Human/Landscape Interactions


Paul Bierman
is a professor of Geology at UVM where he engages people of all ages in the study of how Earth's surface works. For more than 15 years, he's done research in Vermont and many other places around the world including the far northern Canada, central Australia, southern Africa, Israel and the American southwest. His latest efforts use historic imagery to document the impact of people on the Vermont landscapes and the impact of landscape events on people and societies in our state. Paul earned his BA from Williams College in 1985 and his MS and PhD from the University of Washington, the latter in 1993. He has been at UVM ever since then with appointments in Geology and the School of Natural Resources. Paul was recently awarded the one of the National Science Foundation's highest honors; the Directors award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. This award now supports the Vermont Landscape Change Program, a digital archive of historic imagery.


Kristen Sharpless
is a recent graduate of the Field Naturalist Program at UVM. She likes exploring and naturalizing in Vermont?s landscapes even more when she gets to share the experience with interested young people. Before moving to Vermont in 2004 to teach middle school, she taught field science at the Keystone Science School in the Colorado Rockies, lived and taught on a historic fishing schooner in Buzzard?s Bay, Massachusetts, and taught winter ecology on snowshoes in the White Mountains. In addition to messing around in the woods, Kristen enjoys sugaring, splitting firewood, gardening, reading a good book, salsa dancing, and eating dark chocolate.


Matt Palubinskas
Here is a summary of my accomplishments since attending Worcester State College (WSC). During my Junior/Senior year I was accepted into the Nuclear Medicine Technology program at UMASS Medical Center, a joint program with WSC. I graduated before I finished the two year program, so I never received certification. However, I did gain valuable insight in the field of nuclear medicine while attending for one year. Also while attending WSC, I worked 32-48 hours a week at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts in the central transport department. After attaining my undergraduate degree, a B.S. in physics, I taught physics at Marion High school in Framingham, MA for one year. I took an astronomy course at night that first year of teaching and in doing so, re-sparked my interest in astronomy and astrophysics. I attended the University of Vermont (UVM) for the next two years (full GTA) working towards my M.S.T., and taught an astronomy lab for 3 semesters, mechanics lab for 3 semesters, an E & M lab, and a general physics recitation for a semester. In my spare time, I also tutored physics. The teaching experience was really helpful at the university level, and the physics department at UVM was terrific. Besides the usual physics courses, I took modern astrophysics, renewable energy engineering, evolutionary biology, and did a semester of independent study (history of electricity in medicine). After graduating from UVM, I taught physics and chemistry at Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans, Vermont for one year. Although Bellows Free Academy was a great environment to work in, I accepted a teaching position at the Vermont Commons School which was much closer to home. While at VCS, I enrolled in my first cell and molecular biology course and a genetics course at the University of Vermont which rekindled my love for the other side of academia. After attending the University of Vermont as a PhD student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Department, I hope to return to teaching in the near future. In my spare time I am an avid hiker, backpacker, canoer, rock/ice climber, and cyclist.

Integrated Natural History


Abby Hood
completed her Master's degree in ecological planning in 2006, focusing on integrated study of Vermont's natural and agricultural systems. She is passionate about studying the land, from the rocks and soils that are its foundation, to the birds that fly above it, to the cultural history it records. She has studied wildlife management in Kenya, monitored sea turtles in St. Croix, rehabilitated raptors in Vermont, and been a caretaker for the Green Mountain Club. Abby has worked for the Governor's Institute for the past two years - experiences that inspired her to pursue year-round high school teaching. She now teaches science at the Oliverian School in Haverhill, New Hampshire.


Simon Bird
is a master's student in the Plant and Soil Science department at UVM. He is studying constructed wetlands and nutrient removal from farm wastewater. Simon also received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from UVM. In between all this school he moved out to Eugene, Oregon, where he worked for the Northwest Youth Corps leading crews of High School students building trail and teaching Environmental Ed. Simon gets out into the woods anyway possible, whether hiking, mountain biking or telemark skiing, and sharing his love and knowledge of the natural world.


Tomi Allanson
I grew up in Clinton, NY and went to Union College in Schenectady, NY where I earned a BS in Psychobiology and a minor in Mathematics. After graduation I moved to New York City where I spent a couple years working as a lab technician at Rockefeller University performing molecular biology research for the Gensat project. This research explored the function genes serve in the brain, isuch as the type of cells or proteins they created. I then realized my calling as a teacher and taught Mathematics in Brooklyn, NY at I.S. 347 for two years before moving up to Vermont to be closer to family. I now teach Math at Champlain Valley Union High School where I have been for the past two years. This is my second year at the Governor's Institute for Science and Technology and I am looking forward to another exciting week of fun and learning!

Ecosystem Services


Carey Hengstenberg
Most of the time, I work at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources as a geologist and environmental scientist. What I like most about my work is having the opportunity to travel all over the state and spend a lot of time outside. My interests include geology, groundwater protection and waste reduction. Outside of work and science, my hobbies include running, pottery and playing with my little dog, Ceiba.


Bill Scoonover
is a familiar face at the summer Science and Technology Institute. This is his ninth year teaching with GIVSAT and he says that every year keeps getting better and better. He teaches science during the school year at Otter Valley Union High School. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in biology from the University of Iowa in 1994 and just completed his Master's Degree in education at Saint Michael's College in December 2006. Bill is busy raising two young children, Kaylee (4) and Sydney (1 ). He is an avid gardener and is a proponent of sustainable living. Bill is the type of scientist that makes learning fun and his enthusiasm for nature is contagious.


Elizabeth Jameson
is a second-year institute lead-learner. She lives in Winooski, VT with her dog Ophelia. She loves teaching, snowboarding, hiking, biking, dancing, reading, gardening and cooking. Elizabeth has taught earth science, biology, chemistry and environmental science.

Office Staff


Christine Massey - Director
is an Adjunct Instructor in the Education Department at the University of Vermont and holds a BA and MS in Geology. She also works at the Perkins Museum of Geology on grant-funded initiatives and facilitates science education for students and teachers in Vermont. Current projects include: 1) The Landscape Change Program where she helps coordinate a large historic photograph collection of Vermont landscapes, helps understand how students learn using images, and works with K-12 teachers to develop curriculum using images, 2) Directing the Science and Technology Governor's Institute for capable and motivated Vermont high school students, 3) Directing the Perkins Museum Environmental Science Day Camp for children in grades 1-7, and 4) assessing how students learn in an interdisciplinary Watershed Field Camp course. Christine is the mother of two daughters, aged 7 and 4, and lives in Burlington, VT. She enjoys cross-country skiing and cooking.


Will Webb - Technical Support
Charles "Will" Webb is a Multimedia Developer with the Learning Resource Group at the University of Vermont, he also is currently the supervisor for the student staff who work in the Center for Multimedia Development located in the Bailey-Howe Library. Before taking employment with UVM, Will was a full-time undergraduate until graduating in May 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UVM. He has also served as an elected School Board Member in the Vergennes High School District from 2002 until 2005 and as an Addison Northwest District Supervisory Board Member from 2002 until 2003. Outside of work Will enjoys creative writing, reading, hiking, camping and being in the mountains, as well as playing racquet ball competitively. He is also a freelance 3D artist working with such programs as Cinema 4D, Maya and ZBrush.


Jon Paquette - Technical Support
is originally from Vermont and a junior at UVM studying Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He enjoys working with computers and longboard sliding.