delware environmental institute

NSF Highlight: How climate change is impacting marshes

NSF Highlight: How climate change is impacting marshes

It is a very muddy trek from the small boat to the field site along Raccoon Creek near Bridgeport, N.J. Villanova University marine scientist Nathaniel Weston and his team are all carrying ladders and equipment as they slosh through ankle deep mud toward their experiments. "The whole reason I got into this line of research is because I like being outside, I like coastal estuaries and marsh systems, I like getting muddy, so I have fun with it," says Weston enthusiastically.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Weston, also a biogeochemist, is investigating how climate change and sea level rise may impact fresh and saltwater ecosystems, such as this marsh.

"What we wanted to do was have sites that are a gradient from fresh water to salt water so that we could investigate these processes of how salt water intrusion impacts freshwater marshes, and how sea level rise impacts both tidal freshwater and salt marshes," says Weston.