Who is Planning This Event?
The NJ March for Science Steering Committee Membership
Click on each of our committee members' names to find out more.
Prof. Matthew Buckley (Co-Founder)
Matthew Buckley was the founder of the 2017 New Jersey March for Science and a lead organizer for this year's March. He is an assistant professor of theoretical astrophysics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, studying the particle physics and astrophysics of dark matter — the mysterious material that gravitationally binds galaxies together. He grew up in Manchester, VT and went to Kenyon College in Ohio. He obtained his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and did post-graduate work at the California Institute of Technology and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He was hired at Rutgers as research faculty in 2013, and became an assistant professor in 2015. He writes and tweets about physics at www.physicsmatt.com and @physicsmatt.
Nicole Pezold Hancock (Co-Founder)
Nicole Pezold-Hancock was the founder and lead organizer of the 2017 March for Science - Princeton, and is a lead co-organizer of this year’s New Jersey March for Science. She is not a scientist. However, as a writer and editor who has worked in academic communications for more than a decade, she values discovery and the sharing of knowledge. She holds a B.A. in French and political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an M.A. in French studies and journalism from New York University. She also studied at the Université d’Avignon in 1995-1996, where she witnessed a month-long strike shut down every major public system in France, including universities, transportation, and sanitation, never believing Americans could be moved to the streets in such numbers. In 2017, she attended the Women’s March on Washington D.C., upending everything she thought she knew about political engagement at home. She previously served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. She is a member of the grassroots activist group Princeton Marching Forward and the mother of two very young potential scientists.
Christine Clarke, Environmental Director at Action Together New Jersey, is committed to ensuring New Jersey is #StillIn on Paris Agreement standards. She lobbies for renewable energy, progressive climate action, and environmental justice, and has coordinated public education events and done local public speaking toward the same. She organized and co-hosted the Clean Energy Future forum as New Jersey’s contribution to a national climate-focused Day of Action, the NJ 11th For Change Environmental Defense Forum in April 2017 and the collaborative Prioritizing A Clean Energy Future in NJ live stream event in June. Christine was featured in a Huffington Post story highlighting women who attended the Women’s March in D.C. and was a finalist in the Arena Summit ‘Person in the Arena’ video competition, which featured inspiring stories of new activists and candidates across the U.S. in 2017. Her political activism began 10 years ago when she led an independent effort to update New Jersey’s Title 9 statutes to protect more at-risk and abused children from harm. Christine is a home schooling mother of four who believes in modeling life skills for children, therefore teaches her kids how to stand up for justice, equality and progress by doing so together as a family.
Rev. Dr. Linda Lillian Kroouze DuBreuil
Rev. Dr. Linda Lillian Kroouze DuBreuil is the Pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in Union, New Jersey. She is graduate of Rutgers University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Dr. DuBreuil has also had careers in theater, business, and education.The central theme of her life has been one of service and dedication to social justice issues. She is a frequent speaker at interfaith events and public forums as a community activist and advocate. A native of Bristol PA, Dr. DuBreuil has lived and worked in Union Township for over 12 years. On March 8, 2017, she will be honored as the township's Woman of the Year. Dr. DuBreuill is delighted to be a part of the NJ March for Science steering committee and is dedicated to continuing to teach and preach the importance of community and justice.
Junior Romero is the Central New Jersey Organizer at Food & Water Watch, working to fight fossil fuel infrastructure projects, and transition NJ & the US to 100% renewable energy. A native of Southern California, Junior has worked on local, statewide, and federal political campaigns for progressive candidates. He most recently has organized California communities against bad trade deals with the Sierra Club, and served as a Regional Field Director in Nevada with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He can be reached at jromero(at)fwwatch.org
Environment New Jersey
Environment New Jersey is a citizen-based environmental advocacy project of Environment America. They believe there’s something special about New Jersey — something worth protecting and preserving for future generations. Whether it's relaxing at Cape May, birdwatching at the Great Swamp, or hiking through our northern Highlands, New Jersey's natural wonders enrich our lives in countless ways. Yet the places we love and the environmental values so many of us share are too often threatened by powerful industries, shortsighted politicians and more. Defending our environment requires independent research, tough-minded advocacy and spirited grassroots action. Funded by supporters, Environment NJ researches the challenges confronting our environment and educates the public about what’s at stake. Through research reports, news conferences, interviews with reporters, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor and more, they raise awareness of environmental issues and promote sensible solutions. When decisions are being made about our environment, our elected officials hear plenty from the oil companies, developers and other powerful interests. Environment NJ makes the case for our environment and help people make your voice heard, through petitions, emails, letters, phone calls and more, all delivered to the right people just when it matters most. Doug O'Malley, Executive Director, represents the organization on our committee.
Michal Melamede is the co-founder of scienceSeeds, a science enrichment program in Princeton that seeks to engage children and their parents in discovering the mysteries of the world through after-school classes, workshops, camps, and more. Her work at scienceSeeds marks a departure from the nearly 20 years she spent on Wall Street, where she founded and ran a successful software development and consulting business. In her new calling, she loves supporting children’s natural inclinations to explore and take risks early on, and to use their imaginations and hands to create. Best of all, she has a lot of fun playing with all the toys she never had time for before. Michal holds a BS in Philosophy and Logic of Formal Systems from Stanford and an MS in Computer Science from Columbia University.
Elizabeth Meyer is the founder and lead organizer of the Women's March on New Jersey, held in Trenton, in January 2017, and a lead organizer of the anniversary Women's March on NJ in Morristown, where 15,000 participants shared their voices this past January. She was also in the lead organizing role for the NJ March for Science in April 2017. Elizabeth has been a speaker at multitude of events, including the "Because Women Can" series hosted by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and as a keynote speaker at the Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey's "Inspiring Women to Lead" initiative. Elizabeth is a member of Branchburg Township's newly formed Democratic Committee and delegate at the Somerset County Democratic Convention . She is a New Jersey native who grew up in Wayne and now lives in Central New Jersey with her husband and two young daughters. She graduated from William Paterson University with a B.A. in Communication, a minor in political science, and a New Jersey teaching certificate. She worked for four years in the radio industry in the New York and New Jersey markets as a producer, news anchor and reporter, and on-air personality. Elizabeth has twelve years experience as a middle school educator in both urban and suburban districts, teaching history, reading, writing, photography, theater, and character education.
Maria Santiago-Valentín is a Learning Consultant. She organized the 2017 NJ's People’s Climate Rally, founded the Coalition for Climate Justice-NJ, organized the Maplewood Climate Change Action Day/DeHart Comm.Center in 2013, facilitated the screening of "Chasing Ice" & "Years of Living Dangerously", wrote letters to Congressman Lance published by The Westfield Leader questioning his position on Climate Change and Affordable Care Act, spoke (2014) at the NJ Dept.Environmental Protection asking to keep NJ in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and wrote (2017) the chapter Climate Crisis & Education of Jill Cody’s book, Climate Abandoned. She is a Climate Reality Leader/Mentor and OFA-NJ Climate Lead. Maria is a Democratic Committeewoman for Clark. She is a member of the Sierra Club NJ Env. Justice Committee and their Grassroots Network Healthy Homes. Maria is listed as a Behavior Therapist in the BA-eService Directory of French speaking ABA providers of the Université de Lille III of Nantes, France. Maria is the Honourable Speaker at the 2018 Europe Mental Health Congress in Paris, France presenting her paper An Overview of the Neurological Base of Bipolar Disorder published by the Journal of Childhood & Developmental Disorders.
Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter
New Jersey Chapter Sierra Club - The Sierra Club is a national, member-supported environmental organization, which seeks to influence public policy in both Washington and the state capitals through public education and grassroots political action. Their members and professional staff engage in (1) Lobbying - for and against legislation at federal, state and local levels; (2) Outings for the appreciation of wilderness - locally, nationally and internationally, on foot, by canoe, on skis, by bicycle, etc., (3) Campaign support for legislative candidates pledged to defend our interests, (4) Social interaction at monthly, local Group meetings, and (5) Lawsuits, where necessary. With about 20,000 members, the New Jersey Chapter is the 10th largest of the 65 chapters in the USA, Canada and Mexico. They have full-time professional staff in their Trenton office, and many Local Groups, which hold monthly meetings in various locations throughout the State. Jeff Tittel, Executive Director, represents the New Jersey Chapter Sierra Club, on our committee.
For more information, please visit them at http://www.sierraclub.org/new-jersey.
A former operations astronomer for the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Dan Steinberg holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from Binghamton University. He is an education and outreach director at Princeton University. Dan is the creator and leader of dozens of educational initiatives working with materials scientists and engineers to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to a broad public each year, including K-12 teachers and students, undergraduates and families.
Michael Tofte has been the Supervisor of STEM for Trenton Public Schools since 2014. Prior to that he taught physics in two other school districts. Mr. Tofte is an alumnus of Montclair State University where he completed his B.A., Kean University where he completed his M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Physics, and NJEXCEL where he received his Chief School Administrator Certificate of Eligibility. As a school administrator, Mr. Tofte has been quoted in Christian Science Monitor, Education Week, Education Dive, along with other publications. As a teacher, he received an Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in 2002. He was also inducted into Golden Key International Honors’ Society under the theme “Activism through Academics” after creating an SAT prep program that led to an average score increase of over 300 points in students who were economically disadvantaged.
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT Union
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT union represents more than 7,00 instructors, researchers, librarians, and financial aid counselors at the Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden campus of Rutgers University. They uphold, promote and defend values essential to the protection of quality public higher education. Those values include academic freedom, tenure, shared governance, due process, access to education, research funding and diversity. At the same time, the organization aims to enhance the quality of work life by negotiating terms and conditions of employment for those employees they represent. The Rutgers AAUP-AFT is represented on the NJ March for Science’s steering committee by Prof. Karina Schäfer of Rutgers-Newark.
Prof. Sam Wang
Sam Wang is a professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University, and was a speaker at the 2017 March for Science in Princeton. He teaches and does research on how the brain learns in adulthood and in early development. He and his laboratory members are identifying ways in which disrupted internal communication within the developing brain can lead to long-lasting consequences such as autism. Born in Ohio and raised in California, he has lived in New Jersey for twenty years. He is also founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, where he and his team study elections. They are now working to combine statistics and law to combat gerrymandering via the design of tamperproof redistricting laws. He is the author of Welcome To Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life and Welcome To Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (both Bloomsbury).
Dr. Andrew Zwicker
Dr. Andrew Zwicker is an Assemblyman representing New Jersey's 16th Legislative District. Andrew is a lifelong New Jersey resident, a physicist, and the Head of Science Education at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory. In his role at the Lab, where researchers are developing an advanced form of energy, he has worked with hundreds of teachers and students, inspiring professionals and the next generation in the promise of technology. The American Association of Physics Teachers named him as one of the country’s top 75 “Leading Contributors” to physics education. Andrew also is well experienced in business operations, having managed a $1 million annual budget and a diverse staff over many years. Recently, teaming with tech sector leaders, he helped spearhead a novel public-private partnership focused on developing green energy. Andrew is also an academic advisor at Princeton University, an academic-athletic fellow for the women's soccer team, a part-time lecturer in the Princeton University Writing Program, and the President of the Princeton Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Additionally, he is the Editor for the newsletter, Physics and Society, a publication from the American Physical Society where he is also a Fellow. Andrew is also on the Board of Directors of the Research and Development Council of NJ.
The New Jersey March for Science is committed to diversifying its team of organizers to reflect various fields of science as well as areas of our community directly impacted by those fields. It is with that in mind that Matthew and Nicole have reached out to a myriad of diverse organizations and individuals to assist with the planning of this event.