Wetlands Field Research Course – Summer 2020

GEV 8300-020 – Wetlands Field Research – Summer 2020

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 estuarine metabolism, plant biomass, sediment deposition rates, organic matter decomposition, and more.
    • Research will entail long days in the field and in the boat in possibly inclement conditions (weather depending). Students should be prepared to get up early and work all day.
    • 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
      • Friday 24 July (departing Villanova at 12:00pm) and returning to campus on Monday 27 July (arriving at approximately 8:00 pm).
    • Travel, room, and board during the trip are included. No extra costs incurred by students. Students are responsible for bringing sheets (twin size), pillow-case, towel, clothing, and other personal items. Chest waders will be provided, though are not comfortable in warm weather. Students will need to bring other field clothes including a pair of old lace-up shoes (sneakers) that will get muddy.
    • Contact Dr. Weston (nathaniel.weston@villanova.edu) if you have any questions.

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

Explore the ecosystem by boat and measure estuarine metabolism

Stay in a field station right on the estuary

Measure plant biomass, sediment deposition, and organic matter decomposition

Conduct RTK-GPS surveying in the marsh