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.
Our staff are lucky to spend their professional lives trying to deepen our understanding of Great Bay. Our interest in the estuary includes investigating how people relate to Great Bay now, and how they have throughout history. Our cultural history and natural history are interdependent, and whether we are reflecting on Native American summer camps on our shores, colonial trading aboard the Gundalow, the industrial mills our rivers powered, or the current debates about the impacts of development. It is always a thrill to link specific historic activities and trends to the lands that we now steward and to be given an opportunity to interpret both the natural resource and the history of Great Bay. Last week, GBNERR hosted a Lunch and Learn that illuminated the history of a specific Wildlife Management Area within GBNERR, Glenn Cove.
Oceans are rising at an alarming rate with future predictions almost impossible to comprehend, let alone plan for. Rising seas have and will further impact coastal communities in multiple ways, including flooding to homes and businesses and salt infiltration into our drinking water, but also can have large impacts on natural ecosystems. Salt marshes, in particular, are at great risk of ‘drowning’ from sea-level-rise.
With sea level on the rise, researchers at UNH are looking into the best way to protect our coastal salt marshes. Working in collaboration with Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, researchers are able to implement different techniques to prevent salt marsh erosion due to sea level rise. This post is the first of two, highlighting two graduate students working on salt marsh resiliency and restoration techniques.
Every spring for the past 50 years, researchers of estuarine science make their annual migration to a coastal town in New England to share their latest findings. For 3 days, researchers convene to present their work often relating to water quality, seagrasses, salt marshes, fish communities, and invertebrates such as oysters, or to discuss a pressing issue such as rising seas or ocean acidification.