DV-17-20 Developing consistent methods to collect biological data at field stations across the Gulf of Maine

Hannah Webber
Schoodic Institute
Winter Harbor, ME

Dan DenDanto
EMC Blair Research Station
Mount Desert Rock, ME

The Northeastern Coastal Stations Alliance (NeCSA) is a newly formed network of ten small field stations spanning the Gulf of Maine. The Alliance seeks to support data collection and data sharing across the stations and enhance training opportunities and public outreach to communicate the implications of environmental change in the Gulf of Maine. In the summer of 2016 stations began collecting intertidal temperature data using a uniform deployment protocol and set of field equipment.

The field station network now turns its attention to the collection of data on intertidal plants and animals, with a goal of building long-term, Gulf-wide datasets. To collect survey data on intertidal biota at the different field stations, the network needs a set of uniform protocols, training materials, and data management tools. The Alliance has drafted a set of protocols to support standardized data collection; however, some expertise is required for successful implementation and there remains a need to field test the protocols, develop training and support materials, and systematize data collection across the network. Sea Grant funds supported a meeting of station representatives to review, practice, and refine the draft protocols. The outputs from this effort are a uniform method for use at field stations, and other locations, along the Gulf of Maine complete with training notes and field data sheets, and a webinar introducing the protocol and noting mechanisms that can be used to reduce barriers and remove stumbling blocks to implementation.

Sea Grant funds: $635