BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The BioTrails project at the MDI Biological Laboratory is offering an opportunity for local residents and visitors to participate in scientific research and kayak on Frenchman Bay on Tuesday, June 17, with an initial meeting on Monday, June 16.
Volunteers will help collect small marine specimens in support of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s eelgrass restoration project. No previous experience or scientific knowledge is required. An orientation will be offered at the MDI Biological Laboratory from 3–5 p.m. on Monday, June 16th.
The next morning, Tuesday, June 17th, the group will meet at 7:15 a.m. at the South Gouldsboro Boat Ramp for a kayak trip to nearby Stave Island, where participants will collect marine invertebrate specimens for the ongoing eelgrass research and restoration project. The trip to Stave Island is about thirty minutes each way.
On Tuesday afternoon, the group will return to the MDI Biological Laboratory and sort their specimens for DNA-based identification. They will learn how advances in genetics have made it possible to identify insects (and other organisms) by their DNA, and will have an opportunity to do an exercise using “mystery” DNA reads collected at previous BioTrails events.
BioTrails is a project of the MDI Biological Laboratory in collaboration with Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Education and Research Center Institute. The project combines public participation in scientific research with DNA-based species identification (“DNA barcoding”). Its purpose is to improve the accuracy and enlarge the scope of research projects that monitor animal and plant species as they respond to changes in the environment, including climate change. BioTrails is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.