Sustaining a thriving lobster fishery through science and community.
Vol. 11. No. 14
Surveying Lobsters by the Pound
An island lobster pound has become the latest site for UMaine students in Spatial Information and Engineering (SIE) to get hands-on experience with topographic surveying. Last fall, a group of SIE students traveled to Friendship Long Island to begin mapping the contours of a six-acre lobster pound for The Lobster Conservancy, a non-profit research and education organization.
The students are members of the ACSM/ASPRS Student Chapter (American Congress on Surveying & Mapping and the American Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing) at the University of Maine. The project is providing experience in the type of work they might do in a private surveying firm.
'We met the directors of the organization on the docks one Saturday in late November," says Steve Doughty, a graduate student from Dearborn, Mich., who is helping coordinate the project. "We had to take food, tents and other gear in case the weather turned bad and we couldn't make it back the same day."
Students involved in the project are Doughty, Stephanie Sturtevant of Mt. Vernon, Christopher Bailey and Valerie Carney of Orono, Joshua Connell of Old Town, Ted Wells of Bar Harbor, Ashton Lamont of St. Johnsbury, Vt., and Brian Naberezny of South Plainfield, N.J.
The eight students established control points and collected data on the shape of the basin at low tide. They are entering measurements into Autocad, a software program commonly used to generate engineering diagrams.
The Friendship Long Island facility is one of three pounds donated in 1998 to The Lobster Conservancy by the U.S.I. Corp., of Rockland. The organization intends to use the pound for experiments on lobster behavior and ecology.
"We're very pleased with the students' work and enthusiasm," says Sara Ellis, TLC director and a UMaine School of Marine Sciences instructor. "This six-acre pound gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study lobsters in a natural laboratory. The students will help us understand the lay of the land within the pound, where the shallow slopes and deep spots are located. This will help us place shelters for our study lobsters."
TLC has received grants from the Lobster Institute at UMaine, the Maine/New Hampshire Sea Grant Program and the Davis Conservation Foundation for tagging studies on juvenile and adult lobsters.