Thomas Belton, Independent Author, Journalist, and Environmental Scientist
Environmental rights in New Jersey might be a hot topic right now, but the discussion goes back centuries. How land was used 400 years ago still impacts our health and communities today; it continues to inform current debates about environmental protection, preservation, stewardship—and legislative policy. Through the lens of human-interest stories and environmental events, participants will discuss the environmental history of the state and how citizens can be informed and empowered to act.
Thomas Belton is an author, journalist, environmental scientist, and marine biologist who worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 25 years. His professional memoir, Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State (Rutgers University Press) was named a 2010 Honor Book by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. As a research scientist, he has published hundreds of scientific articles and essays. His most recent essays include “The Making of an Environmentalist” (2021) in Transformations Magazine, and “Sea Level Rise and the Two Cultures” (2020) in Superstition Review. He is also a frequent op-ed writer for the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.