From Tour of Duty to Reaping the Bounty: Green Job Skills and Entrepreneurship the Focus of RCE Program for Veterans

Members and instructors of the Rutgers VETS program.

Members and instructors of the Rutgers V.E.T.S. program.

Unemployed U.S. veterans are often an underserved, vulnerable population that can benefit from job training. Through a partnership coordinated by Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) of Essex County, unemployed New Jersey veterans have been trained through a green job skills program focused on sustainable landscaping and stormwater management. At the East Orange Veterans Affairs Hospital, veterans were able to learn green job skills as they served as an important workforce for preventing stormwater damage and beautifying hospital grounds. The success of this effort provided a fertile ground for growing a broader program, the Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology and Solutions Program (Rutgers V.E.T.S.) that encompasses developing these skills within an entrepreneurial framework. [Read more...]

National Moth Week Celebrated in New Jersey

PrintSixteen public events scheduled across the state; hundreds more worldwide

The third annual National Moth Week, a worldwide citizen science project started in New Jersey in 2012, will be celebrated across the state, beginning with an early kickoff “Moth Ball” slated for Friday, July 11, in Bergen County.

Started by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, the creators of National Moth Week are connected to Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Liti Haramaty is a marine sciences researcher at Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, David Moskowitz is completing a Ph.D. in Entomology. National Moth Week officially takes place the last full week and two weekends of July. This year’s dates are July 19-27. After its launch in 2012, National Moth Week quickly went global. As of July 2, hundreds of public and private events are registered on the National Moth Week site in all 50 states and 41 countries. [Read more...]

Rutgers Master Gardeners Care for Historic Cherry Trees in Branch Brook Park

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Editor’s Note: Two alumni have been instrumental in the care and maintenance of the remarkable cherry tree collection in Essex County. Paul Cowie is a consultant to the Branch Brook Park Alliance. He graduated in 1985 with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Forestry. He cooperates with the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County and their advisor Jan Zientek of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County. Zientek is himself an alum – a 1982 graduate with a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife Biology. The story of their work is featured here.

The emergence of cherry blossoms is renowned in Japanese culture as representing the end of the winter, the beginning of new life and the start of the spring growing season. Throughout Japan, cherry blossom festivals are celebrated under the trees with singing, dancing and elaborate tea ceremonies. While profuse and beautiful, cherry blossoms are relatively short lived. It is said that the Japanese use the example of the short lifespan of the cherry blossoms that vividly burst into life and then proudly whither to symbolically reflect on, and as a metaphor for, their lives. [Read more...]

Grover Cleveland Middle School Students Investigate Climate Change

When students can apply what they learn in school to real-world situations, it helps drives a lesson home. For nine students from Grover Cleveland Middle School (GCMS), Caldwell, the 4-H Rutgers Global Climate & Environmental Change Teen Summit will do just that, exposing the students to a variety of climate change scenarios and situations, asking for their advice and suggestions…On Dec. 12, 2013, and March 27, 2014, students in grades 8-12 will work with Rutgers University scientists to learn about climate change science and to develop community service projects that apply their climate change knowledge in their local communities.

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Mayor Booker Presents Proclamation to Rutgers TEEM Gateway

On October 1, Newark Mayor Cory Booker presented a Proclamation to honor Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway as “one of the city’s great organizations” for its work building productive futures for the at-risk youth of Newark and beyond. Proudly receiving the acknowledgment was Kenneth M. Karamichael, director of T.E.E.M. Gateway, a division of the Office of Continuing Professional Education at Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Video: Cory Booker presents TEEM Gateway Proclamation

The proclamation was issued by Mayor Booker shortly after he provided the keynote address during the Annual Stakeholders meeting of the Newark Youth Policy Board, a group appointed by Booker to guide, coordinate and integrate policy and planning efforts for all youth in Newark. Since its establishment in 2006, Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway has been engaged in a wide range of initiatives to reengage Newark’s youth, including the creation of the YE2S Center in 2008 as a safe haven for young people to reconnect and expand their educational, vocational and employment opportunities. This innovative center is strategically located and organized to help youth reenter school or join the workforce and develop skills to become caring, competent and contributing citizens of the City of Newark.