Environmental Studies Faculty Awarded Grant for Conservation Biology Research

Rachel Thiet and her collaborators at Cape Cod National Seashore have been awarded a grant for $151,471 from the National Park Service for a project titled, “Assessing the benthic community in a partially restored lagoon to improve management decision-making.” The grant will allow Rachel to continue her on-going ecological assessment of benthic and epi-benthic invertebrate recovery in East Harbor back-barrier salt marsh lagoon, where she has been documenting invertebrate and biogeochemical responses to tidal restoration for the past 14 years. Her upcoming work at the site includes shellfish population and habitat modeling, and Rachel will involve an ES doctoral student in the project beginning in 2018.

Rachel noted, “I love involving my AUNE Environmental Studies students in my coastal research on Cape Cod National Seashore. Students gain important skills and experience in coastal ecology, while also learning how ecological research, decision-making, and management function in the National Park Service. This new funding will allow me to pay a doctoral student Research Assistant for the next two field seasons, so we can deepen and expand our long-term data set about this intriguing and unique restored Gulf of Maine salt marsh.”

Photo caption: Dr. Rachel Thiet (left) and ES student Heather Conkerton sampling shellfish and invasive green crabs in East Harbor back-barrier salt marsh lagoon, Cape Cod National Seashore.

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