The Society visited the Equine Science Center and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Director of the Equine Science Center and a Society member, provided an overview of the center. It is dedicated to better horse care through research and education to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry. The center is the only entity in the nation that assembles faculty, students and staff from multiple disciplines and departments into teams to address problems that range from the critical shortage of large animal veterinarians to the effects of supplements and performance-enhancing substances on horses and the horse industry. Dr. Malinowski and her colleagues provided a tour of the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory. The centerpiece of that facility is a treadmill for horses designed and built under the direction of Dr. Ken McKeever who has utilized it to develop a large body of research on horse performance physiology. Pixie, a standard-bred mare, demonstrated her expertise on the treadmill for the members, reaching 22 miles per hour. Dr. McKeever explained that research conducted at the lab yields information that extends beyond horses to human health. Some research projects are funded by entities such as the Defense Department who are seeking answers on human health and performance issues since much of the data derived from horse studies applies to humans as well. Dr. Robert M. Goodman, Executive Dean and Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station welcomed the group to Rutgers and gave a brief overview of some of the work the School is involved with and shared some of the challenges facing the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences such as funding and land use issues.
Members and their guests then toured the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Dr. Cisco Werner, Director, gave an overview of the work done there. The Institute provides national and international leadership in marine science and is New Jersey’s focal point for education, research, and service in estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments. IMCS is dedicated to developing, communicating, and understanding change and sustainability in marine and coastal ecosystems, and to shaping future directions for the use and protection of vital marine and coastal resources. Through its application of marine surveillance technology, the Institute has become one of the top three oceanographic research organizations in the country.
Members toured the facilities where researchers stay in constant touch with coastal radar that studies wave movement and speed, with satellite imagery that relays the surface data from all the oceans and with data called in by specialized, unmanned, battery-powered robotic craft called gliders. Designed by the Institute and launched from Tuckerton, New Jersey, the gliders cross entire oceans, diving and resurfacing, while being controlled from the Institute in New Brunswick. Members also toured the labs that study the physics of water current and wave movement and the ecology of coral.
Lunch was served at the New Jersey Museum of agriculture located on the G.H. Cook Campus at Rutgers. It houses an impressive collection of historic agricultural implements and photographs that tell the story of Garden State agriculture. Luncheon speaker Dr. Kevin Lyons, Professor of Supply Chain Environmental Archeology at Rutgers, gave a presentation on the environmentally responsible procurement and contracting system he oversees at Rutgers. Lyons has led an extensive effort to reduce the waste stream from the university and ensure that suppliers of in-puts to the university adopt environmentally responsible practices. Dr. Sarah Ralston of the Rutgers Equine Science Center provided a post-luncheon tour of the center’s Young Horse Teaching and Research Program.