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Cooperative Extension Personnel Directory

Michele Bakacs

Photo of Michele Bakacs.

Agriculture & Natural Resources County Agent II (Eqv. to Assoc. Professor)

Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
42 Riva Ave.
North Brunswick, NJ 08902-4734

Phone: 732-398-5274
Fax: 732-398-5276
Email: bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu

Agriculture & Natural Resources County Agent II (Eqv. to Assoc. Professor)

Cooperative Extension of Union County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
300 North Avenue East
Westfield, NJ 07090-1499

Phone: 732-398-5262
Fax: 908-518-7925
Email: bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu

Statewide Coordinator, Rutgers Environmental Stewards

Dept. of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
42 Riva Ave.
North Brunswick, NJ 08902-4734

Phone: 732-398-5274
Fax: 732-398-5276
Email: bakacs@njaes.rutgers.edu

Michele joined Rutgers Cooperative Extension in 2009 as a County Agent/Associate Professor for Middlesex and Union Counties. She has more than 22 years of experience in natural resource management and conducts research, education, and provides technical assistance in the areas of invasive species control and native plants, sustainable/environmentally friendly land care, and water quality protection. Michele’s clientele includes landscapers, municipal employees, urban gardeners, and watershed groups. Part of Michele’s work focuses on teaching invasive species ID/ control and eradicating invasives from gardens and forest ecosystems while promoting increased use of native plants. Michele also works on citizen science efforts in the urban watersheds of central New Jersey helping reduce water and soil contamination. Along with local watershed partners, she developed a pathogen river monitoring and outreach program to let the public know about the safety of water recreation activities. Michele received the 2014 Diversity/Multicultural Individual award from Epsilon Sigma Phi for her work on garden soil contamination in underserved immigrant communities. She has collaborated on numerous state and federal grants including researching the water quality of rainwater harvesting and bioretention systems, and helping municipalities disconnect impervious surfaces utilizing green infrastructure. Michele helped develop and coordinate the Rutgers Organic Land Care Certificate Program for professional landscapers, recognized by the state’s top industry organization, the NJ Turfgrass Association, with their 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award. Michele also coordinates the Environmental Stewards program in Middlesex and Union Counties, which teaches volunteers about local environmental issues and enables them to solve problems in their own communities.