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2001 - 2003

1. Burlington Co. Institute of Technology (Secondary)
BCIT Logo Westampton, New Jersey (Burlington County)
Contacts: Dolores Szymanski or Sue Goss
School Phone: 609-267-4226
EIC 2002-03 Facilitator for BCIT:
Clara Ruvolo, Director
Palmyra Cove Nature Center,
Palmyra Cove, NJ

Original Environmental Context: A spacious outdoor campus bordering agricultural land, with a greenhouse and other resources that a county-based vocational/technical school can make available to support an EIC program.
Original Focus of Investigation: Potential research sites and topics for VO-TAG student-based investigations and projects.

Current Environmental Context: A 500-acre community park in N. Burlington County: i.e., Palmyra Cove Nature Park.
Current Focus of Investigation: Potential educational uses of the park for BCIT and the alteration of the park's natural environment by humans activity.
Current Organizing Question: How can Palmyra Cove Nature Park be used as an educational tool for BCIT and the community-at-large?

Note: BCIT is the only secondary school and has devised ways to achieve team planning of EIC instructional strategies in the midst of block scheduling.

Downe Twp. Logo 2. Downe Township Elementary School
Newport, New Jersey (Cumberland County)
Key Contact: Patricia Finley or Pam Schumacher
School Phone: 856-447-4673
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for Downe Township Elementary School:
Dale Rosselet, Vice President of Education
New Jersey Audubon Society, Center for Research and Education,
Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey

Original Environmental Context: The diverse terrestrial and estuarine ecosystems of Downe Township and the surrounding region, in the midst of several small communities.
Original Focus of Investigation: Local and regional land use, which has currently and historically been tied to the area's natural resources.

Current Environmental Context: A single watershed (Nantuxet Creek) in the region.
Current Focus of Investigation: Human impacts on the character and quality of water in representative pond, brackish and bay waters of the Nantuxet Creek watershed.
Current Organizing Question: How do human activities impact the condition and quality of water and related resources in the Nantuxet Creek watershed?

Note: The Downe Township team utilized diverse community support resources for its investigation and, due to that strategy and other qualities of its EIC program, was nominated for a New Jersey Department of Education "Best Practice Award" and received the Patricia F. Kane Environmental Education Award for Excellence in 2003 from the New Jersey Audubon Society.

3. Central Elementary School
Central Logo Warren New Jersey (Somerset County)
Key Contacts: Mary Lou Cebula or Chris Huss
School Phone: 908-757-3058
EIC 2001-2002 Facilitator for Central Elementary School:
Holly Hoffman, Former Director
Trailside Museum and Science Center,
Mountainside, New Jersey

Original Environmental Context: The local watershed in which the school is located (including a small stream and pond).
Original Focus of Investigation: The study of ground and surface water at the school and surrounding region, in relation to water drainage problems in and around the school.

Current Environmental Context: A pre-existing courtyard on the overall school property.
Current Focus of Investigation: The potential of the courtyard as a site to attract resident and migrant species of native wildlife.
Current Organizing Question: How can we enhance and improve Central's courtyard environment to make it more attractive to wildlife (especially birds)?

Note: This EIC team changed their original EIC environmental context and focus of investigation because of it being too overly challenging to its students, but were able to re-focus on a new, more easily facilitated topic. Regular, planned weekly collaboration times for team members, solid administrative support, and 5th grade homogeneity are real plusses for this team.

4. Hillside Intermediate School
Hillside Logo Bridgewater New Jersey (Somerset County)
Key Contacts: Laura Garifola and Mark Heinbach
School Phone: 908-231-1905
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for Hillside School:
Jeff Hoagland, Director, Building Environmental Education Solutions,
Stonybrook-Millstone Watershed Association,
Pennington, New Jersey

Original Environmental Context: Hillside's Meadows and Trails (5-acre tract behind school), which includes woodland nature trail, sunflower garden, butterfly garden, wetlands, wildflower garden, outdoor learning stations, bird boxes, and herb garden.
Original Focus of Investigation: The relationship between Hillside School's Meadows and Trails and the community.

Current Environmental Context: Same as above, but in the broader context of comparing Hillside Meadows and Trails ecosystems with those of rainforests and kelp forests through integration with two other curricular programs, "Roots and Shoots" and "The Jason Project", respectively.
Current Focus of Investigation: Current and potential human impacts on the school site, as compared to those of rainforests and kelp forests.
Current Organizing Question: What can we learn about human impacts on our Hillside Meadows and Trails ecosystem from examining human impacts on rainforests and kelp forests (and visa versa)?

Note: Hillside has built a strong EIC program on outdoor site foundations that were established prior to the program (i.e., it is a NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife designated "Wild School Site" locale). Fifth grade team scheduling is also carried out in a way to enhance Hillside's EIC team planning and program facilitation. Their recent increase to six (6) teacher members will help ensure long-term sustainability of Hillside's EIC program.

5. Ridge Street School (Elementary)
Ridge Street Logo Newark, New Jersey (Essex County)
Key Contact: Joseph Czaszyski
School Phone: 973-268-5210
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for Ridge Street School:
Kelly Wenzel, Education Program Coordinator
Greater Newark Conservancy,
Newark, New Jersey

Environmental Context: Ridge Street school-site proper (including adjacent area of surrounding city block.
Focus of Investigation: The vegetation, wildlife and human recreational patterns surrounding Ridge Street School.
Organizing Question: Has development of the school and changing community recreational patterns influenced the plant and wildlife communities surrounding the school?

Note: Ridge Street School has cultivated a small but conscientious team of EIC teachers who have developed some creative program strategies to enhance their EIC investigations. They have also linked their EIC activities with their school's curriculum and community resources (like the Newark Conservancy).

6. Dr. Charles DeFuccio School #39 (K-8 School)
DeFuccio Logo Jersey City, New Jersey (Hudson County)
Key Contact: Alicia Bass
School Phone: 201-915-6560
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for DeFuccio School:
Gina Provenzano, Naturalist
Liberty State Park,
Jersey City, New Jersey

Environmental Context: Wildlife habitat of the surrounding area, including the school site and adjacent land and open space of Lincoln Park (a large urban park serving the citizens of Jersey City).
Focus of Investigation: The local, urban human population and its activities, and the ability of the local area to serve as habitat for urban species of wildlife.
Organizing Question: What are the effects of urban wildlife on the community-at-large and what are the reciprocal effects of the community on urban wildlife?

Note: The PS#39 team has struggled in the face of substantial odds (one of them being a full-school improvement model). The multi-level grade factor of its EIC teachers has also been a challenge, along with recent changes in teaching assignments. But they have received effective team support from the resources of Liberty State Park and have initiated successful team collaboration with a Jersey City historian from the Jersey City Public Library.

7. Theunis Dey School (Elementary)
Theunis Dey Logo Wayne, New Jersey (Passaic County)
Key Contacts: Diane Mahoney and Melissa Kopcha
School Phone: 973-633-3155
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for Theunis Dey School:
Karen Matthews, Senior Environmental Education Program Specialist
Fairview Lake YMCA Environmental Education Center,
Newton, New Jersey

Environmental Context: A tract of wooded land on school property that was designated as a school nature trail/outdoor classroom about ten years ago (including a drainage ditch, wetlands area, and a variety of native and exotic vegetation).
Focus of Investigation: The revival of the site as an outdoor classroom and interpretive nature trail, thereby reconnecting the site to both the school community and the broader community.
Organizing Question: How can the nature trails on the site be used and stewarded by students and the community to improve community awareness of natural areas?

Note: The Theunis Dey EIC team is one of the few that has not shifted its original focus of investigation significantly. It demonstrates excellent organizational and planning capabilities, works well as a collaborative team, and gets excellent support from its team administrator.

8. Briarcliff Middle School
Briarcliff Logo Morristown, New Jersey (Morris County)
Key Contact: Robin Anderson
School Phone: 973-334-0342
EIC 2001-03 Facilitator for Briarcliff School:
Toni Setteducato, Museum Educator
The Morris Museum,
Morristown, New Jersey
Special Resource Consultant:
Mike Anderson, Program Director
Sherman-Hoffman Sanctuaries
New Jersey Audubon Society
Bernardsville, New Jersey

Original Environmental Context: The Tourne, a Morris County park with unique physical and historical characteristics.
Original Focus of Investigation: The Tourne as a natural system, and how it influences the surrounding human community.

Current Environmental Context: The Mountain Lakes public school campus as an ecosystem (embracing three schools: elementary, middle, and secondary).
Current Focus of Investigation: Possible management, maintenance and support needs of the campus natural community.
Current Organizing Question: How do natural systems of the Mountain Lakes Public School campus need support from its human system?

Note: This team has not hesitated to alter its EIC focus of investigation and facilitation strategies as it sees fit. It recently expanded its team and re-oriented its focus of investigation so that it can now take advantage of a local environmental context that will not involve transportation away from the school campus. The team members work very well together and prefer frequent, after-school collaborative planning time for EIC strategizing.

Rand Logo 9. Rand Elementary School
Montclair, New Jersey (Essex County)
Key Contact: Jerry Schierloh, Co-coordinator, New Jersey EIC Program
Phone: 973-579-5512
EIC 2002-03 Facilitator for the Rand Elementary School:
Susan Lewicki, Resource Specialist
New Jersey Meadowlands Center,
Lyndhurst, New Jersey

Environmental Context: Toney's Brook - a stream that runs through the center of Montclair, passing through residential areas and the Rand Elementary School before flowing into Second River, a tributary of the Passaic River.
Current Focus of Investigation: The relationships between human life in the community around the school and the life and water quality of Toney's Brook.
Organizing Question: How do human activities in the vicinity of Toney's Brook impact it's water quality and diversity of life, and what evidence reveals this?

Note: This EIC team was brought on board the New Jersey EIC Program during the 2nd EIC training session in July, 2002, to replace another team that needed to resign from the program. Because of this, it struggled to gain the necessary # of teachers needed to facilitate a collaborative EIC program. Although the team made some in-roads connecting with a team EIC facilitator, the recent loss of a team teacher and administrator has put their EIC program temporarily on hold.

New Jersey EIC Coordinators:

Jerry Schierloh
Earth Circle of Learning - Place-based Educational Services

Tanya Oznowich
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection