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Alumni Spotlights

We have alumni all over the state still making a difference in their communities!

Check out some of our awesome alumni below, and read about how ECO helped them get to where they are today.



Catie Bartone

Catie served with ECO in 2018-2019 with the Franklin Watershed Committee and the Northwest Regional Planning Commission. She now works for the Vermont DEC in the Drinking Water & Groundwater Division as part of a new statewide initiative called Act 66.  This initiative is sampling taps in every school and childcare across the state and helping these facilities in a technical assistance/remediation assistance role. Thanks to her service in ECO she was able to create connections and gain the skills she needed that helped her land her current position with the DEC.

“Thanks to ECO I became a much better communicator…I learned how to work in very contentious issues within small, rural communities, and learning how to best communicate from this perspective has become literally essential to my role. I also gained so much knowledge, experience, and close to twenty new best friends and colleagues!”

Maddie Cotter

Maddie served as an ECO member in 2015, and then served a second year in 2016. During her first service year, she was serving through the DEC with the Clean Water Initiative Program in communication and community outreach. Her second year of service was with the Intervale Conservation Nursery (ICN), and after a successful year she was hired on at the ICN as their Production and Volunteer Coordinator. 

To read her full alumni spotlight, follow this link.



Jordyn Geller 

Jordyn has been with us since the very beginning! In 2015, she accepted an internship with the DEC to help develop the ECO AmeriCorps program. After her internship and graduating from UVM in 2017, she officially started service with ECO with the Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) in the Water Investment Division of the DEC. Shortly after her service, she was hired on full time with CWIP as the Lake Champlain Grants Manager and continues to work closely with the ECO members the program continues to support. With ECO she was able to explore her passions and interests to fully develop what she wanted to do surrounding water quality. Through her service, she took advantage of networking opportunities and valuable experience to guide her to where she is now.

“I love my position (and former service) because I am able to bridge the communication gap between the DEC and the public. I get to help make information regarding clean water funding more accessible and help communities to understand it. I also love the team I work with, we get to work together to close these gaps in data and communication and help increase transparency at the state level.”

Elizabeth Gribkoff

Elizabeth served as an ECO member in 2015-2016 as a part of the first cohort of ECO AmeriCorps in Vermont. She served as the Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator for Watersheds United Vermont, as well as within the Conservation Stewardship program with the Vermont River Conservancy. She is now the Energy and Environment Reporter for VTDigger, and publishes stories surrounding Vermont's environmental issues.

To read her full alumni spotlight, follow this link



Travis Hart

Travis served in ECO’s initial cohort of members in 2015-2016 with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). He now works for Vermont Fish and Wildlife as a private and state lands biologist in Rutland. Through his position with NRCS, he was able to gain additional experience after college and to create connections that eventually led to his current position.

“I was able to gain a host of new connections to various organizations and great experience dealing with government operations in conservation. The experience of working with wetland sites was invaluable in understanding those areas in a deeper fashion which has come in handy in my career but the biggest thing I gained was the ability to work with great professionals from various organizations and get to connect with those people, many of whom I still work with in some way today.”




Theron Lay-Sleeper

Theron served with the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District in 2018-2019 and was immediately hired on after his service as their Outreach Coordinator! During his service, Theron was able to accomplish many things to better central Vermont surrounding education and community waste diversion, these include expanding community compost sites and hosting the first-ever Vermont mattress recycling event!




Thomas Ott

In 2018-2019, Tommy served with the Vermont Land Trust as a Planning & Assessment Assistant. He now works part-time for the Vermont DEC Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division, as well as half-time at the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab.

“Since completing my ECO AmeriCorps service term in August of 2019, I’ve had time to reflect on my service and the effects it had on my personal and professional development. Coming out of UVM in Spring of 2018, I had a lot of uncertainties about how I wanted to apply my degree and what direction I wanted my career to start heading. I felt that the ECO program was a great way to get a foot in the door in the broad and growing environmental professional field. What I ended up getting from the ECO program was not only an increased sense of direction, but extensive professional training, fun times with like-minded people, and experiences that brought me closer to Vermont communities. Most importantly, I gained a profound appreciation for what we can achieve when we drive our efforts by a clear mission.”

Carlie Wright

Carlie was one of many of our members that served for two years. First serving in 2016-2017 with the Addison County Solid Waste Management District, and then as our Team Leader in 2017-2018. She is now the Education Program Coordinator at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington.

“I am grateful to the ECO team for giving me the opportunity to foster my teamwork and leadership skills as I now help coordinate over 200 volunteers at the organization. Thanks to ECO I now have an amazing network of peers and colleagues.“




Bonnie Woodford

Bonnie first joined the ECO AmeriCorps program in 2016 as a member serving with Vermont’s Urban and Community Forestry Program where she conducted public tree inventories, created maps, managed the VT Big Tree Program, and wrote content and managed the program's website.

In 2018, Bonnie rejoined the ECO AmeriCorps Program as the Administrative Coordinator and kept the day to day operations on track and helped manage the website and social media accounts. Now she works for the Town of Williston as a Planning Tech in their Planning and Zoning office, processing and managing development applications and permits.