News & Events

What’s Happening in the Department of Environmental Science

FALL 2013

Students Senior Practicum (ENV-4800) capstone presentation.

"Environmental Assessment of two watersheds"



Fall 2013 Field Experience student presentations

Dr. Nicole Davi and Kevin Johnson coring trees for tree ring data in support for our capstone course Senior Practicum (ENV-4800) project.




 Brian Gonzalez presenting results at Rutgers University, October 11.  Brian's research advisor is Dr. Griffiths, this project is entitled: Seasonal variations in drought severity in western United States during the 20th Century.



What’s Happening in the Department of Environmental Science

Spring 2013 

Graduation Spring 2013...Congratulations to our Graduates!


Annual Winter camping trip December 2012


Fall 2012

GSA: Dr. Becker and Harry Maisch IV traveled to an annual meeting of the Geologic Society of America in Charlotte, NC (November 4-7) where they presented the results of a research project entitled: Plesiosaur remains from the arkadelphia formation-midway group contact (maastrichtian-paleocene) hot spring county, near malvern, arkansas.  The project results are also being compiled for publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. Session Abstract.


Spring 2012

Graduation Spring 2012.  Congratulations to our Graduates!

Stephanie Frank was recognized as the outstanding graduate of the year (2011-2012) and was awarded the Dr. Richard R. Pardi award for academic excellence in Environmental Science. The Dept. of Environmental Science is extremely proud of her accomplishments. 


Dr. Becker led his Earth Through Time class (ENV-22001) on a field trip to Civil War Iron Mine.

Annual Winter camping trip 2012




Fall 2011


Fall Semester Highlight: Field Experience (ENV-3010) and Senior Practicum (ENV-4800) presentations at Oldham Pond. 


Earth Science Week 2011 

Tilcon Quarry Field trip.  Dr. Callanan led her Geomorphology class to the local Tilcon Quarry for a guided tour to learn more about quarry operations.  Thank you to Tilcon for scheduling and guiding this tour for WPU.  The quarry is located in the New Jersey Highlands, please visit the NJGS link to read more about the geology: Pompton Pink Granite.

Career Night: Thanks to our Alumni for guest speaking. 



 High Mountain Hike: Dr. Becker led a hike through our local wilderness where students learned about local geology, glacial history of our region, fossils, and orienteering.  High Mountain Map. 



 Student Photo Contest "A World of Change in My Community"  First Place: Courtney Furber (B.A. Earth Science). Photo taken in Wayne, New Jersey.  Recent flooding in our area due to Hurricane Irene! Second Place: Robert Graham (B.A. History); Photo taken in Hawthorne, New Jersey.  January 25-27 blizzard of 2011 estimated 9 feet of snow!  



 GSA:  Amber Koney and Andrew O'Brien traveled to the national meeting of the Geologic Society of America in Minneapolis, MN (October 10-12).  Advised by Dr. Becker, they presented the results of a research project investigating fossiliferous erratics from High Mountain, entitled: Schoharie Formation (Lower Devonian) Glacial Erratics from The Preakness Formation (Lower Jurassic) of High Mountain, Passaic County, New Jersey.  The project results are also being compiled for publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. Session Abstract.   


 Dr. Becker, Colt Jodoin, Lauren Smith and Monica Tierno sieving for fossils near Malvern, Arkansas.


In June 2011 Dr. Richard Pardi officially retired from the Department of Environmental Science following 27 years of service.  The department would like to formally recognize his enourmous contributions and legacy.  We wish him the absolute best of luck.



 Dr. Richard Pardi receiving a plaque of recognition from the Department of Environmental Science (Dean Sandra DeYoung, Dr. Richard Pardi, Chairperson Dr. Martin Becker) 


Spring 2011


Amanda Switzer was recognized as the outstanding graduate of the year (2010-2011) and was awarded the first Dr. Richard R. Pardi award for academic excellence in environmental science.  Amanda was also recognized by the Army Corp of Engineers (NYC division) as the outstanding intern of the year.  The department of environmental science is extremely proud of her accomplishments.


ESA: Dr. Callanan, Kimberly Snyder, William Frazier, and Chad Reinertsen presented at the joint meeting of the Middle Atlantic ESA and NJAS conference in Montclair, NJ in April.  Their project was titled: FIELD AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATION OF FIRE-INDUCED CHLORITE WEATHERING IN AN INCEPTISOL.  The resulting paper was submitted to the NJAS and is currently in peer review.




 GSA: Dr. Becker, Kevin Ott and Amber Koney traveled to the sectional meeting of the Geologic Society of America in Pittsburg, PA (March 20-22) where they presented the results of a research project entitled: Squalicorax Chips a Tooth: Consequences of Feeding-Related Behavior in the Wenonah-Mt. Laurel and Navesink Formations, Monmouth County, New Jersey.  The project results are also being compiled for publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. Session Abstract.  



 Winter Camping: The most recent winter camping trip to the Wildcat Shelter along the Appalachian Trail in the Lower Hudson Valley of NYS took place on December 18, 2010.  Conditions were mild enough for some brave individuals to even sleep outside!  Similar outings are planned for the near future.  




 Field Trip to the Iron Mines: Earth Through Time (ENV-220) and Mineralogy & Petrology  (ENV-305) exploring a Civil War iron mine in northern NJ on Feb. 15, 2011.


Fall 2010


This past year has been an exciting one for the Department of Environmental Science. Some of the highlights include: 1) the opening of the new Science West Complex complete with teaching and research laboratories (see details under laboratory equipment and research opportunities link); 2) continued growth in both our environmental and earth science programs to approximately 90 majors; 3) graduation of five environmental and earth science majors who all found excellent jobs within a 50 mile radius of WPU; and 4) a proposal for a new BS degree in Environmental Sustainability which will concentrate on water, ecosystems, energy, or mineral resources.


Our department and the Climate Action Committee also sponsored Earth Science Week (Oct. 10-17th) which was well-attended and a success that will be continued in upcoming years.  During that week, our department organized: our bi-annual picnic complete with T-shirt design contest, career night, a tour of the solar panel array, and a hike of the High Mountain Preserve.  Thanks goes out to all who participated and made this event a success.  Guest speakers at career night! 




Brett Callanan of NJDEP and Alumni Carmella Castellano at Career Night.


A number of students participating in original research with Drs. Pardi, Callanan and Becker are planning on presenting some of their findings in 2011 at the Geologic Society of America and Association of American Geographers sectional meetings.  I would also like to encourage all of our current majors to become involved in our program and the ongoing research opportunities it offers.


On December 13, 2010, the members of Senior Practicum (ENV-480) presented an environmental assessment of Highlands Meadow in Ringwood, New Jersey at the Skyland's C.L.E.A.N. Passaic River Coalition.



 WPU undergraduates from left to right: Jessica Sikora, Joseph Campbell, Kevin Ott, Kevin Goskowski, Dennis Dekker, Mark Robinson, and Amanda Switzer.  


Dr. Pardi spent most of the summer of 2010 supervising the installation of the new instrumentation and the re-location of old instruments in Science West (Annex) 310.  That laboratory (which also doubles as the office for Drs. Callanan and Pardi) now houses the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, the CHNSO (in solids) analyzer, a new X-ray Diffractometer, a particle size analyzer, an organic carbon/nitrogen analyzer for water samples, and an Scanning Electron Microscope with EDS (elemental) analytical mapping capability.  


-After 27 years at William Paterson, 9 years at Queens College, CUNY, 4 years at Geochron Labs and 4 years at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Dr. Pardi will retire at the end of the Spring 2011 semester.


Dr. Callanan  


-This past year Dr. Callanan, with undergraduate students Chad Reinertsen, David Lugo, Christina Auger, and Monica Tierno, studied chlorite weathering in soils affected by forest fire in northern NJ.  The preliminary results of this study were presented at the GSA sectional meeting in Baltimore, MD this past spring.  The students were also acknowledged by the NJ Forest Fire Service Section 3 Warden’s association (   In addition, undergraduate students William Frazier and Kimberly Snyder have joined on as research assistants in an attempt to model the results of the chlorite study in a laboratory setting. 


-Dr. Callanan’s research has resulted in an up-coming publication in Physical Geography, a presentation at the Geological Society of America sectional meeting in Baltimore, MD, and highlights on the 1st Responder Broadcast Network




Dr. Becker (Chairperson)


-This past summer, Dr. Becker traveled again to Malvern, Arkansas with WPU undergraduates Colt Jodoin, Stephanie Hill, Christina Auger, Kevin Ott, Lauren Smith and Monica Tierno to continue his research with Cretaceous-Paleocene sharks and fish. Some interesting discoveries were made during this trip that will appear in upcoming publications. 


-Currently, Dr. Becker is sponsoring WPU undergraduates Kevin Ott, Amber Koney and Stephanie Hill who are participating in two separate research projects studying Cretaceous and Paleocene sharks and fish.  Thanks go out to WPU and its support for involvement of undergraduates in original research!


-Dr. Becker’s research over the last year included to major papers in the Journal of Paleontology and the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontologyas well as presentations at the Geology Society of America national and sectional meetings in Portland Oregon and Baltimore, Maryland.



Winter Camping 2009