Nantucket Field Station Announces New Friends Organization to Promote Research, Public Outreach

Office of Communications | October 06, 2011
Nantucket Field Station Announces New Friends Organization to Promote Research, Public Outreach

The UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station announces the creation of the Friends of Nantucket Field Station (FFS), a group committed to the growth of the field station’s scientific research and public outreach.

FFS was officially inaugurated in August, following a field station open house. The gathering was hosted by a group of founding friends, headed by Nantucket residents John Flores and Donna Elle-Flores.  University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret and UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley were in attendance, along with field station director Sarah Oktay and 150 guests.

“Quite simply, we have a local and a world-class opportunity in a local and a world-class location working with a local and world-class university and, yes, dependent on all of you – you might say our local and world-class friends of the field station and local and world class-citizenry of Nantucket,” said John Flores in introducing the FFS.

FFS’s goals are to enlist financial and other support to help preserve the station’s integrity as a natural resource, enhance its educational and research functions, incorporate the public in its activities, and maintain and improve its infrastructure.

“As the university seeks to expand the field station’s capacity as a center for scientific study and learning, we welcome the partnership of those who share our commitment,” said Chancellor Motley. “I thank the Friends of the Nantucket Field Station, who will be powerful allies in helping us achieve our vision, and the entire Nantucket community for its support. I look forward to the progress we can make together.”

In October 2010, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and UMass Boston signed a memorandum of understanding to upgrade and renovate the Nantucket Field Station, which is located on the harbor in the Quaise portion of Nantucket Island. Improvements will include structural, heating, plumbing, electrical, IT, ADA, and accessibility projects. These improvements will help support the work of NFS and prepare the station for future endeavors and strategic planning.

“As a scientist myself, I’m especially excited about the important science research and education that takes place at the Field Station and the contributions our scientist are making to this community and the Commonwealth, and to developing new knowledge in the field,” said President Caret. “I thank the Nantucket Conservation Foundation for their partnership with the university. Your commitment to preserving this property was critical to enabling the university to continue its research and education mission, and you’ve helped to position us to expand outreach.”

The field station has operated for 48 years, providing a base for scientists and students from around the world. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF) purchased the property from the University of Massachusetts for $22.1 million in 2004 to ensure that the property remains open space and protected from development. The NCF made the final payment in 2009 and now holds title to the property, subject to an agreement that enables the university to continue to occupy and use the field station’s facilities.  The NCF allows UMass Boston to continue using 65 of the 110 acres and the existing structures for its educational, research, and community service programs.  Forty-five acres of upland bordering Folger’s Marsh and the Polpis Road is managed by the NCF, and the property is open to the public year round.

To join the FFS or learn more, visit or contact field station Director Sarah Oktay at 508-228-5268 or

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit

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