Course description

This two week intensive field-based course is intended for students who wish to explore and gain proficiency in various research and assessment methods of terrestrial and aquatic plant communities of the Isles of Shoals, and nearby coastal habitats of the Seacoast and Great Bay Estuary. Topics covered will include quantitative survey methods, GIS-based and aerial (UAV/drone) mapping of plant communities, taxonomy and systematics of major vascular taxa, island biogeography, rare species ecology and conservation, and the management of invasive species. Through both field and classroom exercises, we will use a variety of sampling protocols to document the existing plant communities, contribute to ongoing plant community studies, investigate the floristic changes that the Isles of Shoals have experienced from past and to present, and use these data to predict trends into the future to help preserve their unique flora. Student will use skills developed in class to design and implement brief field research project in a related topic of their choice.

Outcome 1: By the end of the class, students will: Become familiar with the flora of Appledore (and possibly Star) Island and be able to distinguish native vs invasive species, rare species, and harmful (poisonous) species.

Outcome 2: Know how to conduct plant surveys and apply the appropriate methodology for their intended purpose.

Outcome 3: Document rare plant(s) using Natural Heritage's rare species occurrence forms.

Outcome 4: Map plant habitats using GPS, which may include natural communities, limits of invasive species stands, or location of isolated rare species.

Outcome 5: Contribute to an ongoing island-wide floral survey and habitat mapping effort.

Outcome 6: Produce plant habitat map(s) using GIS, Google Earth or other open source software.

Outcome 7: Understand the factors that lead to habitat stability or floristic change over time on the island.

Outcome 8: Completed a modest plant collection and prepare a selection of herbarium specimens to to stored at UNH's Hodgdon Herbarium.


One semester of introductory biology

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Previously offered classes

The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time.