Pinelands Summer Short Course

Continuing Studies

Pinelands Summer Short Course

The Pinelands Summer Short Course is an offshoot of the Pinelands Short Course, a day long educational event that has ushered in spring for the past 28 years. The Summer Short Course was created to provide attendees with an opportunity to explore the Pinelands with field experts during the peak of summer, when wildlife abounds. Increase your knowledge of the Pinelands by registering for an all-day field trip or attend classroom sessions. 

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017 - This is a rain or shine event. 
Time:  9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Check-in and continental breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.)
Location: Kramer Hall
                30 Front Street
                Hammonton, New Jersey 08037
Cost: $60 (Cancellation Policy: No Refunds) 

Space is limited!
Register online via the link below or call 609-652-4227, Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 You must pick "Pinelands Summer Short Course" as one of your classes when registering online.

All Day Field Trips  
The following field trips leave Kramer Hall in Hammonton, NJ promptly at 9:00 a.m. Transportation is provided. You need to pack your own lunch and snacks.

Journey Between Two Rivers Hike – Guided by John Volpa, Director of Education, Pinelands Adventures
Join Pinelands Adventures Naturalist John Volpa for a four-mile hike between the Mullica and Batsto Rivers. Explore the uplands and river edges for native plants and animals while learning about the unique features of the Pine Barrens. We’ll drive a couple of miles into Wharton State Forest then begin our hike which is approximately a four-mile loop in the Pine Barrens.

Remember to Leave No Trace so, Pack in, pack out! Please be advised this is a wilderness experience, there are no restrooms available while on this trip. You are entering a wilderness area and may encounter challenging terrain or obstacles.

Industries in the Pines – Led by Jeff Larson, Guide, Pinelands Adventures
Explore the ruins and remains of past industries of the Pines and be amazed at how nature has reclaimed the forest.

The Pine Barrens are a post-industrial forest. It has been said that by 1850 no trees existed between the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean due to overharvesting and industry in the Pine Barrens region. While such a claim is slightly exaggerated, it is difficult to imagine that the pine wilderness was once a major industrial center.  Evidence of bygone eras still lie hidden along the quiet stream beds and below the thick patches of wild huckleberry.

On this tour you’ll be led by Guide Jeff Larson, who has been exploring the Pine Barrens for three decades. Jeff will take you on an immersive trip to learn about Piney culture and history, visit the ruins of places like Hampton Furnace, visit cranberry bogs of the past and much more. Participants will travel by bus and make several stops to explore on foot. 

Batsto River Plant Life Guided Canoe Tour – Guided by Ryan Rebozo, Ph.D. Director of Conservation Science Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Jean Montgomerie, Environmental Specialist, NJ Pinelands Commission
You will begin your journey on the Batsto River at Quaker Bridge. Once on the river, you’ll make stops along the way to investigate unique Pine Barrens plants along the river’s edge, learn about the role of fire in Pine Barrens ecology and the history of bog iron in the Pines. 

For all field trips please see the important information below. 

What to Wear What to Bring  
  • Comfortable hiking shoes or water shoes/old sneakers if canoeing
  • Plan ahead and dress for the weather
  • Wear layers: base/wicking layer, insulating layer(s), outer wind/rain proof layer
  • Avoid cotton because once it’s wet it stays wet
  • Drinking water: minimum one liter per person, depending upon weather conditions.
  • Lunch and a snack
  • Extra clothing and/or rain gear (depending upon weather conditions)
  • Any needed medication (Example: inhaler, epi-pen, etc.)
  • Sun Protection (hat, sunscreen, lip balm)
  • Sun glasses 
  • Insect repellent
  • Do NOT wear flip flops
  • Do NOT bring ALCOHOL                                                     


Classroom Sessions at Kramer Hall in Hammonton, NJ 

Battle of Chestnut Neck – Norman Goos
This battle was the only Revolutionary War battle to take place in Atlantic County.  On October 6, 1778, more than 1600 British troops attacked and burned the village of Chestnut Neck, a major privateering center, where millions of dollars in British supplies and ships were brought by local privateers on its way to auction or the Continental Army.

Agriculture in the Pine Barrens – Keely Ditizio, Salem County Vocational Technical High School, Agriculture Instructor & FFA Advisor
The Agriculture in the Pine Barrens segment will offer a hands-on look at the Pineland's unique soils, ecology, and agricultural pursuits. This presentation will also highlight Pine Barrens history.

Domestication of the Highbush Blueberry: Pinelands Origins - Nicholi Vorsa, Director, Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension - NJAES, Rutgers University
The highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) was domesticated during the last century here in North America. Genetic improvement for desired traits, e.g., berry size, yield, winter hardiness, disease resistance, were achieved through breeding and selection cycles. Native blueberry plants from the New Jersey Pinelands contributed much of the genetic base of current grown cultivators. 

The Berry Healthy Blueberry – The Latest and Greatest Research on Health Benefits - Amy Howell, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Nutraceutical Science, Rutgers University
Exciting new research results will be presented on the health benefits of consuming blueberries.  Howell is the Public Member on the US Highbush Blueberry Council and sits on the Health Research Committee which receives proposals and funds health research on blueberries at a high level.  Research results on a number of health areas that we have funded, including heart disease, diabetes, brain aging, cancer and the gut microbiome will be presented. There is significant clinical data in these areas.  You will get an overview of the many benefits of eating blueberries and gain an understanding of how the beneficial compounds in the berries work in our bodies to bring about these effects.

Butterflies & Moths - Jennifer Bulava, Lead Naturalist, Burlington County Parks
This presentation is a photographic overview of butterflies and some conspicuous moths of the NJ Pinelands.  Discover behaviors, habitats, food sources, and ways to identify these insects.

History of New Jersey’s Wine Industry - Tom Cosentino, Executive Director, Garden State Wine Growers Association
We will explore how the state of New Jersey has been a vibrant place for making wine since Colonial Days. The talk will cover the early founders of the industry, the settling in Egg Harbor by Louis Renault and the establishment of Renault Winery, and the effects of prohibition on the industry. We will then look at the Farm Winery Act of 1981 and its importance in opening the door to new wineries and the passage in 2012 of the Direct Shipping bill that allowed for the direct shipment of wine to consumer homes.  The class will look at where the industry is now and future plans for its growth.

Afternoon Field Trips
The following field trips leave from Kramer Hall in Hammonton, NJ. Plan to leave by 12:45 p.m. Transportation is NOT provided. 

Dragonflies of the Pinelands - Jennifer Bulava, Lead Naturalist, Burlington County Parks and Gil Mika, Park Naturalist, Wharton State Forest  
Discover the fascinating diversity and behavior of Pinelands dragonflies and damselflies while on a walk at Batsto Lake. Besides finding and identifying the flies you will also visit the Annie M. Cater Nature Center located on lake's bank where you will find even more of the area's wildlife. Participants will drive on their own from Kramer Hall to Batsto Village. Directions will be provided for the 10 mile drive. Participants should leave Kramer Hall by 12:45 p.m. to arrive at Batsto for the program by 1:00 p.m.

Atlantic Blueberry Company's Hammonton Operations Tour 
Join the Atlantic Blueberry Company on a tour of their Weymouth Road processing and packing plant. You get the full farm experience by loading up on a labor bus and heading out to the fields. You will see and possibly sample some of the different varieties of blueberries that are growing. Please be prepared to spend time in the fields and don't wear you best clothes or shoes. You will drive on your own to the Atlantic Blueberry Company's processing and packing plant located at 7201 Weymouth Rd, Hammonton, NJ 08037.

Hammonton Historic Walking Trail - Angela Donio, Chairperson Historic Preservation Commission, Town of Hammonton
Join Angela on a walking tour that steps back in time as you discover the Historic Downtown of Hammonton NJ. You will stroll through the Business District and Historic Bellevue- Packard-Grape-Central Residential District as Mrs. Donio shares many historic and treasured photographs of the area while telling interesting tales of the years gone by.  This walking tour will take about 2 hours and will include a stop at the Historical Society of Hammonton’s Museum.

Pines of My Past – Original Music by Gabe Coia
Pines of My Past is a compilation of orginal songs that celebrate the history and folklore of the New Jersey Pinelands. 

Schedule for the Pinelands Summer Short Course

All Day Field Trips - Leave Kramer Hall at 9:00 a.m. and Return by 3:00 p.m. Transportation Provided

Journey Between Two Rivers Hike
Industries in the Pines
Batsto River Plant Life Guided Canoe Tour


Classroom Sessions and Afternoon Field Trips
Transportation NOT Provided

9:00 to 10:15  10:30 to 11:45  11:45 to 12:45  1:00 to 2:15  2:15 to 3:00 1:00 to 3:00  
Agriculture in the Pine Barrens Agriculture and the Pine 
Lunch - On Your Own Battle of Chestnut Neck Pines of My Past

History of New Jersey's

Wine Industry

Domestication of the Highbush Blueberry: Pinelands Origins The Berry Healthy Blueberry –
The Latest and Greatest Research on Health Benefits
Lunch - On Your Own     Atlantic Blueberry Company's Hammonton Operations Tour (Field Trip)
Butterflies and Moths Battle of Chestnut Neck Lunch - On Your Own     Hammonton Historic Walking Trail (Field Trip)
          Dragonflies of the Pinelands (Field Trip)


  You must pick "Pinelands Summer Short Course" as one of your classes when registering online.



Save the Date!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Pinelands Short Course is a daylong event held each spring featuring educational presentations that explore the unique history, ecology and culture of the Pinelands.


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For the second year in row the Pinelands Short Course is holding a poster contest for all high school students. 
It is a great way bring the Pinelands into the classroom.

Please check back for contest details.