2017-2018 Academic Year

News in May 2018

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill which requires half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 as reported by NJ Spotlight and NJ.com. Included in the bill is a subsidy of up to $300 million per year for three nuclear power plants in New Jersey, which could add $41 per year to residents energy bills while keeping three plants that employ 5,800 people open.

 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have released a new publication Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment, a review of the mandated report intended to inform decisions in response to climate change.

RCI affiliate Malin Pinsky along with Rutgers researcher James Morley published research in PLOS One, predicting great shifts in the habitats for more than 600 species on the North American continental shelf, as reported by NPR, The Weather Channel, NJ.com, Fish & Information Services, and EurekaAlert.org. Although there is significant uncertainty in how far and fast marine species will travel, a shift of only a couple of hundred miles would put marine life out of range for smaller boats, which would have a significant economic effect.

A new resource called Projects That Matter has been launched to connect students, faculty, volunteers, and practitioners with projects to transform our world into a better place for all. Projects That Matter provides practitioners a resource for recruiting students and gives students the opportunity to develop problem solving and sustainability skills while working on a project for their thesis, independent study, capstone, or course assignment.


A new study published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, attributes a 405,000 year climate cycle to the pull of Venus and Jupiter’s gravity, changing Earth’s eccentricity, as reported by Smithsonian Magazine. Rutgers researcher Dennis Kent explains that this particular climate cycle is directly related to the variations in sunlight on Earth as the eccentricity changes.

Tropical countries are more likely to suffer from extreme temperature swings in the future from climate change, reports the Washington Post. As these countries tend to be poorer, they will likely suffer the worst of climate change despite contributing the least to it. When asked about the research, RCI affiliate Jennifer Francis raised questions about whether the use of monthly averages actually smoothed out variability.