2017 Warren Grove NJ: Fire Ecology Unit

Research-based Partnership

Monday, July 10 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

K-12 teachers will participate in field-based experiments and data collection with scientists to build our understanding of the effects of fire on an ecosystem. This is an invaluable experience intended to be transferred to the classroom as teachers implement the Next Generation Science Standards.

Teachers will investigate how forests vary in their response to fire disturbance occurring during different times of the year and under varying intensities. Participants will spend 3 days in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, an approximately 1.4 million acre fire adapted ecosystem in southern New Jersey. Data collection will focus on fire impact on plants, insects and animals. Plant diversity, soil nutrients and terrestrial insect community assemblages will be investigated at sites with varying disturbance regimes. Participants will develop ecological hypotheses based on expected response to fire seasonality and intensity.

With Ryan Rebozo, Ph.D., Director of Conservation Science, Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Dane Ward, Ph.D., Assistant Director at Drexel University Laboratory of Pinelands Research.

Participating teachers will be housed Monday & Tuesday night at the Lighthouse Center in Waretown, New Jersey. This facility is located approximately 20 minutes from the Warren Grove range and includes dormitories and cafeteria. Breakfast and dinner will be served on site while lunches will be packed into the field. Transportation will be provided to and from the Lighthouse Center for each field day. Rooms will have wifi, air conditioning and their own bathrooms (some bathrooms shared with the adjoining room).

Who: K-12 teachers (a maximum of 8 teachers) When:  Monday, July 10 – Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Where: Lighthouse Center in Waretown, New Jersey

The summer institute fee is $250 for registrations received by 4/7/17 and $300 after 4/7. Teachers participating in the MSP grant with Princeton and Rider Universities are welcome to attend free of charge. 

This Fire Ecology Unit is in partnership with the MSP grant, a collaboration of Princeton University, Rider University and Pinelands Preservation Alliance. 

Teachers will have first hand experiences with the Science Practices as specified in the Next Generation Science Standards for their application in classroom instruction, curriculum and assessment: 

  • Asking questions

  • Developing and using models

  • Planning and carrying out investigations

  • Analyzing and interpreting data

  • Using mathematics and computational thinking

  • Constructing explanations

  • Engaging in argument from evidence

  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information