Interactive Herbarium II

Monmouth County Vocational School District teachers Cheryl A. McDonald and David A. Alfonse were awarded a $9,998 continuation grant to maintain and develop their ecosystem study.

This continuation grant supports the study that was begun at a barrier beach oceanfront park. Although Superstorm Sandy compromised the original project display location, a “traveling display exhibit” is planned making it possible to collect, display, and safeguard the specimens. A renewal of the species collection permit will be sought from the collaborating park.

It is anticipated that students will have to re-collect and press previously collected species along with those projected to be collected during the current growing season.

Student teams will continue to collect indigenous plant species from the various habitats of the ecosystem to be preserved in Ryker Boxes and made available to other students and park visitors. Ryker Boxes will include specimen labels and QR Codes that will link to a school website with more information. Murals will be painted on movable panels to depict a vegetative transect of a barrier beach and include individual plant species.

Students will also be responsible for the new objective of designing and constructing the transportable, multi-media educational modular in-line display exhibit showcasing the individual project objectives. The exhibit will be of professional convention level quality. Students will work with professionals in the field to design and construct the exhibit. For inspiration, students will visit the Herbarium Collections at the New York Botanical Gardens. These displays will bring the information to a larger audience to learn about coastal ecosystems pre/post Superstorm Sandy.

You can follow along with the progress of the project at the Sandy Hook Herbarium website.

For further information contact:

Cheryl A. McDonald
School Phone: 732-291-0995