The Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program is a community-based research program that aims to measure the health and productivity of lobster nursery habitats over space and time. The project measures the abundance and distribution of juvenile lobsters and uses marking and recapture techniques to investigate growth rates and survival.
Program scientists have developed a set of rigorous training tools to teach volunteers how to census lobsters at nursery grounds in the lower intertidal zone. The census data collected by volunteers are extremely valuable as indicators of lobster fishery health because the juvenile lobsters of today represent the catches of tomorrow.
Anyone with the time and inclination (and a good pair of boots!) can participate in this program. It's easy and it's fun. Involving volunteers of different age groups and backgrounds aids in community building and provides public access to scientific research and knowledge. This project can thereby help to bridge the gap between science and the public through hands-on training and accessible learning.