New Hampshire’s beautiful and highly rated 13 mile slice of the Atlantic coast is a popular vacation destination in New England. So how clean are its coastal beaches? This July, citizen scientist volunteers dodged sunbathers and boogie boarders as they blitzed the beaches looking for clues, collecting samples, and taking a water quality snapshot for researchers and beach managers at North Hampton State Beach (NHSB), Jenness, and Sawyer beaches.
Effective communication and shared decision-making may lead to better outcomes for sustainability science teams working on collaborative research.
Communication affects project participants’ ongoing commitment to collaboration, their ability to combine different ideas and understand one another, and eventual project outcomes such as developing research methods, implementing new technologies, and enacting legislation.
A session at this year’s Maine Sustainability & Water Conference will look at how changes in coastal water quality are affecting – or projected to affect – beaches and shellfish beds in Maine and New Hampshire. Led by NEST researchers Kathleen Bell, UMaine and Kevin Gardner, UNH, presenters will discuss what new tools, methods, data, and collaborative approaches are available to help anticipate changes, understand the impacts of these changes, and guide regional and local responses to these changes.
“Jackie Lemaire is such a good example of what community colleges can do for bright, motivated students,” said Leslie Barber a biological science professor at Great Bay Community College. “Relatively quickly, she discovered a talent for sciences: something that our faculty also noticed. We encouraged her to pursue a major in the area of biological science, and to consider joining one of our research projects." She is currently working on a NH EPSCoR internship under Dr. Stephen Jones at UNH, testing oysters in Great Bay for the vibrio bacteria as part of the NEST project.
Maine and New Hampshire are working hard at understanding and combating the growing threat of fecal bacterial contamination and naturally occurringVibrio pathogens. In an effort to manage the threat, both Maine and New Hampshire close thousands of acres of clam flats every year, but this severely harms the states economies. A new multi-institutional research project funded by the National Science Foundation to Maine EPSCoR and New Hampshire EPSCoR seeks to both better understand and find solutions to the scourge plaguing these crucial fisheries.
Researchers, faculty, students, project coordinators, and volunteers are welcome to a UNH campus seminar, "Choosing and Using Citizen Science: Methods for Engaged Environmental Research" on Wednesday, November 12, 12:30 - 2:30 pm in Room 320 Gregg Hall at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.