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The Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department undertakes focused research, inventory and monitoring projects aimed at providing increased understanding of the rare resources found on our properties. Listed below is a summary of the many subjects they are studying.

Click on the thumbnail photograph or description below to access more information about our research projects:

Current Research

Northern Long-eared Bat Population Research

We are undertaking collaborative research aimed at gaining a better overall understanding of the island’s bat populations and, in particular, determining habitat use patterns of federally-threatened Northern Long-eared Bats breeding and wintering here.

Update of the Vascular Flora of Nantucket

We are collaborating to update The Vascular and Non-Vascular Flora of Nantucket, Tuckernuck and Muskeget Islands - the definitive list of Nantucket's local plant species, first published in 1996 and now outdated. 

Sandplain Grassland Restoration Research

We are investigating the use of brushcutting, soil disk harrowing and seed addition of common, native plant species as a management tool to reestablish sandplain grassland habitat and examining its effects on insects, small mammals and birds.

Salt Marsh Restoration Research

We continue to monitor the long-term vegetation community changes resulting from a salt marsh restoration project undertaken at Medouie Creek in 2008 as well as investigate causes and mitigation techniques for salt marsh die-back.

Hither Creek Salt Marsh Overwash Monitoring

We are monitoring sand deposition and salt marsh vegetation response at the southern end of Hither Creek, where a severe storm in October 2017 washed over and flatted the coastal dune, spread sand onto the marsh surface marsh and partially filled in a salt pond.

Grassland Deer Browse Research

We are determining the impact of deer browse on desirable, native flowering plant species key to sandplain grassland and coastal heathland restoration within and outside of a 50m x 50m constructed deer browse exclosure on our Sanford Farm property. 

Spotted Turtle Population Monitoring

We are investigating long-term population trends and habitat use preferences of Spotted Turtles on several Foundation proprieties. This species is considered threatened, endangered or vulnerable throughout most of its range, but appears to be thriving on Nantucket. 

Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration Project

We are working with staff from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration Cranberry Bog Program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to assess restoration options for the retired Windswept Cranberry Bog and surrounding watershed.

Ongoing Research and Monitoring

Completed Research

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