Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods

Course Dates

July 2, 2018 to July 16, 2018


One semester of college-level biology.

Course Description

photo of Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods students collecting a water sample
photo of Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods students in the field

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)


Dr. Gregg Moore:

Associate Research Professor, University of New Hampshire

Watch a video about Dr. Moore's tropical habitat restoration work.

Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods 2015



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 2500 (3 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 500 (4 Credits)