The appearance in 2008 of Island Life, authored by Allan Keith and Stephen Spongberg, marked a huge step forward in the long history of nature study on Martha’s Vineyard. In 2018, with the primary author’s cooperation, BiodiversityWorks began converting Island Life to an easily updated digital format. Supported by a Harvard Club of Cape Cod Summer Community Service Fellowship, BiodiversityWorks intern Andrea Brown converted the original text checklists into spreadsheets, added records established since the original publication of the book, and edited text sections of the book to reflect new information and revised nomenclature. She also compiled several new sections drawing on research that had not been available as the original version was being prepared. Ms. Brown’s energetic and intelligent work is gratefully acknowledged, and the digital version of Island Life that she prepared forms the basis for the “Species Lists” section of the Martha’s Vineyard Atlas of Life website.
The original book included authoritative introductory and summary essays, written by or compiled with the assistance of experts, on various aspects of the Vineyard’s history and natural history. Due to the scale and complexity of this material, we have not yet attempted to update it to current taxonomy and nomenclature. But these essays remain extremely valuable and can be accessed from the sidebar to the left.