Dr. Walter F. Bien recently retired as a research professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science at Drexel University where he served as Director of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research. Before teaching at Drexel University, Dr. Bien was a public educator for 31 years.
Dr. Bien is Principal Investigator
at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range (WGR), Burlington County, New Jersey where
his research focuses on community ecology, conservation biology (with special
emphasis on the Northern Pine snake), natural resource management, and military
impacts to the Pine Barrens ecosystem.
In 2006 and 2012 Dr. Bien’s research supported the Air National Guard Environmental Excellence Award, and in 2014 his research supported the United States Air Force top environmental award, the General Thomas D. White Installation Award, for the Natural Resources Conservation Program, at the Warren Grove Range.
His research has been highlighted on New Jersey News Science Edition, New Jersey NPR: Sounds of Science, and in People of the Pines (2007) by Plexus Press. He has collaborated with researchers from Rutgers University, Columbia University, Montclair University, Ramapo College, William Patterson, Temple University, USDA, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, and New Jersey DEP on Pinelands issues.
Dr. Bien has mentored dozens of graduate students and is the author or co-author on numerous scientific publications. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in marine field methods, tropical ecology, terrestrial ecology and field botany. Dr. Bien is a strong advocate for environmental conservation and has collaborated with other scientists, government agencies, and NGOs with research interests in the Pine Barrens.
Since his retirement in 2018, he has conducted a survey for the NJ Natural Lands Trust for the barking treefrog, Hyla gratiosa, at Bennetts Bog, Cape May County. He is currently conducting bee surveys at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range for the NJDEP as part of the collaborative Northeast US Bee Survey, as well as conducting a rare species survey for the NJ Natural Lands Trust at the Sooy Place Preserve, Burlington County, NJ and conducting a survey of pine snake nesting sites for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
Poster presentations of some of his recent research can be viewed in the Pine Barrens Booth at this year’s Pine Barrens Festival.