Train to Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

Learn to Apply Global Concepts Locally
Jan 08, 2018
Courtesy of: ACUA

Registration is now open for the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program, a volunteer training course that educates and empowers residents to make positive environmental change and help their municipalities create more-sustainable communities. The program is offered at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority in Egg Harbor Township and also in Burlington, Middlesex, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties. Registrants need not live in the county of attendance.

The program focuses on important environmental issues affecting New Jersey and local-level community problem solving. Stewards start out by attending class once a week on topics including climate change, soil health, energy conservation, water resource protection, invasive species management, open space management, habitat conservation, protecting pollinators, environmental policy and more. In addition to the core program topics, Atlantic County also focuses on environmental issues important to coastal communities.

Optional field trips to environmentally significant sites around the state are included. After the classroom portion of the training, stewards complete an internship project for certification.

Open to everyone, the program introduces non-scientists to the science of underlying key environmental issues in the Garden State. Leading Rutgers researchers are joined by colleagues from government and the nonprofit sector to share their knowledge with the stewards and help them make a difference in their own communities.

The classes, field trips and internship do not replace a science degree, but enable citizens to educate themselves when presented with a real-world environmental problem. Stewards are introduced to a network of expert individuals and organizations that can be of service to them in the future as they wrestle with solving local environmental problems.

The program fee is $250. The Atlantic County Utility Authority has partnered with Rutgers since 2008. Classes are held at the ACUA offices located at 6700 Delilah Rd. Normal class time is Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., starting in January and running for 20 weeks. Contact Amy Menzel, amenzel@acua.com, 609-272-6934 for more information. To register or to learn more, visit envirostewards.rutgers.edu. —V.F.

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