Ramapo College of New Jersey
Emma C. Rainforth, Ph.D.
  200 million year old dinosaur footprint
Office: G-249
Extension: 7209 (201-684-7209 from off-campus)
Email: erainfor@ramapo.edu
Office hours (Fall 2011): Mon 2-4pm, Tue 10-11am



Upcoming Events

About Emma C. Rainforth

Emma C. Rainforth is Associate Professor of Environmental Science/Geology. She teaches geology and paleontology courses, primarily within the Environmental Science program, but she is also a member of the Biology, Environmental Studies, and TAS Research Honors convening groups. She is one of the core faculty in the new Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies program, which began in Fall 2010.

She received her BA in geology from the University of Oxford (in 1994), an MS in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder (in 1997), and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in geology from Columbia University (in 2000 and 2005 respectively). Her main research interests are in the taxonomy (classification) and nomenclature of fossil footprints, which are a part of broader studies on the Early Mesozoic (Late Triassic and Early Jurassic, ~220-190 million years ago) history of eastern North America - which includes the rocks directly below the Ramapo College campus, as well as the red rocks used on campus (e.g. the Arch). She is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) and a Research Associate of the New Jersey State Museum.

Since its inception in Fall 2007, she has been Chair of the Climate Commitment Task Force (which is charged with leading the College to carbon-neutrality), and was appointed Director of the Sharp Sustainability Education Center in Spring 2008. She currently serves on several other college committees including the TAS Curriculum Committee, the "Greater Expectations" team, and she was one of the two faculty representatives to the Strategic Planning Task Force (2006-7). She received the Thomases Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2009. For the 2009-10 academic year, she was the Vice Provost for Curriculum and Assessment. She is
Treasurer of the History of Earth Sciences Society, Treasurer of the Geological Association of New Jersey, and Past-President of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability.

Research projects with students

- were the 'dinosaur swim tracks' at Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) really made by swimming dinosaurs? (with Matthew Howard, 2007-8) - presented at Northeastern GSA (March 2008) and Ramapo College Student Research Symposium (April 2008)
- can we estimate dinosaur speeds from their trackways? (with Melissa Manzella [2006-7] and Dean Bobo [2008-10]) - Melissa's project presented at Eastern Colleges Science Conference (April 2007), Ramapo College Student Research Symposium (April 2006), Geological Association of NJ annual conference (October 2007), Geological Society of America Northeast/southeast section meeting (March 2010)
- water quality around historic mine sites, Wanaque NJ (with J.J. Rusher IV) - presented at Northeastern GSA (March 2006), Eastern Colleges Science Conference/Sigma Xi (Philadephia, April 2006) and Ramapo College Student Research Symposium (May 10, 2006)
- identification of the trackmaker of the footprint Apatopus lineatus (with Jared Osborne) - presented at
Ramapo College Student Research Symposium (May 10, 2006) and the annual GSA meeting (October 2006)

Other ongoing research:
- taxonomy and nomenclature of Connecticut Valley footprints


Recent publications:
Complete list of publications (many are downloadable)

Recent research news/interviews:

  • Nov. 1, 2006: NJN news segment on KT boundary in New Jerse
  • Aug. 2006: educational video released at Dinosaur State Park, Connecticut
  • May 2005: featured footprint expert for American Museum of Natural History's traveling exhibit "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries" (exhibit currently in Atlanta)
  • Mar. 17, 2005: 'The Spectrum' (St. George, Utah) article on international paleontology symposium
  • Nov. 7, 2004: Boston Globe article about dinosaur footprints and the Amherst College Museum of Natural History

Recent sustainability interviews:



Earth Science at Ramapo

Local and Regional Geology

Links to Related Ramapo Web sites

This homepage is based on a template developed by the Office of Marketing and Institutional Relations.
Icons on this page from The Iconolog.