The RVCC Center for Environmental Studies engages students and campus and community members in research, education, and stewardship activities that inspire effective and sustainable environmental practices in our home counties, across New Jersey, and beyond.
Focus Areas: Teaching, Research, and Service
- Students: The Center for Environmental Studies provides educational opportunities and professional training for current students and alumni pursuing degrees in Biology, Environmental Science/Studies, and related STEM programs through student-centered curricula, paid internships, independent research projects, service learning opportunities, and study abroad experiences.
- Research: The Center for Environmental Studies provides technical assistance to the college, community organizations, and local municipalities in addressing environmental concerns through environmental research, monitoring, stewardship, restoration, and other management practices.
- Community: The Center for Environmental Studies provides public outreach and educational programs for the community to increase public awareness and understanding about environmental issues.
Center Co-Directors and Staff
Academic Degrees: Ph.D. & B.A. Rutgers University
Dr. Jay Kelly is an Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College, where he teaches a wide variety of classes including Ecology, Botany, Zoology, Plants Humans and the Environment, and Ecology Experience Abroad in Bahia, Brazil. His research interests are the biology and conservation of rare plant and animal species, coastal and forest ecology, and the design and implementation of ecological land management practices that balance the needs of humans with other species in the landscape. At RVCC Jay involves his students in authentic, hands-on experiences with field trips and research projects. He also serves as a mentor for a variety of internship opportunities including coastal conservation, forest ecology, rare plant, and wildlife research which allow students and alumni to further develop their skills as scientists and as conservationists.
Associate Professor, Environmental Science
Academic Degrees: Ph.D. Rutgers University, Sc.B., Brown University
Dr. Emilie Stander is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College, where she teaches courses such as Ecology, Environmental Science and Sustainability, General Biology, Ecology Experience Abroad, and Environmental Science Applications. Her research interests include nutrient retention and loss in urban and wetland ecosystems, analysis of green stormwater management approaches, and water quality at the stream and watershed scales. At RVCC Emilie integrates service learning into her environmental science programs, works with student interns on campus sustainability and water quality projects, and directs a Water Quality Laboratory as a research, community service, and undergraduate training platform.
Academic Degrees: B.S. Rutgers University, A.S. RVCC
Ms. Jessica Ray is a Staff Scientist with the Center for Environmental Studies at RVCC, where she manages a variety of projects involving ecological research and restoration. She holds a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources from Rutgers University and, since 2015 Jess has been gaining experience with the forest ecology project at RVCC and rare plant species research in New Jersey with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Natural Lands Management. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, and, of course, botanizing in New Jersey's beautiful natural areas.
Academic Degrees: M.Ed. & B.S. Rutgers University, A.S. RVCC
Ms. Deidre Supple is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at RVCC, where she develops outreach materials such as research summaries, factsheets, and fliers, as well as Next Generation Science Standards aligned environmental education programs and workshops for community partners. In her free time Deidre enjoys hiking, biking, farming, picking up litter in the watershed, and, of course, botanizing in New Jersey’s beautiful natural areas.