Thank you for your interest in the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship.
The Doris Duke Conservation Fellows Program
Doris Duke Conservation Fellows: Profiles
Marc Aarons DD '07
Marc Aarons is a 2nd year Master's Candidate in the Environmental Sciences Institute at Florida A&M University. Originally from Jamaica, he completed his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M University in Environmental Sciences and decided to pursue his interest in the field of Environmental Policy and Risk Management. Some of his long-term goals include starting companies that produce a service or product that is beneficial to the environment and community while making a profit.
Ashley Adams DD '08
As the daughter of a seasonal National Park Service ranger, Ashley developed a passion for wilderness and its conservation at a very early age. Each summer she spent exploring and absorbing the majestic beauty of Glacier National Park, an experience that profoundly influenced her desire to protect and conserve the natural environment for future generations. While an undergraduate at Stanford University, she received the “Beagle II �Voyage of Discovery’” scholarship, which allowed her to spend a summer in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar to research lemurs and improve census methods for lemur conservation. Also as an undergraduate, Ashley received the opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands on a travel study course, where her interest in the issue of invasive species was first sparked. After graduating from Stanford with a B.A. in Human Biology and departmental honors in 2000, Ashley returned to Montana to work in Glacier National Park, first doing trail maintenance and later as a backcountry ranger entrusted with protecting the natural resources of Glacier’s wilderness areas. During the off-season, Ashley worked at a bakery and volunteered with local organizations, most recently with the Wind River Karelian Bear Dog Institute, where she participated in grizzly bear management and the issues of reducing conflict at the urban/wildland interface. These experiences inspired her to follow her passion and pursue a career in protected area management, biodiversity conservation, and invasive species management.
Currently a Master’s candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Ashley would like to integrate the issues of global climate change and invasive plant management, as well as help develop adaptive management plans for biodiversity conservation. She will spend the 2008 summer with NatureServe in order to help compile and develop conservation information for their groundbreaking Landscope project, a project dedicated to providing a nationwide, user-friendly and highly accessible resource of conservation information for the land-protection community and the public. After graduation, Ashley hopes to continue to develop resources for conservation, as well as work in protected area management and invasive species control.
Emily Aker is a second year Master's student in the Gaylord Nelson Institute’s Environment and Resources Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her studies focus on vegetation management, ecological restoration, and community-based conservation. These interests coalesce in her work on the Wisconsin Healthy Grown Potato Initiative, an integrative program where local conventional potato growers reduce the environmental impacts associated with industrial farming through adopting sustainable agricultural practices and carrying out ecological management prescriptions on their non-cropped lands. As a part of her thesis research, she will survey these ecosystems in an effort to establish long-term program infrastructure as well as to provide ecological monitoring data that will ultimately inform future restoration management decisions. Emily is originally from Ann Arbor, where she also attended the University of Michigan and holds a BS in Resource Ecology Management and Women’s Studies.
Michelle (Mickey) Aldridge earned dual bachelor’s degrees in natural resource conservation and journalism at the University of Florida, focusing on environmental outreach and communications. After graduation, she spearheaded the UF Clean Water Campaign for UF Wetlands and Water Quality Extension, conducting local and statewide water education and establishing a storm drain labeling program. Michelle then served as a conservation education intern at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, promoting wildlife conservation, appreciation and awareness in the park, and developing education tools for other accredited zoos and aquaria worldwide. Michelle moved to Michigan in 2005, where she joined the City of Ann Arbor team as the recycling center educator. She collaborated on many City environmental initiatives, including developing an environmental indicators report, planning Earth Day and other outreach events, and developing street tree replanting strategies following the emerald ash borer infestation.
Michelle is currently pursuing a master’s in environmental policy and planning at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She continues her work with the City of Ann Arbor part-time, working on a collaborative planning project for the city's Huron River. This summer, Michelle participated in the Piedmont Environmental Council's Fellowship Program, learning how to simultaneously pursue land conservation and land use goals at a land trust. For her master’s project, Michelle is investigating how State Wildlife Action Plans are advising local land use decision making in the Northeast U.S. She looks forward to a career in public or non-profit environmental planning.
Andrea Armstrong is an M.S. student in Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources. Her interests are rooted in natural resource sociology surrounding land use and water quality in transitioning landscapes. Within this realm, Andrea's thesis work considers the social aspects of riparian best management practice adoption by non-agricultural landowners in an urbanizing watershed. Prior to her current work, Andrea was an Honors Paralegal at the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, DC. She received her B.S. from Cornell University in 2006. Her academic and career interests are derived from the natural beauty of her hometown in upstate NY.
Michael is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he developed a strong affinity for the ocean and earned a B.S. in Environmental Science at Merrimack College. For the past 3 years, he has worked for NOAA Fisheries Service on the conservation of harbor porpoises and other marine mammals. At Yale, he is focusing on exploring more efficient policy solutions for marine mammal conservation in the U.S.
M’Lis Bartlett is the former executive director of the Friends of the High School for Environmental Studies a community based organization supporting the environmental programming at the High School for Environmental Studies, a NYC public school. While with the Friends M’Lis raised over 2 million dollars towards experiential environmental programming for a multi-ethnic student body of 1,600 students enrolled at the school. She created a national model for environmental education in urban public schools including an award winning environmental internship program, a field education program and professional development for the teaching staff. Prior to working for the Friends she gained extensive community development experience as a Program Coordinator for the Student Conservation Association in the Conservation Career Development Program in Newark, NJ and as an art educator for LEAP. With an undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Oberlin College, M’Lis is pleased to return to the Midwest to combine her experience in community development, art and environmental education with a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan.
Specializing in the Political Economy of the Environment at the Bren School, Lindsay focuses on encouraging conservation through sustainable economic growth via mutually supportive trade and environmental policies. She spent her DDCF internship in Geneva, Switzerland with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development covering trade and environment issues for an online bi-weekly publication. She also assisted with coordinating international dialogues to address key issues in preparation for the UNFCCC meeting of the parties in Copenhagen this December. Outside her internship, Lindsay conducted research on water scarcity and climate change issues as part of the Duke University Global Environmental Policy and Governance Program.
Lindsay earned her B.A. in Marine Science from the University of California Santa Cruz were she developed an interest in the intersection between policy and science. Looking to broaden her skill set and perspective after graduation, Lindsay volunteered as a research diver along the California and Baja coast while gaining work experience in information technology, project management and program assessment. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys open water swimming, long-distance cycling and traveling.
Originally from New York, Georgia Basso holds a B.S. in Entomology and Applied Ecology with a concentration in wildlife conservation and art from the University of Delaware.
Prior her arrival at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Georgia spent three years in the Central Valley of California working as an endangered species biologist for California State University, Stanislaus Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP) where she served as the lead field biologist for invertebrate research projects. In addition to working as a biologist she also developed the ESRP outreach program. Through this program Georgia formed alliances with community, public, and private sectors and spearheaded education and community based habitat revitalization projects.
At the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Georgia’s program has centered on social ecology and private land conservation. This summer Georgia researched the opportunities for and barriers to private land conservation initiatives in the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor in Costa Rica.
Georgia expects a Master of Environmental Science in May of 2008 and hopes to return to highly imperiled landscapes like California’s Central Valley where she will continue working on land conservation initiatives and pursuing pathways for strategic cross-sector collaboration.
Born in Rhode Island and raised in central coastal California, Eli has a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz with an emphasis in Agroecology, where he earned a degree in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. He is now completing a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy at Northern Arizona University. His diverse life experiences; from farming, to teaching wilderness field studies, to research on endangered species, have coalesced around advocating for the importance of wild biodiversity within agro-pastoral landscapes. Currently, his research takes place within a public-lands ranching landscape in northern Arizona, exploring an emerging science/policy interface in which conservation organizations are using public lands grazing permits to carry out ecological restoration and protect biodiversity.
Panah Bhalla is a Master of Environmental Management student at Yale University’s school of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She spent the summer of 2008 working at Environmental Defense Fund in Raleigh, North Carolina, researching ecosystem services markets. She is particularly interested in nutrient trading and hopes to learn more about how market mechanisms can be used for environmental benefit during this academic year. Panah is from Northern Virginia and her hobbies include cooking, eating, going on walks, playing the guitar, and spending time with friends.
Rebecca Brooke is a graduate student at the University of Michigan's Erb Institute, pursuing a Masters of Science in Environmental Policy and a Masters in Business Administration. Becca’s interests lie at the intersection of policy, business and land use. Her graduate work examines the connection between bioenergy subsidies, land use change, and wildlife habitat. Prior to Michigan, she worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington D.C., assisting state fish and wildlife agencies in coalition building and advocacy efforts. She has taught coastal ecology to middle school students, studied climate change science and policy responses through the National Science Foundation, and spent last summer working on a commercial services strategy for the National Park Service. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, and travel. Becca holds a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College.
Sidney Brown is pursuing a master's degree in environmental justice from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment and a master's degree in public policy from Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Originally from Brush Prairie, WA, Sidney earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington in 2006: the first a double major in European studies and history; the second in international studies.
She is interested in trans-border environmental management, international development and the relationship between income disparities and natural resources. Her interest in environmental justice and international policy culminated in a summer 2008 internship with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation—the environmental branch of NAFTA. This organization shares Sidney's commitment to addressing environmental and conservation issues in a manner that transcends borders.
Jesse is a student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is focusing on resource economics and environmental law and policy. This summer Jesse is doing a joint internship with the new USDA Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets and with Resources for the Future, a nonprofit economics think tank. He is interested specifically in valuation techniques for ecosystem services and in the way people value nature.
Prior to starting grad school, Jesse spent four years as a wilderness ranger in Yosemite National Park. Because of his time in Yosemite and growing up in the mountains of Oregon and Washington, Jesse spent numerous months and years traveling around the world rock and mountain climbing.
Jesse received a bachelor’s of music from Portland State University with an emphasis in jazz performance. After graduation, Jesse would like to head back to the West where he can work with land managers to create new methods for conservation.
Originally from Boston, Sara Bushey earned her BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, with degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies. Prior to attending Yale, Sara worked with the National Audubon Society as a Grassroots & International Policy Specialist on international sustainable development policy and appropriations, as well as endangered species and the Arctic Refuge. Sara previously worked for three years with the National Wildlife Federation’s International Affairs Department in various capacities. She started at NWF as the Trade and Environment Program intern. She was then hired as the Policy Assistant to NWF’s Senior Director of International Affairs, focusing on climate change and international trade, and starting new initiatives on migratory birds, invasive species, and corporate responsibility. Promoted to the Population and Environment Program’s Policy Coordinator position, Sara developed both advocacy and grassroots campaigns on the Millennium Development Goals, women’s health, climate, and water and sanitation issues.
Prior to Washington DC, Sara lived in Japan for two years teaching English, followed by another year traveling in Asia and Central America, and working in a winery in California. Here at F&ES, Sara’s studies have centered on international environmental economics and policy, focusing on climate change, water issues, and carbon and water markets. She currently consults for Ecosystem Marketplace on carbon and water markets.
Erin is in the Environmental Policy track at University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. Her Master’s research focuses on the impacts of climate change on subsistence livelihoods in rural Alaska. She works with the University of Alaska's Institute of Arctic Biology and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game - Division of Subsistence to document traditional ecological knowledge and develop regulatory mechanisms to reduce vulnerability to climate change. She became interested in climate and the rural poor while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa where she worked with farmers to cope with drought and desertification through agro-forestry and economic development programs. Erin was raised on a sailboat in the Pacific Northwest and Central America. As a child, her after-school activities usually involved a snorkel and fins and she had her first lessons in biology by dissecting jellyfish. Erin went on to work as an environmental educator in the Ecuadorian Andes, a SCUBA assistant in Puerto Rico, and a sea kayak guide in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Adventure, environment and people are bound to be recurring themes in her work and life.
Ann is interested in many facets of conservation biology. She has focused much of her studies on primate conservation. As an undergraduate, she worked closely with cotton-top tamarins. She then spent four months in South Africa as a field assistant on a project with chacma baboons. For her Master's thesis, Ann is excited to study black howler monkeys during her summer 2008 internship with the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Belize. She will investigate the possible effects that heavy tourism may have on troop size and composition at a popular Mayan ruins site.
Matthew Carroll is currently an intern with the Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers and Fire and Aviation Management programs at the USDA Forest Service. He is a second year Master of Forestry candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Doris Duke Fellow. He is on leave from a position as a Smokejumper for the USDA Forest Service in McCall, ID. His wildland firefighting career has spanned 9 years and over 150 fire or all risk assignments. Matthew has a Bachelors of Arts from College of the Atlantic and an Associates of Science in Applied Ecology and Environmental Technology from Paul Smith's College. His current interests are in Ecosystem services, public land management and socio-ecological resilience.
Rachel Chadderdon wants to change the world one tomato at a time. As a dual degree student with the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment and School of Public Health's program in Human Nutrition, her studies focus on the implications of the food system for both the environment and for human health. Her internship and volunteer experience relates to influencing people's food choices in order to improve health and promote environmental stewardship. Most recently, she managed a small urban farmers' market, helping low-income customers use state and federal food aid dollars to support small, local, organic farmers. Rachel's past education focused on biology, and between her undergraduate years at Northwestern University and her enrollment in SNRE, she worked as a lab manager and research technician in a neuroscience laboratory in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Sarah Charlop-Powers is currently pursuing her Master’s of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University in Economics and in Environmental Studies. As the Parks Manager for Scenic Hudson, Sarah was responsible for managing 15 parks and preserves in New York’s Hudson Valley. In that capacity, Sarah partnered with governments and community groups from more than a dozen municipalities. At Yale, Sarah conducts research on the role of diversity in the conservation movement and on triple bottom line models for open-space preservation. In the summer of 2008, Sarah Charlop-Powers worked in the Planning Studio at Jonathan Rose Companies, managing projects in multiple locations dealing with climate change adaptation planning, park development, youth employment, and public/private partnerships.
Evan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He has worked as a field biologist on numerous projects across the U.S. and in southern Africa including research on endangered salmon populations, the relationship between silvicultural practices and salamander diversity, interactions between native and invasive crayfish, and the effects of eco-tourism on black rhino populations. His research at SNRE is focused on fish migrations in the great lakes region. Dams and culverts restrict some fish to 10% of their historic spawning range and little is known about the implications of this for stream ecosystems. His research is specifically focused on suckers, whose charisma is too often overlooked. Evan is also doing an internship with The Nature Conservancy examining the distribution of stream barriers. Evan grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and hopes to return there to continue exploring our relationship with running waters and facilitating effective watershed management.
Jill Cohen is from Darnestown, Maryland. She earned a B.Sc in Environmental Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Jill is currently a Master’s student in the department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Her main research interest is invasive species, including their ecological impacts and the ecological impacts of managing them. Jill spent her summer conducting a field experiment to assess the impact of invasive wetland plants on native amphibian communities.
Ashley Conrad Saydah is a masters student at Bren specializing in Conservation Planning. Her research integrates ecology, economics and policy to transform urban and agricultural areas into more environmentally sustainable and community-oriented landscapes. Prior to Bren, Ashley worked as an education program manager at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, leading a work-based youth development program for students from groups typically under-represented in the sciences. She was raised as an avid composter and recycler in suburban New York and earned an AB in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University before moving west. During her DDCF summer, Ashley interned at Environmental Defense’s headquarters working on air quality projects included in PlaNYC, the sustainability plan for New York.
Jason Corwin is a filmmaker, outdoorsman and activist. His research focuses on environmental education and participatory video for at-risk teenagers of color who live in both urban and reservation communities--he currently coordinates a youth media project which focuses on resource conservation, sustainability, renewable energy, self-determination, and social change. He is the president of the Cornell Council of American Indian Graduate and Professional Students (CCAIGPS).
Stella Cousins is currently completing a master's of forest science degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her research examines forest ecosystem function in the Connecticut Highlands, where development fragments extensive forested landscapes.
Stella hails from California's San Joaquin Valley and holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. Her interests range from protected areas management and land use planning to plant ecology and environmental history. Before returning to graduate school, Stella mapped vegetation in the Sierra Nevada, surveyed conservation easements on ranches in Marin County, and served as a biologist-planner-cartographer-outdoorswoman for an open space agency in the San Francisco Bay area.
Stella's work in summer 2009 will be with the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, a program of Yale University dedicated to sustaining forests in a changing world.
Caitlin Cusack grew up in eastern Massachusetts and received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She spent her first two post-college years working for an environmental consulting firm in the field of human health and ecological risk assessment before joining Americorps as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA). As an Americorps VISTA she worked with Rural Action, a community-based organization in southeastern Ohio, on projects involving non-timber forest products, invasive plant management, citizen environmental monitoring, and native plant conservation. After her time in Ohio, she continued wandering around the woods of West Virginia and New England working on invasive plant management and native plant conservation with The Nature Conservancy and The New England Wildflower Society. A lover of the understory and the overstory, she is concentrating her Master of Forestry program of study at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on community-based forest ecosystem management and the conservation of biodiversity. For her summer internship she worked with Vermont Family Forests and The Forest Guild on a Community Wood Energy Project to assess the ecological, social and economic opportunities and challenges associated with sourcing woodchips for local schools from sustainably managed woodlands. In her spare time she enjoys botanizing, hiking, running, cooking and enjoyed exploring Vermont’s swimming holes.
Liese Dart is a graduate student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She is a pursuing a Master’s of Science in Environment and Resources and an Energy Analysis and Policy Certificate. Liese’s research interests include the ways state and national electricity regulation and planning practices will intersect with future climate policy in the United States. She is specifically interested in the environmental impacts of building a new national transmission grid, as well as large scale programs to reduce electricity use. Prior to graduate school, Liese spent three years working for a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Virginia called the Piedmont Environmental Council. Liese holds undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Art History from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her interests outside of school include documentary filmmaking, travel and painting. Liese is an intern in the Gas & Electricity Division of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for summer 2009 where she is learning about transmission line planning and how it pertains to renewable and fossil fuel energy supply for the U.S. moving forward.
I am originally from New Jersey and received a BA degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1999. I have worked for the National Park Service (NPS) since 2001, beginning at Gateway National Recreation Area, NY, where I monitored breeding activities of listed shorebird populations. After moving west, I worked at Capitol Reef National Park, UT, on rare plant inventory and monitoring projects and vegetation mapping from 2002-5. I am currently a third year graduate student in the Environmental Sciences and Policy program at Northern Arizona University. My research focuses on testing methods to establish native plants along the Virgin River at Zion National Park, UT. Currently, the main canyon is dominated by exotic brome grasses that mature earlier than native species, which creates a potential fire hazard during the heavily-visited summer season. My work will provide recommendations for treatments to remove the exotic grasses and revegetate with native plants. In addition, I am working on other projects that include cottonwood/willow seedling recruitment to replace maturing trees, watering techniques for planting in arid climates, and mycorrhizae studies to benefit native species. The results of these projects will allow the park to plan restoration at a larger scale in Zion Canyon. While I am not busy at work, I enjoy traveling to new places, cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing in Utah, playing with the resident cat and dog, catching up with friends, eating sushi and reading classic novels.
Originally from Westminster, Maryland, Adrian Deveny received his BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His focus was in conservation biology and community ecology, and he wrote his thesis on the affects of indirect interactions between browsers and seed predators on the seed bank dynamics of a chaparral shrub. Prior to attending Yale, Adrian worked as an intern for The Nature Conservancy, and conducted research on prescribing effective management plans for wide-ranging marine species. He also lived in Brazil for a year, researching the feeding ecology of Golden-backed monkeys.
At Yale, Adrian's program is centered on environmental economics, with a focus on the economics of avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. He is pursuing dual Masters degrees in Environmental Management (MEM) and International and Development Economics (MA). While at Yale, he spent a summer in India working for The Energy and Resources Institute developing an agri-climate information sharing system to enhance both the adaptive capacity and economic development of rural Indian communities. He also spent a summer at Resources for the Future working on a global economic analysis identifying the best locations for forest carbon investments.
Mallory Dimmitt was born and raised on the west coast of Florida, which shaped her appreciation of nature and the outdoors from a young age. While in college, Mallory spent a semester in Baja California Sur with the School for Field Studies studying coastal ecology. She graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee with a B.S. in Natural Resources and a minor in Third World Studies. After college, Mallory completed an internship with The Nature Conservancy of Colorado as a steward for the San Miguel River Preserves, before traveling around South America for four months. When she returned, Mallory was hired again by the Conservancy as the full time Land Steward, and eventually became the Project Director for Southwest Colorado. Mallory worked for TNC for eight years in Telluride, Colorado, leading a watershed-wide community based conservation effort, and also served as a member of Telluride’s Town Council. She held numerous board and committee appointments during her tenure, until she decided to return to graduate school to study environmental policy. In the interim, she worked for Lykes Brothers, Inc. in Tampa, Florida as a consultant on three company environmental endeavors, and also became the Executive Director of a new non-profit organization called the Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC). Mallory is currently a Master’s student in Environmental Economics and Policy at Duke University’s Nicholas School of Environment, interested in balancing ecosystem and human needs for limited freshwater resources. This summer she worked for the Nicholas Institute at Duke University, evaluating municipal response to the North Carolina drought of 2007-2008, and traveled overseas for a mini-internship with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka. After graduation she would like to pursue a career in environmental policy in state or federal government.
Kpandjapou Dixon was born and raised in Togo (West Africa). She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and Translation from the University of Lome. During her senior year, Kpandjapou interned as a translator at the United Nations Development Program in Lome, the capital city of Togo. It was during the internship that she became interested in the environmental field. Kpandjapou graduated, and received a one year ISEP (international student exchange program) scholarship from the U.S. Cultural Center in Lome. The scholarship brought her to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. A year later, Kpandjapou applied for graduate school and did her Masters of Science in Industrial Safety Management. After graduation, she worked for the City of Kansas City Missouri Health Department for eight years, of which the first three years were spent with the Food Protection Program where Kpandjapou trained food establishment workers in food safety. Kpandjapou also inspected food establishments', schools', and hospitals' stores to ensure compliance with safety and health regulations. The rest of the years were spent with the Air Quality Program as a Public Health Specialist issuing permits for asbestos projects and open burnings in Kansas City Missouri. Kpandjapou also inspected underground storage tanks, investigated various complaints related to air pollution and enforced OSHA, EPA, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Kansas City Missouri Air Quality regulations.
In fall 2007 Kpandjapou started a second Master's of Science in Environmental Policy and Risk Management at the Florida A & M University�s Environmental Science Institute. Her research will be focusing on solid waste management in Togo. She eventually wants to pursue a PhD in the same field.
This summer Kpandjapou is working with the Tallahassee Wastewater Treatment Plant. She is interested in Solid waste management and wastewater treatment because these are two of the most important components necessary for the development of any country, yet those are often not taken into consideration in many developing countries including Togo.
Bridget Dobrowski holds a B.S. in Resource Conservation from the Universtiy of Montana with a minor in drama focused on costuming. Bridget has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service as a biological science technician in Montana, Idaho and Utah. She also spent almost three years working for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on agricultural water quality improvements. During her time in Monterey she coordinated the efforts of the Agriculture Water Quality Alliance (AWQA). The AWQA program is a partnership that provides education and assistance to growers in a six county region consisting that drains to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
At the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Bridget’s focus is Conservation Planning. She is studying the interactions between agriculture and conservation and ways to mere the goals of these land uses. Over the summer, Bridget is researching opportunities and land use planning tools appropriate for Western Montana communities to preserve and protect wildlife habitat while honoring the rights of landowners.
Bridget will graduate in June of 2009 and hopes to continue working on collaborative solutions to land use problems that meet the needs of urban, rural and natural communities.
Ron Dolen is an M.S. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying the impacts of agricultural runoff on water quality. Agriculture inherently disturbs soil and nutrient cycles, leading to a flux of phosphorus into ground and surface water, one of the biggest environmental concerns in the Midwest. During the summer of 2007, Ron interned with the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, a local agency in Madison that works directly with farmers to implement erosion control practices and reduce farm runoff. The internship exposed him to habitat reserve programs, nutrient management plans, stream restoration projects, and GIS. Prior to graduate school, he received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in biology, history, and education, spent two years teaching biology as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and participated in soil and vegetation research studies. For a career, Ron hopes to be a liaison between farmers and researchers--either through a nonprofit organization, university extension or government agency--finding a common ground with farmers in order to implement changes that work for allFor a career, Ron hopes to be a liaison between farmers and researchers--either through a nonprofit organization, university extension or government agency--finding a common ground with farmers in order to implement changes that work for all.
I received my B.S. from the University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point, a double-major in Biology and Philosophy. I spent my summers as an undergraduate in Alaska, first as a backcountry ranger and later as a ecological field technician, mostly working on songbird and raptor research with the National Park Service. I got involved with the Long Term Ecological Monitoring Program at Denali National Park, and became very interested in research design and the science-policy interface. Continuing my interdisciplinary endeavors, I am now a student in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Program at Northern Arizona University. I study "wildland-urban interface" (WUI) policy and management, using GIS to analyze the ecological implications of WUI delineation. For my summer internship, I am working with The Wilderness Society to refine and apply some of my research.
Darcy Dugan grew up in Girdwood, a small glacier-rimmed town in Alaska. She got a degree in Earth Systems at Stanford University, and focused her undergraduate research on motorized use and the protection of intangible values in national parks. Before starting graduate school, she spent 2 years as a legislative aide in the Alaska State Legislature and three summers conducting research on nature-based tourism in small communities in southeast Alaska. She is currently working on a Master's of Environmental Science degree at the Yale School of Forestry where she is focusing on coastal erosion, climate change impacts, and community vulnerability in the Alaskan Arctic. Upon graduating, she plans to return to the 29th state and work on climate change adaptation strategies.
Nic Enstice grew up in Tucson, Arizona and received a double BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Indiana University. He has been very nomadic, working as a Fisheries/Aquaculture Intern at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, as a Stream Surveyor for the Forest Service in Washington, as a Pollution Prevention Intern for the Marine Corps in D.C. and as a bat surveyor all over the Midwest. Nic then settled down for 3 years in Panama with the Peace Corps. In Panama he worked to weave sustainable agriculture and conservation themes into local farming practices. His main project was rehabilitating riparian areas and installing pastureland improvement systems. He also started a local soccer team and learned how to make hammocks.
Nic is currently seeking his Masters in Terrestrial Ecosystems, which he looks forward to applying towards adjusting our land-use practices for the benefit of aquatic systems. His thesis focuses on gaining a better understanding of the preferences of the major actors in a watershed, how to reduce agricultural runoff and compares and contrasts how the implementation of their preferences would affect the health of the river.
Nighthawk Evensen considers himself first and foremost an outdoors enthusiast. It was his years of roaming aimlessly through the great northern forests covering the Adirondack Mountains, while listening to the stentorian cry of the occasional loon, which brought him to the field of environmental conservation. Nighthawk’s instruction in conservation began during his undergraduate education at Princeton University where he majored in environmental public policy. During his undergraduate summers, Nighthawk traveled home to the Adirondacks of northern NY where he worked as a wilderness guide, teaching children the joy and beauty found in Creation. After graduation, Nighthawk worked for a half year as an environmental educator at an outdoors school for secondary students. He spent the next half year thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. While Nighthawk claims that these two experiences have been formative in conditioning his thoughts about how people interact with and perceive their natural surroundings, they were really just an excuse for Nighthawk to spend some time in the surroundings that he loves most.
During the summer of 2008 Nighthawk will be interning in the Biological Resources Management Division of the National Park Service (NPS) in Fort Collins, Colorado. For his Master's research Nighthawk is working with the NPS on a study of stakeholder risk perceptions of wildlife-associated diseases. While in Colorado, he will use the NPS expertise available there to work some on identifying sites, methods, and contacts for this study, while also learning as much as he can about NPS policy and constraints. This knowledge should help Nighthawk in eventually constructing recommendations for the NPS in constructing stakeholder communication initiatives based on his research results.
Nighthawk is currently a student in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, where he studies the ways in which people value and perceive aspects of the natural environment. His current specific focus is on evaluating people’s risk perceptions of wildlife-associated diseases. In terms of his interests, Nighthawk is fond of long walks on the beach and fine French wine.
A Montana native, Gavin received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Washington in Seattle. After working as a oceanographic research assistant and a geologic consultant, Gavin spent time traveling through South America before moving to California. He worked assorted office jobs before ditching the desk for a 2-year stint as a tour guide, leading thousands of visitors to places like Yosemite, the California coast, and Wine Country. While he is interested in all aspects of the outdoors and conservation, Gavin believes that climate change is the environmental issue of our time and is at the heart of conservation. Gavin is currently pursuing his Masters in Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is focusing on Policy and Economics, with coursework emphasizing climate change. In his spare time Gavin enjoys hiking, backpacking, cycling, skiing (anything outdoors), cooking, and traveling.
Julia is entering her third and final year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is working on Master’s degrees in Geography and Water Resources Management. Julia’s thesis focuses on the physical geography and natural history of a river restoration site in southwest Wisconsin. Through this work she developed contacts at The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin where she is interning this summer, working on developing a monitoring plan for the Conservancy’s Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area. In the future Julia hopes to work on conservation and restoration of Midwestern native ecosystems, especially wetland, river, and prairie habitats.
Andrew Fotinos is currently a MS student in Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate, Andrew spent summers working for the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Nature Conservancy. He was awarded a Morris K. Udall Scholarship in 2003, and through this program he was introduced to the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. After studying politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, he gained experience administering land and water conservation projects with the Nature Conservancy. These experiences led Andrew to pursue a career in habitat, farmland and green-space preservation, areas that he is studying at the School of Natural Resources. Andrew plans to pursue a position managing the conservation program for a landscape, a scale at which he wishes to play a role influencing policy at the local and state level. Specific interests include working on programs to incentivize conservation on private lands and working in high growth rural areas.
Kate Freund is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University. Her research focuses on how climate change combined with habitat fragmentation will endanger species, and is currently working with the National Park Service in Washington State to predict future range shifting and identify conservation challenges for mammals in the region. Before coming to Yale, Kate worked as a legislative advocate for the environmental group Earthjustice in Washington, DC, where she lobbied Congress on wildlife and endangered species issues and coordinated a national education campaign regarding the threats of climate change to wildlife. She also spent a year at the La Selva research station in Costa Rica studying avian life-history behavior. Kate received her B.A. in Biology and Public Policy from Pomona College in 2003.
Kylan Frye’s first foray into the field of conservation ecology was as a student research assistant in Namibia, where she helped to create a biodiversity monitoring project as well as surveyed for cheetah habitat and tracked black rhinoceros. Her experiences in Africa changed the direction of her life, and upon graduating from Ohio State University, she began a career as a wildlife biologist, contributing to songbird ecology projects and spotted owl behavior studies in Montana, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. Between field seasons, she led conservation research and education programs in Ecuador for American university students, helping students to realize their potential to contribute to environmental issues. After returning from South America, Kylan continued her work in the Southwest, studying rangeland health on the Navajo Nation and monitoring bird communities in National Park Units in the Four Corners.
Kylan recently began her graduate studies at Duke University, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management with an emphasis on Ecosystem Science and Conservation. This summer, she worked with the Forest Guild in Santa Fe, inspired by Guild’s commitment to science and communities. She studied the interplay between traditional communities and natural resource stewardship. She also continued her educational work by contributing to the Youth Conservation Corps’ summer programs in New Mexico. Her professional interests lie in ecology, conservation technology and experiential field education. In her spare time, she enjoys mountain and road biking, skiing and running rivers.
Catherine earned her B.A. in art and biology from Albion College in Albion, MI. At some point between painting landscape murals and coordinating environmental programs for local elementary schools, she realized that art could play a crucial role in communicating about environmental issues. She then decided to combine her art and biology interests in the field of environmental education. Currently a student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, Catherine enjoys exploring how art can be used as a tool to develop creative experiences for people to learn about environmental conservation.
Angela Gillingham graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology in 2003. She developed a strong interest in cultural ecology and the effects of tourism on local culture, particularly ecotourism as a vehicle for conservation. Reluctant to abandon the beaches and sunshine of southern California, she spent several years working in Santa Barbara in travel journalism, the hospitality industry, and later in international education.
Her passion for conservation and alarm over increasing threats to biodiversity led Angela to return to school in 2006 to pursue a Masters of Environmental Management with a focus on endangered species conservation. Incorporating her interdisciplinary background, she seeks to employ creative and multifaceted approaches to conservation. She maintains her interest in human-environmental relations, and plans to co-teach a Community Based Environmental Management class in the fall of 2007. Angela plans to spend the summer working with California State Parks utilizing GIS as a tool to help determine the effects of invasive wild turkeys on native avifauna.
Aviva Glaser is currently pursuing an M.S. in Conservation Biology at Michigan's School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE) and an M.P.H. in Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health. Her masters' project focuses on the impacts of corn ethanol production on wildlife and wildlife habitat. Aviva served as the Communications Manager at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. During the summer of 2008, she worked at the national consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch, researching emerging chemical contaminants in water.
Previously, Aviva worked for three years in Washington, DC as a Research Associate at Beyond Pesticides/National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, researching the health and environmental impacts of pesticides and working on issues including asthma and children's health, water contamination, and antibacterial products. She has also had various ecological fieldwork experiences, including a study on the effects of land use on the reproductive habits of native birds in the mid-Atlantic region. Aviva graduated from Oberlin College in 2004 with a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies.
Alicia Glassco earned her B.A. in Marine Science/Spanish from the University of San Diego in 2004. Her undergraduate research investigated point-source pollution from a fish cannery in pristine Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico. After graduation, she worked as an environmental educator with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, then as a watershed field scientist for an environmental consulting firm. She also spent three summers managing international scientists and students at a remote field station in the Cayos Cochinos Natural Marine Monument, Honduras.
Specializing in Coastal Marine Resource Management for her Master’s degree at the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, Alicia’s research interests involve the interaction of humans and the marine environment. Specifically, she studies water quality & watershed management, estuarine and marine habitat conservation, and the creation of scientifically sound and socioeconomically fair management plans for protected areas. This year, she spends her summer internship with Reef Check Dominican Republic to support community monitoring of coral reefs, education, and sustainable fishing practices within a La Caleta National Underwater Park. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys laughing with friends, traveling, snowboarding, and breathing underwater.
Lauren grew up in North Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University with a double major in biology and French in 2004. She is currently in her second year of the Master of Environmental Management program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Before arriving at Yale, she spent three years working as a researcher in molecular biology at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. However, time spent as a member of her town’s environmental advisory board convinced her to switch careers and pursue a degree in environmental policy with a focus on land use and conservation. During the summer, Lauren interned in Washington, DC with the World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science department. There she researched socioeconomic indicators of poverty and resource use in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Lauren hopes to continue working at the intersection of conservation, social justice and natural resources management after graduation.
Prior to attending the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan, Jose Gonzalez worked in public education for six years. In the field of environmental conservation, his areas of interest are in behavior, education,and communication, specifically looking at how to foster, support, and evaluate environmentally responsible behaviors. One specific area of interest is how underrepresented communities and groups are engaged in environmental conservation. One example is Latino communities and their connection to land preservation and conservation.
Wendy Goyert received a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. After graduating, she taught marine biology to adults and children on the schooner Soundwaters in Long Island Sound, and then backpacked around the world for a year and a half, visiting over twenty countries. Upon her return to the U.S., Wendy moved to Washington, D.C. where she spent 7 years working at The Nature Conservancy with the Latin America programs, most recently as Finance Manager for the Mesoamerica and Caribbean Region. Wendy returned to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Coastal Environmental Management at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She recently spent her summer internship up in Maine where she worked with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and conducted qualitative research surveying fishermen about the challenges and benefits of certifying the local fisheries as sustainable. After graduating from Duke, she hopes to work with community fisheries to promote sustainable fishing practices and increase demand for sustainable seafood worldwide.
Julia Griffin earned her BS in Marine Biology and minors in Pyschology and Dance from Duke University in 2007. Prior to coming to UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Julia was an aquarium intern at the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium in Nantucket, a lab assistant at the Duke Marine Lab, and a volunteer at the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas. During her time at the UCSB, she has interned at Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society and CNN's Science & Tech unit in Atlanta.
Julia is focusing on Conservation Planning and Environmental Media and hopes to pursue a career in Science and Environmental Journalism. Julia also serves as a co-chair of Bren's MESM Class of 2009.
Matt Griffis is studying environmental policy and planning at the University of Michigan. He is interested in public land planning and management, specifically in regards to protected areas. His research is focused on the siting of solar energy facilities in the California desert. Matt's internship was with the National Park Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where he developed the park's ocean stewardship plan. Before graduate school, Matt was an outdoor skills instructor for the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California. He has also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and as a trail crew foreman and backpacking guide in northern New Mexico. Matt holds a BS in environmental sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ryan has cultivated a long-standing interest in ecology and environmental conservation in part due to his upbringing in the natural areas of rural Wisconsin. Since beginning graduate study at Florida A&M University, Ryan has assist in the management of the Biology Department’s computer lab as a network administrator and has taught several laboratory courses in introductory biology and ecology, in addition to leading his graduate research project. Presently, he is conducting a comparative survey study of Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) populations in three major rivers across Florida’s Big Bend biogeographic region. The aquatic apple-snail population in the Wakulla River, for example, has experienced a dramatic decline over the last decade. His conservation and research goals in this study include baseline assessment and comparative analyses of these populations and their aquatic habitats. Ryan is additionally interested in the ecological impacts of invasive species and other anthropogenic factors impacting wetland habitats and their native taxa. In this research he hopes to employ his recent familiarity with geographic information systems (GIS) gained through the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA), and has recently presented an Everglades case study for the Environmental Sciences Institute (ESI) seminar series. Ryan anticipates that the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship will greatly enhance his ability to complete his research and utilize it among academic and regional environmental conservation community to inform decisions about our important natural environments and their native fauna.
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology. The program at UW was originally founded by Aldo Leopold and was the first wildlife management program at any university in the nation. The effect this special history has on that program is apparent in every professor and every student; it is what compelled me to pursue a career in environmental management. I went on after my undergraduate years to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Florida as a public use intern and in Kansas as a fire effects monitor and wildland firefighter. I also took some time to indulge my love for wildlife by working as a naturalist at a zoo in southeast Minnesota, my home. Working for the USDA Forest Service was always an interest of mine, so I worked for a season as a fisheries technician in Vermont on the Green Mountain National Forest. I am currently collecting data on large woody debris in streams of the Green Mountain National Forest. This will culminate in a Masters Project that focuses on the recruitment rate of large woody debris in upland riparian areas and gives recommendations to the USDA Forest Service on how to best manage the riparian areas of the Forest for Brook trout, Brown trout, and Atlantic salmon.
Jamie is pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management at Duke University, focusing on business and the environment. She has a bachelors degree in accounting from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and previously worked as an accountant with Deloitte & Touche and as Vice President of Finance for the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton, PA. In 2007 she was chosen to participate in The Climate Project, and was trained by Al Gore and climate scientists to give public presentations about climate change. She spent the summer working at Saatchi & Saatchi S (formerly Act Now), assisting with sustainability consulting projects ranging from corporate environmental footprinting to organizational culture change around embracing sustainability. She's looking forward to combining her knowledge of business and her creative mindset to help corporations embrace conservation.
Originally from Chicago, Paul has been connected to the Midwest for his entire life. While studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on the tallgrass prairie restoration and received his B.S. in Ecology. At the University of Wisconsin he is part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and is working toward his M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development.
His original passion for restoration has intersected with interests in human behavior and adding to urban biodiversity. This has led Paul to assist in the design and implementation of a Community Based Social Marketing campaign focused on the installation of rain gardens throughout an urbanized lake community. Ultimately the goals of his research, project, and career is to work toward behavior change throughout society that is more ecologically and environmentally appropriate. When Paul graduates in May '08 he plans to return to the non-profit sector, where he worked for a number of years, in order to help spread and speed the use of other CBSM initiatives.
Avi Henn was born in a small town on the Mediterranean Sea in northern Israel. Growing up Avi witnessed how uncontrolled industrial growth devastated the environment by destroying habitat, polluting air and water, and poisoning the soil, while providing only little short term economic benefits to the community. Avi soon realized that this was a global phenomenon, and became interested in global environmental issues.
Avi graduated with honors from the University of Idaho in 2005 with a double major in Conservation Biology and Conservation Social Science. While pursuing his undergraduate education, Avi held multiple research positions with a variety of federal, state and private organizations. After graduation Avi volunteered with Defenders of Wildlife, a national environmental group, and was soon hired to coordinate and direct the creation of the Conservation Registry, which is an online tracking system for conservation actions.
In 2007 Avi enrolled in the graduate program in Northern Arizona University, where he is looking at creating a protocol for evaluating the cumulative effects of multiple river restoration projects. This summer Avi is holding an internship with the San Juan Institute and Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit, creating a database of river, stream, and riparian restoration projects.
Moran Henn was born and raised in Israel and has always been very active in her community, especially in promoting peace among Israeli and Arab youth. After completing her mandatory military service in 2000, Moran traveled to the United States where she fell in love with the West. Moran swore to come back and indeed in 2001 she enrolled as a freshman in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. During that time Moran was fortunate to be part of exciting wildlife and restoration projects working for federal, state, and private agencies. While studies dealing with lynx habitat, bear ecology, small mammal distributions, Goshawk recovery, and stream restoration helped her gain great field experience, they also made Moran realize that the fate of big scale conservation happens in the political arena.
After graduating in 2005 with a double major in Conservation Biology and Resource Conservation and Tourism, Moran began volunteering for Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit organization. She was quickly hired full-time and, along with her husband, was the co-director of a nation-wide, multi-scale project aimed at capturing and cataloging conservation efforts across the country. During this time Moran also took another important journey and became the proud and happy mother of one adventurous little girl.
Moran is currently working on her Master's at the University of Northern Arizona focusing on partnerships between federal and tribal governments where Traditional Ecological Knowledge is used for conservation. This summer she is interning with Black Mesa Water Coalition, an indigenous advocacy group working for the protection of tribal land and water, and with the National Park Service on repatriation of sacred objects.
Moran's future vision is to create a strong collaborative effort, between Israelis and Palestinians, that would help promote both peace and conservation throughout this much troubled region.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and the daughter of a marine scientist, Elia Herman grew up studying dolphins and whales. In high school she worked with fellow students to help protect Oahu’s coastline from development, cementing her foundation as an environmentalist. She went on to attend Brown University where in 2001 she received a B.A. in History, with a focus on Latin America. After braving the cold for four years, Elia returned home and spent two seasons in Maui waters studying the behavior and biology of humpback whales.
In the fall of 2003, Elia moved to Washington D.C. to blaze campaign trails during the Democratic Primary and report on the radio. In 2004, she melded her passions for science and media when she joined National Geographic’s KIDS magazine, as well as National Geographic’s Remote Imaging Department (home of “Crittercam,” a video and audio recording device worn by animals).
Currently, Elia is pursuing her Master’s degree in Coastal Environmental Management at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. After graduating, she hopes to work with local communities to improve fishing and environmental practices, as well as inform environmental legislation on the local and national level. She also plans to continue studying the behavior of humpback whales and other enigmatic marine animals.
Allison attended Connecticut College and graduated in 2002 with a major in environmental studies. For the next six months, she worked as an intern for the League of Conservation Voters and tracked the environmental voting records of Congressional candidates. She then spent the next four years at the U.S. Green Building Council, working with local chapter leaders to help them grow the green building movement. Most recently, Allison volunteered at WaterAid Uganda where she assisted with educating local government leaders and village communities about ways to work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal for access to clean water and sanitation.
Allison is currently working towards a master’s of environmental management degree at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a focus on energy. Her summer internship at Pacific Gas & Electric Company in San Francisco includes assisting the local government partnership team with energy efficiency programs. She aims to focus her career on climate change policy with a particular interest in the linkages between energy and water.
Kavita Heyn is specializing in Conservation Planning for her Master of Environmental Science and Management at the Donald Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her particular focus is on wildlife and habitat conservation, especially transboundary reserve management and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. She spent her summer work experience in 2007 in Nepal working for a transboundary biodiversity management program across four Himalayan countries. Kavita is originally from Portland, Oregon, but has lived in Africa, Asia and Europe for 20 years. Before her current Masters, Kavita received a Masters in Environment and Development and a Bachelors in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and worked as a Country Development Officer for the Woodland Trust in the United Kingdom. Her interests include rock climbing and traveling.
Daniella received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Dartmouth College in 2003. Since graduation, Daniella has worked in a variety of settings focusing on conservation and environmental education. As an AmeriCorps member she worked for the Nevada Conservation Corps working on invasive species and land protection projects in state and national parks as well as on BLM land. For the Tahoe Rim Trail Association she organized all their educational outreach efforts and really focused on community involvement. Then as a wilderness therapy guide for Summit Achievement, Daniella incorporated ideas of conservation into the curriculum.
Daniella’s career goal is to help ensure that international policies get translated into actual on the ground conservation efforts. She believes that one way to reach this goal is by increasing the economic value of conservation work. She is working this summer in Geneva on carbon accounting systems for both a small NGO protecting forests in Borneo and for the Group on Earth Observations. She hopes in the future to work for international policy groups or small NGOs that have on the ground conservation efforts.
Colin Hume is a Masters student studying Conservation Biology and Environmental Planning at the Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Colin grew up hiking in the mountains and forests of the western U.S., developing a love for wild places. After earning a B.S. in Biology from Western Washington University, he spent several years working on wildlife surveys for the USDA Forest Service in Montana and California, and working for a NGO in Afghanistan. Additionally, Colin served as the Assistant Director for Snowboarding at Big Sky Resort, in Big Sky, Montana. Adjusting to life in the flat Midwest, Colin continues to focus on the conservation potential of both public and private lands, through development of best use and management practices in his Masters studies. Colin is part of a team of graduate researchers investigating marine ecosystem-based management initiatives throughout the world.
During the summer of 2009 he worked for the Huron River Watershed Council as a coordinator of their Bioreserve program, leading teams of volunteers on environmental assessments of natural areas throughout the watershed.
Max Joel grew up in the Chicago area enjoying summers spent on both sides of Lake Michigan. In 2003, Max graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a BA in Urban Studies with an Environmental Science focus. From 2004 to 2007 he worked for the Queens Botanical Garden in New York City, facilitating the construction of a "green" visitor center. Currently Max is a Master's candidate in Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His work is focused on the connections between green building, equitable development, and land conservation. This summer Max is interning with Urban Habitat and the Great Communities Collaborative in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Evan Johnson received a dual B.S. in Environmental Science and English from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and went on to work for six years in the environmental communications field. Based in Washington, D.C. he was associate editor at Nature Conservancy magazine for more than three years, and then a publicist at Island Press, an environmental non-profit publishing house. Now at the Bren School, Evan’s Studies focus on both public- and private-sector solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation. He has recently conducted research on conservation and avoided deforestation as a source of greenhouse gas offsets for the voluntary offset market, and just completed work with the San Francisco-based Center for Resource Solutions on a protocol for greenhouse gas offsets sourced from renewable energy projects.
While always a Pisces, Jennifer never imagined that she’d dedicate her life to conserving and farming her star sign. Jennifer attended the Colorado College where she majored in International Political Economy, completing her thesis on the political economy of African elephant conservation in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Jennifer worked for the Marine Fish Conservation Network, the nation’s largest coalition dedicated to protecting, conserving, and restoring marine fish, in Washington, DC. At the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), Jennifer’s Masters work focuses on the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Lake Victoria basin in East Africa to promote human livelihoods while maintaining biophysical integrity. During the ’06-’07 academic year Jennifer also worked for the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, where she helped facilitate NOAA’s Regional Collaboration efforts in the Great Lakes region. Jennifer also represents SNRE on the steering committee of the UM’s African Development and Human Security Working Group and SNRE Student Government. In the coming years, Jennifer plans to continue her graduate work and begin her career in international conservation and development.
Kristen Johnson is pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Michigan. She is primarily interested in how land-use decisions associated with urban growth affect wildlife habitat and how to develop policies that mitigate those impacts. In summer 2008 she interned at Greenbelt Alliance, where she researched strategies for land conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area and helped develop a report on the benefits of open space related to water quality, food security, wildlife, and climate change. Kristen’s graduate work investigates the impact of U.S. ethanol policies on land-use changes and habitat. Prior to graduate school, Kristen researched dragonfly predatory behavior and published a paper on tadpole-dragonfly interactions in the journal Copeia. She also worked as an editor for McGraw-Hill Education, developing science and environmental texts for adolescent readers. Kristen holds a B.S. in Biology and English from the University of Michigan.
Brad is a master’s student in Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE). Brad developed an interest in environmental issues as an undergraduate in biology at Virginia Tech. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree in biology, he joined the U.S. Peace Corps as an environmental education volunteer. From 1999 to 2001, Brad taught Environmental Studies to high school students in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. In collaboration with local community members, he also established a charitable organization designed to assist impoverished individuals through soup kitchens and clothing donation drives. Since returning to the US, Brad has worked with domestic and international environmental non-profit organizations. Most recently, he spent two and a half years at the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Equity, Poverty, and Environment Project. At WRI, Brad worked with a team of partner organizations in Africa to enhance the role of sustainable environmental management in advancing rural development and poverty alleviation. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Brad continues to pursue his interests in the potential of innovative conservation and environmental management mechanisms to generate benefits for rural communities. Specifically, Brad spent the summer as an intern at the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Yaounde, Cameroon. As an intern, he worked with a coalition of NGOs to improve the effectiveness of Cameroon’s forest tax revenue distribution system in advancing goals associated with rural development. Brad is also working with the Nature Conservancy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to design a conservation action plan for the St. Mary’s River watershed.
Raised by parents who met in the Peace Corps, Amelia spent her formative years in Nepal where she remembers riding elephants through the jungle and gazing at the stars above the Himalayas. Later, when Amelia’s family moved to the Washington, DC suburbs, she was shocked to discover that the wooded areas that she and her brothers played in were slowly being converted into housing developments. As a result of her experiences, Amelia became impassioned to defend the environment and has worked in a variety of environmental disciplines to focus her interests and find the best fit. After graduating cum laude from the College of William and Mary, Amelia taught for a year in France, and then worked on environmental projects and campaigns with Friends of the Earth, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Earth Day Network, and the United Nations Development Program in Ecuador.
In addition, Amelia often volunteers for environmental causes. In Ecuador, she initiated recycling programs at nine schools, collaborated with community residents to reduce waste, and developed environmental education materials for city schools. Upon her return to the US, Amelia used her free time to rally community members to improve a poorly planned development project in the Washington, DC area.
Amelia is currently studying at Duke University for a Masters in Environmental Management and a Certificate in International Development Policy. During the summer of 2009, Amelia interned with the Southern Environmental Law Center where she wrote a report on the economic benefits of wilderness areas in Virginia’s George Washington national forest. Later in the summer, she collaborated with the Nature Conservation Division of the Department of Forestry Services in Bhutan. These internships reflect Amelia’s interest to conserve forests both in the US and abroad.
Gini Knight earned her BFA in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia. The recently published Field Guide of Trees of Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve is directly based on her thesis work in botanical illustration. She was the publications manager and graphic designer for the Quality Deer Management Association. She returned to school for a graduate degree in the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development program in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She studies the composition and behavior of avian communities on Wisconsin farmland. Her work is part of a larger interdisciplinary project: assessing the biodiversity on non-crop areas in agroecosystems and using it as an indicator of the ecological function of these habitats. Gini also spends her time outdoors and using her creative energy in visual arts and aerial dance. She enjoys being active within the community.
After two years studying marine ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I decided to spend a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Baja California, Mexico. I discovered a passion for the conservation and restoration of degraded landscapes; I subsequently transferred to the University of California, San Diego where I completed a senior research project assessing the success of a wetland restoration effort. I also became involved in outdoor education, guiding wilderness expeditions in Mexico and the southeastern U.S.. After graduation, I moved to Maryland to work for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where I examined changes in the structure and function of coastal forests with age. I came to the Nicholas School to understand how I might contribute to forest conservation and restoration efforts at both local and regional scales.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Lauren Lesch received her B.S. in Plant Sciences from Cornell University in 2005. During her time at Cornell, Lauren pursued her interest in sustainable agriculture and land conservation through internships with the University of Maryland Department of Plant Breeding, and the USDA, and the Casey Trees Endowment Fund. She also completed an independent research project on the ecological and economic health of organic banana farms for the indigenous organization UCANEHU while studying in Costa Rica.
Prior to arriving at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Lauren spent two years as a Teach for America corps member. Placed in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, Lauren served as a sixth grade science teacher in a bilingual classroom. During this time, she also co-founded the Student Outdoor Learning and Leadership (SOLL) Center, a non-profit dedicated to improving children’s lives through exercise and outdoor education.
During her time at SNRE, Lauren has focused on ecological design and retrofitting urban neighborhoods for biodiversity. She expects to receive her Master of Landscape Architecture in 2010, and hopes to work in the public sector to improve the ecological health and long-term sustainability of urban lands and watersheds.
At SNRE, Sarah is combining an environmental justice focus with classes in policy and sustainable systems. She is interested in working for non-profit or government agencies to assist in the development of policy that encourages domestic communities to grow sustainably and efficiently while protecting the health and welfare of urban citizens. She would like to advance the understanding and development of alternative technologies that could promote pollution prevention and reduce environmental risk in high-density areas by improving waste treatment, disposal methods, and recycling programs. Sarah graduated from the University of Southern California with three majors: Political Science, Religious Studies, and Gender Studies. However, it was two internships with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that cemented her interest in graduate education in Environmental Studies. She worked as a conservation intern and research assistant in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks during the summer of 2005. After she graduated from USC she took a job as an SCA crew leader in Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. She co-lead a crew of teenagers and built a trail through Civil War battlefields.
Kenneth hails from Atlanta, GA. He has so far attained a B.S. in agricultural science, with a concentration in agronomy, from Florida A&M University, and is currently working towards his master's in agricultural science, with a concentration in plant/soil science, also from FAMU. His current area of research is in soils of the ephemeral ponds in Apalachicola National Forest, FL. Kenneth's areas of interest are: soil/water conservation, low volume/high frequency irrigation, water quality/arsenic removal, soil mapping/GIS, agronomy, and soil science.
Ariana is currently in the second year of pursuing her Master's degree in Environmental Science at Florida A & M University. She is also a graduate research assistant in the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center at FAMU. She has chosen the environmental policy and risk management track in her program which provides a rich interdisciplinary learning experience. Having grown up on the Caribbean island of Barbados, she has been driven towards a career in the environmental sciences and conservation based on her strong connectivity to her surroundings as a child. Now in her fifth year of living in the US, she has come to deeply appreciate the value of having diverse environments and has chosen to stay committed to the conservation of all. Ariana graduated from the chemistry program at the University of Louisville and has represented the school in NCAA division 1 collegiate tennis. She has also been an ambassador for her country through representation in tennis up until 2003. Her research project will consist of an investigation of the implications of state and local coastal permitting trends on coastal erosion in Florida coastal areas. At FAMU she is one of the charter members of the FAMU Green Coalition and is currently the alumni representative for the Caribbean Student Association. In the FAMU Green coalition Ariana was nominated and won the Community Leadership award at FAMU's Rattler Pride Awards this April. As part of her Doris Duke
Laura is entering her second year of MS research in the Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University. Growing up alongside the Blackstone River, the first industrialized river in the country, she has been interested in natural resource issues from an early age. Laura's master's research is focused upon the ecological and economic impacts of Phragmites australis invasion, and more broadly, social attitudes towards invasive species. Prior to Cornell, she was a fellow of the NSF FIBR project: Molecular evolutionary ecology of developmental signaling pathways in complex environments. During this time, she lived in Norwich, England, and conducted ecological genomic research at the John Innes Centre, while travelling to other field sites in Finland, Spain, and Germany.
Laura graduated from Brown University in 2006 with a BS in Biophysics. As an undergraduate, she completed an honors thesis in Geophysics, exploring the behavior of SKS waves in the Cocos plate subduction zone. Her research experience ranges from the diamagnetic levitation of frog eggs to the study of avian communities in regenerating tropical premontane forest in Costa Rica.
Russell grew up hunting, fishing, hiking and camping the rugged Texas outdoors, which spawned his interests in ecology. He received his B.S. from Texas A&M University in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and is studying terrestrial ecology, conservation, environmental policy and planning, and environmental informatics at the University of Michigan. This summer he interned with the US Department of Agriculture in Washington DC where he assisted in the program formation for the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program. He is interested in working within the emerging bioenergy industry to ensure the sustainable production of our biomass resources, particularly related to the restoration and maintenance of healthy ecosystems and wildlife habitat.
Drew McConville graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and English. Leaving New England for Washington, D.C., he worked for three years with the Wilderness Society, primarily doing media outreach for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge campaign. After a year of traveling and volunteer work in Peru, Drew began a Master of Environmental Management program at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment in 2007. His studies have focused on environmental economics and policy with an emphasis on energy and climate science. As a fellow with Duke's Climate Change Policy Partnership, Drew also conducted research on the integration of state and federal greenhouse gas markets and congressional oversight of proposed federal markets. This summer, Drew is interning with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, helping to develop and implement state and regional climate change policies.
Originally from Connecticut, Helen received her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College with a major in biology and environmental studies. She is currently working towards a Master's of Environmental Science degree at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to coming to Yale, she worked for three years as a naturalist and school programs coordinator at the Audubon Naturalist Society in the Washington, D.C area. She previously gained experience as an environmental educator serving as a naturalist in California, and has explored her interests in aquatic life and conservation by working as a research and outreach assistant for the Seafood Watch program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Watershed Management Division, and by completing a fellowship with the Island Institute studying lobster populations off the coast of Maine. Helen’s summer research involves partnering with The Nature Conservancy to investigate the impacts of urbanization on pond-breeding amphibians in Connecticut. She hopes to continue working on habitat and wildlife conservation, with a particular focus on aquatic environments.
Kelley Meinhardt was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and later moved to a small town in Colorado with her mother and three younger brothers. After graduating from high school, Kelley decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. There she met her husband, Christian, who is studying Environmental Engineering. She graduated from NAU with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a minor in Biology. Directly afterwards, she was accepted into the M.S. Environmental Science and Policy Program at NAU. The overarching hypothesis for Kelley’s thesis work is that invasive tamarisk increase cottonwood mortality by negatively affecting their mycorrhizal mutualists. Increased knowledge about mycorrhizae could reveal species that are tolerant of tamarisk. These species could be used in restoration efforts to promote cottonwood establishment. The riparian ecosystem is an endangered ecosystem in the Southwest, and results in accordance with Kelley’s hypotheses could have a broad application in cottonwood, and ultimately, riparian habitat restoration efforts. Thanks to the support of her Doris Duke Fellowship, Kelley is interning with the Grand Canyon National Park Service this summer, with focus on invasive species management and public outreach.
Tara Moberg is a second year graduate student at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies pursuing a Master of Environmental Science. Before beginning graduate studies at Yale, Tara spent four years in Colorado with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation assessing the environmental effects of proposed water development projects. Projects included reservoir construction, transbasin diversions from the Colorado River to the South Platte and Arkansas Rivers, hydropower operations, reservoir releases to support the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, water contracts to support whitewater recreation on the Arkansas River, and the facilitation of dry-year leases between agriculture and municipal interests.
Tara conducted research this summer in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Initiative exploring the relationships between streamflows and ecosystem functions in the Lower New England Northern Piedmont. In 2005, Connecticut passed legislation with the progressive goal of protecting aquatic ecosystems by maintaining the “natural variation of flows” within streams. Tara’s research is framed with the objective of supporting the development of instream flow regulations that meet the intent of the 2005 policy.
Tara has a B.S. in Forestry: Environmental Resource Management and a minor in Environmental Policy from Virginia Tech.
Dominique earned her B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. After graduating, she spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Massachusetts. She also spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar where she worked with farmers on agroforestry projects. She has worked as a research technician on several projects, including The Biodiversity of Introduced Avian Diseases in Hawaii project and, most recently, the San Francisco South Bay Salt Pond Restoration project. Her summer internship involved sea turtle conservation work for the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources in American Samoa. She is interested in marine conservation and is specializing in coastal marine resources management at the Bren School.
Edith Moreno was born and raised in a predominately Latino community in Los Angeles, CA. She received a B.A. from Brown University in Geology and Hispanic Literature & Culture. Her science education coupled with her Latino background has greatly influenced her insights about her future in the environmental field. Edith believes that fostering an environmental movement that includes communities of color in the planning and implementation process will immensely strengthen any efforts dedicated to conserving and sustaining our natural resources. At the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Edith is specializing in Water Resources Management; her course work will prepare her to guide management decisions concerned with California's water scarcity problems.
Sherilyn Morgan is pursuing a master’s degree from the Environmental Sciences Institute at Florida A&M University. Ms. Morgan’s concentration is in the area of Estuarine and Marine Environments.
In 2007, Ms. Morgan received her bachelor’s degree in general biology from Bowie State University. As an undergraduate, she participated in a variety of internships that ranged from entomology to biochemistry. Yet an internship in environmental chemistry, quantifying organic pollutants in wild Carp, launched her interest in conserving the environment. She found that environmental research was the most rewarding compared to her other research experiences.
Ms. Morgan has an interest in marine microbial ecology with a specific focus on the microbial diversity found in paper and pulp mill effluent. Microorganisms are the first indicators of change in ecosystems therefore Ms. Morgan is monitoring the abundance and diversity of marine bacteria in the perturbed aquatic ecosystem. This summer, Ms. Morgan will intern with the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge located in St. Marks, Florida.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Lauren first discovered the landscapes of the American West on a 1997 college backpacking trip. This experience inspired her to pursue undergraduate minors in biology and outdoor education. On receiving her BA from Earlham College in 2001, Lauren went to work for Outward Bound in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, migrating westward to instruct courses in the Big Bend region of Texas and in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains. She also spent three summers in California and Washington, conducting backcountry point counts for the Institute for Bird Populations. Lauren began her Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy at Northern Arizona University in 2008. For her thesis research and her summer internship Lauren is working with the non-profit Grand Canyon Trust (GCT) to study post-fire livestock management practices on public lands and the ponderosa pine understory community response to livestock grazing following fire. This project is part of a larger GCT initiative to manage a historic ranch on National Forest and BLM lands for conservation and restoration. On completion of her degree Lauren hopes to further contribute to collaborative efforts to protect and conserve the unique and biologically important landscapes of the Western U.S.
For her thesis research and her summer internship Lauren is working with the non-profit Grand Canyon Trust (GCT) to study post-fire livestock management practices on public lands and the ponderosa pine understory community response to livestock grazing following fire.
Jolvan is a first year graduate student at Florida A&M University working on a master’s in environmental policy. Her passion for wildlife and environmental conservation has inspired Ms. Morris to focus her studies on elements that impact wildlife in more than just the physical sense. She plans to conduct research and work on projects that promote environmental literacy and assess environmental policies so that the public and future generations will understand the importance of fish and wildlife, as well as the need to protect the organisms that we share the planet with. This summer Jolvan is interning at NOAA’s Northeast Regional office with the Protected Resources Division.
Nina is a second-year graduate student in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Nina did her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she worked with several environmental activist organizations, including MPIRG.
As a native of Brooklyn, New York, Nina is drawn to urban environmental issues, including environmental justice, urban green space and land use policy. She currently has an internship with the Center for Resilient Cities, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization, where she is working with the City of Milwaukee and several other local non-profit organizations to create policy that enables and supports urban agriculture.
Dana grew up in a small mountain town in California and received her undergraduate degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA. After graduation, Dana served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica where she worked with an NGO on their protected area management plan and taught environmental science at a community college. Since returning to the U.S., Dana has spent the past five years working at environmental non-profits: as the Director of Education at the California Wildlife Center, facilitating community tree plantings through TreePeople, and creating public programs at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Dana has also been volunteering for Reef Check as a research SCUBA diver for the past seven years, collecting scientific data that is being used in the development of marine protected areas in California. In between work and school, Dana travels abroad frequently to volunteer, live, and travel in local communities in countries such as Malawi, Bolivia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Botswana, and South Africa where she has fostered cultural sensitivity while gaining an understanding of how to approach conservation in developing countries. Now a Masters student at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, Dana is specializing in Conservation Planning and Coastal Marine Resources Management. As the Project Manager for her master's thesis group project, Dana is developing conceptual models and an ecological monitoring framework to support an adaptive management plan for Tejon Ranch, a hotspot of biological diversity and the largest contiguous private landholding in California. During the summer of 2009, Dana will be interning in Washington D.C. for the World Wildlife Fund as a Conservation Social Science Intern, working on a project researching protected area emergence and evolution around the world. Inspired by her experiences and work in the Peace Corps and other developing countries, after graduation Dana hopes to work on international conservation projects that benefit the environment as well as local people. Dana enjoys SCUBA diving, volunteering, backpacking, surfing, sailing, and experiencing world cultures.
Erin received her B.A. in Geography from Dartmouth College and completed a two-and-a-half-year global circumnavigation as captain and expedition leader aboard the 43-foot Makulu II. Her research into resource management strategies in the 36 countries visited on this voyage laid the foundation for Erin’s academic pursuits at Bren where she studies the intersection of conservation, resource management and economic development. She has been an editor for Blue Water Sailing magazine and a freelance reporter for Soundings magazine. This summer, Erin worked with Resources for the Future on issues of Climate Change Policy.
Rhianna Neely is entering her second year of graduate school at Florida A & M University’s (FAMU) Environmental Sciences Institute, where she also obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. Rhianna is one of a kind in the Institute, being the first and only person so far to pursue research in Environmental Education under the Policy and Risk Management track.
Growing up in The Bahamas, the environment has been and still is the largest and most lucrative resource. As a child watching the development and the disappearance of so many of the naturally beautiful sites and sounds, Rhianna knew there could be a better way to make her country better without losing so many of the things that make the inhabitants who they are. As Rhianna went through high school, she was introduced to environmental science and decided that a career in environmental science would be the best way for her to go about helping her country become an even better one without losing the most important natural resource.
Living in Tallahassee for the past three years has also lead Rhianna to a deeper appreciation of the environment around her. Rhiana had the chance to participate in a local town meeting in a neighborhood affected by flooding in the northern Tallahassee area. Rhianna saw first hand what can happen when the environment is pushed past its natural limits, but mostly she saw how some education on the subject of conservation can encourage positive dialogue among affected persons and law makers to bring about significant, positive change.
Rhianna's research project will analyze the Learning In Florida’s Environment (LIFE) program funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Education. This program takes underserved, underrepresented populations in the state of Florida and exposes them (school teachers and students) to scientists and hands on scientific learning in one of the state’s participating parks. As a Doris Duke fellow, Rhianna plans to work with the FAMU high school by helping to incorporate the LIFE program into their science curriculum.
Rachel Neugarten is a master's student in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Her research focuses on forest land conservation and sustainable development in the Adirondack region of New York state. Prior to starting her graduate work, Rachel spent four years working for The Nature Conservancy, developing freshwater ecological assessments and tools for conservation planning and evaluation. Rachel has an undergraduate degree in environmental biology from Columbia University. As an undergraduate, she was lucky enough to spend a semester studying tropical biology in Costa Rica through a program run by Duke and the Organization for Tropical Studies. In her academic and professional career, Rachel hopes to continue to bring together ecological and socioeconomic research to promote biodiversity conservation and human well-being.
Darcy Newsome's passion is for land conservation across the country, but she is focusing right now on the greater Central Puget Sound region. Darcy is interested in urban planning and land use as a means to preserve land and create vibrant communities that will serve as durable growth centers as the population expands throughout the century. Darcy graduated from William and Mary in 2005 and worked in environmental government consulting for a couple of years, where her most interesting project was in working with private landowners to place conservation easements on open space surrounding Army bases. Now, Darcy's primary focus is on Transfer of Development Rights programs, which utilize voluntary market-based transactions to protect farmland, forestland and open spaces while adding density to growth cores. This summer, Darcy interned at Cascade Land Conservancy in Seattle, working with their Transfer of Development Rights program which, as a part of the larger Cascade Agenda, works to protect the entire Cascade region from unplanned development over the next 100 years.
A native to northern Wisconsin, Erik graduated from UW Stevens Point with a major in biology. While at UWSP he focused on the study of ecology; spending time abroad to study the ecology of Greenland, Costa Rica, and the desert southwest. After graduating he worked for the Prairie Ecosystem Research Group on the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado doing plague-related black-tailed prairie dog research. Later he worked for the USDA APHIS National Wildlife Research Center based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. This work brought him to Oregon to study the effects of the drug Nicarbazine on Canada goose egg viability in order to determine its potential use in Canada goose population control. Following a stint as a dockhand in the Alaskan panhandle Erik took a Natural Resource Specialist position with the Lac Coutre Oreilles Ojibwe Community College doing research, education, and outreach. The research involved determining the distributions of aquatic plants within local lak es and streams, and investigating small mammal distributions and coarse woody debris in different forest stand types within the Chequamegon National Forest for correlation with the frequency of American marten occurrence.
Erik is currently working on determining the environmental attributes that influence the distribution and abundance of Eurasian watermilfoil, Myriophyllum spicatum, in Wisconsin s third largest lake, the Chippewa Flowage. Eurasian watermilfoil is an aquatic invasive species that grows quickly in spring creating dense mats at the waters surface that negatively impact: navigation, recreation, native macrophytes, and fish and wildlife. Utilizing a large dataset collected during the summers of 2004-2007 while working for the Lac Courte Orielles Ojibwe Community College, Erik is correlating both Eurasian watermilfoil abundance and distribution to different environmental factors such as: species richness, water depth, water clarity, native macrophyte abundance, trophic status index, and proximity to; developed shoreline, high-use areas, campgrounds, resorts, boat landings, and large Eurasian watermilfoil infestations. This research will provide further information to support aquatic plant management within the Chippewa Flowage and add to the existing knowledge base of Eurasian watermilfoil ecology. Erik is also interested in utilizing the data to analyze different macrophyte survey techniques.
Dan grew up in Bloomington Indiana, before heading off to the beach and the University of Miami where he received his Bachelor’s degree in ecosystem science and policy as well as biology. After completing his undergraduate schooling, he continued living in Miami while working as the program coordinator and lab manager for a shark research program based out of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dan decided to seek his Master’s degree at the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management in order to pursue his interest in the development of practical solutions to environmental problems, especially with regard to the conservation of marine ecosystems. His current work in this area involves researching the use of economic incentives to promote the development of sustainable fisheries. His hobbies include music, travel, surfing and rugby.
Specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management at the Bren School, Dave focuses on optimizing habitat conservation strategies for cost and ecological value. He spent his DDCF internship in Chile with Conservation International, evaluating the cost of expanding Chile's protected area network as part of an multi-national study on climate change adaptation strategy. Dave earned his B.A. in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University, where he developed special interest in applications of interactive media for scientific communication and collaboration. After graduation, Dave worked as a research technician at Stanford and taught science to high school students as the director of educational firms in New York and San Francisco. Combining these interests at Bren, he designed and taught the school's first Environmental Media workshop series last winter. Dave is also a Wilderness EMT, which has come in handy in the most unlikely places.
Currently a Master's candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Lindsey holds a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami (FL). Before coming to Duke, Lindsey worked with non-profit organizations, government agencies, community members and fishermen in California and Northwest Mexico for six years to research, protect and educate about endangered sea turtles and threatened natural resources of the eastern Pacific. At Duke, she is focusing on Coastal Environmental Management, and her research interests include the ecology and conservation of migratory marine megafauna. One of the most interesting and exciting parts of Lindsey’s profession is her participation in at-sea field research. She has spent many months on research vessels collecting species and oceanographic data for projects including an olive ridley sea turtle ecology project in collaboration with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, supported by NOAA; and a multi-species, multi-scale humpback whale tagging project in Antarctica led by the Duke University Marine Lab, supported by the National Science Foundation. After graduation, Lindsey plans to pursue a doctoral degree and continue her efforts to understand and protect migratory marine species in an interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive manner.
Ruth Person is enrolled in the Water Resources Management (WRM) graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on the restoration of riparian land in stream and river watersheds. In her specialty she is focusing on not only the ways in which she can work to physically restore riparian habitat landscapes, but also on environmental communication and policy in order to work with and persuade community members and farmers why such restoration is necessary for the sustainability and protection of such valuable lands. Over the next year and half of graduate school Ruth plans to increase her knowledge base of environmental and land policy, restoration ecology, and conservation. Ruth will hone my skills in this area of specialty as she works with her team to complete the WRM practicum this summer (2008) on the Wisconsin Buffer Initiative. This practicum is the perfect fit for Ruth’s future career in restoration of riparian ecosystems and resource management in that she plans to work amongst an interdisciplinary team on a multi-faceted initiative involving state and local governments and agencies, non-profit organizations, and community organizations that include the farmers of Wisconsin towards a common goal of improving the riparian habitat and water quality of Wisconsin through buffers and better management practices.
Tristan is a candidate for Master of Environmental Management (2009) at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies/Politics from Whitman College in 2004. His academic and professional interests include coastal adaptation to impacts of climate change, and all aspects of Pacific salmon conservation. Tristan enjoys fishing, skiing, hiking, and just about any other activity in the mountains.
Lisanne Petracca is a Masters candidate at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University in 2006, with degrees in Environmental Studies (B.S.), Psychology (B.S.), and Biomedical Engineering Systems (B.A.). She also graduated with summa cum laude and high thesis honors distinctions. Lisanne’s passion for the environment drove her to pursue undergraduate fieldwork in Australia, the French Alps, Tanzania, and Costa Rica, and allowed her to study such diverse creatures as land crabs in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, and the hippopotamus in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Her capstone project in Tanzania was considered her undergraduate career highlight, which gave her the opportunity to map the demography and spatial distribution of the Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in a critical migratory corridor between two major national parks.
Following graduation, Lisanne traveled to the Marshall Islands to teach English on Namdrik, a remote outer atoll with no running water and limited solar electricity. While on Namdrik, Lisanne lived in a thatched hut bordering the lagoon, became advanced in the Marshallese language, and used her newfound ukulele skills to start a children’s choir. She also organized a battery drive that removed thousands of used batteries from the atoll. Lisanne spent a second year teaching on Majuro, the main atoll, where she designed a science curriculum at a high school for at-risk youth and started a choir that performed two successful concerts.
At the Nicholas School, Lisanne is focusing on community-based approaches to wildlife management and conservation, with additional interests in geospatial analysis, human-wildlife conflict, indigenous peoples, and international development policy. For summer 2009, she is traveling to Belize to assist the NGO Panthera in the ground-truthing of a jaguar migratory corridor, and hopes to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to tackle similar projects related to wildlife species conservation at an international scale.
Lauren Pidot is a second-year masters student in the Environmental Policy track at the University of Michiga 's School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE). Lauren just arrived back from Bozeman, Montana where she spent the summer working with the Sonoran Institute to develop a tool for evaluating and assessing collaborative processes (she also managed to do a little hiking and wildlife viewing on the side). Prior to arriving in Michigan, she spent two years in Washington, D.C. working for the National Council for Science and the Environment, an organization dedicated to improving the scientific basis of environmental decision-making. She has also spent time developing and leading environmental education programs in upstate New York, and researching environmental indicator development for the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. Lauren is a native Mainer and received a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in 2003.
Lara Polansky is a Master’s student at the Donald Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara specializing in Corporate Environmental Management and Political Economy of the Environment. Her studies focus on opportunities to enhance responsiveness to environmental challenges and promote habitat and resource protection by integrating corporate resources and influence.
Prior to Bren, Lara earned a dual B.S. in Biology and Ecosystem Science & Policy from the University of Miami, Florida (UM). As an undergraduate, she served as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholar and initiated a project with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the US EPA Region 5 addressing the human and environmental impacts of improper pharmaceutical disposal. After graduating from UM, she held a fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Marine Policy Center where she assessed the influence of harmful algal blooms on human health and medical utilization. This summer, Lara served as a US EPA National Network for Environmental Management Studies (NNEMS) Fellow working on a Region 2 Green Hospitality Initiative.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse. During her junior year she studied marine biology at the University of Queensland, Australia. It was there that Lisa also discovered her passion for purposeful traveling, outdoor education and adventure sports. Following graduation Lisa completed an internship with the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo before heading west to California. While in California, Lisa lived in a tent (by choice) on the side of the American River where she spent two summers fulfilling one of her dreams of being a whitewater rafting guide. In the winter off-season she traveled to Guatemala where she studied Spanish and explored her interest in the ecotourism industry. Inspired by her recent professional and personal experiences, Lisa yearned for a more intimate involvement with environmental conservation efforts. In 2006 she accepted an internship position with The Nature Conservancy in central Florida where she led educational nature tours and coordinated a volunteer program at a wilderness preserve.
As a Master of Environmental Management student at the Nicholas School, Lisa's interests focus on community based management and human-environment interactions. She is also working towards a certificate in International Development Policy. The summer of 2008 has found her interning with Fundación Natura Bolivia where she is looking at ecotourism potential for a new integrated management protected area in central Bolivia.
Jessica Price is pursuing a Master’s in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research interests center on the links between biodiversity and ecological functions in forest ecosystems. She is especially interested in the potential effects of climate change and resource demand on biodiversity and persistence of endangered species as well as ecosystem composition, structure, and function.
In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Jessica is working to apply scientific research and modeling to evaluate the conservation effectiveness of various land management regimes under different climate change projections. This project synthesizes both natural and social sciences to project the outcome of management decisions on both the health and functioning of forests, including their ability to provision ecosystem services and meet anthropogenic needs, in locations of conservation interest.
Jessica is originally from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she grew up enjoying the beautiful and unique Quachita and Ozark mountains and gained an appreciation for the close links between humans and the environment. She received her B.A. in biology and art history from Lake Forest College in 2006. Before arriving in Madison in 2008, Jessica worked as a science writer and editor at the University of Chicago and as Assistant to the Director of the Tongass Conservation Society in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Chris has a great interest in the use of sound science and collaborative processes to build sustainable environmental policy. He believes that rigorous science can be an effective policy-building tool, but only within the proper social framework. His current research focuses on combining science and collaboration to yield better results for conservation, specifically forest management in the American Southwest.
This past summer, Chris interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Lissa D. Reid joined the Florida A&M University as an undergraduate student from Jamaica in January 2004 after working in Jamaica as a high school teacher for seven years. Since coming to FAMU, Lissa has served as Vice President and President of the Natural Resources Science Club. Lissa is currently in the final year of her studies towards obtaining her Master’s of Science degree with a concentration in Plant Science. The title of her thesis work is “Evaluation of Native and Non-native Plant Species Extracts for Control of Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L)." Lissa has been recognized by the Florida Academy of Sciences in 2005 and 2008 with outstanding student awards and was the recipient of the Association of Research Directors Inc.'s 2005 outstanding undergraduate student award for research work done in environmental stewardship. In addition, Lissa actively participated in annual meetings such as the SSSA-ASA-CSSA, Caribbean Food Crops Society and CESTA Research Forum.
Ashleigh Ross is a Masters of Science candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Environment and Resources program. Her research focuses on the restoration of the Bayou Bienvenue wetland immediately north of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana. Formerly a cypress swamp, the wetland was used primarily as a food source for the neighboring community. As the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood continues with rebuilding, the wetland has the potential to develop as a way to provide protection for the neighborhood from future storms, an economic driver in the way of ecotourism and job training, and a way to reconnect the neighborhood it its natural resources through recreation and environmental education. Through a food systems lens, Ashleigh is discovering the relationship between the neighborhood and its natural areas. This project involves working with the community on natural resource management, economic development, environmental justice and food security through surveys, in-depth interviews and environmental assessment with a student team.
Sarah Rueth is a student of Environment and Resources in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is interested in the ecology and conservation of the tallgrass prairie, with a current focus on vegetation. Her research assesses the recovery of two remnant wet prairies in southeastern Wisconsin after severe flooding, and she hopes to further understand how climate change and related weather extremes may affect native ecosystems. Sarah has enjoyed working with and learning from conservation organizations such as the Catalina Island Conservancy and the UW-Madison Arboretum, and plans to continue her career in the non-profit sector after completing her degree.
In summer 2009, she is interning with Mark Martin at the Madison Audubon Society. He is faciliating Sarah’s desire to explore different topics within conservation, from an inventory of plant species at a restoration site to bird counts on the same prairie she is sampling for her thesis research. She will likely continue through the fall.
Nerissa is pursuing an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is interested in land management, wildlife conservation, and the conflicts that arise in multiple-use areas. Her graduate work examines the siting of large-scale solar facilities in the California Desert and this summer she is interning with The Nature Conservancy, Colorado to create a conservation management plan for a shortgrass prairie. Prior to Michigan, Nerissa worked as a field biologist for several university-based research projects in California and Wyoming. Nerissa received a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis and enjoys working with birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
She is interning with The Nature Conservancy, Colorado's Boulder office for summer 2009.
Originally from San Diego, California, Ginevra holds a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley with a concentration in biodiversity. She was influenced to study biology from her time spent working in the San Diego Zoo’s education department. She spent her undergraduate career working on projects ranging from amblypygid behavior and spider phylogenetics, to mangrove ecology. She studied abroad for a semester in the South Pacific at UC Berkeley’s Gump station on Mo’orea and conducted independent research on jumping spiders. She spent three field seasons researching mangrove ecology in Panama and witnessed their continued destruction on each subsequent visit. This inspired her to steer her career toward more applied aspects of conservation so she could work to directly conserve land. Her honors thesis used GIS to create improved range maps for mammals for use in macroecology and conservation. After graduating she worked as a technician for a macroecology lab at UCSD. She then interned with the USGS on the Big Island of Hawaii studying the effects of introduced parasitoids on native caterpillars and the control of invasive ant species using pheromones.
Currently a Master’s candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Ginevra is interested in analyzing the benefits provided by private land conservation. She will spend the 2009 summer with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in Asheville, North Carolina. This fall Ginevra will be co-teaching a class on the practice of land conservation. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in public or non-profit conservation planning.
Amy is studying landscape management with attention to water resources at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resources with a concentration in Economic Policy from Clemson University in 2004 and then volunteered in Madhya Pradesh, India in support of Bandhavgarh National Park. While working for The Nature Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay Initiative she became familiar with the logistics of large scale conservation and project coordination. Based on her interest in watershed functionality, Amy’s master’s research focuses on the interface between terrestrial ecosystem management decisions and freshwater ecological response. Other research experiences include the development of conservation measures for the Green River project in Kentucky, regulatory response to the impact of wet weather events on sewerage, and marine ecosystem based management.
She will be spending summer 2009 interning first with the Kentucky Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, working on conservation measures for the Green River project. The second half of the summer will be spent with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, researching the EPA's regional responses to wet weather events and their impact on sewerage.
Erin Savage is currently pursuing a Master's of Environmental Science at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Originally from Pullman, Washington, she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington. She completed her honors thesis on crustacean neuroendocrinology. She then decided to pursue a career in conservation while conducting research for the Wildlife Conservation Society on southern elephant seals in Argentina. After graduation from the University of Washington, she received a Bonderman Fellowship, which allowed her to spend 8 months traveling through South America and Africa to learn about different strategies in wildlife and protected area management. To complete her Master's thesis, she is spending the summer in southeastern Arizona, researching ecological and social aspects of mountain lion depredation of livestock. Upon completion of her graduate program, she plans to pursue a career involving the creation of conservation management strategies that address the multiple needs of wildlife, land and local people.
This summer, Erin is working in Graham and Greenlee counties in Arizona, looking into the ecological and anthropogenic factors that may contribute to mountain lion depredation of livestock in the area.
While getting a degree in Environmental Biology and Management at UC Davis, writing for the newspaper got Deborah Seiler thinking about the significance and difficulty of communicating conservation science to a general audience. Now at UW’s Nelson Institute, Deborah is studying journalism and communications as they apply to environmental issues. I am specifically interested in what motivates and encourages people to become active in conservation, as well as how the general public receives and interprets science.
This summer Deborah will be working on projects for the Midwest Invasive Plant Network at the Wisconsin field office in Madison.
Meg Selby spent the last ten years in South Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a concentration in Environmental Studies from the Wilkes Honors College. She worked for three years in animal care and wildlife education with the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, rehabilitating Florida native wildlife and teaching local communities about habitat and species conservation through programs designed to teach through interaction with animals unable to be released back into their ecosystems.
She then worked for a year and a half as a primate keeper at the Palm Beach Zoo. Exhibitry development, animal care and enrichment, and public programs led Meg to pursue an interest in wildlife conservation and community at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Meg is working towards a Master of Environmental Science with a concentration in social ecology. Her research focuses on local versus international conservation efforts and how support for both is garnered through education, action, and cooperation. This summer she researched conservation of the red ruffed lemur both at Masoala National Park in Madagascar and accredited zoos in the United States to understand how species conservation is achieved across local, national, and international borders.
Meg hopes to continue a career in the United States working with zoos and sanctuaries to encourage conservation action and awareness through effective presentation and delivery of educational messages.
Tory Shelley, originally from Los Angeles, CA graduated from Smith College in 2002 having spent time abroad in Kenya studying human-wildlife conflict. After 3 years in outdoor environmental education, she spent a year in Suriname, South America, studying the behavioral ecology of Brown Capuchin monkeys. She now attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development program and is part of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab focusing on human dimensions aspects of human-wolf conflict and First Nations communities in Wisconsin.
Tory is interning with Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network which offers a certification process to assure the “development and marketing of products that conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities.” Tory worked in Ecuador setting up camera traps to help identify Andean Bears on land around an alpaca farm.
Diane Sherman is currently pursuing a MS in Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and a JD at the University of Michigan Law School. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies and a BA in Political Theory from Michigan State University. Before beginning graduate studies she worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs and at Resources for the Future. Diane is interested in land use management and land conservation, particularly in connection with agricultural interests, brownfield redevelopment, and socio-economic concerns.
During summer 2008, Diane is interning at CLF Ventures, a non-profit affiliate of the New England-based Conservation Law Foundation.
Kellyn Shoecraft is a second year Masters of Environmental Management student at Duke University, earning a graduate degree with a concentration in Ecosystem Science and Conservation. She grew up in southern New York, and later earned her BA from Hamilton College with a concentration in Biology and Environmental Studies. Following her graduation in 2005, she served two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer: the first at City Year Boston as a first grade literacy tutor and after-school programmer, and the second as at Boston Cares as the Volunteer Coordinator. Following her service, she continued on at Boston Cares as the Program Manager.
Kellyn’s future conservation interests lie in protecting and enhancing urban green spaces to address issues in environmental justice, urban ecosystems, and neighborhood revitalization. While at Duke, she is also pursuing a certificate in non-profit management.
During the summer of 2009, Kellyn will be working at the Duke Law Clinic, primarily researching food policy councils but also genetically modified organisms and farm to school initiatives.
Mark grew up in a small community on Saltsrping Island in British Columbia, Canada. He has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of British Columbia and is currently completing a Master of Forestry degree at Yale University. Mark has worked as a seabird biologist, timber scout, and research scientist in the US and Canada. He firmly believes that our land is our future, and his professional goals reflect this affirmation. He hopes to become an expert in forest management, with an emphasis on how forest harvesting affects the persistence of wildlife demes in landscapes managed for timber resources.
Sara Solis earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Claremont McKenna College. Her undergraduate work included a semester at James Cook University in Australia and a thesis on the environmental impacts of beef production in the U.S. After graduation, she spent two years as an environmental consultant conducting soil and groundwater remediation in Orange County, California. Currently, Sara is a Master’s candidate specializing in Conservation Planning at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She is studying the science, economics, and policy involved in effective habitat conservation in the government sector, especially in her native California. During her 2009 summer internship at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, Sara will analyze wildlife movement and habitat utilization to better understand wildlife behavioral patterns.
For Sara's internship in summer 2009, she will be working at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy in Irvine, California.
Born and raised in the interior of Alaska, Larissa is pursuing a Masters degree in Environmental Science and Policy at Northern Arizona University. Her background includes a B.A. in Communication and Journalism from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as well as work experience with the federal government. Growing up in a traditional lifestyle has provided her with a deep respect of her natural surroundings that has resulted with her specific focus on the implications of climate change on natural resource harvesting practices in rural Alaska.
As an MS-Land Resources student at University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am studying the relationship between agriculture and stream ecosystems, particularly how farming practices contribute phosphorus to streams. My internship in summer '07 was with Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources, where I surveyed a watershed to learn about the farming practices, soil, and other factors that affect water quality in rural areas. Originally from Portland, Oregon, prior to graduate school I worked as an environmental educator and ESL tutor in a Portland high school, followed by 2 years in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. I am greatly enjoying learning about the physical, economic, regulatory, and cultural aspects of farming in my own country. After graduate school, I envision myself working in stream ecology or soil conservation.
During Theresa Spang's undergraduate education, she attended Humboldt State University, majoring in Wildlife Management and Conservation Biology. During her time at Humboldt, Teresa participated in Boston Universities’ School for Field Studies, spending 5 months in Kenya, Africa studying conservation issues among the Maasai People. After receiving her bachelors in 2004, Theresa began working for U.C. Santa Barbara researching Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) in the Sierra Nevada—a place Theresa called home after spending 7 summers working for the National Park Service in Kings Canyon National Park. During the course of her education, field summers, and life experiences, Theresa began to realize that no matter how much data was collected on a given conservation issue, the political arena was where the fate of any given species or issue would be decided. In order to satisfy her political nature, Theresa began working toward her Masters’ degree in Environmental Science and Policy at Northern Arizona University in 2006. Due to a combination of her time in Africa and further experiences abroad, her interests have developed an international scope. Theresa's thesis research on the influence of institutional change on the management of Russia’s protected area system reflects her interest in international conservation.
Theresa carried out her summer internship in the Russian Federation. For part of the internship, she conducted a training program in Nalychevo Nature Park on the Kamchatka Peninsula. In addition, Theresa traveled throughout the Russian continent meeting with professionals working within the sphere of Russian conservation. These included Directors and Scientists working for the protected area system as well as individuals from international conservation and development community.
Raised on the rocky coast of bucolic Maine, Joshua’s interests and perspectives are rooted in his connection to the coast. In 2005, Joshua received his undergraduate degree from Bates College, culminating in a year-long thesis about perceptions of sustainability within the context of small-scale agriculture. After graduating, eager to spend more time on the water, he worked on a lobster boat. The contrast between academia and commercial fishing reshaped his understanding of coastal conservation and fueled an interest in human/ecosystem interactions. Motivated to experience new perspectives (particularly related to fisheries), Joshua moved to the Northwest to learn more about efforts to conserve stocks of salmon. During his three years on the west coast he worked at a federal fishing hatchery on the Columbia River and then for the USGS where he worked on a project examining the impact of dams on the volitional movement of juvenile salmonid.
Currently a Master’s candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Joshua hopes to continue to gain insight about regional fisheries and better understand how these fisheries and their associated conservation efforts overlap. He will spend his second summer working on a North Carolina Sea Grant, examining coastal change in the fishing communities of North Carolina’s Down East. After graduation, Joshua hopes to build community capacity in rural fishing communities; working to maintain the viability of our ecological and cultural landscape.
Graduating in 2003 with a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of San Francisco was far from where Kate’s college career started. A chemical engineering career, which Kate was pursuing at Tulane University in New Orleans, was sidetracked by an internship at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge between her freshman and sophomore year. Tulane was without an Environmental Science department, so she transferred and never looked back.
After graduating from USF, Kate worked for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries as a fisheries technician on a project studying rainbow smelt as a candidate for the endangered species list. She also spent time working with a variety of local watershed organizations, the New England Aquarium and NOAA. At the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University Kate is pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management and a certificate in geospatial analysis and nonprofit management. This summer she worked with Environmental Defense on a project to prioritize conservation efforts for river herring restoration in the Albemarle Sound in northeastern North Carolina. In addition, she also worked with Sea Turtle Restoration Project, a small non-profit organization in northern California, lobbying against the opening of a longline fishery off the US west coast. After graduation, she seeks a career in coastal resources conservation (hopefully in California, which is unfortunately a long way from her beloved Red Sox, but she’ll settle for any place where there are palm trees), working with fishermen to develop methods for an ecosystem approach to reducing bycatch and using GIS to make more than just “pretty maps.”
Phuntsho Thinley is an MS student from Cornell University studying Natural Resources at the Department of Natural Resources. He hails from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan where he worked as a National Park Manager for 3 years before coming to Cornell. He did his undergraduate in Forestry & Natural Resources (1998-2002) at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos (UPLB), Philippines. Currently, for his MS thesis, he is working on “Designing a spatial model for key tiger conservation areas in Bhutan based on ecological and human dimensions” which is duly sanctioned by the Government of Bhutan. He will continue working in Bhutan as a park manager under the Department of Forests after the completion of his MS from Cornell.Personally, Phuntsho is a friendly and sociable man; loves to make friends and has friends from over 50 countries. He is happily married and has a daughter who is almost 3 years old. He was awarded the most friendly international student in Philippines in 2000 by the Philippine Friendship association. In 1989, he was designated by the Bhutan Government as a junior ambassador to the Asian Pacific Children’s Convention in Fukuoka, Japan. To date he is actively involved in spreading the message of international peace through his peace bridge club in the country
My early years were spent in the lovely town of Traverse City, Michigan amongst cherry trees, big lakes, dunes, and forests. The love I cultivated for the outdoors during that upbringing remains with me today. I earned my B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University in 2001. I focused my studies there around the relationships that different cultures form with their natural landscapes. My senior thesis addressed the “cultural” designation in World Heritage Areas in Australia. After college I worked seasonally as an interpretive Park Ranger in four national parks around the country and traveled the world (visiting parks along the way) in between seasons. I am currently working on a M.S. in Environmental History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My focus is on the early park history of Isle Royale National Park.
Elizabeth A. Thomas is currently enrolled as a Master of Environmental Science Candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. An avid hiker, Ms. Thomas’s commitment to the environment is greatly inspired by engaging in active experiences in open spaces, and she is committed to expanding low-impact recreation-based land conservation and to building relationships between people and the land through leisurely activities. Ms. Thomas earned a B.A. in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Claremont McKenna College in 2007. Her diverse background has allowed her to research as a natural scientist, economist, and policy scientist, an asset that has broadened her perspective as an environmental practitioner. Prior to attending Yale, Ms. Thomas worked on an economic valuation study of elephant management techniques in Botswana. She also spent three summers in the Eastern Sierra near Yosemite National Park researching restoration methods for fire damaged sites, the ecological effects of recreational trail usage, and changes in range distribution of small mammals, respectively.
Ms. Thomas is currently interning for the Pacific Crest Trail Association researching the economic, social, cultural,, and political relationship between long-distance hiking trail enthusiasts and rural mountain communities.
Meredith Trainor is a Master of Environment Science (M.E.Sc.) candidate at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she is studying community forest management in the Middle Hills region of Nepal. Meredith's research focuses on an assessment of the impact and sustainability of long-term management by community forest user groups (CFUGs) on forest structure and composition, and on the way users experience and understand their participation in community forest management and conservation. An alumna of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, Trainor double-majored in Environmental Studies and Political Science as an undergraduate, earning a minor in Latin American Studies as part of a study abroad during which she lived in Quito, Ecuador, and Cusco, Peru. She speaks fluent Spanish and ali ali (a little bit) of Nepali, but is working on her Nepali language skills with the support of the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship. After completion of her Master's research she intends to pursue a position working with one of the large U.S.-based environmental conservation organizations, with the long-term goal of working in environmental NGO management as both a conservation practitioner and nonprofit manager. Meredith originally hails from Glen Rock, NJ, but Alaska's North Slope, Geneva, NY and Washington D.C. also feel like home.
Meredith will be doing her summer research on community forest management in the Middle Hills region of Nepal. She’s coordinating her research with faculty at the Institute of Forestry in Pokhara, Nepal, which is where she’s staying when not in the field.
Karin grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and has lived and traveled all over the country. Her academic background is in political science and journalism, but Karin has had the opportunity to work in many fields, from sales management at a telemarketing company to teaching construction of rainwater catchment systems as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia. Karin is happiest when she is outdoors. Karin's current research focuses on the economic and environmental impacts of developing high levels of wind power and energy efficiency in Arizona.
Chris Yuan-Farrell is currently finishing a Master's degree in Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Santa Clara University. Prior to attending graduate school he worked as a landscape ecologist for The Nature Conservancy and continues to be involved with the organization as a research intern for a large-scale river restoration project on the Penobscot River in Maine, as well as a research assistant on special projects for the Conservancy's Chief Scientist. His interests are broad and varied from conservation easements and land protection strategies to freshwater river restoration and dam removal.
Rebecca is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development M.S. program. At UW, Rebecca is a member of the Carnivore Conflict Lab where she is focusing her research on Andean bears on private lands in Ecuador. As an undergraduate, Rebecca studied photography but changed my career focus after a semester abroad in East Africa. Before returning to graduate school I worked in California and Southeast Asia for an international NGO dedicated to ending the illegal trade in wildlife. Rebecca plans to focus her career on mitigating human-wildlife conflict in developing nations.
This summer, Rebecca is interning for an Ecuadorian NGO, Fundación Cordillera Tropical (FCT). FCT’s goal is to protect tropical montane forests and páramo grasslands and the wildlife they contain. By working with local people, FCT is developing programs that help landowners benefit from conserving their natural resources.