Rutgers Collaborative for Raritan Education & Observation
Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences

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Why should I incorporate field experiences and data from the Raritan into my course?

Field experiences provides students with a sense of their local environment and how it fits into the larger word. It also allows students to see first hand and apply the concepts that are addressed in their courses. These hands-on experiences have been shown to increase student research skills, self-efficacy, and desire to remain in science 1,2,3. Moreover, additional studies indicate that first- and second-hand student data collection spur discussion of “data ownership” (i.e. provenance); how data provide evidence for claims/interpretations/conclusions; data trends; and discussing/explaining data. 4

How can I integrate the Raritan River into my course?

Field Experiences

Aboard our 20 passenger teaching and research vessel your students will have the opportunity to experience the Raritan ecosystem firsthand and participate in authentic research and data collection.

The new Rutgers vessel will be come with a variety of equipment and sensors. For information on how to reserve the vessel, please contact Carrie Ferraro at

You can also encourage your students to sign up to participate in ongoing research.

Bring the River to your classroom

The Rutgers Collaborative for Raritan Education & Observation will be working to support you in engaging your students in Raritan River data and science through data activities. The activities, which provide the opportunity for students to analyze and interpret authentic Raritan data, can be used before or after visiting the Raritan or if you are unable to bring your students to the Raritan for a field experience. If you have activities that you have used in your classroom related to the Raritan River and its watershed, please share them with us.

    1. 1. [PCAST] President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (U.S.), & United States. Executive Office of the President. 2013. Report to the president, engage to excel: A report from the committee on STEM education National Science and Technology Council. Executive Office of the President, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, DC. 127 pp.
    1. 2. [NRC] National Research Council. 2000. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
    1. 3. Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. 2008. Sources of Self-Efficacy in School: Critical Review of the Literature and Future Directions. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 751-796.
    1. 4. Hug, B. and McNeill, K.L. 2008. Use of first-hand and second-hand data in science: Does data type influence classroom conversations? International Journal of Science Education, 30(13), 1725-1751.