Joshua Drossman ’22


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Deer Exclosure and Forest Restoration Study

My focus was a study intended to quantify the impact of overgrazing by New Jersey’s deer population, which has allowed invasive species to overtake native plants. I was responsible for remeasuring the heights of over 150 native tree saplings, roughly half of which were protected in a deer exclosure with the other half left unprotected. Maintenance for the exclosure included fence repair, plot restaking, removing invasive plants that may inhibit sapling growth, and diagramming the exclosure with GPS coordinates. My internship also included a role as a land steward and science intern. I was responsible for aiding the rehabilitation of floating wetlands, a rain garden restoration project, and a summer-long effort to remove large patches of invasive plants to make room for planting 300 native trees and shrubs. I now have a much more expansive knowledge of the native and invasive species of New Jersey. This internship enhanced my appreciation for evaluating ecosystem health, and for the environmental research that must take place to determine courses of action. I hope to be able to incorporate some aspect of this into my career as an engineer.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


The Watershed Institute - Pennington, New Jersey


Steve Tuorto, Director of Science and Stewardship, The Watershed Institute; Allison Jackson, Stewardship Coordinator, The Watershed Institute