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Professors Peter Jacques, Michelle Schpakow, Ed.D., and Catherine Duckett, Ph.D., posing together in Erlanger Gardens.

Monmouth University Team Wins Dept. of Education Grant for Climate Education

The Monmouth University Climate Education Collaborative (MUCEC) has been awarded a competitive grant of over $311,000 from the New Jersey Department of Education to develop a program intended to train and better prepare NJ K-12 educators to teach climate change at grade-appropriate levels across all subjects. Monmouth is one of four New Jersey universities to receive a Climate Education Collaborative grant and the only private university to receive funding from this program.

MUCEC programs are open to all public school teachers in New Jersey, with preference being given to teachers in collaborating districts in Monmouth, Mercer, and Union Counties. Central NJ teachers will be served starting in June through March 2025. Teachers will be compensated for their time for professional development programing delivered outside of school hours and funds for substitute teachers are available. Monmouth Conservation Foundation, NJ Sea Grant Consortium, and the Urban Coast Institute will help provide a place-based curriculum. 

MUCEC was developed by Michelle Schpakow, Ed.D., science education lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Catherine Duckett, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Science; and Peter Jacques,Ph.D., Rechnitz Family/UCI Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy and professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology; in collaboration with Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, and Monmouth Conservation Foundation. 

A schedule of upcoming professional development events for teachers can be found on the MUCEC project website. Inquiries can be directed to