2020-2021 Academic Year

News and Highlights in October 2020

RCI Affiliate Pamela McElwee was lead author on a research paper that proposes tools to ensure that a post-COVID economic agenda tackles global biodiversity loss, reports Science Daily. Although recovery packages provide relief to businesses, returning to “normal” will continue the pattern of widespread ecosystem degradation caused by business practices. "Governments are falling short of their stated promises and they need to do more -- immediately," McElwee said. "We will continue to monitor proposed recovery packages, stimulus measures and financial pledges for how they address the biodiversity crises going forward, particularly in light of the mega-summit on biodiversity to be held in China next May."

Pam McElwee 

Artist and cellist Ben Sollee released a new single “Slackwater” as a “message in a bottle” to his 10-year-old son. Written while Sollee was stationed at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, the song mournfully illustrates the impact of climate change. Sollee was selected as a partner of Sustain Music and Nature. This partnership aims to use the cultural influence of musicians and emotional hook of music to engage the public with land conservation.

 Rutgers University Marine Field Station

The Press of Atlantic City reports on the highest tides of the year, known as king tides, and what they indicate about climate change. “We think of king tides as a way for people to get a look at future flooding that will be caused by sea-level rise,” says RCI Affiliate Lisa Auermuller. ClimateCentral, a non-profit organization in Princeton, has documented a steady rise in cumulative flooding days per year since the 1980s, predicting that 9,000 cumulative flood days will be expected in an average year by the 2070s.

Congratulation to RCI affiliates, who were honored at September 2020 Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor’s Celebration of Faculty Excellence as reported in Newsroom. Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor (Department of Environmental Sciences) is an internationally recognized expert on the response of Earth’s climate to volcanism and nuclear winter. Robock received the Chancellor’s Award for Global Impacts. Pam McElwee, Associate Professor (Department of Human Ecology) is known for her many years of research on sustainable development in Southeast Asia including vulnerability of households and communities to biodiversity loss, deforestation and climate change, as well as the impact of policies for conservation and development, including payments for ecosystem services and land-based mitigation to climate change. McElwee was selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Malin Pinsky, Associate Professor (Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources is internationally recognized for his research on on global climate change ecoloyg and evolution in the ocean including documentation of shifting ocean species in North America. Pinksy was selected as an Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America.

alan Robock Alan Robock    malin pinsky   Malin Pinsky        pam McElweePam McElwee

New research coauthored by RCI affiliate Robert Kopp examines how paleoclimate evidence from 125,000 years ago can be used to improve computer model projections of Antarctic ice- sheet collapse and sea-level rise, reports Rutgers Today. The study demonstrates how artificial intelligence can use the similarities between past and potential future sea levels to train a statistical ice-sheet model, improving predictions.

Congratulations to RCI Affiliate Liz Sikes, who has been named the 2020 American Geophysical Union Cesare Emiliani Lecturer.

liz sikes boat

Cesare Emiliani Lecture is presented annually and recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of paleoceanography. Read more about Elisabeth Sikes here.

Members of Rutgers University held a protest addressing a variety of issues, reports the Daily Targum. They called for the University to reverse layoffs, implement tuition reductions amid the pandemic, stop the sale of the Lincoln Annex School and do more to promote racial and climate justice at Rutgers.