The Ecology of the Jersey Shore
What is Ecology of the Jersey Shore? In this Bryne Seminar, students who love the beach learn what makes these ecosystems tick. The students engage with the professor and a graduate student in exploring how the New Jersey shore was formed, and what critters call it home. The course requires students to collect data from salt marshes and barrier islands during two daylong field trips. With the help of the instructors, they then visualize their data using standard software. Through this exercise, the students gain a fuller appreciation of the unique beauty and character of the shore.
The project took the students out into the field—to the Rutgers Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, NJ. There they seine fish and other animals from the tidal pools in the adjacent salt marsh. The second Saturday trip is to Island Beach State Park near Seaside Park, NJ. The students walk from the beachfront to the salt marsh collecting data all along this unique barrier beach ecosystem.
Julie Lockwood (Ph.D., University of Tennessee) is an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, and she is the Director of the Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution. She teaches courses on vertebrate zoology, and the principles of ecology. She engages students in research related to the conservation of biodiversity. Her research is a cross-section of conservation biology, biogeography, and invasion ecology. She maintains an active lab with students and post-docs and as a group the lab has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals.