Staff

Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E. is the Extension Specialist in Water Resources with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and he is a Professor with the Department of Environmental Sciences at the School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers University.  He has a doctorate in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Obropta was an environmental consultant for 12 years at Omni Environmental Corporation.  Dr. Obropta has a background in watershed management, water quality modeling, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and coastal engineering.  His specific experience includes watershed restoration, onsite wastewater treatment system design and management, wasteload allocations and TMDL studies, stormwater management, wetland design, effluent dilution analyses, longshore sediment transport, computer-aided design, and geographic information systems (GIS).  He teaches Bioresource Engineering Design I & II, where he directs student design teams to develop solutions to complex real-life engineering problems.  With his extensive and impressive background Dr. Obropta leads his highly specialized team of professional staff who are determined to create innovative solutions to water quality issues in New Jersey.

Room 232 & 105A, 848-932-5711, obropta@envsci.rutgers.edu

Lisa Galloway Evrard
, Research Project Manager, has an extensive background in aquatic biology, water quality modeling and monitoring, statistical data analysis, and education.  After graduating from Lehigh University with a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Ecology from Rutgers University, she worked as an environmental consultant for ten years.  Her work as an environmental consultant focused on the development, implementation, and analysis of biological and physicochemical stream assessment and modeling studies, the development of site-specific water quality criteria and modification of permit limits, as well as the preparation of environmental assessments and environmental impact statements.  Prior to joining the Water Resources Program in 2002, she was the Assistant Director of the Math & Science Learning Center and the Transfer Student Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Transfer Student Office at Rutgers University for four years.  She was instrumental in the implementation of science education outreach programs for students and teachers in grades K-12 at the Math & Science Learning Center.  She was also instrumental in developing and providing academic support services for new transfer students to the University, especially those enrolled in math and/or science courses.  Her role in the Water Resources Program is to develop and implement Extension water quality and outreach programs, among other watershed assessment and management programs, prepare, submit, manage, and implement federal, state, local, and foundation grants for the program, as well as manage the New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute.

Room 105, 848-932-6726
, evrard@rutgers.edu

Sara Mellor
, Program Associate, graduated in May 2010 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with a B.S. in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behaviors.  Sara interned with the Water Resources Program from May 2009 to May 2010 and worked part time as a Program Coordinator with the Water Resources Program from May 2010 to May 2011.  During the internship and tenure as a Program Coordinator, Sara participated in water quality sampling, flow monitoring, and stream visual assessments for watershed restoration and protection plans, assisted in the coordination, construction, and maintenance of rain gardens, helped develop and run rain barrel workshops, organized the "One Barrel at a Time Co-op," created flyers, press releases, and other forms of promotional materials for the program, supported Water Resources Program staff in community educational outreach projects, supervised project volunteers, researched ways to inform the public about the importance of conserving water, and contributed to the development of evaluation tools to measure programmatic impact.  As a Program Associate with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, Sara has coordinated and presented rain barrel workshops throughout New Jersey.  She constructs and coordinates the installation of rain gardens and natural landscaped systems and participates in community outreach projects pertaining to water resources throughout New Jersey.

Room 105, 848-932-6747 or Rutgers Gardens, 848-932-5089, sara.mellor@rutgers.edu


Chris Perez
, Program Associate, graduated in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.  He started at the Water Resources Program as an intern just prior to graduating.  While interning, he applied technical skills to contribute to the planning and design of one of the first public green infrastructure projects in the City of Newark.  As a full-time staff member, he provides conceptual and technical design input for green infrastructure and urban stormwater management projects across the state of New Jersey.  He develops design documents including feasibility studies, conceptual renderings, and construction documents.  As a member of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Chris provides technical and graphic expertise in support of community outreach and design workshops, in addition to green infrastructure feasibility assessment and project implementation.

Room 105, 848-932-6724, cperez3@rutgers.edu


Hollie DiMuro
, Project Coordinator, graduated in May 2015 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a B.S. in Environmental Planning and Design and a minor in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behaviors.  Hollie interned with the Water Resources Program from May 2014 to July 2015.  During her internship, Hollie assisted with rain barrel workshops, participated in the construction and maintenance of rain gardens, and she assisted with the design of stormwater best management practices and green infrastructure practices for municipalities within the Raritan River Basin.  In her role as a Program Associate, Hollie provides technical support to the Water Resources Program by organizing and coordinating municipal action teams to promote green stormwater infrastructure in New Jersey's urban and suburban communities.  She also assists the Water Resources Program with grant management and project resource allocation.

Room 105, 848-932-6728,
hollie.dimuro@rutgers.edu

Matthew Leconey
, Project Coordinator, graduated in May 2016 from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Bioenvironmental Engineering.  Matt interned with the Water Resources Program from September 2014 to May 2016, assisting with impervious cover assessments and impervious cover reduction action plans for the Raritan River basin.  Matt joined as a full-time staff member shortly after graduating to continue designing green infrastructure projects.  Matt helps manage grant projects, coordinating with staff, student interns, and project partners to prepare project deliverables.  He focuses on providing engineering expertise and technical design for green infrastructure practices across the state of New Jersey.  His work includes preparing engineering designs, hydrologic engineering calculations, and cost and quantity estimates as well as reviewing work prepared by staff and interns.  He also helps oversee construction of these designs to ensure they are constructed properly.  While working full-time, Matt is pursuing a master’s degree in Bioenvironmental Engineering with a thesis focusing on detailed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling with green infrastructure.

Room 105
, 848-932-6716, matthew.leconey@rutgers.edu

Elizabeth Pyshnik
, Project Coordinator, graduated in May 2016 with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and an undergraduate certificate in geomatics from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.  Her undergraduate studies focused on the effects of pollution in the natural environment, modeling the fate of pollution, and exploring remediation solutions.  With the Water Resources Program she helps prepare impervious cover reduction action plans for central New Jersey towns, prepares design plans for green infrastructure and habitat remediation projects in New Jersey, and provides geographic information systems (GIS) expertise.

Room 105, 848-932-6710, epyshnik@envsci.rutgers.edu




Alexander Ciorlian
, Program Associate, graduated in 2019 with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and Design from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.  Alex began his internship experience with the Water Resources Program in December of 2016 and continued to install rain gardens, develop graphic renderings, and revise planting plans and construction documents.  Alex took a break from the Water Resources Program to intern at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to work with the Landscape Architecture team where he developed and worked on construction documents for the redeveloped PATH Harrison Train Station.  Alex briefly stepped out of the public works domain to intern at Bohler Engineering, working on drawings for large food franchise companies.  Alex returned back to the Water Resources Program as a full time staff member in 2019 where he continues to overlook construction projects and designs.  While working full time, Alex is pursuing a master’s degree at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in Urban and Regional Planning.  Being part of the Water Resources Program team, Alex continues to work on projects providing green infrastructure awareness to communities all throughout New Jersey and the Tri-State area.

Room 105, 848-932-6711, alex.ciorlian@rutgers.edu


Richard Kelly
, Program Associate, graduated in May 2020, from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Bioenvironmental Engineering.  Richard interned with the Water Resources Program from June 2019 to October 2020 and worked on various projects such as reduction action plans for the Highlands and engineering designs for the William Penn Foundation.  Richard is currently enrolled in the Rutgers Bioenvironmental Engineering masters degree program as a part time student as he works full time for the Water Resources Program.  Richard's work focuses on preparing engineering designs, hydrology and hydraulic modeling, and construction oversight.

Room 216, 848-932-5725, richard.kelly@rutgers.edu


Chih Wei (Zack) Chen
, Program Associate, graduated in May 2019 from Stevens Institute of Technology with a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, and he graduated in May 2015 from Tam Kung University (Taipei, Taiwan) with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Material Chemistry.  Zack has worked as a Technical Assistant-Engineer with the Water Resources Program from October 2019 to present, assisting with impervious cover assessments and designing green infrastructure projects across the state of New Jersey.  His work includes preparing engineering designs, hydrologic engineering calculations, and cost and quantity estimates.  He has also assisted with green infrastructure construction projects in Taipei with Taiwan EPA and Rutgers University.

Room 216, 848-932-6714, cc1579@rutgers.edu

 


Water Resources Program  at Rutgers NJAES