Pinelands Summer Short Course


The sixth annual Pinelands Summer Short Course will feature four field trips, including a guided kayak trip along the Mullica River. Photo/Joel Mott

The sixth annual Pinelands Summer Short Course will feature 10 education programs, including a course on the history of Hammonton and a guided kayak trip on the Mullica River.

Registration is open for the event, which will be held at Stockton University’s Kramer Hall in downtown Hammonton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2022. The event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Stockton University.

“We are excited to offer another great lineup of courses and experiences that showcase this special part of New Jersey,” said Susan R. Grogan, the Pinelands Commission’s Acting Executive Director.

“The Pinelands Summer Short Course provides a valuable look at the significance and the natural and cultural history of the Pinelands,” said Stockton University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Leamor Kahanov. “We are proud to support this program and host it this year at Stockton’s Kramer Hall in downtown Hammonton.”

Educators can earn four professional development credits for attending the event. To register, please log on to:

Here is a full description of each course offering:

Classroom Programs at Kramer Hall

A Virtual Visit to the New Jersey Pine
Presented by Bob Sprague, President, Native Orchid Conference

This presentation will provide an exciting, virtual foray into the Pine Barrens, including many sensory experiences of a live visit but without the chiggers, ticks, and humidity. The presenter will discuss unique habitat types for birds, insects, and flowers (especially orchids), and he will discuss interesting research currently underway in this beautiful part of New Jersey.

The Dr. James Still and Still Family Story: Its Significance and Relevance to the History of South Jersey
Presented by Samuel C. Still III, Chairperson of the Dr. James Still Historic Office Site Association

This program will highlight the influence of the Still family on the culture and intellectual life of South Jersey over the years. The lives of illustrious family members, such as Dr. James Still (1812-1885), the "Black Doctor of the Pines," and William Still (1821-1902), author of The Underground Railroad, published in 1872, will be explored, as well as the lives of other less well-known family members. Efforts to preserve and restore the home and office of Dr. Still in Medford will also be discussed.

“Back to the Future” of Hammonton
Presented by Greg White, President of the Hammonton Historical Society

This presentation will describe the early area lumber, iron, and glass settlements, as well as the arrival of railroads and the influx of New England farmers, and the establishment of a new town called Hammonton.

Stormwater 101
Presented by Rory Hogan and Alex Winterstein

This program will delve into the complicated relationship between communities and stormwater management, while defining stormwater, how it impacts local bodies of water, and the various efforts that can be taken to address and mitigate impacts. After participating in this program, participants will be able to connect their actions in everyday life to impacts on local water bodies.

Pine Barrens to Pinelands
Presented by Joel Mott, Principal Public Programs Specialist, NJ Pinelands Commission

Attendees will discover the Pinelands of today and learn how they evolved from the Pine Barrens of the past.

Pinelands Flora and Fauna
Presented by Joel Mott, Principal Public Programs Specialist, NJ Pinelands Commission

This lively presentation includes sights and sounds while taking the audience on an insightful walk in the woods, familiarizing them with the flora and fauna of the New Jersey Pinelands.

Half day, outdoor field trips

A Walking Tour of Batsto Village: Ecology, History, and Pinelands Culture
Presented by Ally Horan, Naturalist, Batsto Village and John Hebble, Historian, Batsto Village

Attendees will learn about the flora and fauna of Batsto and Wharton State Forest, the notable people who lived in the village, and the ways in which humans interacted with the natural resources of the Pinelands through different eras of Batsto’s history.

Mullica River Paddle Exploration
Guided by Jeff Larson and Monica Cahill from Pinelands Adventures

Attendees will see the Pinelands in all of its summer glory on this short, guided kayak paddle. The Goshen beaver pond in the Mullica River is teeming with life in July. Professional guides will point out the amazing flora and fauna and provide insight into the unique ecology of the Pinelands. This trip will feature easy paddling on calm waters. Boats, life jackets and transportation will be provided.

Hammonton Lake Nature Walk
Guided by Josh Gant, Naturalists, Ocean County Department of Parks & Recreation

Participants will be guided along the wooded trail at Hammonton Lake Park, exploring several habitat types that are representative of the Pine Barrens while learning about the typical plant and animal species found within them. The guide will also discuss the historic human use of the area’s natural resources.

Tour of the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research

This field trip will include an in-person tour of the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, a substation of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) of Rutgers University, located in Chatsworth, Burlington County. Field trip participants will tour the facilities and learn about the research that is being conducted to ensure the continued production and availability of high-quality blueberries and cranberries. The Center is working to minimize the use of pesticides and is studying the health benefits of these two native Pinelands plants.