Science Connects Volunteers to Great Bay
“Involve me and I learn.” Every year, research volunteers at New Hampshire’s Great Bay Reserve learn this lesson—often by getting their hands dirty and their boots muddy! In 2019, local community members donated more than 200 hours of support gathering data on water quality, saltmarsh vegetation, species diversity, and human impacts on the estuary.
In the process, these volunteers not only expanded the Reserve’s capacity to serve coastal decision-makers through critical research, they also became better-informed about the bay. Spending a summer working with a Reserve scientist is a great way to learn how migrating marshes can help to mitigate the effects of sea level rise or how rapid changes in plant and animal populations can mean trouble in an estuarine ecosystem.
Monitoring environmental change over time is one of the best ways to contribute to informed decisions about the long-term health of our estuaries and coasts. The Great Bay Reserve has been creating citizen scientists and advocates for our coasts, our oceans, and our planet for decades.