CITIZEN SCIENCE WEEKEND HISTORY

 

NBI has been hosting a field science event in alternate, even years since 2004. The event started as a weeklong BioBlitz and shifted to an interactive, island-wide Citizen Science Weekend in 2014 designed to get EVERYONE out exploring and researching the natural biodiversity of Nantucket.


 
UMass Boston students learning about mole crabs.

UMass Boston students learning about mole crabs.

Hatching

One of NBI's first actions in early June of 2004 was the designation of 25, 10-hectare (100-acre) biodiversity research plots in representative habitats across the island. These plots provide study sites to inventory Nantucket’s diverse species and plan for their continued survival through long-term collaborative conservation efforts. Devoted to documenting the biodiversity of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, Muskeget and surrounding waters by collaborations between visiting and on-island scientists, the NBI offered a biodiversity week to connect curious, environmentally conscious citizens with the island’s natural world and the scientists studying it.


Evolving

Today, instead of six days, the Citizen Science Weekend takes place over a three-day weekend beginning with a keynote speaker on Friday night and public events on Saturday and Sunday. Every other year, scientists and naturalists converge on Nantucket for this weekend of biodiversity related inventory work, research and public education. The timing of the weekend varies from year to year in an effort to observe and document a wider variety of species at different stages of their respective life cycles. Experts in plant identification, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals and other taxa spend the weekend leading walks, recording species lists, conducting research and networking. Anyone interested in learning about the biodiversity of Nantucket is welcome to participate.

Checking turtle traps and looking for tadpoles.

Checking turtle traps and looking for tadpoles.


Birders photographing an active osprey nest on Hummock Pond.

Birders photographing an active osprey nest on Hummock Pond.

Exploring

Past field trips and public events have included topics and titles such as “Liken’ Lichen”, “Battling Aliens on Nantucket” “Exploring Folger’s Marsh”, "Behavioral Ecology and Conservation of Snapping Turtles", a Herpetological walk with Tobias Landberg, a Smooth Hummocks Sandplain Grasslands Walk, bird-banding at Edith Andrews’ house on Long Pond, dragonfly and damselfly catching and identification along Miacomet Pond, and “Spiders on a Friendly Basis”.