UMass Boston

Dr Brook Moyers in Folger's Marsh collecting plant specimens.


The Nantucket Field Station offers credited university courses taught by UMass Boston professors or visiting investigators. We rotate a list of immersive field courses every two or three years to offer students options. We are open year round and have many researchers from other educational institutions and agencies use the station to conduct research, visit with a group field trip or conduct a workshop. Courses, research and scholarly activity span disciplines.

Station Staff 

station director yvonne vaillancourt standing outside

Director of the Nantucket Field Station, Yvonne Vaillancourt, photo by Dan Levesque

Yvonne Vaillancourt is the year-round, in-residence Director of the Nantucket Field Station. Yvonne has been managing the field station since 2016, she is a biologist with 30 years of experience working for UMass Boston. Student interns assist the director in managing operations, activities, courses and research at the station. Hybrid interns visit year-round to assist in a range of long-term monitoring studies of biodiversity and zonation in the marsh, on the beach and in the water. Interns are mostly from UMass Boston but could also be from Nantucket attending other schools, or visiting from other institutions.  Station interns assist our many visiting faculty doing research, leading groups or teaching courses. You may see them working at the station, at field sites on the island or at outreach events like the high school Science Fest in March on Nantucket and on the Boston Campus.  




Luis DeLeon Reyna

Dr Luis DeLeon Reyna teaches field ornithology early in the summer. Luis is an associate professor in the Biology Department at UMass Boston. He is an evolutionary biologist with interests in how anthropogenic disturbances and global change could affect evolutionary processes in natural populations. 

Dr Luis DeLeon Reyna

Elizabeth Boyle

Dr. Elizabeth Boyle teaches Marine and Coastal Ecological Research Methods every other summer on Nantucket. Her PhD is in Coastal Marine Ecology & Salt Marsh Biology. Beth is the Director of the Academic Achievement Service Center at UMass Boston, School for the Environment. 

John Dobyns

John Dobyns joins us from St. Norbert College and teaches the Spiders of Nantucket every other summer on Nantucket. John and his students collect and identify vast numbers of spiders from a variety of habitats on Nantucket. Frequently contributing new names to the species list and samples held at Maria Mitchell Association's Natural History Museum on Nantucket. 

Roberta Wollons

Dr Roberta Wollons is a professor of history at UMass Boston and teaches This Land is Your Land, a course on the environmental movement through the lens of the Cape and Islands. She also teaches the Whaling Women of Nantucket. Professor Wollons' research specializations are in American Progressive Era history, women's history, and the history of education.

Roberta Wollons

Stephanie Wood

Dr Stephanie Wood is a research assistant professor in the School for the Environment and instructor of Biology for the Biology Department at UMass Boston. Stephanie's expertise is on gray seal biology and she teaches our marine mammal biology course and a pinnipeds field trip course.

Mark Borrelli

Dr Mark Borrelli is a research fellow at UMass Boston, he runs multiple laboratories including one at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Mark's specialty is Coastal Geology; Non-Cohesive Sediment Transport; Seafloor Mapping. He teaches our Coastal Mapping and Coastal Geology courses on Nantucket. 

Mark Borrelli

Meet Our Interns

Year Round, Summer, Hybrid

Anh Le is our lead intern, she has spent over a year working between Boston and Nantucket year round. Anh loves to work in the water and has been amidst the eelgrass a lot in the last year. 

Student in purple wetsuit in the water

Anh Le -lead intern at the Nantucket Field Station

Hannah Vered has also been interning with the field station for over one year. Hannah is inspired by birds and beach and botany! Hannah stands in the photo below with a former intern Patrick Lillis who is now working at the Environmental Protection Agency. 

two student interns by the shore looking into the camera

Nantucket field station interns Patrick Lillis (former) and Hannah Vered.

Below is Dagonara Mendoza,  a McNair Fellow working with the station on Eelgrass. She started up our eelgrass transect behind the field station three years ago, Anh Le expanded  the sites to include Jetties beach and Warren's Landing.

Student in working in the water

Dagonara Mendoza another water bug! 

Below is our newest intern to join the staff at the field station. Holly Pearson. Holly has started off in the marsh late last fall, and looks forward to more of that next year, as well as all kinds of monitoring this year! 

student in waders in the winter marsh

Nantucket field station intern Holly Pearson. 

Connor Roth, Julia Fiske and Anh Le are in the photo below left to right. 

Conor Roth graduated last year, he interned for credit at the end of his senior year. Conor characterized the fresh water pond depth and salinity (or lack of) behind the lab last summer in between running into the moors for visual checks for algal blooms in the pout ponds and Almanac pond.

Also in the photo below is Julia Fiske, a Nantucketer going to college in Florida but who was on staff as an intern for credit with her University through the UMass Field Station during the summer.

three student interns on the beach

We wish our former interns well in current and future endeavors:

Brooke Steadman, Adriana Voci, Alexa Lynn, Susan Fabijanic, Nick Lombardi and all previous!