscapes of Lesvos?

- What is the situation today?

- Which ones can be used today having in mind climate change, sustainable agriculture and food security?

- Are these systems a relic of the past or a challenge for the future?

2. Field work required

The field work has three components:

(a) See and understand the landscape and the practices that shaped it in the past, along with the driving forces behind its change;

(b) Record its present state and especially the regeneration of trees and other forms of natural vegetation that are key components in the system and under threat;

(c) Project its future with the use of some practices for grazing management and food production.

The study area will first be covered by air – satellite photographs and the specific sites that will be analysed recorded. These sites will be covered on foot, taking plots of circular shape of 15m - 10m radius on the particular land use that will be selected. The method is simple and works in pairs or with 3 people for 3-4 days of field work. The field measurements involve:

- The recording of land cover for trees, shrubs and annuals

- The recording of management practices (grazing, ploughing, pruning, fertilizing, etc.);

- The recording of landscape characteristics.

3. Expected outcomes of student projects and presentations

The expected outcomes include the understanding of the main practices of former management systems of agricultural landscapes of Lesvos and their re-introduction (of some, with modifications) today having in mind climate change, sustainable agriculture and food security.

4. List of material

The equipment includes: measuring tapes, GPS, a recording form and pencils.

5. List of resources / literature

Kizos, T., Plieninger, T. Schaich, H., (in press) “Instead of 40 sheep there are 400”: Traditional grazing practices and landscape change in Western Lesvos, Greece, Landscape Research.

Kizos, T., Vasdeki, M., Chatzikiriakou C. & Dimitriou, D (2011) ‘For my children’: Different functions of the agricultural landscape and attitudes of farmers on different areas of Greece towards small scale landscape change, Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, Vol. 111, No. 2, pp. 117-130.

Kizos, T., Marin-Guirao, J.I., Georgiadi, M.E., Dimoula, S., Karatsolis, E., Mpartzas, A., Mpelali A. and Papaioannou, S. (2011) Survival Strategies of farm households and multifunctional farms in Greece, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 177, No. 4, pp. 335–346, doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2011.00403.x

Kizos, T. and Vakoufaris H., (2011) Valorisation of a local asset: The case of olive oil on Lesvos Island, Greece, Food Policy, Vol. 36(5), pp. 704-713, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2011.06.005

Plieninger, T., Schaich, H. and Kizos, T. (2011) Land-use legacies in the forest structure of silvopastoral oak woodlands in the Eastern Mediterranean, Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 11, pp. 603–615, DOI 10.1007/s10113-010-0192-7.

Kizos T., and Koulouri M. (2010) Same Land Cover, Same Land Use at the Large Scale, Different Landscapes at the Small Scale: Landscape Change In Olive Plantations On Lesvos Island, Greece, Landscape Research, 35(4), pp. 449 – 467.

Kizos, T., Dalaka, A., Petanidou, T. (2010) Farmers’ practices and landscape change: Evidence from the abandonment of terraced cultivations on Lesvos, Greece, Agriculture and Human Values, 27, pp 199–212.

Kizos T. and Koulouri M. (2006) Agricultural landscape dynamics in the Mediterranean: Lesvos (Greece) case study using evidence from the last three centuries, Environmental Science and Policy, Vol. 9(4), pp. 330-342.


1. Objectives

- To appreciate the importance of the historical circumstances in building characteristics and morphological choices.

- Understanding the modern era of the city, the characteristic of the buildings constructions after '60.

- Data collection and analysis of the city centre’s architectural heritage.

- To assess the architectural heritage as a “driver” of local development.

2. Field work required

For fieldwork, students should assess functional qualities of the historical city centre by visiting, in different hours during the day, the case study area. A specific inventory card will be used to collect information concerning architectural heritage characteristics and qualities of the public space.

3. Expected outcomes of student projects and presentations

Better understanding of the historical city centre functional mechanisms (immaterial approach).

- A deeper appreciation of the architectural heritage qualities (material approach).

- To determine the principal degradation factors concerning both the city center’s functional qualities and the architectural heritage.

- A comparative assessment of the success (or failure) of Mytilene historical centre in relation to other similar cases (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Malta, Corsica).

4. List of material

Students are expected to bring along photos or/and video from their home island historical city centre which, in their opinion, capture well the local characteristics. In the course of their fieldwork, students may wish to take photos or/and video, of Mytilene historical centre that illustrate the “spirit” of the place.

5. List of resources / literature




6. Outline of Presentation

A Data collection concerning architectural heritage goods

What building parameters, morphological characteristics, do we need to study?

How can we illustrate the functional correlations between buildings and public space?

Mention the buildings considered as outstanding architectural heritage.

B Analysis on the principal qualities and handicaps

- Do all buildings need to be considered as architectural heritage?

- Definition of the areas principal qualities and handicaps.

- How can the buildings constructed to meet the needs of 19 century be adapted to contemporary needs?\

C Thoughts of Mytilene historical city center development

- How can we amplify the qualities and wave the handicaps?

- The possibility of heritage as a driver of development

Group 4: Energy and sustainability: The quest for the zero carbon footprint on small islands

1. Objetives:

- To understand what mean energy and power

-  To determine the well adapted sources of energy versus the uses

-  To control if renewable energies are sustainable

-  To know what means energy efficiency

-  To identify the potential of a given islands and more particularly for Lesvos

-  To be able to analyse an energy plan for an island

2. Field work required

The students have to made some visits of installation on view to have a good idea of the industrial aspect of energy systems like PV plant, or wind turbine.

They must have the possibility to get the economical statistics of Lesvos.

They have to understand the economical aspect linked to agriculture.

3. Expected outcomes of student projects and presentations

-   a better understanding of the energy problematic : not only a technical aspect but also social and cultural

-  how to integrate energy systems in the management of spaces – use of landscape, for example

-  identify the role GIS in the installation of renewable energies

-  propose a plan for Lesvos in terms of energy for transport and electricity

4. Outline of Presentations

-  Analyse of the present situation (population, energy consumed, power installed, ratOutlinee of increase…)

-  Estimation of the potential of various kind of energy

-  Setting up an energy efficiency in view to reduce the consumption of energy. What kind of strategy

-  Proposition of a plan for the deployment of “green” energies for Lesvos.

5. Bibliography

-  Statistical data from Lesvos

-  Sustainable Energy Policy in the OCTs, Final Report, October 2008, UE & ROL

- Islands Renewable Energy Chart Implementation Plan-

   Island Specific 20 April 2012.pdf Policy_Shirley and Kammen .pdf

Group 5: Marine Conservation on Islands (16 – 20 Sep, 2013)

Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPG)

Universidad de La Laguna (ULL)

1. Objetives:

The main objective of the course is to study the theoretical basis of Marine Conservation with a special focus on the distinctive features of island systems (such as more fragile and markedly variable ecosystems), as well as to introduce the student to the field of experimental design, field surveys and data analysis in order to appropriately detecting changes in marine biodiversity for management practices. The specific topics that will be developed are:

- Conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in island systems

- To know the importance of sustainable fishing practice on Islands and the establishment of marine protected areas networks.

- An approach to experimental design and data analysis for detecting changes in marine biodiversity

- Sampling techniques to develop the experimental designs in the field and gather marine biodiversity data.

2. Field work required

There is an emphasis on field work in the course with the main aim of gaining expertise at conducting accurate marine biodiversity surveys in order to record the present state of the ecosystems and gain knowledge of the intertidal/shallow sublittoral system at Lesvos Island, but also to test for specific hypotheses. In order to do that we will study contrasting field sites: more impacted areas vs. less impacted areas.

In order to conduct biodiversity surveys we will focus on the main trophic levels known for temperate regions:

- Fish communities, including both carnivorous and herbivorous fishes: estimated using an in situ stationary visual-census method. We followed the point-count method in which the observer takes a position at the centre of a circle with a radius of 5.6 m (100 m2), recording the number and size (+1 cm) of the individuals of each species for 5 min.

- Main Macroinvertabrates’ populations: the belt transect method will be used to estimate densities or main grazing.

- Algal communities: Percentages macroalgae will be estimated in situ at study sites by randomly placing 3 quadrates per transect.

3. Expected outcomes of student projects and presentations

The expected outcomes include the understanding of the principles of Marine Conservation and its increased importance on islands’ environments, the correct usage of the different study stages for detecting changes in marine biodiversity for management practices including experimetal design, field surveys and data analysis. 

4. List of matherial

50 meter long transects (3x), 50 x 50 cm quadrats (3x), plastic calipers (3x), buckets, fins, masks, tubes, underwater writing boards/notebooks and pencils. 

5. List of resources / literarture

Marine life guides (invertebrates and fishes):


Wood, L. (2011). Sea Fishes of the Mediterranean Including Marine Invertebrates. Ed. New Holland Publisher UK.  

Debelius H. (1998)  Mediterranean and Atlantic Fish Guide: From Spain to Turkey - From Norway to South Africa. Ed. Conch Books.  

Wirtz, P & H. Debelius (2003) Mediterranean and Atlantic Invertebrate Guide: From Spain to Turkey, from Norway to the Equator Ed. Conch Books.


Clemente, S., J.C. Hernández & A. Brito (2011) Context–dependent effects of marine protected areas on predatory interactions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 437:119-133.

Crowder LB, EL Hazen, N Avissar, R Bjorkland, C Latanich & M B Ogburn (2008) The Impacts of Fisheries on Marine Ecosystems and the Transition to Ecosystem-Based Management. Annu.Rev.Ecol.Evol.Syst., 39: 259-278.

Hernández, J.C., S. Clemente, C. Sangil & A.Brito.(2008) The key role of the sea urchin Diadema aff. antillarum throughout the Canary Islands (eastern Atlantic Ocean) in controlling macroalgae assemblages: a spatio-temporal approach. Marine Environmental Research, 66: 259-270.

Jennings S, MJ Kaiser (1998) The Effects of Fishing on Marine Ecosystems. Advances in Marine Biology, 34: 201–212, 212a, 213–266, 266a, 268–352.


Kingsford M. & C. Battershill (1998) Studying Temperate Marine Environments: A handbook for ecologists. Ed: Canterbury University Press. New Zealand: 335p.

Norse EA & LB Crowder (2005) Marine Conservation Biology: the science of maintaining the sea´s biodiversity. Ed: Island Press, Washington, USA: 470 p.

Quinn GP & MJ Keough (2002) Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologist. Ed: Cambridge University Press. UK: 537p

Underwood AJ (1997) Experiments in Ecology. Their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Ed: Cambridge University Press. UK: 504p.