Environmental Studies on Nantucket

Spiders of Nantucket (ENVSTY 321)

Credits : 2
Prerequisite: By permission only.

This course is designed for both college students and for community members with an interest in the wonderful world of spiders. For non-credit students, a passing grade in a high school or college biology course is required.

As generalist predators, spiders are important agents in ecosystem function, are quick to colonize new landscapes (indeed, they were the first organisms found on Krakatoa after its eruption), and can generate diverse assemblages of species almost everywhere they are found.

This course is designed to give you an in-depth look at the diversity of spider families that inhabit Nantucket Island, help you to hone skills that allow you to identify spiders to the genus and species level from this region and elsewhere, and give you an appreciation for the anatomy, physiology, phylogeny, and ecology of these amazing organisms.

Collecting, Identifying and Sampling for Diversity

You can expect several hours each day in field work collecting spiders, using a variety of methods used by professional arachnologists, hearing engaging presentations on spider anatomy and physiology, as well as in-depth investigations of the relatedness of extant and extinct spider groups.

Collecting work will also involve in depth dissection of the ecological niches some local species prefer, as well as a class driven sampling effort to utilize current methodologies to estimate the spider species diversity in several local habitats.

Schedule & Fee
July 29-August 11, 2018
$1,230 (The fee for this course covers instruction and housing on Nantucket. It does not cover meals or transportation to and from Nantucket.)

To Apply
Application deadline: June 15
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For more information
Alan Christian