On April 8, 2017, the Rutgers Geology Museum partnered with members of the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences to organize a field trip on the Raritan River for New Jersey families. The trip addressed the history and science of the Raritan River, providing participants with an opportunity to learn about the Raritan’s geologic history and gain firsthand experience participating in science research aboard the Research Vessel (R/V) Rutgers.
Dr. Patty Irizarry, Associate Director of the Geology Museum and Jacob Setera, geologist and graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Science Department at Rutgers met the 18 participants at Boyd Park. Participants explored New Jersey geological events including the creation of the Raritan River itself and had an opportunity to see and touch rock samples representing different geologic events. After participants boarded the R/V Rutgers, Captain Chip Haldeman and staff members Nicole Waite and Dr. Carrie Ferraro shared information about the physics, biology, and chemistry of the river, water research techniques and reasons for studying different properties of the water.
While on the Raritan, field trip participants had an opportunity to opportunity to gather and analyze data by deploying two different types of CTD devices, which measure conductivity (salinity), temperature and depth. The CTD measurements taken by the participants provide researchers with basic information about the ecosystem as well as insight into the source of the water (freshwater from runoff or saltier water from tides). The data gathered during the trip will be incorporated into a larger database that can be used by both the Rutgers community and external stakeholders such as local watershed associations and officials.
For more information contact Dr. Lauren Neitzke Adamo, Director of the Rutgers Geology Museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Photo of Geology Field Trip getting underway courtesy of Dr. Carrie Ferraro.)