Christopher C. Obropta

Professor, Extension Specialist, and Director of the NJ Water Resources Research Institute

Environmental Engineering

Office:ENR 232
Website: Water Resources Program

Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E. is the Extension Specialist in Water Resources with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and he is a Professor with the Department of Environmental Sciences at the School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers University. He has a doctorate in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Obropta was an environmental consultant for 12 years at Omni Environmental Corporation. Dr. Obropta has a background in watershed management, water quality modeling, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and coastal engineering. His specific experience includes watershed restoration, onsite wastewater treatment system design and management, wasteload allocations and TMDL studies, stormwater management, wetland design, effluent dilution analyses, longshore sediment transport, computer-aided design, and geographic information systems (GIS). He teaches Bioresource Engineering Design I & II, where he directs student design teams to develop solutions to complex real-life engineering problems.

With his extensive and impressive background Dr. Obropta leads his highly specialized team of professional staff who are determined to create innovative solutions to water quality issues in New Jersey.


B.S., Civil Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, 1988 
M.S., Civil Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, 1989  
Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2002


2019, US Water Alliance’s, US Water Prize, to Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) a consortium of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, the City of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, New Jersey Tree Foundation, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 

2016, National Epsilon Sigma Phi Visionary Leadership Award for the Northeast Region  

2016, Sustainable Raritan Public Education Award  

2016, Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Education and Public Service Award 

2016, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Outreach Excellence Award 

2016, New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Merit Award for Landscape Architectural Communication  

2015, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Extension Specialist of the Year Award 

2015, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Diversity Award 

2014, New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Merit Award for Environmental Enhancement  

2012, Garden State Green Award for an Individual Teacher at the College Level 

2011, New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architect, Merit Award for Landscape Architecture Communications  

2011, New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Environmental Enhancement Award  

2010, EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award  

2007, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Team Award  

2005, EPA P3 2005 Award Competition Honorable Mention, Washington, DC 

2003, Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Stewardship from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 

2002, John B. Breslin Award for Outstanding Research Accomplishments in Ocean Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology  

1988, Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society 

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Civil Engineers 

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 

American Water Resources Association 

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 

Water Environment Federation 

New Jersey Water Environment Association 

New Jersey American Water Resources Association 

Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals 

Research Interests

Watershed management, green and sustainable infrastructure for stormwater management, community involvement, environmental outreach.

Selected Publications

Giri, S., Lathrop, R.G. and Obropta, C.C., 2019. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategies through Best Management Practices. Journal of Hydrology, p.124311. 

Obropta, C.C. and Del Monaco, N., 2017. Reducing Directly Connected Impervious Areas with Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 4(1), 05017004. 

Obropta, C.C., 2017. Community-Based Green Infrastructure, A Rutgers Cooperative Extension Urban Extension Initiative. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 5(2). 

Rector, P. and C.C. Obropta. 2016. Cooperative Extension and Neighbors: Adoption of Rain Gardens. Journal of the NACAA 9(1) – June, 2016. On-Line publication  

Salisbury, A.B. and Obropta, C.C., 2015. Potential for existing detention basins to comply with updated stormwater rules: case study. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 21(1), 05015014. 

Rector, P. and C.C. Obropta. 2015. Greening the Department of Public Works. Journal of the NACAA 8(1) – June, 2015. On-Line publication  

Yergeau, S.E. and Obropta, C.C., 2013. Preliminary field evaluation of soil compaction in rain gardens. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(9), 1233-1236. 

Bakacs, M.E., M. Haberland, S. Mangiafico, A. Winquist, Aileen, C.C. Obropta, A. Boyajian, and S. Mellor. 2013. Rain Barrels: A Catalyst for Change? Journal of Extension. 51(3): 3RIB6.  

Bakacs, M.E., Yergeau, S.E. and Obropta, C.C., 2013. Assessment of car wash runoff treatment using bioretention mesocosms. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(8), 1132-1136. 

Kardos, J.S. and Obropta, C.C., 2011. Water Quality Model Uncertainty Analysis of a Point‐Point Source Phosphorus Trading Program 1. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 47(6), 1317-1337.