Academic Year 2016-2017

On April 18, 2017, Rutgers Climate Institute, along with the Cook Campus Dean, co-sponsored Rutgers University Students for Environmental Awareness’ (SEA) film screening of "Before the Flood" featuring Leonardo DiCaprio's journey to 5 different continents in learning and revealing the impacts of climate change. This film presented by National Geographic uncovers the growing concern regarding the change in global climate and how certain countries are significantly impacted. At the same time, the audience is encouraged to take bold individual actions to prevent further damage and to protect our home. The event was part of SEA’s Earth Week Festival.

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RCI Affilates Karen O'Neill (Human Ecology), John Weingart (Eagleton Institute of Politics), and Bob Kopp (Earth and Planetary Sciences) participate in a panel discussion moderated by Pinky Liau, President of Students for Environmental Awareness.


On Wednesday April 5, 2017, the award-winning and best-selling author Kim Stanley Robinson visited Rutgers University where he read from his recently released novel, New York  2140, which presents a vision of our region in a future of extreme sea-level rise.  After his talk, Robinson was joined by a panel of distinguished Rutgers faculty with expertise in climate science (Robert Kopp), urban planning (Clinton Andrews), urban agriculture (Laura Lawson), and the environmental humanities (Jorge Marcone) who discussed the novel and its vision.

Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students, including student leaders from various campus organizations had an opportunity to speak with Robinson ahead of the lecture during both in-class discussions as well as during dinner.  Read more about the evening in this piece by the Rutgers Daily Targum. 

The event was hosted by  the Rutgers Climate Institute along with the Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Initiative; Cook Campus Dean; Honors College of Rutgers University; Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; Rutgers University-New Brunswick America Converges Here; School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Executive Dean; and Undergraduate Academic Affairs.


On Thursday evening March 2, 2017, the Rutgers community was treated to an inspiring lecture by Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson, Distinguished University Professor in the Geological Sciences and Research Scientist at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University who spoke on Past, Present and Future of Glacier Archives from the World's Highest Mountains.  

Dr. Thompson's research has propelled the field of ice core paleoclimatology out of the Polar Regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields. He and his colleagues from Ohio State have developed light-weight solar-powered drilling equipment to acquire climate histories from ice fields all over the world including the tropical South American Andes, the Himalayas, and on Kilimanjaro.  Dr. Thompson's talk centered on glaciers as recorders and early indicators of climate change.  The ongoing widespread melting of high-elevation glaciers and ice caps, particularly in low to middle latitudes, provides strong evidence that a large scale, pervasive and in some cases, rapid change in Earth's climate system is underway.  Dr. Thompson shared observations of glacier shrinkage during the 20th and 21st centuries. The event was sponsored by Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and co-sponsored by Rutgers Climate Institute and Rutgers University-New Brunswick America Converges Here


On November 18, 2016, Rutgers Climate Institute held its annual Rutgers Climate Symposium, the theme of which was Climate Change, Ecology and Health. This one-day symposium is intended to stimulate interaction and collaboration among the community of natural and social science researchers and university students interested in climate change who are from institutions in the greater NJ, NY and Philadelphia region.  Over 200 attendees representing  more than 20 research institutions participated in the symposium which featured  talks on the symposium theme and a poster session displaying scholarship on a range of climate change topics from participants throughout our region.




On October 28, 2016, Rutgers Climate Institute, Rutgers Department of Human Ecology, and Rutgers University Press sponsored this public colloquium on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. A distinguished group of faculty and thought leaders came together four years after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in our region for an informative dialogue about storms and climate change vulnerability centering on issues raised in this publication from Rutgers University Press. The editors and chapter authors including Frank Felder (Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University), Mariana Leckner (Leckner Consulting), Karen O'Neill (Human Ecology, Rutgers University), Daniel Van Abs (Human Ecology, Rutgers University), participating in this event noted the lack of recognition of longer term risk of coastal hazards which has been overshadowed by short-term pressure to build bigger and better following Sandy.  A session looking forward moderated by Mark Mauriello (Edgewood Properts and former New Jersey Department of Environmental ProtectionCommissioner) included former New Jersey Governor James Florio and Dr. Christopher Daggett, both a former EPA Regional Administrator and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner who discussed the need for leadership to prepare for climate change, including sea-level rise, along the New Jersey coast.

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Read this article in the Press of Atlantic City which featured the event.


The event agenda can be found here.

Speaker biographies for this event can be found here.

Photographs from this event are below.


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On October 26, 2016, Rutgers University welcomed Pulitzer Prize winning author, Elizabeth Kollbert who spoke on "The Sixth Extinction". This event was part of the series, "Exploring the Anthropocene: The Age of Us" as part of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) celebration of Rutgers 250th Anniversary. In addition to SEBS, this event was co-sponsored by Writers House, Rutgers Climate Institute, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and RU250. 


About the Author:
Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland, and visited top scientists, to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series in The New Yorker (which won the 2006 National Magazine Award in the category Public Interest), Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done, and how we can save our planet. She explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most—the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year (2006) by The New York Times Book Review. Her most recent book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field, was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year. The Sixth Extinction also won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014. As with Field Notes from a Catastrophe, The Sixth Extinction began as an article in The New Yorker.


Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. She has written dozens of pieces for the magazine, including profiles of Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Her series on global warming, "The Climate of Man," appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science's magazine award. Also in 2006, she received the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category and was awarded a Lannan Writing Fellowship. In September 2010, Kolbert received the prestigious Heinz Award which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment. She also won a 2010 National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category for her work in The New Yorker and the Sierra Club's 2011 David R. Brower Award. She recently won the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union.


Elizabeth Kolbert's stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. A collection of her work, The Prophet of Love and Other Tales of Power and Deceit, was published in 2004. Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.


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Pictured from Left to Right are Xenia Morin (Plant Biology and Pathology), Tony Broccoli (Rutgers Climate Institute), Executive Dean Robert Goodman (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences), Elizabeth Kolbert, Mark Doty (Writers House) and Marjorie Kaplan (Rutgers Climate Institute).

On September 26, 2016, almost 200 students, faculty and members of the public came to hear a lecture by former Congressman Bob Inglis, on Climate Change, Energy and the Politics of 2016. The event took place in the Cook Student Center and was sponsored by Rutgers Climate Institute, Rutgers Energy Institute, Cook Campus Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Department of Human Ecology, SEBS 250, and the Eagleton Institute of Politics.  


In September 2016, Inglis was named to the "Politico 50", Politico's guide to the thinkers, doers and visionaries who are transforming American politics in 2016. For his work on climate change, Inglis received the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profil in Courage Award.  He appears in the film "Merchants of Doubt" and the Showtime series "YEARS of Living Dangerously."


Congressman Inglis spoke with passion about how conservatives can be part of the solution to climate change. As a member of Congress who served on the House of Representatives Science Committee, he learned first hand about climate change from a trip he took to the Antarctic, as well as spending time with a scientist studying coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef.   He spoke about the importance of message, messengers and momentum and about his take on free enterprise solutions to climate change through a revenue neutral carbon tax on fossil fuels for transportation and electric generation. 


In addition to his public lecture, Congressman Inglis met with Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students during visits to several Rutgers classes, as well as over a dinner for 20 Rutgers student leaders and a breakfast with the Rutgers Republicans and Young Americans For Liberty.  




 Pictured from Left to Right are Beatrice Birrer (Rutgers Energy Institute), Rachael Shwom (Department of Human Ecology); Marjorie Kaplan (Rutgers Climate Institute), Robert Kopp (Rutgers Energy Instiitute); Honorable Robert Inglis (George Mason University-RepublicEn); Judith Storch (Cook Campus Dean); Tony Broccoli (Rutges Climate Institute), Randi Chmielewski (Eagleton Institute of Politics).
Pictured from Left to Right are Beatrice Birrer (Rutgers Energy Institute), Rachael Shwom (Department of Human Ecology); Marjorie Kaplan (Rutgers Climate Institute), Robert Kopp (Rutgers Energy Institute); Honorable Robert Inglis (George Mason University-RepublicEn); Judith Storch (Cook Campus Dean); Tony Broccoli (Rutgers Climate Institute), Randi Chmielewski (Eagleton Institute of Politics).

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