Stewardship Ain't No Picnic

It takes a village, as frequently noted-

-and a lot of hard work shouldered by dedicated individuals who advocate for stewardship of our fraglie coastal ecosystems.

Building stewardship strategies and resources requires years of work forging partnerships with community groups- and engaging locally to educate people about how best to practice conservation and promote preservation through civic action.

We're proud to be partners with the Gulf Association and their dedicated members from the villages of Scituate and Cohasset who care enough about our ecosystem to make long term sustainability of the Gulf River esturaine system a labor of love.

We're also happy they invited us to their annual picnic.

Above, Gulf Association president, George McGoldrick, listens attentively to Dr Ann Thomae's summary of Gulf River water quality, summer 2023.

This week, CSCR's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Ann Thomae (Doc T), delivered the keynote address at the annual Gulf River Association's picnic. Doc T and Cohasset High School senior, Rosie Harrison (above right), described their summer 2023 water quality monitoring work. The Association's president George McGoldrick hung on each word of Doc T's presentation, as did board members and hosts to the gathering, Beth and Andy Corey (above, left).

"Teasing out all the variables in the Gulf River ecosystem that impact the data collected is a highly challenging effort," Doc T reminded the membership present, "for an ecosystem is a dynamic, living entity whose physical, biologicial, and chemical processes are constantly in flux throughout the seasons and even with each daily tidal cycle."

In spite of these challenges, Doc T noted that "rainfall is one variable in which we can see impacts. We frequently see spikes in bacteria counts associated with rainfall." Furthermore, "when we look at our optical brightener data,"measured using a Turner Designs fluorometer, we see a trend at the upper reaches of the river. Hunters Pond is characteristically higher in optical brightener values than the other sites. This holds true over the past 3 years.

Image Below: Cohasset Harbor and the Gulf River

Notre Dame Academy junior, Bridget Nussbaum (far left, below), received honors at the Association's picnic for her work as an intern. Bridget revised the Association's database and built a website that will launch soon. Stay tuned for more details about launch date.

The initimable Doc T and her trusty sidekick, Mr T. Ann and Marty's (now adult) children, Jean and Jack, were highly active at CSCR during their high school years. The Thomae Family holds royalty status at CSCR!

Middle School Moments

The Fall Season is a Great Time to Get Outside to Explore our Environment!

Our Middle School program continues under the leadership of CSCR's multi-talented Ecologist, Susan Bryant. Middle School families should reach out directly to Susan at [email protected] to learn how to get involved in the worlds and explorations pictured below.

Julia R uses Survey123 to document findings in the wrack line at the far Eastern end of Bassings Island (above)  while Luca M (below) employs a Canway GPS logger to monitor vegetation on this dune face. Data collected is used by the students to make observations about how tropical storm Lee impacted Bassings Beach, a fragile barrier island.

Julia, Luca, and peers are frequent users of geospatial tools whenever exploring with Susan, and this expedition was no exception. These tools enable young (and old) scientists to input location data and observations as they tromp, tread, and tiptoe their way around a world of discovery.

This Week's GIS Feature

is a plug for ESRI's free, online GIS course

GIS for Climate Action, the latest addition to Esri’s collection of massive open online course (MOOC) offerings, opens on October 25, 2023. MOOCs are free online courses designed for anyone who wants to acquire new skills, explore additional aspects of GIS, or grow professionally. They are self-paced, range from four to six weeks in length, provide hands-on practice with the latest ArcGIS software, and furnish a certificate upon completion.

Read more here.


To support students, CSCR will be holding after school and early evening "office hours." These office hours are for all students, all projects. Students must communicate a day in advance that they will be attending office hours (otherwise, staff may plan conflicting activities).

CSCR's Portfolio Support Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00; 5:00-6:30; and 6:30-8:00
  • Wednesdays, 5:00-6:30
  • Thursdays, 3:30-5:00; 5:00-6:30

Try It in our Lab: Take a deep dive into the world of college bio and high tech lab equipment. Or, take a deep dive into possible teaching opportunities at CSCR. Matt, of course, will tailor instruction to his audience. Anyone can join a session, so spread the word. Tuesdays and/or Thursdays: 3:30-5:00 pm. To make this viable, we are asking student families to contribute $35/session or $90 for 3 sessions. For teachers / educators, come by to check us out and let's start a conversation.

Canoe. Canyou make it disappear? Let's make a deal.


TGIS Number 42 Sept 22 2023

Cohasset Center
for Student Coastal Research
40 Parker Ave
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 383-0129
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