Thursday, July 20, 2017

Meghan 2017

    As my fellowship winds down I have been compiling data, making a field guide, making a story map, and collecting our traps. In addition, we have also switched over from only collecting males to only collecting females. As the Summer has progressed, females are now molting. We found about 5 or 6 soft shell females at Adam's Point Landing yesterday. Dr. Bradt will be continuing the work with the females for the remainder of the Summer.
    So far we have had 27 molts out of 123 crabs that we put into individual containers. Of these 27, 5 were an orange coloration which was believed to be a terminal molt, however now we know that this isn't always the case. In addition, The size classes that grew the most were crabs with carapaces 1.8 and 2.2 inches prior to molting. There were 5 crabs in each size class that molted. On July 3rd and 4th we had the most crabs molt in one day. On both the 3rd and 4th, 4 crabs had molted. We think that this may have been because of the temperature, which was around 20 degrees Celsius.
    Next year it would be interesting to put go pros in the large tanks so we could actually see the molting process happen. Also, I was asked how many times a Summer green crabs molt and I wasn't sure about the answer. An idea for next Summer is to keep the molted crabs in the tanks and see if they molt again instead of release them or cook them like we did.
    Thank you to NH Sea Grant and the Doyle Fellowship for an awesome experience! Can't wait to see soft shell green crabs on the menu one day!
A molted green crab and its orange carapace
Kids in Ogunquit at Footbridge Beach were catching green crabs with nets and using hot dogs as bait
Thank you!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My First Week

Hello, My name is Trevor Burns, I will be a senior this coming fall at the University of New Hampshire studying Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater Biology. This summer I have the opportunity to work with Alyson Eberhardt and Caitlin Peterson thanks to the Brian E. Doyle fellowship. Throughout the next couple months I will be taking part in many coastal research and restoration projects. These projects include: sand dune restoration, glass eel monitoring, horseshoe crab surveys, and oyster restoration.
During this summer I will be creating a Story map with ArcGIS to show the work being done by the UNH Coastal Habitat Restoration Team on sand dune restoration. I am very excited to take part in these projects and learn more about the volunteer groups in the area.
On my first day I helped the UNH Coastal Habitat Restoration Team taking part in Beach grass planting on Plum island in Newburyport Massachusetts. A field trip of 40 fourth graders from a local elementary school came to help plant in the diminishing sand dune. By the end of the day we planted over 2,000 plants in the dune to help its resilience to storms.
The following week I worked on two ongoing surveys. I joined the Coastal Research Volunteers with a glass eel research project, in partnership with  New Hampshire Fish and Game, to monitor abundance and pigmentation of the eels in the Oyster river in Durham New Hampshire. Likely due to the cold wet spring we had, abundance was low this season. I also helped volunteers with an UNH graduate student’s survey on horseshoe crabs in Great Bay. There, I saw a lot of breeding pairs along the shoreline of the Great Bay Discovery Center.
Horseshoe crabs along the water at the Great Bay Discovery Center
(Greenland, NH)
On the friday of my first full week I helped Alyson and Catlin at Hampton Beach State Park transplanting common dune plants from walking paths in the dune to the Common Garden. These plants were in threat of being destroyed with upcoming human activity of summer. We carefully took these plants and added them into the Common Garden for them to grow safely. The Common Garden is used to grow native dune  plants that can help against coastal erosion. Coastal landowners can use this resource by obtaining free plants to transplant into their yards to help protect their property from future damages.

Myself watering the plants at the end of the day.
Over the next few weeks I will continue to work on these projects as well as start helping The Nature Conservancy with their oyster restoration project in Great Bay. I look forward to continuing these projects and learning more about the importance of our coastlines. Also, to continue to understand how NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension connects to NH’s citizens  the Coastal Research Volunteers, and The Nature Conservancy to help protect and sustainably use our natural resources.