Stories from the Field: Missteps and Lessons Learned

Stories from the Field: Missteps and Lessons Learned

Anyone who has participated in fieldwork has learned the valuable lesson: expect the unexpected. Even when you’ve prepared for every “what if” scenario, something will inevitably happen where you need to think quickly on your feet; whether that is pushing a boat across a mudflat to chase the outgoing tide, saving a boat from sinking using the shirts off your back, showing up to your first day of fieldwork with everything but a writing utensil, or finding make-shift tools in the field.

UNPACKING A SEA OF GREEN: WHY PLANTS GROW WHERE THEY DO IN A SALT MARSH

UNPACKING A SEA OF GREEN: WHY PLANTS GROW WHERE THEY DO IN A SALT MARSH

Many people recognize the firey hue glasswort brings to a salt marsh as it turns red in the fall. Even from a distance, those with a discerning eye can pick out the bands of low marsh that fringe the water’s edge. Real connoisseurs of drive-by marsh plant identification can even pick out the dusty grey-green of spike grass (Distichlis spicata) interwoven with the backdrop of salt marsh hay (Spartina patens), but why do these plants grow in the places they do?

NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, Nikki Vanelli

NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, Nikki Vanelli

Thanks to the funding of the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, I was able to get a 10-week experience of a lifetime here at Great Bay. I’ll be going into my senior year at Salve Regina University with field, lab, and professional experience that support my pursuit of an Environmental Studies degree.

Margaret A. Davidson Fellow, Anna Lowien

Margaret A. Davidson Fellow, Anna Lowien

As the inaugural Margaret A. Davidson Fellow at Great Bay NERR, graduate student Anna Lowien, is excited to be investigating the biogeochemistry of Great Bay Estuary. Biogeochemistry refers to the study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes that influence the movement of nutrients (i.e. nitrogen and phosphorus) and carbon throughout an ecosystem or even the globe.