Thank you for visiting the community education past events & workshop materials page. If you have any questions, or would like additional information please contact Joan Muller, Education Coordinator. (Please click on the titles to open presentations)

Research Around The Reserve: Spring 2019

What Can Tea Bags in Salt Marshes Tell Us about Climate Change?
Jim Tang, Associate Scientist, the Ecosystems Center Marine Biological Laboratory

Landscaping for Resilience: Fall 2018

All About Trees
Russell will focus on trees including assessing your yard for hazards and tree health assessments; how to handle tree damage and find professionals to do tree and other work beyond the skills of the homeowner. He will explain why trees are essential to the wellbeing of the Cape and although a downed tree can cause a power outage, trees can also be helpful during power outages and give all sorts of benefits that make us more resilient in the long run. He’ll also give some hints on what to expect with trees as a result of climate change so people can plan ahead.
Featured Speaker: Russell Norton, Agriculture and Horticulture Extension Educator, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension

Wrangling Rainwater on the Homestead and other Landscape Choices for a Changing Climate
When it rains, it pours! This seems to be a common occurrence these days. Rainwater is a valuable resource and there are practical ways of managing stormwater on your own piece of Cape Cod to avoid property damage and protect water quality. There are landscape design choices that welcome the rain and offer attractive alternatives to the traditional landscape. And, there are ways to conserve water for those dry spells in between.
Featured Speaker: Kristin Andres, Director of Education and Outreach, Association to Preserve Cape Cod


Research at the Reserve: Spring 2018

What’s Trending in Waquoit Bay?
Tuesday, April 3
Reserve’s monitoring data on seaweed and eelgrass as well as nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) and weather data and interesting trends and relationships in the Waquoit Bay estuary. How are climate changes (wind speed, temperature, and precipitation) affecting the health and productivity of the estuary?
Jordan Mora, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Can Humans Increase Salt Marsh Resilience in the Face of Sea Level Rise?
Video Presentation
Tuesday, April 10
Due to accelerated sea level rise, the fate of some salt marshes is in jeopardy. The deliberate placement of sediment on a marsh surface can, in selected cases, be used to give the plants an elevation boost to overcome the stresses of prolonged flooding. This technique is relatively new. Come find out what eight National Estuarine Research Reserves, including Waquoit Bay, are researching to contribute to the enhanced understanding of the benefits and potential pitfalls of this technique to aid drowning marshes.
Dr. Megan Tyrrell, Research Coordinator, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Natural History of the American Eel on Cape Cod
Tuesday, April 17
The American eel has a remarkable life history that is unlike any fish species in North America. They are born in the Sargasso Sea and travel great distances to colonize coastal rivers from Brazil to Greenland. Formerly of high cultural importance in Massachusetts due to their fine taste and availability for sustenance harvest, their populations have declined to historical lows in recent decades. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries participates in local, state and interstate management and restoration processes for American eel. This presentation includes restoration and monitoring efforts at nearby Cape Cod coastal rivers.
Brad Chase, Senior Marine Fisheries Biologist, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

What’s happening in the Mud at the Bottom of the Bay?
Tuesday, April 24
Ms. Foster has been collecting cores from the bottom of Waquoit Bay to study the impacts of low oxygen on the micro-organisms that live there and the ecosystem processes at work. She’ll share results of her experiments and attendees will get a close look at the dynamic microbial world that exists at the bottom of the bay.
Sarah Foster, PhD Candidate, Earth and Environment Dept., Boston University

Are You Ready for the Next Big Storm: November 2017

This workshop focused on deepening your understanding of coastal storm issues, including keeping your family safe and warm during coastal storms while also contributing to Cape Cod’s ability as a region to be resilient.
What Can the Past Tell us about Our Current & Future Storm Risks?
Dr. Neil Ganju, U.S. Geological Survey
Personal Emergency Preparedness and First Hand Lessons Learned from Harvey 
Edward Blanchard, Red Cross
What About our Pets?
Kathy Catanach, Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team
Safe and Warm Before, During and After the Storm
Greg Abbe, Cape Light Compact
Eating Our Way to a Resilient Community
Karen Schwalbe, Southeast Massachusetts Agricultural
Spectrum of Coastal Solutions to Erosion/Structural Modifications for Resilient Buildings
Greg Berman, Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension

Emerging Community Solutions – Panel Discussion
Sean Murphy, Emergency Preparedness Project, Barnstable County
Major Shawn Doyle, US Air Force, Microgrid Project Manager, Base Cape Cod
Brian Currie, Falmouth Town Planner, Hazard Mitigation Plan
Megan Tyrrell, Research Coordinator, Waquoit Bay Reserve, Values of Nature-based Solutions

Research at the Reserve: Spring 2017

Are Our Salt Marshes Rising to the Challenge of Sea Level Rise?
Monday, April 3
In the past few decades, scientists across New England have observed a decline in salt marsh plants that prefer higher elevation and less frequent flooding. Sea level rise is considered to be the main driver of this ecological shift. Salt marsh survival and the continuation of important marsh ecological services, including bird and wildlife habit, recreation, shoreline protection, and as a natural carbon sink, depends on marshes keeping pace with sea level rise.
Meagan Eagle Gonneea, U.S. Geological Survey

What’s Up with the Water in Waquoit Bay?
Monday, April 10
One of Dr. Tyrrell’s first orders of business when she joined the Reserve this past fall, was to analyze the wealth of over 20 years of water quality monitoring data the Reserve has collected. She has discovered  trends in temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen that could have implications for seagrass and harmful algal blooms as well as fish and crabs in the bay.
Megan Tyrrell, Research Coordinator, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Bats & Bunnies: Managing Habitat for Seldom Seen Mammals
Monday, April 17
The New England cottontail, a species of conservation concern and Northern long-eared bats, recently listed as a threatened species, are being studied by US Fish and Wildlife biologists in the forests of Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge and Waquoit Bay Reserve.
Eileen McGourty, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Are You Ready for the Next Big Storm: October 2016

Cape Cod Strong: Meeting the Challenges of Coastal Storms – What can past hurricanes and nor’easters tell us about our current and future risks? The history of past storms in southeast New England gives us insight into what the future may hold with the backdrop of sea level rise. Hear about forecast capabilities and limitations as well as where to find information when a storm threatens. Learn about measures that can protect you, your family, your pets, and your home.
Responding to a Rising Tide: Coastal Storm Hazards for Cape Cod, Bob Thompson, Meteorologist-in-Charge, Southern New England National Weather Service Forecast Office, NOAA
Emergency Preparedness: Town of Falmouth Emergency Response Team, Dan Dinardo, Coordinator, Falmouth CERT
Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets, Cathy Catanach, Cape Cod Disaster Animal Preparedness Team

Safe and Warm Before, During and After the Storm – Hardy homes can help keep you safe and comfortable. What should homeowners and renters be doing now to prepare for the next storm? Learn how to reduce damage to your home and help your family stay warm during power outages and times of extreme conditions. Topics include how to detect issues in your home, generators, solar electric systems with various types of energy storage options and solar hot water.
Renewable Energy Options & Generators, Megan Amsler, Cape and Islands Self Reliance
Family Preparedness, Home Energy Audits & Programs, Greg Abbe, Cape Light Compact


Research at the Reserve: Spring 2016

Nitrogen Removal A Shell (or Shellfish) Game: Insights into Nitrogen Loading in Coastal Waters & Potential Remediation Strategies
Nitrogen pollution of our coastal waters is a threat to the health of our ecosystems, public health and economy. For the residents of Cape Cod, nitrogen remediation is a multibillion dollar issue. This economic driver has spurred increased interest in alternative strategies to restore the health of our coastal waters. Oyster aquaculture is one such strategy that has benefitted from the increased interest but does it really remove nitrogen or just move it to another place within our estuaries?
Dr. Daniel Rogers, Assistant Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Stonehill College in Easton, MA

After Twenty Years, What Can the Waters in Waquoit Bay Tell Us?
The Waquoit BayWatchers volunteer citizen science program has over twenty years of temperature, salinity, depth, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll data for Waquoit Bay. The Reserve’s Research Associate Jordan Mora has recently examined the data and detected dramatic changes in temperature and dissolved oxygen that provide compelling evidence that Waquoit Bay may be experiencing impacts from climate change as well as eutrophication from the addition of too much nitrogen to the waters stemming from wastewater, fertilizers, and the burning of fossil fuels. Join us to see what the data is revealing.
Jordan Mora, Research Associate, Waquoit Bay Reserve

Tracking the Movement Patterns of Seabirds and Shorebirds to Inform Siting and Monitoring of Off-Shore Wind Facilities
Ever wondered about the antenna rising up from the sands at South Cape Beach in Mashpee? Researchers from UMASS Amherst are tracking the movements of Common Terns, Roseate Terns, and Piping Plovers in Southern New England by using light-weight transmitters which track the birds around the clock. Knowledge of offshore flight paths of birds is essential to inform effective conservation decisions in marine planning such as how to minimize impacts of offshore wind energy facilities on key bird populations. Hear about the work at South Cape Beach in Mashpee and how it connects to work in southern New England which is coordinated with automated radio telemetry stations throughout the Western Hemisphere.  To learn more about wildlife tracking, visit
Pamela Loring, PhD candidate, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Are You Ready for the Next Big Storm? October 2015

Resilient Cape Cod Video Presentations – click here to watch the live presentations.

Cape Cod Strong: Meeting the Challenges of Coastal Storms
What can past hurricanes tell us about our current and future risks? Learn about measures that can protect you, your family, and your home. Hear about the pros and cons of shoreline stabilization techniques. Learn how to use a tool to visualize the potential effects of storm surge on roads and critical facilities in your town.
Hurrican Risks in Southeastern MA, Jeff Donnelly, Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Meeting Challenges of Coastal Storms, Greg Berman, Woods Hole Sea Grant/Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Cape Cod Commission Sea Level Rise Tool, Anne Reynolds, Cape Cod Commission

Safe and Warm Before, During, and After the Storm
Hardy homes can help keep you safe and warm. What should homeowners and renters be doing now to prepare for the next storm to reduce damage to your home and help you stay warmer during power outages?
Power After The Storm, Megan Amsler, Cape and Islands Self-Reliance
Safe and Warm; Before, After and During the Storm, Margaret Song, Cape Light Compact

Eating Our Way to a Resilient Community
Learn about local sustainable food options including fish, shellfish, meat, and fruit and vegetable options. Make your own yard into a productive, edible landscape. Discuss how to increase food resiliency for the whole community.
Gardening Our Way to Resilience, Derek Christianson, Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership
Josh Leveque, Gardening Roundtable Moderator and local professional horticulturalist 
Pariah Dog Farm, Matt Churchill and Jeny Christianson, Pariah Dog Farm

How Your Town Can Reduce Flood Insurance Rates and Save Lives and Property
Did you know your flood plain insurance rates can be reduced if your town puts a hazard planning process in place? What are some towns doing now that will make families safer?
Hazard Planning on Cape Cod, Callie Harper, Cape Cod Commission
Reducing Flood Costs Through CRS, Shannon Jarbeau, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Flood Plain Coordinator
CZM Coastal Resilience & Green Infrastructure Grant Programs, Steve McKenna, MA Coastal Zone Management
Preparing the Whole Community for Storms and Flood Impacts, Tonna-Marie Rogers, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Waquoit Bay NERR

Research at the Reserve: Spring 2015

The Subterranean Estuary: An Unseen and Overlooked Boundary Between the Land and the Sea
This presentation will explore the Waquoit Bay subterranean estuary. This unique mixing zone between fresh and salty groundwater has been used over the past 25 years as a natural laboratory for understanding groundwater’s effects on marine chemistry and biology. (video link)
Matt Charette is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry and Director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

What’s Next for Blue Crabs?
For centuries, Cape Cod has been the northern range boundary for blue crabs, an ecologically and economically important predator in Atlantic coastal estuaries. In recent years however, people have begun to see blue crabs in waters north of Cape Cod. As conditions continue to warm, will we see blue crabs expand their populations into the Gulf of Maine? What will this mean for the salt marshes and invasive green crabs if a new predator comes to town? (video link) 
Tanya Rogers is a PhD student at the Northeastern University Marine Science Center. She is studying crab populations in Waquoit Bay and in many other estuaries north and south of Cape Cod.

Winter Flounder & Waquoit Bay
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has conducted research on winter flounder for over 50 years in Massachusetts waters.  In recent years, historically low populations of winter flounder were recorded in the region.  We will look at the data collected and discuss what we have done and learned about this important species. (video link)
Vincent Manfredi has worked at sea collecting fisheries data since 2001 onresearch surveys for the States of Maine & Massachusetts.  He is currently a Survey Biologist for Massachusetts’ MarineFisheries Agency in New Bedford, MA

What’s Happening with Contaminants of Emerging Concern in our Coastal Waters?
The Center for Coastal Studies, in collaboration with several other organizations, including Waquoit Bay Reserve, has documented the presence of contaminants of emerging concern (from sources including pharmaceuticals and personal care products) in our coastal waters.  In 2014, the Center expanded this work to include research on accumulation of these contaminants in living organisms.  What is their impact on the environment and humans? (video link) 
Dr. Amy Costa is a Research Scientist at the Center for Coastal Studies.  Her work focuses on the quality and overall health of marine and coastal ecosystems through the integration of chemical, physical and biological studies.

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria at the Beach
Antibiotics have revolutionized the way we treat bacterial infections.  However, bacteria have increased their resistance to antibiotics partially due to the prevalent use of these chemicals by humans.  Why are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House, and World Health Organization,  concerned about antibiotic resistance?  What does it have to do with our local beaches? (video link) 
Megan May is a second year graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, she is a National Science Foundation Fellow and works in Rebecca Gast’s laboratory in Woods Hole.