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…

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…

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…

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…

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…