Effects of Severe Weather on Terrapin Populations
Educators from New Jersey will have the opportunity to participate in an expedition focused on studying the effects Hurricane Sandy had on the Terrapins of the Jersey Shore. This is an invaluable experience intended to be transferred to the classroom and shared with students year after year.
Explore one of the most extensive salt marsh ecosystems on the East Coast in search of this ornate turtle.
With the coastal sprawl of New Jersey's Ocean County bearing down on beautiful Barnegat Bay, this is a rare opportunity to contribute to environmental sustainability in the face of rampant development. Working from a motorized boat, your team will help capture, tag, and track terrapins in their rich estuary environment. They will also explore strategies that shape the nesting behavior of terrapins. By drawing upon theory and first principles, teachers will design and carry out a study that assesses how terrapins balance risk of predation on eggs with physical factors that enhance their development when choosing nesting habitats. Tradeoffs pose a universal challenge to animals, and teachers will come away from this field course with an awareness of how biologists frame questions and design experiments to unravel the ways animals solve such problems. The program will include data collection, data analysis and group discussions, supported by the lead scientist Jules Winter, Drexel University.
Most important, you will be mentored in how to observe biological patterns and how to frame research hypothesis/questions and then gather data to address those inquiries. This long-running teacher program in the US has shown that field opportunities refresh and energize teachers, inspiring them to share their first-hand experiences of the natural world with their students. They learn about environmental sustainability and gain hands-on experience in the valuable skills of scientific inquiry and observation – and their field experiences provide real-world context for teaching textbook principles.
Teacher testimonial:"After years of teaching the same topics in somewhat the same way, this experience has reminded me of the importance of looking at things from many different perspectives. One thing that I really appreciated about the scientists we worked with was that they presented ideas and gathered facts. They reminded us that we can make decisions that can and will affect our environment. That’s what we want our own students to do: think for themselves and draw their own conclusions.”
In your recreational time, you may choose to canoe in the spectacular Pine Barrens (one of the most unique and undeveloped ecosystems in the northeastern U.S.), visit Old Barney (one of North America's most photographed lighthouses located on Long Beach Island), snorkel for invertebrates or take a swim at Island Beach State Park.
Teachers in grades K-12 are eligible to apply for the program. The program fee of $125 covers all costs associated with the research, food and accommodations. Districts or schools can fund a participant, or teachers can agree to fund their own participation.
We can accommodate only 8 teachers and cannot guarantee your acceptance. Should registration exceed 8 participants, the Program in Teacher Preparation will contact your district for more information.
Meals and Accommodations
Participants will reside on campus in Waretown, New Jersey from Monday to Thursday, July 8-11, 2013 and return home on Thursday afternoon. The final day of the program, Friday, July 12th, 2013 will be held on the Princeton University campus where research findings will be presented. Travel to and from Waretown and Princeton is the responsibility of the participant. Your team of 8 teachers will stay at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education, Waretown, NJ situated on 180 acres of undeveloped coastal habitat, with beautiful views of Barnegat Bay and opportunities to explore some of the last remaining natural scenery of the New Jersey shore. The center provides double rooms, air conditioning, laundry facilities, a computer lab, lounge, and shared bathrooms with hot showers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be catered by a local chef and served in the dining room.
To apply to this program you must register on the QUEST application page. Please print and read the booking terms and condition for further program requirements.
Applications should be submitted by April 1, 2013 for consideration in the July program.
For further information please contact:
Gina Mastro, Manager, Professional Development Initiatives
Program in Teacher Preparation, Princeton University
41 William Street Princeton, NJ 08540, 609-258-2536