Are Asian Shore Crabs Marine Invaders... or Marine Immigrants? High school students can help scientists figure this out by following scientific protocols and collecting data.
Asian Shore Crabs first appeared in U.S. waters around 1988, probably arriving in ballast water from ships that had arrived from Asia. These crabs can be found along the east coast of the U.S. from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Their numbers seem to be increasing, along with their range of habitat.
This program is free. For reservations or further inquiry, call 718-354-4530 or email us.
Crabs may look funny, but gathering data is serious business!
Working as "citizen scientists," students follow protocols designed by NPS scientists. At low tide, students will turn over three rocks per quadrat. Our Reference Guide helps students identify not only crabs, but several examples of marine life as well. Each Asian Shore Crabs is examined to determine size and gender. The data gathered by students will be turned over to professional marine biologists, both in the NPS and at higher learning institutions.
NOTE: To gather data that scientists will find useful, students must follow the scientific protocol precisely and consistently. This program requires that teachers and chaperons work closely with students to make sure they follow protocol and record their data right away. (For example, you can only document crabs found inside your quadrat and can only turn over three rocks.) That's why we made a six-minute introductory video for Marine Invaders. (To view this video requires downloading Quicktime.)
Last updated: February 26, 2015