Staff Directory

Breck Bowden

Lake Champlain Sea Grant Director
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-2513
  • Ph.D. 1982 North Carolina State University, Bioogeochemistry 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. He teaches undergraduate courses in the Environmental Sciences curriculum and graduate courses in the Aquatic of Ecology and Watershed sciences curriculum at the University of Vermont. He is the Director of the Vermont Water Resources in 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 to 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).

Marc Companion

Green Infrastructure Outreach
Institution: Lake Champlain Sea Grant Institute and Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Phone: 802 - three seven three - zero two five zero
  • M.S. Natural Resources Planning, University of Vermont, 2000
  • B.S. Civil Engineering, Michigan State University, 1987

Marc conducts Green Infrastructure outreach through a joint position shared between the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Institute and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  In this role he manages the Green Infrastructure Roundtable stakeholder group and facilitates the use of nature-based solutions to reduce stormwater nutrient loads and erosion. 

Marc has over 25 years of experience in water resources, ecological design, environmental education and community development in the U.S. and overseas.  He was a Program Manager at the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Project Manager at Tetra Tech (formerly ARD), and Education Coordinator at Ocean Arks International.  Marc also worked in Kenya and South Sudan for 6-1/2 years managing water infrastructure and natural resource conservation programs.  He is trained as a Passive House consultant and teaches courses at UVM on building science and high performance green buildings.  He has taught at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School and was a founding member and first Board President of Local Motion in Burlington.

Gary Deziel

Community Development Specialist
Institution: University of Vermont Extension
Phone: 802 524-6501 x444
  • MBA, University of Vermont
  • M.S. Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gary is an Extension Assistant Professor in the Saint Albans, VT Extension office. Gary has worked in higher education most of his career, and contributes skills and experiences in 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. Specifically, Gary has been brought on board to contribute to LCSG's efforts on workforce development within the 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 8,234 square mile watershed.

Ashley Eaton

Watershed and Lake Education Coordinator
Institution: University of Vermont - Extension
Phone: 802-391-4410
  • M.S. Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Expected 2017
  • B.S. Education, Environmental Studies, University of Vermont, 2013

Ashley joined the UVM Extension and Lake Champlain Sea Grant team in November 2015. Ashley coordinates the UVM Watershed Alliance, which is a UVM Extension and Lake Champlain Sea Grant collaborative K-12 education program focused on increasing watershed awareness and stewardship throughout the Lake Champlain Basin and Vermont. In 2013 Ashley received her Bachelor's of Science from UVM in Elementary Education with a concentration in Environmental Science/Studies. She has spent the last few years immersed in environmental education and outreach and received her Master's of Science in Natural Resources in December of 2017. 

Shari Halik

Mark Malchoff

Aquatic Resources Specialist
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
Phone: 518-564-3037
  • M.S. Environmental Studies, Bard College, 1993
  • B.S. Natural Resources, Cornell University, 1976

Mark represents LCSG in regional and national fisheries and aquatic habitat initiatives. As the Aquatic Resources Specialist, he leads all activities associated with fisheries extension and aquatic invasive species, and he contributes to lake based sustainable communities and economic development. Prior to his work with LCSG, Mark was employed with New York Sea Grant and Cornell Cooperative Extension since 1984.

Timothy Mihuc

Co-Director, LCRI Coordinator, Associate Professor of Environmental Science
Institution: SUNY Plattsburgh
  • 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 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). 

Linda Patterson

Land-Use Planning and Water Quality Educator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-7668
  • 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 state experts to develop accredited courses for real estate professionals 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 local tri-town collaborative providing education and resources for private and public landowners concerned with stormwater runoff mitigation.  Her involvement with local watershed initiatives includes her role as a Lake Wise Leader through the Department of Environmental Conservation and as a member of the Sacred Waters Committee of the Clean Water Network. Linda’s family has owned a summer home on Lake Champlain since the 1930’s.  She is an avid open-water swimmer, hiker, and cross-country skiier, and enjoys sharing time on the Lake with her extended family.

Elissa Schuett

Research Coordinator and Communicator
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-656-4277
  • M.S. Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology, Frostburg State University, 2007
  • B.S. Biology, Bradley University, 2001
  • Certificate of Graduate Study in Environmental Public Health, University of Vermont, 2018

Elissa has a background in stream ecology with expertise in biogeochemistry and macroinvertebrate ecology. She has done extensive ecological research across the country, including studying streams in arctic Alaska as well as in Lake Champlain and streams in Vermont. In addition to research, Elissa is passionate about science communication and connecting research to a broad audience. Elissa also recently completed a Certificate of Graduate Study in Environmental Public Health from the University of Vermont. 

Elissa manages the research program of Lake Champlain Sea Grant and works with researchers to develop outreach materials for their projects.  Elissa also manages communications, including content development and management of a Lake Champlain Sea Grant supported program ecoNEWS VT.  This online portal highlights key findings from ecological research and monitoring being conducted across Vermont. The portal connects scientists, practitioners, policy-makers, and other interested individuals with information distilled from the latest research and monitoring on Vermont's ecology. 

Elissa is also passionate about bicycle commuting, baking, and adventuring with her husband. She hopes to instill these interests into her incredible daughter and darling son, who have stolen her heart. 

Kris Stepenuck

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

Kris develops, implements and oversees LCSG extension and outreach activities across the Lake Champlain Basin. 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 assessing attitude and behavior changes resulting from community outreach programming.

She helps to support a national network of volunteer water monitoring programs, maintaining, a national jobs board for water outreach and volunteer monitoring positions, and an associated listserv for Extension water professionals (ExtVolMonNetwork). She recently completed a 3+ year term on the inaugural board of the Citizen Science Association board of directors, serving as chair, vice chair and secretary in the time period. She also serves as a member of the Volunteer Monitoring Working Group of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, the Education and Outreach Committee of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, and the Watersheds United Vermont board of directors.

Amelia Tarren

Sea Grant Program Assistant
Institution: University of Vermont
Phone: 802-391-4420
  • B.A. Environmental Science, Freshwater Studies, Hampshire College

Amelia's early adventures along the coast of Maine searching for tidepool-dwelling critters lead to a lifelong love of aquatic ecosystems. Amelia has worked to establish baseline geochemistry in Pennsylvania, developed conservation management plans for riparian areas in the Connecticut River Watershed and assisted with long-term stream monitoring programs in Massachusetts. While maintaining her strong connection to the outdoor environments in which she plays and studies, she worked in a particle physics lab at the University of Massachusetts, collaborating with the ATLAS group at CERN near Geneva Switzerland. On sunny days Amelia can be found climbing granite walls in New England or paddling the coastlines of the lake with her dog.