Local Students Monitor the Health of the Jersey Shore
After Superstorm Sandy
Jean Sullivian, August 9, 2013
|Britta Forsberg Wenzel, Executive Director, Save Barnegat Bay;Bianco Reo; Ryan Sullivan; Ryan Christiansen; Meredith Foor; Kelly Szaniawski; Juliet Taylor; Annalee Tweitmann; and MATES Supervisor Dr. John Wnek at Student Research presentaions.
OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY This summer, Save Barnegat Bay coordinated student research projects throughout the Barnegat Bay area. Six local high school and college students embarked on four research projects that are related to Barnegat Bay and post-Sandy assessments, and more specifically, Island Beach State Park. Five of the six research interns were graduates of MATES. The topics dealt with dune accretion on Island Beach State Park, sponsored by Friends of Island Beach State Park; terrapin nesting after the storm, coordinated through MATES Project Terrapin; bottom sediments in Barnegat Bay, sponsored by the USDA National Resources Conservation Services; and water quality monitoring along the bay conducted by MATES' Student NJDEP Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Team. The student research internships are funded through Save Barnegat Bay, a local environmental group.
The students, and their mentors, conducted their monitoring and data collection throughout the summer and presented their findings at the Tri Boro First Aid Squad Building in Seaside Park last week. Each student explained their research objectives, methodologies, testing equipment and procedures as well as their results and conclusions. Approximately 80 local environmentalists and concerned citizens listened attentively and had the opportunity to ask questions regarding the presentations. While some of the research topics are part of ongoing monitoring programs, others focused on environmental concerns which have not been studied before.
MATES Supervisor and student advisor Dr. John Wnek commented, "I feel that the students handled questions well and they truly embraced their research this year. Some of the projects focused on the aftermath of the storm, which did provide them with an opportunity to learn about changes in the ecosystem, and provided a means for them to "give back" to Barnegat Bay. The students and their respective projects are:
-Annalee Tweitmann, MATES graduate, now attending Cornell University, Assessing the Reproductive Outpur of the Northern Diamondback terrapin at North Sedge Island after a Post-Tropical Cyclone. -Juliet Taylor, MATES graduate now attending University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Ryan Christiansen, MATES graduate now attending Florida Tech; Meredith Foor, MATES graduate now (continued) attending Stevens Institute of technology; and MATES student volunteer Kelly Szaniawski, Source Tracking along Island Beach State Park and Seaside Park (ambient water monitoring) -Ryan Sullivan, MATES graduate now attending the University of Rhode Island, Trace Metal Analysis and Subaqueous Soil Survey. -Bianca Reo, Villanova University, Dynamics of Primary Dunes Following a Major Stochastic Event.