Category Archives: Clams

Top-Level category for posts related to clams

Plant pot with net collar

Setting Up and Deploying the Plastic Plant Pot Experiment

This post provides detailed instructions about how to set out the plastic plant pot experiments that are at the heart of work that students do in CSI-Maine. It provides a list of materials and tells you what to do with them.  If any of this is confusing or seems to leave something, please tell us by leaving a reply using the link at the top of the post, right below the title.…

2018 Gouldsboro experimental sites

2019 Gouldsboro Data – Part 1 – The Experiments

During 2018 the Gouldsboro shellfish committee and the CSI-Maine project set out “experimental unit” — our “plant pot” experiments — in two coves that were once productive but that are now so overrun by crabs that they are considered to be “dead mud.” This spring, a team of students in the Pathways program at Sumner Memorial High School is analyzing the data so that they can be presented to the shellfish committee and others on March 20.  This is the first in a series of posts that document that work.…

Making Tuva Files Available to Students

In this post, we show you how to make a dataset that you uploaded to Tuva available to students for their own exploration and use. We will work with the Boothbay Harbor sea surface temperature (SST) dataset that we uploaded in an earlier “how to” post. We also illustrate a few of the many things you can do with Tuva, including “filtering” the data so that you only see a part of the data.  We will also show you how to change the range of the axes on a graph and how to save a particular graph for future use.…

Sumner Memorial High School student presenting findings at the Maine Fishermen's Forum, March 2018

The Shellfish Project Over the School Year

The way that CSI-Maine fits into the school year strongly influenced by the clam lifecycle. Clams grow over the summer, which means that teachers and students set out their experiments in the spring and collect data in the fall. This is a nice fit to the school year in many ways. It provides an opportunity to get the new school year off to a strong start with a highly engaging outdoor activity and gives teachers and students the winter months to analyze data, prepare presentations to shellfish committees and others, and make plans for the next season’s work.…

European Green Crab

The Green Crab Lifecycle

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) arrived in the New York and New Jersey ports in the early 1800s, spread to Casco Bay by the 1890s, and continued to spread northward to Downeast Maine and the Bay of Fundy over the twentieth century (Fulton et al., 2013).  It is a voracious predator, but until recently the crab’s numbers in Maine were kept in check by cold winters. That was enough to make it possible for softshell clams to continue to thrive even though green crabs were eating them.

Small clam being measured

The Clam Lifecycle

There are many reasons that it will be useful for students to have an understanding of the softshell clam (Mya arenaria) life cycle as they work as part of CSI-Maine. It will help them understand when clams are most vulnerable to predators, how long it takes for a clam to reach legal size, why there can be lots of seed clams even in areas where there are no adult clams, and much more. Understanding the clam lifecycle will also be important for using CSI-Maine in support of learning goals related to ecological concepts such as predator/prey relationships and population dynamics. …