Advisory Board

In addition to top-notch faculty, the Environmental Studies & Policy program also engages with an Advisory Board. The board, comprised of top practitioners in all fields in the environmental sector in Vermont, works with the program on big-picture thinking, strategic planning, curriculum development and student experiences. Through this relationship, students can pursue internship and career opportunities as well as cultivate professional relationships with practitioners in the field.

Jake Brown

Show Bio

Jake Brown is a Communications Associate for the US Team at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). RAP is a global non-profit team of experts focused on the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the electricity sector and provides assistance to government officials. RAP provides a broad range of energy and environmental issues.

Before joining RAP, Jake was the director of communications and public affairs at the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), a statewide non-profit organization. At VNRC, he managed external communications with members, partners, citizen groups, and other stakeholders, and coordinated media relations. Earlier in his career, he was a law and policy reporter with Bloomberg/BNA, covering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, as well as Vermont state government. He’s held a variety of other journalism posts, and was a founder of the Montpelier Bridge community newspaper.

Jake holds a masters of environmental law from Vermont Law School and an undergraduate degree in history and Spanish from Middlebury College. He is a member of the Montpelier Rotary Club, chairs the Montpelier Cemetery Commission, and serves on the Montpelier Foundation. He is fluent in Spanish.

Jakes lives in Montpelier with his wife Milly Archer and their teenage son.

Bryan Davis

Show Bio

Bryan is passionate about sustainable transportation options and works on those projects as Senior Transportation Planner at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. He focuses on regional Transportation Demand Management programs, specializes in bicycle and pedestrian projects, educates people on complete streets principles, and stays in touch with local communities and engaged in their issues. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Bryan moved to Colorado to pursue mountain biking and public service with the US Forest Service. He then gained non-profit experience in land conservation and affordable housing, and found his way to Vermont for graduate school at UVM where he earned a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Planning. Bryan lives in Burlington with his wife and two young daughters. He enjoys heavy metal, mountain biking, and can’t stop collecting bicycles.

Richard Donnelly

Show Bio

Since 2009 Richard has worked as a strategic planner for Efficiency Vermont. With a focus on the institutional markets (K12, CU, state gov't, health care), Richard is charged with developing the long term vision and strategies to transition Institutions from their current state to a evermore sustainable state.

Prior to working for VEIC, Richard has worn many hats: chef, small business owner, economic development official, and as marketing director at a publicly-owned telecom entity.

Christina Erickson, PhD

Show Bio

Christina is the Sustainability Director at Champlain College where she works on integrating sustainability concepts and practices into the institution, operations, academics and culture of the campus. Prior to Champlain, she ran the Eco-Reps Program, a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach program, at the University of Vermont as a Graduate Fellow in the Office of Sustainability. Before UVM she worked as the Sustainability Coordinator at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT where she also taught outdoor education courses.

Christina has a PhD in Natural Resources with a focus in Sustainability Education, from the University of Vermont, a M.S. from the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University’s Ecological Teaching & Learning Program, which focuses on place-based, ecological education and has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology from St. Lawrence University.

Christina lives in the Old North End of Burlington with her husband, daughter, dog, and chickens. Favorite activities include skiing, canoeing, growing and processing food, and generally playing outside.

Representative Curt McCormack

Show Bio

Curt McCormack is an environmental consultant, LEED Green Associate, Master Electrician; clients include USAID, Peace Corps, State of Vermont and the City of Burlington. Work includes environmental assessments, energy audits and solid waste system design. He was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives for seven terms in the 1980s and 90s, recently elected for an eighth term. He has chaired the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and the Joint House and Senate Committee on Energy; was Vice-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Environment Committee; Co-Chair New England Recycling Council and was the first Vice-chair of the Vermont Rail Council. He was sponsor of Act 78, Vermont’s comprehensive solid waste law; first in the nation 1989 law that regulated Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and the creation of the Ethan Allen Express Amtrak train service. Representative McCormack was also the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator; Director of Advocacy at the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council Advocate and an electrical contractor. He was the recipient of the New England Environmental Leadership award from Tufts University.

Robert F. McDougall

Show Bio

Robert F. McDougall joined the Vermont Office of the Attorney General in 2002. He currently serves as an Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Office’s Environmental Protection Division, handling environmental enforcement litigation on behalf of the State of Vermont. Rob earned both a Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. He grew up in Southern Vermont and attended Lyndon State College for his undergraduate studies, majoring in English Literature and Journalism. Rob lives in South Burlington and is an avid golfer and runner.

Jeffrey A. Nelson

Show Bio

Jeff arrived in Vermont in 1979, to attend the University of Vermont where he studied geology and civil engineering, focusing on the study of surface water and groundwater hydrology. Jeff founded Pioneer Environmental Associates, LLC in 1996, providing environmental consulting services to public- and private-sector clients throughout Vermont. Pioneer merged its services with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. in 2008, where he now serves as the Director of Environmental and Energy Services in the firm’s North Ferrisburgh office.

The focus of Jeff’s professional practice in Vermont has included a wide range of critical water resources assessment, restoration and permitting matters. He has advised ski resorts, business and industry, municipalities, and utilities. Jeff and his firm have focused on providing services that not only address the immediate regulatory requirements but also take a broader view of a project’s overall context, and seek opportunities to enhance beneficial environmental outcomes wherever possible.

Jeff explores the lands and waters of Vermont from a home base in the Town of Addison, residing with his partner and their beloved dogs, where they have renovated an 1820s era brick farmhouse, created extensive flower and vegetable gardens, and recently planted wine grapes.

Candace Page

Show Bio

Candace Page was a reporter and editor for nearly 40 years. A native of Burlington, Vermont and a graduate of Brown University, she reported for the Providence, R.I. Journal and United Press International, before returning to her home and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press.

During her years at the Free Press she worked in every newsroom department except sports. She covered City Hall, served as Statehouse bureau chief, editorial page editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor.

She greatly disliked being a manager and in 2000 returned to reporting fulltime. She retired in 2013 but continues to freelance for the newspaper and Vermont Public Radio.

Page won numerous awards for her writing, including a first place Penny-Missouri prize for best short feature and a national prize for her Statehouse coverage. She twice was named Gannett’s best writer in the yearly competition.

Julian Portilla

Show Bio

Expertise: Public engagement for public policy development, consensus building, mediation, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, dialogue, organizational development.

Julian Portilla is the director of Champlain College’s Master’s in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies. He has designed and led complex, multistakeholder consensus building processes on such issues as fisheries management, national park management plans, climate change legislation, restorative justice and others. He has worked in building consensus throughout the continent, focusing primarily in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Panama as well as the United States.

Portilla has also consulted for government agencies, non-government agencies and inter-government agencies in the areas of organizational conflict and organizational development, helping them to work more effectively together to fulfill their missions.

Josh Schwartz

Show Bio

Joshua Schwartz is Executive Director of the Mad River Valley Planning District, a unique three-town planning entity developed by the towns of Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren and Sugarbush Resort to carry out a program of planning for the Mad River Valley directed toward its physical, social, economic, fiscal, environmental, cultural and aesthetic well being. He works in all aspects of planning, with a focus in economic development, flood resilience, recreation, housing, and transportation. Previously, Joshua served as Planning & Zoning Director for the City of Barre and Staff Planner with the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission. He holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. Joshua received the 2012 Professional Planner of the Year Award from the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association and was selected as a Vermont Rising Star in 2015 through Vermont Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 program.

Salvatore P. Spinosa

Show Bio

After completing law school at McGeorge of School, Sacramento, CA, I first worked as a criminal prosecutor in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. Over the next 17 years I handled a wide variety of cases, worked in numerous special units and eventually supervised the office’s Environmental and Consumer Protection Division. In that unit I was responsible for all the usual administrative duties and carried a caseload of both civil and criminal environmental cases.

During a break from the DA’s Office I was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, responsible for prosecuting a wide variety of federal crimes. I also taught trial advocacy at a local law school.

After obtaining a Masters in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, I was hired by Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources as the director of its enforcement division, a position I held for 15 years. During my tenure with ANR, I directed 9 Environmental Enforcement Officers and two enforcement attorneys while carrying my own caseload of environmental cases. I also developed the unit’s yearly budget, handled all personnel matters, appeared before the legislature, engaged with other state and federal entities and interacted with the press.

I am a member of the California, Maine and Vermont bars. I live in Waitsfield where I am serving my 13th year on the town’s select board, sitting as the Vice-Chair. I also maintain a limited environmental law practice.

Thomas G. Walsh, Judge

Vermont Superior Court - Environmental Division

Show Bio

The Environmental Division has statewide jurisdiction to hear appeals from state land use permit decisions (Act 250), state environmental permits and other decisions of the Agency of Natural Resources, and from municipal land use zoning and planning decisions. Prior to his appointment to the Superior Court, Judge Walsh was a founder and managing partner in Walsh & Monaghan LLP, a full service law firm focusing on land use and environmental law. Prior to law school, he practiced environmental engineering for four years with a national environmental consulting firm. He received his BS in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University in 1986, and his Juris Doctor and Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 1993.

Kristin Wolf

Show Bio

Kristin Wolf is an assistant professor at Champlain College where she teaches interdisciplinary courses in environmental ethics, science and society, and globalization, as well as a course on human and ecological communities of the Peruvian Amazon, where she works on community-driven development initiatives. She is also a faculty member of the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Environmental Science and Technology Summer Program, where she guides stream ecology studies. Kristin has recently established an apiary on Champlain’s campus to facilitate experiential learning opportunities for the Champlain and wider Burlington communities. In her free time she enjoys all things outdoors, road trips, and especially likes porch-sitting.