Loading Events

« All Events

Aquatic Connections: How Stream Ecology Tells the Story of Your Landscape

August 19 - August 24

Educators of middle and high-school aged students are invited to apply for the New Jersey School of Conservation’s summer workshop, Aquatic Connections: How Stream Ecology Tells the Story of Your Landscape. This residential program will take place from August 19-22, 2024 at the school’s 240-acre campus in the heart of Stokes State Forest in Sussex County. Participants will reside in cabins and share meals at the NJSOC field station, providing an immersive experience that will enhance collaboration.

Aquatic Connections will focus on three aspects of aquatic ecosystems. First, participants will engage in hands-on learning about stream macroinvertebrates by exploring the Flat Brook River on the NJSOC campus. Teachers will learn to sample and identify macroinvertebrates, and how to use stream sampling to make connections between human and natural systems.

Second, teachers will work alongside university scientists to explore the physical and chemical parameters of the Flat Brook. The focus on geology, water chemistry and landscape-level forest health will help participants understand how aquatic systems function and change over time.

Third, the workshop will feature the iNaturalist app/program and pilot the new National Geographic funded MacroBlitz project. Teachers will be trained in iNaturalist and MacroBlitz and will apply geographic practices and use geographic perspectives to identify, map and assess spatial and temporal distribution of macroinvertebrate species in the Flat Brook and beyond.

Teachers will collaborate to use their acquired skills and knowledge to create a portfolio of low prep lessons to spark student curiosity and engage in environmental problem-solving in their respective communities.

Interested applicants should be in a current position teaching middle or high-school aged students and be able to demonstrate a strong interest in natural history, field biology and ecology. Some activities will involve walking several miles over moderate terrain and take place outdoors in daytime and at night, rain or shine. Accommodations will be made for successful applicants with mobility challenges.

There is no cost to participants.

Scholarships are funded by National Geographic, the Fred Burroughs Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a private donor. Scholarships include all meals, cabin-style lodging at the NJSOC and workshop materials.


The deadline to apply is May 1, 2024. Applicants will be notified by May 15, 2024. The application can be found HERE.

Contact NJSOC Director of Education, Tanya Sulikowski, with any questions. tsulikowski@njsoc.org

Working Agenda

Day 0- Sunday August 18
Optional arrival on Sunday night for check in.
BYO dinner. Sunset hike

Day 1- Monday Aug 19
Welcome to NJSOC- Campus orientation
Connections to NGSS/Expectations for deliverables
MacroBlitz Part 1
iNaturalist Part 1
Sunset paddle on Lake Wapalanne

Day 2- Tuesday Aug 20
Early morning hike/yoga (optional)
MacroBlitz Part 2
iNaturalist Part 2
Forest Health Research
Stream Geology
Nighttime activity- Moth surveys as an indicator of forest health

Day 3- Wednesday Aug 21
Early morning hike/yoga (optional)
MacroBlitz Part 3
Chemical Testing/Temperature Studies
Collaboration Time
Evening activity- fly tying and fly casting (sponsored by Trout Unlimited)

Day 4- Thursday Aug 22
Mining iNaturalist Data and Analysis
Collaboration Time/Classroom resources
Lesson Idea Presentations

Apply Here


August 19
August 24
Event Category:


The Friends of NJSOC
View Organizer Website


NJ School of Conservation
1 Wapalanne Road
Sandyston, 07826 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website