Research Presentation Information

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UMass Boston’s School for the Environment
Nantucket Semester: LivingLabs
Learn about the on-island science research conducted by the undergraduates during their semester here!

Student Research Poster Session: One-on-one discussions of 16 independent research projects through visual displays
Wednesday, 17 April from 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Student Research Presentation: Five Capstone research presentations ranging across human and natural systems
Thursday, 18 April from  5:00 – 8:00 PM

All free and open to the public at the Great Hall, Atheneum  – – JOIN US !

Contact Sarah Oktay for further information –

Another week has passed and Nantucket island has grown a little more on me.  I was supposed to meet up with a fisherman to go scalloping and do some bycatch assessment, but due to the storm that was delayed until this week which should be very productive being able to go scalloping with a couple different fisherman which should go better.  Its almost like it should’ve happened this way, with being able to get more data than going out once would’ve last week.  I can’t wait to fish and get to know the island from the water.  The fisherman are what make this great island, and I get to hang out with them and learn from them, you knowwwww!!

New week, New Class

We finished our 2nd class of the semester, Hydrology, with Professor Ellen Douglas, where we learned about the movement of water in the atmosphere, along with some helpful excel techniques and equations. This week we are starting our next class, Marine and Coastal Ecological Research, with Professor Beth Boyle. We will be researching the adaptations and interactions of organisms of the beaches, salt marshes, sand dunes and embayments of Nantucket.  I am very much excited to spend most of our time on the field, learning about the marine ecosystems Nantucket has to offer, and to use this information in the development of my capstone and independent project. I want to personally thank all the guest speakers that came to our Hydrology class, as well as to our Professor Ellen Douglas.

Groundwater Tour

Its now 5 weeks into the program and I cannot believe how fast time is passing by. These 5 weeks have been very eventful, from educational field trips to dealing with the intense blizzards/snow storms. This past week, as part of our Hydrology class, we were able to go on a tour with Emily McKinnon of the Nantucket Land Council. She lead us around the island to take monthly water level measurements. Then in class we used Darcy’s law (which is an equation that describes the flow of a liquid through a porous material) to find out Nantucket’s groundwater flux, seepage velocity and travel time. With that information we also created a contour map of Nantucket groundwater. It was an amazing learning experience, and I would like to give an special thanks to Emily Mckinnon for the tour.


Invasive Species?

This week, I spent some time learning what it’s like to be a shellfisher. I spent about 2 hours shucking the meat out of scallop shells. I then had to clean and dry the shells for lab testing, only to be advised after completing my Herculean task that I would further have to clean the shells (as well as all the other samples I collect) again at the lab. Apparently this was a preliminary cleaning. Through my labor I learned something of great interest. I found a total of three small crabs inside the scallops. At first this scared me, until I realized that these crabs were dead and their pincers weren’t large enough to inflict any damage. Thanks, evolution! Anyway, I now feel the need to investigate the possible symbiosis between scallops and crabs, if one exists. Maybe these crabs had crawled into the shells after they had been dredged. The possibilities are endless!

The Takeover

Three weeks ago today, the takeover of 17 EEOS students arrived on the island of Nantucket with vision and passion (and a beard).  The program had officially began with Len Germinara teaching our opening Ecopoetics class, that seemed to have a profound affect on all of us.  Len, who was an amazing teacher by the way and opened up a creative side in me I never thought existed.  The house came together within three weeks as a team, like the environment “Harmony”.  Adjusting to the schedule and participating in events here on Nantucket settled us in.  I think the best part of coming down here was everyone having the right positive attitude, that we were here to do our study and take over the island metaphorically.  In all actuality the island seemed to have an inspring affect on everyone and took us over.


What eco-poetics taught me



Obligatory Evolution


When changes are made

To the nature of a place

Weather’s high temperature

become the climate change

Affecting the landscape of the earth


All this changes made us happen

Some species survive it

Others don’t

Dinosaurs no longer exist

Humans appear

It is part of the natural cycle of Evolution

We say,

Overtaking environments

We are,

Expecting animals to accommodate

to our strange habits

Shouldn’t we be considered

Invasive species?


This poem summarizes the essence of Eco-poetics, which is poetry that embraces the environment. Taking this course was an amazing experience. I am very thankful to our instructor Len, and cannot wait for the rest of the semester.

Thoughts during a storm

Firstly, I suppose that I should introduce myself. My name is Richie Corrado. I’m in my second semester for my BS in EEOS. We’ve been on island for about two and a half weeks, and the time here has been amazing. We just wrapped up Ecopoetics with Len Germinara, and I have to say it was one of the best English classes I’ve ever had, and believe me I’ve had quite a few. Len gave us an interesting perspective on how to express our thoughts and emotions on nature, the island, and life in general from a different angle, one that I’ve never seen before. I look forward to running into Len and possibly writing some more for the rest of our time on island. Yesterday evening, I attended the Shellfish Advisory Board meeting with Sophia and Ashley. It was a great opportunity to look firsthand at what some of the issues we will be facing are, and really helped to show us specific areas of concern that we might not have thought of otherwise. We have our work cut out for us, but it’s a welcomed challenge, as long as we can get through this storm!