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Jennifer Pontius

My research is cross-disciplinary with the ultimate goal of scaling plot-based forest health relationships to a landscape-scale using remote sensing and GIS modeling. To date, this work has focused on the detection and mapping of pre-visual forest decline symptoms resulting from invasive species, global climate change and acid deposition/nutrient depletion. These techniques provide a much-needed tool for the early detection of new and existing stressors and will allow forest management agencies to focus management efforts before stands are severely impacted.

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Elissa Schuett

Elissa is currently serving as the Interim Director. She is continuing to connect with partners and support the Cooperative. She comes from a background of field ecology research and also has experience managing programs and conducting communication and outreach. She uses her scientific understanding and background to connect academia, state and local agencies, community stakeholders, and the general public to research findings and program outcomes. Prior to working with FEMC, Elissa was staff in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources as the Research Manager and Communicator for the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program, Northeastern States Research Cooperative, and Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center. At home in Shelburne, Elissa is most often playing make-believe games with her two young children.

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Matthias Sirch

Matthias is working to collect and archive overlooked datasets throughout New England and New York. He has monitored forests as they relate to declining bird species across the United States and has pursued his interest in geospatial techniques between field seasons through the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab.

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Emma Tait

Emma is a Data Scientist for the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative (FEMC). She has been working with FEMC since 2016, with a brief hiatus for a master’s degree, first as a student GIS technician and then as a full time GIS analyst working with regional partners standardizing and aggregating Forest Health data. Now as a Data Scientist she provides analytical, scripting, web development, spatial analysis, and data modeling support as well as maintaining FEMC’s online mapping portals, services and custom code. In her academic life she is a feminist digital geographer fascinated by digital natures in videogames. In her professional life she loves maps and the complex problem solving involved in GIS, scripting and data analysis, particularly when it is in service to important interdisciplinary environmental work. In the rest of her life she can be found playing disc golf, hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, sewing, reading science fiction, and playing videogames.

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Nancy Voorhis

Nancy Voorhis is the Database and Web Developer for the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative (FEMC). She is responsible for development and management of the FEMC data archive, website, and associated cyberinfrastructure. She most recently worked as a consultant developing software, performing web and database backend programming and providing system and network support to nonprofits and educational institutions. She started her career working for the USDA Forest Service as a Research Forester. Outside of work, she enjoys being active, and preferably outside, pursuing hiking, biking, cross country skiing, tennis, swimming – depending on the season.

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Alexana Wolf

Xana began as the Front End Web Developer for the FEMC in July 2020. She is happy to be back in Vermont after an 8 year hiatus working as a technical support engineer in San Francisco. In her free time Xana enjoys hiking with her dog, Biscuit, making stained glass artwork, and riding her motorcycle.

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Alyx Belisle

Alyx started working as a Data Archivist with FEMC in the winter of 2019. She graduated UVM with a BS in Plant and Soil Science. Most of her work experience is in residential and commercial sustainable landscaping. She is excited to explore the studies implemented by conservation programs in her home state and throughout New England.

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Naomi Cutler

Naomi Cutler is the ECO AmeriCorps member serving with FEMC for the 2021-2022 service year. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2020 with a history degree, and spent last year serving in ECO with the Middlebury Area Land Trust. Naomi is excited to learn more about making data accessible to all who want it this year. Outside of service, Naomi is an avid knitter, an aspiring banjo player, and a very novice sourdough-ist.

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Ben Porter

Ben is the Monitoring Coordinator for FEMC. He will be overseeing the forest health monitoring program, maintaining environmental sensors, and working with monitoring data to help our partners assess long-term changes in our forested ecosystems. He comes to the program from the USDA Agricultural Research Service where he served as a Research Ecologist based in Boise, Idaho. He has a background in post-fire restoration, invasive and rare plant ecology, continuous forest inventory and monitoring, remote sensing, and data management. He has worked in a variety of environments ranging from northeastern forests of NY and VT, riparian and montane forests of Colorado, and throughout the Great Basin. Outside of work, he enjoys traditional woodworking, telemark skiing, biking, and gardening.

Current Interns

There are no current interns.