Welcome to the virtual home of the Sandy Hook Herbarium. On this site, you will find a comprehensive encyclopedia of plants found in the coastal ecosystems of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. This is a Directed Field Research Project of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology which is part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. The original instructors and directors of this course are Ms. Cheryl McDonald and Mr. David Alfonse.
Classroom Closeup NJ
This 30-minute television program features New Jersey students, school staff and community members and can be seen on NJTV. The Sandy Hook Herbarium has been regularly featured for this Emmy-nominated program, and was aired on October 13th, October 19th, November 17th, and November 23rd, 2013.
Effects of Super Storm Sandy
Hurricane Sandy had a devastating impact on not only the Sandy Hook environment but also to the herbarium plant collection. Most of our collected specimens and paintings of environmental zones were either destroyed or badly damaged.
Gateway National Park was closed to the public until May 1st, 2013. Our Directed Field Research class began collecting and replacing these damaged/destroyed items in May 2013. Herbarium members assessed the damage to the plant community within our herbarium zones.
As of Now:
Currently, the Herbarium students in the MAST Class of 2019 are continuing to improve the Sandy Hook Interactive Herbarium. This includes expanding upon the page for medicinal and edible plants on Sandy Hook, and developing new lesson plans. For the development of new lesson plans, the focus is on basic botany and plant pressing. These interactive plans can be used either in the classroom or on Sandy Hook with the instructor and students. The Interactive Herbarium will also be reaching out to local schools to educate school children on the importance of local ecosystems and to get children excited in learning about their natural world. A new section will also be added to the Interactive Herbarium, comprising sediment collection and studies on coastal geomorphology. Additional progress includes updating the information available on the website, collecting and cataloging more plants, and adding a photo gallery documenting the group’s work throughout the year. This year’s members have high hopes for improving the Herbarium.
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