Island Science

Island Science

Nature’s Barometer

Spring on Nantucket; one day you’re frolicking in the sunshine wearing short sleeves and planning your summer garden, and the next day you’re wearing a wooly cap and down jacket to go to the grocery store. Depending on when you read this, the pendulum could be swinging in either direction. Whatever the weather, it’s always a good time to get out for a nature exploration—just make sure to dress in layers.

Island Science

Flowering Festivals Are Blooming Early

When the Nantucket Daffodil Festival began in 1975, organizers were looking for a way to celebrate spring and bring some life into the island’s shoulder seasons. That first festival was held on May 2nd. In 1980, the Nantucket Daffodil Festival moved to the last weekend in April, where it has remained ever since.

Island Science

Season Creep

Many of us have been enjoying the mild autumn we’ve had on Nantucket this year with end-of-summer temperatures lingering well into the end of September. Forget “sweater weather”: it’s been more like shorts and t-shirts into October. Even now, in mid-November, we’ve had some 60-degree days and only recently had our first frost. It’s enough to think autumn has moved into winter’s territory.

2021 Photo Contest, Anne W. Morrison, Concord, NC
Island Science

Love Is in the Air

There is a crispness in the air now as fall begins to settle in. Among the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, another change is happening. For our whitetailed deer population, fall is the most romantic time of the year: the rut.

The rut is the magical season when deer are breeding and more active than any other time of the year. Bucks have shed the velvet from their newly grown antlers and get aggressive with each other fighting for territory and female attention. The females go into estrus and everyone is “twitterpated.”

Island Science

Envisioning How to Live with Sea Level Rise

Envision Nantucket in 10 years. If you’re optimistic, you’ll be imaging our island with sea levels a foot higher than they are now.

Now envision our island community 30 years from now, with sea levels more than 3 feet higher. What can we do? How do we live with rising seas?

Envision Resilience: Designs for Living with Rising Seas is an exhibit that does just that: it presents visions of possible futures on Nantucket. Presented by Re- Main Nantucket upstairs in the Thomas Macy Warehouse at 12 Straight Wharf, this exhibit is the culmination of months of study, discussion, collaboration, and design called The Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge.

Island Science

September Is Climate Awareness Month

by Dr. Sarah Treanor Bois, PhDDirector of Research & Education at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation This September, Nantucket is once again celebrating Climate Change Awareness month. However, few people on Nantucket need to be made aware of climate change: erosion on the south and east coasts, storm surge, and […]

Island Science

Let the Island’s Wildlife Be Wild

As the old proverb goes, “If you love something, set it free…” For nature and wild things, it should be edited to read “If you love something, let it be.” There can be a fine line between loving nature and over-loving nature. This is evident at some of the most popular National Parks like Yellowstone, Arches, or Joshua Tree. Some of these most famous natural areas are getting loved to death: overcrowding, trampling vegetation, garbage, etc.

North Atlantic Right Whale
Island Science, Nantucket History & People

Standing up for the North Atlantic Right Whale

For more than 45 years Jean Rioux has advocated for the North Atlantic Right Whale and legislation to protect it. She has spent countless summers set up day and night on Main Street or Federal Street offering education, facts, and ways to help. Jean has collected thousands of signatures and shared her passion with each person signing. When COVID-19 struck the island last year, Jean was undeterred.