• Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod

    National Seashore Massachusetts

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  • Access at seashore locations

    The stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham are closed due to storm damage. Herring Cove North Lot in Provincetown sustained damage resulting in closure of multiple parking spaces. The Nauset Marsh Trail bridge was destroyed in a 2012 storm. More »

ARLC Research

dune blowout team

Researchers from Flinders University, East Carolina University, and the University of Victoria in British Colombia, at a study site for their collaborative project investigating the dynamics of dune blowouts at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Photo by Megan Tyrrell

ARLC research partners are typically from academic institutions, state and federal agencies, and non-profit conservation science organizations. Individuals working at the ARLC range from senior principal investigators to post-doctoral fellows and graduate and undergraduate students.

The questions pursued by ARLC research partners are wide-ranging and span a number of physical, chemical, and biological disciplines. Researchers at CCNS have access to an active inventory and monitoring program, Cape Cod Ecosystem Monitoring (CCEM), which has collected decades of long-term monitoring data. CCEM data provide resource status and trend information, which can serve as context for research activities and results. In turn, ARLC research results help describe the cause & effect relationships in observed changes to park resources.

Together, ARLC and CCEM efforts advance coastal ecology science and contribute critical natural resource information important to science-informed management of CCNS.


Cross-cutting priority research themes being pursued by the ARLC include:

  • local effects (eg. coastal erosion, habitat degradation) of global/hemispheric processes (eg. climate change, sea level rise, atmospheric deposition)
  • importance of CCNS to migratory species, especially threatened and endangered migratory birds
  • effectiveness and effects of restoring anthropogenically (human-caused) degraded habitats
  • nutrient dynamics in aquatic systems and the relative influences of atmospheric, groundwater, and oceanic inputs

Please use the links in the left sidebar to navigate through the Research section of the ARLC site. You can learn about research needs and opportunities, internship and fellowship opportunities, how to obtain a research permit, available facilities, and view various posters, resource briefs and reports. The map below showcases some our current research projects with partner organizations.


Did You Know?

directional compass

Coastal waters were the original highways of the Cape. Today’s common but puzzling terms “Lower Cape” and “Upper Cape” (referring to the northern and southern areas of Cape Cod) originated with sailors. Southwesterly winds meant ships heading north were sailing "down-wind" to the Lower Cape.