Volunteer at Long Pasture
When it comes to horseshoe crabs, Hillary Cressey knows what she is talking about. Wading along banks of slender cordgrass, she keeps a sharp lookout for their telltale shapes crawling along the sand. When she spots one, she jots down in a waterproof notebook the location of the animal and whether it is accompanied by a mate.
Hillary, a volunteer at Long Pasture in Barnstable, has for the past four years organized a scientific survey through the wildlife sanctuary to document declines in horseshoe crab populations. She has a doctoral degree in Community College
Education and teaching experience in biology, so these studies are a natural extension of her passion for the sciences. Every spring she leads her intrepid team of volunteers to the shore of Barnstable Harbor to collect data that helps Mass Audubon care for this vulnerable species.
This isn’t Hillary’s only contribution to the wildlife sanctuary. She also wrote the complete text of the Long Pasture Bird Guide, available in the Visitor Center, and she is working on improving and maintaining the sanctuary’s bird garden, a place where visitors can see purple martins and other relatively uncommon species. Hillary’s contributions to so many projects, as well as her unflagging spirit and sense of curiosity, have made her an invaluable asset to Mass Audubon—and especially to Long Pasture’s abundant wildlife.