2022-2023 Academic Year

News and Highlights in May 2023

The Ends of Freedom: Reclaiming America’s Lost Promise of Economic Rights. Dr. Paul argues that economic rights have long been a cornerstone of the American conversation and outlines a policy program to achieve a more equitable country. You can read more about Dr. Paul here and find links to his recent interviews and podcasts, including one on why economic rights are critical to climate action.


mark paul the ends of freedom
          Dr. Mark Paul, Author of The Ends of Freedom



New Jersey is the first state in the country to make climate change a part of the public school curriculum. Rutgers University hosted a workshop Thursday April 27, 2023 to help educators integrate the topic across the curriculum. The workshop included hands-on and interactive sessions with other teachers. Workshop organizers included RCI Associate Director Marjorie Kaplan and RCI affiliates James Shope (NJ Climate Change Resource Center and Environmental Sciences), Carrie Ferraro (Science Learning Center) and Janice McDonald (Marine and Coastal Sciences and 4H) along with Edward Cohen and Brielle Kociolek of Rutgers Center for Science, Math and Computer Education. Rutgers faculty participating include RCI Affiliates Mariann Bischoff (Social Work), Elaine Lafay (History), Jorge Marcone (Spanish and Portuguese), Christine Morales (Social Work), Mary Nucci (Human Ecology) as well as Rutgers faculty Dunbar Birnie and Lisa Klein (Materials Science & Engineering) and John Keller (Mason Gross School of the Arts). NJ's First Lady Tammy Murphy also was in attendance at the workshop, she commended the commitment of teachers and stated “these tools are designed to create an environment for innovation and new ideas, prepare our students to meet the reality of our shared climate challenges, and to develop the next generation of climate leaders.”

Read more: Rutgers Climate Educators Workshop


grace_saba.jpeg.  Ashaki_Rouff.jpeg

Grace Saba, Ashaki Rouff

The 2022-23 Faculty Year-End Excellence Award recipients have recently been announced. Recipients include RCI Affiliates Grace Saba and Ashaki Rouff. Saba received The Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award, awarded to faculty that have made outstanding synergistic contributions in research and teaching. Rouff received The Presidential Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award, awarded to faculty members that demonstrated outstanding research, scholarship, or creative work, as well as truly outstanding contributions to teaching along with extensive service to the Rutgers community and beyond.




Pamela McElwee

RCI affiliate, Pamela McElwee emphasizes the need to consider both climate change and biodiversity together when creating environmental policies in this Scientific American commentary. McElwee notes that climate change has a direct effect on biodiversity, so treating the two as separate entities can be counteractive when looking for an effective solution to both. Policies that address both climate change and biodiversity loss together can yield co-benefits and healthy ecosystems.


State of the Climate New Jersey: 2022 has just been released by Rutgers University. The report warns of increasing temperatures in the state and its potential impact on vulnerable communities. Interviewed by WHYY Philadelphia, RCI affiliate, James Shope and lead author of the report notes “Our most vulnerable aren’t just in our urban locations. When it comes to heat, you have a number of more rural communities that are also very susceptible.” The report states that sea levels along the Jersey Shore are also expected to rise up to 1 foot by the end of the decade. The report also notes that New Jersey's average temperature is projected to rise another 5 to 10 degrees by the end of the century. This could lead to an increase in heat-related illnesses and deaths in areas with less shade and vegetation.




RCI Affiliate, Serpil Guran

Rutgers EcoComplex has commissioned a new composting system for its Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Earth Flow™ In-Vessel composting system, developed by Green Mountain Technologies (GMT), can process up to 30,000 pounds of campus compostable materials per month, including food and animal waste. The system will reduce the environmental impact and financial cost of hauling waste to landfills, while creating compost to enrich campus landscapes, gardens, and greenhouses. According to RCI Affiliate, Serpil Guran, the project will help to divert cafeteria and animal waste from landfills, while providing data on several types of composting activities. Guran Stated, “this project will serve as the first step in the creation of an organic recycling and reutilization Living-Laboratory”.




RCI Affiliate, Anthony Broccoli

To better understand how climate change will affect the NY and NJ area, CBS2 released an article interviewing local experts about their latest projections. "There are many downstream consequences from changes in climate, it's not just about the weather," said RCI Affiliate,
Anthony Broccoli.
Extreme heat, sea level rise, and storms are just a few of these expected consequences. By 2100, low emissions might result in temperatures 2-4 degrees warmer and with high emissions 4-10 degrees warmer. "Under a high emission scenario, there's one estimate that indicates that much of New Jersey would get between 10 and 25 days a year with triple digit heat," said Broccoli. Some experts are calling our current situation a climate crisis.