Wetlands Field Research Course – Summer 2019 and Fall 2019

GEV 8300-020 – Wetlands Field Research – Summer 2019

GEV 8300-001 – Wetlands Field Research – Fall 2019

(note that students may not take this course multiple times)

1 credit

    • Undertake research as part of a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in Plum Island, MA, to evaluate how climate change and land-use change influences tidal marsh ecosystems. This is an immersive field research experience in the marshes and estuaries of Plum Island over a long weekend during summer session II.  Research will include measuring the import and export of materials in tidal marsh systems through a full tidal cycle, assessing the water-atmosphere greenhouse gas flux, and determining rates of organic matter decomposition.
    • Assessment will be based on participation in the field work, data analysis of a portion of the research conducted on the trip, and the completion of a short methods and results section of a scientific paper (due after the completion of the trip).
    • Students will travel by van to Plum Island, MA on
      • Summer course: Friday 19 July (departing Villanova at 12:00pm) and returning to campus on Monday 22 July (arriving at approximately 8:00 pm).
      • Fall course: Friday 11 October (departing Villanova at 12:00pm) and returning to campus on Monday 14 October (arrive at approximately 8:00pm).
    • Travel, room, and board during the trip are included. No extra costs incurred by student.
    • Research will entail long days in the field in possibly inclement conditions (weather depending). Chest waders will be provided. Students will need to bring other field clothes.

Conduct research in tidal marshes and estuaries of Plum Island, MA

Determine exchange of water, sediment, carbon, and nitrogen between the marsh and estuary over a full tidal cycle

Explore the ecosystem by boat

Measure the exchange of CO2, CH4, and N2O between the aquatic ecosystem and atmosphere.


Stay in a field station right on the estuary.