GEMS Faculty & Staff
All department faculty and staff can be reached at the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (GEMS), Rider University, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-3099; 609-896-5092. Other faculty involved with GEMS programs and courses can be reached through there respective departments at the same street address. Individual faculty and staff phone numbers and email addresses are given below. Additional information about the individual can be found by clicking on their name in the following listing.
Dr. Jonathan M. Husch received his doctorate in geology from Princeton University in 1982 and currently holds the rank of Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences. A member of the Rider faculty since 1980, he was appointed GEMS Chair in 2006. Jon's Ph.D. dissertation was a comprehensive study of the petrogenesis and evolution of Palaeozoic anorthosites and related rocks associated with subvolcanic ring complexes, Air Massif, Republic of Niger.
Dr. Kathleen M. Browne received her Ph.D. from the University of Miami in 1993 and currently holds the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences. Her Ph.D. thesis investigated the processes controlling the formation of lamination in Bahamian cyanobacterial mats and mounds known as stromatolites. Kathy's research interests focus on the interaction of sedimentological, biological, and chemical processes producing cyanobacterial mats in subtropical, carbonate environments in the Bahamas and Australia.
Dr. Reed A. Schwimmer, a 1984 Rider geosciences graduate, received his M.S. degree in geology from Bryn Mawr College in 1986 and his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Delaware in 1999. Reed currently holds the rank of Associate Professor of Geological and Marine Sciences. Reed has a broad background in the Earth sciences, particularly in coastal geology and geomorphology. Reed's primary research focuses on the development and evolution of coastal salt marshes and barrier islands in New Jersey, and elsewhere along the Atlantic coast.
Dr. Gabriela Smalley received her Ph.D. in marine and estuarine environmental sciences from the University of Maryland in 2002. She currently holds the rank of Associate Professor of Geological and Marine sciences. Before joining the department in 2004, she held a postdoctoral position at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Chemical Ecology Laboratory in Savannah. Gabi has a broad background in oceanography, particularly in biological oceanography, and teaches the oceanography courses for marine sciences majors at Rider University. Her research interests focus on plankton ecology.
Dr. Hongbing Sun received his doctorate from Florida State University in 1995, specializing in coastal hydrology, and currently holds the rank of Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences. Prior to joining the Rider faculty in 1997, Hongbing was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Temple University. His research has focused on the interaction of groundwater and ocean tides along the New Jersey Coast, estuary dynamics of Apalachicola Bay, Florida, and the effect of the fluctuation of water level on gasoline contamination in New Jersey aquifers.
Dr. Steven Carson has been teaching the Summer II Oceanography course for GEMS since 2008. He received his BA from Brown University and Ph.D. from Columbia University in Geochemistry. After 8 years of college teaching, mostly environmental science at Barnard College, Steve was a researcher at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ for 10 years modeling ocean chemistry.
Dr. William B. Gallagher received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 where his doctoral dissertation investigated the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and its associated mass extinction event. Bill currently holds the rank of Adjunct Assistant Professor and was, until his retirement in 2008, the Assistant Curator of Natural History, Collections and Exhibits, Natural History Bureau, New Jersey State Museum.
Dr. Gregory Herman has worked for the New Jersey Geological Survey (NJGS) since 1985 and currently is a Research Scientist in the Survey's Geoscience Research and Support Section, a position he has held since 1996. Greg received his doctorate in the Geological Sciences from Rutgers University in 1997 where his thesis research involved detailed structural analyses of exposed pre-Cretaceous bedrock in New Jersey and the surrounding region.
Randy S. Kertes, PG, CPG, is the Vice President of Science and Land Use for Sadat Associates, Inc. (Trenton, NJ). Randy received his B.S. in Geosciences from Rider University in 1984 and a M.S. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati in 1995. He has been an adjunct instructor in the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (GEMS) since 1999. Randy has over 26 years of professional experience in the environmental consulting and land development fields.
Dr. Karl Muessig retired as the New Jersey State Geologist and Director of the New Jersey Geological and Water Survey in 2015, positions appointed by the Governor, and is now the State Geologist Emeritus. He received his Ph.D. degree in geology from Princeton University in 1979 and currently holds the rank of Adjunct Associate Professor. Karl's doctoral dissertation was a regional sedimentologic, structural, and petrologic study of petroleum basins in northwestern Venezuela.
Dr. Kenneth F. Najjar received his doctorate in Environmental Science from Rutgers University in 1989 and currently holds the rank of Adjunct Assistant Professor. His Ph.D. dissertation was a three-part mathematical model of stormwater pollution in a tidal embayment along the New Jersey shore.
Ms. Danielle Schmitt is the Academic Laboratory Manager in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. She received her M.S. degree in geology from Western Michigan University in 1999 and currently holds the rank of Adjunct Instructor. At Princeton, her present focus is on the development of laboratory activities, experiments, and field trips for introductory-level college courses related to the ocean and the atmosphere. In addition, she leads education and outreach workshops for K-12 teachers.
Maryfaith Chimera ’08 has been employed at Rider University since August 1997. During her time at Rider she has acquired a very diverse work experience by supporting offices in many divisions across campus. Each and every experience has added to her appreciation of the University and it’s offerings. Maryfaith earned a Rider BA in Liberal Studies with a Humanities Concentration and a Psychology Minor in 2008.