Maine’s wild soft-shell clams are under threat, but Dr. Beal is fighting back.

photo by VS user mymilkshake1

Last spring we got to help study predation of soft-shell clams with Dr. Brian Beal from the Downeast Institute. There are many predators of soft-shell clams but green crabs are the major threat. Soft-shell clams are one of Maine’s most valuable fisheries, second to lobsters and elvers. Today, just finding clams has become a challenge.

Another new Molly!


Greetings all you Vital Signs citizen scientists! I hope you haven't let all this snow stop you from exploring the outdoors, I know I haven't. If you can't beat the snow, you may as well join it! Now that you've all met Scott I figured I should say hello too.

Meet our New VS Team Member... Scott!

Hello all! Since we’re in the midst of a cold, snowy winter field season I figured that I would take the time to introduce myself to the Vital Signs Community. I came to GMRI in 2014 to work specifically with the LabVenture! and PowerHouse programs focusing on the intersection of technology and education (which I love!). At the start of this year, 2015, I was lucky enough to join the Vital Signs team.

Massabesic Middle School Invasive Species Forum


The Invasive Species Forum that team Aroostook of Massabesic Middle School hosted was on November 6th, 2014. It was an amazing event that occurred to not only increase awareness about invasive species, but it also attempted to get new citizen scientists signed up into Vital Signs.

Fall Field Season 2014 recap


As snow and storms move in and the days grow shorter, it’s time for team VS to look back on the fall field season! As always, fall is the busiest time of year for fieldwork and the numbers certainly support that this year.

Citizen Science Challenge: Winning Entries!


This summer marked the first ever GMRI Citizen Science Challenge. With the end of summer and the beginning of fall it's time to announce the winners of the challenge.

Studying how green crabs predate soft-shell clams… and can we stop them?


Dr. Brian Beal of the Downeast Institute and U. Maine Machias has studied green crabs for a long time. He’s also interested in how to prevent them from gobbling up a critter that Mainers and green crabs both love: soft-shell clams.

Teen's Groundbreaking Lionfish Research - or Was It?


Brilliant scientific research can be done by anyone, anywhere and 13 year old Lauren Arrington’s science fair project has proved that beyond a doubt. Lionfish (Pterois spp.) are invasive species of poisonous fish that are impacting reefs from North Carolina to Florida. When Lauren entered a local science fair, she knew she wanted to study the invasive fish, so she chose to ask a question that no one had thought of before: how much salinity do lionfish need to survive?

The 2014 GMRI Citizen Science Challenge is here!


The GMRI education team has launched a new citizen science challenge running from May 1st through September 1st. Our goal is for kids to participate outside of school or class assignments and be active members of the Vital Signs community on their own.

Meet Caroline

    Have you ever met someone who is good with technology, super artistic, super creative, and also a naturalist and lover of the great outdoors? If you hadn't before, now you have! Meet Caroline Casals, new Vital Signs staffer. Caroline is full time GMRI Education Platform Specialist, spending half of her time focusing on the Vital Signs Program and half of her time thinking about LabVenture!.
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