The Rutgers Climate Institute is a University-wide effort to address one of the most important issues of our time through research, education and outreach. The Institute draws upon strengths in many departments at Rutgers by facilitating collaboration across a broad range of disciplines in the natural, social and policy sciences.
News in February 2018
Crumbling infrastructure and limited public funding across the US have led to the enlistment of private companies to handle water systems, causing increases in cost without an improvement to services. Additionally, in many large cities, levels of lead have risen to concentrations harmful to human health. According to RCI affiliate Daniel Van Abs, its not clear if higher costs are due to improvements in service or due to overbuilding infrastructure that isn’t needed.
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are accelerating sea level rise, according to research of satellite data. So far, Greenland has contributed three times as much sea level rise than Antarctica, but according to RCI affiliate Robert Kopp Antarctica seems less stable now than thought so a few years ago.
RCI co-director Anthony Broccoli is a co-author of a study that determined that extra tropical cyclones generate most of the large storm surges in the northeast, as reported in Rutgers Today. Rutgers Greenberg Fellow, graduate student Arielle Catalano was the first author on the work which found that the biggest surges developed when slow moving extratropical cyclones encounter high pressure, leading to a tight pressure gradient and longer-lasting onshore winds.
Congratulations to RCI affiliate Paul Falkowski, one of the two recipients awarded the 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for his contributions to fighting climate change through increasing scientific understanding of how Earth’s climate works. Falkowski has published numerous papers on the role played by microbes in shaping Earth’s global climate cycle.
The risk of flooding will increase in the future to climate change, and threats to 1400 chemical facilities near waterways will become far greater according to the NY Times. Federal law does not explicitly require sites in floodplains handling toxic chemicals to take extra precautions against flooding, but as RCI affiliate Jeanne Herb points out, more often than not, sites with hazardous chemicals are nearby a body of water.
New findings published in PNAS, which include RCI affiliate Paul Falkowski among other Rutgers scientists found four chemical structures that make up the proteins inside every living organism, dubbed the ‘legos of life’. The study’s findings could lead to applications in biomedical engineering or the development of catalysts for industrial and energy use.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order mandating the NJDEP and state Board of Public Utilities reenter the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); the regional carbon cap and trade program of which New Jersey had been a charter member until its withdrawal in 2011. RCI affiliate Jeanne Herb and Associate Director, Marjorie Kaplan are quoted in ThinkProgress.
Volcanic eruptions are an excellent analog for geoengineering efforts, which could be employed to offset global warming as noted in the NY Times, which reports on planning by NASA for a rapid response program to study volcanic eruptions. RCI affiliate Alan Robock discusses the parallels and the importance of understanding the climatic effect of volcanic eruptions.
Congratulations to RCI affiliate Daniel Van Abs, whose research was referenced in the final report of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water Infrastructure, which was approved on January 8, 2018. The task force was charged with studying and making recommendations concerning issues related to drinking water infrastructure in New Jersey, and identifying both short-term and long-term solutions to address the quality and condition of drinking water infrastructure in the State.
Congratulations to RCI affiliate Mike Kennish who served as a guest lead editor of the special Estuaries and Coasts thematic issue titled ‘The National Estuarine Research Reserve System: An Integrated Network of Research and Monitoring Sites Supporting Coastal Zone Management’.
USDA Graduate Student Climate Adaptation Scholars Program
Distinguished Professor Debashish Bhattacharya Appointed to National Academy of Sciences Committee Addressing Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs
RCI affiliate, Professor Debashish Bhattacharya of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology has been appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to serve on the committee to discuss and report on strategic Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs (http://dels.nas.edu/Study-In-Progress/Interventions-Increase-Resilience/DELS-OSB-17-01). Prof. Bhattacharya’s lab studies coral genome evolution, population structure, and coral responses to abiotic stress, with the goal of identifying the ‘genetic toolkit’ used by these species to adapt to environmental fluctuations.
This committee has multiple tasks. These include to review the state of the art in ecological and genetic interventions that can be used to enhance recovery and persistence of coral reefs. The committee will consider scenarios and solutions that address the next 5-20 years which will see serious deterioration in the reef environment due to warming, more acidic waters. The committee will provide an environmental risk assessment and develop a decision pathway for implementation of potential interventions that includes knowledge gained from genetic, genomic, and ecological data. Two reports will result from this initiative.
The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance has developed an infographic to explain NJ's climate change impacts, greenhouse gas emissions sources, status on emissions reductions, progress to meeting state goals, and policy options available to New Jersey. This infographic is based on the report An Examination of Policy Options for Achieving Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in New Jersey.
In addition, the Alliance has posted the video: There are benefits to addressing climate change beyond reducing greenhouse gases.
the video: Addressing climate change is a monumental opportunity.
the video: Economic development and environmental protection can happen hand in hand.
the video: Climate change is a problem we can solve.
as well as the video: NJ can make a difference
The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance Climate Change and Public Health Working Group has released the final New Jersey Climate and Health Profile Report. Read the December 2017 final report here.
A video on Climate Change and Public Health Implications for New Jersey can be found here.
A video on NJ Populations Vulnerable to Climate Change can be found here.
A video on Climate Change and Flood Risk for NJ’s Senior Citizens is available here.
Congratulations to RCI Affiliate Jeanne Herb and RCI Associate Director Marjorie Kaplan on receiving the 2017 Public Health Advocates of the Year Award by the New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association. Herb and Kaplan are co-facilitators of the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance and through their work with the Alliance they were recognized for their outstanding contribution to public health in New Jersey.
State Department Publication Features Rutgers Polar Research!
Rutgers representatives working at the US Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, Point Barrow, Alaska, 1957. Left to right: Professor John Tedrow, William Gillis ‘55, Professor Russell Alderfer, John Cantlon ‘50, James Drew ‘52, Nathan Perselay ‘23, graduate student Lowell Douglass, Jerry Brown ‘58, with Ambercrombie the mascot. (Photo credit: Jerry Brown)
During the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (April 2015- May 2017), the State Department created a blog post series on the relationship of each state to the Arctic, which culminated in the book Our Arctic Nation, published in 2017. The chapter on New Jersey features the research of several Rutgers faculty including Professor Jennifer Francis (Marine and Coastal Sciences), Professor Åsa Rennermalm (Geography), Professor David Robinson (Geography), and Professor Hal Salzman (E.J. Bloustein School) as well as several Rutgers graduate students and discusses the long history of polar research at Rutgers.
You can view the book here.
Read the more in-depth original blog post Putting New Jersey on the Arctic Map: Rutgers Univeristy and The Garden State’s Arctic Connections which was published February 19, 2016 .
See RCI Affiliate Professor Åsa K Rennermalm in Greenland discussing her research on how the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting and how fast the meltwater reaches the ocean and affects sea levels. Learn more about Professor Rennermalm’s work here and here.
Professor Rennermalm’s graduate student Rohi Muthyala studies how melting water cuts channels in the ice sheet and how those channels and the constant thawing and refreezing of the ice sheet’s surface affect the flow of water at the mouth of a river.
Read more about Rohi Muthyala’s work here.
Professor Rennermalm’s student Sasha Leidman is studying supraglacial streams of meltwater that form on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet and become more pervasive as the climate warms to understand how the streams absorb sunlight and the degree to which that can contribute to increased melting of the ice sheet.
Read more about Sasha Leidman here.
New Report on Climate Mitigation for New Jersey Available
An Examination of Policy Options for Achieving Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction in New Jersey has been released as a collaboration among research staff from The Georgetown Climate Center, Rutgers Climate Institute, Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and World Resources Institute. Support for the report was provided by The Fund for New Jersey and the Energy Foundation. This report explores policy options for the State of New Jersey in advancing statutory limits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more and access the report here.
The report is featured in NJ Spotlight, and in an op-ed by former NJ Governors James Florio and Thomas Kean NJ's Next Gov Can Make a real Difference on Climate Change . More coverage of the report includes its being cited by other state leaders who joined with the former Governors in recommendations for the next governor of NJ to address climate change.
Jobs, Internships, Student Competitions & Funding Opportunities
Click here for more information on Fellowships and Internships.
2018 Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Summer Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program for Undergraduates. Application deadline March 1, 2018. More information here.
Research Scientist coastal climate projections with CSIRO (Australia). Application deadline March 15, 2018.
2 Year Post- doc position biogeochemical operational model of the Black Sea at University of Liege (Belgium). [posted February 18, 2018]
Postdoctoral Researcher related to air- sea interactions and fluid dynamics at University of Delaware. [posted February 18, 2018]
Ocean/ Ice Boundary Layer Modeler at British Antarctic Survey (UK). Application deadline March 25, 2018.
The Climate Resilience Fund (CRF) is accepting Proposals for our Spring 2018 grant competition. Full proposal deadline March 30, 2018. pdf Document attached here. (320 KB)
The Nature Conservancy and Sustainable Jeresey will be re-opening the floodplain reforestation incentive program, called “Roots for Rivers”. Application deadline March 16, 2018. More information here or contact Michelle DiBlasio, michelle.diblasio(at)tnc.org for more information.
Princeton Ideathon: Undergrad and Masters Student Competition 2018. Theme: Cities of the Future. April 13-15, 2018. Deadline to apply is March 1st.
Developing sustainable solutions to environmental issues through interdisciplinary collaboration. Any/all environmental issues and solutions related to urban spaces in categories of water, food, waste, energy, infrastructure, health and education. Apply as individual or team. Spend the weekend with students from the Northeast at Princeton University in immersive competition where teams take an idea thru brainstorming, prototyping and pitching stages. Includes a career fair. Funding available for transportation and housing and lodging provided. More information here.
5 Postdoctoral Positions to build skilled capacity for decision making on urban futures in the following areas artificial intelligence; remote sensing and GIS; urban economics/regional science; comparative policy, planning and practices; informal urban growth and sustainable habitats, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia. Application deadline: February 28, 2018.
Professorship Position with climate- environment human interactions at the University of Giessen (Germany). [posted February 12, 2018]
MSc(Res) Opportunity in polar and alpine change at University of Sheffield (UK). [posted February 12, 2018]
9 Postdoctoral Researcher Positions at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Spain). [posted February 12, 2018]
Post-Doctoral Associate at New York University Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). [posted February 12, 2018]
Postdoc Opportunity in convection-permitting WRF regional climate simulation at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). Interested applicants email yanping.li(at)usask.ca) with a cover letter explaining motivation, complete CV, and contact details for three academic references. [posted February 12, 2018]
Post-doctoral Position estimating snow properties at the large scale using a combined model-remote sensing approach at CNRM-METEO-France/CNRS (France). Application deadline February 28, 2018. More information email aaron.a.boone(at)gmail.com.
Post-doc Position (Research Associate) at the University of Birmingham (UK). Application deadline February 24, 2018.
The SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership) Awards for graduate students (master's and PhD students) and postdocs working on advancing environmental policy or the public’s understanding of an environmental issue. Application deadline March 14, 2018.
The Policy Case Competition encourages students to think critically, analytically, and creatively to present policy solutions to real issues. Undergraduate and graduate students from all over the U.S. are invited to present policy proposals on current issues in this three-round competition. Registration closes February 26, 2018. More information here.
MSc Scholarships available at the Cyprus Institute. Application deadline March 1, 2018.
3 Internships available with the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space regarding invasive species control. Application Deadline February 23, 2018. document More information here. (111 KB)
Postdoctoral Scientist Position at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (Canada). Application including a cover letter, CV, and three professional references to climate(at)uvic.ca.
PhD Position in climate dimensions and physical principles of sero emission neighborhoods in Norway, ZEN Centre, Norwegian, University of Science and Technology. Application deadline February 28, 2018.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Positions in evaluation of environmental products and production of advanced image data products for climate and carbon modeling at the School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston (USA). Application deadline March 1, 2018.
Postdoctoral Fellowships with NOAA Climate and Global Change Program. Application deadline April 6, 2018. More information email cpaess-apply(at)ucar.edu.
Full Scholarship Opportunity for the Nippon Foundation-POGO Centre of Excellence Programme-Alfred Wegner Institute (Germany) in observational oceanography. Application deadline March 9, 2018.
Graduate Student and Post-doctoral positions with Rutgers Energy Institute. The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) offers Student Travel Awards to support undergraduate and graduate students in the broad area of energy research to offset the cost of travel and meeting attendance.
National Academies Gulf Research Program Early Career Research Fellowship. Application deadline February 21, 2018.
NOAA Climate and Society Interactions Funding Opportunity. Application deadline March 16, 2018.
National Science Foundation Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes Funding Opportunity. Application deadline March 7, 2018.
The Evolving Earth Foundation 2018 Grant Program to support undergraduate and graduate student and postdoctoral research in the earth sciences, focus on Tertiary paleobotany of western North America. Application deadline March 1, 2018.
Mitigation Division Internship with Region IIFederal Emergency Management Agency. Students must be in graduate school or in their Junior or Senior Year of Undergraduate studies. document Click here for more information (15 KB) .
Undergraduate Summer Internship for underrepresented minority students with the South Central Climate Science Center. Application deadline March 16, 2018.
Tenure- track Faculty Position (Assistant Professor in Climatology) in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LI. [posted January 21, 2018]
Internship Opportunity with the New JerseyDepartment of Environmental Protection’s Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability (AQES) Program. Application deadline February 28, 2018.
2018-2019 University and Louis Bevier Dissertation Completion Fellowships. These applications support Rutgers School of Graduate Studies students who plan to graduate by May 2019. Application deadline February 22, 2018.
Science & Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay 2018 Fellowship Program for graduate students. Application deadline February 28, 2018.
NOAA is offering up to $2 million for Environmental Literacy Grants: Supporting the Education of K-12 Students and the Public for Community Resilience. Application deadline April 6, 2018. More information here.
Travel Grant Support to attend the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference to be held June 19-23, 2018, Davos, Switzerland in conjunction with POLAR2018. Applications for partial travel support (up to ~$1800) are sought from students, post-doctoral researchers and other scientists at US institutions. Application deadline: March 1, 2018.
Summer Internship for undergraduate students with the Rutgers Energy Institute. Application deadline March 9, 2018.
Environmental Protection Agency announces up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants under the 2018 Environmental Education Local Grant Program. Proposal deadline March 15, 2018. More information here.
Fellowship Program at The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (Institute) for graduate students enrolled in consortium institutions (including Rutgers) to who propose innovative research projects to promote reslience in Jamaica Bay and surrounding communities. Application deadline February 28, 2018.
The Rutgers Energy Institute 2017-2018 Energy Innovation Contest for undergraduates on New Brunswick Campus. Three awards: $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, $1,000 for third place. Register to compete by email indicating intent to submit an entry to bea(at)marine.rutgers.edu b February 23, 2018. Proposal deadline March 27, 2018. More information here.
Academic Service Opportunities