Resilience expert and extension agent hired

February 20th, 2015

FORT HANCOCK — Michael Schwebel has joined New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute as their community resilience and climate change adaptation specialist.  The position, created by the partners following Superstorm Sandy, aims to increase the resilience of New Jersey’s coastal communities to future storms, flooding and the impacts of climate change.

“I look forward to sharing innovative approaches and unique knowledge and expertise to help communities plan and become better prepared,” he said.

Schwebel, 32, will be defending his dissertation in 2015. He has done his doctoral research while studying at Temple University. He earned a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy with a concentration on environmental policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and his bachelor’s in landscape architecture from Penn State University.

Schwebel anticipates that working with such a diverse patchwork of communities will be a rewarding challenge. He wants to help communities retain their individual character while preparing for the next big storms and the challenges of sea level rise.

“Being from New Jersey, I want to help communities plan sustainably for the future, while keeping historical living patterns and shore culture intact,” he said.

Schwebel, an East Brunswick native, is an avid runner, cyclist and backpacker. He’s ran the Washington, D.C. half marathon, and has backpacked through the Galapagos Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, where his research was concentrated.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is a not-for-profit affiliation of colleges, universities and other entities dedicated to increasing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s coastal environment. The Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University serves the public’s interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration that fosters the application of the best available science and policy to support healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and sustainable coastal communities.