NJHEPS | New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
New Jersey Higher Education
Partnership for Sustainability


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  • 07 Oct 2015 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members of the NJHEPS Community, 

    As we are well on our way into the 2015-16  academic year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS). NHJEPS exists to leverage the collective impact of often isolated efforts on our campuses, to enhance the flow of information between research and implementation communities, and to share best and leading practices across the implementation communities. We want New Jersey to be a beacon for collaborative, smart, and meaningful collective impact for sustainability in the United States and beyond.

    I am very proud of the strides NJHEPS made this past year. We welcomed an impressive group of new leaders to our executive team as part of a successful reorganization effort, representing the full spectrum of higher education institution types across the state; we attracted several new member institutions, and achieved great success in renewing existing members.  We also hosted high quality events at various member institutions and partner organizations including Princeton University, Montclair University, Duke Farms and Ramapo College, focusing on timely topics important to our membership. These topics included: 1) utilizing your campus as a sustainable laboratory, 2) the psychology of sustainability decision-making and leadership, 3) the financial benefits of sustainable practices, 4) careers in sustainability, and 5) teaching sustainability across disciplines, to name a few.

    One of the brand new initiatives that I am particularly excited about is our NJHEPS Student Leadership Group, engaging and supporting talented young people from our member institutions eager to apply sustainability within a variety of fields. One of the things we hope to build as part of this endeavor is a premier internship clearinghouse matching top NJ students with desirable placements in various NJ sectors, helping solve sustainability challenges. We are also in the final stages of completing an inventory of building metering needs across New Jersey higher education institutions, which will be presented to industry-leader BPU for potential funding.

    We are looking forward to a very active academic year for all members of our constituency, including a slate of educational and operational conferences and workshops concentrating on energy, facilities and construction, education and curriculum, and sustainability research.

    Again, thank you for your support in promoting sustainability in New Jersey Higher Education. I look forward to our continued partnership.

    Shana Weber, Ph.D., President, NJHEPS

    Director, Office of Sustainability, Princeton University

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The NJHEPS membership welcomes the new leadership team. We thank you all for agreeing to serve in positions that will make a great difference in promoting sustainability across our state’s campuses. If you are interested in being more involved in our leadership, NJHEPS is still filling a few committee postions. This is a great way to further the mission of NJHEPS, become more involved and network with a great team.

    The following committees have openings: (1) Energy, (2) Facilities and Construction, and (3) Research. If you are interested, please contact Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com.







    Shana Weber

    Term 2014-2016

    Princeton University

    Director of Sustainability

    President Elect


    Liaison to Host Institution (Ramapo)

    Emma Rainworth

    Liaison to Host Institution


    Ramapo College

    Professor, Environmental Science and Geology


    Diane Trainor

    Term  2015-2017

    Middlesex County College

    Professor, Chemistry and Environmental Science


    Robert Taylor

    Term 2015-2016

    Montclair State University

    Professor, Earth & Environmental Studies, Coordinator of Sustainability Science BS and MS Programs.

    VP Campus Energy

    Past President

    Mike Kornitas

    Term 2015-2017

    Rutgers University

    Director of Sustainability and Energy

    VP Development & Membership                               

    Charles Lamb 

    Term 2014-2016

    County College of Morris

    Director, Operations and Professional Development

    VP Education and Curriculum

    Ashwani Vasishth

    Term 2015-2017

    Ramapo College

    Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Director, Master of Arts In Sustainability Studies

    VP Facilities & Construction

    John Hone

    Term 2015-2016

    Union County College

    Facilities Manager, Elizabeth and Plainfield Campuses

    VP Research

    Scott Mittman

    Term 2015-2016

    Essex County College Professor, Environmental Microbiology

    VP Student Relations

    Daniela Shebitz

    Term 2015-2017

    Kean University

    Associate Professor

    Senior Advisor

    Donald Wheeler

    Appointed, Continued

    Kean University

    Professor Emeritus

    Co-founder of NJHEPS

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS Launching its First Student Leadership Group

    NJHEPS is pleased to announce its’ recently created Student Leadership Organization. This new initiative is an opportunity for interested students from our member institutions to apply their talents and ideas to incorporate sustainability to a wide range of academic and career disciplines. The organization will initially focus on building student programs that provide awareness, offer internships placements and student workshops, and opportunities for students to share their campus research and initiatives in sustainability.

    Daniela Shebitz, NJHEPS Vice President of Student Relations and Program Director, Associate Professor of Environmental Biology, Kean University, has taken the lead in bringing our student leaders and participants together at the annual meeting to first launch this initiative.  “The entire executive board of NJHEPS was inspired by the shared passion and enthusiasm for environmental sustainability that brought students from throughout New Jersey together at our annual meeting. What has emerged from that initial meeting is the start of a long-term exchange of knowledge, ideas, and opportunities that will inevitably have a great influence on the students, our colleges and universities, and on the state as a whole”.

    Stephano Castro, B.S. Sustainability Science, Founder and President, Montclair State University Environmental Club is one of our first student leaders.  “At least five colleges and universities with an environmental group of students will host regional events and projects that touch upon a broad range of sustainability topics such as GMO’s, fracking, water privatization, alternative energy, green economies, permaculture, environmental education, sustainable architecture and neighborhood planning to name a few. Students from Kean, Montclair, Princeton, Ramapo, and Union, Essex, and Morris County Colleges have all expressed interest in such an interdisciplinary team, now it’s just up to us to get together and strategize on how to help New Jersey become more sustainable!”

    Stephano, along with the new student team are looking for volunteers to make this student-driven organization a strong and sustainable force. Stephano sums it up with his wise words “In a world where if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, it is more important than ever for all students to become sustainably literate and proactively work towards environmental and sociological solutions- the future of our grandchildren is depending on it."

    If you are interested in becoming a member of the NJHEPS student group or would like to support the group in any way, please send an email to Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com and we will be in touch asap!

  • 09 Sep 2015 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS Executive Committee Conference Call Schedule 2015-2016 AY

    Wednesday, October 7                               2:00 pm

    Thursday, November 5                               9:30 am

    Wednesday, December 2                           2:00 pm

    January TBD if meeting is needed

    Thursday, February, 4                                 9:30 am

    Wednesday, March 2                                  2:00 pm

    Thursday, April 7                                          9:30 am

    Wednesday, May 4                                      2:00 pm

    Thursday, June 2                                         9:30 am

  • 27 Jul 2015 3:58 PM | Anonymous
    August 18th at 3 PM ET

    Student Internships and Utilizing RFPs as Ways to Involve Students in On-Campus Projects


    Colleen Butterfield, Project Manager, Education, Alliance to Save Energy

         The Alliance to Save Energy’s PowerSave Campus program is a student-led initiative that promotes green careers, generates actual energy savings, increases awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, and encourages academic infusion of sustainability concepts.  At this webinar, representatives from the program - which includes 16 campus and counting - will be presenting best practice case studies to help kickstart energy efficiency projects started on your campus.  This particular presentation will focus on community colleges, but the projects are also field tested at four year universities.  The webinar will also feature a round robin for questions as well as advice from those at community colleges about how to overcome unique challenges and barriers to initiating energy efficiency and/or student internships on campus.


    Carson Bennett , Campus as a Living Lab Faculty Liaison, and Luis Campos, Executive Director, Facilities, Central New Mexico Community College

         In order to utilize the built environment as a “Living Lab” for students to learn about sustainability concepts, the Physical Plant Department at Central New Mexico Community College includes an educational requirement in its RFP (Request for Proposals) process. Any vendor who wins a contract with the Physical Plant must be willing to provide educational opportunities to students at the college. These agreements have resulted in photovoltaic array installers visiting Math classes, construction companies displaying how they recycle demolished building materials, and our waste and recycling provider gathering data for use in Statistics, Psychology, and Technical Writing courses.


    When it's time, join the meeting from here:


    Audio Connection:  913-469-2799 (JCCC Webex) 

    No advance registration is required.  For more information and additional access link, see:



  • 25 Apr 2015 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    The NJHEPS 2105 Annual Meeting held on Friday, April 24 at Duke Farms in Hillsborough was a great success, as NJHEPS President Shana Weber and meeting attendees got together and discussed exciting new opportunities and challenges ahead for those committed to sustainability on our college and university campuses and beyond. 

    The primary theme of the meeting:  NJ Campuses as Living Laboratories for Sustainability, sparked a vigorous, efficient discussion as laboratory efforts foster academic and operational partnerships that encourage campus culture change, multidisciplinary collaboration, and accelerated impact. To our knowledge, this was the first state-wide symposium convening operational leaderships as well as faculty actively conducting sustainability research using NJ campuses as test beds.

    A highlight of the meeting was the keynote address of Forrest Meggers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University.  Dr. Meggers gave audience members a real taste of sustainability in action. Meggers not only described how research can be used to push the limits of sustainability, he demonstrated it by using his bicycle to power a blender, making fruit smoothies for everyone to sample.  

    Additional highlights of the meeting included a NJHEPS Business Meeting with the Executive Committee, Staff and Advisory Council members, an exciting Student Networking Session, moderated by Daniela Shebitz, where student groups focused on sustainability on NJ campuses and a productive Open Session with the students.  

    Below is a compilation of the Meetings afternoon speakers, which were also very well received.


    Afternoon Campus Speakers

    Laura A. Hyatt, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Rider University

    K. Browne, M. Brogan, M. Chavez, D. Druckenbrod, B. Hunter, D. Jacobs. 

    Title: Sustainability Research at Rider University

    Many institutions heavily involved in sustainability research often do so through their engineering programs.  However, for these solutions to work, principles from business, liberal arts, social and natural sciences are also needed.  Faculty and students at Rider are actively involved in research projects that have important feedbacks on our institution and beyond.  Environmental science students are investigating the effectiveness of a biocontrol agent on a campus invasion of purple loosestrife.  Teams of faculty are exploring our campus’s connections to the great naturalist Aldo Leopold and doing research in our classrooms with a successful green course certification program.  Biology majors are experimenting with the use of effluent from a biodigester as fertilizer on our campus grounds while chemistry majors are tweaking biodiesel extraction techniques.  Accounting students are learning about the critical role of sustainability in their profession and political science students are deeply engaged in action research, participating in community campaigns concerning the proposed PennEast pipeline.  At Rider, we are including all disciplines in the sustainability research endeavor. 



    Scott A. Mittman1 (presenter), Alkis Dimopoulos2, and Robert Leone2 

    Professor and Science Faculty Coordinator (and program coordinator for the Environmental and Sustainability Science Programs), 1Division of Biology and Chemistry 2Division of Engineering Technologies & Computer Sciences, Essex County College, Newark, NJ

    Title: A Community Partnered Student-led Rainwater Harvesting and Solar Powered Water Distribution Project

    Abstract: After winning a Ford sponsored College Community Challenge (Ford C3), Essex County College (ECC) faculty worked with community leaders to devise a way to improve the sustainability of a fledgling urban hydroponics effort in Newark. The ECC faculty used the project as a teaching tool, where students were central to the design, planning and installation of a rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic powered water delivery system.


    Shana S. Weber, Ph.D.

    Director, Office of Sustainability, Princeton University and President, NJHEPS

    Title: Are Higher Education Sustainability Metrics Helping Us Track Meaningful Regional Impact?

    Abstract: Hundreds of campuses across North America are now tracking sustainability metrics and reporting progress to a central repository. But do those data help us translate the information into stories of meaningful regional impact? Are goals being set by campuses aligned with regional needs? Dr. Weber will highlight results from a recent research partnership between Princeton and MIT to mine existing data for significant performance patterns, and to view those patterns through regional lenses. Results will uncover campus performance against regional water scarcity status, as well as broader regional ecological characteristics. 

    Click here for Photo Gallery from Duke Farms

    Click here for More Photos from Duke Farms

  • 11 Mar 2015 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive And the Board of Chosen Freeholders

    Invite Children to Participate in ESSEX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

    Nature Explorers Spring, Summer & Wilderness Skills Camps


    For Children in 1st through 5th Grades

    Tuesday, March 31 through Thursday, April 2, 2015


    Tuesday, April 7 through Thursday, April 9, 2015

    12:30pm to 4:30pm

    $120 per child for all 3 days OR $50 per child per day

    (Sign up for select days or for all three days)

    Campers are immersed in nature using stories, hikes,

    crafts, exploration, and hands-on discovery.


    For Children Entering 5th through 9th Grades

    Monday, June 22 to Thursday, June 25

    and Monday, June 29 to Thursday, July 2

    9:30am to 1:15pm

    $175 per child per week

    Join Traditional Earth Skills Instructor Mike Dennis for up to two weeks of outdoor skills building.
    During week one, we’ll take a traditional approach and, during week two, we’ll take a modern approach.
    We will identify plants, learn to track animals, create fire, go canoeing, make moccasins and natural
    rope, build shelters and more!


    For Children Entering PK to K Grade

    Monday, July 6 to Friday, July 10—“Summertime Safari”

    Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 17—“Common Senses”

    1pm to 4pm; $150 per child per week

    For Children Entering 1st & 2nd Grade

    Monday, July 20 to Friday, July 24—“Native American Living”

    Monday, July 27 to Friday, July 31—“Wild Art”

    1pm to 5pm; $170 per child per week

    For Children Entering 3rd & 4th Grade

    Monday, August 3 to Friday, August 7—“Survivor”

    Monday, August 10 to Friday, August 14—“Feathered Friends”

    1pm to 5pm; $190 per child per week

    Enjoy exploring and discovering woodland and river habitats for insects, birds, amphibians, Lenape
    life and much more. Sign up for one or two weeks per grade level.

    All camps are held at the Essex County Environmental Center complex

    621 Eagle Rock Avenue Roseland, NJ 07068


    For more information or to register, please call the Center at 973-228-8776.


    Department Of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs


    Phone: 973.228.8776 Fax: 973.228.3793



  • 11 Mar 2015 11:30 AM | Anonymous
    Call for Abstracts: Research on Outdoor Air Quality

    Annual Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission

    June 3 and 4, 2015 – Princeton, NJ The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) will hold its annual meeting this year in New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection would like to take the opportunity at this meeting to highlight some of the high level air quality research efforts underway at New Jersey universities and colleges at a poster session during the meeting’s reception starting at 6PM on the evening of June 3rd at the Holiday Inn Princeton, 100 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540.

    Posters may be retained for display during the Commission meeting on June 4th if space is available. The OTC is a multi-state organization created under the federal Clean Air Act to advise the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on transport issues and develop and implement regional solutions to the ground-level ozone problem in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

    For more information about the OTC, go to http://www.otcair.org/. The OTC annual meeting will be attended by cabinet-level representatives from the 12 states and the District of Columbia that are members of the OTC.

    Topics: Current issues in air quality -- e.g., monitoring, modeling, transport, atmospheric chemistry, emission inventory methodologies, etc. Research work must be at a senior-level undergraduate or graduate level.

    Format: Poster session during the reception for the meeting on June 3rd. Display limited to poster no larger than 6 ft. by 3 ft. Presenters must be at the reception session to answer questions about their research. If posters are retained for display for the Commission meeting on June 4th, presenters are not required to attend but must collect their posters by 1PM on June 4th.

    Abstract: To be considered for the poster session, please submit an abstract (max. 250 words) of your research project (thesis, results) no later than April 10, 2015. Submit the abstract by electronic mail to Christine Schell in the Office of the Assistant Commissioner, Environmental Management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at christine.schell@dep.nj.gov

    Selection: Staff of the NJDEP Division of Air Quality and Office of Science will review abstracts. Selection will be based on relevance to air quality issues in NJ, ability to translate research into policy, regulation or tools for future use by OTC members, and completeness of abstract (e.g., amount of detail regarding research, results/conclusions, etc.). Preference will be given to research related to ground-level ozone (smog). You will be notified of the selections in early May 2015.

  • 08 Mar 2015 4:32 PM | Anonymous
    Dear NJ Sustainability Partners

    As you know, NJHEPS is committed to the goal of transforming the New Jersey higher education community to consistently practice sustainability and contribute to the state, region and world’s emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations and community life. In the spirit of celebrating sustainability innovation we are delighted to offer, for the 2nd year, two exciting awards.  Both awards will be honored at the NJHEPS Annual Meeting on April 24th, 2015 at Duke Farms.

    The first is NJHEPS Student Sustainability Research/Paper Award. The NJHEPS student award will honor the best sustainability-related research papers or projects from students enrolled at member institutions. The top students will receive a plaque and a modest monetary award. Awardees will be recognized at an Award Luncheon on Friday, April 24th.
    NJHEPS Award Committee judges will base their decisions on the following criteria:
    1.       Originality of sustainability research topic
    2.       Logical, clear, and pertinent presentation
    3.       Knowledge of subject material
    4.       Creativity 
    5.       Clarity and organization
    6.       Innovation
    7.       Impact/promoting public and environmental good
    8.       Learner-centered pedagogy
    9.       Contribution to the field of sustainability
    10.     Ability to motivate other students to learn

    Student Award Submission Guidelines:

    • Applicants must be an undergraduate student in good standing currently enrolled in a member institution of NJHEPS
    • Advisors or faculty members should submit a very brief nomination statement/letter regarding the applicant and their paper/project
    • The subject line of the submission email should read: “NJHEPS 2015 Student Award proposal”
    • The title page of the paper or project must include: Student name, Institution, Advisor name, Advisor’s Title
    • Papers or projects are to be submitted electronically to njheps@gmail.com
    • Submission deadline: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    The second award is for Campus Excellence in Sustainability. Member institutions are eligible to submit a proposal highlighting their most impactful sustainability initiative on campus and/or in their local communities. Projects that demonstrate verifiable impact on operations, culture, and education are more likely to be recognized. The primary objective of this award program is to, over time, highlight for the entire NJ higher education community emerging high-impact and repeatable sustainability initiatives.
    Campus Award Submission Guidelines:

    • Applicants must represent current NJHEPS Member Institutions
    • Submit entries to: NJHEPS@gmail.com
    • The subject line of the submission email should read: “NJHEPS 2015 Campus Sustainability Award”
    • Submission deadline: Monday, April 6, 2015

    We at NJHEPS look forward to reviewing your great work! Please email njheps@gmail.com with any questions or inquiries.

    Best regards,
    Shana Weber, Ph.D., President, NJHEPS
  • 20 Feb 2015 4:46 PM | Anonymous
    Bard CEP is hosting a student research conference for students working at the intersection of Asia and the environment in April. For undergrads doing senior projects or grad students researching in the area-- its a great opportunity for them to get some presentation experience and meet scholars and students in the field. Also, more on C2C Leadership conference in March, and next year's Power Dialog below. 

    Opportunities for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Bard CEP:

    •C2C Fellows sustainability leadership training, NYC, March 27-29.

    •Asia/Environment student research conference, Bard, April 16-17.

    •The Power Dialog, engage students in in-person dialog with state-level officials in charge of implementing the EPA's Clean Power Plan.  Your State Capitol, April 2016.

    C2C Fellows Leadership Training: C2C workshops are for current students and recent graduates who want high-impact careers that can change the future through NGO's and government, and in sustainable business. Join C2C to learn the leadership skills necessary to succeed: how to develop a vision; know what you’re good at; tell your story; raise money; and build your network. The cost of the weekend trainings, including food is $30. Students must arrange their own housing in the NYC area.
    Students aspiring to sustainability leadership in policy, politics and business should apply now to join student leaders from across the country. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and only 60 participants will be accepted into each workshop.

    Asia/Environment Student Conference: With the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, Bard College is sponsoring an annual student research conference, providing a venue for students to present undergraduate, masters and PhD level research at the intersection of these critical issues. The conference seeks to shed critical light on how we all might live sustainably—or not—in a 2050 world with up to three billion more people, limited resources, a thickening blanket of carbon dioxide heating the planet, and a global economic development process increasingly defined by Asian models and leadership.

    The conference will be held on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, which is easily accessible by train from New York City. Registration is $30, and housing and meals will be provided for student participants. Meals are included for non-student registrants.  Learn more here including directions for submitting paper, panel and poster ideas.

    The Power Dialog: Over the next two years, students have a unique and critically important learning and civic engagement opportunity.  Student voices can impact the scope and direction of state implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, mandating global warming pollution cuts in the electric power sector.
    We are circulating this call to help organize a Power Dialog in March of 2016: hundreds of college, graduate, and high school level classes in states across the country taking field trips to meet with their Department of Environmental Conservation heads to discuss state implementation of the EPA’s new rules. There will be an information/organizing call for the Dialog on 2/18 at noon eastern: 712-432-3100, code 253385. Please join us for this important conversation.
    State agency leaders are already seeing their calendars fill up with meetings with utility executives and coal industry lobbyists. Why not our students?

    By 2017, each state is required to come up with a plan to meet the targets set by the EPA. New York, for example, has to cut the emission rate from the power sector by at least 44% by 2030; in Ohio the required target is 28%; in Texas, 38%. These are big numbers. They could be bigger. State level plans can be more ambitious then the EPA requires. Yet the states and EPA are being pressured to relax the targets.

    Typically, it is the state DEC or DEQ that is the lead agency in drafting these plans. With the action now beyond the partisan wrangling of Washington and the state legislatures, students can gain both a powerful learning opportunity and a real voice in the policy process.

    DEC officials will welcome visits from unusual suspects. Hearing the voice of students—young people who will live to see the late 21st century first-hand-- will provide a fresh perspective, focused on the long-term impacts of today’s policy decisions.  
    This is not a lobbying effort. We have no collective policy agenda for which we are advocating. Rather it is a learning opportunity for students, and also a chance for students to share their own individual thoughts and policy insights with state officials.

    If you are interested in learning more about organizing a class field trip, along with colleagues in your state, to visit your state capitol for a meeting with the relevant state officials, please sign up here.  As we move forward with an organizing plan, we will connect you with other interested professors in your state, and will develop and circulate learning materials to prep your students for the conversation.

    The Power Dialog will take place in March 2016, so there is lead-time for planning.  The Steering Committee for the Dialog includes Eban Goodstein, Bard CEP; Dallas Burtraw, RFF; Debra Rowe, US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and  David Blockstein, NCSE. 

    Eban Goodstein 
    Director, Bard MBA in Sustainability & Director, Bard Center for Environmental Policy
    Bard College                                                                
    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000    845.758.7067 (t) / 845.758.7636 (f)                   
    www.bard.edu/cep  & www.bard.edu/mba
    People's Climate March: Voices from the Street

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The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
     c/o Ramapo College of New Jersey - SSHS
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Phone:(201)684-7830 | Fax:(201)684-7932
Email - njheps@gmail.com

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