School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Rutgers University)

School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Rutgers University)
One of Cook College Fields

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) is a constituent school within Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey's flagship New Brunswick-Piscataway campus. Formerly known as Cook College—which was named for George Hammell Cook, a professor at Rutgers in the 19th Century—it was founded as the Rutgers Scientific School and later College of Agriculture after Rutgers was named New Jersey's land-grant college under the Morrill Act of 1862. Today, unlike the other arts and sciences schools at Rutgers, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences specializes in environmental science, animal science and other life sciences. Although physically attached to the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus, most of the SEBS campus lies in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is also home to the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, the New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station and the Rutgers Gardens, a 50-acre (200,000 m2) botanical garden.

Cook campus is crossed by the Westons Mill Pond section of the scenic Lawrence Brook, which flows along Rutgers vegetable research farm, Rutgers equine research farm, Rutgers Gardens and Rutgers Helyar's woods.

A continuing professional education unit that provides professional education and training for environmental related program areas offers sits on the edge of Cook Campus and is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Extension Station. New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.



Originally called College of Agriculture, the name was changed in 1965 to the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and was again changed in 1975 to Cook College. It was also at this time that Cook College became residential with the building of the Newell Apartments. In 2007 it was again renamed as the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences as part of a larger reorganization of the university.

Martin Hall on Cook Campus was the location of Nobel Prize winner Selman Waksman's research in soil microbes. It was here that Waksman and his colleagues are credited with isolating several antibiotics most notably streptomycin which was used successfully against diseases such as tuberculosis.



  • Agricultural Science
  • Animal Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Bioenvironmental Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
  • Entomology
  • Environmental and Business Economics
  • Environmental Planning and Design
  • Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Exercise Science and Sports Studies
  • Food Science
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geological Sciences
  • Independent Major
  • Journalism and Media Studies
  • Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS)
  • Meteorology
  • Microbiology
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Plant Science
  • Public Health

Campus and student life

Residence Halls on the G. H. Cook Campus

  • Perry Hall (Freshman Residence Hall)
  • Voorhees Hall (Freshman Residence Hall)
  • Nicholas Hall (Freshman Residence Hall)
  • Newell Apts. (On-campus apartments for non-freshmen)
  • Starkey Apts. (On-campus apartments for non-freshmen)
  • Helyar House (Cooperative Living)

SEBS Governing Council

The SEBS Governing Council (SGC) currently serves as the student government for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The council is composed of student representatives from every major, a number proportionate to the number of students in that major, as well as Class Representatives, University Senators and RUSA Representatives.

The council was established as the Cook College Council (CCC) in 1974, and was later renamed the SEBS-Cook Council (SCC) in 2006 with the renaming of the school. Beginning with 2010-2011 academic year, Rutgers University merged all the student councils into an elected Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), but the professional schools remained separate councils. The SEBS Governing Council fulfills this role.

Recreation Activities Crew

The Recreation Activities Crew (formerly known as Recreation Advisory Council and known as RAC on the Cook Campus) is an organization that is composed of student volunteers and meets weekly. The mission of this group is to get students involved with community events both within Rutgers University and with the city of New Brunswick. They have put together events like Special Friends Day, Price is right, Deal or No Deal, Trivia Bowl and other small events. Special Friends Day is one of the biggest community events that the Recreation Advisory Council hosts. Volunteers set up the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center into a themed place. Their parents get a day off from taking care of them and allows them to spend some alone time. Also the students that volunteer get a very unique and special experience that will last a lifetime. Each year, the theme is different. The most recent theme (March, 2009) was Board Games. Each year, hundreds of hours of student time are poured into creating this one special day. The Special Friends Day past themes include-- 2008: Disney: 2007; Heroes.

Passion Puddle

Passion Puddle is an area of Cook College ripe with history. Many buildings found surrounding the Puddle date back to a century or more. Many of the diverse species of trees that abound the lawn and roadside areas date back just as far. The pond, located on the border between Cook College and Douglass College (Rutgers' Women's college), has represented the college as much as George Hammell Cook has in the past. The pond is a scenic change from the hectic lifestyle of a full day of classes; students often stop here during a free period to read or just rest until their classes continue. The pond is also the site of all Cook College graduation ceremonies. Its serene setting reminds students of their close link with nature.

There is a legend at Cook College and Douglass College that if a male from Cook and a female from Douglass hold hands and walk around the water three times they will be engaged soon.

The puddle is a central location on Ag Field Day.

Many professors choose to hold classes on the lawn around the puddle during the spring months.

The pond was formed by damming natural springs that are the headwaters of a small creek.

At least one person is known to have drowned in the pond. [1]

See also

Notes and references

External links

Coordinates: 40°29′00″N 74°26′14″W / 40.48327°N 74.43728°W / 40.48327; -74.43728

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