Archives

Winter Botany: Sneaky Photosynthesis

February 19, 2021

One of the complaints people make during winter and early spring in New England is how much they miss the color of foliage and flowers from the warmer months. In past NCF Science blog articles we’ve explored some of Nantucket’s evergreens (such as pine, cedar, and American holly), looked at the underlying architecture and details…

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Survival Strategies for Wildlife in Winter

February 11, 2021

With Nantucket’s first real stretch of cold this winter and even some recent snow fall, it leads one to wonder about how wildlife survive constant exposure to wicked coastal New England weather. Even the most cynical wildlife biologist might find themselves “feeling badly” for the critters. How do they survive the bitter cold and windy…

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Freshwater Wetlands Breathe Life Around the Island

February 5, 2021

By Dr Jen Karberg, Research Program Supervisor 30 miles off the mainland, anchored in the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucketer’s know better than many how water shapes our natural world. Wetlands are the places where water comes in contact with land and surrounded by the ocean and our many harbors, it can be easy to think that…

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Moor Habitat Management Funding

January 26, 2021

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation recently received news that we have been awarded a $24,075 grant to undertake a sandplain heathland and scrub oak barren habitat management project on 24 acres within our Middle Moors properties in the central portion of the island, just north of Altar Rock. This funding comes from the Massachusetts Division of…

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The 2020 Nantucket Christmas Bird Count

January 14, 2021

by: Libby Buck, Ecological Stewardship & Research Technician The Nantucket Christmas Bird Count went off without a hitch despite the addition of COVID-19.  On count day, December 28th, 2020, the island was divided into eight sections.  All the birds seen within that 24-hour period were to be recorded.  There was concern during the planning of…

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Red Cedar Juniper: Of Trees and Micro-habitats

January 6, 2021

Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has become one of the dominant tree species of Nantucket’s open lands, increasingly abundant in our more recently abandoned farm fields. These areas that remain undeveloped are often managed with mowing to maintain open savannah-like habitats. While frequently called a cedar, this species is actually a member of the juniper…

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Celebrating the Foundation’s 57th Anniversary

December 28, 2020

As we get ready to close out 2020, we would like to commemorate the Foundation’s 57nd anniversary on December 28th. On this date in 1963, a group of Nantucketers met at the home of W. Ripley Nelson, who was then the President of the Nantucket Civic League. They came together to discuss the growing need…

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Ecology Seasonal Work with NCF

December 21, 2020

The ecological work of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, both the property stewardship activities and research properties require extensive field work. If you ask any ecologist, this is the fun part of the job! Most of us came to our careers as ecologists through a love of the outdoors. Seasonal ecology field employees are the backbone…

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How do Nantucket’s turtles survive the winter?!

December 14, 2020

Spotted turtles are a relatively uncommon species of freshwater turtle in Massachusetts but Nantucket has fairly sizable and robust populations. Still, they are seldom seen, certainly not as frequently as their cousins, the other resident shelled reptilians, snapping and painted turtles. Spotted turtles are secretive and very picky about the kinds of habitat they prefer.…

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This Year, Everyone is a Birder!

December 3, 2020

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC), one of the longest running citizen science projects in the world, is organized by the National Audubon Society. It was originally started in 1900’s by ornithologist Frank Chapman, who thought it was better to count the birds instead of hunting them on Christmas Day. This year, the Christmas Bird Count…

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