Fall, 2023 webinars are here!
ReNew New Jersey: Renewable Energies in the Garden State
In collaboration with the Marine Extension Program Seminar Series (MEPSS), join us this fall for our continuing webinar series. Renewable energy is derived from natural sources that are replaced faster than they are used (for example, sunlight, wind, water flows, and geothermal heat). Because most renewable energies produce less CO2 than nonrenewable energy sources, they are widely viewed as playing a role in mitigating climate change. This webinar series will outline types of renewable energies being pursued throughout New Jersey.
Time: These live, interactive sessions start at 6:30pm and run for 1 hour.
Registration: Sessions are free but all must register at https://go.rutgers.edu/renewjersey
To join you need either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Sessions are provided via Zoom.
September 18, 2023: Overview of Energy Use in NJ and Renewable Energy’s Role in Meeting NJ’s Carbon Reduction Goals. New Jersey may be a small state, but it uses a lot of energy. Join Dave Specca, Assistant Director of the Rutgers EcoComplex, as he provides a summary of overall energy use, and the amount of clean energy currently produced in the Garden State. A discussion of the future mix of renewable energy production in New Jersey, and the role it will play in meeting the State’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, will be covered. The need to utilize renewable energy technologies that conserve our valuable land will also be discussed.
September 25, 2023: Residential Rooftop Solar for a Greener Garden State. Dr. Dunbar Birnie, Rutgers University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will shed light on the technical, financial, and policy aspects of adding solar to your house in New Jersey. Is it a scam? What are your options? How should you move forward with new solar? Your big solar questions will be answered.
October 23, 2023: What’s Happening with Offshore Wind Off New Jersey? Join Dr. Douglas Zemeckis, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Dr. Josh Kohut, Rutgers University, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, as they offer an overview of offshore wind energy development off the coast of New Jersey, including information about individual windfarms in different locations off our coast. A summary of the related research, education, and workforce development initiatives at Rutgers University will be provided.
October 30, 2023: Bioenergy/Biofuels as a Renewable Energy Source in New Jersey. Dr. Serpil Guran, Director of the Rutgers EcoComplex, will discuss renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and offshore wind play an important role in mitigating climate change. Biomass also has long been considered as a renewable energy source. However, attention needs to be paid on which biomass resources may provide New Jersey needed carbon reduction and climate change mitigation benefits. Dr Gura will cover available biomass types and suitable technologies to convert them into renewable energy and achieve circular carbon economy in New Jersey.
Our Earth Day, Every Day webinar series focuses on steps everyone can take to protect the environment. We can all do our part to take actions that make our homes more sustainable, from environmentally-friendly lawn care, to recycling, to conducting a home energy audit. These actions, more than ever, start at home.
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Some of the recorded webinars are provided via Playposit and will pause during play for a question to pop up. Click on the title to sign up and access the video.
The fall 2022 webinars were conducted as part of a special session titled “Weathering The Storm: Increased Resiliency After Superstorm Sandy”. In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we paused to reflect and evaluate on how our state has become more resilient to environmental impacts, with an emphasis on storms and extreme weather. This program was a collaboration between our the Earth Day, Every Day program and the Marine Extension Program Seminar Series (MEPSS).
- Adapting to Climate Change in Your Community (10/17/2022)
As the impacts of climate change become increasingly evident, we are learning how to be resilient in facing the challenges brought by climate-related events or conditions. We are also working to understand how to adapt the way we plan and design our communities to be climate ready. Learn about some of the strategies for advancing local climate readiness.
- Beyond Recovery From Sandy: Setting The Stage For Future Community Resilience (9/26/2022)
The significant damage generated by Superstorm Sandy exposed New Jersey’s substantial vulnerability to coastal storms, many of which were unknown or unrecognized prior to Sandy. Faced with significant threats to the state’s infrastructure, businesses and communities, Sandy ushered in new and innovative thinking about how communities can become resilient to future storms. Join Dr. Tom Herrington, Associate Director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, as he discusses how innovative resilience concepts have been incorporated into regional and local planning and project design.
- From One Extreme To Another: Climate Change Driven Storm Events And What To Do About Them (9/19/2022)
Since Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey has faced its share of storm events described as extreme, severe, or unprecedented with associated impacts of excessive flooding, property damage, and electricity and water disruptions. Join Dr. David Robinson, Rutgers University Professor and NJ’s State Climatologist, as he explains what causes these storms, how they are predicted, and what can be done to protect our environment and ourselves from their impacts.
- Living Shorelines in the Decade Since Sandy: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Design (10/24/2022)
Superstorm Sandy both affirmed the effectiveness of beaches and dunes at protecting oceanfront communities and highlighted the need for new techniques for restoring New Jersey’s long neglected interior shorelines. In the decade since Sandy, New Jersey has expanded its nourishment efforts along the oceanfront and has begun incorporating living shorelines along its interior shorelines. Join Dr. Miller, Research Associate Professor at Stevens, and the New Jersey Sea Grant Coastal Processes Specialist, as he reviews the progress made over the past decade along both coasts and offers a perspective on how the lessons of the past can inform projects of the future.
- Planning For The Unplanned: Preparing For Marine Debris Response In New Jersey (11/21/2022)
As we learned from Superstorm Sandy, responding to disaster debris in waterways can be complicated and time consuming, especially when there are multiple agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and limited resources. The NOAA Marine Debris Program has been leading a highly collaborative process to improve national preparedness for response to marine debris after disasters. Goals of this initiative are to work with coastal states and U.S. territories to clarify key organization roles and shed light on common challenges. Join Jessica Conway, Response Specialist, NOAA Marine Debris Program, to learn how the Marine Debris Program collaborated with government agencies to produce an emergency response guide and associated tools for state organizations.
- Strategies To Minimize the Impacts Of Coastal Flooding And Salt Water On Agricultural Lands, (11/14/2022)
Managing the impact of saltwater inundation will require farmers to use more adaptive agricultural practices. With better site assessment tools and implementation of appropriate conservation practices, producers in these impacted areas may not need to completely abandon their affected fields. In addition, potential income opportunities may be possible by growing value-added, niche conservation plants that also provide valuable ecosystem services. Join Christopher Miller, Manager/Plant Specialist with the USDA-NRCS Cape May Plant Materials Center as he dicusses methods for dealing with flodding and saltwater on farms.
- The Cost of Climate Change (4/25/2022)
Climate change is causing more intense heat waves, more intense rainfall, and higher coastal flooding, causing economic harms around the world, including in New Jersey. Professor Bob Kopp was a lead author of the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. Professor Kopp discusses what we know about climate change’s economic costs and how we can manage the risks climate change is creating.
- What’s an Energy Audit and Do You Need One? (10/13/2020)
Many homes use more energy than they actually need. The solution is a home energy efficiency assessment (aka audit). An energy efficiency assessment does more than help you save energy—it increases your personal comfort, makes your home healthier/safer and increases the value of your home. Join Sandi Eisner, the Outreach Account Manager with New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ to learn the what, how and why of a home energy efficiency assessment as well as how to save energy and money.
- Winterizing You Home for Maximum Energy Efficiency (9/14/2020)
Winter months are often an energy consumption and budget strain. There are lots of reasons why our energy usage and bills can be higher during the winter season. Join us for this presentation to learn how you can prep your home to maximize your energy efficiency. Michele Calabrese is the Outreach Account Manager with New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ and will teach NJ homeowners how to winterize their home to save energy, money and the environment
- Environmental Impacts of Food Waste (5/18/2020)
Thirty to forty percent of all food produced in the US is wasted. This talk will define food waste, its environmental impacts, and will provide tips for reducing food waste at home. Amy Rowe, Associate Professor/ County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex/ Passaic Counties.
- Food Systems and Climate Change (4/19/2021)
Hear from Xenia Morin, Associate Professor with the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) to learn how our food systems are connected to climate change. You’ll learn how many of the top 100 climate solutions proposed by Project Drawdown are related to food systems, and how you can reduce your impact at home through food.
Insects & Pest Management
- Beech Leaf Disease and the Teeny Tiny Pest With BIG Impacts. (4/17/23) Join Jean Epiphan, Rutgers Cooperative Extension , to learn about a new invasive pest that has hit NJ Forests. It is only a tiny nematode, but the damage to our forests are potentially HUGE. Learn about some critical roles beech trees serve in forests, how to identify beech leaf disease, how forests will be impacted, and some stewardship strategies towards mitigation.
- An Update on Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey (9/13/2021)
The invasion has begun! Dr. George Hamilton, Chair of the Department of Entomology and Extension Specialist in Pest Management at Rutgers, will discuss all things spotted lanternfly (Lycorma deliculata). Come learn about the spotted lanternfly’s biology, its introduction and spread in the U.S., and potential ways to manage or reduce the population of this invasive insect.]
- Ticks and Lyme Disease (6/22/2020)
Protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease by learning about the tick life cycle, tick removal, and differences between a variety of tick species. Learn also how to reduce tick habitat around your home. Amy Rowe, Associate Professor/ County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Passaic/ Essex Counties.
- Collecting Native Seeds: Sow Much to Know! (9/21/2020)
How do you get started incorporating native plants into your yard? One easy way is to collect native seeds and overwinter them to start your own plants. Join Angela Monaghan, Rutgers Master Gardener Coordinator for Middlesex County to learn the ins and outs of native seed collection and sowing seeds for next year’s garden.
- Plant This Not That – Avoiding Invasives in Your Yard (6/1/2020)
Some popular ornamental plants are actually garden “bullies” invading local ecosystems and destroying natural wildlife habitats. Learn about the importance of using native plants in your yards for supporting local ecology including examples of species you can use to replace invasives. Michele Bakacs, Associate Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Middlesex/ Union Counties.
- Starting a Native Plant Garden (3/8/2021)
New to native plant gardening? Not sure which native plants will thrive where you live? Angela Monaghan, Master Gardener Coordinator for Middlesex County, taught us how to start native plants from seed back in the fall (EarthDay2020 is the recording password). Angela had so much fun with us that she came back to help you plan your new native plant habitat. She covers garden site assessment, finding the best native plants for your area, and how to provide resources for pollinators and other beneficial creatures in your garden.
- Trees, Wonderful Trees (4/26/2021)
Celebrate Arbor Day with us! With over 100 species of trees in NJ, it can be challenging to decide what should be in your yard and where to find reliable tree information. We’ll discuss that with Jason Grabosky, Rutgers Professor in Urban Forestry as well as the ecological services trees provide…and how that might influence placement on your property. Knowing that the climate is causing changes in the structure of our forests, how might you make a choice for the landscape of today on a promise of 70 years?
- Infusing EcoTherapy Into Your Life (4/5/2021)
Are you stressed out with today’s daily challenges? Let nature help you hit the reset button! Learn how the outdoors can help you find focus, clarity, better sleep, maintain presence, and add much needed calm in our busy lives. Come learn about the role of nature and the outdoors in creating mindfulness, as well as some practices you can easily do on your own at home to keep you in a healthy balance. Join Joanne Kinsey, Associate Professor and FCHS Educator with Ocean and Atlantic Counties, as she leads us on the road to better well-being.
- Microplastics: Tiny Particles with Major Impacts. (4/24/23) Dr. Judith Weis with Rutgers University discusses all aspects of microplastics – how diverse they are, where they come from, how they are distributed in the environment, what effects they have, and what can be done about them – including what you can do.
- Basics of Recycling (11/2/2020)
Despite what you may have heard about changing global markets and challenges to the recycling industry, recycling remains as one of the easiest ways individuals can make a difference that benefits the environment. While recycling specifics vary depending on where you live, we’ll talk about the universal recycling truths; dispelling myths and shining a light on what actually happens when your recyclables leave the curb with Amy Cook-Menzel, the Communications Manager with the Atlantic County Utility Authority.
- RU Ready for NJ’s New Plastic Pollution Reduction Law? (9/27/2021)
Starting November 2021, NJ’s new plastics law goes into effect to help reduce the amount of single-use plastics and protect our natural environment. Plastics from generation to disposal are creating a human health and environmental crisis. Right now, New Jerseyans use over 4 billion single-use plastic carryout bags annually. Join Nandini Checko, Project Director with the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions, to learn about the nation’s strongest plastic pollution law and how you can get started right now! Hint: Say YES to Reusables!
- Reducing Plastic Waste (5/26/2020)
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. Learn about the impact plastic is having on our environment and the steps you can take to reduce plastic waste in your home. Casey Lippincott, NJDEP Watershed Ambassador.
- Bioremediation With Bacteria (5/15/23). Dr. Donna Fennell of Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences talks about the basics of bioremediation — how living microorganisms are used to remove or detoxify environmental contaminants. Dr. Fennell discusses how microbes do their work and gives New Jersey examples she has investigated in her research.
- Get to the Root of Soil Compaction (4/20/2020)
Soil compaction is a major problem that can impact your lawn, garden, and cause rainwater runoff. Come learn about what causes compaction, how to figure out if your yard is experiencing compaction, and how to correct soil compaction at home. Steve Yergeau, Assistant Professor/ County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Ocean/Atlantic Counties.
- Safe Soils for Urban Gardening (10/12/2021)
The soil in older, urban neighborhoods can be contaminated with lead. Gardening in the city can be done safely, but there are steps everyone should take to reduce their exposure to lead, especially while gardening with children. Learn the basics of soil contamination with Michele Bakacs, Associate Professor and Extension Agent at Rutgers and best practices for having safe soil while gardening.
- YOU Can Be a Citizen Scientist! (10/4/2021)
Did you know YOU can be a volunteer scientist! There are so many exciting opportunities for volunteers to contribute to the collection of scientific data at home or in your community. Be it collecting rainfall data, tracking invasive species, assessing the nighttime sky, or tracking monarch butterflies, there is a project for you. Join the #E2D2 team to learn how you can contribute as well specifics on a few New Jersey based projects that need your help!
- What’s Impacting the Ecological and Public Health of New Jersey’s Coastal Waters? (6/26/23) Bob Schuster with NJ Department of Environmental Protection covers how the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring tracks water quality in New Jersey’s coastal waters. Monitoring programs focus on both ecological health (e.g., nutrient monitoring) and public health issues (e.g., algal bloom monitoring, pollution source tracking) related to coastal waterways.
- Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): What They Are And What To Do About Them. (6/19/23) Heather Nix with Clemson Cooperative Extension covers the basics of HABs, with a main focus on cyanobacteria including identification, contributing factors, prevention, and treatment options.
- How Your Dog Could Close Your Favorite Beach and The NJ Watershed Ambassador Program. (5/22/23) Marina Jackson with NJ Department of Environmental Protection provides an overview of New Jersey’s beach monitoring program including how the NJDEP protects and restores New Jersey’s beaches and coastal waterways. In addition, Samantha Pfeffer covers the AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassadors Program and how the public can partner with their local Ambassador Program in environmental stewardship, green infrastructure, and citizen science.
- Exploring Your Watershed from Home (6/8/2020)
We all live in a watershed and you can navigate yours from your computer. Learn about free online platforms and mapping websites that provide all kinds of information for you to explore local streams, habitat, water sources, soil types, and the environment right around your home. Sal Mangiafico, Associate Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Salem/ Cumberland Counties.
- From Rain Gardens to Rain Barrels: Protecting Watersheds at Home (4/12/2021)
What we do on our home landscapes impacts water quality in local streams, rivers, and lakes. Everything from fertilizer to pet waste becomes pollution once it gets into rainwater runoff. Learn what you can do to protect local water quality with Michele Bakacs, Associate Professor with Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Middlesex/ Union Counties.
- How Does a Rain Garden Grow? (9/20/2021)
We’ll take a deeper dive into the design and installation of rain gardens as fall is a perfect time to get them in the ground. Amy Rowe, Associate Professor/ County Agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension will run through how to plan, design, and install these popular stormwater management techniques that reduce rainwater runoff and bring beauty to your home and community.
- Let’s Stop As-Salt-ing Our Streams: The Impacts of Road Salt on Freshwater (11/1/2021)
New Jersey is applying more and more salt on its roads every winter – and its freshwaters are becoming saltier too. Join Erin Stretz, Assistant Director of Science at The Watershed Institute and coordinator of the New Jersey Watershed Watch Network, to discover the ecological consequences of road salting on freshwater streams and lakes and how you can help put your watershed on a reduced-sodium diet. You will also learn more about our community science effort to measure chloride levels across the state. Join up and contribute to freshwater salinization research this winter!
- Responsible Stewardship of New Jersey’s Marine Resources (3/15/2021)
The Jersey coast and all that it has to offer ‘shore’ could use your help! We need to protect the health of our coastal marine ecosystems to continue and enjoy recreational opportunities, tourism, and local seafood. Join Doug Zemeckis, Marine Extension Agent for Ocean, Atlantic, and Monmouth Counties to learn what you can do while being on or near the water in our coastal watersheds.
- Ten Ways to Adapt to Coastal Flooding (10/19/2020)
Government agencies and other organizations are helping coastal communities prepare for sea-level rise and adapt to increased flooding. Learn about these initiatives and 10 steps residents can take to prepare their homes and help increase their communities’ resilience to flooding and climate change with Vanessa Dornisch, Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve.
- The Past, Present, and Future of Combined Sewers in New Jersey (10/18/2021)
Combined sewer overflows (CSO’s), have been in use since the middle 1800’s in many large American cities including 21 cities in New Jersey. Initially, they were thought to be a hygienic solution to open-pit sewers. Now these systems are outdated and cause for public and ecological health concerns. The EPA has mandated that all US cities with CSOs eliminate or reduce their overflows. So, what are New Jersey cities doing to reduce their CSOs and what can YOU do to help make this work as sustainable as possible? Join Liz Pyshnik, Program Coordinator with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, to find out!
- Understanding the 2019 Harmful Algae Blooms in NJ (6/29/2020)
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) plagued many aquatic waterways in 2019. This talk will cover what it is, what to look for, health effects, and how you can do your part to prevent them. Mike Haberland, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Associate Professor/County Agent- Burlington/ Camden Counties.
- Creating Wildlife Habitat in Your Yard (5/4/2020)
All creatures need to eat, drink, hide from predators, take cover from harsh weather, and safely raise their young. Hear from Kathleen Kerwin, Program Associate, Wildlife Conservation and Management Program with Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Whatever the size of your yard, learn how you can transform it into a haven for wildlife.
- Defensive Driving to Avoid Wildlife (10/5/2020)
Caution animal crossing! Drivers in New Jersey are all too familiar with the interaction between vehicles and wildlife. Come learn the ecology of wildlife in relation to roads and how to avoid being part of the national and state statistics on wildlife-vehicle collisions with Kathleen Kerwin, Program Associate with the Rutgers Wildlife Conservation and Management Program.
- Demystifying Iconic Halloween Animals (10/26/2020)
Halloween is known for wildlife that many find scary, such as bats, ravens, snakes, and others. How and why did these animals become associated with Halloween? Join us to learn some tricks on managing issues these animals may cause at home and treat yourself to some cool, fun facts about these misunderstood holiday creatures with Evan Drake, PhD candidate with the Rutgers Wildlife Conservation and Management Program.
- Let’s Not Pass the Buck: Deer Management in New Jersey (3/22/2021)
Most of us have been impacted by deer overpopulation issues in NJ: vehicular accidents, Lyme disease, losses in agricultural crops, and damage in landscapes and gardens. Gene Huntington, lead consultant at Steward Green, former Director of Research & Natural Resources at Duke Farms, will discuss our responsibilities when it comes to implementing effective deer management solutions. Gene will review nonlethal and lethal management options and present a case study that is working well as a model in NJ for managing deer issues in an urban environment.
- Spring Babies! Tips for Helping Injured or Orphaned Wildlife (3/29/2021)
As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, spring will emerge chock full of newborn wildlife! In the spring, it is common to come upon young animals that appear injured or orphaned in your own backyard or neighborhood. In this webinar, Kathleen Kerwin, Program Associate with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Wildlife Conservation and Management Program will provide important tips for understanding animal parental care, as well as guidance for determining when young wildlife are in need of human intervention. Types of wildlife to be discussed will include birds, deer, squirrels, fox, bats, turtles, and more!
- Successfully Navigating the Urban Wild (10/25/2021)
Join us to discover the wild animals that ‘go bump in the night’ this Halloween with Kathleen Kerwin, Program Associate with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Wildlife Conservation and Management Program. Learn about what lives in our urban environment and how to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Species covered will include coyotes, fox, raccoons, skunks, bats, birds, deer, and more!
- Backyard Composting 101 (6/15/2020)
Starting home composting is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste while improving your soil. Learn how to turn your kitchen scraps and yard waste into black gold for your soil with these tips for success. Michele Bakacs, Associate Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension- Middlesex/ Union Counties.
- Environmentally-Friendly Lawn Care (4/27/2020)
Want to reduce chemical use on your lawn and garden? Bill Hlubik will focus on earth-wise land care practices everyone should use including using proper plant genetics, using right plant, right place concepts, having the soil tested, using appropriate cultural practices and educating yourself and the public about the dangers of chemical over-application to home landscapes. William T. Hlubik, Full Professor/ County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County.
- Fall Lawn Care the Earthwise Way (9/28/2020)
Fall is a critical time to reinvigorate your lawn the environmentally friendly way. Fertilizing, overseeding, and top dressing with compost are all best done in the fall when weeds are going dormant. Learn how to reap the benefits of fall lawn care with Bill Hlubik, Professor and Agriculture Agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County.
- Home Vegetable Gardening for Food, Fun, and Stress Management (5/11/2020)
Growing your own food can be physically and mentally rewarding. There are important tips to consider when starting a home vegetable garden such as location, sunlight, water, soil quality, and wildlife exclusion. This presentation will cover important tips for vegetable gardening including selecting vegetable varieties, starting seeds indoors and outside, planting and spacing, managing pests in the garden, watering, and harvesting the garden. Michelle Infante-Casella, Full Professor/ County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County.