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Nantucket Grasses in the Limelight

By Kelly A. Omand | June 24, 2021 | Comments Off on Nantucket Grasses in the Limelight

With wildflowers distracting the eye with bursts of bright color, it’s often easy to overlook some of the island’s most common plants, grasses, many of which are blooming right now. While most grass species lack brilliant colors and have small flowers, they are an important part of the ecosystem, feeding many familiar herbivores, from voles…

Meet Our 2021 Coatue Ranger

By Neil Foley | June 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Meet Our 2021 Coatue Ranger

By Bret “Malibu” Tetreault If two truths and a lie were a tournament sport I would be the undeniable best. It’s usually an easier task for me to name the cool things I haven’t done yet, like visit Mars. Have I swam a couple hundred yards of class-5 whitewater (twice). I have! Have I ever…

Meet our 2021 Seasonal Field Assistants!

By Jen Karberg | June 10, 2021 | Comments Off on Meet our 2021 Seasonal Field Assistants!

Each field season (~May-October), the Science and Stewardship Department of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation welcomes seasonal field assistants to help us do all manner of ecological field work. Our field assistants are often on Nantucket for the first time, coming from various different places around the country. Come meet and learn a little about this…

Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Science Showcase Event – June 7-13, 2021

By Danielle O'Dell | June 3, 2021 | Comments Off on Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Science Showcase Event – June 7-13, 2021

We are happy to share that the Science and Stewardship team at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation will be participating in a very exciting collaborative event next week as part of the the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) Science Showcase Week. The NBI is hosting a full week of opportunities for the Nantucket community to enjoy. All…

Finding Horseshoe Crabs on the Beach? Here’s how to help!

By Jen Karberg | May 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Finding Horseshoe Crabs on the Beach? Here’s how to help!

Its spring on Nantucket and as we return to the island’s beaches, there are many treasures to find! This year, the really low tides around our full and new moons, one of the most common things on the beach seems to be horseshoe crabs – left high and partially dry by retreating tides. Why are…

Protecting Nantucket’s Rare Species: What, How and Why?

By Karen C. Beattie | May 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Protecting Nantucket’s Rare Species: What, How and Why?

Nantucket is home to a remarkably high number of rare and endangered species. These plants and animals occur here for many of the same reasons that people find Nantucket so special­­–its undeveloped conservation lands and unique, windswept vegetation communities. Nantucket County has one of the highest concentrations of rare and endangered species in Massachusetts: of…

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…