Looking for some interesting and informative events to participate in during early November on Nantucket??

The 9th biennial Nantucket Biodiversity Research Conference will take place from November 4-6, 2021, and all of the conference events are open to the public. We hope that you will consider joining us to learn more about Nantucket’s unique biodiversity!

The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) is a consortium of organizations (including the Nantucket Conservation Foundation), agencies and individuals working together to conserve the native biodiversity of Nantucket through collaborative research, monitoring and education. Every other year, NBI hosts its research conference, bringing together researchers and naturalists working on Nantucket, Tuckernuck and Muskeget Islands and surrounding areas.

This year’s conference is generously funded by the Nantucket Community Foundation’s ReMain Nantucket Fund. Registration fees directly support the NBI Research Grant Program. Registrants 18 and younger are free.

Below is a description of the conference events. Advanced registration for all events is strongly encouraged:


Keynote Lecture (Thursday November 4th 2021): 7:00 pm in the Great Hall of the Nantucket Atheneum at 1 India Street by Mark Faherty (Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and weekly bird report contributor for WCAI, the local NPR radio station for the Cape, Coast and Islands). Mark will present “Naturalists in the Information Age: How smartphones, artificial intelligence and social media have changed the study of biodiversity forever.

Mark Faherty (photo: Rich Eldred)

For those interested in natural history study, especially identifying and cataloguing plants and animals, things are very different than they were just 10 years ago. It’s a brave new world of smartphone apps, now with artificial intelligence-driven automated identification features, many built into global-scale citizen science projects with data available to researchers everywhere. Built in crowd-sourcing gives any user access to national or worldwide experts in different taxa in a way not formerly possible. Mark will talk about the most prominent of these apps and projects, including eBird and the companion app Merlin, iNaturalist/Seek, and other apps, plus the increasing and often surprisingly useful role of social media for increasing the ranks of educated natural history enthusiasts.

Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored with the Nantucket Atheneum. Please note: face masks are required and attendance is limited to no more than 85. Priority will be given to registered attendees.

2019 NBI Conference (photo: Jen Karberg)

Conference Presentations and Posters (Friday November 5th 2021): 9:00 am – 4:30 pm in the Ballroom of the Nantucket Hotel and Resort at 77 Easton Street. Join us in person or virtually (via Zoom) for a full day conference event featuring talks on tidal marsh birds, northern long-eared bats, climate change and coastal resiliency, invasive plant species, eel grass restoration, sandbar sharks, gray seals and many more topics. Light morning refreshments as well as lunch are included. Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nbi-9th-biennial-research-conference-2021-november-5-2021-tickets-178162848877

Early bird in person registration: $30 (until 10/29)

In person registration (after 10/29): $35

Virtual (via Zoom) Registration: $15

18 and under: Free

Post Conference Social (Friday November 5th 2021): Mingle with your fellow conference goers at an evening social in downtown Nantucket with delicious appetizers, good conversation and a cash bar (with one drink ticket provided with registration). Details will be provided on the day of the conference; open to registered conference attendees only.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Workshop (Saturday November 6th 2021): 9:30 – 11:30 am in the 2nd floor of Thomas Macy Warehouse at 12 Straight Wharf. Join local NBI members Vince Murphy (Town of Nantucket Department of Natural Resources), RJ Turcotte (Nantucket Land Council), Jen Karlberg and Karen Beattie (Nantucket Conservation Foundation), Rachael Freeman (Nantucket Islands Land Bank Commission), Sarah Bois (Linda Loring Nature Foundation) and Shea Fee (The Trustees of Reservations) for several short presentations followed by discussion about how nature-based coastal resiliency management strategies may be used to benefit biodiversity in Nantucket’s protected open space properties. Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored with Envision Resilience Nantucket. Please note: attendance is limited. Priority will be given to registered attendees.

Field Trip with Nantucket Walkabout (Saturday November 6th 2021): 12:30 – 2:30 pm, location provided via email upon registration. Take a guided walk with Peter Brace of Nantucket Walkabout through Beechwood Farm and Norwood Farm in the Polpis area of Nantucket. You will learn about these locations and their varied habitats at the conference and then learn more about them with Peter on Saturday. Transportation from downtown Nantucket provided by van. Please don’t drive your own vehicle to start of this walk, as the Land Bank parking area for this trail has very limited parking. Free, but space is limited to 22 people. Registration is required.

The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative is comprised of the following partner organizations: Linda Loring Nature Foundation, Maria Mitchell Association, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Nantucket Islands Land Bank Commission, Nantucket Land Council, Nantucket Walkabout, The Trustees, Tuckernuck Land Trust, Town of Nantucket Department of Natural Resources, and UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station.

For more information: https://www.nantucketbiodiversity.org/research-conference