On Saturday April 30th, the Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) in Tuckerton, NJ opened its doors and held an Open House for the public to come explore and learn about current marine science research, as well as the flora and fauna of our local estuary and marsh system of the Great Bay/Mullica River.
The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) in conjunction with RUMFS hosted this event that met with windy and chilly spring weather, but the weather did not deter the approximately 150 visitors from all over New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont!
Visitors were able to take a tour of the Field Station learning about various research projects along the way, including – long-term larval fish sampling and identification, frequency and duration of river herring spawning, fish otolith research and applications, and the System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) administered by JC NERR in the Great Bay/Mullica River, that monitors water quality, nutrients, and meteorological data.
Director of RUMFS, Ken Able, and Operations Coordinator, Roland Hagan, presented the History and Overview of the Field Station, from its inception as a U.S. Coast Guard Station up to present day as a Rutgers research facility. Visitors were also able to get up close to and have an interactive experience with local marine animals in our wet lab.
Feedback from our visitors’ survey was overwhelmingly positive, with 75% being first time visitors to the Open House event. The majority identified the ‘History and Overview’ of the Field Station as their favorite part of the tour, but many people indicated that they enjoyed all aspects of the tour, particularly the chance to interact with our researchers. One of the most prevalent comments was to have the RUMFS Open House more often, and we are hoping to do so again this coming Fall as well.