The experiment

Grab your coffee and enjoy the second installment of a two-part series written by guest writer, Madison Toonder. She continues with her investigation into the effects of sunscreen on oysters. If you missed her first post (or it has been awhile since you read it) in which she discusses how she got started on her project,…

Another year of turtles

Happy New Year, NERRds! With the new year comes new intentions and goals along with reflections of the past. While we shiver from this wet, cold weather (winter? In Florida??), huddled in our offices, we are thinking about the year we just completed (and how much warmer it was). Last year brought us new projects,…

Isotopes-Isowhats?

The following is a guest post from fellow NERRd, Kaitlyn Dietz! She continues her fabulously NERRd-y series on her adventures working with sea turtles and stable isotopes. Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a post in the future! (Psst, just scroll down to the bottom of this page!) Kaitlyn Dietz is…

Slow but steady

By Pam Marcum and Shannon Dunnigan The Research sector has been working hard to install the components of the NERRS Sentinel Site Application Module-1 (SSAM-1). The SSAM-1 project uses water level and elevation to link data from the abiotic monitoring (water quality and weather) and biological monitoring (marsh ecosystem) of the System-Wide Monitoring Program to…

There is always something to be thankful for

By Pam Marcum This is the time of year that we spend a lot of time reflecting on the year that has past and planning the year to come. As I look at back at the year I see all of the things we accomplished and think, “Wow! How did we manage to get all…

Feeling thankful

By Nikki Dix I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Every Thanksgiving for the past five years, I have returned from the NERRS Annual Meeting on what we call the “annual meeting high”. Spending a week with colleagues from around the nation, discussing and debating priorities and issues related to coastal management, energizes me!  …

Grateful Monday

By Shannon Dunnigan Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on all the things we are grateful for in our lives. To kick off our week of giving thanks, we’d like to start off this Grateful Monday by acknowledging our interns and all the hard work they have done. As a research team at the GTM,…

Just another day on the water

Sometimes, you can find the silliest things on the water. We stumbled onto a floating Jack-O-Lantern in the estuary the day after Halloween. Floating along to his next spooktacular adventure… Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! Anyone else already looking forward to turkey?  

The winds did what?

By Shannon Dunnigan Hey there, it’s been a while… If you did not catch the last few posts where we NERRds have discussed the recent Hurricane Irma, I highly recommend that you check those out! The first was a piece I wrote at the beginning of my investigations into the effects of Irma in the…

Dreaming and studying

The following is a guest post from fellow NERRd, Kaitlyn Dietz! You may recognize the name from her Shuck and Tell series this past year on the blog (also, conveniently, her office is 50 steps away from ours).  We’re so excited to have her back with another fabulously NERRd-y series on her adventures working with…

The DRY side of Hurricane Irma

The effects of Hurricane Irma were felt across the entire state of Florida. I mean, she WAS huge… “It’s eye…is wide enough that peak winds could arrive at both sides of the Florida peninsula at the same time…” – Kevin Loria, Business Insider, Sep. 9, 2017 Which is fascinating in and of itself, but for…

“Big” Irma at the GTM

By Shannon Dunnigan We’re still here! It has been a crazy few weeks for us NERRds with “Big Irma” and we were unable to contribute to our monthly blog post schedule (we release new content the first and third Wednesday of every month). We hope everyone that was affected by Irma is on their way…

Spat, Life After the Journey

By Mathew Monroe and Nikki Dix For the past few years on the first week of each month with good morning low tides, we have taken a 20-mile boat ride throughout GTM NERR to track settlement of oyster spat. Spat is the stage of an oyster’s life cycle at which the mobile journey as larvae…

Eclipsing the sensor

The following post was written by a guest writer and a true fellow NERRd! Seriously, though, she works at another NERR… Kim Cressman is the Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator for Grand Bay NERR and a part of the SWMPrats team. She has a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington,…

A very crabby summer

By Nikki Dix and Shannon Dunnigan Caitlin Garvey, our summer intern, recently completed an independent research project, “Comparing the Influence of Crabs in Salt Marsh and Mangrove Habitats.” Caitlin was funded by a National Science Foundation grant administered by the University of North Florida. Using pitfall traps, she caught more crabs in salt marshes than…

What oysters have to say

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds. This is cross-posted from her very own blog, themeanderingscientist.com, which is wonderfully NERRd-y and entertaining-be sure to check it out! Carrie hails from New England where she spent a lot of time as a kid poking around tide pools. It prompted her to…

Lost and Found at the Boat Ramp

by Mathew Monroe Working as a field biologist you never know what you will see or find. Here where I work at the GTM NERR, beautiful sunrises on the water and dolphin playing are not an uncommon site. The wildlife and the natural areas are abundant surrounding the oldest city in the United States, St….

What’s R?

By Katie Petrinec Let’s recap a little… If you remember from the last post, we left off with editing the historic data files, all files prior to 2007. Using the metadata documents, we recoded all the 2003-2006 data files and added the suspect data flag and appropriate CDMO code to the data file. We then…

Swip Swap

By Shannon Dunnigan Don’t you hate it when things break? Us, too. We have been noticing signs that one of our SWMP water quality stations was likely broken for a few weeks. Also praying, at the same time, that our suspicions were wrong-they weren’t (did you see our beard post??). Our San Sebastian SWMP station…

How Madison got started

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! This is the first in a series about an investigation into the effects of sunscreen on oysters conducted by Madison Toonder. Madison is a 10th grader from FL who attends Stanford University Online High School. She aspires to be an exotic/marine animal veterinarian…

Monitoring with Florida Institute of Oceanography

By Nikki Dix Participants in Florida Institute of Oceanography’s Marine Field Studies class assisted GTM Research Reserve biologists (yes, us NERRds!) in our annual mangrove monitoring this past May. This is a multi-university intensive marine science course that exposes undergraduate students to each part of the state of Florida. While with the GTM biologists, students…

It’s always an adventure!

Hi, I’m Bailey, the GTMNERR research intern for summer 2017! A little bit about me – I’m a senior undergraduate Coastal Biology major at the University of North Florida. I am so thankful to be a part of the GTM team this summer, and if you see me around the educational center, I will surely…

Re-Coding Our Data Files

By Katie Petrinec Let me begin with where we left off last… After realizing that our dataset contained turbidity values that exceed 1000 NTUs. We realized that further steps were needed in preparing the data before we could begin any sort of analyses. If we were noticing these patterns in the turbidity data, what about…

How do you choose a site?

By Pam Marcum The GTM Research Reserve is almost 74,000 acres spanning from Palm Valley to Palm Coast. That’s a lot of area to cover, so how did we decide where we should focus our Sentinel Site Application Module 1 (SSAM-1)? It started with evaluating what we already had in place. Our System Wide Monitoring…

The sessile oyster has footprints?

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! This is the last installment in a five part series on oyster stories of northeast Florida. Kaitlyn Dietz is currently the Coastal Training Program Specialist at the GTM Research Reserve. Kaitlyn attended Georgia College and State University for her B.S. degree in Biology (2012)….

From Big Data to Big Picture…An Introduction to Sentinel Sites

By Pam Marcum Our long-term monitoring programs collect a lot of data and it is very easy to get lost sifting through it all during analysis. There are millions of small questions that we can answer and specific patterns we can pick out, but what about the ‘bigger picture’ questions? Questions like “What ecological response…

Local oysters and clams taste better

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! This is the fourth in a five part series on oyster stories of northeast Florida! Be sure to look out for more! Kaitlyn Dietz is currently the Coastal Training Program Specialist at the GTM Research Reserve. Kaitlyn attended Georgia College and State University for her…

Our sonde grew a beard

By Shannon Dunnigan Biofouling can be a bunch of things…aggravating, gross, stinky, harmful, disastrous, interesting, impressive, but also comical. We retrieved one of our data loggers (sondes) from the field this week that looked like it had gone and grown a beard. Bryozoans are generally the main culprit in the biofouling of our sondes (along…

Collaboration in mapping and monitoring of Florida’s oysters

By Silas Tanner & Nikki Dix The first Oyster Integrated Mapping and Monitoring Program (OIMMP) meeting was held February 23-24 at the GTMNERR. OIMMP, which is led by the FWRI Coastal Wetlands Group, aims to inventory oyster mapping and monitoring programs around the state, enhance communication among practitioners, identify data gaps, and initiate pilot-scale mapping…