Nantucket Field Station

Research in Action

Maps & Directions

Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative

Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative kids

Have you ever swam with giant horseshoe crabs? Spied on a juvenile gray seal swimming with its parents? Watched a baby sheep mow down a field of poison ivy? Practiced digital landscape photography? Written Haiku about the ocean? Seen the Milky Way?

The Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative offers these remarkable experiences and more for urban high school and middle school kids. Named after Grace Grossman who championed the sale of the Field Station to the Conservation Foundation in 2004 and initiated in 2006 by then Massachusetts' Senator Robert O'Leary and House State Representative Eric Turkington, and Dr. Sarah Oktay, the Collaborative pays for transportation and a week long "once in a life-time" experience to study the history, flora and fauna, geology, and people of Nantucket for six urban student groups each year. This all inclusive trip provides meals, tickets, housing, instruction, on island transportation, and materials for one week at the University of Massachusetts Boston Nantucket Field Station.

Two to three teachers and 12 students from each school are selected based on an essay, about “Why we want to learn about Nantucket,” principal teacher nominations, grades, and other factors. Students stay at the Gouin Village condos in the mid-island section of Nantucket or at the Field Station in dorms. Team guide and primary instructor is Dr. Sarah Oktay, a chemical oceanographer and naturalist who is aided by a team of Nantucket’s expert botanists, ornithologists, historians, storytellers, poets, and field researchers. Trips can be scheduled during spring break, summer, or fall.

Collaborative Activities:

  • Guided nature walks of the salt marsh, upland areas, and tours of the seal rookery around Muskeget Island by boat (weather permitting)
  • Beach exploration, and interpretive field trips to an operating cranberry bog, the hidden forest, Squam Swamp, and a vernal pond
  •  Visits to an observatory, a whaling museum, the African Meeting House, the Oldest House, the oldest operating corn mill in the country, cemeteries, the Middle Moors, a lighthouse, and other island historical and natural wonders
  • Who was Grace Grossman?
  • Learn about Boston's Excel High 2009 Grossman Collaborative trip


Nantucket Field Station Program Receives Statehouse Citation

This Massachusetts House of Representatives has given a citation to the Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative, a UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station program that brings students from urban areas to Nantucket. State Representative Tim Madden surprised Dr. Sarah Oktay, field station managing director, by presenting the award to her during the Nantucket Civic League's annual meeting on Monday, September 10th. Dr Okay is the vice president of the Civic League. The citation recognizes Dr. Oktay and the Field Station for its unique youth collaborative program and also for receiving the 2012 Human Diversity Award from the Organization of Biological Field Stations in June.

Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative on Flickr

Kids from all over Massachusetts get an opportunity to do research on the Field Station Read More 

Giving to UMass Boston

Support coastal and environmental research. Please note Nantucket Field Station in the “Other” box.

Give Now