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…

Understanding Our Data Files

By Katie Petrinec For the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to really delve into our SWMP data with the goal of providing a 10-year analysis of SWMP data [almost] since the program’s inception at the GTMNERR. Analyses of the SWMP datasets are necessary to identify estuarine impacts of events like hurricanes or prolonged droughts,…

Our station…grew?

By Shannon Dunnigan On our last visit to the GTM Research Reserve’s weather station (located within Princess Place Preserve) we found that the station was no longer grounded; there was about a six inch gap between the end of the ground wire and the grounding rod that goes into the earth. This was troubling, especially in…

Knowing where the “good” oysters are

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! This is the third 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…

Burning Blonder

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! Professor Barbara Blonder has been teaching full-time at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL for more than 10 years. She received her master’s degree from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL where she conducted research on Atlantic stingrays (Daysiatis sabina). Before returning to academia…

Introducing Norm.

By Shannon Dunnigan Happy New Year! We figured we would start this next year by introducing the smallest member of the GTM Research team: Norm. Norm [the NERR gnome] came to us in the winter of 2013 and has been a cheerful companion on our research treks ever since. He has logged many boat days,…

Serving Oysters to Henry Flagler

The following is a post from a guest writer to the NERRds! This is the second 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…

Oh, shucks! He graduated.

By Shannon Dunnigan Today, our System-Wide Monitoring Program technician and NERRd, Silas Tanner, graduates from the University of North Florida. He recently finished up a project he started last summer investigating the impacts of oyster harvesting on shell availability for larval settlement. There is concern about the sustainability of the oyster fishery given that harvesting…

Dangerous Surf Conditions

By Pam Marcum “My #1 rule of thumb for the beach is never turn your back on the water.” One of the best parts of living on the coast is the beach. Millions of people enjoy sunbathing and splashing around in the surf every day. But what seems like such a great pass-time can turn…

Oyster Stories of Northeast Florida

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

Why oysters?

By Silas Tanner, Nikki Dix, Pam Marcum, & Shannon Dunnigan Long-term monitoring of oyster populations is a big project at the GTM. If you have driven over any of the bridges in northeast Florida at low tide, you know how expansive our oyster reefs are. Here locally we have intertidal oyster reefs, which means that…

Mangroves, maintenance, monitoring, oh my!

By Shannon Dunnigan This was a very productive week for us here at the GTM. We were finally able to make it out to our weather station on Tuesday; our first trip back since before Hurricane Matthew. We arrived to find that our station not only survived the storm, but had no other damages! Phew!…

Through the grass, on the platform

By Shannon Dunnigan “The GTMNERR is biogeographically positioned at an ecotone of two different vegetation habitats…” This past week we conducted our semi-annual emergent vegetation monitoring, or “marsh monitoring” as we typically like to call it. The smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is seeding and the temperatures have been slowly dropping, which makes for beautiful field conditions…

the mosquitoes were worth it

By Shannon Dunnigan This past month we visited a sister Reserve located in Sapelo Island, Georgia. The Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) was officially designated in December of 1976. With our fantastic hosts, SINERR Research Coordinator Rachel Guy and Education Coordinator Adam Mackinnon, we got the royal treatment and were taken on an adventure…

After the storm…

By Shannon Dunnigan In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as the pictures and videos flood news networks and social media, we are all patiently [and not so patiently] waiting for our local authorities to provide us the green light to make our way back into our communities and homes. The bridges going to Jacksonville Beach…