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Sassafras in Springtime

By Kelly A. Omand | May 7, 2021 | Comments Off on Sassafras in Springtime

At home colonizing old fields transitioning to woods, sassafras (Sassafras albidum) can be found around Nantucket, from the maturing forests of Squam to small, scattered stands in the Serengeti area of the Middle Moors, and miniature thicket forests in Tom Nevers, where they endure harsh winds and salt spray directly off the Atlantic. Perhaps best…

Could a Piping Plover be Your Spirit Animal?

By Libby Buck | April 30, 2021 | Comments Off on Could a Piping Plover be Your Spirit Animal?

What type of beach goer are you? Do you prefer your own private beach for miles or like to be right next to your neighbor? Depending on your answer, you may be very similar to a Piping Plover! Yes, Piping Plovers are little grey and white birds with an orange beak with a black tip…

Beware of Beetles! Southern Pine Beetles March Northward

By Danielle O'Dell | April 23, 2021 | Comments Off on Beware of Beetles! Southern Pine Beetles March Northward

In the coming weeks, we at the Conservation Foundation will begin annual surveillance for the presence of southern pine beetles on Nantucket and we could use your help searching for potentially infested trees! The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) is a tiny, blackish-brown beetle, approximately 2-4 mm in size, that’s less than 1/8 of an…

Red Maple Tricks of the Trade

By Kelly A. Omand | April 7, 2021 | Comments Off on Red Maple Tricks of the Trade

Red maple (Acer rubrum) is a common and widespread tree species that has grown only more abundant as North America’s forests have been repeatedly logged and forest composition has shifted with the deletion of once-common species like American elm (Ulmus americana) and American chestnut (Castanea dentata) which suffered near extinction in the wild due to…

Planning for Summer Pond Management Projects

By Karen C. Beattie | April 1, 2021 | Comments Off on Planning for Summer Pond Management Projects

April is a busy transition time for ecologists. Winter data analysis and writing projects need to get wrapped up. Early season field work – such as nesting shorebird and turtle monitoring – gets underway. Planning and preparation for other projects that will be taking place over the coming summer, which once seemed very far away,…

Dune Stabilization at Millie’s Bridge

By Jen Karberg | March 25, 2021 | Comments Off on Dune Stabilization at Millie’s Bridge

by: Jen Karberg, Ph.D.; Science and Stewardship, Research Program Supervisor To celebrate the first week of spring, volunteers from island conservation groups and Madaket homeowners gathered together (socially distant!) to finally stabilize the washover dune area near the Millie’s Bridge end of Hither Creek. In about 5 hours, we planted approximately 5000 plugs of beach…

Who’s Who-ooo: Our Nantucket Owls

By Libby Buck | March 12, 2021 | Comments Off on Who’s Who-ooo: Our Nantucket Owls

by: Libby Buck, Ecological Stewardship & Research Technician Have you ever wondered how many species of owls you can see on Nantucket? Right now (March-April) is the magical time of year where you could be lucky enough to encounter up to 5 different species right here on our delightful island. Our owls include common species…

A New Publication for NCF on Nantucket’s Spotted Turtles of Medouie Creek

By Danielle O'Dell | March 3, 2021 | Comments Off on A New Publication for NCF on Nantucket’s Spotted Turtles of Medouie Creek

We have great news to share from NCF’s Science and Stewardship Department! The scientific journal Wetlands Ecology and Management recently published our manuscript titled “Changes to spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) habitat selection in response to a salt marsh restoration”. The work referenced in this manuscript stems from a long-term research project on changes to spotted…

Winter Botany: Sneaky Photosynthesis

By Kelly A. Omand | February 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Winter Botany: Sneaky Photosynthesis

One of the complaints people make during winter and early spring in New England is how much they miss the color of foliage and flowers from the warmer months. In past NCF Science blog articles we’ve explored some of Nantucket’s evergreens (such as pine, cedar, and American holly), looked at the underlying architecture and details…

Survival Strategies for Wildlife in Winter

By Danielle O'Dell | February 11, 2021 | Comments Off on Survival Strategies for Wildlife in Winter

With Nantucket’s first real stretch of cold this winter and even some recent snow fall, it leads one to wonder about how wildlife survive constant exposure to wicked coastal New England weather. Even the most cynical wildlife biologist might find themselves “feeling badly” for the critters. How do they survive the bitter cold and windy…