The Rutgers Future Scholars program introduces first-generation, low income, and academically talented middle school students from our four Rutgers home communities (New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark, and Camden) to the promise and opportunities of a college education. Participants in the summer before they enter the eighth grade will become part of a unique pre-college culture of university programming, events, support, and mentoring that will continue through their high school years. Students who successfully complete the pre-college initiative and are admitted to Rutgers will receive a sholarship covering the cost of their tuition for four years funded through a range of grants and donations.
The Rutgers Future Scholars spent the day at MERI’s boat marina in Carlstadt, where they got out on the Hackensack River and learned how to canoe in pairs. The scholars learned teamwork and coordination while enjoying the wildlife and water. While one group canoed, other scholars sat on the docks and painted the scenery of the river. The workshop was a nice combination of team building, creativity, and education.
The Geosciences Scholars Summer Institute funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides an academic experience within a college setting to African-American and Latino-American high school youth for the purpose of exposing them to the many possibilities afforded by geosciences careers in their future. This specific grant was awarded to Rutgers University-Newark, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and is known as “Opportunities for the Enhancement of Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG)”. The MERI Institute provided the space and equipment for students to conduct soil and water surveys at the River Barge Park Marina. Later on, all students had a chance to tour the Hackensack estuary through a Pontoon boat ride.
MERI invited UAS Academy to teach a two day ground school course on June 28th & 29th for the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System. Five MERI employees attended the course to prepare for the FAA Remote pilot certificate exam. In addition to MERI, personnel from NJDEP, AECOM, PVSC, Port Authority, Bowne Management Systems, Burlington County Fire Marshalls Office, and Rutgers University attended the course. The class covered topics in airspace regulation, crew resource management, meteorological reports and science, aerodynamics, and remote pilot regulations. MERI plans to use drone technology to take high resolution aerial imagery and for vegetation mapping.
Seniors from North Star Academy school in Newark, NJ visited MERI for a workshop in GPS training and water quality assessment. Students learned about the chemistry lab, GIS and GPS equipment, and the environmental monitoring equipment taking information out in the field. The class recorded water quality measurement data like water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and salinity. The students then compared their data between the freshwater source and a tidally influenced source.
Ecology professor Allison Fitzgerald from New Jersey City University recently lead an ecology class to a wetland site in the Meadowlands where students were introduced to wetland science field techniques. Using tape measurements and 1 meter square plots students measured plant assemblages and plant densities across an elevation gradient. Students found that in tidal coastal wetlands terrain elevation is an important factor determining plant species composition.
In April, Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) laboratory finished their annual Proficiency Testing (PT) study. All of the 60 certified parameters have been evaluated and considered as acceptable. MERI laboratory has been recognized as a Laboratory of Excellence for achieving 100% acceptable data in this study which included 1061 participating laboratories. This achievement is a demonstration of the superior quality of the laboratory performance.
MERI participated in the annual Rutgers Day university and community celebration event. This was the second annual Rutgers Day held at the Newark University Campus, and was a great way for the departments to connect with the community of Newark. The Earth and Environmental Science Department had several programs and activities, including MERI’s ‘Soak The Polluter’ game. Participants of all ages took their aim to soak the polluter as they learned about environmental issues.
The Newark Environmental Sustainability Institute (NESI) will co-sponsor a seminar presentation
with the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI), Earth and
Environmental Sciences Department, Rutgers-Newark.
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Smith Hall Seminar Room 125, Earth and Environmental Sciences,
101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102
For information contact: Deborah Greenwood PhD, 973-353-2738
On Saturday October 1, 2016, Scientists from Rutgers University Newark and MERI led a group of professional environmental scientist on a field demonstration of techniques and methods for studying coastal marsh lands. Dr. Dimitris Ntarlagiannis from Rutgers University Newark demonstrated subsurface characterization using electrical resistivity and induced polarization imaging. Dr. Francisco Artigas from MERI demonstrated sediment elevation table measurements for assessing accretion rates in the context of sea level rise. The group concluded their day with a pontoon boat tour of the Hackensack River.