Staff

Alison Adams

Watershed Forestry Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-3721
Education:
  • PhD Natural Resources, University of Vermont, expected 2021
  • MS Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2016
  • BA History of Art, Yale University, 2009

Alison joined Lake Champlain Sea Grant and UVM Extension in March 2020. As the Watershed Forestry Coordinator, she manages the Watershed Forestry Partnership, coordinating riparian forest buffer restoration efforts across the Lake Champlain Basin. Alison has a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from UVM, which focused on mapping forest change in New England. She is currently completing her PhD exploring how environmental change affects people’s connections with nature. Prior to graduate school, Alison worked in Washington, DC in environmental advocacy and community outreach. Outside of work, she can usually be found hiking, rock climbing, or foraging for mushrooms.

Breck Bowden

Breck Bowden

Lake Champlain Sea Grant Director
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-238-0929
Education:
  • Ph.D. 1982 North Carolina State University, Biogeochemistry of nitrogen in coastal ecosystems
  • M.S. 1976 North Carolina State University, Microbial numbers and biomass in aquatic ecosystems
  • B.S. 1973 University of Georgia, Zoology and Chemistry

Dr. Bowden is the Robert and Genevieve Patrick Professor in Watershed Science and Planning in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, where he teaches undergraduate courses in the Environmental Sciences curriculum and graduate courses in the Aquatic of Ecology and Watershed sciences curriculum. He is the Director of the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center and leads the Vermont component of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. Dr. Bowden's research interests focus on the interactions among land use, land cover, and water resources. He has conducted research on wetland, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems in temperate, tropical, and arctic biomes and has been involved with strategic planning in universities and in government agencies. His current research projects focus on the effects of exurban development on stormwater runoff in Vermont and on climate change impacts in the arctic.

Dr. Bowden is active in national and international programs that seek to integrate science in resource management decision making, including the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, Hydrology for Environment Life and Policy (HELP), the National Environmental Observatory Network (NEOaN), and the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH).

Gary Deziel

Gary Deziel

Community Development Specialist
Institution: University of Vermont Extension
Phone: 802 524-6501 x444
Education:
  • University of Vermont, MBA 2005
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S. Agronomy 1983
  • University of New Hampshire, B.S. Plant Science 1980

Gary is an Extension Assistant Professor in the Saint Albans, VT UVM Extension office. Gary contributes skills and experiences in municipal governance, operations, business process, and financial management, with additional experience in field and specialty crop production, communications, and research management to the Lake Champlain Sea Grant team. Gary has been brought on board to contribute to LCSG's efforts on workforce development within the Lake Champlain basin. As an avid hiker and kayaker, Gary is passionate about Lake Champlain and every square inch (especially the higher-altitude square inches) of its glorious watershed.

Ashley Eaton

Watershed and Lake Education Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont - Extension
Phone: 802-391-4410
Education:
  • Ed.D Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, expected 2024
  • M.S. Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2018
  • B.S. Education, Environmental Studies, University of Vermont, 2013

Ashley joined Lake Champlain Sea Grant and UVM Extension team in November 2015. As the Watershed and Lake Education Coordinator she oversees the Watershed Alliance program K-12 education program which has a UVM and a SUNY Plattsburgh location, coordinates watershed science professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers, and oversees an undergraduate Watershed Education internship program. She has a BS in Education and Environmental Science and a MS in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and will be starting her doctorate this summer (2021) at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. 

Ashley’s educational and professional pursuits have been dedicated to helping create a sustainable future for Vermont, the greater Lake Champlain basin and beyond. Ashley works at the state and federal level to support watershed science and environmental literacy. She is the co-chair of the Vermont Education and Environment Network which is the state level North American Association of Environmental Education affiliate, which aims to foster a network of individuals and organizations working together to promote high quality outdoor, environmental, and educational experiences. Ashley is also the secretary of the Sea Grant Educators Network and an active member of the Champlain Basin Education Initiative. She is immensely grateful for all the time she has spent connecting and learning from natural systems; today she is most likely found  mountain biking, skiing, or SUPing with her floppy eared pup Callie.

Shari Halik

Shari Halik

Communications Professional
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-8339
Education:
  • M.S., Forestry, University of Vermont, 1990
  • B.S., Forestry, University of Vermont, 1983

Shari provides communications assistance for Lake Champlain Sea Grant. She maintains websites, coordinates enewletters and social media, writes news stories, and creates print materials. She also manages communications for the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center, the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

Marisa Immordino

Watershed Education Graduate Assistant
Institution: University of Vermont
Education:
  • B.S. Environmental Studies, Gettysbury College 2020

Marisa is a M.S Student at the University of Vermont and is originally from New Jersey. After graduating from Gettysburg College in 2020 with her bachelor’s degree, she returned to the Garden State to complete two consecutive terms of service with AmeriCorps as a New Jersey Watershed Ambassador. In this role, she was tasked with providing educational presentations, running community outreach opportunities, and assessing freshwater streams in the watershed she represented, the Millstone. Marisa is excited to begin working with Lake Champlain Sea Grant and cannot wait to explore the area through her position!

Aude Lochet

Aude Lochet

Water Resources Extension Specialist
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Phone: 518-564-2056
Education:
  • PhD., Oceanography, University of Bordeaux, France, 2006
  • M.S., Ecology of Aquatic Systems, University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, 2002
  • B.S., Biology of Organisms, University of Rennes, France, 2000

Aude Lochet is the water resources extension specialist based at SUNY Plattsburgh. She conducts outreach, educational activities, and applied research in relation to water resources and human use of Lake Champlain and its shoreline.

Aude started her career in France as a fish ecologist. She studied the otoliths (“ear stones” in Greek) of fish to understand the migration of many species, including sea lamprey in Lake Champlain. She also participated in fish restoration programs. She discovered herself as an educator when she started working with undergraduate students, as an instructor and research mentor. For several years, she managed undergraduate research programs for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and taught biology and environmental science courses at Vassar College and at some SUNY institutions. In her spare time, you might find her swimming in a pool, reading a thriller, or cooking with her family.

Anna Marchessault

Anna Marchessault

Program Assistant
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-4277
Education:
  • B.S. Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2021

Anna joined Lake Champlain Sea Grant in April of 2022. Her work supports the Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center, and the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. She is passionate about supporting her Vermont community and supporting research initiatives to further our knowledge and understanding of our local ecosystems. Anna grew up in Burlington, Vermont. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking, and is currently learning how to ski.

Anna is a 2021 graduate of UVM’s Rubenstein School where she studied Natural Resources with a concentration in Resource Ecology. She previously worked for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group in multiple capacities but most notably as an Assistant Canvass Director where she led their first ever virtual canvass. She also helped launch a new arm of the nonprofit, VPIRG Votes, that is involved in legislative elections.

Caroline Blake

Caroline Blake McKelvey

Watershed and Lake Education Specialist
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-391-4119
Education:
  • M.S. Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 2019
  • B.A. Biology/Chemistry, University of Vermont 2013

Caroline has called Vermont home on and off for the past 10 years but grew up in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. She recently graduated with a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; however, she completed her undergraduate degree at UVM in 2013. Since 2009, she has called many states home (Vermont, California, and Wisconsin), but she is excited to circle back to UVM where her environmental education career officially began. She will enjoy being closer to the mountains and Lake Champlain.

Timothy Mihuc

Timothy Mihuc

Co-Director, LCRI Coordinator, Associate Professor of Environmental Science
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Education:
  • Ph.D. Biology, Idaho State University, 1994
  • M.S. Zoology, Oklahoma State University, 1989
  • B.S. Biology, Oral Roberts University

Timothy (Tim) Mihuc oversees LCSG's SUNY Plattsburgh operations and serves as the coordinator of the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh. Tim began his career with an undergraduate independent research project on nutrient limitation of algae in a small eutrophic lake in Oklahoma. He continued his education as an aquatic ecologist through studies on invertebrate life-history ecology in a Colorado alpine wetland (M.S.) and post-fire food web dynamics in Yellowstone National Park streams (Ph.D.). He spent several years at Louisiana State University as a post-doctoral researcher (1994-1996) conducting invasive species research in the Atchafalaya River Basin, the largest contiguous hardwood swamp ecosystem in the U.S.  From 1996-1999 Tim served as director of the Great Rivers Field Station (Illinois Natural History Survey) where he led a multidisciplinary research team working on the Upper Mississippi River.

He has published over 35 research articles including in journals such as Ecology, Freshwater Biology, Aquatic Sciences, Hydrobiologia, Journal of Great Lakes Research and American Midland Naturalist and has co-edited the book volume titled “Lake Champlain: Partnership and research in the new millennium,” published by Kluwer Academic publishers. Tim’s professional areas of interest include aquatic food webs, fish population dynamics, ecological integrity and aquatic biodiversity. He enjoys outdoor activities, particularly fly-fishing, skiing, hiking and mountain climbing (preferably combined).

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell
(he/him)

Lake Monitoring and Community Outreach Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-490-6126
Education:
  • Master's degree in Limnology, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland 2008
  • Bachelor's degree in Forestry, Virginia Tech 2002

Mark was born and raised in Pennsylvania, earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from Virginia Tech in 2002 (including 2001 at the Victorian School of Forestry in Australia) and a master's degree in Limnology at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland in 2008. He began working with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Lakes Program as a seasonal environmental technician from 2009 to 2012, then worked as a seasonal fisheries technician with the US Forest Service in California in 2013 and 2014, and spent a winter as a State of Alaska certified crab observer on fishing vessels in the Bering Sea. He returned to Vermont from 2015 to 2020 to work with the DEC Lakes Program again as an environmental scientist involved in volunteer monitoring, assessment, and permitting. After a year working as a water quality scientist with Horizons Regional Council on the North Island of New Zealand, Mark has returned to Vermont once more.

Linda Patterson

Land-Use Planning and Water Quality Educator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-734-2617
Education:
  • MFA, Bennington College, 2003
  • MSW, University of Minnesota, 1981
  • B.A. Harvard University, 1978

Linda is responsible for coordinating education programs that target real estate professionals, watershed groups and municipal employees. She collaborates with topic experts to develop accredited courses for real estate professionals in Vermont and New York on topics related to land use and water quality protection. Linda works with watershed groups to create and present public education workshops focused on shoreland erosion control. She enlists local businesses, non-profits and municipal agencies in adopting recommended lawn care practices for healthy soils and stormwater runoff mitigation.

Linda’s life-long devotion to the health and welfare of Lake Champlain inspired her transition from a social work career to working for the Lake.  She is co-founder of Ahead of the Storm, a Lewis Creek Association program addressing stormwater runoff in the LaPlatte River watershed through education, mitigation designs, and installations. Her involvement with local watershed initiatives includes her role as a member of the Sacred Waters Committee of the Clean Water Network, and of the Aquatic Plant Committee for the Long Point. Linda’s family has owned a summer home on Lake Champlain at Long Point since the 1930’s.  She is an avid open-water swimmer, hiker, and cross-country skier, and enjoys sharing time on the Lake with her extended family.

Jill Sarazen

Jill Sarazen

Green Infrastructure Collaborative Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont
Education:
  • MS, Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont, 2020
  • BA, Biology, Oberlin College, 2016

As the Green Infrastructure Collaborative (GIC) Coordinator, Jill works with the Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. She coordinates the statewide GI Roundtable and supports development of clean water project verification and operation and maintenance programs for projects funded under the Clean Water Service Delivery Act of 2019. Through this role, she provides outreach and coordinates educational programming to encourage the use of low impact development, green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), and nature-based solutions for managing stormwater runoff. 

For her master’s research, Jill evaluated the nutrient removal performance of bioretention cells and a denitrifying woodchip bioreactor treating agricultural runoff from dairy farm production areas and silage storage bunkers. After completing her MS degree, Jill was a lecturer in the UVM Plant and Soil Science Department, where she instructed environmental science and plant and soil science labs. She has also conducted stormwater management property site assessments to make suggestions to landowners. In her free time, Jill enjoys getting outside and exploring the mountains throughout all of Vermont's seasons, especially while skiing, biking, climbing, and hiking.

Jeff Schloss

Jeffrey Schloss

Acting Extension Leader
Institution: University of Vermont
Education:
  • M.S. Marine and Aquatic Biology, The American University, 1985
  • B.S. Marine Zoology and B.A. Economics, Dute University, 1979

Jeff comes to Vermont and the Lake Champlain basin from New Hampshire, where he is a Water Quality/Resources Specialist and Extension Professor Emeritus in Aquatic Ecology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and a water resources consultant. He previously served as a UNH Cooperative Extension Program team leader, associate director of the UNH Center for Freshwater Biology, and co-director of the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program. In his most recent research, he has focused on cyanobacteria toxin ecology, watershed nutrient loading and lake response modeling, monitoring and management of aquatic invasive species, water quality, plankton ecology, and community-based and participatory science.

At UNH, Jeff addressed local, state, and regional water and natural resources concerns by working with educators, students, private landowners, watershed associations, conservation groups, local decision-makers, and agency staff. With state and regional partners, he developed watershed assessment tools for communities and helped to train students, educators, local decision-makers, and agency staff to use GIS in watershed resource inventories and water quality/aquatic habitat issues.

At Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Jeff supports staff and students, maintains extension operations, and contributes to existing and new efforts during Kris Stepenuck's University of Vermont faculty sabbatical leave for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Kris Stepenuck

Kris Stepenuck

Extension Leader & Associate Director
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-8504
Education:
  • Ph.D., Environment and Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
  • M.S., Natural Resources, Univerasity of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1999
  • B.S., Water Resources Management, University of New Hampshire, 1995

Kris develops, implements, and oversees Lake Champlain Sea Grant Extension and outreach activities. Her current outreach efforts include using social marketing techniques to promote healthy soils through lawn care, community resilience to flooding, and clean boating and best winter maintenance practices. Her research endeavors include understanding outcomes and building credibility of volunteer water monitoring and citizen science programs, assessing impacts of land use on water quality, and understanding behavior changes that result from watershed outreach programming.

She helps to support a national network of volunteer water monitoring programs, maintaining volunteermonitoring.org, that includes a national jobs board for water outreach and volunteer water monitoring positions, and an associated listserv for Extension water professionals (ExtVolMonNetwork). She is appointed as the U.S. co-chair of the Public Advisory Group of the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Flood Study and serves as a member of the Lake Champlain Basin Program Education and Outreach Committee, and the Watersheds United Vermont board of directors.

Chief Don Stevens by Sarah Webb

Chief Don Stevens

Indigenous Educator
Institution: University of Vermont

Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe is well-known throughout the Lake Champlain basin and receives frequent invitations to participate at events where he shares his inspiring Abenaki stories and knowledge with school children and other groups. For many years, he has demonstrated Abenaki traditions and told campfire stories at festivals and family programs at Shelburne Farms. 

Through a partnership with Lake Champlain Sea Grant and Shelburne Farms, Chief Stevens and other educators will convey their Indigenous knowledge and cultural history of the basin with learning activities and events at Shelburne Farms and at area K-12 schools, colleges, nonprofit organizations, and other public venues. Chief Stevens will collaborate with other Indigenous educators to provide learning opportunities including the development of videos, books, and teaching materials and lessons to share Abenaki cultural history.

Nate Trachte

Nate Trachte

Education Specialist
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Phone: 518-564-3172
Education:
  • M.Ed. Environmental Education, Western Washington University, 2019
  • B.A. Environmental Studies, Fort Lewis College, 2017

Nate grew up in the Ausable River Watershed in upstate New York where he fell in love with the region. An avid backcountry skier, hiker, mountain biker, paddler, and lover of adventure, Nate spends his time outside whenever possible. He is passionate about inspiring young people to interact with and study their local environment in hopes of emboldening the next generation of environmental stewards. In 2017, Nate earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Fort Lewis College. In 2019, he completed his Master’s in Education with a focus in environmental education from Western Washington University and North Cascades Institute. Before joining Lake Champlain Sea Grant he worked with a variety of experiential environmental education programs.

Kate Warner

Katelynn Warner
(she/her)

Watershed Science Education Program Assistant
Institution: University of Vermont

Kate is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont, but grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She started researching lakes as an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo, particularly how physical lake mixing and internal phosphorus loading leads to the proliferation of cyanobacteria blooms. At the University of Vermont, her research is focusing on the drivers of cyanobacteria blooms and their production of harmful toxins. She has recently started as the watershed science education program assistant with Lake Champlain Sea Grant's Watershed Alliance in order to work with communities and help educate K-12 students on watershed dynamics and what is threatening our water quality in the Lake Champlain basin.

For questions about Watershed Alliance, email us at watershd [at] uvm.edu.

Julianna White

Julianna White

Research Program Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-777-7017
Education:
  • BA, American Studies, University of Notre Dame

Julianna is the Research Program Coordinator for the Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center, and the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. In this capacity, Julianna is responsible for administration and budget management of the three research programs, competing and awarding research projects, and reporting. She also contributes to outreach and communications efforts.

Previously, Julianna was based at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment, supporting and communicating research on low emissions agriculture in developing countries, a focus of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Prior to joining UVM, Julianna managed projects and wrote and edited proposals, reports, and outreach materials for the USAID West Africa Trade Hub, CARE International, and the US Peace Corps in Niger and Ghana, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, and taught middle and high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Washington, DC. 

Theo Willis

Theodore Willis

Aquaculture Education Specialist
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 2078944537
Education:
  • Ph.D., Limnology & Oceanography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
  • M.S., Liminology and Marine Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S., Ecology, Evolution and Organism Biology, Tulane University, 1994

In 2006, Theo moved to Maine to work on ecology and restoration issues related to anadromous fish and their interactions with native and naturalized species in the freshwater and nearshore marine environments. His work focused primarily on alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) but also extended to eels, Atlantic salmon, and Atlantic cod. He was awarded an adjunct faculty position at the University of Southern Maine in 2008 where he taught classes, such as Land-based Aquaculture, Limnology, and environmental lab courses, and pursued research on anadromous fish ecology.

Theo joined the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET), an NSF-funded “Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research” (EPSCOR) project based out of the University of Maine in 2013. Through SEANET, he was introduced to a wide array of topics in mariculture and aquaculture, settling on Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), Aquaponics, and clam and seaweed farming as areas of investigation. He worked with the Passamaquoddy Environmental Department to explore aquaculture related business ventures associated with their reservation near Eastport, ME. In 2017 he took one of the SEANET projects commercial, starting a kelp farm off Stonington, ME. 

Theo generally enjoys being outdoors, on boats or in the woods of northern New England.