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Nantucket Field Station
Nantucket County, Massachusetts
41.2943° -70.0399°


The University of Massachusetts Boston's Nantucket Field Station (NFS) includes a 107-acre field site with laboratory facilities, residence space, and offices on Nantucket Harbor in the Quaise portion of the island adjacent to a large undisturbed salt marsh with vernal ponds and freshwater marshes, a freshwater pond and upland meadows and thickets of bayberry, red cedar, and fox grape. The facility also includes a six-unit apartment complex near the midtown part of Nantucket with a total capacity of 40 research beds available year round. The island of Nantucket covers approximately 50 square miles, and although it is isolated geographically, it is only 26 miles south of Cape Cod, MA. Approximately 9000 acres of Nantucket is owned by NSF partner and landholder the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and is available for research. In addition the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative has set aside a variety of research plots for visiting scientists (www.nantucketbiodiversityinitiative.org). These habitats include coastal heathlands, moors, sandplain grasslands, hardwood forests, scrub oak and pitch pine barrens, upland scrub, old fields, ponds, bogs, fresh-water marsh, swamps, barrier beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, shallow harbor waters, and open ocean. Because of its isolation, limited number of predators, and land use management, Nantucket is one of the most important areas in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts for harboring rare and endangered plant species. Biogeographically perched on a north/south floristic division, and proximal to the warm Gulf Stream, Nantucket serves as the southern boundary for many northern plant species and the northern limit for many southern forms with a climate that is slightly warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than the mainland.

Customized identification guides

Checklists with images, maps, and links

Albums of site participants

Massachusetts Natural History Survey

More information

Photograph by Les Mehroff
Solidago sempervirens
Seaside Goldenrod


  • Dr. Sarah Oktay, Managing Director, Nantucket Field Station -- sarah.oktay@umb.edu -- 508-228-5268
  • Nancy Lowe, Outreach Coordinator, Discover Life -- nancy@discoverlife.org -- 404-272-4526
Updated: 8 November, 2011
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