A Rutgers faculty member since 2004, Julie Lockwood is a global leader in the study of invasive species and the negative economic, ecological, and social impacts they can impose. Julie has provided critical scientific evidence for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in the face of climate change. Her work on the rising rates of species invasions and extinctions has led to widespread recognition of global-scale shifts in biodiversity, which she and her colleagues have termed “biotic homogenization.” She is fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Ecological Society of America, and she contributes to the United Nations intergovernmental Science-Society Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Julie served as Interim Director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences from February, 2022 until September of 2023.
Senior Associate Director
As Senior Associate Director, Dr. Kaplan assists the RCEI Director in administrative functions of RCEI as well as internal and external engagement. Dr. Kaplan led and managed the full portfolio of activities of the Rutgers Climate Institute for a decade, the precursor initiative to RCEI. She is Co-director of the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center, a statutorily created climate services center that creates and supports the development of applied research and tools, technical guidance, and delivery of that information to help policymakers, practitioners, communities, and citizens in New Jersey adapt to, and mitigate a changing climate. She also co-facilitates the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance (a network of diverse statewide leaders that share the goal of advancing evidence-based climate change strategies at the state and local levels in New Jersey). Dr. Kaplan develops applied research and analyses related to natural carbon sinks, climate and health/health equity, climate resilience, and climate and agriculture. Her 40+ year career has included more than 20 years in government and 10 years in the private sector. She was the first Director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Climate and Energy where she oversaw regulatory programs under the Global Warming Response Act, the Global Warming Solutions Fund Law and regional initiatives to address climate change within various sectors, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Dr. Kaplan holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a Masters and Doctorate of Public Health from Columbia University.
Oliver Stringham was the former Senior Project Administrator at EOAS. He has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University. Oliver previously worked as a Research Associate at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where he specialized in using the Internet to investigate the wildlife trade. He uses data science tools to perform analyses and create visualizations to communicate relevant results.
Digital Media Coordinator, Web Designer
Having begun his time at Rutgers as an undergraduate in 2007, Matt remained with the university upon graduating and now supports several divisions with his broad range of scientific and audio visual skills, including the Office of Climate Action, Megalopolitan Coastal Transformation Hub (MACH), and the Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Initiative (C2R2). He was the digital media coordinator and webmaster for the Rutgers Institute for Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) from 2016 to 2023, managing its a/v needs, website, and social media channels. He is also the Director of the Rutgers Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Station (PAMS) in East Brunswick, NJ. His research interests include ground-based meteorological observation, air pollution meteorology, and atmospheric optics. He will be graduating from Rutgers with his master's degree in atmospheric sciences in 2023.
RCEI Area Leads
Renewable Energy, Technology, and Energy Conservation Lead
Dr. Birnie's group concentrates on solar power technology and battery storage for enhancing renewable energy adoption. Recent work has emphasized the combination of photovoltaic arrays with large-scale agricultural production and land-use issues. This area of "Agrivoltaics" is of increasing importance as NJ aims to meet it's Energy Master Plan goals.
Earth Systems Science Lead
Dr. Broccoli studies changes in climate, both past and future, with a goal of better understanding the mechanisms responsible for such changes. He uses numerical models of the climate system in his research, carefully comparing their results with evidence from the climate record.
Human Dimensions of Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience Lead
Dr. Rachael Shwom is full professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Science’s Department of Human Ecology and Chair of the Department of Human Ecology. She conducts research that links sociology, psychology, engineering, economics, and public policy to investigate how social and political factors influence society’s responses to energy and climate problems. Rachael is currently PI on a collaborative National Science Foundation Grant “Responses to complex disruptive events: Cognition in a socio-political context.“ She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program and a co-author to the National Climate Assessment’s Chapter 5 (Human and Social Systems).
Climate Change Communication and Environmental Humanities Lead
Jacqueline Thaw is a graphic designer with a focus on visual identity and publication design. She was a staff designer at I.D. Magazine, Parham Santana, and Pentagram. Her work has been recognized by the AIGA, Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. She is a member of the design collective Class Action.