FY2017 National Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program
This project will utilize EPA’s current continuous water monitoring exchange framework (WaterML 2.0 and SensorML formats) to share continuous water quality data and its associated metadata. The project will encode continuous air quality sensor data based on the same procedures and framework established for continuous water quality data, as well as configure data flows and test the Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema for sharing discrete seasonal water quality data throughEPA’s WQX system; and, will configure data flows and test existing XML schema to upload Facility Registry data and location via the Virtual ExchangeServices to EPA’s Facility Registry Service.
Using geophysical technologies to delineate and monitor saltwater intrusion within New Jersey coastal aquifers.
A study, funded through a NJWRRI (New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute) research grant, used two geophysical methods, self-potential (SP) and electrical resistivity (ER) imaging to look at saltwater intrusion in Cape May County, NJ. SP measurements were collected in a USGS monitoring well to capture changes in electrical conductivity (as a proxy for salinity) ahead of the occurrence of a salt water intrusion event, marked by increases in conductivity. MERI and Rutgers-Newark associates teamed up on December 22, 2017 to conduct marine ER continuous vertical electrical sounding (CVES) surveys within the Delaware Bay along two creeks. These electrical measurements will be analyzed to determine the transition from freshwater to saltwater within the sediments adjacent to the Bay.
MERI GIS Specialist Brian Wlodawski presented “Environmental and Industrial Site Assessment Using Drones” giving an overview of the capabilities and applications of current drone technology at the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) New Jersey Annual Conference.
I want to thank everyone who participated in Super Storm Sandy five years later. We had over 150 attendees, 28 oral presentations and over 20 posters. With a central theme of Super Storm Sandy five years later; presentations touched on a number of topics including: sediment and contaminate transport, assessing fugitive chemicals and exposure to recovery workers, uncertainty in sea surge forecasts, retreat strategies from coastal areas and effective communication when explaining the weather, among others. The conference provided a forum for the exchange of ideas across disciplines that will help create a consensus on how to make our coastal communities and ecosystems more resilient in the future.
The NJ (Rutgers-Newark) student chapter of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) visited River Barge Park Marina and toured the estuaries of the Hackensack River with Francisco Artigas Director of of MERI.. The goal of the chapter is to provide an opportunity for students affiliated with environmental and engineering geology programs to meet with professionals. We promote activism and awareness for issues such as climate change and sustainability with the goal of motivating students of their responsibilities as environmental stewards.We also provide public understanding of the geologic and hydrologic environment and how to correct environmental mistakes.
MERI is using drones (small unmanned aircraft systems) to capture high resolution panoramic and ortho imagery. MERI’s fleet of drones create image, 4k video, and 3D modeling products. Drones are used for site assessment, creek and ditch inspections, wetlands surveying, identifying marsh plant communities and invasive species, as well as terrain modeling. MERI has FAA part 107 sUAS certified pilots. For drone project inquiries please contact GIS Specialist Michael Stepowyj. Michael.Stepowyj@rutgers.edu 201-460-4693
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be discussing Superfund response actions within the Berry’s Creek Study Area (BCSA) and soliciting public input during an informal public availability session.
The public session is on Tuesday, September 12 2017, 6-7:30 PM
The Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute will host a series of Flight Maneuver classes for commercial drone operators. The course will be taught by Jim Blanchard, ScD, Chief Scientist at UAS Academy*.
The intent of this course is to provide a basis for internal pilot training requirements. The course is satisfactory to meet the intent of the FAA COA Authorization of “self-certifying” for a public agency flying sUAS that use the DJI GO Application on iPad devices as the primary ground control station (cockpit) of the operations in Line Of Sight (LOS); Day VFR missions.
The course is 50% flight operations and 50% pre-flight and post-flight assessment required to master all of the maneuvers in the course guide.
EPA conducted a briefing on the Berry’s Creek Study area (BCSA) remedial investigation at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute. The consulting group ELM has recently concluded field investigations of the BCSA which started in 2010. The study includes Berry’s Creek which is a 6.5-mile tributary of the Hackensack River and its surrounding wetlands and waterways. The creek originates near Teterboro Airport, meanders through reed marshes, and then discharges into the Hackensack River. Berry’s Creek Study Area has been impacted by three federal Superfund sites (Ventron/Velsicol, Universal Oil Products and Scientific Chemical Processing) as well as several other hazardous waste sites. The Ventron/Velsicol site located in the boroughs of Wood-Ridge and Carlstadt contained a former mercury processing plant that operated from 1929 until 1974. Process waste, containing mercury and other contaminants was disposed on the 40-acre property. Soils, groundwater, surface water and sediments are contaminated. Off-site sediments and surface water are also contaminated. Mercury and PCBs are the primary contaminants and have been found at elevated levels throughout the surface water, sediment and biota in the area.
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.