The purpose of the NJ Audubon Research and Monitoring Department is to utilize sound scientific principles and practices in designing projects and programs that focus on priority natural resource conservation issues related to vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, and the natural habitats with which they are associated. Data and reports resulting from these projects become tools for making and supporting decisions on conservation policy development, species conservation, and land stewardship initiatives. These decisions may occur at the local, state or even regional level.
Several of our staff participate in technical advisory committees and scientific working groups, thus providing scientific expertise on various issues either directly thru our program results, or indirectly via review of projects by other groups focusing on common issues.
The department's funding is primarily in the form of government grants or contracts that support very specific programs, seeking the data to address to very specific questions. However, we endeavor to fulfull our responsibility to communicate this information to the broader audience comprised of our constitutents and the general public.
In recent years we have worked to help provide data on pressing environmental matters such as the horseshoe crab/shorebird phenomenon and their inter-dependence and population declines, wind energy development as it relates to migration flyways, and airport grasslands management to support grassland breeding birds. In addition, we continue to develop and maintain tools like our atlas, The Birds of New Jersey, to preserve and protect our natural heritage.
Monitoring Programs and Citizen Science
The Department, through our Citizen Science Program, is responsible for designing and impementing research and monitoring programs that involve volunteers. Along with an impressive team of dedicated volunteers, our staff works to monitor and investigate the status of our environment. In this endeavor, we are responsible for training volunteer scientists in the skills they need to meet data collection objectives, as well as regularly interacting with volunteer teams.
The goals of the program: to develop information datasets, thru citizen participation, on the abundance, distribution and demography of avian species; to foster environmental awareness among New Jersey's citizens thru active participation.