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The Doris Duke Conservation Fellows Program
Doris Duke Conservation Fellows: Profiles
Sarah Amspacher graduated from the Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) in 2003 with a B.S. in Environmental Science. She spent the next three years traveling and volunteering across the United States, working with organizations such as the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, The Florida National Scenic Trail Association, The Northwest Service Academy, and the USDA Forest Service. In 2006 Sarah was hired by the Forest Service as a Kayak Wilderness Ranger for Misty Fiords National Monument & Wilderness in southeast Alaska, and later as a Wilderness Ranger for the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District in central Oregon. She has also worked as a sea kayaking instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and has paddled much of the Pacific Northwest's coastline. In the off-seasons she has pursued her love of international travel and continued her formal (calculus) and informal (knitting) education in various ways.
Sarah's experience working for different land management agencies and her passion for outdoor recreation combine to create a keen interest in public land management policy, particularly relating to the development of renewable energy on public lands. At the Bren School she is pursuing her Masters in Environmental Science and Management, with a specialization in the Economics & Politics of the Environment. For her master's thesis project she is working with the international company AECOM on a multiple resource economic analysis of solar power technology selection for the California desert ecosystem. Sarah's career goal is to contribute to increasing the long term effective management of our nation's valuable public lands, inspired by many years of living and working in wilderness areas throughout the United States.
Christine Anhalt earned an A.B. in Biology and Psychology from Ripon College in 2009. Interested in the relationship between people and wildlife, she spent her undergraduate career working on a variety of projects including an internship studying orca whale behavior and a study investigating the impact of an ecotourism experience on environmental attitudes. She completed a senior thesis on double brooding in the Eastern Bluebird. Currently, Christine is a Master’s student in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Based on her interest in human-wildlife conflict, Christine’s research will focus on developing effective methods of managing wolf depredation of livestock in Wisconsin.
Margaret Arbuthnot is pursuing a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Margaret grew up in Washington, DC, and spent her summers in Maine, where she also had her first wildlife conservation experience as a Project Puffin intern at the Audubon Society. While earning her undergraduate degree in anthropology from Princeton University, she conducted research on the culture of Thai elephant trainers/caretakers and their involvement in elephant conservation. From 2007-2009, Margaret was a Wildlife Conservation Fellow at Environmental Defense Fund, where she partnered with state and federal agencies, nonprofits, and private landowners to restore habitat for the New England cottontail rabbit and bog turtle. At Yale, she studies wildlife conservation, ecology and policy, and is contracted with the Wildlife Management Institute to work part-time planning New England cottontail habitat restoration projects in Rhode Island. She plans to spend the summer of 2010 working on New England wildlife policy and endangered species recovery at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Ria is pursuing degrees from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Before graduate school, Ria worked as an environmental policy consultant in Seattle, where she advised state and federal environmental agencies on a range of issues including, Columbia River management, Great Lakes water quality, and climate change strategy. Ria is originally from Seattle and Kodiak, Alaska, where she spent many summers commercial fishing. She is an avid traveler and, among other places, fell in love with Mongolia, where she lived and studied, researching the effects of Mongolia’s development initiatives on natural resource management and protected lands. Her primary interests are water policy, climate adaptation, and large-scale ecosystem management. Ria received her B.A in Political Science from Williams College, with concentrations in international environmental policy and the geosciences.
Hadley’s interest in wetland ecology and preservation of natural communities led her to pursue her summer internship in wetland restoration in southern Wisconsin. She works for both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wetland Reserve Program. Both federal programs work with private landowners, non-profits, and local units of government to restore wildlife habitat, wetland hydrology and plant communities. Hadley’s work includes travel to restoration sites, introduction to survey, design and construction, participation in hands-on restoration techniques, and monitoring of previously restored sites.
Lucien Bouffard is a Masters of Forest Science candidate. He is interested in threatened and endangered species biology and their conservation. Detailing the interaction between endangered species and their ecosystems is a necessity for successful recovery. Concurrently, understanding conservation working group goals and values gives managers, stakeholders and the focal species better chances at success. For his master’s thesis he is working with an endemic Peruvian bird that numbers ~300 called the White-winged Guan.
The shaping of his conservation methodology is augmented by professional affiliation. In his most recent professional position, Lucien taught natural history and implemented conservation projects at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.
Lucien recognizes that the creation of a synthesis between people, forests and the total environment is ultimately our generation’s task. To address this aspect of environmental conservation, his career interest is to bring scientific information regarding endangered species to forest managers, thereby improving their ability to manage biodiversity. His goal at as a Doris Duke Scholar is to supplement his skill set with leadership experience that will aid him in affecting larger change in the arena of threatened and endangered species.
Lauren is beginning her third year of a double masters program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison pursuing a MA Landscape Architecture and MS Water Resources Management. After earning an undergraduate degree in architecture at Rice University, she worked as a landscape architect and urban designer for eight years with the SWA Group in Houston, gaining valuable experience in the design of built environments in the US and Asia. A desire to design more sustainable sites prompted Lauren to return to school to build a broader scientific foundation in the land sciences, particularly restoration ecology and water resources. Lauren hopes to rejoin the design field upon graduating in order to more effectively collaborate on multi-disciplinary design teams and to artfully apply ecological and conservation design principles to projects impacting the natural environment.
Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Nicole graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Biology and Sociology. While there, she researched a model system to explore the effects of climate change on marine sponge symbionts. As a result of this research, she became interested in exploring ways to improve policy decisions through effective communication and use of scientific results.
After graduation, Nicole spent two years in Washington, DC working for the National Council for Science and the Environment. As coordinator of a large multi-sector environmental conference, she planned events to bring decision-makers from academia, government, nonprofit, and business sectors to explore issues of climate change, biodiversity, and building a green economy.
Nicole currently is pursuing a Master of Environmental Management at Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment, concentrating on Environmental Economics and Policy. During her time at Duke she looks forward to exploring mechanisms that effective communication between key environmental and government decision-makers.
Currently a master’s candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Drew Bush previously worked as a communications specialist for The Wilderness Society and as a political reporter in Washington, D.C. Drew arrived in the nation’s capitol after majoring in English and Environmental Studies at Colby College in Waterville, M.E. At Duke, he has returned to work on his first love, the ocean. His interest in oceans and the natural world began at 10 months of age when he first stepped foot on the granite shores of Star Island, an island that is part of the Isles of Shoals off of the coast of New Hampshire.
During his masters in Coastal Environmental Management, Drew hopes to pursue research that will one day help inform ecosystem-based planning of the oceans with an eye to developing renewable energy in a manner that empowers local communities, respects other coastal industries and conserves diverse coastal ecosystems. Upon completion of his masters, he hopes to pursue further research on this complex subject as Ph.D. student. This summer, Drew will join the Marine Policy Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, M.A. to begin his research.
Kristin is a dual degree student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is earning a law degree and Master's of Science in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development. Her interest in environmental protection and advocacy began during childhood, where she was able to participate in public speaking competitions on conservation and environmental issues. Growing up in rural northern Wisconsin allowed to her spend the majority of time outdoors, which developed her sense of environmental ethic. Even when entering college at Marquette University, Kristin knew she wanted to practice environmental law. After her first year of law school, she interned at Clean Wisconsin where she assisted in the organization's intervention to the construction of Nelson-Dewey III, a coal-based electric generation facility. Her involvement in the docket sparked her interest in environmental issues pertaining to energy development and conservation. As a result, she added a graduate certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy to her JD/MS curricula. She has also worked as a research assistant at the Center for Energy and Environmental Security conducting research on biochar (terra preta). Most recently she interned at Western Resource Advocates in Boulder, Colorado, working on Public Utility Commission dockets concerning Clean Air Act compliance, energy efficiency/demand-side management, and renewable energy standards. She plans to practice environmental and energy law for a government agency or NGO.
Maggie is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with a concentration in environmental economics and policy. A New Hampshire native, Maggie received her B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Tufts University and then spent two years working for an environmental and economic consulting firm. At Duke, Maggie has worked on a study of policy instruments for collaborative watershed management and is a member of the Farmhand and Environmental Markets student groups.
Maggie’s future conservation interests lie in promoting agricultural policies that encourage environmental stewardship and preserve farmland. She spent the summer of 2010 interning with the Senate Agriculture Committee and produced a policy analysis of the phosphorous overload problem in the Illinois River watershed.
Vanessa Cottle is a Master’s candidate in the Water Resource Management program in The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She grew up in Peru, where she earned her B.S. in Biology. After graduating, she worked for more than eight years in consultancy firms, elaborating environmental studies near extractive projects. Here she became aware of the importance of the conservation of water and other natural resources and the need of applying adequate conservation and management practices to prevent impacts to the environment and human health. Vanessa’s interests focus on watershed management and water quality. She hopes to be part of the alignment of environmental practices between stakeholders in the future.
Ryan Crowder has Masters of Professional studies (MPS) in Community and Rural Development from Cornell and has worked on three continents, always with a focus on development, conservation, and community strengthening. In Nicaragua, he worked for the United Nations World Food Program, and was a Common Fund for Commodities coordinator for a multimillion dollar sector wide project to replace small-scale coffee processing equipment (beneficios) with environmentally sound facilities that produce high-quality coffee.
Currently Ryan is conducting interdisciplinary original research in the Field of Natural Resources at Cornell University. As part of this work, he will be implementing a community-based natural resource management project in the Pearl Lagoon basin of Nicaragua, which is co-funded by LASP and USFWS, inter alia. Ryan’s passion is to be on the frontier of melding natural and social sciences to improve marginalized people’s well-being and protect important natural areas and corresponding resources.
Julian Dautremont-Smith is graduate student in the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise's dual MBA/MS in Natural Resources and the Environmental program. Prior to enrolling at University of Michigan, Julian co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and served as the organization's Associate Director from November 2004 to August 2009. In that capacity, he played leadership roles in AASHE's major programs, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). He was also responsible for AASHE's online resource center, partnerships, communications, and publications. Before working at AASHE, he co-founded a social enterprise that produces biodiesel in Barbados while studying there on a Fulbright Scholarship. Julian earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College, where he spearheaded a nationally recognized effort to make Lewis & Clark the first American college to declare compliance with greenhouse gas emissions reductions stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol. Julian is also a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a Campus Ecology Fellow, and a USA Today Academic All-Star.
Tania Ellersick is a Master of Forest Science candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. She has had the opportunity to volunteer at a wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center in Bolivia, work with endangered hawksbill sea turtles in Hawaii, and work as an urban forestry assistant in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to pursuing her master’s degree, Tania was the Forest Watch Director of The Lands Council, a conservation organization based in the Inland Northwest. She also served as a board member of The Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, a collaboration of diverse stakeholders on the Colville National Forest. This past summer she researched tree physiology and stand dynamics in the Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests of eastern Washington. Her graduate studies focus on forest ecology and management in both temperate and tropical forest ecosystems and her research the summer of 2011 will focus on reforestation efforts in Borneo.
Cristina graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2006 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a double major in Sociology. Following matriculation of her undergraduate studies, Cristina moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she completed a post-baccalaureate, pre-medical program at Agnes Scott College. In an effort to marry her interests in the environment and human health, she began working as a research assistant in Emory University’s epidemiology department. It was through this research position that Cristina was able to explore her long-standing interest in the impacts of toxin transport and fate on ecological and human health. Her current thesis research centers on the chemical analysis of toxic metals in wind-blown dust and soil on the Navajo Nation. Through this analysis, she hopes to better understand the effects of historic uranium mining procedures and mine waste containment near her study site. In addition to the scientific dimensions of toxin transport, Cristina is deeply committed to examining the policy that shapes mining practices and contaminant management on public and tribal lands.
Jessica is pursuing her M.S. at University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment where she is specializing in Conservation Biology and Behavior, Education, and Communication. Her career interests are in wildlife conservation, community- based habitat restoration efforts, conservation planning at the landscape scale, and engaging communities in natural areas to foster an ethic of stewardship and public participation in the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Prior to graduate school Jessica worked as an environmental educator in Los Angeles, California. She worked as an education specialist at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and as a Teacher-Naturalist for National Audubon Society at their Audubon Center in Debs Park. At the Audubon Center, Jessica developed and implemented outdoor school programs for grades K-5 in support of the Center’s mission to inspire people to experience, understand, and care for the local natural world. She also volunteered at Los Angeles’s Wildlife Waystation, a sanctuary that provides rescue, rehabilitation, and refuge for native and exotic wildlife.
During the summer of 2010, Jessica interned with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Branch of Habitat Restoration in Arlington, Virginia. Working as their Agricultural Conservation Programs Policy Analyst, she assisted in the development of policy recommendations for reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2012 by identifying priority issues that need to be addressed to enhance the bill’s fish and wildlife resource benefits.
Rebecca grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and earned a B.A. in political science from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Her early focus on the political process expanded to include environmental issues after spending two years in Senegal as an Environmental Education Peace Corps Volunteer. After returning to the U.S., she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a research analyst on energy and climate change policy. Rebecca is currently pursuing her M.S. in environmental policy at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is especially interested in climate change assessment, mitigation and adaptation.
Serra grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Placerville, California, earned a B.S. from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in Ecology and Systematic Biology and is a Laguna Pueblo American Indian from the village of Paguate, New Mexico. She has strong ties to her heritage and remains active in her local, regional and national American Indian community. Serra led the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter at Cal Poly for two years and recently established an AISES chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) where they provide leadership opportunities, professional development workshops, and cultural activities for American Indian students. She develops networking and outreach opportunities for minority students within her community. After graduating from Cal Poly, she worked for the National Park Service at Padre Island National Seashore protecting endangered nesting Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Her academic interests include: wildlife biology, ecology, conservation planning, and threatened and endangered species management. Serra hopes to work in the field with wildlife populations, preserve critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, restore the quality of our environment and substantially increase the number of American Indian environmental professionals.
Micah Ingalls is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Community Based Natural Resource Management at Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, focusing on agrarian change and its impact on social-ecological resilience. This summer, Micah has been employed as a consultant to a USAID-implementing partner in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, establishing a Watershed Management Program along the Pakistani border. Prior to his entrance at Cornell, Micah worked for seven years in a diversity of international contexts in Europe, South and Southeast Asia with a variety of conservation and development-based organizations including A Rocha UK, the Mennonite Central Committee, the World Wildlife Fund and the Mekong River Commission. Throughout his professional career Micah’s primary emphasis has been on the needs of natural resource-based communities and the interface between poverty, resource exclusion and environmental degradation. Upon completion of his current degree, Micah intends to continue at Cornell to complete a PhD before returning to work in Southeast Asia.
Diana Johnson is a second year graduate student majoring in Molecular Biology at Florida A&M University. She received her Bachelor's degree from Florida State University, majoring in Biological Sciences. As a graduate student, Diana balances her school- work, teaching undergraduate Biology labs, as well as extensively involved in her research. Diana's research is related to the effects of the BP oil spill and the use of dispersants to clean the Gulf. Her research scope includes environmental and fish conservation, both of which are detrimentally affected by the spill. Diana's future endeavors are to continue her research as a Ph.D candidate. She would also like to pursue teaching in Conservation Biology.
Jessica Koski is currently completing a master’s of environmental management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She is interested in social ecology, environmental justice and the indigenous environmental movement. Her master’s research examines Native American environmental activism throughout the Great Lakes region. Jessica’s passion lies with the struggle for Native peoples to maintain their distinct cultural relationships with the earth and to determine their futures in the midst of increasing development, globalization and dominant political-economic structures. She is particularly driven as an advocate for redefining conservation from a Native viewpoint, with particular concern for the protection of Native American sacred places.
Jessica was born in L’Anse, Michigan and is Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. She spent part of her life on the L’Anse Indian Reservation and part of her life in Wisconsin. She holds an associate’s degree in liberal studies from Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a minor in environmental studies from Michigan Technological University. Throughout Jessica’s undergraduate career, she participated in internships opportunities with NASA, the U.S. Congress, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service.
Jessica’s work during the summer 2010 consisted of co-founding a new grassroots environmental organization within her community, serving as head organizer for the 3rd Annual Protect the Earth Great Lakes Community Gathering and traveling throughout the Great Lakes region to interview key Native American environmental leaders and activists.
Heather Lahr grew up in Southern California where her love for the ocean began with trips to Los Angeles County beaches and Catalina Island. While school and work have periodically taken her away from the California coast, it has proven to be her inspiration in her work in the field of ocean conservation. After graduating from Graceland University (Lamoni, IA) with a B.S. in biology, she joined the U.S. Peace Corps where she was posted in Zambia, Africa as a Rural Aquaculture Extension Agent. She worked with rural farmers to develop a sustainable source of protein through aquaculture practices. With the help of other volunteers she created the National Gender and Development Committee which aims to empower girls and women through a life skills training program. Heather then continued her work in Zambia as a Volunteer Coordinator for Peace Corps which allowed her to work with local government officials to place Peace Corps volunteers in villages in the Eastern Province of Zambia.
Upon returning to the States she followed her passion for marine life by first teaching at an outdoor marine science camp (Seacamp) and then pursuing her interest in animal husbandry as an aquarist at aquariums across the country. While working for the Ty Warner Sea Center in Santa Barbara she teamed up with a post-doc from University of Hawaii and created the Sustainable Seafood Restaurant Program, a restaurant certification program which aims to increase the availability of sustainable seafood. Heather is currently a masters candidate at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management where she is researching sustainable offshore shrimp aquaculture in Mexico, and specializing in coastal marine resources management. She will be spending the summer working with the non-profit organization Oceana on seafood traceability issues through their Seafood Fraud Campaign.
Karina’s passion for the environment started at a very young age as she was raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a city surrounded by mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and tropical rainforest. Although Rio is fortunate to have breath-taking views of its natural environment, it also suffers from serious problems of water pollution, deforestation and heavy dependency on fossil fuels. Determined to be part of the solution to Rio’s environmental problems, Karina decided to pursue a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Bucknell University.
While an undergraduate, Karina worked as a research assistant with the Environmental Engineering Department on one of the many campus greening projects for Bucknell. This project was a pilot-scale experiment and a feasibility study of the use of biogas from the decomposition of cafeteria waste in an anaerobic reactor to generate electricity for a campus building. Also as an undergraduate, Karina had the opportunity to intern with Econergy, a consulting company in São Paulo, Brazil, that provides services in the carbon market, where she learned about carbon credit projects.
After graduation, Karina worked for Geosyntec Consultants, an environmental engineering consulting company in the Washington, DC, area. There she worked on several landfill projects; however, she found her real passion in the landfill gas-to energy and carbon management projects. She worked on as many carbon management projects as possible and played a major role in starting and completing Geosyntec’s first carbon credit project, which included registering a county in Maryland with the Chicago Climate Exchange. These experiences inspired her to follow her passion and pursue a career in energy and environmental management.
Currently, a Master’s student at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Karina would like to study renewable sources of energy and how these can offer alternatives to fossil fuels. In particular, Karina wants to study how biogas from landfills and anaerobic reactors can be used to generate electricity or vehicular compressed natural gas. After graduation, Karina hopes to return to Brazil and work in the country’s already prominent renewable energy industry. She believes that a strong renewable energy market is a crucial part of the multi-faceted solution to a country’s environmental problems and a means for promoting sustainable development.
Born and raised in Nepal, Rajani Maharjan is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Environmental Sciences and Policy program in Northern Arizona University.
Rajani has an undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Master’s in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. During her research for her Masters in Anthropology, she studied the effects of river pollution on the culture of people living nearby. The river is considered divine in Nepal and its water is used for holy ablution and purification purposes. But as rivers are polluted in Kathmandu Valley due to the rapid urban growth, people no more consider the river divine and they think that if they are away from the river then they are safe.
These findings showed Rajani the urgent need to educate people about the relationship of river and people’s physical, cultural and mental health. She found that there need to be a change in policy to bring some kind of big reform. Therefore, this all lead Rajani to join the Master’s in Environmental Sciences and Policy program.
For her thesis and her summer internship with The Nature Conservancy, Rajani is going to study the effect of river diversion on the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the Verde River.
Emily’s addiction to the outdoors didn’t really begin until college. Both during and after earning a B.A. in archaeology from Western Washington University, Emily spent plenty of time hiking, snowboarding and playing in the Cascade Mountains. After graduating she worked as a field archaeologist with cultural resource consulting firms in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. She also spent half a year working in an indigenous community in the highlands of Ecuador, where she led a community-based archaeological project. Emily’s graduate research takes her back to the Ecuadorian Andes, where she is studying native plant communities in high-elevation grasslands. She hopes to learn how biodiversity is linked to important ecosystem services, especially the regulation of water. Meanwhile she will be earning a master’s degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Charlie Munford is a Master of Forest Science candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a degree expected in the spring of 2011. Charlie’s Masters research builds on his experience managing an organic crop and livestock farm in Mississippi, but integrates new ideas and knowledge about natural disturbance and ecological restoration. The title of his project is “Using Fire/Grazing Dynamics to Restore a Grassland Ecosystem in New England.” The project integrates sheep grazing and prescribed burning to test their effect on the establishment of native flora in a Connecticut hayfield. Charlie is working closely with advisors Florencia Montagnini, Ann Camp, Melinda Smith, and Philip Marshall, and with the co-operation of the Bent of the River Audubon Center in Southbury, Connecticut. Charlie’s interests in the conservation field center around innovative techniques for ecological restoration in early seral habitat, mimicking natural disturbances with prescribed fire and prescribed grazing, and the creative financing of conservation through multiple-value forest management. While working in New England during his Masters program, Charlie’s longer term commitment is to ecosystems in the Southeast, with a special attraction to the longleaf pine savannas of the Coastal Plain.
Spencer Plumb is a graduate student in the Environmental Science and Policy program at Northern Arizona University. He is interested in the development of social standards and criteria which would engage local communities in all aspects of developing and implementing forest carbon and/or conservation projects. He spent his summer conducting fieldwork in Nueva Jerusalem, an indigenous community in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve of La Moskitia, Honduras. One aspect of his research included administering community surveys about forest uses for subsistence living, agriculture systems and identifying drivers of deforestation that come from colonist moving into indigenous territory. Another focus of the project included holding community workshops to share information about climate change and forest carbon projects, discuss results of the survey and identify the effects of deforestation and land capture on cultural values and life-ways. The experience has strengthened his belief that solutions to global environmental problems like climate change and biodiversity loss will only be effective if they are designed to empower and benefit local communities.
Andrew Roe is an M.S. student in Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources. His current thesis work examines forest land parcelization and conservation strategies in eastern New York State with the goal of understanding the patterns, causes and effects of this process and designing habitat protection responses. In his free time, Andrew enjoys exploring the outdoor world whenever possible, and has been very excited about learning to use cross-country skis and snowshoes while exploring his new northern habitat. He also likes to improve his home range by gardening, cutting trees, fighting invasive species, building trails, and setting prescribed fires.
Andrew received his B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006, where his studies focused on populations of herps, birds, and invasive species. Before beginning graduate school, Andrew worked with The Nature Conservancy through the AmeriCorps program, with the National Park Service in Washington State, and with a regional conservation program in Loreto, Peru. The inspiration for his academic and career interests developed in the magnificent mountains, piedmont, and beaches of North Carolina.
T.J. Ross is an M.S. student in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. His research interests lie in fishery and aquatic ecology. He possesses an innate passion for the conservation and management of stream and river dwelling fishes. As such, his thesis research is aimed at assessing the effects of anthropogenic, hydrologic alteration on native and naturalized trout populations in the Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York.
Prior to his current work, T.J. obtained a B.S. in Kinesiology from Oklahoma Baptist University in central Oklahoma. Concurrent with attending school, he worked for four years as a fisheries technician at the H.B. Parsons fish hatchery in Oklahoma City. During the same time, he also donated many volunteer hours to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s outreach, education, and fish sampling efforts. T.J. plans to head back to the southern United States where he hopes to give back to the environment by applying the knowledge and experience he is gaining to better conserve and manage the fish populations in the region.
Carrie is specializing in conservation planning at UCSB’s Bren School for Environmental Science and Management. She is focusing on management processes that integrate multiple stakeholders and work across boundaries to solve complex environmental problems on public lands. She looks forward to a career aimed at strengthening the western tradition of melding community and resource management. In the summer of 2010, Carrie will be working with The Nature Conservancy developing strategies to prevent and respond to non-native species introductions on their Santa Cruz Island preserve and the Channel Islands National Park.
Prior to joining the Bren School, Carrie gained leadership experience and a deep respect for our nation’s public resources as a part of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and non-profit organizations building trails and restoring damaged landscapes across the West. Carrie graduated with high honors from Iowa State University. She obtained degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies and participated in research laboratories and field work focusing on evolutionary endocrinology and wetlands conservation.
Liz holds an AB in Classical Studies from the University of Chicago. After graduating in 2008, she joined Barack Obama's presidential campaign, working first in the operations department in Chicago headquarters, then moving to St. Louis, Missouri to work as an organizer. Concerns about environmental justice in urban settings inspired her to pursue a master's degree in environmental management at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, with a concentration in environmental economics and policy.
Liz's career interests fall within the intersection of sustainable land use planning and the prioritization of smart growth policies for urban development. She is particularly interested in multidisciplinary and participatory approaches to urban planning and community economic development initiatives. This summer she hopes to research the benefits of location efficiency for transit-oriented development at Transportation for America, a coalition-based campaign in Washington, D.C.
Shelby Semmes is a second-year Master of Forestry degree candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where she is studying the fundamentals of progressive forest management for application in the conservation of working forestlands. Shelby’s undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Economics at Barnard College lead her to examine the political economy of forest-based carbon emissions offsetting through her senior thesis research. She spent two years with the Earthwatch Institute implementing an HSBC Climate Partnership funded Forest Ecology and Climate Change research program in North and Latin America. She returned to Yale to become equipped with field-based forestry and silvicultural skills, enabling her to vet the viability and ecological efficacy of markets for forest ecosystem services, be they timber, water quality protection, or carbon sequestration.
This summer, Shelby is interning with The Conservation Fund’s North Coast Forest Conservation Program in Mendocino County, California, where she has spent everyday in the redwoods -- cruising timber, updating the properties’ carbon inventories, marking watercourses, and calling for Northern Spotted Owls. Hooo, Hoot-hoot, Hooo!
Emily owes her career in Conservation to Dr. Joe Kuban, whose high school Field Biology/ Ecology course introduced her to the subject and to the joy of conducting research outside(!) at sites throughout Texas and in Costa Rica. As a result, Emily went on to earn a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. During college, she worked summers with the U.S. Forest Service in New Hampshire, and fell in love with the very different landscape of New England. After graduation, Emily joined the Peace Corps and served as an Environmental Education volunteer in Bolivia.
Following Peace Corps, Emily began a career as an environmental consultant at an engineering firm. Consulting taught her the key role that regulation and policy play in managing the use of natural resources. During this time, she also became involved in two organizations working on riparian issues, the Texas Riparian Association and the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership, which rekindled her love of water. These experiences convinced Emily that she wanted to be involved not just in responding to, but in crafting the policies and regulations necessary to manage, conserve, and protect our water resources.
Emily is currently enrolled in the Master of Environmental Management program at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and is focused on science and policy related to water resource conservation. Because good policy considers all constituents (business, human, and natural communities), Emily is studying ways to integrate stakeholder input, scientific research, and economic evaluations into effective policy solutions. This summer (2010) she will work with the North Carolina Conservation Network in Raleigh, focusing on state water policy and rulemaking.
Ariel earned her B. A. in English and Anthropology at Kenyon College in 2006. After moving to Michigan she worked with the Michigan Environmental Council in Lansing, educating politicians, community leaders, and citizens on clean energy and smart growth land use. Inspired to put sustainable agriculture ideas into practice, she then worked on a small organic farm for a season before deciding to pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture. The perfect combination of land use advocacy and creative thinking, she is excited to use her MLA to create livable urban spaces, encouraging density in aging cities while promoting the preservation of rural areas against sprawl.
Anderson is a native of Western Colorado and has spent most of his life working, playing, and studying along the high elevation spine of the Rockies. He graduated in ’04 from Colorado College with a B.A. in biology and spent the next years working seasonally as a field biologist, traveling abroad, and teaching cross-country skiing in Bozeman, MT. Having born witness to many of the ecological effects of land-use change in the west, Anderson became passionate about working to conserve both the region’s natural and cultural landscapes. These interests led him to the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is currently pursuing a Masters of Environmental Science and Management with a focus in conservation planning and water resources management. He will be interning this summer with Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy investigating the intersections and conflicts between viticulture, climate change, and biodiversity conservation.
Rebecca McKay Steinberg is a 2011 Master of Environmental Science candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) where she is concentrating in social and wildlife ecology. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2006 with a BA in environmental science, and then embarked on a series of wildlife research projects before attending FES. This previous experience includes working for the US National Forest Service in CA on a Pacific fisher and American marten study, the US National Park Service in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, CA on mountain lion and bobcat research, and the University of Wyoming’s wolf-cattle study in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Rebecca spent this past summer in southern California researching non-target secondary anticoagulant poisoning of bobcats and mountain lions from a social science and policy sciences approach.
To Kat, conservation means more than preserving “wilderness.” She sees it is a delicate and interdisciplinary dance involving all things living and non-living; the safeguarding of works of art—art in the form of snow-capped mountains, meandering streams, agricultural fields, urban streetscapes and public parks. Given her commitment to conservation, Kat is dedicated to combining both science and art in a union that will yield a mutualistic relationship between people and place. She aspires to stitch together the torn seam between humans and the environment by creating healthy ecosystems and open spaces, employing environmental education, and instilling environmental ethics within the souls of humans that will translate into future conservation. A long-time Wolverine, Kat received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Land Use Management from the University of Michigan in 2007, and is currently pursuing a dual Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Science in Terrestrial Ecosystems from the U-M’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Tina is interested in environmentally sustainable international development. Prior to returning to school for the U of M business and environmental policy dual-degree program, Tina held a user education role at Microsoft, where she also co-founded an internal group to promote environmental awareness and influence company policies. Tina has spent her last two summers interning at social entrepreneurial non-profit organizations. Most recently, she was in Beijing working for the Microcarbon Foundation, a UK organization creating a solution for combining carbon finance and microfinance for the uptake of household renewable energy technologies in developing countries. The previous summer, Tina worked on a solar social investment fund at Ashoka and a social impact initiative at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. A native of Hong Kong and an avid runner working to become a recreational yoga teacher, Tina earned a B.S. degree in Cognitive Science with a Computing Specialization from UCLA.
Jessica Wise is a Master’s student in Environmental Sciences at Florida A & M University. She received her B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Florida A & M, as well. It was during her undergraduate career where an interest in marine conservation research was sparked through summer research experiences in the Florida Keys and Mote Marine Laboratory. Her research plans are to look at the toxicological effects of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill on native fish species in the Grand Bay, Mississippi National Estuarine Research Reserve. Jessica also believes in the importance of building environmental awareness and a passion for environmental conservation in future generations. She has had many opportunities to “spread the word” about environmental conservation including being a camp counselor at the Florida A & M Environmental Sciences Institute Summer Camp, a guest presenter at the 2009 Howard University Science Fest, and organizing several environmental awareness poster competitions in Tallahassee, FL area schools. Jessica truly believes that encouraging enthusiasm about environmental science and conservation in our youth is what will help shape a brighter future for us all.