The 2021 online Rutgers Environmental Stewards class, which educates volunteers to help tackle environmental problems in their communities, will be all-online this year, its organizers recently announced.
The decision to do all training virtually is due to safety concerns during the COVID-19 epidemic. The five-month program will be offered statewide as an online class, with regional discussions led by a local coordinator.
Run by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the program provides in-depth classes 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Classes will be given by university professors and experts from the government and the non-profit sector, organizers said.
Topics covered include climate change, solid waste and recycling, soil health, energy conservation, water resource protection, land-use policy, wildlife ecology and habitat conservation, and more.
After the classes, to become Certified Environmental Stewards, participants must complete a 60-hour internship of their choosing. The internship exposes the stewards to real-world environmental issues in their communities.
“Students learn about environmental issues from a panel of experts and get connected to tools to make a difference in their local community,” said Amy Menzel, ACUA Communications Manager and Rutgers Environmental Stewards regional program coordinator.
“Hosting the Environmental Stewards Program has been a great experience for the ACUA, and participants have gone on complete some incredible projects with their municipalities, local Green Teams and environmental organizations using the knowledge and resources they gain from the program,” Menzel said.
The class will start Jan. 26 and will run through June 1. The first two hours will be led by a content expert who will cover that week’s topic. From 7 to 8 p.m., classes will break out into regions for the last hour to cover local issues and meet with a local coordinator, organizers said.
For questions, contact Amy Menzel, regional coordinator for Atlantic, Ocean, Cape May, and Cumberland counties: email@example.com, 609-272-6934.