Eel Point Marsh 2007

Presented together by the Linda Loring Nature Foundation and the Nantucket Conservation Foundation


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.

For the third year in a row, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF) and Linda Loring Nature Foundation (LLNF) will team teach the Nantucket Coastal Ecology course over 5 weeks, starting March 7th, 2023.

This course provides a broad education in the ecology and management of Nantucket Island’s coastal habitats. Designed as a hybrid course, students will participate in lectures paired with in-person field trips exploring coastal areas around Nantucket. Lectures will be offered hybrid with in-person attendance at the NCF office and live over Zoom.

This course will dive into the ecology of dominant key coastal habitats, i.e. salt marshes, dune fields, coastal banks, and more. Students will explore how we define climate change impacts, the projected risks and threats locally and regionally, and ways we can manage for climate change and promote coastal resilience through the natural coastal landscapes of Nantucket.

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. 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.


Space is limited so please register early if you are interested!

Lectures will be Tuesdays from 6-7:30pm (March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th and April 4th) in person (at the NCF office) and over Zoom.

Field Trips will be Fridays 9-11am (March 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st with April 7th as an alternate Weather Date). Topics covered include general ecology and natural history of Nantucket, in-depth discussion of coastal processes, climate change (e.g. sea level rise, erosion, storm surge flooding, etc.) and what it means for Nantucket’s coastal habitats, current nature-based coastal resilience efforts and potential future coastal responses.

Cost: $250 per person


Course Outline (Field trip locations are subject to change)

Week 1: An introduction to the coastal ecological and land use history of Nantucket. Understand how both the Wampanoag and the European settlers' use of the land influences the coastal ecology we see on Nantucket today.

Lecture March 7th 6pm, Field Trip March 10th 9am.

Week 2: Explore how we define the ways climate change will impact Nantucket including exploring sea level rise, erosion, 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.

Lecture March 14th 6pm, Field Trip March 17th 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?

Lecture March 21st 6pm, Field Trip March 24th 9am.

Week 4: Explore the water-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?

Lecture March 28th 6pm, Field Trip March 31st 9am.

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

Lecture April 4th 6pm, Rain Date Field Trip April 7th 9am.


For questions or more information, please contact and/or