I have a rather unusual request for information and/or help. Here is
I am a ham radio operator (KD6UVN), and have, in recent weeks, been in
shortwave radio contact with someone by the name of Mark Ellmoos
(VR6ME) on--of all places--Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific.
Pitcairn is one of the most isolated places in the world. It is
approximately 1.75 square miles in size, and is the last British
colony in the South Pacific. The island has no harbor, no airport, and
no telegraph facilities; four times a year, basic supplies such as
fuel oil and equipment are shipped by freighter from Auckland, New
Zealand, and must be conveyed from the ship (which anchors
approximately one kilometer offshore) by longboat. The island has a
population of 52, essentially all descended from the HMS Bounty
sailors who--along with several women from Tahiti--took refuge on
Pitcairn after their mutiny against Captain Bligh in 1789. Mark (an
Australian) is the island's pastor; his wife Susan is a Registered
Nurse and Picairn's medical officer.
Mark (whose tour of duty on the island will run through late 1996)
holds a degree in theology and psychology from Avondale College in
Australia, and has begun to awaken to the fact that he is living in a
researcher's heaven: Pitcairn is a living laboratory, a micro-society
founded by Europeans in the mid-nineteenth century and continuing
virtually untouched by the societal, political, and economic changes
that have affected the world during the past two centuries. In
essence, Pitcairn is a European enclave in the South Pacific that has
been bypassed by the twentieth century.
Given his situation, Mark is interested in in finding some program or
institution that might be interested in providing him with academic
guidance and supervision with respect to research activities that
might lead toward a Masters degree in sociology or psychology. His
primary research interests lie in the area of family structure and
family process (an area most suitable for the circumstances in which
he currently finds himself). Quite obviously, his uniquely isolated
situation will also require a program and/or institution willing to
experiment with unique and innovative approaches toward graduate education.
Does anyone out there have any ideas? Does anyone have close contact
with people in appropriate disciplines who might have ideas? Are
there any social science oriented list servers that anyone knows
about? Any help would be appreciated.