NJSOC 2023-2026 Strategic Plan: Research

Goal:  In order to successfully  foster deeper understandings of the land and its history at the School of Conservation, and to provide real time information that can foster the development of  material for  experiential learning activities at the site, the following objectives, tasks and metrics have been established.


Objective: To develop an organizational collaborative focused on both natural and social science at the SOC.

  • Task 1: Develop a white paper describing the priorities for research for SOC, review the paper annually.
    • Metric: Paper updates presented to the Board of Directors annually for review and approval.


  • Task 2: During year 1, develop a contact list for past, current and potential scientific collaborative organizations and their key contacts. 
    • Metric: Staff review and updates list annually.


  • Task 3: A survey inquiring specific interest in the site, has been developed and released. The survey serves to both identify individual interest and foster communication.  
    • Metric: Review and synthesize responses by the fall of 2023.


  • Task 4: Identify and solicit financial support for the research program.
    • Metric: By the year of year 2 applications for funding will have been made to either governmental or non-governmental organizations and 2 requests of private philanthropic business will have been made. 


  • Task 5: Redevelop a residential graduate program at the site.
    • Metric: By year 3, working with a collaborating college or university develop a program that allows graduate level research student to reside at the site during the development of their thesis.  


  • Task 6: Develop an environmental education partner/s from within New Jersey’s institutions of higher learning.
    • Metric: By the end of year two a formal agreement for teacher training will be developed. 


  • Task 7: Institutionalize the research program.
    • Metric : By year 3 research coordinator either part time or full time as needed will be added to the staff.



Objective: To develop an understanding of the sit’s ecological services in a way that addresses the mitigation of the impacts of climate change and the enhancement of sustainable use practices. 

  • Task 1: Develop a natural resource inventory for the site. 
    • Metric: Begin to characterize the natural resource of the site through the development of an inventory.  The inventory should focus on and quantify at some level forest, wetland and aquatic resource heath. As the initial report to be presented by the end of year one by will not be detailed, this initiative should be considered long term.
    • Metric: By the end of year one a report is delivered and presented to the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors will be updated annually.


  • Task 2: A publicly available delivery mechanism for scientific research at SOC will be developed.
    • Metric: By the end of year 1 SOC website is amended to include a research portal. 


  • Task 3: Synthesize past scientific research at the site, including both published and unpublished initiatives. 
    • Metric: By the end of year 2 a report that synthesizes prior research is delivered to the Board of Directors. 


  • Task 4: Develop long term study plots within the site.
    • Metric: Specific study plots of at least .1ha will be identified and georeferenced for the site by the end of year 2.  These site will be protected from any future disturbance. 


  • Task 5: By the end of year two actively collaborate in at least two scientific studies.
    • Metric: Develop formal agreements with at least two researchers for work at the site.