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News & Events

Alumnus Feature

Alumnus Feature: Kelly Ann Cicalese Television weather forecaster Kelly Ann Cicalese shares the challenges of her work and what she loves most. The Sewaren, N.J., native who first developed an interest in weather in grade school, found her way to a career as a weather forecaster at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She started college as a math major, but after some guidance from her advisor, decided to apply her love of numbers and physics to a subject that she found most fascinating: meteorology. She graduated with a bachelor of science in the field in 2011. Read More.

NOAA-funded air quality research

Xiaomeng Jin, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, is the co-principal investigator of a NOAA-funded study, published in Environmental Science & Technology. The new paper investigates the important air quality impacts of wildfires, and how new satellite instruments can elevate our understanding of those impacts. The new study is supported by the NOAA Climate Program Office’s Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4) Program. See the full story here.

Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) award

A team of researchers at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, including Professor Gedi Mainelis, has been selected to receive a $1 million Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) award for a community-university partnership that combats climate change and improves access to essential resources and services. The Rutgers project, Smart Kids and Cool Seniors, seeks to assist low-resource urban residents as they adapt to increasing heat stress and local air pollution, both outdoors and indoors. Read about the project here

Friday, 8/25/2023 from 3-5 pm, Elizabeth, NJ.

Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research colleagues Jen Senick (Bloustein), Clint Andrews (Bloustein), and Gedi Mainelis (Env. Sciences) are part of a new EPA-funded project in Elizabeth, NJ, to install air quality sensors near public housing. US Senator Cory Booker, US Representative Robert Menendez, Union County Commissioner Bette Jane Kowalski, Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, EPA Region 2 Director Lisa Garcia, and many others joined a community meeting to discuss how this project can improve local health and well-being. Featured tools developed by Rutgers include air quality backpacks with various air quality sensors (for PM1, PM2.5, PM10, CO2, ozone, and VOCs) carried by youth and inexpensive Do-It-Yourself air cleaners that cost less than $50. Mainelis lab just published a peer-reviewed paper on the performance of DIY air cleaners. The Rutgers team is collaborating on this project with Groundwork Elizabeth and the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth.

EcoFair on September 13, 2023 from 4 to 8 pm

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program is planning an EcoFair on September 13, 2023 from 4 to 8 pm on the lawn in front of the Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences Building on Cook Campus. Non-profit organizations and students are invited to explore opportunities concerning employment, community involvement, and discussion of environmental issues. More details and sign-up forms are here.

Mary Whelan wins CAREER awardProfessor Mary Whelan Wins Prestigious NSF CAREER Award "Constraining land carbon uptake on regional and global scales by enabling the interpretation of two decades of trace gas measurements". Read all about Mary's exciting research here

Professor John Reinfelder, Department of Environmental Sciences, recently visited Vietnam to initiate collaborative research on microbial arsenic metabolism in rice paddy soils. Read about the project here.

Lily Young elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering Lily Young, a Distinguished Professor and former Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Please see the story here about Professor Young's 30 years of groundbreaking environmental microbiology research that has led to solutions for environmental contamination.

RU Engineer magazine has a feature article on our Environmental Engineering program that is administered across SEBS and SoE, and about our ongoing faculty cluster hiring effort. See the article at the link.

Rutgers Magazine recently featured the Meteorology Undergraduate Program, interviewing former and current students to help tell the story of what makes the program and its alumni successful. Read the article here.

4+1: Get your B.S. and M.S. degrees together in only five years!

Find out about 4+1 programs:
Meteorology/Atmospheric Science
Environmental Science
Bioenvironmental Engineering

Alan Robock Receives the 2022 Future of Life Award

Alan Robock Receives the 2022 Future of Life Award - photo by Edwina Hay Distinguished Professor Alan Robock, Department of Environmental Sciences, received the 2022 Future of Life Award from the Future of Life Institute on August 6 "for reducing the risk of nuclear war by developing and popularizing the science of nuclear winter." He shares the award with fellow nuclear winter pioneers John Birks, Paul Crutzen, Jeannie Peterson, Carl Sagan, Georgiy Stenchikov, Brian Toon, and Richard Turco. Each awardee received a plaque and a $50,000 prize. The Future of Life Institute is a nonprofit seeking to reduce extreme, large-scale risks from transformative technologies. It also aims for the future development and use of these technologies to be beneficial to all life.

Read the full story at the SEBS Newsroom

Sunlight dissolved rocks on the early Earth

Professor Nathan Yee published a study in Science Advances showing that ultraviolet light from the Sun can dissolve the mineral pyrite. The new findings suggest that chemical elements released by this photochemical reaction was an important source of nutrients to the early biosphere. See the research article here: Anoxic photochemical weathering of pyrite on Archean continents

Student lands coveted internship

Jeremy Lewan Jeremy Lewan graduates this spring following a coveted internship with NBC News working daily with Al Roker. Lewan, who often worked from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m., also produced the maps Roker used during his forecast and researched and wrote weather stories for the network’s website. "Jeremy was one of the best, if not the best, interns I’ve ever worked with just because of his willingness to learn," says Kathryn Prociv, senior meteorologist and producer in the NBC News Climate Unit. Read More in Rutgers Today

Senior Profile in the news

Morgan Mark Donna Fennell, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences, saw firsthand the passionate wildlife enthusiast Morgan Mark, Rutgers Honors College graduate with a dual degree in Bioenvironmental Engineering from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and School of Engineering. Read the full story at the SEBS Newsroom

SEED wins AWWA filter contest

SEED Team Members 2022 Congratulations to Students for Environmental and Energy Development (SEED) who won first prize at the 7th Annual New Jersey Section of the American Water Works Association Student Filter Building Competition. Team members (pictured) included Anna Kostoreva, Justin Jaje, Shreya Patil, Allison Nevulis, Lakshmi Viswanathan, and Amulya Nagella.

Alumni in the news

Alumna_Toyosi_Dickson Alumna Toyosi Dickson (SEBS’20) Reflects on her Journey to Environmental Justice. Since being at the University of Michigan SEAS (School for Environment and Sustainability)' Toyosi worked with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Environmental Fellows Program. As a research assistant for the Energy Equity Project, Toyosi designs and facilitates collaborations between stakeholder groups of the energy sector, community groups, and federal regulators to help build an equity framework to guide the clean energy transition. Read More Here

Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN)

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University has recently been awarded four Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN).

We are currently recruiting applicants that are US citizens or permanent residents that wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree in all areas of Environmental Sciences including the Environmental Engineering and Exposure Science options. All are encouraged to apply, with particular emphasis on students from underrepresented groups (including minorities and women).

Fellowships will start in the Fall Semester 2022 and will cover up to three years of stipend (up to $34,000/year), tuition, and fees. Subject to satisfactory academic performance, students will be supported until they receive their Ph.D. For more information on this opportunity, visit our website and/or contact Professor Lisa Rodenburg at

Rutgers Receives NOAA Honored Institution Awards for 125 Years of Service

NOAA’s National Weather Service has selected Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as a recipient of the 2021 Honored Institution Awards for 125-Years’ Service for 125 years of distinguished service to the Nation through the Cooperative Observer Program (COOP program). Read more at the SEBS/NJAES Newsroom

The Department of Environmental Sciences is Awarded a 2020 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

The Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Education.

The award ceremony was held on Monday, December 14, 2020. Here is the video of the acceptance speech delivered by Dr. Donna Fennell, Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences, for the NJ Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

DES Centennial Celebration

As part of the Centennial Celebration of the Department of Environmental Sciences (1920-2020), we convened a virtual symposium Environmental Research: The Next 100 Years. This symposium was held on six Fridays from Oct 2-Nov 13, 2020 and culminated with a virtual panel discussion, Past, Present and Future Trends in Environmental Issues on November 18th, 2020 at 7pm.

In conjunction with its centennial, the Department of Environmental Sciences is offering items through All Colors with the new Centennial logo for purchase. Click here for the Centennial Store. Thank you!

Weather Radar on Our Campus!

Visitors from NBC Universal joined faculty and students from SEBS and the Meteorology Undergraduate Program to celebrate the new weather radar on our campus. This celebration was featured on WNBC as shown here.

Storm Chasers!

students taking photos of a storm

Students experienced a 3-credit course taught by Steve Decker. The "Severe Weather Field Trip" was featured on Rutgers Focus. The "storm chasers" could predict, observe, and analyze storms understanding the dynamics and thermodynamics leading to some of the most beautiful yet complex atmospheric circulations on Earth.