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Ramapo College Receives Grant for Students to Study and Research Climate Change Issues

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 5, 2022

A member of the MRRI staff interacts with students during a recent visit to the Meadowlands Environment Center.

MAHWAH, N.J. — Ramapo College of New Jersey students in 2022 will have an opportunity to get hands-on specialized experience on climate change issues thanks to support from a private grantor.

The grant for Teaching, Research & Action to Combat Climate Change will provide the means for four Ramapo students to work and study at the Meadowlands Environment Center and the Meadowlands Research and Restoration Institute, both in Lyndhurst, N.J.; five students will do their work at the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park.

“The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is excited to have Ramapo College students join the Meadowlands Research and Restoration Institute and Meadowlands Environment Center next summer to help us prepare for and combat the effects of climate change,” said Vincent Prieto, President and CEO of the NJSEA. “These students will have the opportunity to work with top scientists, naturalists and educators whose unwavering dedication to bettering the Meadowlands environment is commendable and inspirational.”

MRRI is the NJSEA’s scientific arm and performs studies of the Meadowlands District’s vital natural resources, wildlife habitats, the Hackensack River and the surrounding environment. One of MMRI’s main objectives is assisting in the recovery of the region’s sensitive eco-system and preparing for future challenges such as sea level rise.

As the educational component of the NJSEA, the MEC teaches students in Grades K-12 a variety of subjects including ecology, sustainability, chemistry, biology, physics, natural history, astronomy, and healthy eating and nutrition. Classes are taught by Ramapo College educators through a partnership with the NJSEA. The grant will afford Ramapo students the opportunity to work with seasoned environmental educators to develop and help deliver curriculum units on climate change to students who come to the MEC on school field trips.

“The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is delighted to welcome Ramapo students to spearhead the first-ever effort in the park to survey and remove the invasive plant species that have overtaken the native plants,” said Darren Boch, Park Superintendent. “Our staff, as well as local Paterson students, look forward to working with the Ramapo team on this project which will bring us together to interact, learn and get the job done.”

The invasive species removal team will be trained to identify the plant species in the spring and conduct the survey and removal of the plants during the summer of 2022.

The manager of the grant, Dr. Angela Cristini from Ramapo College, Professor of Biology and Interim VP of Institutional Advancement, sees these projects as great opportunities for all involved. “The next generation of environmental scientists and educators will have hands-on, real world learning experiences that will make a difference. I am hopeful that we will be able to extend and grow these programs in the future.”

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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