We are excited to share the news that starting this spring, we will be working with local author and ecologist Gil Newton on an in-depth book about Dead Neck Sampson’s Island (DNSI)! This book will include a natural history survey of DNSI, identifying all the plants and animals found on the island, as well as other key aspects of this barrier island’s ecology and landscape.
Gil will be conducting a survey of the island this spring that will take a few months, in order to capture the full picture of what plants and animals are present on the island through the seasons, like migratory birds. “We’ll also talk about the protected bird species that use the island,” Gil remarked in a call about the book.
Along with sections on the plants and animals present on DNSI, there will be an environmental impact section. This chapter will look at what affects invasive species, climate change, poor water quality, and more have done to this man made island. This section will go on to discuss what potential problems DNSI will face in the future as a result of the above factors.
We asked Gil a few questions to get a sneak peek of this book for you:
What are you most excited about regarding DNSI research?
“I’m most excited about fi nding out if there have been any changes over the years since I’ve been there, and I’m always excited about sharing that information with others who care deeply about this area. I’m excited to fi nd out what is living there, and it may be a large assemblage of plants and animals. That to me is a really interesting proposition.”
Have you spent time out there before?
“I’ve explored the area on my own more than a few times. As a young person, being able to explore these local areas was one of my inspirations to go into the marine sciences in the fi rst place. Exploring these unique local places is a part of my heritage. We’ve seen a lot of physical, geological changes in the area since I was a kid, and it’s been a while since my last visit, so I’m interested to see what those changes are.”
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
“I really enjoy writing. I’ve written seven books already, so this is another opportunity for me to write and share this knowledge with others.”
Do you have some interesting historical or environmental facts from the area you would like to share with Gil?
You can email him at email@example.com
A native Cape Codder, Gil Newton has been teaching environmental and marine science at Sandwich High School and Cape Cod Community College for many years. His classes include coastal ecology, botany, coastal zone management, and environmental technology. In 2013, he became the first Director of the Sandwich STEM Academy. One of the founding members of Barnstable Land Trust, Gil is past president of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He completed his graduate work in biology at Florida State University and is the author of seven books, including the recent Mysteries of Seaweed.