The Rutledge Marine Laboratory provides a home for a portly spider crab (Libinia emarginata), yellow sea slug (Cadlina laevis), and a school of Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus). There are also the usual visitors, of course, including blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), green crabs (Carcinus maenas), frilled sea anenomes (Metridium senile), rock crabs (Cancer irroratus), jonah’s crabs (Cancer borealis), northern sea stars (Asterias spp.), hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.) and plenty of barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) and periwinikles (Littorina spp.).
The lab works with other organizations like the Blue Ocean Society, the Seacoast Science Center and the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island to enlarge its collection and explore educational opportunities for the summer. For example, the lab recently recreated several traditional marine science experiments including testing the photosensitivity and behavior of hermit crabs, examining the composition of the benthic community at the Isles of Shoals utilizing fouling plates, and implementing several transect surveys to measure the diversity of intertidal zone ecosystems on Star Island.
The lab offers science education experiences for all ages from the unique perspective of an island community that looks reflectively and critically at our culture and the future it is choosing. As a part of this mission and in line with Star Island’s sustainability initiative, the lab will host several discussions on sustainable living throughout the summer.
Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day during the summer.