The Land Conservancy of New Jersey continues to prioritize educational support for the next generation of New Jersey environmentalists. The foresight of their members and Trustees has enabled them to offer two scholarships each year to deserving college students from New Jersey planning environmental careers in their home state.
The 2018 recipients of the Rogers Family Scholarship, Patrick Carney of River Edge, and the Russell W. Myers Scholarship, Justin Rozema of North Haledon, have not only achieved academic excellence, but embody many values of the organization including demonstrated leadership and a commitment to volunteer service.
A graduate of River Dell High School, Patrick Carney is currently pursuing a double major in Wildlife and Insect Ecology and Conservation at the University of Delaware. He is president of his university Entomology Club and Blue Hen Birding, which, for the past two years, has fielded a team in New Jersey’s World Series of Birding, raising $1,200 for the protection of vital bird habitat in the state. This summer he will be participating in four research projects to quantify the impact of non-native plants on insects, analyze the preferred foraging locations of birds, determine the feeding habits of Eastern Bluebirds, and to study moth habitat.
“I’ve learned that our established natural areas, including our national parks, aren’t large enough to sustain biodiversity in the U. S.,” Patrick explained, “so it’s important that we landscape our privately-owned land to suit not just the needs of people but also those of wildlife. This is particularly true in a heavily populated state like New Jersey. I’ve found that most people really do care about the environment once they realize what we stand to lose.”
I see myself not only having a career in environmental work, but continuing to volunteer with groups dedicated to making a difference for New Jersey’s environment.”
A graduate of Eastern Christian High School, Justin Rozema attends Paul Smith’s College where he is a Fisheries and Wildlife Science major with a minor in Chemistry. For two summers Justin has been selected by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to be a Seasonal Freshwater Fisheries Technician assisting top fisheries biologists in the collection of data on numerous water bodies throughout the state, including a survey on a portion of the Raritan River, a watershed The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has sought to protect by establishing its South Branch Preserve in Mount Olive.
“Fish are a very important resource,” offered Justin. “Not only are they valued as food and for recreational purposes, but they are a bio-indicator of water quality. Certain species can tolerate only a small amount of pollutants, so their presence in a particular body of water can show it has been protected from pollution. It’s an amazing honor to be this year’s recipient of the Russell W. Myers Scholarship. I hope to obtain a master’s degree and become a fisheries biologist for New Jersey.”
Russell W. Myers was the first Director of the Morris County Park Commission and is the founder of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey. The Rogers Family Scholarship was established by Conservancy Trustee Emeritus Gray Rogers and his wife, Mollie, to expand the non-profit organization’s educational support for outstanding students dedicated to a greener, healthier future for New Jersey.
Since 1983 The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has awarded $240,000 in scholarship funds as well as provided more than 85 paid internships. Applications for the 2019 Scholarships will be available at tlc-nj.org by January 1. This year’s scholarships totaled $15,000.