The goal of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) research program is to increase knowledge of understudied taxonomic groups and of the overall biodiversity of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, Muskeget and surrounding waters. The NBI facilitates collaboration, research and data storage and sharing between on and off-island researchers, conservation interests and the general public.
Our conference is held on Nantucket every other year and provides an opportunity to share the results of research being conducted on Nantucket and surrounding areas with other researchers and the public. This is an excellent opportunity to share your research, network with other researchers and naturalists, and to get an over view of the many different research projects on Nantucket and surrounding areas!
Conference Registration now OPEN
Please register online for any of the conference events you
plan to attend. Registration is free. Pre-registration required
for all field trips and workshops.
Registration Deadline: November 7th
Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth
Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wildflower
Friday November 13th, 7pm
Nantucket Atheneum Great Hall, Refreshments and Book
Signing to Follow
State of New England’s Native Plants: Challenges
and Opportunities for Conserving Coastal Habitats
New England Wild Flower Society recently released a comprehensive,
peer-reviewed report that, for the first time, gathers together
the most up-to-date data on the status of plants on the New
England landscape. From these data, we can discern increases
and declines in both rare and common species across all six
states. We will discuss the report findings, with particular
emphasis on rare and common plants of coastal sandplains and
marshes in the region, and their importance in supporting
other organisms and in providing ecosystem services for humans.
We identify hotspots of rare plant diversity, and discuss
factors that foster this diversity. We document the primary
ecological and anthropogenic threats to both rare and common
species. We discuss activities and initiatives by New England
Wild Flower Society and its partner organizations in the New
England Plant Conservation Program to conserve and manage
rare plants and habitats throughout the region. We articulate
a research agenda to bridge gaps in our knowledge of plant
species and ecological communities and develop a framework
for protecting the viability of thousands of species that
together comprise our diverse and vibrant flora.
Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth is Senior Research Ecologist with
the New England Wild Flower Society, and a biologist, educator,
and scientific illustrator. At the Society, she has written
a major regional report “State of the Plants of New England,”
and she co-led the award-winning National Science Foundation-funded
project, Go Botany, to develop an on-line guide to the regional
flora for teaching botany. She has illustrated and/or written
seven books, including The Nature of New Hampshire, and the
Peterson Field Guide to Ferns. She has taught at Smith College,
Hampshire College, and the Conway School of Landscape Design.
She has conducted scientific research on many ecosystems throughout
the world, focusing on restoration, conservation, plant physiology,
mangroves, and climate change. She obtained her Ph.D. in biology
from Harvard University, M.Sc. from the University of Vermont,
and a B.A. with honors in Environmental Studies from Brown
University. In her spare time she sings semi-professionally
and paddles her hand-built kayak.
Conference Workshop and Field Trip
* Pre-registration is required for all Events *
Friday November 13th, 2pm
Location: 56 Center St - Nantucket Community
School Downtown Campus
Registration limited to 15 people
Go Botany: A 21st-Century Tool for
Anyone Who Loves Plants!
Imagine being able to easily
identify plants and learn all about them using an innovative
set of keys and search tool on your smart phone, tablet, or
desktop computer. That is the vision of Go Botany: an award-winning,
free, user-friendly, interactive web tool created by New England
Wild Flower Society with funding from the National Science
Foundation. Go Botany is the definitive on-line Flora of New
England, covering more than 3,500 taxa. In this hands-on workshop,
you’ll learn how to use Go Botany's many features, including
multiple-access keys, a clickable dichotomous key, teaching
resources, and PlantShare -- a virtual community for plant
enthusiasts. Join Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth to explore Go Botany
and learn more about plant ID!
This workshop is presented in
partnership with the Nantucket
Sunday November 15th,
9-11am, Meeting Location TBA
Registration is limited to
Explore the Shawkemo
Hills and Middle Moors with Peter Brace, Nantucket author
Join Nantucket Walkabout guide
Peter Brace on a fascinating two-part hike to learn how the
last glacier formed Nantucket as a backdrop to the natural
history of the island on a hiking experience out in two distinctly
different parts of the island. We’ll explore Shawkemo Hills,
the kettle-and-kame terrain of the Middle Moors along Nantucket’s
portion of the terminal moraine in the north central part
of the island to learn about frost bottoms, check out a kettle
hole and discover the origins of Coatue, Great Point, the
Haulover, Nantucket Harbor and inner harbor shores.
Switching habitats, we’ll then head over to one of Nantucket’s
three outwash plains to find out about the prairie-like sandplain
grassland habitat along Nantucket’s south shore, and endangered
plant and bird species residing there. And we’ll talk about
current land management practices used to maintain this habitat.
Estimated hike time: two-three hours.
Nantucket Walkabout is not a tour bus or van
service driving from sight to sight. We get out and walk into
Nantucket’s wilderness to experience life off the road in
all seasons. It’s part bird walk, part botany hike, part geology
and all about exploration.
Please bring water and your