Judith S. Weis is a Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Rutgers-Newark. Born and raised in Manhattan, she received her bachelor's degree from Cornell in 1962 and M.S. and Ph.D. from New York University. At Rutgers since 1967, her research has focused primarily on estuarine ecology and ecotoxicology.
Weis was involved in the complaint led by professors Dorothy Dinnerstein and Helen Strausser against Rutgers-Newark for sex discrimination in employment in 1971. She founded and served as the president of the Essex County Chapter of the National Organization for Women, through which she led a complaint against Little League Baseball that eventually won the right of young women to play. A long-time member of the Sierra Club, Weis has been active in environmental justice for over forty years.
In part two, Dr. Weis delves into her research into stresses in estuaries and salt marshes, including pollution, invasive species, and parasites, and their effects on organisms, populations and communities. Particular areas of focus have included the effects of contaminants on growth, development, behavior and trophic interactions; development of pollution tolerance in populations in contaminated areas; effects of contaminants and parasites on behavior and ecology; interactions of invasive and native species; the role of mangroves and marsh grasses as habitat; and effects of invasive marsh plants on estuarine ecology and contaminants.
During the 1980s, she became involved in environmental policy. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and served as a Science Policy Fellow with the U.S Senate. She has been on numerous advisory committees for the EPA, NOAA (National Sea Grant Advisory Board), and the National Research Council. She chairs the Science Advisory Board of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and, in the interview, discusses the study undertaken on tidal marshes and sea level rise, as well as issues surrounding microplastics.
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