Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS)
The Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS) is a 100,000 sq. ft. science facility devoted to environmental and pharmaceutical life sciences research. The Center will allow Montclair State's College of Science and Mathematics to build on its collaborative culture to combine strengths across disciplines and build research programs of exceptional power. In the process, Montclair State University will demonstrate that it can make a large impact on the advancement of science and technology, especially in the sustainable use of natural resources and improved human health.
Housing the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, CSAM's Institutes and centers, shared core research labs such as GIS, interdisciplinary research suites, student study and lounge areas and classrooms, CELS will expand the university's science research infrastructure by 50%, addressing the acute shortage in higher education research facilities that is driving more high-potential science majors out of state for their education and future careers.
Within this rapidly changing landscape, CELS will:
- Expand the capacity to generate discoveries, new processes, and new technologies necessary to support long-term growth of New Jersey’s global health/life sciences industry;
- Help maintain a critical mass of life sciences research in NJ; and
- Promote interdisciplinary research, collaboration, flexibility, and industry participation in a manner that will leverage R&D, stimulate the pipeline to industry and grow new business incubators.
Why is CELS critical to New Jersey’s environment?
With a legacy of early industrialization and non-sustainable use of natural resources, and despite decades of land/water clean-up and remediation, New Jersey has the third largest number of Super Fund sites in the U.S. New Jersey is also the most densely populated state in the nation and both government and university studies have concluded that New Jersey will be the first state to run out of developable land (2050).
New Jersey’s coastal infrastructure and development are thought to be the most susceptible to the impacts of climate change. According to the 2008 National Conference of State Legislatures Report on the Effect of Global Climate Change on the U.S., the anticipated sea level rise, flooding and major storms caused by climate change and other variables are predicted to claim more land in New Jersey than the national average due to local conditions that make the state’s shoreline particularly vulnerable to soil erosion and land subsidence.
CELS will play a pivotal role in conducting research that leads to innovative environmental solutions, and prepare scientists and professionals to address New Jersey’s economic and ecological impacts from global climate change.
Why is CELS critical to the development of New Jersey’s future workforce?
New Jersey now ranks 1st nationally in net loss of college bound students (close to 30,000 annually). Why? Because New Jersey ranks 47th in the U.S. in public college/university enrollment capacity (undergraduate seats).
It is the best and brightest science students who go out of state for their university educations, because science majors know that research-active faculty stay highly engaged in the latest developments in their field, which is then translated into exceptional classroom experiences. Even Governor Christie’s Task Force on Higher Education concluded this year that “New Jersey must find new ways to retain the talent and skills of our top students to continue our tradition as the Invention State.”