Montclair State University’s Meiyin Wu Named Passaic River Institute Director

Montclair, NJ, May 30, 2012 – Montclair State University Associate Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology Meiyin Wu has been appointed director of the University’s Passaic River Institute for Environmental Research and Education (PRI). The Institute, working in collaboration with federal, state, and local agencies, schools, and environmental advocacy groups, promotes environmental research and education and seeks solutions to environmental problems within the Passaic River Basin, its tributaries, and surrounding watershed lands.

PRI conducts research in such areas as contaminant biological uptake, ecotoxicology, and ecosystem degradation and restoration. It develops scientific content for environmental education programs and also regularly organizes academic and public conferences on topics relevant to the Basin.

“I am pleased to announce Meiyin Wu’s appointment,” said Robert Prezant, dean of Montclair State University’s College of Science and Mathematics. “She is a dedicated scientist whose research focuses on habitat restoration and wetland ecosystem management. I am confident she will provide the dynamic leadership to advance PRI’s mission of furthering meaningful environmental research and education.”

Wu’s research includes work on the global environmental problems associated with invasive exotic species, including their potential long-term impact on native ecosystems.

She is project director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on Multidisciplinary Environmental Research at Montclair State’s New Jersey School of Conservation field station. Wu recently received a NSF grant to study greenhouse gas emissions from tidal wetlands in the New Jersey Meadowlands. A U.S. Department of the Interior grant is funding her work on the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative involving the development of an ultrasound treatment device that can eliminate invasive aquatic organisms from ship ballast waters.

Wu is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to study greenhouse gas emissions from tidal wetlands in the New Jersey Meadowlands. A US Department of the Interior grant is funding her work on the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative involving the development of an ultrasound treatment device that can eliminate invasive aquatic organisms from ship ballast waters.

Wu recently completed two wetland program development projects funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency for wetlands in the Ausable River and Boquet River watersheds in upstate New York. The author of more than 20 articles and books, Wu has also received funding in the past for her research from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Conservation and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She currently serves on the New Jersey Water Monitoring Coordinating Council, the Steering Committee of the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, and the Montclair State University PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

“The Passaic River Basin is remarkably diverse, including drinking water watersheds, large exurban and suburban wetland areas, and densely populated, environmentally contaminated land. I welcome the challenge of helping the PRI find solutions for the array of environmental problems that the Basin faces today,” Wu said.

Prior to joining Montclair State’s faculty in 2009 as an associate professor, Wu taught at the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh. She received a BS from Chinese Cultural University in Taipei, Taiwan and MS and PhD degrees from Washington State University.

Montclair State recently announced the fifth Passaic River Symposium, “Today’s Status, Tomorrow’s Perspective,” to take place on the University’s campus on October 19, 2012. This annual conference will focus on the Lower Passaic River Restoration Project, and include keynote speakers and presentations on the environmental management challenges relevant to the Passaic River Basin including sediment remediation, ecosystem restoration, and environmental advocacy.

Passaic River Institute for Environmental Research and Education

The Passaic Institute for Environmental Research and Education (PRI) is a scientific organization established by Montclair State University’s College of Science and Mathematics in 2003 to conduct research and undertake long-term multidisciplinary scientific studies related to the Passaic River, its tributaries, and surrounding watershed lands. PRI cooperates and collaborates with public and private sectors including federal, state and local agencies, corporations, schools, and environmental advocacy groups.

Montclair State University

Montclair State University offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs to a highly diverse population of 18,500 students in an expansive university setting combined with an intensive focus on student learning and success. For more information, visit montclair.edu.