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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 Program Operations Mangaer. 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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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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Alison Adams

Alison joined FEMC as the Director in 2022. Alison brings a wealth of experience in interdisciplinary environmental work, spanning disciplines from remote sensing and landscape modeling to ecosystem services and stakeholder engagement. She has a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from UVM, which focused on mapping forest change in New England, and is currently completing her PhD exploring how environmental change affects people's experiences of cultural ecosystem services. Alison previously developed Lake Champlain Sea Grant's Watershed Forestry Partnership. She has also worked in environmental advocacy and community outreach in Washington, DC. Outside of work she can usually be found hiking, rock climbing, or exploring the woods looking for interesting mushrooms.

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Soren Donisvitch

As a data analyst focused on forest ecosystems, I have a passion for using data and technology to understand and address some of the most pressing environmental challenges that face our regions forests. With a background in Forestry and Survey Engineering and a strong foundation in statistical analysis and data visualization, I am skilled at using a range of tools and techniques to extract insights from complex data sets. In my current role, I work with a variety of data sources to understand trends and patterns in forest structure, health, stand dynamics, biodiversity, and climate change. I also use my skills in spatial analysis and GIS mapping to visualize and communicate my findings to a wide range of audiences. Additionally, I build data driven web tools that display synthesized findings designed to be useful for a wide range of audiences. Beyond my technical expertise, I am deeply committed to using my skills to drive positive change and make a usable tool for researchers and landowners alike. Whether working with policy makers, community groups, or businesses, I am dedicated to finding innovative and effective ways to use data to monitor and provide tools to assess our forested landscape.

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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.

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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.

Current Interns

There are no current interns.