Island Updates

Eight Days of Data, Sun, Hiking, and Fun (but maybe only 4 days of sun)

Twelve students from the Cambridge School of Weston (CSW) recently spent 8 days on Hurricane as an intensive field component to their Marine Biology course. The juniors and seniors in the program all had been studying field methods and reading about intertidal research prior to arriving on Hurricane, so they had a solid foundation to start their independent and small group research projects.

 Foggy morning data collection with transects and quadrats.

Foggy morning data collection with transects and quadrats.

Within a few hours of their arrival on Hurricane, students were exploring the intertidal zone, examining organisms, and asking questions. The next morning, they were in the field by 6 am, practicing using transects, quadrats, and stadia rods so they would be prepared to start collecting data for their research projects. Their topics ranged from tidepool biodiversity to seaweed fertility to hermit crab habitats to dog whelk shell erosion and more. They diligently collected data each day and thoughtfully considered many factors contributing to their results.

 Using calipers and measuring scallops as part of Hurricane's lantern net growth experiment. 

Using calipers and measuring scallops as part of Hurricane's lantern net growth experiment. 

While this group stayed focused and worked very hard, they also took moments to enjoy down time and the natural beauty of Hurricane Island. They continually expressed gratitude and joy as they appreciated meals, foggy views, seal sightings, and hikes. I remember our first perimeter hike on day 2 when a student exclaimed “whoa this is so cool and different” when we entered a wooded section of the trail. This stands out to me because I recall having the same reaction when I first walked that trail three seasons ago.

 At the end of a long day in the field, not much beats a colorful sunset like this!

At the end of a long day in the field, not much beats a colorful sunset like this!

I value the balance of hard work, gratitude, and fun that this group brought to our Hurricane community, and I wish them luck finishing up their project reports for final presentations back at school. They will upload their final project reports to their class website, where they also kept a blog of their time on Hurricane. Check it out here!  

 One of the sunny days during this program! Excellent for seaweed data collection.

One of the sunny days during this program! Excellent for seaweed data collection.

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