Lighthouse Camp for Natural Resource Education

Environmental Educators Roundtable

Celebrating Earth Day at our 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable – ONLINE!

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District has been effectively coordinating and implementing the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable since 1997. This year, we will continue this long and treasured tradition of providing high quality professional development – online!

The goal of the Roundtable is to provide educators with ideas and lesson plans that offer meaningful ways for instilling a sense of place in their students, and build upon existing curricula by making it locally relevant. Our 23rd annual Roundtable was scheduled for April 22 – Earth Day. But this year, as we maintain social distancing standards, we will not be gathering together at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education. Instead, Ocean County Soil Conservation District, with the help of our talented partners, has put together a suite of engaging online programs that include lessons, activities, podcasts and webinars.

This year’s programs and lessons are centered around the theme “Happy Earth Day for the Next Generation – Full STEAM Ahead”, in celebration of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary. Earth Day is about celebrating Earth – our home – the planet that gives over 7 billion people and 8.7 million other species “life”! Programs are designed to include engaging, hands-on STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities and many are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Scroll below and click on the links to explore the diversity of programs offered at our 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable. The programs are meant to inspire stewardship and embrace the ideology that each of us can make a difference in the health of our planet and the education of our children. All are free, and everyone is welcome to engage in these online programs!

Kelly Gill, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Also, please join us on April 22 at 3:00pm for a live-streamed webinar with Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Kelly Gill of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Kelly will showcase pollinators, discuss the importance of these small but mighty creatures, and share ways that educators can engage in pollinator conservation in the classroom, on school grounds, or at home. Click this link to register for this free webinar.

 

 

If you pre-ordered an Earth Day t-shirt for this special occasion – you will be notified by email upon their arrival to the District. If you have any questions, please contact Becky Laboy, education@soildistrict.org.

 

Pinelands Direct has brought their high quality native plants to sell at our Environmental Educators Roundtable for many years. You can continue to make purchases and support one of New Jersey’s finest native plant nurseries through online ordering. For all questions or special inquiries please send Pinelands Direct a message on Facebook or email sales@pinelandsdirect.com.

Your plants will arrive at your home just in time for spring planting! Flowering perennials, shrubs, trees, groundcovers, there is something for everyone. Native plants support wildlife, including birds, butterflies, bees and other beneficials. Bring cash and arrive early!

 

 


Scroll below and explore the lessons and activities supporting the diverse topics offered at this year’s 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable!

Dig It! Soil Science: Soil filters our water, provides essential nutrients to our forests and foods, and helps regulate the Earth’s temperature. Learn about the power and importance of soil!

Lessons:

K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources, Soil Science Society of America:

Pinelands Soil (grades 4-6) New Jersey Pinelands Commission: This Pinelands soil unit consists of three lessons appropriate for upper elementary, consisting of: “Washing the Soil”, “Pinelands Mudpies” and “Now You See It, Now You Don’t”.

Pinelands Soil (grades 7-8) New Jersey Pinelands Commission: This Pinelands soil unit consists of three lessons appropriate for middle grades, consisting of: “A Soil is Known by It’s Profile”, “Sand, the Dominant Ingredient” and “Sand Acts Like a Sieve”.

Virtual Field Trip:

Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, Soil Science Society of America and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History with the support of the Soil Science Society of America, and the Nutrients for Life Foundation (The Fertilizer Institute): Soils help sustain virtually every form of life on Earth. Take a virtual journey into the skin of the Earth and explore the amazing world of soil with this video tour (47 min 19 sec) of “Dig It! The Secrets of Soil”, a traveling field trip for students and teachers.

Videos:

The Importance of Soil, Chicago Botanic Garden: This well-done video (6 min 39 sec) provides an overview of soil’s characteristics and processes.

Soil and Soil Dynamics, Bozeman Science: In this video (9 min 21 sec), Professor Paul Andersen explains how soils are formed and classified. Weathering of rock creates particles which are mixed with water, air, and organic material. Soils are classified according to particle size, chemical makeup, and horizon distribution. A brief discussion of soil loss through erosion, compaction, and salinization is included.

Webinars:

Soils: Foundation for Life, Soil Science Society of America: Dig into the basics of soil! Explore this free hour-long recorded webinar, where you’ll learn what soil is, how it forms, and how it affects our lives every day through hands-on activities for the classroom.

PPT:

Web Soil Survey, created by Rob Tunstead, NRCS: Explore the Web Soil Survey! The Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world.


Fire Ecology in the Pines: The Pine Barrens is a globally unique ecosystem, located in south Jersey. Thousands of years of fire regimes within this sensitive area have shaped the landscape and are believed to be partly responsible for the stunted growth of the pine trees within the Pygmy Pine regions. Learn more about fire ecology in the Pines and discover the unique adaptations of the Pitch Pine and other fire-dependent plants in this special ecosystem.

Lessons:

Fire Ecology in the Pines, NJ Audubon: Download this lesson plan about how the connections between natural and human communities are portrayed in natural history literature, and how these connections apply to the study of the watershed, using fire ecology in the Pines as an example. Key ideas explored: biotic community, abiotic environment, niche, interdependency.

Pinelands Fire (grades 4-6) New Jersey Pinelands Commission: This Pinelands fire unit consists of four lessons appropriate for upper elementary, consisting of: “Feeding (or Starving) a Pinelands Fire”, “Fire Beware!”, “How to Succeed in the Pinelands”, and “Forests, Fire and People”.

Pinelands Fire (grades 7-8) New Jersey Pinelands Commission: This Pinelands fire unit consists of three lessons appropriate for middle grades, consisting of: “Got a Match?”, “Design for Disaster” and “Was Smokey Correct?”.

Websites:

Fire in the Pines, Pinelands Preservation Alliance: learn how fires have shaped the Pine Barrens ecosystem; watch a short video of a real-time fire burning through the pine forest (1 min 50 sec).

Videos:

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey – Ecosystem, Pinelands Preservation Alliance: video (3 min 35 sec) offers an overview of this unique ecosystem, including it’s geophysical history, and the adaptations of the plants living in this harsh

Fire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, Pinelands Preservation Alliance: video (2 min 26 sec) describes how fire affects Pitch Pine trees, and how the fire resistant adaptations of the Pitch Pine has shaped the Pine Barrens

New Jersey Pinelands: Protecting a National Treasure, Pinelands Preservation Alliance: (7 min, 52 sec) offers an overview of the New Jersey Pinelands, and discusses the improtance of this unique ecosystem, and the need to protect it.


Magnifying Plastics: Plastic is everywhere, polluting woodlands, beaches, rivers and oceans.

Lessons: 

Magnifying Plastics, NJ Sea Grant Consortium: in this lesson, students will discover the basic elements of plastics including raw material sources, the various types of polymers, how they degrade into microplastics, and how these ubiquitous plastics enter and affect waterways and our oceans. Biomagnification exacerbates the marine impact of plastics. A variety of solutions are reviewed including engineering, education, behavioral and legislative.

Videos: 

What Really Happens When You Throw Plastics Away, TED-Ed Talk video (4 min 6 sec) investigates the journeys of 3 plastic bottles, one that ends up in a landfill, one that ends up in the ocean, and one that is recycled. The above link takes you to the TED-Ed website, where you’ll find an accompanying lesson plan and other related resources.

Citizen Science: 

Save Coastal Wildlife, a local non-profit organization, conducts microplastics research along the Jersey Shore. Your students can participate in data collection and analysis, and help contribute to the solution of this massive global problem.

 


Have Seeds, Will Travel

 


Randomizing Sampling – Minimizing Bias Through Experimental Design and Collection

Magnifying Plastics

Did the Leni Lenape Use STEM?

Prescription Strength Nature: How Nature Improves Your Mental Health

Macroinvertebrates

 

 

Pinelands Direct has brought their high quality native plants to sell at our Environmental Educators Roundtable for many years. You can continue to make purchases and support one of New Jersey’s finest native plant nurseries through online ordering. For all questions or special inquiries please send Pinelands Direct a message on Facebook or email sales@pinelandsdirect.com.

Your plants will arrive at your home just in time for spring planting! Flowering perennials, shrubs, trees, groundcovers, there is something for everyone. Native plants support wildlife, including birds, butterflies, bees and other beneficials. Bring cash and arrive early!

 

 

 

 


Terry O'Leary and McDuffy Barrow, of the Forest Resource Education Center, teach a group of educators about bees at the 2010 Environmental Educators Roundtable.


Terry O’Leary and McDuffy Barrow, of the Forest Resource Education Center, teach a group of educators about bees at the 2010 Environmental Educators Roundtable.

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District has been effectively and successfully coordinating the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable since 1997. A primary task of the Steering Committee who represent nearly twenty area groups and agencies, is to assist local educators in the inclusion of Barnegat Bay watershed-specific information and materials into their lessons, activities and programs. The Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable provides a mechanism for environmental educators to share resources and information related to the watershed. The enthusiasm instilled in educators is carried back to their schools, nature centers, science institutions and colleagues, and helps to promote environmental education opportunities within the watershed. It is the perfect venue for professional development opportunities for both school teachers and informal educators. The program and itinerary for the Roundtable varies each year, with additional partners and customized programs adding to the appeal for educators to attend.

“Excellent workshops I will use in my own class and will share with other teachers in our school! Thank you!!”

The Roundtable has a proven success rate with Ocean County educators. The educational programs and opportunities available from all participating agencies, organizations and groups allows a comprehensive approach to watershed education and provides educators with a “one-stop-shopping” approach. It is well known that educators are more likely to present and teach topics with which they are familiar and comfortable. The main goal and objective of the annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable is to provide this opportunity and to ultimately improve and protect the health of the Barnegat Bay watershed.


2019: 22nd Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

This much anticipated event was spearheaded by OCSCD in 1997 through a partnership of representatives from many local environmental groups and agencies. By working together, we can accomplish our collective goal to educate others about the ecological, cultural and historical aspects of the Barnegat Bay watershed.

Participants enjoyed networking with other educators and exhibitors representing over a dozen environmental organizations in the Barnegat Bay watershed. The Barnegat Bay Partnership, ReClam the Bay, NJDEP, Save Barnegat Bay, BTMUA, Project Terrapin, Barnegat Bay Volunteer Master Naturalists, Master Composters of Ocean County, Ocean County Parks & Recreation, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Double Trouble State Park, NJ Sea Grant Consortium, and many more organizations shared information about the importance of a healthy bay and watershed.

An array of workshops, aligned with this year’s theme: “Changing Climate, Changing Watershed”, were offered by knowledgeable and dynamic presenters. Through interactive and engaging discussions and activities, participants learned about the effects of our changing climate on the vital and unique natural resources in the Barnegat Bay watershed.

Our Keynote speaker, Lisa Auermuller, Assistant Manager of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, shared the latest resiliency tools against anticipated storm events through her presentation, “The Resilience Puzzle”.

A variety hands-on and interactive field trips and programs were offered in 2019:

Field Trip to Cedar Bonnet Island  Led by Dr. John Wnek and students from MATES Academy.  

System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP): Real-time Monitoring Data at Your Fingertips  presented by Kaitlin Gannon, Education Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

Piping Plover, an Endangered Beach Nesting Bird in New Jersey: What Does its Future Hold in an Age of Climate Change?  presented by Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.  

Paddle for the Edge: Citizen Scientists Monitoring Our Changing Shorelines  presented by Martha Maxwell Doyle, Project Coordinator, and Emily Pirl, Field Technician, Barnegat Bay Partnership

Connecting Students with Climate Change  presented by Mindy Voss and Rosemary Higgins of NJ Sea Grant Consortium.

Biodiversity, Living Shorelines and Water Quality  presented by Chris West of ReClam the Bay.

The Water Cycle and Climate Change  presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County


2018: 21st Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District held our 21st Annual Barnegat Bay Watershed Environmental Educators Roundtable on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education, Waretown, NJ.

This year’s workshops were centered around the theme: “Back to Our Roots”. Presenters shared lessons that reflected the importance of the cultural, historical and natural resources that make the Barnegat Bay watershed a unique and ecologically important place. Workshops included: “A Field Trip to Cloverdale Farms”, led by Patti Trasferini of Ocean County Parks & Recreation, “Aquatic Invasive Species” by Karen Byrne of Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center, “Native Carnivorous Plants” presented by Terry O’Leary, “Ospreys” presented by Ben Wurst of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey,  “The Effects of Climate Change on Barnegat Bay’s Natural Resources”, presented by Rosemary Higgins and Mindy Voss of NJ Sea Grant Consortium, “Enviroscape: Teaching about Pollution Prevention” presented by GraceAnne Taylor of Save Barnegat Bay, and “Building Ecological Solutions for Coastal Community Hazards” presented by Allison Mulch of NJ Audubon and Jim House of Egg Harbor Twp. High School.

Our Keynote Speaker, award-winning educator and local film producer, Angela Andersen, showcased her new documentary “The Oyster Farmers”. The film highlights the renaissance of the aquaculture industry in the Barnegat Bay watershed. From the raw bar to the reef, it is just a drop in the bucket for the community to lend a hand in restoring the bay.


2017: Celebrating our 20th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District celebrated our 20th Annual Barnegat Bay Watershed Environmental Educators Roundtable on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education, Waretown, NJ. Doors opened at 3:00pm for networking, resource sharing and a delicious light dinner. Workshops began at 4:30pm. Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Wnek and his MATES students enlightened participants about the great they are doing to enhance Diamondback Terrapin habitat and remove derelict ghost crab traps from the Barnegat Bay, in an effort to reduce unnecessary terrapin fatalities.

Our 2017 workshops showcased lessons and activities from “Discovering Barnegat Bay!” – the OCSCD educator’s curriculum. All participating educators received a free curriculum guide containing 40 lessons based on soil, water, natural wonders, people and places, history and geography of the Barnegat Bay watershed.


2016: 19th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

The 2016, 19th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable supported the theme “We All Need Trees”, a topic promoted by the NACD (National Association of Conservation Districts) for the 2016 nationwide Poster Contest. Workshops emphasized the importance of trees in the Barnegat Bay watershed and in our lives. Presenting organizations included the Forest Resource Education Center: “Tree ID Walk & Talk” and “Sounds From the Forest”, New Jersey State Forest Service: “Silviculture and Sustainable Forest Management”, NJ Sea Grant Consortium: “Weather, Climate, Trees and the Importance of Understanding Storm Surge”, New Jersey Pinelands Commission: “The NJ Pinelands – More Than Pine Trees”, Ocean County Parks & Recreation: “What Trees Lived Here Before My school Was Built?”, Kateri Environmental Center: “Tree Mysteries”, and Cedar Hollow Consulting, Naturally!: “EcoTour – Streaming the Rivers and Creeks of the Barnegat Bay Watershed”. Keynote Speaker, Karen Walzer of Barnegat Bay Partnership, introduced participants to Jersey-Friendly Yards, a new website designed for the home or school gardener, offering step-by-step support to create an environmentally friendly garden or landscape using native trees, shrubs and perennials.


2015: 18th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

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Participants get “Sedimental About Beaches” with NJ Sea Grant Consortium

The 18th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable celebrated the “International Year of Soils” by offering a variety of engaging workshops that allowed participants to dig a little deeper into the workings of soil. Keynote Speaker, Rob Tunstead of NRCS, shared his research that centers on mapping the soils on the bottom of the Barnegat Bay. Presenting organizations included Ocean County Parks & Recreation: “Guided Tour of the SHIP Gardens at Jakes Branch County Park” and “Shifting Sands”, Kateri Environmental Center: “What’s a Wetland?”, Cedar Hollow Consulting, Naturally!: “Touring the Pygmy Pine Forest”, NJ Sea Grant Consortium: “Sedimental About Beaches”, and NRCS: “Get to Know Your Soil”.

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2013: 16th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable

Heide Winzinger, an NJ born folk singer, performs at the Roundtable.

Heide Winzinger, an NJ born folk singer, performs at the Roundtable.

The 2013, 16th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable was hosted on April 24, 2013 by the Ocean County Soil Conservation District.  As with previous years, the 2013 Roundtable included a variety of hands-on workshops where teachers gained free valuable activities and knowledge to bring back into their classrooms. In addition to the workshops, participants had access to free resources and the opportunity to take home educational door prizes.

The 2013 Roundtable hosted fun and creative workshops along with a great perofrmance from NJ folk singer Heide Winzinger. For more information about Heide Winzinger, please click on the following link:

http://www.heidiwinzinger.com/

Ocean County Soil Conservation District
714 Lacey Road
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 971-7002