Star Island Bioblitz

by Dennis O'Keefe

Snow-in-summer, by Dennis O’Keefe

Earlier this month, All Star I conferees organized the first Star Island Bioblitz, an inventory of the biological diversity in and around the island conducted by enthusiasts and experts of all ages. Results are still being posted at the iNaturalist project but early estimates are that we saw at least 168 species, including red-backed salamanders, a polyphemus moth, and a surprise visit from a banded Peregrine Falcon who posed for photographs on the chapel!

More than 35 people participated, including 6 team leaders and 10 young people. Activities on July 2 included an Intertidal Biocube and Hula Hoop meadow transects. The Life Under Logs team found spiders and a centipede, and the Rock Pools team brought back samples with water boatmen and copepods.

We couldn’t have done it without the Rutledge Marine Lab’s Arthur Eves and his able volunteers, Chris and George Wilson. Our speaker of the week (Rob Raguso) and his wife (Laurel Hester) provided scientific guidance and inspiration. Stay tuned for final results which may take awhile. And feel free to add your own photos and observations to the iNaturalist project—no reason to stop finding species we missed. For more information, contact Cyndy Parr.

A peregrine falcon on the Star Island chapel steeple, by Bart Bouricius.

A peregrine falcon on the Star Island chapel steeple, by Bart Bouricius.

A cubic foot of the beach was sampled between high and low tide.

Sampling a cubic foot of the beach between high and low tide.

Hula hoop transect

Hula hoop transect


A centipede, ~ 2 centimeters long.


In the seacost NH/Maine area and interested in lobsters?

One of our favorite places for cool marine science research and activities, The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) partners with local communities to conduct scientific research that improves ocean stewardship in the Gulf of Maine. And, if you’re interested in lobsters, they have a cool lecture event coming up. See below for details.

Not sure what the Gulf of Maine is? Well, one hint is that Star Island and the Isles of Shoals are located within the Gulf of Maine. Essentially, the word gulf refers to a large bay that is an arm of an ocean or sea. The Gulf of Maine is on the East Coast of North America with Cape Cod, Massachusetts as it’s southern boundary and Cape Sable in Nova Scotia, Canada as it’s northern boundary. It’s a place where quite a lot of marine science research takes place. Check out the map of it below:

Gulf of Maine

Now on to the event that might be of interest if you’re in the area:

 On the Rocks: A Lobstering Life

Curt Brown

Date: Thursday, April 11
Time: 7 – 8 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Cost:  Free, open to the public
Location:  GMRI, 350 Commercial Street, Portland
Parking: Free, adjacent lot
You must RSVP to Christina Traister, Donor Relations Manager,, 207-228-1622

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