Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods
One semester of college-level biology.
A one-week introduction to research and assessment methods of terrestrial and aquatic plant communities of the Isles of Shoals. Topics covered will include quantitative surveys methods, GIS-based and aerial (UAV) mapping of plant communities, island biogeography, rare species conservation, and the management of invasive species. Through both field and classroom exercises, we will use a variety of sampling protocols to document the existing plant communities, investigate the floristic changes that Appledore and nearby islands have experienced from past and to present, and use these data to predict trends into the future to help preserve their unique flora.
By the end of this course, students will:
- Become familiar with the flora of Appledore Island and be able to distinguish native vs invasive species, rare species and harmful species;
- Know how to conduct plant surveys and apply the appropriate methodology for their intended purpose;
- Map and produce plant habitat maps;
- Understand th e factors that lead to habitat stability or floristic change over time on Appledore Island.
Internship opportunity: This course is recommended experience for SML's Aquatic Ecology Internship.
"We conducted hands-on field work such as laying transects, identifying botanical percent coverages in quadrats, and using GPS units to collect and organize our data. The little time we spent indoors at Shoals was devoted to data analysis. When our on-island time ended we had collected data from more than 50 transects!" - Luke Violette (SML '15, UNH '18)