News and Announcements

Partnership, Participation, and a Sense of Place

Symposium - April 19, 2017, 8:30am - 1pm (with breakfast and registration at 8am - 8:30am) Rutgers Academic Building 15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ

Come join fellow students, faculty, and administrators brainstorm opportunities to enhance awareness and visibility of current sustainability features at Rutgers University. This event marks the second year Rutgers University has taken on the responsibility of talking about sustainability efforts within the university community. Dean Matt Matsuda will kick-off the event, followed by Lightning Talks.

The themes of RU Sustainable? embody the idea of building on a core of sustainable values, to create a culture of sustainability that permeates the Rutgers campus.  Students and faculty are encouraged to come and participate in round table discussions.  Who should be a partner in the sustainability quest at Rutgers?  How can individuals participate?  How does the very setting of Rutgers help us to realize our interconnectedness with each other and the outside world?
Short talks by sustainability leaders will provide some food for thought, and then open facilitated discussion at the tables will be captured by note-takers.  A reflection on the salient points will provide a sense of the common theme or innovative ideas which come from the discussion. 
All of the notes will be compiled in a compendium, which can serve as a resource for ideas for the Rutgers Sustainability initiatives.
Let the powers of partnership, participation and place combine to make Rutgers even more sustainable for the future!


2017 Speakers

Dean Matt Matsuda, Academic Dean at the Honors College,  is an award-winning scholar and educator and has been a member of the Rutgers History Department since 1993. He is the author of The Memory of the Modern (1996), Empire of Love (2003), and Pacific Worlds (2012), and is the editor of a Palgrave academic series.

Bruno Sarda, Chief Sustainability Officer at NRG, is a leading practitioner in the field of corporate sustainability. As head of sustainability at NRG, one of the country’s largest energy companies, he leads the development and execution of company-wide sustainability strategy and initiatives. In addition, Sarda is a faculty member and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University, where he teaches sustainability leadership to undergraduate, graduate and executive students. More details at www.linkedin.com/in/brunosarda/.

Jim Zullo, Executive Director - Elijah’s Promise, located in New Brunswick, NJ.  Elijah’s Promise is a nationally respected anti-hunger and anti-poverty nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of food to break the cycle of poverty, alleviate hunger and change lives!  The organization operates a community soup kitchen serving over 100,000 healthy meals annually, a social service program that connects those in need to housing, mental health, addiction and other support services, a state certified culinary school that equips low income adults for jobs in the food industry, a catering business that provides meals to low income children and seniors, and a community garden program that provides New Brunswick residents with the opportunity to grow their own produce.  Elijah’s Promise has also operated multiple innovative micro enterprises including a “pay what you can community café” and a multi-faceted farm market that increased access to local, nutritious foods including products made by the Promise Culinary School.

Jim has a long history the City of New Brunswick including serving as the interim director of the New Brunswick Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Director of the City's Parking Authority and as a Vice President of the New Brunswick Development Corp.   Jim also served as NJ Transit’s Director of Real Estate and Economic Development and as Vice President at Timothy Haahs and Associates. He holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning for the Rutgers Bloustein School.

Joe Charrette, the Executive Director of Rutgers Dining Services, where he has spent the last twenty-eight years of his food service career. He is a graduate of Cook College, class of 1977   After gaining valuable experience in some of the finer restaurants in Washington D.C.'s Georgetown area in the late 70’s, Joe wrote the menus and wine lists for several privately owned upscale restaurants in Colorado.  He later opened some casual-theme restaurants, for a Denver based professional athlete, and then spent six years with S&A Restaurant Corporation, where he opened and managed several Bennigan’s in New Mexico, Arizona and New Jersey in the 1980’s.

Frank Wong, the Executive Director of University Planning and Development at Rutgers, and has over thirty years of experience in planning higher education environments. His office is engaged in campus planning and capital project development for the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden Campuses, as well as coordinating with municipal, county, state and local agencies on the implementation of regional infrastructure projects that impact the campuses. He recently oversaw the completion and adoption of Rutgers 2030, the comprehensive long-term physical master plan for the university. Frank holds two degrees from Rutgers University, including a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning and Design, and a Master of Public Administration. He is both a Licensed Landscape Architect and Licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey. He is a member of the Society of College and University Planning, and formerly served on its Mid-Atlantic Regional Council.

Pinky Liau, President, Students for Environmental Awareness, is a senior at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She is majoring in Environmental Science and is currently completing a George H. Cook Honors Thesis. She serves as the President for Students for Environmental Awareness on campus, where the club works on campaigns to bring about sustainable initiatives locally as well as hosting film festivals to educate the public on recent environmental concerns. Pinky will be graduating this May and will be attending graduate school in the Fall to pursue a PhD in Environmental Microbiology. For fun, she likes to go on hikes in the mountains and she sings!

Cara Cuite, Rutgers Extension Specialist in the Department of Human Ecology, is a health psychologist who studies community food security, risk communication and public perceptions of food-related issues, including food safety and genetically engineered foods.

Current Schedule


Scientists say Trump's support for more coal burning could damage the state's air quality and increase sea levels.

Learn more from Rutgers researchers comments -  Read more from The Record

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) and the Rutgers X "EcoIgnite: Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator" Program are jointly announcing an internship position at the Rutgers EcoComplex for Summer 2017.

The student will support clean energy start-up technology development efforts at the EcoComplex including working on technology prototyping of an innovative clean energy project.

Requirements:

  •  Strong mechanical aptitude and a thorough interest and understanding of mechanical devices.
  •  Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work both independently and within a team.
  •  A "hands-on" person with a creative and resourceful approach to problem solving.
  •  Engineering students who will be undergraduate seniors or graduate students in AY17-18
  •  Proficiency using Solidworks to create 3D parts and assemblies as well as 2D drawings.

 This full-time internship will run from early June through mid-August 2017. The internship will be designed such that the student will gain valuable scientific, technical and entrepreneurial experience.

Interested students must apply by March 31st, 2017. Applications are available on the EcoComplex website: http://ecocomplex.rutgers.edu or by contacting Dr. Serpil Guran, Director, EcoComplex, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 609-499-3600 x4225.

Stacy Bonos (GSNB’97), associate professor in the Department of Plant Biology and REI member was elected a 2016 Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) Fellow, the highest recognition bestowed by the CSSA to its members based on their professional achievements and meritorious service.

Bonos’ research is focused on developing improved, pest resistant and stress tolerant turfgrasses, which can be utilized for resource conservation and environmental enhancement anywhere cool-season turfgrasses are grown. Specifically, she is leading research projects on breeding for disease resistance and salt tolerance.Her work to develop modern strains of turfgrass that stand up to a variety of diseases and reduce the need for chemical applications has been well received by the turf industry.

In addition, she is working to develop high yielding cultivars of switchgrass that can be utilized for biofuel production. These high biomass grasses are a potential renewable energy source that could help decrease reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Learn more

Notice of Public Open House: Rutgers Regional Bicycle Share Program (Knight Cycle)

 

Rutgers University, together with North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and other regional partners, is implementing a regional bicycle share program through a Regional Transportation Alternatives Program (RTAP) grant. The program will be open to the public and serve the University community, New Brunswick, Highland Park, Piscataway and the New Brunswick and Edison train stations. Public Information Center meetings will be held throughout the month of March to inform the public of the program and obtain feedback. Meetings will be in an open-house format and are open to the public. Project team members will be available to answer questions. Please see attached flyer and Community Input Survey.

DATES, TIMES AND LOCATIONS:

Monday, March 13th, 12:30-2:30pm, Piscataway Public Library, 500 Hoes Lane, Piscataway

Wednesday, March 15th, 1-3pm, Highland Park Public Library, 31 N 5th Avenue, Highland Park

Monday, March 20th, 1-3pm, Middlesex County Administration Building Freeholder Room, 75 Bayard Street, New Brunswick

Tuesday, March 21st, 5-7pm, Middlesex County Administration Building Freeholder Room, 75 Bayard Street, New Brunswick

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 5-7pm, Rutgers University Livingston Student Center Room 202, 84 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway

Thursday, March 23rd, 1-3pm, Rutgers University Douglass Student Center, 100 George St, New Brunswick

Wednesday, March 29th, 11:30am-1:30pm, Rutgers University College Avenue Student Center Room 411, 126 College Ave, New Brunswick

Written comments, questions and survey responses will be accepted through April 1st  by mail or e-mail to:
Rutgers University Division of Institutional Planning and Operations

Attn: Leigh Ann Kimber

33 Knightsbridge Road, Fl. 3E

Piscataway, NJ 08854

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the future, wide-ranging composite materials are expected to be stronger, lighter, cheaper and greener for our planet, thanks to an invention by Rutgers’ Richard E. Riman.

Nine years ago, Riman, a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, invented an energy-efficient technology that harnesses largely low-temperature, water-based reactions. As a result, he and his team can make things in water that previously were made at temperatures well above those required to thermally decompose plastics.

So far, the revolutionary technology has been used to make more than 30 different materials, including concrete that stores carbon dioxide, the prime greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Other materials include multiple families of composites that incorporate a wide range of metals, polymers and ceramics whose behavior can be processed to resemble wood, bone, seashells and even steel.

The Department of Energy (DOE) released the first annual report on the state of the DOE national laboratories.  The report provides a comprehensive overview of the DOE national labs and their associated science and technology programs, management approaches, and strategic planning efforts.  The report was prepared in response to a recommendation from the congressionally-mandated Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy (CRENEL) that DOE should better communicate to Congress and the public the value the national labs provide to the nation.  DOE plans to update this report annually.

The entire report can be found at https://energy.gov/downloads/annual-report-state-doe-national-laboratories

Global sea level could rise by as much as 8 feet by 2100 in a worst-case scenario, according to federal report coauthored by Rutgers’ Robert E. Kopp

The report, "Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States," provides regional sea-level rise scenarios and tools for coastal preparedness planning and risk management. It also reviews recent scientific literature on "worst-case" global average sea-level projects and on the potential for rapid ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

On January 6, 2017, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review report titled “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The second installment (QER 1.2) finds the electricity system is a critical and essential national asset, and it is a strategic imperative to protect and enhance the value of the electricity system through modernization and transformation. QER 1.2 analyzes trends and issues confronting the Nation’s electricity sector out to 2040, examining the entire electricity system from generation to end use, and within the context of three overarching national goals: (1) enhance economic competitiveness; (2) promote environmental responsibility; and (3) provide for the Nation’s security.

  • Learn more
  • Full Report "Chapter I: Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System: The Second Installment of the QER"

The White House (2016): United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization. Washington, D.C.

Nov. 17,2016

Including carbon removal/BECCS. "The Paris Agreement further invited countries to develop by 2020 “mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.” This document answers that call, laying out a strategy to deeply decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. Link to document.

Ten Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor conferred on 381 other experts in the U.S. and abroad.  The new Rutgers AAAS fellows include two Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) members - Clinton J. Andrews and G. Charles Dismukes.

The fellows were chosen by their AAAS peers for efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, according to the AAAS.

The REI congratulates Clinton J. Andrews and G. Charles Dismukes on their prestigious recognition and their longstanding signficiant contributions in energy research.

Clinton J. Andrews, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, School of Arts and Sciences Andrews, a professor and associate dean for planning and new initiatives, also directs the Rutgers Center for Green Building. His research interests include the use of technical knowledge in environmental decision-making, environmental management, energy policy and the social science aspects of industrial ecology. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a LEED-accredited professional and a licensed professional engineer.

The association cited Andrews for “distinguished contributions to the field of planning the built environment, particularly using simulation modeling to enhance public discourse on social implications of technological change.”

G. Charles Dismukes, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, and Waksman Institute of Microbiology Dismukes, a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and principal investigator at Waksman, is a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Advanced Materials and Device Nanotechnology (IAMDN) and the graduate training faculty in microbiology and biochemistry. His research focuses on biological and chemical methods for renewable solar-based fuel production, catalysis, photosynthesis, metals in biological systems and tools for investigating these systems.

The association cited Dismukes for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of natural and artificial photosynthesis, particularly catalysis of water splitting and its translation to device applications.”

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $15 Million in Entrepreneurs Across the Nation to Move Ideas to Market, Promote American Innovation

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced 35 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 19 states will receive nearly $15 million to create and expand cluster-focused, proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

The diverse group of awardees, selected from a pool of more than 215 applicants, reach urban and rural areas across the United States, including the program’s first investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the South; a women-focused, early-stage capital fund in Texas; a Native American-centered, proof-of-concept program in Oklahoma; and urban innovation hubs honing in on fashion technology (New York) and social innovation (Louisiana). Additionally, six awards are being made in EDA’s Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership regions.

Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded an i6 Challenge Investment grant - Ecolgnite: Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator Program  ($439,190) to support clean energy start-ups and innovators.

Jing Li, professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers Energy Institute member,  is a coinvestigator of an award totaling $1.1 million. Li is working with Yves Chabal at the University of Texas at Dallas and Timo Thonhauser at Wake Forest. The project, titled Synthesizing New Metal Organic Frameworks with Tailored Physical and Chemical Properties, is being supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Learn more about Li here.

The ARPA-E Summit is now accepting applications to the 2017 Summit Student Program! The Student Program at the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is a unique opportunity for graduate students to network with organizations searching for new talent and learn about advanced energy technologies. The 100 graduate-level students selected may attend the Summit, participate in student-focused programming, and meet with corporate recruiters.
 
Accepted students will receive complimentary registration to the Summit. Each participant is responsible for arranging and paying for his or her own travel and hotel accommodations.
 
To apply, click here. Applications due by December 5, 2016.

Rutgers professor seeks transition from coal to clean, renewable energy
 
Burning coal for electricity is in decline, while the use of natural gas, solar and wind power are on the rise. But how close are we to creating a clean energy economy to help protect our planet from the impacts of climate change? Rutgers Today asked Paul G. Falkowski, Bennett Smith Professor in Business and Natural Resources in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, about energy use, the presidential candidates’ positions and the outlook for cleaner energy.

Drs. Rachael Shwom and Cara Cuite,  Rutgers University, Department of Human Ecology seek applicants for a fully funded three-year research assistantship positions available for students pursuing a PhD in Sociology, Psychology, or Planning and Public Policy.   Students will be involved in a National Science Foundation Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water (NSF INFEWS) “Reducing Household Food, Energy, and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation” funded interdisciplinary research project.

The project focuses on understanding and seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through conservation of household-scale direct and indirect (via food and water) energy use.  The graduate student will be involved in multiple aspects of the grant including: 1) the development of role playing games 2) the development of household food, energy, and water consumption data collection protocols 3) development and analysis of household interventions to decrease household greenhouse gas emissions via food, energy and water consumption.  You will be part of a large research team with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across the United States and the Netherlands in social, natural, and engineering sciences.

Successful applicants will be self-directed and have strong communication, organizational, and quantitative and qualitative social science research skills with a passionate interest in studying social dimensions of energy consumption and policy.  They should be willing to travel internationally and to work in a highly interdisciplinary scientific team.  To apply for this position, please send Dr. Rachael Shwom This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your CV and a 1-page letter describing your interest and qualifications.  We will start reviewing applications November 15, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Please put “PhD Assistantship” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin on November 2nd and continue until this position is filled. The PhD assistantship at Rutgers University includes a stipend, tuition, and most fees for three full years with two additional years of funding for a teaching assistantship in the Department of Human Ecology.

The Department of Human Ecology runs a graduate certificate in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change which the research assistant will enroll in, but Human Ecology does not run a PhD graduate program. Therefore students working with us can choose a PhD in Sociology, Psychology or Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.  The Application process for these graduate programs is a separate process with a January 15, 2017 deadline. The start date is fall 2017. Questions are welcome – contact Rachael at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rachael Shwom, REI member, and Cara Cuite, Department of Human Ecology, are part of a multi-university team that received a grant in October 2016 from the National Science Foundation, through their Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water program. The total grant was for $2,983,358, and Rutgers is receiving $419,184 for the project: Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation.

Cara Cuite, associate research professor, is a health psychologist who studies community food security, risk communication and public perceptions of food-related issues, including food safety and genetically engineered foods. Rachael Shwom, an associate professor, is a sociologist who is interested in how different groups of people in society make sense of and respond to energy and climate change problems.

Their project focuses on understanding and seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through conservation of household consumption of food, energy and water. Experimental research will be conducted in residential households in two case-study communities, selected to be representative of U.S. suburban households.

More than 20 students and early-career scientists from underrepresented groups will join the large research team and will have the opportunity to train and collaborate with colleagues across the United States and the Netherlands, a highly industrialized nation that uses 20% less energy and water per person than the U.S.

The graduate students will be involved in multiple aspects of the grant including: 1) the development of role playing games 2) the development of household food, energy, and water consumption data collection procedures, and 3) the development and analysis of household practices to decrease household greenhouse gas emissions via food, energy and water consumption.

The project is scheduled to conclude in September 2021 and the tracking tools, impact models and role-playing software that will be developed in this research will be publicly available at the end of the project in order to inform future research, education and outreach activities.

A study by Rutgers University's Agricultural Experimental Station last year suggested that New Jersey was not utilizing the potential energy from biomass — organic materials like plants and waste that could be used to produce electricity or propel vehicles.

The food waste from a local supermarket, restaurant, or catering hall could end up being the fuel that serves a source of renewable energy for New Jersey. That's the goal of a bill moving through the Legislature, which would require large generators of garbage to separate and recycle food waste with the aim of converting it to energy... Learn more

Rutgers’ Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (C2R2) traineeship will be open to research-based Masters’ and Ph.D. students in the Earth system sciences, social sciences, and engineering. Trainees will learn to conduct research that integrates natural, socio-economic, and engineered elements of coastal systems. They will also gain practice communicating effectively with coastal stakeholders to define research problems, conduct research, and apply research to address real-world resilience challenges.

Over their first two years, trainees will take four core courses: (1) a transdisciplinary seminar on methods and perspectives in coastal climate risk and resilience; (2) a course on communicating science to decision-makers; (3) a summer field course on coastal resilience, and (4) a studio workshop that brings trainees together with coastal stakeholders to address real decision problems. They will also take three elective courses, covering each of natural, socio-economic, and engineered systems. C2R2 Faculty will work with trainees to incorporate transdisciplinary research into their theses and to help them track and reflect on their experiences through the use of mental mapping techniques.

 We are currently looking among incoming Rutgers graduate students for our Fall 2017 cohort of trainees. We expect to have 10-15 graduate students in this first cohort. Five will receive up to 2 years of funding as graduate fellows. All trainee candidates who are in research-based Masters’ programs must have at least two years remaining; all who are in Ph.D. programs must have at least three years remaining. Candidates must commit to full participation in the program.

  • Interested students should send application to Carrie Ferraro at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications must be received by February 1, 2017, and should include (1) a statement explaining the applicant’s professional interest in coastal climate risk and resilience, (2) undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts, and (3) two professional letters of support.  

C2R2 is housed at the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and is a collaboration between the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy. Click here for Flyer.

For more information, contact Carrie Ferraro at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or go to http://c2r2.rutges.edu.

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance Advisory Committee requested that Rutgers University convene a Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to synthesize for practitioners the most recent climate science needed to inform efforts to increase the resilience of New Jersey’s people, places, and assets (including infrastructure, communities and natural resources) to regional sea-level rise (SLR), changing coastal storms and the resulting flood risk.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2016 Solicitation 2.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Monday November 21, 2016. 

The SCGSR program is open to graduate students with Permanent Resident status, in addition to U.S. Citizens, who meet all other eligibility requirements. Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at:http://science.energy.gov/wdts/scgsr/.  

 The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis/dissertation while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

The Office of Science expects to make approximately 50 awards in 2016 Solicitation 2, for project periods beginning anytime between June 1, 2017 and October 2, 2017.

Since its inception in 2014, the SCGSR program has provided support to about 160 graduate awardees from over 75 different universities to conduct thesis research at DOE national laboratories across the nation.

The SCGSR program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), in collaboration with the six Office of Science research programs offices and the DOE national laboratories, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE).

For any questions, please contact the SCGSR Program Manager, Dr. Ping Ge, atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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