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Science Program


(Left), Kim J. Laidig, Rebecca French-Mesch, Patrick M. Burritt,
(Right) John F. Bunnell, and Sarah R. Johnson 

The goal of the Commission science program is to provide scientific information that may be used to develop and evaluate Commission environmental policies and programs. The science program is managed by the Commission Science Office, which comprises a small, versatile team of scientists who possess expertise in ecology and other scientific disciplines.  Studies completed by staff scientists (Reports and Publications) address a wide range of environmental topics, including Pinelands water quality, hydrology, watershed and landscape assessments, aquatic and wetland ecology, wetland identification and delineation, resource management, and wastewater technology.

Current research and monitoring activities include ongoing monitoring of water levels in Pinelands ponds and forests, water quality, fish, frogs and toads, and vegetation at streams and impoundments throughout the Pinelands (Environmental Monitoring); a study to determine the effectiveness of upland-buffer zones in mitigating the impact of suburbanization on the integrity of forested wetlands and frog-breeding ponds (Buffer Study); a study to characterize land-use impacts on intermittent Pinelands ponds (Pond Study), and a study to compare the functional equivalency of natural ponds, excavated ponds, and stormwater basins (Created Wetlands Study).

Completed projects include a study of the potential effects of groundwater diversions from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer on aquatic and wetland resources (Kirkwood-Cohansey Project); a region-wide ecologically based vegetation-management plan for electric-transmission rights-of-way (Right-of-way Plan); a comprehensive assessment of Pinelands landscape, aquatic, and wetland integrity (Ecological-integrity Assessment); studies conducted in the four major Pinelands watersheds (Watershed Studies); a study of shallow, coastal-plain lake communities (Impoundment Study); a comparison of wetland and aquatic attributes of watersheds draining active and abandoned cranberry bogs and forest land (Cranberry Study); and a study of the movements of timber rattlesnakes near a residential development (Rattlesnake Study).

Pinelands Commission
Science Office
P.O. Box 359
New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064
Phone: (609) 894-7300
Fax: (609) 894-7330

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Pinelands Commission
15 Springfield Road
New Lisbon, NJ 08064
609-894-7300