Here is an update on Wellesley College student and MOP intern Shira Bleicher's Summer in Maine.
This summer, I continued on my path of conservation biology, and went
up to Maine. I received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to
work at the Mount Desert Island Biological Lab in Bar Harbor, Maine. I
worked in Dr. Jane Disney's lab, on the conservation and restoration
of Zostera marina, or eelgrass, which has faced a hard path similar to
that of oysters in Boston Harbor. The eelgrass is restored to
Frenchmans Bay using a grid system, in which harvested plants are tied
to weighted grids and lowered into the intertidal zone.
the lab as a whole experimented with new biodegradable grids, which
would take out the removal step and cause less damage to the plants
after the restoration. We created the design and made each grid by
hand - this was pretty tough for our 80 grid transplant, and we had a
lot of volunteers from the community to tie plants to grids on the day
of the transplant.
Harvesting 1600 plants was also a time consuming,
back breaking challenge! We'll likely have results about the new grids
|Shira in the Lab
The lab also conducted water quality tests and red tide
monitoring, in order to ensure the safety of the community around the
bay. Each fellowship student working at the lab had to design and
conduct their own experiment relating to the overall goal of the lab,
so I spent most of my time on that. Elias Peirce, a freshman at
Bowdoin College, and I conducted an experiment that took place at 4AM
out on a lobstering boat! We collected GPS points at each trap, and
recorded everything that came up in each trap. We were able to overlay
this data over eelgrass location data that we had collected in kayaks,
in order to determine whether or not species diversity and abundance
was related to eelgrass. The results are detailed on our poster, but
we found that smaller lobsters are found closer to eelgrass,
indicating its use as a nursery. Kelp also seemed to pop up as an
interesting relation to species counts, and may be a new conservation
We are delighted to see MOP alumni making progress in their careers. Below is photo of a Maine morning taken by Shira. It did not fit with the text but was too beautiful to leave out.
|Photo credit Shira Bleicher
NJ Oyster Restoration Program Starts Again
Anupendra Sharma sent us this photo of him with his MOP hat in front of the Opera House in Norway. "The Opera House is one of the most famous buildings in Scandinavia. It is in a beautiful location on the water's edge where fresh (cool) breezes often blow."
|MOP hat sited in front of Oslo Opera House