About Us | Office of Sustainability | The University of Vermont(title)

The Office of Sustainability supports sustainability planning on campus, connects operations with academics, and tracks our sustainability efforts. We work with faculty, staff and students to foster collaboration and implement solutions on campus, while building partnerships outside of UVM to increase our impact.

Meet our staff

Meet our staff

Elizabeth Palchak, PhD, Director

Liz Palchak

Elizabeth leads the Office of Sustainability, connecting academics, research, operations, and engagement to amplify UVM’s impact and contributions to sustainable solutions. Liz earned her BA from The College of Wooster and her PhD from the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, with a focus on social science and the clean energy transition. Prior to her return to UVM, she was a Senior Energy Consultant with VEIC, a sustainable energy company based in Vermont. At VEIC, she worked on sustainable energy projects throughout the country for municipalities, utilities and universities, highlighting the human perspective in program and policy development. She is an active contributor to the Energy Equity Project, a national effort to address energy justice and held teaching positions at several institutions, most recently at Vermont Law School. Earlier in her career she was a graduate faculty member at Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming and was a NOLS instructor in the Rocky Mountains. Elizabeth joined our office in 2021. If she's not at work, she's most likely outside, trail running with friends or backcountry skiing with her husband.


Email: elizabeth.palchak@uvm.edu

Corey Berman, Recycling and Zero Waste Coordinator

Corey Berman

Helping lead the effort in positioning UVM as a leader in sustainable materials management and Zero Waste, Corey collaborates with faculty, staff and students on a variety of initiatives and projects that reduce and divert UVM’s waste stream. His responsibilities include strategic and project planning, managing daily operations, conducting campus education and outreach, and overseeing research and data collection. Corey has been working in the field of environmental sustainability for over 20 years. After graduating from Keene State College in 2000 with a degree in Sociology, where he helped run the KSC recycling program, Corey worked with the Connecticut Energy Co-op, and later as part of the Dept. of Energy’s Energy Star Program. Corey then joined UVM’s Solid Waste Program in 2005 eventually becoming its Program Manager and joined our office in 2022. He was one of the first participants in UVM’s Leadership for Sustainability Graduate Program and is a current board member of the College and University Recycling Coalition.


Email: corey.berman@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-5731

Abby Bleything, Sustainable Transportation Program Manager

Abby Bleything

Abby leads the overall strategy, administration and expansion of the Active Transportation Plan and existing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs while overseeing implementation of new sustainable transportation initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as Vermont’s Clean Cities Coordinator, managing a statewide coalition and portfolio of activities designed to decrease the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Abby holds a M.S. in Urban Policy and Planning and a B.S. in Environmental Policy. She is a Certified Planner (AICP), a TDM Certified Professional (TDM-CP), a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), and a Certified Instructor for the Safe Routes to School National Course.


Email: abby.bleything@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-1009

Claire Forbes, Associate Planner

Claire Forbes

In 2017, Claire joined UVM's Planning, Design and Construction team, and in 2022, she expanded her role to support the Office of Sustainability. Key plans she has contributed to include the Campus Plan 2022-2032, guiding land use and building management, and UVM's inaugural Comprehensive Sustainability Plan. Claire's expertise spans land use planning, community development, committee facilitation, graphic and urban design, bike/pedestrian planning, and sustainable building design. She became a LEED AP in 2008 and received her AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) certification in 2013.


Email: claire.forbes@uvm.edu

Caylin McCamp, Sustainable Projects Manager

Caylin McCamp

As a undergraduate at UVM Caylin was active in campus sustainability efforts. She graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and joined our office in 2017 after working as the Sustainability Manager for UVM Dining. Caylin develops and implements action plans for all aspects of our office, serves as Sustainable Funds Coordinator for SRAIC, leads our DEI efforts, and manages our education and outreach programs, including the Eco-Reps Program that started her own career path. Caylin received an M.S. in Natural Resources in 2020 through the Leadership for Sustainability program with a capstone on climate anxiety. She has been a member of the AASHE Advisory Council since 2018 and maintains a Mental Health First Aid certification. 


Email: caylin.mccamp@uvm.edu 
Phone: 802-656-0906

Casey Smith, Renewable Energy Projects Coordinator

Casey Smith

Casey Smith has worked for Planning, Design and Construction since 2017 supporting construction project managers and began sharing her time with the Office of Sustainability in 2021 to help bridge the common goals of these departments. She maintains data for UVM’s solar installations and researches state regulations regarding renewable energy. Casey is pursuing a Certificate for Graduate Study in Community Resilience and Planning in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UVM. Her academic interests include sustainable community design, adaptive reuse architecture and planning for climate migration.


Email: casey.a.smith@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-0218

Gioia Thompson, Sustainability Strategist

Gioia Thompson

After working in the recycling arena, Gioia Thompson came to UVM in 1996 to begin working with a team, the Environmental Council, under the leadership of Dr. Stephanie Kaza of Environmental Studies to bring more sustainable practices into campus life. Gioia is responsible for tracking the institution’s environmental performance; recommending environmentally responsible practices; working with students, faculty members, and staff members on projects; and connecting with the Vermont and higher education communities. Gioia received a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 1987 with an honors thesis on municipal leaf composting, and an M.S. in Natural Resources in 2000 on indicators of sustainability in higher education, both from the University of Vermont.


Email: gioia.thompson@uvm.edu 
Phone: 802-656-3803

Kevin Coburn, Communications Specialist

Kevin Coburn has worked as a content creator at UVM since 2017, and began working with the Office of Sustainability in 2020. He manages the Office of Sustainability website and writes feature stories about sustainability activities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from UVM and a web marketing certification from UVM Professional and Continuing Education. Kevin has broad experience in higher education and non-profit communications—he was director of communications at Green Mountain College, leading an office that won several Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) excellence in publications awards, and the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt. He also works in UVM central communications and for the Office of Engagement at UVM.


Email: kevin.coburn@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-299-5410

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