Learn water quality sampling methods according to NJDEP protocols aboard the R/V Rutgers. Join Josh Kohut, PhD (Dept. Marine & Coastal Sciences, RU-SEBS), and Robert Schuster (NJDEP Marine Water Monitoring Bureau), for a hands-on introduction to NJDEP Sampling and Quality Control Standards in the Raritan River.
The overall goal of this project is to fill a gap in water quality monitoring along the tidal Raritan River between the Rutgers New Brunswick Campus and the Raritan Bay and to train students on a series of river surveys aboard the R/V Rutgers with NJDEP staff to sample four stations along the tidal Raritan River (Rutgers Campus, upstream of South River, downstream of South River, and the Raritan River mouth). No prior water quality monitoring experience is necessary.
One of New Jersey’s greatest natural resources is its fresh and marine waters. These waters are a significant asset to the state for recreation, tourism, and as a food supply. Preserving this resource in its most naturally occurring condition is of great importance. The New Jersey Department of Environmental protection is charged with monitoring and assessing water quality standards throughout all state waters from inland freshwater ponds and streams to the coastal ocean. This is done through various monitoring programs. Parameters monitored include Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Temperature, Salinity, and Turbidity.
The tidal Raritan River from the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick downstream to the river mouth, links freshwater monitoring programs upstream with the marine water monitoring programs downstream. This reach of the Raritan River remains a gap between these two water monitoring programs. The proximity of the Rutgers New Brunswick Campus to this stretch of the River and the recent introduction of the new R/V Rutgers sets up a great opportunity to fill this gap. The capability of the boat to accommodate up to 20 students enables us to incorporate student training into a program that could stand up a student led workforce to fill this water quality monitoring gap. Through a partnership with NJDEP, Rutgers undergraduate students will be trained on the proper way to monitor the tidal Raritan to ensure quality data can be ingested into the NJDEP data archive. It will be an important training opportunity for our students while simultaneously contributing to NJDEP and their important water quality monitoring activities.
Dr. Josh T. Kohut is an Associate Professor of Oceanography at Rutgers University. His interests include circulation processes that define the physical ocean that structures marine ecosystems and the application of ocean observing technologies including satellites, high-frequency radar, and underwater gliding robots as part of a research program that applies ocean observations to research and decision making. Robert Schuster is Interim Chief of the NJDEP’s Marine Water Monitoring Bureau. He has responsibility for oversight of all NJDEP Marine Water Quality Monitoring, including sample collections, laboratory analysis, and data assessment.
For more information, contact Dr. Josh T. Kohut, firstname.lastname@example.org.