History of Barnegat Bay Student Grant Research

Stemming from his vision and passion for the conservation of Barnegat Bay, it was the late Paul “Pete” McLain who initialized this program in 2007. As someone committed to academic research, as well as a wildlife biologist and conservationist, he hoped students would dedicate their careers to better understand the bay and its ecosystem.

pete1        pete2       pete3        Pete4

Save Barnegat Bay, in collaboration with its partners, aims to continue Pete’s vision by assisting students with their independent research each year. To support this goal, Save Barnegat Bay offers $1000 to each accepted Team Project student and $1500 to each accepted Independent Project student.

This program provides a hands-on learning opportunity for undergraduate students at accredited colleges and universities to conduct field research, report and present their findings, and contribute to the conservation of Barnegat Bay. Graduate students who are eligible can enhance their research experience with this field-work funding opportunity.

Over the last decade, Save Barnegat Bay and our partners have engaged 48 students in research opportunities, as well as provided $67,000 in funding for individual projects. Students have continued with their research at the graduate and PhD level, as well as furthered their careers in wildlife biology and ecological conservation. Students who have received funding through the program have also received senior thesis or independent project credit towards their degrees.

“There is a pressing need for more science-based management of Barnegat Bay before it is completely unfishable, unswimmable, and uninhabitable to marine life.” – (c)March 2007, Paul “Pete” McLain, Founder

Barnegat Bay Student Grant Committee

The Student Grant Committee is a group of representative partners charged with nominating proposals for funding, assisting students as mentors, and providing scientific and presentation feedback to all student candidates.

  • Angela Andersen, Long Beach Township, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Chris Huch, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Community Resiliency Specialist
  • Jason Kelsey, MATES, Science Teacher
  • Jim Merritt, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Sedge Island Instructor
  • John Wnek, MATES/Project Terrapin (Student Grant Committee co-coordinator)
  • Karen Byrne, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Aquatic Education Programs Coordinator
  • Kelly Scott, Island Beach State Park, Resource Interpretive Specialist
  • Rob Tunstead, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Consrvation Service, Major Land Resource Area Soil Office (3-HAM) Leader
  • Roger Locandro, Rutgers University, Professor Emeritus