C2R2 trainees come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The program accepts a new cohort of trainees once a year.
Fall 2019 Cohort
I am pursuing a Masters degree in Oceanography. Generally, I am interested in studying the science and management of marine ecosystems. I am particularly interested in understanding how human-caused stressors, including climate change, impact the ecological health of marine environments. My Masters research will focus on the coastal ecology of oyster farms and assessing the ecosystem services this form of aquaculture may provide. This research will also include relevant policy and management considerations informed by my experiences in Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience program.
Since first learning about issues of water resources and climate change, I have grown a passion for understanding and addressing them. While pursuing my B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers, I conducted research in Dr. Nicole Fahrenfeld’s lab relating to combined sewer overflows, a primary water quality issue in New Jersey. This experience, as well as my other experiences interning as an environmental consultant and as a construction engineer, have informed my decision to embark on this interdisciplinary path, as I have seen the power in people working together across areas of expertise to solve complex problems.
Currently, I am working towards obtaining an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. My research, still under the advice of Dr. Fahrenfeld, is now focused on drinking water quality and opportunistic pathogens in New Jersey. I am interested in understanding potential driving climate factors and resulting human health impacts related to this topic. I look forward to learning from and discussing with my peers from the many disciplines involved in this program about the breadth of issues relating to coastal climate risk and resiliency, and to growing my personal capabilities to help advance progress towards a sustainable future.
Joint M.S. student in Ecology & Evolution and Landscape Architecture
I am pursuing a PhD in Planning and Public Policy with a focus on climate change mitigation, recovery, and adaptation for coastal communities. I graduated from Georgia Tech with a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning in 2019, and began the PhD program at Rutgers in Fall 2019. Prior to Georgia Tech I spent 5 years in Puerto Rico where I began as a tour guide in Vieques, and eventually worked my way into a job as a planning assistant for a local consulting firm in San Juan called Estudios Técnicos, Inc. There I was involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation work for various clients. Since moving back to the mainland U.S., I have been studying the disaster mitigation and recovery planning process in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Though I am still exploring research ideas, I am interested in comparing the experiences of post-disaster recovery and climate adaptation in Puerto Rico with experiences in New Jersey, and how these context-specific experiences can inform policy and planning. I have a deep passion for the coast: while in Puerto Rico I loved to practice surfing, kite-boarding, snorkeling, SCUBA, ocean kayaking, and exploring the islands with friends.
I was born and raised in Rhode Island (the Ocean State!) and have lived in New York since 2008. I hold a BA in Urban Studies from Barnard College, and a MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute, where I focused on public space and the role of community organizing post-Sandy in New York City. Prior to coming to Rutgers to pursue a PhD in Human Geography, I worked at the USDA Forest Service – NYC Urban Field Station, collecting data on civic stewardship groups across the region for STEW-MAP (the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project). I plan to build off my past research to examine the role of civic groups in preparing for and responding to acute and chronic climate events. As a C2R2 trainee, I hope to broaden my perspective in order to approach coastal resilience from a more informed and transdisciplinary approach.
I was a freshman at Fordham University in the Bronx when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. I declared my major early, environmental studies and urban studies, but Hurricane Sandy made me very interested about how communities prepare, recover and adapt to coastal hazards, and how professionals can build a career by working with people and places to prepare for the many impacts of climate change. I am now a student in the Master of City and Regional Planning Program at Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, graduating in 2021. I am interested in Coastal Planning, Resiliency, and incorporating sustainability measures and nature-based solutions into communities to reduce the risks from climate change.
I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and received my B.S. degree in Geology from The University of Florida. I had been interested in studying the effects of climate change and how to combat them using science and policy efforts. This ultimately led me to Rutgers, where I am currently a M.S. candidate in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. My research involves reconstructing sea level, sea surface temperatures, and ice volume from the Miocene Climate Optimum- a time of high temperature that occurred ~16 mya. I also have interests in using drone technology for geoscience education purposes, as well as integrating science with policy actions to better prepare people and communities for the increasing risks of climate change.
Fall 2018 Cohort
M.S. Student in the Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution
I’m a PhD student in Rutgers’ Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program and a member of Dr. Olaf Jensen’s lab. I grew up in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, DC, though I spent most of my summers in Cape May. After earning my B.S. in Environmental Biology from Christopher Newport University, I moved just up the road to the College of William & Mary, where I earned my M.P.P. (Master’s of Public Policy). I’ve always been interested in the intersection of fisheries science, people, and public policy. As a PhD student and C2R2 trainee, I plan on studying how climate change has impacted the socio-ecological dynamics of recreational fisheries in both freshwater and marine systems.
Prior to coming to Rutgers University, I graduated as a double major in May 2018 with a B.A. in Public Policy and Environmental Science and Policy from William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was fortunate enough to take classes in Sustainability and the Chesapeake Bay, Aquatic Ecology, and Coastal Marine Environments. These classes laid the foundation for a strong desire to work in coastal environments and integrate ecological principles into plans for community resilience. I am now a first-year Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) student at the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy with a concentration in Environmental, Human Health and Land Use Planning. Through the C2R2 program, I seek to expand my skills in science communication and community engagement, and work with the scientists in my cohort to learn how to translate their findings into science-informed land use and coastal management policies.
I am from Rockland County, NY and have obtained my B.S in Oceanography from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2017. I am currently pursuing a M.S. in Oceanography in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. I am an avid environmentalist and have always been interested in studying the ocean. I have worked with various groups including Gateway National Park, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve, all with goals of protecting and restorating water quality and the critical natural habitats of the coast. I am excited to be returning close to home and beginning research on offshore wind energy with Travis Miles and the Center of Ocean Observing Leadership. The Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience program is a goood fit for me because I will have the opportunity to address coastal issues through both research and communication with coastal stakeholders. Now more then ever, it is important to assess risks for coastal communities and determine solutions to provide the coast with lasting resilience.
As a Master of Business and Sciences (MBS) graduate student, my academic and career pursuits encompass a holistic approach to sustainability and resiliency. From an early age I became very much interested in natural systems. My childhood experiences in the outdoors made me better understand the difficulties associated with sustainability in an ever-developing human society. My scholastic interests provided the impetus to pursue a Bachelor of Sciences Degree from the University of Connecticut where I graduated in 2008.
Spending several years honing my skills as a laboratory technologist in several cytogenetic and histopathology facilities I decided to make a dramatic career pivot and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 2011. Deployed to Haiti after the earthquakes of 2011 and resulting humanitarian disaster, I began to understand the consequences of unsustainable development. In 2016, during my transition from active duty service, I was accepted to the Master of Business and Sciences Program and pursued a concentration in sustainability.
Under Professor Kevin Lyons PhD (Rutgers Business School), I assisted in developing several “buy-local” and “employ-local” initiates in both Newark and Jersey City. A bulk of my supplementary research focused on creating a more holistic and sustainable approach to food hub implementation in the NJ metro area. During my last year in the program I also had the pleasure to work under C2R2 faculty members Matt Campo and Lisa Auermuller on a New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs commissioned project to analyze climate risk to New Jersey Army National Guard facilities
Ellen O. White
I’m an urban designer, certified city planner, transportation planner, and GIS analyst, with an interest in the environmental effects of transportation infrastructure. My work combines macro-scale analyses of landscape history, ecology, transportation policy, and design, measuring the effects of these forces through the lens of climate change. I’m interested in discovering how the form and shape of our roads and streets have played a role in local and regional effects of climate change, and how this role may change as a result of future transportation policy and design decisions. Prior to joining the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy as a doctoral student and C2R2 trainee in 2018, I worked as an urban designer and transportation planner, helping communities design better transit systems and streets. I have a Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Master in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers.
I am from NJ and attended Rutgers as an undergraduate, obtaining a BA in chemistry. I am starting as a PhD candidate in the Microbial Life Department at Rutgers in the lab of Dr. Debashish Bhattacharya, studying the genomics of coral. The main goal of my work will be to identify mechanisms in the coral genome, as well as through their symbiotic relationships, of adaptation and acclimatization to environmental stressors. Unfortunately, 25% of coral reefs are already considered damaged beyond repair because of human ignorance. It will take more than one field to correct the effect humans have had on the coral holobiont, so I am excited to combine my scientific knowledge with the economic, engineering, political, and outreach expertise of the other trainees to help save the coral reefs.
M.C.R.P. Student in the Graduate Program in Urban Planning and Policy Development
Fall 2017 Cohort
As a first year PhD student in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy with a concentration in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change, my research interests focus on the social dimensions of resource consumption and climate change. I am a graduate research assistant in the Department of Human Ecology, involved with a National Science Foundation Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water funded interdisciplinary research project, “Reducing Household Food, Energy, and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation”.
I received a B.S. from Rutgers in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior, and shortly after graduating started my professional career as a program coordinator for the Rutgers Arts & Sciences Institutional Review Board. I look forward to the transdisciplinary aspects of the Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience traineeship that will support my social science research interests while facilitating collaboration with various academic disciplines and diverse groups of stakeholders.
Growing up in Maine, I quickly became fascinated by the ocean systems in my backyard. After graduating with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale College, I spent two years in coastal Alaska working for the University of Alaska. Working alongside researchers and fishermen, I became even more excited to pursue a career in marine science, specifically related to the intersections between humans and the ocean. I am now a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolution department working with Dr. Malin Pinsky. I plan to study the influence of changing climate patterns on the distribution of fishes, in addition to the impact of these changes on coastal communities.
I was born and raised in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania before leaving to earn a B.A. in geology at Colgate University. I am now enrolled as a Master’s student in the Oceanography Department of Rutgers University. My primary research interests involve nearshore processes and the way sediment transport influences geomorphology and stability in coastal areas. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Coastal Climate Risk and Resiliency program because it will facilitate a more interdisciplinary approach to my studies, which I believe is critical to developing practical solutions to the complex problems of the natural world we face today.
Born and raised in New Jersey, I ventured to Beloit College in Wisconsin where I obtained a B.S. degree in Geology in 2015. In 2014, I spent half a year studying climate change, geologic hazards, and engineering geology abroad in Norway. Since graduating from Beloit, I have returned to New Jersey and have been working in the environmental consulting industry. I have decided to pursue a graduate degree in Geological Sciences at Rutgers University. I hope to continue exploring my interests in hydrogeology and the implications of climate change. Through the C2R2 program, I hope to widen my perspective on the various disciplines involved in examining the impacts of climate change on coastal environments and societies, especially the impacts along the coastline of my home state.
After growing up in landlocked Boise, ID I have always been drawn to the coast. I received a B.S. and M.S. in Physical Geography from the University of Victoria, where my research focused on coastal erosion and vegetation restoration. In general, I take great interest in the feedback between coastal geomorphology, plant ecology and human land use decisions. As a PhD student in the Rutgers Department of Geography, Land Change Research Group, my work aims to create a spatial model to quantitatively assess the resilience of coastal landscapes to high intensity storm events and ecosystem disturbance. Through transdisciplinary collaboration and lessons in science communication, the Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience program will help me adapt my research to real world landscape planning scenarios.
I am a first year Ph.D. student in The Graduate School of Engineering. I was born and raised in India. After completing my undergraduate degree in Architecture I moved to the United States to pursue my master in Engineering here at Rutgers. At Rutgers I worked on various GIS (Geographical Information System) mapping and LiDAR to BIM (Building Information Modeling) projects. My masters research involved the integration of a sample Building Information Model to the surrounding Geographic Information System in order to simulate real life scenarios involving indoor air quality, indoor noise level, and fastest fire exit routes. After working in the private sector, I understand the diverse application potentials of this technology. Since this technology is still at an early stage, I would like to continue my research in this field to explore its full potential. I hope to combine my knowledge in architecture and engineering to develop cohesive solutions for coastal climatic changes.
I received a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, and am continuing my studies at Rutgers University in the Civil Engineering Department with Dr. Jie Gong. I was inspired to pursue a Master¹s degree relating to Coastal Climate Change Risk and Resiliency after my hometown, Toms River, New Jersey, was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. The C2R2 Program provides trainees with an opportunity to create a more resilient built-environment and skills to communicate important research with political figures and the public.
I am a graduate student studying Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. My area of study is bridge engineering, where I have experience in concrete material research, non-destructive evaluation methods, and structural health monitoring. I completed my bachelor’s at Rutgers University and have spent my entire life in the Garden State. I am an avid triathlete, mountain biker, and traveler in my spare time. After spending a couple summers in Bolivia building bridges, I understand how annual changes in weather can endanger communities and disconnect them from basic necessities. The same principle applies to the changes in climate we are experiencing today along the New Jersey coastline. I believe engineers must identify, improve, and protect critical infrastructure that is most vulnerable to flooding and coastal storms. My goal is to use the transdisciplinary perspectives of this program to create such a tool for decisionmakers.
I grew up in New Jersey and I received a B.A. in Biological Sciences at Rutgers University in 2011. After graduation, I worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA for three years as a research assistant for a sustainable aquaculture project where my main focus was to develop a sustainable tilapia feed using plant-based ingredients available in Haiti. After witnessing devastating effects of soil erosion during my frequent trips to Haiti, I developed a strong interest in learning more about soil systems. I returned to graduate school in 2014 and completed my M.S. degree in Soil Science at Cornell University in 2017 where I focused on soil microbiology. I am now back at Rutgers and starting a PhD program in the department of Ecology and Evolution to gain a deeper knowledge of soil microbial ecology and plan to investigate plant-microbe interactions of various NJ coastal plant species.
Spring 2017 Cohort
I was raised in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to the United States and currently reside in East Orange, NJ with my family. I completed my undergraduate degree in Structural Engineering at Princeton University in 2016 and decided to pursue a Master of Science in Structural Engineering at Rutgers University. The Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience program interests me because it aims to address the challenge climate change poses to coastal communities and encourages transdisciplinary collaboration. Developing strategies to mitigate the effects of intensified storm systems and sea level rise has always been of interest to me. I witnessed the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey, as well as the threat other storms have posed around the United States and the globe. From a structural engineering standpoint, co-advised by Dr. Husam Najm and Dr. Jie Gong in the Civil Engineering department at Rutgers, I am researching methods to improve structural resilience to flooding and storm surges in coastal communities.
I am from New Jersey and worked in various industries while pursuing a BA and MS in Statistics at Rutgers University. After working as a biostatistical research assistant I returned to Rutgers to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science and spatial analysis as I wanted to further explore my interest in monitoring coastal resiliency. Broadly, I am interested in studying environmental monitoring, the impact of climate change in coastal areas, data analysis and remote sensing. Even though I work mostly in-silico, I am passionate about outdoor activities, travelling, animals and music.
My background is in geosciences, particularly in physical earth systems and climate dynamics. I received my B.S. in Geology from the University of Arizona in 2015, and I am currently a M.S. candidate in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department of Rutgers University. The projects I am currently working on include creating a database of paleostorm records from cores taken in backbarrier environments along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Additionally, I have been working on using a spatio-temporal empirical hierarchical model to analyze multiproxy relative sea level data from the Western Mediterranean. My interests in coastal climate risk and resilience lie within how coastal states, such as New Jersey, will mitigate and adapt to climate change and rising sea levels at the community and government levels. I am also interested in policy development by state and the federal governments that will aid these coastal communities in preparing for climate change.
I grew up in New Jersey before leaving to earn my BA in geology at Mount Holyoke College. I returned to New Jersey and am now a Master’s student in the Ecology and Evolution department working with Dr. Rebecca Jordan. My main research interest is in studying science learning, specifically climate change education and how decision-makers understand climate change science research.
I am a second year Ph.D. student in Graduate Program of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers-New Brunswick, advised by Dr. Jean Marie Hartman. I was born and raised in Union City, NJ and currently reside in Highland Park, NJ. My interest in complex problems such as the interaction of economic value, ecological function, and social/cultural values has led me to study coastal wetland functions and values.
I attended Rutgers- New Brunswick for my undergraduate and completed my Bachelors of Science in International Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behaviors. I then focused on environmental issues in New Jersey by working on conservation, preservation, restoration, and remediation sites across the state. I worked on achieving holistic remediations for federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA/Superfund) and state Site Remediation Program (SRP) sites through advocacy, technical research, public engagement, and education. During my extensive work and volunteer experiences, I have worked with and for nonprofit, public, private, and academic sectors.
My recent research experience has included marsh and bog restorations, Environmental Resource Inventories, watershed and water quality protection, Geographic Information Systems analyses (GIS), and several other projects. This past year I has interned at New Jersey’s Department of State in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and am currently at USEPA Region II’s office of Emergency Response and Remediation Division (ERRD) as part of my Eagleton Fellowship.
Through my C2R2 work, I hope to investigate the interconnectedness of coastal systems and use my knowledge and experience towards the creation of science and policy that will protect people, cities, towns, infrastructure, coastal habitats, and the species which utilize them.