Green Infrastructure Coordinator Joins Lake Champlain Sea Grant

By Shari Halik
December 23, 2021

The Green Infrastructure Collaborative partners, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), have hired Jillian Sarazen as the Green Infrastructure Collaborative (GIC) Coordinator. Jill will begin her full-time position at the University of Vermont in January 2021.

The Collaborative combines efforts to bridge the gap between research, extension, and application of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) and natural asset management in Vermont. Jill will lead and facilitate all efforts of the Collaborative to support healthy aquatic ecosystems and flood hazard resiliency in the Lake Champlain basin and to achieve University outreach goals and Vermont DEC water quality goals.

Through the Collaborative, Jill will encourage low impact development, GSI, and natural assets management as prioritized tools to manage stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution across the landscape. To support Vermont’s water quality goals (Clean Water Service Delivery Act of 2019), she will link university research and teaching to provide outreach, educational programming, and professional development opportunities for practitioners, municipalities, and others interested in stormwater management.

She will also promote information exchange among University, Vermont DEC, and external stakeholders through the statewide Green Infrastructure Roundtable.

“As the GIC coordinator, I am very excited for the opportunity to collaborate with many people and organizations throughout Vermont and work to increase the understanding and adoption of green stormwater infrastructure practices and other clean water projects,” said Jill. “I am thrilled to work at the intersection of outreach, research, and policy implementation through this shared role between Sea Grant and Vermont DEC.”

Since July 2021, Jill has served as the interim GIC collaborator. She also worked as a stormwater mitigation associate for BLUE, a program that evaluates and certifies homes, businesses, and institutions as watershed friendly in the Lake Champlain basin.

Jill is currently a lecturer in the University of Vermont Plant and Soil Science Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where she teaches environmental sciences and plant and soil science courses. She earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Vermont in 2020. For her thesis research, she evaluated the nutrient removal performance of bioretention cells and a woodchip bioreactor treatment system treating stormwater runoff from a dairy farm. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College.

In her free time, Jill enjoys getting outside and playing in the mountains throughout all of Vermont's seasons, especially skiing, biking, climbing, and hiking.