Oceanography Class Gains First-Hand Experience in Sandy Hook

On Tuesday, September 27, the Oceanography class traveled to Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, where they gained first-hand experience with some of the concepts they have been studying in class.

The students looked at the beach profile to determine how the shape of the shoreline changes due to erosion and deposition over time and from place to place. They also examined the impacts of human attempts to modify the shore using groins, jetties, and beach replenishment.

As the students walked from the beach up to the dunes, they learned about dune plant succession — how the plant communities change and generally increase in size and complexity. 

The students also spent some time using seining nets to discover what can be found within the tidal range of the bay. They were able to catch some striped Killifish and mummichogs to bring back to the aquarium in the School’s Environmental Systems Lab.

Finally, the students learned about the history of the Sandy Hook area and how the land has been used by the Lenape, the colonists, and later, by the military during through World War I and World War II. The class toured the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Fort Hancock, and the Proving Ground. 

The students who participated in the trip were: Molly Baker ‘25, Adison Becker ’25, Eric Bergelson ’25, Kevin Chen ’25, Brooke Fesq ’25, Charlotte Greer ’25, Meera Iyer ’25, Julie Jasaitis ’25, Robert Magnotta ’25, Gabriel Prusan ’25, Lily Rubinfeld ’25, Arden Upadya ’25, and Sydney Urbach ’25. Faculty members Brad Turner and Stephanie Kealy served as chaperones.


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