ornithologist retrieving osprey from trap

With help from our fantastic partners, the Reserve hosted an inaugural Great Bay Research Symposium in October 2022 to foster more management relevant research about Great Bay. We ‘sold out’ with 60 people joining the day-long event, including 35 researchers and students from 4 universities and staff from 10 management agencies and nonprofits.

Presentations centered around three ecological communities of Great Bay – salt marshes, seagrasses, and shellfish. Talks and interactive exercises were designed to share the latest science, spark ideas for future work, facilitate networking, and promote the Reserve as a “living laboratory”.  See: Symposium Agenda and Participant List

At the end of the Symposium, the group identified and prioritized “bold research ideas for Great Bay.” A couple themes emerged: there was lots of interest in studying the interactions between oysters and eelgrass and how these two key stone species work together to provide ecosystem benefits, and there was a desire to create a forum for research and restoration professionals to come together more often and compare notes. The “crowdsourced” research ideas were summarized in this product, which could help new collaborations emerge and could be referenced in a grant proposal to demonstrate community interest in a topic. See: Crowdsourced Bold Research Ideas for Great Bay

We loved hearing comments like these from participants: “This was very well-run, engaging, and worthwhile. I hope we can do something similar on a regular basis.” and “Very well organized. Great group of folks in attendance. Excellent lunch :)”. The Reserve is now considering ways to regularly host research symposiums around different, timely themes.


Special thank you to our inaugural symposium planning committee:
Brianna Group, The Nature Conservancy
Stephen Jones, NH Sea Grant
Trevor Mattera, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
Chris Peter, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Cory Riley, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Lynn Vaccaro, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve