Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development Master's Program

 

MS CESD Alumni

Katherine Baer, 1996  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: When it rains, it drains: Stormwater management in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia.

Current Position: Senior Director, Clean Water Program, American Rivers

After receiving her M.S. degree from UGA, Baer worked for the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the Center for Progressive Reform, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. She then received a law degree from the University of Maryland and now works with American Rivers as their Advocacy Director. For more information please see: http://www.americanrivers.org/about-us/staff/katherine-baer.html

Email: KatherineBaer@hotmail.com

Katherine Baer, MS CESD 1996
Sarah Gaines Barmeyer, 2006  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Designing a Citizen's Guide to Statewide Water Planning

Current Position: Great Waters Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

Barmeyer works with Congress, the Administration, and coalitions around the nation to support restoration projects in large aquatic ecosystems, such as the Great Lakes, Everglades, and Chesapeake Bay, for the benefit of national parks. Prior to joining NPCA, she worked for the Georgia Wildlife Federation and was responsible for building, organizing, and managing the Georgia Water Coalition, a diverse group of interests that advocates for sustainable water management policies.

Email: sbarmeyer@gmail.com

Sarah Gaines Barmeyer, MS CESD 2006
Jeffrey Boring, 2003  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Planning to Protect the Upper Etowah Region: Using a Build-out Analysis Approach to Test the Environmental and Economic Impacts of Multiple Regional Land Use Plans

Current Position: Environmental Planner, Larimer County Open Lands Program

Boring develops and implements conservation, restoration and recreation plans for about 40,000 acres of protected land in Larimer County, Colorado. Larimer County is located along the northern Front Range of Colorado and abuts Boulder County to the south and Wyoming to the north. Boring’s duties include grant writing, managing regional trail construction projects, conducting development review, collecting field data and public input and implementing restoration and land management projects. Since graduating in 2003 he has worked at the Athens Land Trust as the Conservation Director, at the Big Thompson Watershed Forum as the Monitoring Program Manager and took his current job in 2007. For more information, see: http://www.larimer.org/openlands/

Email: jeffreyuga@yahoo.com

Jeffrey Boring, MS CESD 2003
Richard Carey, 2005  

Major Professor: Velidis/Pringle

Thesis: The effect of nutrient enrichment on stream periphyton growth in the southern coastal plain of Georgia: Implications for low dissolved oxygen.

Current Position: Postdoctoral associate in the Complex Systems Research Center , University of New Hampshire

Carey is a Postdoctoral associate in the Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire working on understanding watershed and stream biogeochemistry with continuous in-situ sensors.

Email: Richard.Carey@unh.edu

 
Kelly Crook, 2005  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: Quantifying the effects of water withdrawal on streams draining the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico.

Current Position: AP Biology Teacher, Grapevine, TX

For more information please see: http://www.gcisd-k12.org/Page/3872

Email: kellycrook@hotmail.com; kelly.crook@gcisd.net

Kelly Crook, MS CESD 2005
Joe DeVivo, 1996  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: Fish assemblages as indicators of water quality within the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin

Current Position: Program Coordinator, Southeast Coast Inventory & Monitoring Program, National Park Service

DeVivo is currently designing and implementing long-term ecological monitoring programs for seventeen National Park Service units in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. For more information please see: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/secn, http://www.southatlanticlcc.org, http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/secn/networkstaff.cfm

Email: Joe_DeVivo@nps.gov 

Joe DeVivo, MS CESD 1996
Peter Esselman, 2001  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: The Monkey River Baseline Study: Basic and applied research for monitoring assessment in southern Belize.

Current Position: Research Assistant Professorship in the Department of Zoology, Michigan State University

After earning his MS with Dr. Pringle in 2001, Esselman spent several years assisting The Nature Conservancy and local NGOs with freshwater assessment and conservation planning in Belize, Central America. After that he earned his PhD in Resource Ecology and Management at the University of Michigan in 2008. His dissertation focused on fish communities and conservation of rivers in northeastern Mesoamerica. Directly following the award of his PhD, he worked for two years with researchers at Michigan State University as a post-doc to conduct a large scale, high resolution assessment of fish habitat conditions for all river reaches in the United States. Recently, he began a Research Assistant Professorship in the Department of Zoology at Michigan State University and is actively involved in an EPA funded project to investigate linkages and tradeoffs between ecological condition and human well-being. He also hopes to reinitiate studies to assist aquatic resource managers in Belize.

Email: pce@msu.edu

Pete Esselman, MS CESD 2001
Brian Gregory, 1997  

Major Professor: Velidis/Pringle

Thesis: Use of benthic macroinvertebrates to assess the effectiveness of riparian buffer zones on intermittent streams in the southeastern USA

Current Position: Aquatic Ecologist, National Park Service, Southeast Coast Network.

Before working for the National Park Service, Gregory worked at the USGS in Atlanta, GA with the NAWQA Program. He focused on issues related to how urbanization effects stream ecosystems in the GA Piedmont as well as nationally, how nutrient and agricultural effects coastal plain streams in the Southeast, and how hydrologic alteration effects fish communities in the Tennessee River Drainage. For more information please see: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/secn/networkstaff.cfm, http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/SECN/streamhabitat.cfm

Email: Mark_Gregory@nps.gov 

Brian Gregory, MS CESD 1997
Rebecca Haynes, 2006  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Bacteria TMDL Implementation in the Southeast: Recommendations for Georgia

Current Position: Associate Director of Southeast Conservation, American Rivers

Haynes implements the policies mentioned in www.americanrivers.org/waterefficiencyreport. Herwater supply director is another UGA grad, Jenny Hoffner. Haynes has lived in Columbia, SC since she moved there after graduation to work at SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). At DHEC she was first a Watershed Outreach Coordinator and then a Watershed Manager for the Saluda and Savannah River Basins. Both positions were CWA section 319 funded and worked on TMDL implementation. She could actually apply her CESD degree and loved her work. Haynes received two DHEC awards: DHEC Michael D. Jarrett Outstanding Customer Service Award: EQC Public Participation Task Force, 2008; DHEC Environmental Quality Control (EQC) Employee of the Month, Oct. 2009. She started at American Rivers in April 2011 and is enjoying working in the advocacy field (see website for info). In her spare time, Haynes has been active in Columbia, serving as an environmental advisor on Mayor Benjamin's transition team; leading the creation of the NOMA Bark Park (www.earlewood.org/barkpark) which won the Free Times “Best of Columbia” award this year. The Bark Park opened in January 2011 and has almost 300 members. The dog park is also built in a floodplain, so the members have been doing a lot of work on the urban stream called Smith Branch. They conduct stream clean-ups and are working on restoring native plants in the riparian buffers. Haynes also convinced the City of Columbia Stormwater Department to pay for the dog park as a scoop-the-poop educational tool. Haynes  sits on the executive committee of the Earlewood Community Citizens Organization.

Email: rhaynes@americanrivers.org 

Rebecca Haynes, MS CESD 2006
Stephanie Davis Hiers, 2000  

Major Professor: Velidis/Pringle

Thesis: Assessing impacts of animal agriculture on macroinvertebrates in intermittent coastal plain streams in the southeastern USA: Implications for biomonitoring.

Current Position: Environmental Scientist, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

Currently Hiers serves as an aquatic ecologist and endangered species biologist, and technical lead for Environmental Assessments (EA), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Biological Assessments (BA), and various other assessment documents related to potential impacts in aquatic, terrestrial, and marine habitats in the Southeast, particularly in Florida and Georgia.

Email: STEPHANIE.D.HIERS@saic.com 

 
Tina Laidlaw, 1996  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: The implementation of a volunteer stream monitoring program in Costa Rica

Current Position: Monitoring Specialist and Regional Biocriteria/Nutrient Criteria Coordinator, U.S. EPA, Helena, Montana.

When she first graduated with her MS from the CESD program, Tina became the statewide manager of the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program for the state of Alabama and now works for the EPA. For more information, please see: http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/wqs

Email: Laidlaw.Tina@epamail.epa.gov  

Tina Laidlaw, MS CESD 1996
Martha Maxwell, 2004  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Photojournalist, Atlanta

 
Kristi Minahan, 1999  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Identifying key water resource concerns and potential solutions in the Upper Etowah River watershed: Scientific and public perspectives

Current Position: Water Resources Management Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Minahan has worked for the Wisconsin DNR since 2000, in the Runoff Management program and in the Water Quality Standards program. Her current focus is on refining policies for classifying and assessing the state's lakes, rivers, and streams. Specifically, she has worked on Wisconsin's Impaired Waters List, Water Quality Report to Congress, Outstanding and Exceptional Resource Waters, Triennial Standards Review, Designated Uses, Site-Specific Criteria, Runoff Management outreach and publications, and the Water Division Monitoring Strategy. WDNR Water Quality Standards: Evaluation and Management:  http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/wqs/

Email: kristi.minahan@wisconsin.gov

Kristi Minahan, MS CESD 1999
Kacie Moreno-Schoen, 2005  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: K-12 teacher, Georgia

 
Jennifer Plourde Pahl, 2009  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Ecologist, Corblu Ecology, LLC

Pahl is currently pursuing her PhD in ecology at UGA.

Jennifer Plourde Pahl, MS CESD 2009
Doug Parsons, 2000  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: The development of the WATER-FOR-LIFE web page: An environmental outreach tool on water resource issues for Costa Rica and Latin America

Current Position: Partnerships Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Parsons works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as climate change coordinator. Climate change has only become a focus area for FWC in the past few years, so it has been an exciting process for Parsons to lead the agency into this new area of wildlife conservation. Prior to working at FWC, he worked on natural resource management planning in Brisbane, Australia. Please see: http://ecology.uga.edu/alumniprofiles/dougparsons.html  for a recent alumni profile on the Odum School of Ecology website.

Email: Doug.Parsons@myfwc.com

Doug Parsons, MS CESD 2000
Sara Pilzer, 2006  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Doctoral program, Duke University

 
Scott Pohlman, 1998  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: Towards implementation of community-led conservation in lowland rainforest: The WATER-FOR-LIFE program in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Current Position: Director of Conservation Incentives, North Carolina Heritage Program, Raleigh, North Carolina

Email: scott.pohlman@ncmail.net  

Scott Pohlman, MS CESD 1998
Natalie Powell-Helmer, 2001  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: The role of crayfish in leaf decomposition across a leaf litter quality gradient

Current Position: Implementer/Project Manager Outpatient EMR Team, EPIC, a medical software company in Madison, Wisconsin

Powell-Helmer is current Implementer/Project Manager Outpatient EMR Team and is Co-Chair of the Environmental Task Force for the Madison Christian Community.

Email: natalie@epicsys.com

Natalie Powell-Helmer, MS CESD 2001
Alonso Ramirez, 1997  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: Structure, function, and production of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in lowland tropical streams, Costa Rica

Current Position: Associate Professor, Institute for Tropical Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, and Scientific Director of El Verde Field Station

Ramirez received his PhD in Ecology from UGA in 2000. His dissertation was titled “Control of benthic assemblages in detritus-based tropical streams”. Ramirez is currently working on the ecology of tropical aquatic ecosystems with emphasis on aquatic insects and the role they play in ecosystem processes as well as the taxonomy and systematics of aquatic insects with emphasis on immature stages or larvae. He remains actively involved as a co-PI on the Costa Rica NSF LTREB Project, working with the Pringle lab. Please see:
http://ites.upr.edu/ramirez/ingl/eng.htm, http://www.ites.upr.edu/index.php?page=alonso-ramirez
http://web.ites.upr.edu/faculty-members/alonso-ramrez

Email: aramirez@ites.upr.edu; aramirez@ramirezlab.net

Alonso Ramirez, MS CESD 1997
Alexander Reynolds, 2004  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Director, Selva Verde Station, Ecuador

 
Kelly Siragusa, 2008  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Integrating a watershed approach into Clean Water Act Section 404, wetland and stream compensatory mitigation

Current Position: Conservation/Mitigation Manager, Corblu Ecology, LLC

Siragusa presently serves as Conservation/Mitigation Manager for Corblu Ecology, LLC (formerly Wildlands Environmental, Inc.) in their Lawrenceville, Georgia office, and served as Environmental Market and Policy Analyst for Wildlands from 2008 to 2011. She performs conservation and mitigation feasibility and site suitability analysis, GIS and natural resource mapping, and market and policy research. She is also responsible for conservation and mitigation banking market development and analysis and mitigation bank marketing and credit sales management. She is currently working on several strategic conservation initiatives and emerging markets across the southeast. Siragusa is a 2011 Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) – Enviropreneur Institute Fellow. www.corblu.com

Email: ksiragusa@corblu.com

Kelly Siragusa, MS CESD 2008
Ellen Sutherland, 1999  

Major Professor: Fowler

Thesis: Scientific, Legal, and Policy Perspectives of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Georgia

Current Position: Assistant Counsel, Office of the Legislative Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives

Sutherland drafts legislation in a non-partisan office in areas of law under the jurisdiction of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (specializing in water law), the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. She has been working in this capacity since she graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center and passed the Georgia Bar in 2006. During law school, Sutherland interned at the Department of Justice in the Environmental Crimes Section, summered at a large law firm working on environmental law issues, and summered at a small telecommunications law firm. Prior to law school, she was the Executive Director of the Georgia River Network for more than 3 years, served briefly as the Alcovy River Greenway Coordinator for the Georgia Wildlife Federation, and interned at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Her career has come fairly full circle from her original project with Laurie Fowler – drafting legislation on hog farming for the Georgia Legislature. She never guessed then that she’d end up drafting legislation on the same topic for Members of Congress more than a decade later!

 
Theresa Thom, 2000  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Senior Research Scientist, National Park Service

Thom received her PhD in Ecology in 2005.

 
Shana Udvardy, 2003  

Major Professor: Carroll

Current Position: Program Director, Mississippi Project, American Rivers

 
Rodney Vargas, 1995  

Major Professor: Pringle

Thesis: History of municipal water resources in Puerto Viejo, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica: A socio-political perspective

Current Position: Assistant Director for Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East for the Study Abroad Office, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

For more information please see: http://www.greenpassport.us/profile/RodneyVargas

Email: rvargas@emai.unc.edu   

 
Seth Wenger, 1999  

Major Professor: Fowler/Pringle

Thesis: Developing science-based riparian buffer protection policies

Current Position: Director for Science, UGA River Basin Center, and Assistant Professor, UGA Odum School of Ecology

Wenger received his Ph.D. in ecology from UGA 2006. He is currently working for Trout Unlimited where he studies the effects climate change could have on native and invasive trout in the western United States. Please visit the link below for more information: http://www.tu.org/about-us/tu-offices-contact-information/science-staff-directory. Wenger was featured on August 25, 2011 on the Odum School of Ecology website for his research on the effects of climate change on loss of trout habitat in the Western United States. To read the article, go to: http://ecology.uga.edu/newsItem.php?Study_shows_climate_change_could_drive_loss_of_
50_of_western_U.S._trout_habitat-143/

Email: swenger@uga.edu

Seth Wenger, MS CESD 1999