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Science Program

The goal of the Commission's science program is to provide scientific information that may be used to develop and evaluate the Commission's environmental policies and programs. The science program is managed by the Commission's 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, aquatic and wetland ecology, wetland identification and delineation, resource management, and wastewater technology. 

The ongoing Kirkwood-Cohansey Project represents a major initiative to determine the probable effects of groundwater diversions from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer on stream flows, wetland-water levels, and aquatic and wetland communities.  Other research includes ongoing monitoring of water levels; water quality; and fish, frog and toad, and vegetation communities at sites 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 wetland communities (Buffer Study); a study to characterize the geographic extent and magnitude of land-use impacts on intermittent pond habitats (Pond Study), and a study to compare the functional equivalency of natural ponds, excavated ponds, and stormwater basins (Created Wetlands Study).  

Recently completed projects include a region-wide ecologically based maintenance 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 Staff

John F. Bunnell, Chief Scientist
Kim J. Laidig, Principal Research Scientist
Patrick M. Burritt, Research Scientist
Sarah R. Johnson, Research Scientist
Rebecca French-Mesch, Research Technician

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