LTER Roadtrip – Baltimore’s Waterways are Getting Salty

Dan Dillon, Ben Glass-Siegel, Nate Vandiver, and I stood at the edge of a Baltimore road. Cars whizzed by overhead as Glass-Siegel and Vandiver picked their way through dense grass to the river running swiftly beneath the bridge, the blades swishing against their long pants as they blazed a path to the rocky shoreline. Glass-Siegel…

LTER Roadtrip – Using Tree Rings to Solve Mysteries

I like to think of Dr. Neil Pederson as a detective. We met in his office at the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research site (HFR-LTER), on the second floor of one of their many beautiful buildings in what feels like a college campus. Multiple sections of tree trunks sit here and there, polished so…

LTER Road Trip – Invasive Species Removal

Students gathered at a saltmarsh site in Massachusetts, taking a break from their regular school day routine to remove invasive perennial pepperweed plants from among the bushes and marsh grasses. Originally from West Asia and Europe, the leafy pepperweed can grow 2-5 feet tall, blooming with small, white, four-petaled flowers. Unfortunately, left alone the pepperweed…

LTER Road Trip – Tracking Change in a Tidal Marsh

Samuel Kelsey and I sped quickly through the marsh in one of the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER (PIE-LTER) site’s motor boats, zipping up our sweaters against the stiff ocean breezes despite the sunny skies of mid-June. The tide was low, and the brown marsh sides rose like miniature cliffs around us. Here and there, pieces…

10000 Birds – Clark’s Nutcrackers

In the fall of 2017, my mother and favorite birding buddy visited the mountains of Montana for a fishing trip. While hiking along a river, she spotted a large, gray and black bird on the branch of a tree. Upon returning, she raved about her new favorite species: the Clark’s Nutcracker. I’ve been dying to see…

CBA – Coastal Dune Lakes & Co-existing

In early May of 2018, Eastern Lake in Walton County burst through a sand barrier. Water rushed through the newly created opening into the Gulf of Mexico, mixing the brown-hued currents of the lake with the bright green waves of the saltwater. Eastern Lake was experiencing an outfall event. Read more in the Seaside Times!…

LTER Road Trip: Exploring the Eddy Flux Towers

Samuel Kelsey, Inke Forbich, and I loaded into the boat at the Plum Island Ecosystem Long Term Ecological Research site (PIE-LTER) dock. The tide was high, water lapping against the mud banks of the marsh creek. Smooth cordgrass waved slightly in the ocean breezes above the shoreline, showing off their early summer emerald hues. Where…

LTER Road Trip: Science and Education on the Water

Every month, Field Technician Tim Montgomery loads his equipment onto a center console motorboat and heads off into the marshes surrounding Sapelo Island, Georgia. Over the course of several hours, he stops at multiple sites to check on the Georgia Coastal Ecosystem LTER network of data loggers continually collecting water quality parameters as they gently…