Coastal Conservation Research Program
by Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research & Conservation

L to R: Brandon Ross, Cameron Forehand, Autumn Turney, Nicole Fox, Laura Cammarata, Sam Hermanstorfer.

Six interns joined our 2021 Coastal Conservation Research Program (CCRP) this summer for an intensive hands-on learning experience in the marsh! This year, CCRP interns worked closely with our staff to contribute to long-term projects monitoring the diamondback terrapin population and conducted surveys of wetland bird populations. They also explored their own research questions, gaining experience with proposal development, data analysis, scientific writing, and public speaking. It was an action-packed 10 weeks, and we are grateful for their hard work and proud of their accomplishments!

Laura Cammarata, a recent graduate of West Virginia University, compared macroinvertebrate communities in disturbed and undisturbed areas of local saltmarshes. Cameron Forehand, a rising senior at Clemson University, explored the use of salt pannes by diamondback terrapins during the nesting season. Nicole Fox, a rising senior at Stockton University, conducted head-count surveys of diamondback terrapins in the Delaware Bay to examine distribution and bycatch risk. Samuel Hermanstorfer, a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin – Madison, quantified impacts of Fish Crow on other species inhabiting the saltmarshes. Brandon Ross, a recent graduate of University of Connecticut, investigated the changes in diamondback terrapin use of a creek during the nesting season. Autumn Turney, a recent graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, investigated the use of flight line surveys to estimate Black-crowned Night-Heron populations and the influence of environmental factors on counts. Each presented the results of their independent projects at the Luing Family Internship Program Intern Symposium on August 2.