The Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department focuses our work on research, inventory, and monitoring projects that provide an increased understanding of the rare resources found on our properties. Our research is used to make well-informed ecological management decisions, increase our understanding of the unique ecosystems on Nantucket and develop detailed management plans for the Foundation’s properties.

As much research as we do ourselves, there are always more questions to ask! We are excited to partner with outside researchers and encourage anyone interested in conducting independent or collaborative research or monitoring on Foundation property to contact us. Nantucket Conservation Foundation property is private property and we require that you submit a research proposal and obtain permission with us before proceeding with your project. Please see our Research Agreement for instructions on how to submit your proposal for consideration. Thank you for your interest!

Our science staff are active partcipants in the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative, a collaboration of nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, businesses and individuals. The mission of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative is to conserve the native biodiversity of Nantucket through collaborative research, monitoring and education. The NBI supports and facilitates biodiversity research on Nantucket, Tuckernuck and Muskeget islands and surrounding waters and shares results with the scientific community and the general public; coordinates the cataloging of data and reports and organizes the deposition of biological specimens at appropriate institutions; detects and manages invasive exotic species that pose a threat to biodiversity on the islands; educates the public about the significance of diverse biological communities; and makes biodiversity information available to conservation organizations, government agencies, and the general public involved in decisions that affect Nantucket's environment.


Several members of the Foundation's science staff serve on the steering committee of the Sandplain Grassland Network, a regional partnership among researchers and managers that formed in 2016 to advance understanding and effectiveness of the management of sandplain grasslands. Sandplain grasslands of the northeastern U.S. are iconic hotspots for biodiversity and important conservation priorities because of their relative rarity, limited geographical range, and the diversity of uncommon plant and animal species they support. The Sandplain Grassland Network shares methods and understanding gained from experiences with managing grasslands across the region to better protect and foster the unique and rare species that sandplain grasslands support. The Sandplain Grassland Network contains representatives from Central Pine Barrens Coalition, Linda Loring Nature Foundation, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, The Nature Conservancy, The Trustees of Reservations, and Woods Hole Research Center.