"I serve because I believe that connecting people to nature is the key to a sustainable future."
Emily is a Vermont native who returned to the state a year and a half ago to attend graduate school. Prior to reuniting with her home state, she lived in Maine where she received her B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine in 2016. After graduating, she used Maine as her home base for an additional two years, volunteering with a local land trust and disappearing from time to time to explore organic farming and western mountain ranges. Driven by a desire to bridge the gap between science and policy, she began pursuing a master’s degree in environmental policy at Vermont Law School in 2018. Ultimately, her lifelong love of nature and desire to share her enthusiasm for conservation with others led her to her current role serving as the ECO AmeriCorps Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist at Vermont Center of Ecostudies (VCE). She is excited to spend the next 11 months connecting people to nature and VCE’s many projects through the use of online citizen science tools.
"I serve because I believe in the positive impacts of the national service movement."
Cassi received a BS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2016. Following a Peace Corps service, she decided to join the ECO Americorps team to do further service work and to explore different environmental fields. She has now joined us for a second year and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge on the different techniques that organizations use to improve water quality. Cassi is serving with Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) as a Project Assistant to aid in the different grant projects both current and future to increase water quality in Lake Champlain by reducing land-use pollution. In her position she will be assisting with outreach projects focused on landowners, monitoring water, applying for grants, and partnering with other agencies to complete projects in the Franklin County area.
"I serve because practices of care for waste help build common worlds."
Julia Cavicchi is an environmental humanities compostist interested in discard studies and surreal ecologies. She is currently serving through ECO AmeriCorps as a research associate with the Rich Earth Institute, where humans are reclaiming urine as fertilizer. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College and a Human Geography Master’s from the University of Glasgow. In the past, she has worked on the Sanctuary for Independent Media’s NATURE Lab project in North Troy, NY, doing environmental justice mapping, audio storytelling, & education.
"I serve because I believe in powering new generations of eco-stewards and am hopeful we will create a better future together."
Dora is serving as the Community Zero Waste Assistant at the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District in Montpelier. She is excited to get her hands dirty in the world of waste management, and support outreach efforts around Vermont's Universal Recycling Law. Originally from the Boston area, she's already fallen for the lush mountainscape and is determined to conquer the coming winter. She graduated with a BA from Brandeis University in 2016, where she studied environmental studies, journalism and political science.
"I serve because we should feed people (and compost piles)...not landfills!"
Ollie received a degree in chemical engineering from Tufts University in 2018 after growing up in the capital region of New York. They are delighted to be serving a second term at the Addison County Solid Waste Management District as the Waste Diversion Program Assistant. They focus on food waste diversion through programs and outreach to schools, businesses, and community organizations. Their other projects include organizing volunteer-powered repair events and assisting with plastic film recycling. Ollie is thrilled to have the opportunity to explore their professional interest in organics recycling and closing the food system loop while serving and living in a vibrant local community.
"I serve because I want to maintain Vermont natural spaces."
Emma received a BS in Environmental Sciences with a focus in Conservation Biology and Biodiversity, and a minor in Geospatial Technologies from the University of Vermont in 2019. While originally from central Connecticut, Emma grew up spending her summers canoeing in woods and lakes of Northern Ontario, which is where her passion for the environment and protecting natural spaces began. She decided to serve with ECO AmeriCorps to further her experience in the environmental field and learn about different career opportunities in natural resources. Emma is serving as the Field Program Technician for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation in Rutland. She will develop a mapping database of recreational infrastructure in Vermont State Parks. Emma will also be providing field support for natural resource restoration and water quality protection measures on state-owned recreational and forest lands.
"I serve because humans and the environment are inextricably connected!"
Meaghan was raised in Colchester, Connecticut where she spent much of her childhood studying whatever interesting creatures she could find in her backyard. She eventually moved on from her backyard to attend Middlebury College where she fell in love with Vermont’s natural beauty. She majored in biology and had many amazing opportunities to experience the wonders of Lake Champlain. After graduating in 2018, she was motivated to do something to protect the environment so generations to come can continue to appreciate it. Her desire for serving her community as well as her drive to gain experience as a biologist and environmental educator led her to ECO AmeriCorps. She is serving as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Burlington Community Sailing Center where she engages her local community through sailing and science. She hopes to instill Vermont's youth with a sense of environmental stewardship through fun and science in Lake Champlain.
"'I will serve the earth and not pretend my life could serve better' - Wendell Berry"
Jacqueline grew up spending summers on a small lake in northeastern Pennsylvania where she learned to love the complexities of the natural world. While attending the College of William and Mary, she became enchanted by the way in which Earth's forces can shape a landscape. She studied geology and pursued a thesis focused on surface processes at work in the Blue Ridge. Jac was motivated to serve in AmeriCorps by a desire to help conserve our natural resources at the grassroots level. As the Watershed Steward at Montpelier's Parks and Trees Department, she organizes and empowers community members to preserve the water quality through improving riparian habitats and controlling sediment erosion. In her free time, Jac enjoys reading, hiking, and warm socks.
"I serve because everyone needs access to clean water!"
Grace grew up in China and moved to the U.S. to pursue her undergraduate degree. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2017 with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. After graduation, she served as the Summer Field Assistant for The Nature Conservancy through the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board AmeriCorps program. She then served another term with VHCB AmeriCorps as the Summer Naturalist at Stowe Land Trust. This time, Grace is serving with Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) as their Education and Outreach Coordinator for ECO AmeriCorps. Grace loves being by the water and is excited to serve with communities in the Lake Champlain Basin.
"I serve because I think I'm meant to do something great. I am ready to find out what that is."
Ryan Kincaid joins us from the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching. As a child, she explored the lakes, creeks, and forests near her grandparents' home, and she has loved the natural world ever since! For five years, she taught middle school Science and coordinated after school programs focusing on environmental sustainability, creative arts, and community service. She has collaborated with diverse populations and organized various types of events - from races and meals to festivals and fundraisers. Ryan enjoys volunteering with organizations that serve people, animals, and the environment, and looks forward to this opportunity to learn more about conservation and gain field experience in the field. Ryan is serving in Bennington County as the Habitat Steward for CISMA-BKW (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Association for the Batten Kill Watershed). Through identification and management of harmful invasive plant species and planting of native species, she will assist with habitat restoration in the watershed.
"I serve to promote sustainable agriculture."
Eliza received a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from Duke University but hails from Monkton, VT. While receiving her degree, her research focused on the water quality impacts of mining activity on a river, particularly impacts on mercury levels in commonly consumed fish. She joined ECO AmeriCorps to continue exploring her interests in water quality in her home state. She will be serving as a Conservation Technician at the Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District, where she will be taking on projects monitoring surface water and tile drain water quality. She will also help in soil sampling at farms throughout Franklin County and assist farmers in using those results to develop Nutrient Management Plans through a UVM Extension course. She is looking forward to these and other projects to continue to address water quality issues and sustainable agriculture in Vermont
"I serve to raise awareness to the community about water quality issues."
Kathleen received a degree in Environmental Sciences from The University of Vermont through the Rubenstein School in 2019. She is serving as an Environmental Technician for the Monitoring, Assessment, and Planning Program (MAPP) within the Department of Environmental Conservation in Montpelier. Kathleen decided to join ECO Americorps because of her interest in clean water and helping the community get involved in environmental stewardship. With her time in ECO Americorps, she will be helping organize the LaRosa Partnership Program, a volunteer stream monitoring program opened to organizations interested in sampling the water quality around Vermont.
"I serve because I want to have a positive impact on ecosystems in Vermont and the communities that depend on them."
Stephanie received a BA in Environmental Science and Policy from Smith College in 2019. She is from Traverse City, Michigan but is excited to continue living in New England for the next year. Stephanie is serving with the Vermont Land Trust as a Planning and Assessment Assistant. Her primary role will be to assist with the development of farmland conservation projects which includes visiting farmers, creating different types of property maps, and staking out riparian buffers that will separate agricultural activities from rivers in an effort to increase water quality in the area. Stephanie is excited to be jumping into her field of interest so soon after graduation and is looking forward to getting a better understanding of what land conservation looks like in Vermont. She is also anticipating taking full advantage of the great opportunities the ECO program offers to get involved in environmental initiatives throughout the state. When she’s not visiting farms or in the office, Stephanie is will be taking advantage of all the recreational activities Vermont has to offer including hiking, swimming, and snowboarding.
"I serve because the foundation of healthy communities is clean water."
Kate received a B.S. in environmental studies from the University of Vermont in 2019. Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kate grew up exploring the Boston area, but moved to Vermont in search of mountains. While at UVM she interned with Toxics Action Center, a nonprofit that provides community organizing strategies and legal expertise to neighborhoods facing toxic threats across New England. Following that internship, she received a research grant to study Vermont’s land use law, Act 250, and how it could better address climate change and social equity in the state. Kate also worked as a Transportation Planning Intern at the Burlington Department of Public Works, improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure and conducting community outreach for projects city-wide. After graduating, she spent the summer working as a Transportation Intern Technician for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, focusing on transportation data collection, post-processing and analysis. Kate cares deeply about clean water, protecting wild places, creating art, poetry, human relationships, and cooking. She is excited to serve with ECO AmeriCorps at the Northwest Regional Planning Commission as an Assistant Water Quality Program Coordinator, assisting municipalities in developing green stormwater infrastructure projects, conducting inventories, creating outreach materials, and writing grants.
"I serve to ensure sustainable developments in protecting our watersheds."
Ranier received a degree in Environmental Geoscience from the University at Buffalo in 2018. Originally from the southern tier of New York he grew up living on the confluence of two rivers, the Susquehanna and Chenango. This is where his passion for the environment and water quality started to grow at a young age. Upon graduating from SUNY Buffalo, Ranier was drawn toward ECO AmeriCorps to be able to serve Vermont and give back to the communities. He is excited to serve as the Assistant Coordinator for both the Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA) and the Upper Missisquoi & Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic Committee (UMATR). Allowing him to make a change for the greatest good of Vermont’s rivers while doing something that he is passionate about.
"I serve to make trails for for all!"
Katherine is a native of northern Virginia and she graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a minor in Environmental Sciences. This summer, she moved to Vermont as the Trail Builder AmeriCorps member for the Cross Vermont Trail Association. Now in Middlebury, she will be serving at the Middlebury Area land Trust (MALT) focusing on education, land stewardship, and trail work. She loves leading her preschool groups on adventures on the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury) and she enjoys maintaining the riparian buffers along Otter Creek to improve the river's water quality. She has worked at summer camps, science labs, and outdoor spaces and is excited to combine all of her experiences and interests into one position! After her year at MALT, she hopes to pursue graduate education in the field of restoration forestry.
"I serve because while you can go faster alone, we can go farther together."
Cormac is originally from Derry, Northern Ireland, and moved to Minnesota when he was five. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at St. John's University where he worked hard to improve the campus' sustainability. As an independent student, a member of the Eco House community, and their Sustainability Fellow; he created and operated a compost system for over 250 students and three campus retail outlets. Sleeves perpetually rolled up, he is ready to dive back into waste management. Cormac is excited serve with the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District to educate communities and divert waste.
"I serve to aid in the conservation of Vermont's biodiversity (plant and otherwise!)"
Jo grew up in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. Today, most of her family currently resides in Washington D.C. She moved to Vermont in 2015 to attend the University of Vermont and graduated with a degree in plant biology and a strong appreciation for the beauty of Vermont’s flora. Jo is serving as the Natural Heritage Assistant with Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s Natural Heritage Inventory. This position requires her to venture into Vermont’s wetlands to collect data that aims to capture the diversity of plants that grow in wetland habitats. Jo hopes that her position will aid in the conservation of Vermont’s marshland biodiversity and that she will be able to employ what she learns here to future projects aimed at preserving our world’s precious biodiversity (plant and otherwise).
"I serve to connect communities and increase environmental communication!"
Ellie grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania and spent her childhood exploring the trees, creeks, and swamps that surrounded her home. She graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2019 with a B.S. in Geography concentrating in environmental studies and sustainability, and a minor in communications. After an opportunity of volunteering abroad, she decided to pursue national service and was drawn to ECO AmeriCorps for the specific focus on conservation and environmental outreach in Vermont communities. Ellie will be serving as this year’s ECO Team Leader, as well as serving in communication and outreach within the Vermont DEC as a part of their environmental justice committee and the Village Wastewater Initiative.
"I serve because the extinction crisis is an existential crisis."
Hailing from the shores of coastal Maine, Kevin received his B.A. in wildlife biology, with a forestry minor, from The University of Vermont in 2019. Growing up he was always interested in the nature surrounding him, particularly the reptiles, amphibians, and bugs found in and around his backyard vernal pool, as well as the creatures stranded in tidepools at his local state parks. At UVM his interest in birding and ornithology took off, and he eventually worked as a teaching assistant for an ornithology course. His summers in college were spent working as an intern for the Green Mountain Club and as a field technician with The Bobolink Odyssey in Shelburne, VT. At VCE, Kevin splits his time between two projects: the Vernal Pool Monitoring Project and the New England Grassland Ambassadors program. Both ECO AmeriCorps positions entail coordinating, training, and assisting volunteers and landowners who wish to become involved stewards of these unique and threatened ecosystems. He hopes to build on VCE’s community of volunteers and partners to continue to grow the projects to reach a wider audience and larger area.
Jake Van Deursen
"I serve to promote Vermont temperate forest health!"
Jake graduated from St. Lawrence University in the spring of 2019 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Economics. Having grown up in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, Jake is now excited to explore the terrain of Vermont's Green Mountains. He is currently serving with the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative (FEMC) as a Monitoring and Outreach Specialist. During Jake’s service with FEMC, he will be assisting with the collection and archive of high-quality data from Vermont’s temperate forest health monitoring network. He also focuses on developing techniques for outreach and engagement to maximize the potential for utilization of FEMC archives and products.
"I serve to give back to the community that gave to me."
Rachel graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology. After graduation she pursued field work opportunities in Maine and Oregon following her passion for water resources. Back in her home state of Vermont, Rachel is excited to serve as Best Management Practice Verification Coordinator for the Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) within the Department of Environmental Conservation. Through this position, she will expand her knowledge of clean water policies and assist CWIP with field visits to verify that implemented water quality projects are operating properly. The CWIP has completed several clean water projects, such as stormwater structures and buffer plantings, that Rachel is excited to focus on.
"I serve because I believe in the power of public service to promote sustainable change."
Benton received a degree in Urban Planning and Sustainability from Ohio University in 2019. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, he is excited to be now living in and exploring the state of Vermont. He was drawn to ECO AmeriCorps because of his strong belief in public service and a passion for conservation. He is serving in Middlebury as a Water Quality Planner for the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC). As a Water Quality Planner, Benton is responsible for coordinating and implementing water quality planning functions within transportation, emergency management, municipal storm water and watershed planning projects for member towns in Addison County. He will mainly be assisting with completing road erosion inventories for local municipalities, reviewing watershed plans basin, and writing grant applications to fund a variety of projects meant to bolster the health and quality of Vermont waters. He is eager to make active contributions to improving his new community’s water resources and long-term sustainability.