Alumni Member Profiles

Meet our Past Environmental Careers and Opportunities (ECO) Alumni Members!

Jim Armbruster  Joe Bondi  Madeline Cotter  Brittain Faville  Skylar Francis  
katy Gimma  Michelle Graziosi  Elizabeth Gribkoff  Julia Gulka  Travis Hart  
Diana Jaramillo  Julianne Lovergine  Andrew Nguyen  Chelsea Roston  Zack Simpson  
David Sinclair  Bea Smith  Grant Taylor  Jimmy Young  Chris Yurek


Jim Armbruster

Hometown: 

West Boylston, MA

Education:

B.S. Wildlife Biology University of Vermont

Position: 

Analyst and Assessment Coordinator 

Service site:

White River Partnership, and DEC Biomonitoring and Aquatic Studies (BASS) Lab

Highlight of service so far/What amd I looking forward to in service:

The highlight of my service so far has been helping BASS lab staff conduct field surveys that include electrofishing, macroinvertebrate collection, and water chemistry sampling. 
I am looking forward to the spring when we can begin improvement projects to white river access sites.

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to continue work with natural resources somewhere in Vermont.

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Joe Bondi

Hometown: 

Newtown, PA

Education:

B.S. Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecology and Organismal Biology from the University of Delaware

Position: 

Outreach Coordinator 

Service site:

Friends of Northern Lake Champlain

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to the spring when it is time to implement several projects that will hopefully have a beneficial impact on the lake and its associated waters. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

Upon completion of my service I hope to traverse the Long Trail. After that, I plan to either continue my education or to find another job where I will continue to have beneficial impacts on the environment. 

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Madeline Cotter

Hometown: 

Marshfield, MA 

Education:

B.S. Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont

Position: 

Communications Specialist 

Service site:

Vermont Clean Water Initiative Program - DEC

Highlight of service:

The highlight of my service so far has been meeting all of the other fantastic AmeriCorps members. Our group is very passionate about the environment, and I am motivated by that energy to keep working each day. I’m looking forward to getting into the field more once it is field season again.

Life after AmeriCorps:

After AmeriCorps I hope to go back to graduate school at the University of Vermont to get my Master of Science in Leadership in Sustainability through the Rubenstein School. Upon completing the two-year program, I want to move somewhere different for a few years and see the country. I feel like I will eventually end up living in New England, but I do want to travel.

Publications:

ECO AmeriCorps Serve on MLK Day 
Now Accepting Applications - Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence
AmeriCorps Members Attend Water Quality Training at Lake Carmi
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Webinar - Nov. 10

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Brittain Faville

Hometown: 

Geneva, IL

Education:

B.S. Forestry, Colorado State University

Position: 

Communications Coordinator

Service site:

Vermont Association of Conservation Districts.

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

A highlight so far is being a part of public discussions and events involving the water quality pollution in Vermont. Hearing the local farmer’s dialogs (more positive, some negative) to environmental change has also been exciting. I’m excited to get involved more in the land treatment/land management processes in the near future. I would also like to serve more in the field in regard to fisheries, invasive (primarily aquatic) species management, species stocking, and environmental measures on developmental sites. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

I would really like to find a career in the state or New England area that could entail working for a governmental agency. I want to work in a field relating to Natural Sciences and potentially land management. There are still a lot of people I want to meet and shadowing I want to do before making final decisions though.  

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Skylar Francis

Hometown: 

Cold Spring, NY

Education:

B.S. Water Resources, The College at Brockport: State University of New York

Position: 

Assessment Coordinator

Service site:

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Montpelier   

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

The highlight of my service has been to watch the Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions Success Story Library website ‘go live’.  With this implementation, I helped manage the publications of press releases, social media posts, and setting up a live interview with the local news team.  

Life after AmeriCorps:

After AmeriCorps I hope to continue my career and education within the environmental field.  

Publications:

Conservation of Zack Woods

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Katy Gimma

Hometown: 

Spencer NY

Education:

B.S. Biology Plattsburgh State University

Position: 

ECO Team Leader

Service site:

Department of Environmental Conservation, Montpelier

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to field season so I can participate in easements, water sampling, leading community workshops and swimming!

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to either continue my career helping the environment or spend my life addressing the refugee crisis. Both are interrelated and will only continue to worsen in my lifetime. 

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Michelle Graziosi

Hometown: 

East Northport, NY

Education:

B.S. Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Position: 

Water Quality Research Technician

Service site:

University of Vermont Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Vermont Department of Health Climate Change Adaptation Program, Burlington, VT

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

The highlight of my service has been the many opportunities I’ve had to collaborate with fellow ECO AmeriCorps members. From planting native trees in riparian buffer restoration projects, to invasive species removal and river cleanups, my favorite projects have been those that we’ve tackled together. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

After ECO AmeriCorps I plan to pursue a career in environmental conservation and stewardship.

Publications:

Farming and Climate Change Adaptation 
A section on Multi-Functional Riparian Buffer Zones in the Elderberry Production Guide (not yet published)
Water Quality Resources for Farmers page on the Center for Sustainable Agriculture Website (not yet published)

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Elizabeth Gribkoff

Hometown: 

Wallingford, CT

Education:

B.A. in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Spanish from the University of Vermont

Position: 

Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator

Service site:

Watersheds United Vermont and the Vermont River Conservancy

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to the spring stewardship season with the Vermont River Conservancy, since I get to visit beautiful rivers throughout Vermont to monitor conservation easements. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

I’m hoping to buy an old airstream trailer this summer and then…who knows! Hopefully stay around Vermont for a while, then go to graduate school, write a short story collection and travel back to South America. All in no particular order. 

Publications:

Staying Ahead of the Storm
Vermont River Cleanup Month A Success

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Julia Gulka

Hometown: 

Cabot, Vermont

Education:

B.A. Conservation Biology, Middlebury College

Position: 

Assessment and Planning Assistant

Service site:

Vermont Land Trust

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to spring when I’ll be getting back out in the field!

Life after AmeriCorps:

I have been accepted to attend graduate school in the fall for a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. After that, I hope to continue working in the field of environmental conservation.

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Travis Hart

Hometown: 

Wells, VT

Education:

B.S. Natural Resources, Minor: Wildlife Biology University of Vermont

Position: 

Wetlands Conservation Assistant 

Service site:

VT NRCS State Office

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

The highlight of my service so far has been the many field days spent in the swamps of Brandon and Leicester on different easements, as well as my efforts of surveying for potential restoration projects coming to fruition with the application of a landowner from one of the sites that I had identified. I am looking forward to participating in much more of the wetlands determinations field work and continuing the projects that I have started already. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

I plan to find a career in the natural resources field somewhere within the Vermont/New York area and continue to grow and learn new skills and gain new experiences to help further myself and my career.

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Diana Jaramillo

Hometown: 

Orlando, FL

Education:

B.S. Biology; University of Central Florida

Position: 

Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program

Service site:

VT Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward spending some time in the field as I provide support to the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis program.

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to continue my career by starting grad school.  

Publications:

Milton Public Tree Inventory Report

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Julianne Lovergine

Hometown: 

Brookline, VT

Education:

B.A. Chinese Language, University of Maryland; National Taiwan Normal University; Guilford College  

Position: 

Conservation Assistant 

Service site:

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

The exposure to the many roles and aspects of NRCS and its partners has been incredibly informative and valuable both in experience as well as understanding how the service operates in the broader environmental field. I am looking forward to more fieldwork in the spring when I can practice some of the skills I learned last fall, and develop new ones that I can contribute to future conservation efforts. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

My hope is that the exposure to different fields within environmental conservation will help to narrow my focus, and maybe even lead to an opportunity to blend with my language background. 

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Andrew Nguyen

Hometown: 

Burke, VA

Education:

MESM Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, U.C. Santa Barbara

B.S. Biology James Madison University

Position: 

Outreach and Project Coordinator

Service site:

Windham County Natural Resource Conservation District, Windham Regional Commission

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to the spring season so that I can fully start on developing a new Education Center, buffer plantings, and conservation easements. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to continue my career in environmental science and trying to integrate the natural world into the lives of people. 

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Chelsea Roston

Hometown: 

Ashford, CT

Education:

B.S. Environmental Earth Science and Sustainable Energy

Position: 

Project Coordinator

Service site:

Franklin Watershed Committee, Franklin

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

A highlight of Americorps so far is engaging in community projects such as assisting a junior high and middle school class in repairing a riparian zone. I am looking forward to field projects in the spring and summer that consist of water sampling, buffer control, implementation projects, working with the community, implementing shoreline erosion best management practices, and etc. I am also excited to spend time educating kids on the importance of clean water and what they can do to help improve the environment in the future. 

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to spend my life after Americorps helping communities around the country, and eventually around the world, with clean water and helping to improve the environment.

Publications:

Franklin Watershed Quarterly Newsletter

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Zack Simpson

Hometown: 

Rochester Hills, MI

Education:

B.A. Environmental Science, Capital University

Position: 

Watershed Steward

Service site:

Montpelier Parks Department, Montpelier

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am currently working on a culvert inventory and mapping project for the Montpelier Parks Department that will be used to better control sedimentation and erosion within the City’s natural areas. This project utilizes GIS software and advanced surveying equipment to assess the locations of the culverts and their conditions. I am looking forward to field season so I can begin implementing a city-wide invasive management plan that I have been preparing this winter. This plan will serve in both the short and long term to remove and manage established exotic plants from riparian zones and spread awareness to Montpelier Residents on the hazards posed by these plants. I am also looking forward to participating in water sampling, leading community educational workshops, tree plantings, and recruiting volunteers!

Life after AmeriCorps:

I intend to continue pursuing a career in the environmental field. This field has become my passion and one that I wish to continue to gain experience and apply myself.

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David Sinclair

Hometown: 

Waitsfield, VT

Education:

B.S. Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College

Position: 

Outreach and Development Coordinator 

Service site:

City of Burlington Water Resources Department

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to working with the BLUE® watershed-friendly certification program to help homeowners implement better stormwater management on their properties and educate them on ways they can improve water quality in Lake Champlain.

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to dedicate my career to addressing important environmental issues and protecting and improving our water resources. I am currently investigating going back to school for my Master’s Degree in the near future.

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Bea Smith

Hometown: 

Arlington, Vermont and Brooklyn, NY

Education:

Environmental Science (Marine Ecology Concentration) and Art, Colby College

Position: 

Conservation Assistant 

Service site:

 

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

So far, the highlight of my service has been the opportunity to experience areas of Vermont I have never seen before. I am looking forward to completing a land treatment plan from start to finish and seeing this document help improve efficiency and sustainability of a farmer’s operation.

Life after AmeriCorps:

After Americorps I hope to find an occupation that makes me happy and through which I can help better the relationship between human beings and our natural world.

Publications:

Finding Place
Anthropogenic Impacts on Headwater Streams: A Case Study of Three Streams in the Belgrade Lakes Catchment

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Grant Taylor

Hometown: 

South Burlington, VT

Education:

Associates Degree in Environmental Science, Community College of Vermont

Position: 

Green Infrastructure Collaborative Assistant

Service site:

Green Infrastructure Collaborative (Lake Champlain Sea Grant/DEC)

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

I am looking forward to hosting the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Symposium on March 30th. It will be the culmination of lots of planning and coordination.

Life after AmeriCorps:

I hope to continue my career in sustainable community development, which may include water resource protection. I am most intrigued by bridging the gap between opposing stakeholders in areas where the environment is at stake.

Publications:

Learning Lessons in Stormwater Management with Lake Champlain Sea Grant
Green Infrastructure Collaborative Tours UNH Stormwater Research Center

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Jimmy Young

Hometown: 

Brookfield, CT

Education:

B.S. Energy & Environmental Policy, University of Delaware

Position: 

Outreach & Project Coordinator

Service site:

Northwest Regional Planning Commission & Missisquoi River Basin Association, St. Albans

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

Really looking forward to field season because I love being outside and the water sampling & road erosion inventories I will be doing sounds awesome! So far the highlight of my service was definitely creating a stormwater management workshop for homeowners in St. Albans. The experience was very rewarding!

Life after AmeriCorps:

: I really want to stay in the field of water quality protection, whether it be with a consulting firm or even with the DEC. An environmental scientist would be a perfect position (mix between field work & some office work). I would love to find work in Vermont next year. 

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Chris Yurek

Hometown: 

Claremont, NH

Education:

B.S. Environmental Studies – Keene State College

Position: 

Water Quality Monitoring

Service site:

Connecticut River Watershed Council; Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District; Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission; Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Highlight of service so far/What I am looking forward to in service:

The highlight of my service so far has been providing a comprehensive 5 year report regarding the Ottauquechee River Group’s water quality monitoring results, which hadn’t been reported on since 2010. I am most looking forward to the return of the field season so on the ground implementation of some of the projects I have been involved in can begin.

Life after AmeriCorps:

I aim to get my master’s degree in an earth/biological science or sustainability related field from the University of New Hampshire.

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Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Administration and Innovation Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-0301
802-828-1535