Island Science

Nantucket Field Station
Island Science

Stations in the Field

 • by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • I have a picture of myself with some high school friends arm in arm standing in the middle of a field facing the camera. The image always solicits an obvious “oldie but goody” joke, typical nostalgia for […]

Firefly
Island Science

Summer Pyrotechnics – Fireflies

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • The gentle glowing of fireflies that surround me at the UMass Boston Nantucket Field station is a welcome summer visitor.  I was surprised when a group of students from Worcester was shocked and delighted to see these […]

Invasive Species on Nantucket
Island Science

Native or Washashore?

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • A Biological Search for the Indigenous Life on Nantucket Not all readers of this column may know the term washashore which is used by natives to refer to newcomers who live on Nantucket who were not born […]

Water Defense
Island Science

Water Defense to the Rescue

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • A few months ago I attended a water quality presentation up at the Massachusetts State House at the invitation of my friend and our most excellent Cape and island House Representative Tim Madden and island buddy Bob […]

Island Science

Abundance of Squid

by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station It’s been four years since I last wrote about squid, and their eggs have been washing up around our island during the last two weeks. It looks like we may have a good population of squid this year. Squid […]

Lady Slippers
Island Science

New in Nature

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • Spring has sprung and summer is almost upon us. Everywhere you look on island flowers are blooming, turtles are crossing the road, and insects are waking up to enjoy the warm sunny days. Several notable natural occurrences, […]

American Oystercatcher
Island Science

American Oystercatchers: Fine feathered friends Part 1

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • Living at the UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station gives me the opportunity to observe the wonderful diversity of bird life that defines Nantucket. Spring signals the return of piping plovers, oystercatchers and osprey along with the wading […]

Nantucket Vernal Pools
Island Science

Magical Kingdom of Vernal Ponds

• by Dr. Sarah Oktay, Director, University of Massachusetts Nantucket Field Station • Spring is vernal pond season. All over the island, creatures who have adapted to the unusual conditions that are inherent in a vernal pond are hatching and going through a variety of stages as they progress to […]