Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Jackson Estuarine Laboratory (JEL) is located five miles from the Durham campus on the shores of Great Bay Estuary, one of the largest estuaries in northern New England. JEL features well-equipped facilities where scientists conduct field-based and experimental research on physical and biological components of coastal ecosystems. Research at JEL has advanced our understanding of coastal ecosystems, especially with regard to human influences and management, in New Hampshire, the Gulf of Maine region and the world.  In a typical year, 25 projects are carried out by the scientists at JEL, with total external funding often exceeding $2 million.

Contact

David Shay, Assistant Director
Marine Facilities & Operations
Email: david.shay@unh.edu
Phone: (603) 862-5127

David Burdick, Interim Director
Email: david.burdick@unh.edu
Phone: (603) 862-5129

 

The mission of the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory (JEL) is to advance science, support education, and inform management, primarily through research activities that increase understanding of estuarine and coastal ecosystems.  The only academic laboratory dedicated to the study of estuaries in the Northeast, JEL is located on the shores of the Great Bay Estuary (GBE). Our team of scientists, students and technical staff conduct research, education, and outreach activities to promote the viability and health of estuaries for their sustained use and enjoyment by residents and visitors to the Seacoast.

We envision healthy coastal and estuarine systems that support human and natural communities, provide for sustainable use, and are resilient to natural and human pressures.  To this end, JEL scientists work together with partners from New Hampshire, New England and the world to develop new insights and yield knowledge that enhance management of coastal areas and the processes that sustain them.   

Jackson Estuarine Laboratory maintains a well equipped laboratory as well as a fleet of small estuarine research vessels. The building and adjoining greenhouse have full seawater capabilities on a year round basis. Mesocosms are maintained outside during the summer season. Within the laboratory JEL has a full analytical laboratory (nutrient autoanalyzer, gas chormatographic elemental autoanalyzer, liquid scintillation counter, spectrophotometer, and image analysis system), sedimentology and benthic laboratory (grain size, organic content and infaunal identification equipment) and microbiology laboratory equipped for ribotyping, community analysis, PCR, gene probes and traditional culture techniques (chemiluminescence imaging system, thermocycler, gel electrophoresis, liquid scintillation counter, epifluorescence microscope, centrifuges, incubators, ovens).

Boating facilities at JEL include a causeway with a 2,000 pound capacity crane and a floating dock with slip spaces for four boats. There is also a tide-restricted boat ramp on the adjacent NH Fish and Game Department property. Boats available at JEL include five outboard-powered vessels ranging from a 12-foot skiff to a 22-foot center-console, and a 24-foot diesel-powered inboard.

View JEL Vessels

From UNH to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. Proceed south on Main Street through the center of Durham staying in the right lane.
  2. Continue past the Post Office on the left and the Community Church on the right.
  3. Get into the right lane approaching the traffic signal and take Rt 108 toward Newmarket for about 1/2 mile.
  4. Turn left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles.
  5. Turn left onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  6. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

From the Portsmouth, NH traffic circle to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. Take the "Durham/Dover/Concord" exit onto the Spaulding Turnpike off the Portsmouth traffic circle.
  2. Proceed about 3 miles past Pease International Trade Port on left, Fox Run Mall on right, and over a high-rise bridge; get into right lane.
  3. Take exit 6W ("Rt 4 to 202 W" and "Durham/Concord") onto Rt 4 west.
  4. Continue on Rt 4 west for about 4 miles and take "Durham/Newmarket" exit (Rt. 108) on right.
  5. At end of exit ramp, turn left onto Rt. 108 and continue for about 1 mile to traffic signal.
  6. Turn left at the signal onto Rt 108 toward Newmarket and proceed for about 1/2 mile.
  7. Turn left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles.
  8. Turn left onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  9. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

From Concord, NH to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. From Concord, take Rt 4 east to the Durham/Lee area; about 25 miles
  2. Continue on Rt 4 through the Lee traffic circle where Rts 4 and 125 intersect for about 2 miles to the exit for "Fish & Game Region 3" and "University of New Hampshire".
  3. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Stay on this road which turns into Main Street. Continue through the UNH campus and the small town of Durham. Stay in the right lane.
  4. Continue past the Post Office on the left and the Community Church on the right.
  5. Get into the right lane approaching the traffic signal and take Rt 108 toward Newmarket for about 1/2 mile.
  6. Turn left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles.
  7. Turn left onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  8. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

From Manchester, NH to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. Take Rt 101 east to Exeter and follow signs, merging to left onto Rt 108; about 25 miles.
  2. Proceed north on Rt 108 to Newmarket; about 8 miles.
  3. Drive through the center of Newmarket past the library on your left and over a small bridge. Turn right onto Bay Road just past the bridge.
  4. Stay on Bay Road/Durham Point Road (name changes after about 2 miles) for 4 miles.
  5. Turn right onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  6. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

Take Rt 108 from the center of Newmarket past the library on your left and over a small bridge.

  1. Turn right onto Bay Road just past the bridge.
  2. Stay on Bay Road/Durham Point Road (name changes after about 2 miles) for 4 miles.
  3. Turn right onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  4. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

From Maine on Rt. 95 to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. Approaching Portsmouth on I-95 south, take exit 5 "Portsmouth/Dover" and "Durham/Concord" onto the Spaulding Turnpike north.
  2. Proceed a few miles past Pease International Trade Port on left, Fox Run Mall on right, and over a high-rise bridge; get into right lane.
  3. Take exit 6W ("Rt 4 to 202 W" and "Durham/Concord") onto Rt 4 west.
  4. Continue on Rt 4 west for about 4 miles and take "Durham/Newmarket" exit (Rt. 108) on right.
  5. At end of exit ramp, turn left onto Rt. 108 and continue for about 1 mile to traffic signal.
  6. Turn left at the signal onto Rt 108 toward Newmarket and proceed for about 1/2 mile.
  7. Turn left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles.
  8. Turn left onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  9. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

From Massachusetts on Rt. 95 to Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

  1. Approaching Portsmouth on I-95, move into left lanes and follow signs "NH Lakes" and "White Mountains". This becomes Spaulding Turnpike north.
  2. Continue north past Pease International Trade Port on left and Fox Run Mall on right.
  3. After crossing the high-rise bridge (about 2 miles from I-95), get into right lane and take exit 6W (with sign indicating to "Durham" and "UNH") to the right which becomes Rt 4 west.
  4. Continue on Rt 4 west for about 4 miles and take "Durham/Newmarket" exit (Rt. 108) on right.
  5. At end of exit ramp, turn left onto Rt. 108 and continue for about 1 mile to traffic signal.
  6. Turn left at the signal onto Rt 108 toward Newmarket and proceed for about 1/2 mile.
  7. Turn left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles.
  8. Turn left onto Adams Point Road through a chain link fence/gate that has a sign “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” on it.
  9. Drive slowly on Adams Point Road for one mile into the parking lot. Traffic travels in both directions on this curvy, hilly, one lane road.

Tours of Jackson Estuarine Laboratory can be scheduled by contacting David Shay.