Citizen Science at LLNF

Research at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation focuses on studies that promote our mission to preserve, protect, and understand Nantucket's biologically diverse ecosystems. To that aim, our research program includes in-house studies on the island’s flora and fauna while also supporting the research of others who use the LLNF property as a “living laboratory”. We collaborate on innovative studies both on and off-island broadening our scientific reach.

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Phenology - field observations

LLNF uses the National Phenology Network protocols to investigate how some of our native species are responding to changes in climate. Since 2014 we have been tracking eight species of common, native shrubs, the native eastern tent caterpillar, and (since 2018) the state-listed Sandplain Blue-eyed Grass.

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grazing and browsing exclusion

LLNF established a deer exclosure study as part of an effort to understand what is shaping the plant communities on the property. LLNF hosts a very healthy population of white-tailed deer. Their grazing and winter browsing are part of what “manages” the landscape.

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Precipitation with cocorahs

To complement our field phenology observations, LLNF conducts winter twig experiments. Since 2017, these experiments have been used to mimic earlier and earlier spring-like temperatures, as predicted in our region with global climate change. These experiments have also been used in our volunteer and educational programs.

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Sandplain Blue-eyed grass

Beginning in 2019, LLNF will undertake a new demographic study of Sandplain Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium fuscatum). This state-listed species of special concern occurs throughout the LLNF property, making it an ideal spot for observation and study.


Questions about our Programming?

Research at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation is led by the Director of Research and Education, Dr. Sarah Bois. Feel free to reach out to her with questions, research interests, and opportunities for collaboration.