LTER Road Trip: Restoring Seagrass in Virginia’s Estuaries

View from a VCR LTER research boat cruising along estuaries where seagrass restoration projects are underway.

Exploring the Estuary The waters lapping against the shoreline marshes reflected bright blue sky above. I sat in the front of the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research (VCR LTER) site’s boat, exploring the estuary with VCR LTER’s dedicated staff. The tall Spartina alternifora grasses waved in the breeze a foot or two above… Read more »

LTER Road Trip: A Shrubby Invasion

PhD researcher Joe Brown looking out over a barrier island in the Virginia Coast Reserve.

Islands on the Move I stood on a windy barrier island, hair whipping around my face as my boots crunched across beach seashells. The waves crashed into the sand, here and there stirring up food for one of the many gulls seeking rest or prey on this island. Before me stretched the Atlantic Ocean, as… Read more »

LTER Road trip: A Changing Landscape along Virginia’s Eastern Shore

PhD student Victoria Long displaying one of the plant species at her study site along Virginia's Eastern Shore, where salt marsh is starting to expand into agricultural fields.

A Long Legacy Victoria Long has a deep connection to the land here in Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Her family has farmed this land for generations—since 1652 to be exact. She grew up a few miles from the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, attended the local high school and began to work… Read more »

Bruce Hayden: a remarkable scientist, leader, and educator

The Network received some sad news from the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER this week. They shared the following remembrance of Bruce Hayden, who passed away on September 10. A memorial service will be arranged later in the year. The family asks any donations in lieu of flowers be contributed to your local volunteer rescue squad or to support research at the Department of Environmental Sciences, UVA. 

Here Come the Shrubs: Rising Temps Allow Woody Plants to Encroach on Barrier Islands

As temperatures rise in many regions around the world, plant species whose ranges were previously limited by low temperature thresholds and intolerance to freezing are increasingly able to expand into new areas and possibly overtake established vegetation regimes. On Hog Island, an undeveloped barrier island off the coast of Virginia, a group of LTER researchers… Read more »