Current Member Profiles

Meet our Current Serving Environmental Careers and Opportunities (ECO) Members!

Trevor Banister  Joe Bondi  Dominic Brennan  Thomas Bryce  Shannon Choquette

Lindsay Cotnoir  Maddie Cotter  Clarice Cutler  Andrew Donahue  Stephanie Drago

Billy Ernest  Michelle Graziosi  Brodie Haenke  Josh Klavens  Emily Markstein

Marissa Ng  Andrew Nguyen  Rachel Ross  Annie Schatz  Zack Simpson

Bonnie Woodford  Carlie Wright  Jimmy Young  Chris Yurek  


Trevor Banister

Hometown:

Walden, Vermont

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Science from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont.

Service Organization:

NorthWoods Stewardship Center

Service Title:

Northern Waters Steward

Service Location:

East Charleston, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is to protect and improve the quality of the waters in the upper Connecticut River and upper Memphremagog watersheds through projects involving riparian restoration and  the implementation of better management practices. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps program  provides me with the opportunity to network with organizations and individuals in the environmental field while also learning valuable technical skills.  Most importantly, this experience allows me to make a positive impact on the environment and community.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Joe Bondi

Hometown:

Newtown, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware .

Service Organization:

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Service Title:

Wetland Easement and GIS Technician 

Service Location:

Colchester, Vermont

Focus of Service:

Preserving Vermont's land resources through conserved land easements and mapping.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I enjoy serving and living in Vermont.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Last year, I served in the ECO AmeriCorps Program inaugural year as the Outreach Coordinator with the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain in St. Albans.

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Dominic Brennan

Hometown:

Cohasset, Massachusetts

Education:

B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology with a minor in Outdoor Studies from St. Lawrence University. 

Service Organization:

Lake Champlain Committee

Service Title:

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Service Location:

Burlington, Vermont

Focus of Service:

Project coordination, event and volunteer management

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

The ECO AmeriCorps program provides a unique niche within the service community. Not only is it an environmentally focused corps, it is specific to water quality and solid waste management which are two issues that are serious problem areas for our nation. Also, being able to foster a close relationship with a staff member at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in my case) is an incredible opportunity!

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Yes! During the 2015-16 term, I served with a State/National program (CAC AmeriCorps) in Knoxville, Tennessee as a stormwater education coordinator. 

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Thomas Bryce

Hometown:

Chatham, Massachusetts

Education:

  • B.S. in Civil Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • M.S. in Civil &Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont

Service Organization:

Friends of Northern Lake Champlain

Service Title:

Outreach and Project Coordinator

Service Location:

St. Albans, Vermont

Focus of Service:

In my service, my primary focus will be writing grants for outreach and education projects and ecosystem restoration projects, as well as project development,  water sampling, GIS mapping, and project implementation. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve a year with ECO AmeriCorps to expand upon and gain valuable fieldwork and data collection skills, including mapping and water sampling, and to gain extensive knowledge in watershed protection and wetland / ecosystem restoration.  I also hope to gain a better understanding of community outreach with farmers and build public relation skills.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Shannon Choquette

Hometown:

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Education:

Bachelor Degrees in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

Service Organization:

Service Title:

Solid Waste Implementation Plan Assistant

Service Location:

Morrisville and Lyndonville Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service encompasses community outreach and engagement about Vermont's Universal Recycling law requirements. Additionally, I provide educational outreach about various composting techniques for your backyard. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I wanted to continue my professional journey in environmental outreach and education, and Vermont seemed like a wonderful place to move and begin to build a life. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Yes, previously I served with AmeriCorps in the Maine Conservation Corps and with Commonwealth Corps of Massachusetts as an Environmental Educator.

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Lindsay Cotnoir

Hometown:

Newport, Vermont

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. 

Service Organization:

Orleans County Natural Resource Conservation District

Service Title:

Nutrient Management Planner Assistant

Service Location:

Newport, Vermont

Focus of Service:

My service position is mainly focused on assisting farms in creating Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) by providing planning assistance, creating elements of their Land Treatment Plans, collecting soil samples from fields and helping the farmers at the Nutrient Management Program class this winter.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

After growing up and gaining my formal education in Vermont, I wanted to give back to the Vermont community. I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps because it allows me not only to give back to my community, but to also gain experience for a future career in the environmental realm.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Maddie Cotter

Hometown:

Marshfield, Massachusetts

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont.

Service Organization:

Intervale Conservation Nursery

Service Title:

Conservation Nursery Assistant and Watershed Steward

Service Location:

Burlington, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The Intervale Conservation Nursery grows native Vermont trees for riparian area plantings all around the state of Vermont. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps because it will help me acquire the skills needed for a field-based job. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Last year I served in the ECO AmeriCorps Program with the Vermont Clean Water Initiative Program (VCWIP) at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Clarice Cutler

Hometown:

Shelburne, Vermont

Education:

Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Service Organization:

The Vermont Land Trust

Service Title:

Planning and Assessment Assistant

Service Location:

Richmond, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is to support conservation easement applications by looking up deeds and surveys, generating a suite of maps for each project including agricultural soils and flood plains, delineating riparian buffers, and applying for river corridor easement grants. I also support the stewardship of conservation easements held by Vermont Land Trust by collecting Forest Management Plans from consulting and county foresters and reviewing upcoming treatments in special protection zones, and integrating ecological information from older projects into a new geodatabase to ensure that surface water protection zones are buffered according to current policy.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I have a deep admiration for the farm and timber lands of Vermont and the people who work them.  I’m very pleased to be helping sustain Vermonters’ connection to the land by serving with a pioneer land trust this year. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Yes, one year as a VISTA with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and one 300-hour term with the Green Mountain Club.

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Andrew Donahue

Hometown:

Lowell, Massachusetts

Education:

B.S. in Biology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut 

Service Organization:

The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD)

Service Title:

Outreach Assistant

Service Location:

Montpelier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service to help educate the public about Vermont's Universal Recycling Law  and how households and businesses can abide by the new changes in the law.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I am passionate about the environment and would like to help create a more sustainable culture.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Stephanie Drago

Hometown:

Chicago, Illinois

Education:

Bachelor Degrees in Environmental Studies and Geography from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Service Organization:

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Service Title:

Agricultural Land Conservation Easement Assistant

Service Location:

Colchester, Vermont

Focus of Service:

My focus is monitoring conservation easements, specifically agricultural conservation easements. I also have had the opportunity to help with wetland easement monitoring, and develop several GIS projects for Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps, because I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to not only get great experience for my future career, but also as a way to help improve water quality in the state of Vermont, explore a new part of the country, and pursue my commitment to service.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Billy Ernest

Hometown:

Almond, New York

Education:

A.A.S. Veterinary Technology, and B.S. Zoology from SUNY College of Technology at Alfred State, and SUNY Oswego, New York.

Service Organization(s):

Service Title:

Outreach Coordinator

Service Location:

Brattleboro, Bennington, and Londonderry, Vermont

Focus of Service:

Food scraps diversion from landfills, assisting institutions (businesses, transfer stations, etc.) to be in compliance with Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, and to promote the Vermont Food Recovery Hierarchy in my communities.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

The opportunities to develop professionally and personally with like-minded individuals, and to gain contacts within environmental agencies while focusing on community service.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Michelle Graziosi

Hometown:

East Northport, New York

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  

Service Organization:

Service Title:

Analyst and Stewardship Coordinator

Service Location:

Montpelier and South Royalton, Vermont

Focus of Service:

At the BASS Lab, the focus of my service is on monitoring and assessment of the chemical properties and biological integrity of Vermont’s surface waters. At the White River Partnership, the focus of my service is restoring habitat, improving flood resiliency and strengthening the stewardship network in the White River watershed.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve another year with ECO AmeriCorps so that I could continue doing something that I really care about: protecting Vermont’s natural resources. It was also the perfect opportunity to further develop the skills and experience in environmental monitoring and stewardship that I hope to channel into a future career. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

ECO AmeriCorps 2015-2016

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Brodie Haenke

Hometown:

Eagan, Minnesota 

Education:

B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Service Organization:

Service Title:

Watershed Technician

Service Location:

  • Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA) - Berkshire, Vermont
  • Franklin Watershed Committee (FWC) - Franklin, Vermont

Focus of Service:

I assist with the MRBA’s water sampling program that records phosphorus, nitrogen, and turbidity in tributaries within the Missisquoi watershed as well as the Missisquoi River itself. The MRBA also plants riparian buffers along stream and riverbanks to help prevent erosion and nutrient loading. I also assist the FWC with their water sampling program that focuses on tributaries flowing into Lake Carmi. I’ll help implement a variety of projects aimed at improving water quality within the town of Franklin for the FWC. I’ll also be engaging the community on behalf of the MRBA and FWC to raise awareness on water quality issues.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps because I have a passion for fieldwork, natural science, and exploration! ECO AmeriCorps gave me the opportunity to get my hands dirty and my feet wet doing fieldwork in a region completely new to me. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Josh Klavens

Hometown:

Montpelier, Vermont

Education:

B.A. in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. 

Service Organization:

Lake Champlain Basin Program

Service Title:

Best Management Practice (BMP) Tracking Coordinator

Service Location:

Grand Isle and Burlington, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is to process tactical basin planning information, which means I help organize and interpret their data and records in a way that enables them to understand their programs’ impacts on the basin and where the best investments they can make are. The rest of my sites are generally public outreach and education oriented apropos of lake champlain conservation issues.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I desired to serve in the ECO AmeriCorps Program to become involved in conservation efforts within the State of Vermont. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Yes, I served with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in the summer of 2016 before this position as a camp counselor at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont. 

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Emily Markstein

Hometown:

Binghamton, New York

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History from SUNY, Oswego, New York. 
  • Masters of Letters in Medieval Studies from the University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews,  Fife, Scotland

Service Organization:

City of Montpelier Parks Department

Service Title:

Montpelier Parks and Watershed Steward

Service Location:

Montpelier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my position is to maintain and improve Montpelier’s park system for residents and visitors. I will be gathering information about invasive plant species and implementing management plans to protect riparian areas around Montpelier. This service will involve community outreach and education about the threats invasive species pose and potential mitigation strategies residents can implement. Other essential functions of my position include reducing erosion issues on park trails and roads and assessing areas where erosion may be causing watershed related problems.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps because I wanted to continue my work with environmental conservation in New England. I wanted to help serve those who may not have many opportunities to protect the environment through education and community involvement.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Marissa Ng

Hometown:

Upton, Massaschusetts

Education:

B.A. in Biology from the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.

Service Organization:

Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Service Title:

Information and Outreach Specialist 

Service Location:

Montpelier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is creating outreach materials for landowners regarding riparian and aquatic habitat management.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps because I felt that the program promotes practices that I value such as conservation and responsible land use. I’ve always been passionate about the environment and serving in this program allows me to act on that and give back to a community and state I’ve come to love. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Andrew Nguyen

Hometown:

Burke, Virginia

Education:

  • Bachelors of Science in Biology from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  • Masters of Science from University of California, Santa Barbara, California.

Service Organization:

Friends of the Mad River

Service Title:

Stewardship Coordinator

Service Location:

Waitsfield, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is stormwater management planning, water quality monitoring and outreach.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve with ECO AmeriCorps so as to contribute to the long-term planning for communities affected by major storm events.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

I served with ECO AmeriCorps in  2015 - 2016 as the Outreach and Project Coordinator for Windham County Natural Resource Conservation District and the Windham Regional Commission.

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Rachel Ross

Hometown:

East Wallingford, Vermont

Education:

Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Service Organization:

Clean Water Initiative Program at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Service Title:

Communication and Outreach Assistant

Service Location:

Monteplier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is extending the outreach of the Clean Water Initiative Program through social media and a series of educational videos on various topics pertaining to clean water. These include agriculture, grants, water monitoring, storm water, and algae blooms. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I’ve always been driven to create positive change in the way that humans are affecting the natural environment. Additionally, I grew up in Vermont and want to give back to the state that I love. There is no better way to accomplish these two goals than through the ECO Americorps program. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Annie Schatz

Hometown:

Nashville, TN

Education:

Bachelors Degree in Biology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California

Service Organization:

Lake Champlain Sea Grant at UVM

Service Title:

Green Infrastructure Collaborative Assistant 

Service Location:

Burlington, Vermont

Focus of Service:

Supporting the work of the Green Infrastructure Collaborative – specifically through communication, educational resource development, and Green Infrastructure Roundtable network coordination. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps program  provides me with the opportunity to network with organizations and individuals in the environmental field while simultaneously learning valuable technical skills, and most importantly allows me to make a positive impact on the environment while accomplishing these objectives.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Zack Simpson

Hometown:

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Education:

B.A. in Environmental Science from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. 

Service Organization:

The Department of Environmental Conservation's ECO AmeriCorps Program 

Service Title:

ECO AmeriCorps Team Leader

Service Location:

Montpelier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

In my service, I am responsible for providing both support and programming logistics for the serving ECO Members across the state to ensure their year of service is productive and successful. I am additionally responsible for managing and spreading the social media outlets utilized by the ECO AmeriCorps program. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

After serving the ECO AmeriCorps Program’s inaugural year, I signed on to serve as the program’s Team Leader because I wanted to see the program continue to grow and expand its service to the State of Vermont. Since we are still relatively new to the State I wanted to also make sure that our message and the actions of our members were seen and heard by extending the reach of our social media outlets. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

In 2015 - 2016 I served in the ECO AmeriCorps Program's inaugural year as the Watershed Steward for the City of Montpelier's Parks Department in Montpelier, Vermont. 

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Bonnie Woodford

Hometown:

Warren, Vermont 

Education:

Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Paul Smith's College in Paul Smith's, New York.

Service Organization:

The Vermont Forest, Parks, and Recreation Department's Urban and Community Forestry Program

Service Title:

Educational Outreach and Technical Assistant

Service Location:

Montpelier, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service is to enhance my service site’s ability to lead citizens, businesses, and governments in understanding the value of and active stewardship in urban and community forests by providing a myriad of educational programing and technical assistance.

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

I chose to serve a year with ECO AmeriCorps because I wanted to work in the environmental field and make a difference in my community. This seemed like an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge, and get involved in the environmental community in Vermont. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Carlie Wright

Hometown:

Middlebury, Vermont

Education:

B.S. in Conservation Biology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

Service Organization:

Addison County Solid Waste Management District

Service Title:

Waste Diversion Program Assistant 

Service Location:

Middlebury, Vermont

Focus of Service:

The focus of my service with the Addison County Solid Waste District is centered around outreach and education on Vermont’s new Universal Recycling Law (Act 148). I will be working closely with our Public Outreach Coordinator to develop new outreach materials (brochures, stickers, fliers, posters) as well as do classroom presentations in schools for kids k-12. A big goal of the ACSWMD is improving education and awareness and sometimes that starts with the youngest residents. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

When I graduated from college I was unsure what to do with my fancy new degree. I knew I wanted to work with people and I knew I wanted that to be focused on the environment somehow but I didn’t know how to combine the two. I have always had a real passion for community service and after finding ECO AmeriCorps through an online thread I thought it would be a great idea. Additionally I though AmeriCops would introduce me to a network of people that I can call upon later in life after my service term has been completed. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

None

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Jimmy Young

Hometown:

Brookfield, Connecticut 

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Energy & Policy  from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.

Service Organization:

U.S Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Services

Service Title:

Conservation Assistant 

Service Location:

Williston, Vermont

Focus of Service:

Assisting with creating & editing conservation plans on agricultural and forested properties, creating conservation & resource concern maps using Toolkit (specific ArcGIS tool for the NRCS), certification of conservation practices, such as cover crops and biomass/forage, and assisting property owners with better understanding their land and potential conservation practices that can be done to mitigate a resource concern. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

My service experience so far has been with a quasi-judicial agency and a non-profit, both excellent and very rewarding experiences. I learned a significant amount last year serving with a non-profit and gained great professional experience in the environmental field, which is exactly what I wanted. This year I wanted to get a different experience, particularly with the Federal Government, which is why I am with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Services. I feel that serving within a federal agency will give me a different perspective along with having a focus on agriculture and forestry compared to specifically water quality within the transportation and stormwater field. 

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

I was a member of  ECO AmeriCorp program in 2015-2016 and I served with the Northwest Regional Planning Commission and the Missisquoi River Basin Association as a Project & Outreach Coordinator, located in St. Albans, VT. My focus of service was on stormwater education & outreach, road erosion & culvert inventories, and the surface water monitoring program for the entire Missisquoi river system.

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Chris Yurek

Hometown:

Western boarder of New Hampshire

Education:

B.S. in Environmental Science from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire

Service Organization:

Service Title:

Water Quality Monitoring Assistant

Service Location:

  • Ascutney, VT (SWCRPC)
  • Greenfield, MA (CRWC)
  • White River Junction, VT (ONRCD)

Focus of Service:

Depending on which of my three host sites I am at, the focus of my service can vary. In general, my service focuses on remediation efforts at sites with impaired water quality, assisting with stakeholder involvement in the federal relicensing of hydroelectric projects, coordinating water quality monitoring effors in the Ottauquechee Watershed, or conducting assessments/inventories on road erosion. 

Reason for Serving in the ECO AmeriCorps Program:

To gain pertinent experience and to help protect and enhance Vermont’s surface water resources, which I have frequently utilized for recreational purposes most of my life.

Previous AmeriCorps Experience:

Yes, one prior year with ECO AmeriCorps (2015 - 2016)

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