Greenheads, Dragonflies, Snails, and Tales of Young Scientists in the Salt Marsh
If you pay attention to a New England salt marsh in the summer you can see emergence. The greenhead that emerges from the grass. The dragonfly that emerges from the pond. The snail that emerges from the flooding waters. In Plum Island, if you're patient, you can see young scientists emerging from the marsh.
These young, intrepid marsh-minded scientists are part of the the Ecosystem Center's TIDE (Trophic cascades and Interacting control processes in a Detritus-based aquatic Ecosystem) Project, which is nestled within the Plum Island Long Term Ecological Research site. TIDE is a large-scale fertilization project in the salt marshes of the Plum Island Estuary in northern Massachusetts that is currently in its 10th field season.
The project is led by Ecosystems Center senior scientist Linda Deegan, and many center scientists have participated in the project. More importantly, the TIDE Project has provided opportunities for young scientists to get their feet wet (that is, wet, muddy, and mosquito-bitten) in science.
These young researchers write about their experiences in the TIDE blog. From the frontlines of the field, it gives first-hand accounts of the science being conducted.The most recent posting is by David Johnson, a research associate at the center who has been a part of the TIDE Project for 10 years. While greenheads and snails and dragonflies come and go, some who emerge on the marsh stay for a while.