Visiting Researchers

Shoals Marine Laboratory invites visiting scientists (faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, independent researchers) to make use of SML facilities on Appledore Island as a base for research as they pursue opportunities created by the unique and unspoiled marine and terrestrial habitats of the Isles of Shoals.

Allocation of space and services (lab space, vessel availability, housing) is dependent upon the needs of our academic program. Our goal is to make your research visit to Appledore Island a productive, pleasant, and efficient use of your time and resources. We offer several guidelines below and we are happy to address any questions. Interested researchers should first submit a research proposal.

Preparing a Research Proposal

Researchers interested in conducting research at SML should submit a descriptive research proposal three months (12 weeks) prior to the project start date. Proposals should be emailed to Dr. David Buck,, and include the following information:

  • One-page abstract of your proposed research (provide as a separate document)
  • Proposed research dates on Appledore Island
  • Names of all researchers who will be on-island, with specific arrival/departure dates
  • Laboratory and/or sea-table requirements/requests
  • Field collections:
    • What species and numbers?
    • When/where on Appledore will you make these collections? (see  island maps)
    • What methods of collection will you use?
    • Field safety protocols

Collection Permits and IACUC Protocols

Researchers are responsible for their own collection permits and IACUC protocols. SML will require copies. Please contact with questions.

Preparing For Your Trip to Appledore Island

Confirm a quote for on-island research fees with SML's Island Coordinator.
Please contact SML's Island Coordinator or Associate Director to make boat requests.
Review the Getting to Shoals page for transportation and parking details (SML does not provide parking for researchers).
Consider scheduling a rain date/inclement weather date if only coming to Appledore for day trips.
Facilities available to researchers

Researcher Conduct & Forms

  • All visiting researchers should review the Island Campus page, especially the Appledore Handbook.
  • Undergraduate researchers are expected to follow SML's Code of Conduct for students.
  • All researchers must complete the necessary forms before arriving on Appledore Island. Once your research proposal is approved, you will be sent instructions for filling out the forms and waivers.

Fees and Billing

Visiting researchers will be invoiced by the SML office after the trip. Payment must be received in a timely fashion. Invoices will be processes through the University System of New Hampshire.


Researcher Spotlight!


Katie Sirianni, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University, hops from rock pool to rock pool along the coast of Appledore to collect samples. Katie made a special trip with SML staff to Appledore Island in January 2014 for winter sampling. She spends her main field season each summer on the island, studying the dynamics of rock pool food webs.

Katie is a member of Dr. Nelson Hairston's Lab.