It’s Brown University graduate student and Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellow, Sarah Corman! Sarah is working on the effect of global change on a salt marsh plant called cord grass (Spartina alterniflora). She is studying the effect of temperature on biomass allocation. What is plant biomass? It is living or recently living plant material which contains stored energy from the sun. This information can be helpful in directing salt marsh conservation efforts . Using a latitudinal gradient of NERRS sites from Massachusetts to South Carolina will provide a valuable regional perspective on the future of salt marsh productivity. Welcome to Delaware, Sarah!
The Reserve researchers are often busy keeping “an eye” on the quality of the water in the St. Jones River and Blackbird Creek. This is an important part of the research conducted at the Reserve. The researchers are monitoring the water quality as part of a program called the System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP; pronounced “swamp” which is utilized by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (a system of 27 Reserves around the United States). SWMP is used to track short-term and long-term changes in the waters of the estuary (areas where fresh water and salt water meet) to understand how human activities and natural events can change ecosystems. As part of this monitoring, nutrients are collected twice a month; once through grab samples and once through diel sampling (shown in the photos). The diel samples are collected over a complete tidal cycle every 2.5 hours. For more information about SWMP and to look at the data being collected at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve and the other 26 Reserves visit the following website: http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu/
How great it is to get outside and explore! Well, that is exactly what these young Delawareans did on July 15 as they participated in the 2010 Estuary Explorers’ Mini-Camp at the St. Jones Reserve. They discovered that an estuary was an area where fresh water and salt water meet. They journeyed to a local beach to learn more about one of Delaware’s precious estuaries, the Delaware Bay and what plants and animals live there. The campers were able to help some stranded horseshoe crabs back to the water so they have a chance to live another day. One of our campers pointed out the black skimmers that flew right passed us doing what they do best…skimming the water! It was a fun-filled day full of adventure! We encourage you to get outside and go on an adventure of your own!
Written on: July 9th, 2010 in Education & Outreach
Ladies, have you ever wanted to learn how to fish, hunt, canoe, drive a boat, join in the fun of archery, geo-cache, or perhaps learn gun safety? Come and join us for the 2010 “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program on August 27-29 at Camp Arrowhead in Lewes, Delaware. This is a fun filled weekend for women of all outdoor abilities…no experience is necessary. Don’t be afraid to try something new! For registration and more information about the program visit us on the Delaware’s BOW webpage.
Written on: July 2nd, 2010 in Education & Outreach
What is an Estuary? Here is a video response…