Daniela Martinez ’24
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Reserve and Forest Stewardship
The Watershed Institute consists of approximately 950 acres of preserved land in Mercer County, New Jersey. I aided the stewardship and conservation team in restoring forest health through nonnative invasive species removal and repopulating these areas with native plants. I learned about two different management strategies that reduce damage from deer activity. We removed nonnative invasive species and repopulated native plants inside two established deer enclosures — fenced-off areas that keep deer out — and we installed tree tubes to protect new plantings outside of the deer enclosures. Another of our restoration efforts involved removing dead ash trees impacted by the emerald ash borer, an invasive species of beetle. In wetland habitats, I helped create a floating wetland, which is an artificial platform that floats on the lake’s surface to support native aquatic plant growth. I also helped manage existing floating wetlands by removing invasive species and replanting native species. Through woodworking, I created bird boxes to create habitats for eastern bluebirds and red headed woodpeckers. Overall, I gained insight and experience in various habitat restoration and forest management strategies, and learned how these strategies change based on the final goal.
Biodiversity and Conservation
The Watershed Institute - Pennington, New Jersey
Allison Jackson, Stewardship Coordinator, The Watershed Institute; Erin Stretz, Assistant Director of Science and Stewardship, The Watershed Institute