Message from Julie Lockwood, Department Chair,
on the resilience of the EENR education through COVID-19
To start, let me just thank you all for your patience and resilience as we collectively made our way through the sudden shift to online classes this Spring. This is not how any of us envisioned this semester going. We are especially heartbroken for those of you graduating in a week, as we are collectively left with a completely unsatisfying way for your time within the EENR family to end. But we are making it through together, and we very much look forward to seeing each of you under better circumstances as soon as we can do so safely.
To that end, let me assure all our returning students that the EENR Faculty and Staff are extraordinarily committed to ensuring that the coming Fall semester takes us back to our foundation of experiential learning, building strong communities of students and faculty, and close research and professional mentoring. Unlike in March, we have some time (like more than a week) to think about how to accomplish these goals no matter what the University operating status is in the Fall.
We are hopeful and are planning for circumstances this Fall semester that allow us to be in the classrooms and labs together, even if we need to maintain social distancing protocols. But, we are also planning some creative and pretty cool alternatives for the eventuality of having to move back to a level of remote learning. This is all just to say that we have no intention of continuing with the emergency solutions we implemented this Spring, if at all possible. Wherever we find ourselves come Fall semester, we are looking forward to working with you to explore new ways of both teaching and learning the core principles of ecology, evolutionary biology and renewable natural resource management.
We are also working to ensure that, even if on-campus gatherings are an option, individual students are supported and can complete classes if they themselves must remain off campus. Part of today’s reality is that each of you are likely facing, or will face, events that will keep you from campus for all or part of the semester. We do not want those pressures to keep you from continuing or completing your undergraduate education with us.
Until we see what Fall semester brings…good luck on your finals, hang tight, and stay safe this summer. Can’t wait to see you all in the Fall.
By the way, I brought the EENR twitter feed back to life recently. I’m sharing lots of science-fun and useful career information there since we won’t be able to just run into each other in the halls of ENR. I also relay feeds from a few of the EENR undergraduate alumni so you can find them, follow them, and see where you can take our education once you graduate. So, check it out in twitter.com or follow us if you maintain your own account; @RutgersEENR.
Dr. Julie Lockwood Professor and Chair Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources