Island Science

Island Science

I’ll be Your Huckleberry

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station There is a wide range of fun and fulfilling things to do on Nantucket in the summertime, from surf-casting on the south shore, lounging with a good book at the beach, walking on the moors, or shopping downtown. […]

Island Science

Nature’s Thermometers – Cicadas

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station Insects are an important part of summer and of our collective impression of the passing seasons. When I reflect upon a quintessential summer, I think of June bugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, perhaps on more cynical days, deer flies, mosquitoes, […]

Island Science

Deer Fly, Don’t Bother Me

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station If you happen to see me walking around the field station maniacally slapping my head, just keep walking. We have had a beautiful, sunny, extremely dry summer. The ponds and groundwater are lower and the freshwater mosquitoes have […]

Island Science

Milkweed Paradise

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station The summer of 2012 so far has been hot and dry and that has been a real boon for many of our sun loving plants like the magnificent milkweeds dotting the landscape. Perhaps no other plant provides such […]

Island Science

Itchy & Scratchy: Poison Ivy

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station There are so many things to love about Nantucket that I kind of hate to even bring up anything that isn’t awesome about the island. But there is one thing I do hate about the island, and that […]

Island Science

Tooth and Nail – Ivory throughout the Ages

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station For the second time this past week I was fortunate to be in the Nantucket Whaling Museum accompanying a group of students.  Each year I take 10-15 groups there and I never tire of seeing the exhibits.  I […]

Island Science

Squirrels – Fluffy Invaders

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station Every time I drive down the Field Station road, I see the same gray squirrel run across the road in almost the exact same location. Today he was followed by a second squirrel and I immediately thought, “there […]

Island Science

Turtle Crossing

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station While walking my dog Swegen at Windswept Bog this past week, I noticed signs installed by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation reminding visitors that June is turtle nesting month.  Within ten minutes I found a nesting painted turtle and […]

Island Science

Creatures of the Night

by Dr. Sarah D. Oktay Managing Director UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station As part of the recent Nantucket Biodiversity Assessment Week program, we set up a couple of moth sheets at the field station and used two different types of lights (UV or “black lights” and mercury vapor lights) to […]