Master’s Students

Continuing

Andrew Dutterer
Melanie Knapp
Lisa Lombardo
Cris Piccioni
Shannan Stoll
Liz Veazey
Chithira Vijayakumar


First Year

Aylie Baker
aylieb@uoregon.edu

I grew up in a small town in coastal Maine. When my parents were my age, they saved up enough money to buy a small sailboat and leave Edinburgh, Scotland for the sea. Eventually, they crossed the Atlantic. The way they tell it, it was hot that summer they arrived in the U.S., so hot they kept sailing north.In Maine, my Dad got a job as a coastal engineer, my Mom a job as a nurse. I was born, and they’’ve never left. Growing up on the coast shaped my outlook of the world; through exploring the rocky isles off of Maine’s coast with my family I developed an interest in the stories we tell at the boundaries, the inter-tidal zones.In college I wandered into the Vermont Folklife Center and found my people; my first introduction to fieldwork and narrative storytelling was through the lens of ethnography — working with communities to tell their own stories on their own terms. My first year out of college, I was fortunate to receive a grant to travel to different islands around the world, exploring storytelling as a community building tool and as a means for creating and maintaining an ethos of sustainability on islands.For the past three years I’’ve lived in different places, but never too far from the sea. Living on islands drove home for me the idea that knowledge cannot be partitioned, that sustainable livelihoods are upheld as much by story as they are by custom and policy. My work has migrated between public folklore, community storytelling and media education, natural disaster recovery work and traditional navigation.At Oregon, I’’m interested in dissecting the role of stories in shaping our relationship with place. I want to cross-examine what community-driven, ethical and socially conscious storytelling initiatives can look like. I’’m eager to explore how storytelling can be used to inform citizen science and community planning initiatives, and I’’m interested in the intersections between place-based education theory and ethnographic media instruction.Following in the steps of my intrepid parents, I hope to focus my research on traditional, non-instrumental navigation in Micronesia, continuing my study through a more formal, academic lens with navigators who use only natural signs (i.e. the rising and setting stars, wave and cloud patterns, paths of migrating birds) to find their way.

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Tim Chen
tchen6@uoregon.edu

Pulling down every single National Geographic magazine from the bookshelf and leaving them sprawled across the living room floor was my favorite pre-afternoon-nap activity as a small child; the intensity of the sense of wonder that the photographs inspired was perhaps exceeded only by the exasperation my parents surely felt at the daily mess. While my reading level and organizational skills have fortunately improved (nominally) since those days, the desire to learn more about our natural surroundings has not changed.After graduating with a dual degree in photography and environmental science from Houghton College in New York, I have intentionally chosen to work at several different positions focusing primarily on sociological aspects, a field I had less contact with during my studio art and science-focused curriculum throughout high school and college. Three years of working in communities with low-income residents, refugees, and at-risk youth has led to a desire to incorporate the study of human dimensions with my original passion for the natural environment. Several pre-college years living in Taiwan and witnessing severe environmental degradation, on the other hand, has brought the importance of responsible natural resource management and sustainable development to the forefront for me.Entering UO, my primary interests are sustainability and environmental sociology. I also hope to focus on justice/equity issues and environmental education, specifically in underrepresented populations and communities. I enjoy playing music, photography, sports, being in the outdoors, reading, and almost everything else when time permits.

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Jenny Crayne
jcrayne@uoregon.edu

A Pacific Northwest native, I grew up in the Seattle suburbs, went to college in Walla Walla, WA, then spent the next five years following jobs all over Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. After dozens of moves between Hood River, Portland, Lewiston, Salem, and—most recently— Vancouver, I am excited to “settle down” for two years and grow a few roots here in Eugene.I graduated from Whitman College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Humanities. This interdisciplinary department spanned the academic spectrum from geology to politics to literature; from E.O. Wilson to Bill McKibben to Annie Dillard. As an undergraduate, I was especially interested in social justice, climate change, and the intersection of environmentalism and Christianity.Post-college, I served as an AmeriCorps member at the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, an environmental education outfit in Hood River, OR. For two years, I coordinated and taught ecology classes for local youth while enjoying the ample outdoor opportunities in the Columbia River Gorge.From 2010 to 2013 I worked as an outreach educator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. My job took me throughout the Northwest, where I visited schools and taught science classes ranging from squid dissection to aeronautical engineering.At UO, I plan to concentrate on environmental education and nonprofit management. Outside of school, my hobbies include cooking, biking, playing guitar, and exploring mountains and rivers with my husband, Brice.

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Davita Flowers-Shanklin
dflower4@uoregon.edu

Growing up in Milwaukee WI, I can remember being fascinated with being outside. Though, this is not a story of a little girl who grew up in a small town, in the mountains, on the range, riding horses, always seeing the stars and playing in the river behind her house, this is a story of a girl who grew up in the inner city, in an area that is considered the “bad part of town”, and where most people would not consider nature.At Macalester College, I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology, a starting point for the development of how I see myself in this field and the passions I have for the environment and the people in it. After college I spent two years in environmental non-profits through an AmeriCorps Program, Public Allies, and one year as a crew Leader with a non-profit, where I helped build capacity in the organizations and worked on projects ranging from 3000 person river cleanups, to the creation of the sustainability plan for the City of Milwaukee, to the restoration and designation of a nature sanctuary on the Milwaukee River. I also helped teach young people a range of skills from building community gardens, organizing neighborhood events, building rain barrels and aquaponics systems and designing and building rain gardens.Through my work with these organizations I realized that my passion for this field stems from not only the work that I am doing in the environment, but the connections to the people who live in those areas. While at the University of Oregon, I plan on focusing on the connection between environmental justice and restoration. It is important to me that my work impacts the community I am apart of. I believe in changing lives, through changing places.

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Christina Gooch
cgooch@uoregon.edu

Raised on the south shore of Kauai, Hawaii and in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, my life has been a geographic hopscotch from which I’ve derived a sense of wonder and an appreciation for the landscapes around me. As an undergraduate geology major at Smith College, I pursued both my love of outdoor exploration and my interest in environmental issues, spending summers studying abroad in Kenya and interning with the National Park Service in southern Colorado. I returned to work for the Park Service after graduating, carting my pack and boots to Mount Rainier as a park guide, to the Everglades as an environmental education technician, and to the high country of Sequoia National Park, where I have worked seasonally as a wilderness patrol ranger since 2009.I spent several off-seasons visiting national parks in India, Southeast Asia, and South America, and honoring another of my lifelong passions – food and cooking – through gardening and volunteering on organic farms. As I came to appreciate the environmental significance of food production and distribution, I found it increasingly frustrating to face the lack of sustainable food options within the national parks where I worked (particularly when some of the country’s most productive agricultural land was just several hours away). I realized that the national parks were missing out on a powerful opportunity to raise public awareness of sustainable food issues while demonstrating and promoting environmentally responsible action. In graduate school, I’€™d like to explore the potential for national parks both in the US and abroad to connect with nearby food networks and agricultural communities, while incorporating this dimension of sustainability and local action into their educational and outreach initiatives.I am also interested in experiential and place-based education, and the effectiveness of educational travel experiences (including national park visitation, agritourism, and environmentally focused study abroad programs) in terms of subsequent involvement in participants’ local communities. When not hiking or thinking about food, I can be found running, singing, talking excitedly about geology and astronomy, and brewing strong cups of black coffee.

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Alicia Kristen
aliciar@uoregon.edu

Long ago, a young girl put on her best adventuring gear. She had read about travelers, role-played as an elven ranger, and written stories of wilderness heroics. Hair braided and backpack on her back full of a bug-collector’s gear, now was her time to explore the wilds and reclaim the forests from litter and pollution.As a young woman, this journey would take her far beyond New England’s forests. She sought waterfalls hidden in the cliffs with the shamans of Tepoztlán, she sang ancient songs for rain and sun with the pedagogical descendants of Ingwe, she made decoctions of nutritious herbs she’d never before heard of, and she tasted the wild foods of Shenandoah’s sweet hills. In this journey, she joined in all kinds of communities, —ecovillages, family farms, farm schools, outdoor education centers—partly as anthropological research, partly soul-searching. During these experiences, she began to have a vision for the kind of community that she wanted to be a part of: a community with nature, mentoring, and rich culture at its core. She also began to hear a clear calling for her to travel to Eugene, Oregon.Leaving her precious (goat) kids with fellow herbalists, she gave everything to travel the Oregon Trail to the great valley of the Willamette. While finding the journey worthwhile in itself, she grows everyday more delighted that Oregon is just as she had imagined. She and her partner have founded their own community, The Gardenhouse, to bring together a three-generation family with a focus on nature-based education and permaculture gardening. While attending the University of Oregon, she will delve again into her anthropological and creative backgrounds to implement a program that will connect (human) kids with nature, culture, and their communities.The projects and goals have matured, but this young woman is still in many ways the same young adventurer—, collecting specimens, journaling, writing novels, role-playing, biking, raising animals, playing in the dirt, and enjoying board games with friends. The difference is that now she can make fire by friction, stealth silently through wineberry brambles, make berry baskets from bark, and lead kids on adventures she could only dream about as a young girl.

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Sam Moore
smoore8@uoregon.edu

I graduated from Tulane University, majoring in Environmental Studies as well as Studio Art (concentrating in photography). My study at Tulane revolved around the pairing of material knowledge of biological processes with conceptual undertakings in photography, writing and drawing. Aesthetically, I am attracted to people and nature alike, and I think my best work incorporates both. I idolize Walker Evans and Ansel Adams equally alongside E.O. Wilson and Rachel Carson.As my environmental consciousness evolved, I realized that the scope of my interest was broadening to become willfully large, with driving interests in environmental justice, ethnogeography and journalism as well as field ecology, with literary concerns from intensely practical case studies to abstract natural ethics. I enrolled at the University of Oregon with an intention to intensify my study of these different paths and to throw myself fully into reading, writing and taking pictures relating to critical problems of human-environment interaction.Through courses in each domain I hope to blend a passion for visual storytelling with a foundation of specific knowledge about ecosystems and their function. I am especially interested in subtropical ecosystems in southern Africa from previous studies abroad there, especially related to the interplay between conservation, colonial history and socioeconomic disparity.Otherwise, I’m from Massachusetts, interested in biking, hiking, fresh food and plenty of hip hop.

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Wenhui Qiu
wenhuiq@uoregon.edu

I’m from Fujian, a southeast coastal province in China. In 2009, after receiving my bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature in Peking University, I worked as a volunteer on anti-desertification in Ordos, Inner Mongolia for nearly four years. The desert forestation project, with China, Japan and Korea in collaboration, has been one of the successful projects in the country. However, the improved natural environment is not as cherished as expected. The widespread lack of the environmental protection awareness is leading to damages of the recovering local ecological system. I find myself in a dilemma, between the strong motivation to change the situation and the inadequate professional knowledge of ecology. The similar scenario happened when I was a volunteer for protection of the Changjiang River source on Tibetan Plateau.I love traveling and natural photography. I saw how well Japan and Korea have done in environmental protection when I was a visitor there. My shutterbug friends and I took stunning photos of the well protected natural environment in Hong Kong and Macao.Through ENVS program, I plan to focus on ecology and environmental education. With professional interpretation of nature and ecology, plus photography, I want to help people understand nature and activate their love for it.

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Jaleel Reed
jaleelr@uoregon.edu

I graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Environmental Science and a minor in Business Institutions. Growing up in Los Angeles, but having spent the last four years in the Midwest, I am excited to return to the west coast. As a graduate student, I hope to broaden and deepen my understanding of the interplay between natural resource management and economics, as it pertains to decision-making and policy implementation in both the public and private sectors of developed and developing countries. In the long run, my goal is to continue to share the knowledge and experience I gain throughout my career in order to have a positive impact on communities in need, while also working to inspire the next generation of scholars from those communities. I feel social equity in the human experience is integral to remedying environmental, social, and economic plight; so, through my extracurricular activities at Northwestern, I pushed to include a social justice component in my environmentally oriented pursuits. I engaged social justice discourse and became actively involved in the process of serving underprivileged communities through my involvement with social justice organizations.

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Maya Rommwatt
rommwatt@uoregon.edu

I was raised in the Pacific Northwest with one eye to the ocean and the other to the mountains. I learned to appreciate the splendor of the natural world from a very young age, but it took me many years and distant places to realize how my love of everything outside could be channeled into an effective way of life. I spent some years traveling the world and living in remote places before I got my act together and returned to school. I learned how people in other places do things, and observed how the land can look both similar and radically different in far away places. I also lived for several years on sixty acres in the coastal mountains of Oregon, where I learned how to homestead-light and to enjoy putting all my energy into my gardens and walking the land around me. I even had the opportunity to work on a fire lookout. I finally learned I could realize my potential by getting a proper education.I completed a BS in Biology at the UO in 2012. From there I went on to Oregon State University where I completed a graduate certificate in fisheries management. While working on the certificate I also worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in several different positions and in several different locales. I conducted geomorphology stream surveys in the coast range, Chinook spawning surveys on the North Coast, and most recently I’ve worked PIT tagging fish on a study in Southeastern Oregon that is tracking the life histories of the native redband trout living between Steens Mountain and Malheur Lake.I plan on focusing my studies on environmental law and marine ecology while I’m at the Environmental Studies Department. I’m interested in exploring the relationship between the law, policy, and ecology of marine protected areas. I’m curious how these protected areas are affecting fishing communities both ecologically and socially. And I’d like to explore the divide in knowledge between the scientific and fishing communities regarding marine protected areas.

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Second Year

Lokyee Au
lokyeea@uoregon.edu

I graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequality and minors in Environmental Studies and Education Studies. I spent the past two years as an intern for a nonprofit organization called Citizens Climate Lobby, contributing to their efforts to ameliorate the acute need for effective climate legislation in the U.S. During my internship, I realized how environmental policy and environmental education have related and critical roles in ensuring the successful implementation of effective climate policy. As a result, my planned areas of focus at UO are public policy, environmental education, and environmental justice.

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Collin Eaton
ceaton@uoregon.edu

I was born and raised in Rumney, New Hampshire (population 1,400) and received my bachelor’s degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 2003. As the son of a builder, I have worked for my father throughout high school and college and always enjoyed the practical problem-solving and spatial challenges inherent in building. As the least experienced guy on the crew, it was often my responsibility to pick up trash on the job site, and as a result I also became suspicious from an early age of how much waste is generated by modern building systems.Interested in learning more about traditional building systems utilizing locally available materials, I joined a project in Riobamba, Ecuador, constructing a training facility out of adobe for a local non-profit called Ecovida. After two years in Ecuador volunteering for Ecovida and teaching English, I moved to San Francisco, CA, where I spent the next few years preserving historic adobe buildings and other masonry structures around the state and getting to witness the durability first hand of very traditional techniques. Shifting back to new construction with a more social focus, in 2009 I moved to Guatemala to work as a field coordinator for the Global Village Program with Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. Since then I have served both Habitat and FINCA, a microfinance foundation, in the pursuit of more affordable housing and housing finance solutions for Guatemalans living in poverty.My goal through the ENVS program is to help develop tools for analyzing building materials and systems, with the overall aim of expanding the options for practical, sustainable housing solutions for people living in poverty while reducing both environmental impact and cost of construction at the same time. I am convinced you can have your cake and eat it, too.
My other interests include coffee consumption, travel, running, hiking and buzzing around back roads on a motorcycle. California is the closest I have come to Oregon so I am very excited about exploring the habitat of a duck!

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Gabriella McDaniel
gmcdanie@uoregon.edu

I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. Growing up, I had a passion for mathematics and the sciences. I was also heavily involved in playing softball, which actually helped me afford to go to college. Entering my undergrad I planned to take a pre-med route because I wanted a job where I could help those in need in my community and abroad. However by the end of my first year I started to feel that environmental issues were one of the biggest things afflicting us. I decided to switch to geology so I could stay in the sciences but also get a better understanding of the earth and our environment. My education in geology, along with environmental policy, anthropology and sociology courses, helped me realize my desire to work on environmental justice issues. I hope to help people who have been environmentally harmed because of their race or economic situation, both in the US and abroad. I have a particular interest in how black Americans and Africans have been affected by the concentration of pollution in their environments. I plan to focus on history and geography to help me study environmental justice issues. I want to understand and visually represent how things have come to be. I hope my work in graduate school will help bring awareness to policymakers and the communities studied about the severity of these problems and thus help bring about change.My interests outside of school include reading, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, hiking/enjoying the outdoors, yoga, travelling and community service. I spent the last 6 months abroad. Five months were spent volunteering in Tanzania, teaching English and computers, with an extra month of travel to neighboring countries.

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Morgan Edward Peach
peach@uoregon.edu

I was born amidst the towering white pines, upon the deep soils and granite bedrock of the land known as New Hampshire. I am the son of a carpenter, furniture maker, and architect, and the brother of a farmer. My father imparted to me a love for the human imagination and tangible creation. My brother, as we work together, lends me a love for the comprehensive ecology and human sweat that gives rise to fresh food and a healthy life.My college years carried me across the Connecticut River, to Middlebury College in Vermont. In those years, as an Independent Scholar (B.A., ‘09), I cultivated a philosophical, synergistic, and impassioned approach to life and thought. I engaged in a program of study that aimed to strike a balance between the Natural Sciences and Humanities, with foci in Chemistry and Classics, respectively. I deemed this pursuit “Humanist Science”, an ideological approach that continues to inform my words and deeds, as a teacher, builder, and agrarian.Immediately upon graduating from college, I assistant taught an Ecology course at a private high school in Concord, New Hampshire. Here I discovered that teaching stokes the furnace within me. I felt the excitement of kindling a “spark” in another through discussion and hands-on, experiential learning.With a summer of teaching under my belt, I returned to the familiar landscape of the jobsite. For two years I worked as a carpenter in the Burlington, Vermont region. I learned the time-honored tricks of master carpenters, while also exploring novel ideas in high-efficiency, net-zero building. I now harbor dreams of simple, affordable residences, and the symbiosis of built structure and landscape.Most recently, over the course of this past year (’11-’12), I taught public high school Chemistry, further delving into the challenges and triumphs of education, while cementing my commitment to teaching as a lifelong endeavor. I am sustained by relationships with students.I enjoy exploring the forests, fields, mountains, and waters of Earth. I like to cook slowly, preferably with ingredients fresh from the soil. I often admire the sheen of face grain in the wake of the plane blade, or the swollen bud of a fruit tree in early spring. I value wise participation in the environment, to then cultivate a deeper appreciation of the world, and learn to live sensitively amidst the dynamic patterns of nature.

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Allyson Woodard
awoodard@uoregon.edu

I’m an Idahoan by birth and upbringing, and one of my sharpest recollections from the third grade was a late April night in Yellowstone, when my dad and I stayed up far past my bedtime listening to recently-reintroduced howling. I spent the next year fashioning radio collars for my playmates and “tracking” them with tin-foil telemetry.I grew up and attended Scripps College in Claremont, California, where I managed to weasel my way into two stays abroad, including biodiversity research in Costa Rica and an ecology program in South Africa. I finally got to practice with real telemetry (on tortoises. I lost almost all of them). However, once handed the opportunity to perform research I found myself captivated instead by storytelling—the intersections between South African environmental history and social justice, the nonchalant manner with which Costa Rican ecologists avoid pit vipers. I graduated with my degree in English and a minor in biology. After college I joined The Peregrine Fund to research and design interpretive displays, and later transitioned to a position as outreach coordinator for the American Kestrel Partnership.I am now pursuing concurrent degrees in Environmental Studies and Multimedia Journalism, with a focus in nonfiction writing. I think back to my childhood and the “war” between wolves and livestock. How do we chisel cultural narratives into something less vitriolic? And can a community care this much about bunchgrass?

In my “free” time I play roller derby for the Rose City Rollers and human fetch for my lovebird, Sammy. I also have aspirations of photographing the Andromeda galaxy, given significant improvements in skill and geek budget.

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Continuing

Andrew Dutterer
dutterer@uoregon.edu

As a youngster growing up in a suburb of Chicago, I cultivated an early interest in fishing through summer trips to Wisconsin, West Virginia, and North Carolina, as well as poaching bass ponds on nearby golf courses after hours via bicycle and spinning rod.While attending Middlebury College in Vermont I “evolved” into a fly fisherman and at that point there was no turning back. I have since spent most of my adult life planning my next fly fishing adventure. Ultimately, this led me to full-time residence in Maupin, Oregon- a rural Central Oregon town of 450 people on the lower Deschutes River.In five years as retail and guide service manager, guide, and instructor at the Deschutes Angler Fly Shop in Maupin, I was regularly exposed to a large range of issues surrounding the high profile water resource of the Deschutes River. The river defined the small community in which I lived, and decisions concerning the management of the river had enormous impact on the livelihoods of many in the community, myself included.
Through my almost daily forays to the Deschutes and elsewhere, fly rod in hand, I developed an impassioned concern for the vitality of our rivers. In turn, this led to an inspired interest in the policies managing our region’s water resources with respect to the health of our fisheries.Subsequently, I began working with Trout Unlimited in Bend, OR to further explore the field of watershed management. I have since worked directly on a range of policy issues concerning water resources in Central Oregon as numerous federal, state, and non-profit organizations attempt to balance the demands of recreation, irrigation, and fisheries in our region.Through the Environmental Studies program at UO I will pursue an outstanding academic foundation to complement my experience in the field. Ultimately, I aspire to contribute to water policy and watershed management decisions by innovating solutions to the allocation of water resources in the Western US.My all-time favorite thing to do is to float and camp on rivers, and with some good fishing in the mix I could ask for nothing more. I also enjoy hiking with my two dogs, barbequeing on the back deck, watching Chicago Cubs games, tying steelhead flies, and chasing steelhead throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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Melanie Knapp
melaniek@uoregon.edu

I’m working toward concurrent Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies and Conflict and Dispute Resolution, as well as taking courses toward the completion of a Nonprofit Management Certificate.My interests are focused on collaborative planning and policy addressing complex natural resource issues involving multiple stakeholders. I’m also interested in conservation work and in ecological restoration as a community and economic development tool. I’m fascinated by the work of land trusts and watershed councils, and worked full time from June 2010 to August 2011 for McKenzie River Trust (a regional land trust based in Eugene) as a Habitat Restoration Technician, and then Conservation Planning Associate through the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program in the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center.During my previous life as a Hoosier, I completed a B.S. in Biology and an interdisciplinary certificate combining liberal arts and business management. Before moving to Oregon, I worked as a Research Associate in a soil ecology lab, worked and volunteered at organic gardens, co-taught an environmental studies course at an independent school, worked at a local outdoor gear shop, and did research for an upcoming book on environmental social science.When I’m not working, you’ll find me climbing or bouldering, basking in the sun in a park, cooking, hiking, biking, or finding any reasonable excuse to be outside. I’m also interested in communities, time banks, facilitation, potlucks, gardening, nonviolent communication, and good beer.

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Lisa Lombardo
lombardo@uoregon.edu

I was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and graduated from Beloit College in 2006 with a degree in studio art and French. For my Master’s thesis, I’m attempting to draw on transcorporeality, biosemiotics, and intersectionality in order to examine environmentalisms in the visual arts. Since coming to Oregon, I’ve come to love Pied-bill Grebes, morels, and unitards.

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Cris Piccioni
cpiccion@uoregon.edu

I grew up in Eugene and then moved away for eight years, attending college in Indiana and Connecticut. For a brief while I was a classical musician. However, the pull of Oregon (truly the best place on Earth), and my growing curiosity about science and the natural world, were too great to resist, and I returned home to study biology. For the last 20+ years I have lived and worked in the Lane County area in various occupations, from hazelnut farmer, to water treatment plant operator, water laboratory analyst, and laboratory quality assurance officer. I am pursuing environmental studies to add a much richer dimension to my life and my future work, hopefully in service to the community and the environment. I was drawn to the University of Oregon for the diversity of faculty and students affiliated with environmental studies, and the unique interdisciplinary program that is not offered at other schools.My intellectual interests relate to central themes about how we live and work: 1) the qualities of social, organizational and economic systems that either serve to connect us to or alienate us from non-human life and bio-physical processes, and 2) different cultural/intellectual approaches that shape our response as we interact with nature. More specifically, I am interested in the conceptual foundations that shape scientific ecological inquiry, the popular conceptions of ecology and science in general, and their bearing on how we use science in public decision-making processes. I am also interested in philosophical conceptions of self/other and how these conceptions affect our understanding of, and relationship with the non-built environment. Additionally, I would like to find ways to beneficially apply philosophy in public and group decision-making processes as a way to foster deep and lasting change.In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, reading poetry, natural history, science, and philosophy, playing poker and other games, gardening, hiking, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends (both two- and four-legged).

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Shannan Stoll
sstoll@uoregon.edu

I grew up hiking, biking and tidepool-hopping around the Pacific Northwest. In college, I played around with ecology and poetry—with sea turtle conservation in Mexico and magic realism in the literature of marginalized groups—and ended up majoring in Biology and English.Since then, I’ve worked on energy efficiency and education projects for underserved populations in Detroit, community-based renewable energy projects in Seattle, monitored shorebirds and sea turtles in North Carolina, and freelanced for local papers off and on. I’m passionate about environmental justice, water resources, and writing, and I’m excited to connect these areas in my studies at UO.Other passions include bikes, homebrews and swimming in any natural body of water I find.

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Liz Veazey
veazey@uoregon.edu

I was very lucky to grow up in a passive solar house that my parents built just before I was born in rural Western North Carolina. Although the mountains of North Carolina were a great place to grow up, I really enjoy the bigger mountains and trees out here on the West Coast. 

While at the University of North Carolina, I was involved in one of the first successful campus renewable energy campaigns in the southeast. I also won the Morris K. Udall scholarship (www.udall.gov), a national environmental leadership scholarship, in both 2002 & 2003. In 2004, I spent most of my senior year organizing the first Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference to engage and network Southern students beyond UNC in energy and climate work. Then, I worked to support and build this network through the Southern Energy Network (www.climateaction.net) until 2009. I graduated in May 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and a Minor in Biology.In the summer of 2004, I became a co-founding member of Energy Action Coalition (EAC) (www.energyactioncoalition.org), which I was involved with through the summer of 2009. In late fall 2005, I attended the UN Climate Negotiations in Montreal with the EAC. There, I helped start the international youth climate blog: www.itsgettinghotinhere.org , which is now in the top three climate change blogs in the world. I was co-chair of the EAC Steering Committee, which oversaw the central staff and most of the coalition work, from 2006-2008. I have collaborated with a number of community, state, regional and national organizations on fighting new dirty energy facilities and promoting cleaner energy alternatives. In the fall of 2008, I joined the Board of Directors of the Highlander Center (www.highlandercenter.org), which has been central in the fight for social justice in the South and Appalachia since 1932.I’m just getting connected here in Eugene, but I volunteer weekly at Grower’s Market, am a member of the Rural Organizing Project and volunteer with the Labor Education Resource Center (LERC) at UO to support green jobs networking and resource sharing in Oregon. In my free time, I enjoy biking, hiking, gardening, listening to many different kinds of music, and I dream of learning to play the banjo someday.

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Chithira Vijayakumar
chithira@uoregon.edu

I could say that it all began with a childhood spent largely in trees; with the stubborn six-year-old who would scramble ungracefully up the ancient mango tree in our yard. I went on to spend much of my days there, in the woods, in the mud and getting bitten by red ants.But the truth is, it was only much later that I noticed changes in Kerala, the astonishingly beautiful state in India where I was born. Gaping wounds were mined open in the mountains that our house overlooked, the earth growing bald in patches. At 12, I went to the beach we visited every day, and saw it coated in thick sulphurous foam and strewn with fish, after the titanium factory up the coast decided that it was too expensive taking its effluents offshore.I graduated in Economics, did a diploma in International Relations and Geopolitics, and worked with a few social change research centres; then decided to return to writing, my first love, and completed my post-graduate diploma in Journalism. I spent two years at The Hindu, one of India’s oldest English newspapers, and became part of its 131-year-old history as Reporter and Sub-Editor, and worked on more than a hundred stories on heritage, art, literature and the environment. Elsewhere, I wrote on human rights, tribal issues, the politics of water and agriculture.I’d like to study how our perspectives on culture and identity tie up with the way we view our environment. I hope to understand why different cultures, genders, races and classes think so differently about the environment, and how our performative and non-performative aspects – like theatre, languages, literature, dance and storytelling- influence our relationship with our communities and their issues. This is because I believe that that besides our ongoing battles to protect the environment, we must also work towards boosting the immunities of our communities, so that over time, we evolve a new way of living, and thinking about living.As a citizen of the “Third World”, I also have a deliberate interest in social justice movements, in the social irony of living a life of deprivation in areas that are resource-rich. I have come to understand the environment not just as the wetlands and the jungles, but as the land where we do live – specifically, the land consigned to the poorest among us.All along the way, there have also been martial arts, mountaineering, diving, swimming, writing, trekking, theatre, filmmaking, pottery, reading, and dancing.

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