Nature & Science

A researcher demonstrates how to use a beating sheet to collect insects.
A researcher uses a beating sheet to collect insects for the park's ATBI.

Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology

The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership invites you to explore the rich biodiversity of the Boston Harbor Islands. The islands are both a recreational haven and a laboratory in which to learn about natural change, cultural history, and stewardship.Visit our Island Research page to learn how to conduct research in the park.Other pages to exlore include:
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI)
A major research effort underway in the park helps us understand the diversity of insects and other invertebrates. Our project joins other similar efforts in parks and natural areas worldwide that are documenting local biodiversity. In order to educate and excite the public about the amazing diversity of animals that live on the islands we involve the public, and make the data we collect accessible to students, teachers, and entomologists.

The Boston Harbor Islands Invertebrate Database at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology contains records for all park specimens in the entomology collections.

Social Sciences

Social science projects help us understand the human component of park ecosystems. A major social science research project in the park looked at visitor carrying capacity.

The University of Idaho Cooperative Park Studies Unit is assisting units of the national park system to measure visitor satisfaction and visitor understanding. Boston Harbor Islands has participated in the Visitor Survey Card project annually since 1999. Visit the NPS social science program for more details.

NPS Biotechs investigate the rocky intertidal zone
Long-term Natural Resource Monitoring
The National Park Service's Inventory & Monitoring and Northeast Temperate Network (I&M, NETN) program helps the Boston Harbor Islands document and keep track of the health of a wide array of park natural resources. Coastal breeding birds, rocky intertidal communities, salt marsh health, and more are monitored each year by the network to give park managers the most current information possible so they can make the best-informed decisions about taking care of the park.
Visit the NETN Homepage to learn more!

Last updated: November 1, 2019

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