Join Dr Jen Karberg (Nantucket Conservation Foundation) and Dr Sarah Bois (Linda Loring Nature Foundation) this spring to dive in depth and explore the ecology of Nantucket’s unique coastal areas as well and the current and future threats that climate change will bring.

Explore the ecology of Coastal Nantucket with Dr. Sarah Bois (Linda Loring Nature Foundation) and Dr. Jen Karberg (Nantucket Conservation Foundation). Over the course of five weeks, we will examine the historic, current and future use of Nantucket’s coastline through the lens of it’s ecological importance and resilience.

After completing this hybrid virtual/field trip course, participants will have a deeper understanding of the ecology of Nantucket’s coastline as well as a deeper understanding of the natural and anthropogenic forces impacting how our coastline functions and how it will respond to future climate change.

This course will dive into:

  • The ecology of dominant key coastal habitats: exploring salt marshes, dune fields, coastal banks, the Great Ponds, and more.
  • How to define climate change and future risks for Nantucket
  • Managing for climate change and coastal resilience through our natural landscape

Using a team-teaching model, Drs. Bois and Karberg will bring their extensive knowledge about Nantucket’s coastal ecology, the importance of Nantucket’s rare ecological resources, and nature-based solutions related to Nantucket’s current coastal resilience efforts.  Virtual lectures will be followed by field trips to various locations around the island to explore ecological issues in depth.  While Drs. Bois and Karberg will bring students into the field to explore ecology directly-related to Nantucket, discussion will also explore examples from other coastal communities around the globe.

To register, please click here

Registration is now open for LLNF and NCF members. Registration for the general public opens Monday April 16th.


Course commitment is 3.5 hours each week with a weekly lecture Wednesday at 6pm (90min) and a weekly field trip Sundays at 9am (2hrs), subject to weather. Course will run from Wednesday May 12th, 2021 – Sunday June 13th, 2021. Space is limited so please register early if you are interested!

All lectures will be recorded and placed on the course website by Thursday mornings at 9am. While we prefer in-person lecture attendance for discussion, we understand that isn’t always possible.

The course will host a webpage available to all participants that will archive all lectures as well supplemental course readings and videos.

Cost: $150 per person


Week 1: An introduction to the ecological and land use history of Nantucket, particularly the coastal areas. Understand how both the Wampanoag and the European settlers use of the land influences the ecology we see on Nantucket today. Field trips to the Creeks and Washington St Extension.

Lecture May 12th 6pm, Field Trip May 16th 9am.

Week 2: Explore how we define the ways climate change will impact Nantucket including exploring sea level rise, erosion, ocean acidification, rising groundwater, storm surge. Explore the models used to predict these impacts and get a solid understanding of the terminology as well as the current and future island trends. Field trip to the Brant Point and Jetties area.

Lecture May 19th 6pm, Field Trip May 23rd 9am.

Week 3: Explore the sand-driven coastal habitats of Nantucket including the ecology of beaches, dunes, and banks as well as how off-shore processes influence our shoreline. How will future climate change impact sand-based coastal ecosystems? Field trip to Hither Creek/Millie’s Bridge and Smith’s Point.

Lecture May 26th 6pm, Field Trip May 30th 9am.

Week 4: Explore the weather-driven coastal habitats of Nantucket including the ecology of salt marshes, the Great Ponds, and coastal freshwater wetlands. How will future climate change impacts, particularly increased salt water impact these water-based coastal ecosystems? Field trip to Folger’s Marsh.

Lecture June 2nd 6pm, Field Trip June 6th 9am.

Week 5: Explore how Nantucket can and should respond to future climate change impacts along our coastline and particularly how our coastal habitats can help us find solutions for Nantucket. Field trip to examine coastal solutions around Nantucket Harbor.

Lecture June 9th 6pm, Field Trip June 13th 9am.

For questions or more information, please contact and/or

To register, please click here

Registration for members of either LLNF or NCF is open.

Registration opens to the general public on April 19th, 2021.

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