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Bird-bander Oak Thorne '53 handles a yellow-headed blackbird.

Personal and professional news and updates from YSE's more than 5,500 alumni around the world.

Classes of 1953-1983 | Classes of 1984-2003 | Classes of 2004-2022

  1. Class of ’03

    Class Volunteers

    Sunanda Kishore Cruz, Jason Drebitko, Olivia C. Glenn, Benjamin Hodgdon, John F. Homan, Peter Land

    Linares and his wife, Peggy, on Lake Fontana, North Carolina
    Carlos Linares ’03 and his wife, Peggy, get in some boating on Lake Fontana, North Carolina.

    Steve Dettman writes: “My wife and I just resettled in Singapore, and then we are on to Bali for a new job with Lestari Capital. I will be heading up the forest carbon project team working across Southeast Asia. Please look me up if you are traveling or working in the region.” steve.dettman@aya.yale.edu

    Carlos A. Linares writes: “Fully retired, my wife and I moved to Asheville, North Carolina, two years ago. We bought a house in Biltmore Lake, a community with a beautiful lake. I joined the Lake Committee and my wife the Landscape Committee. We are quite busy with stream remediation projects to reduce sediment flows to the lake. Having a blast but still getting used to being a Southerner.”

  2. Class of ’04

    Class Volunteers

    Jennifer Bass, Beth Owen Bisson, Keith Bisson, Cherelle A. Blazer, Hahn Chou, Laura Wooley

    Valerie Craig writes: “After 10 years at NatGeo, I made a big change and am now heading up conservation at the American Forest Foundation — I finally found the trees! I work with amazing people, including a few fellow alums. Marco Buttazzoni and I are still in D.C., and our kids are headed to high school and middle school next year — at this point we’ll be happy just to have it be in person.”

  3. Class of ’05

    Class Volunteers

    David Cherney, Dora Cudjoe, Virginia Lacy

    Po-Yi Hung writes: “I was appointed a 2021–2022 Luce East Asia Fellow at the National Humanities Center and will be in the Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina until the end of May 2022.”

  4. Class of ’06

    Class Volunteers

    Krista Anderson, Flora Chi, Reilly Dibner, Sue Ely, Ross P. Geredien, Gonzalo Griebenow, Jill Savery

    A red-tailed hawk dropped by the Hartford office of Alison Rau
    A red-tailed hawk drops by the Hartford office of Alison Rau ’06.

    Christina (Zarrella) Milloy writes: “In September 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Workforce Culture Transformation Team — which I have served on since May 2020 and was recently appointed chair of — received the Secretary of the Interior’s Diversity Award in recognition of ‘outstanding leadership in effecting change toward increased diversity within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.’ It was an extra special honor to receive this award from Deb Haaland, our very first Native American DOI secretary!”

    Alison Rau writes: “I am now the office legal director for the environmental conservation branch of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. I advise on matters ranging from bears to legislation, forestry enforcement actions to state park events, and everything in between.”

    Jeff Sigler writes: “After graduating in 2006, I did air-quality research in New Hampshire and then spent nearly a decade as a professor of practice in Earth sciences at Tulane University in New Orleans. Recently, my wife (Veronica) and I decided to return to Connecticut to be closer to family. We are living in Hartford with our son, Kellen (10), along with (to my knowledge) five cats, one dog, and two rabbits. I am teaching environmental science, chemistry, and climatology at Watkinson School.”

  5. Class of ’07

    Class Volunteers

    Terry T. Baker, Sara E. Smiley Smith

    Heather Arrowood writes: “I’ve been based in the lake region of Gabon the last 13 years — now with my husband and our son, Afane — where we run a local biodiversity conservation NGO (OELO) and an ecotourism site (Tsam Tsam). Anyone coming to Gabon is most welcome at our house on the Ogooué River or at Tsam Tsam on Lake Oguemoué!”

    Derrick Dease writes: “Happy New Year! I finally remembered to submit an update. Not a whole lot to tell ... still living in Denver and doing environmental compliance work for a cement and aggregate manufacturing company. I’m definitely eager to link up with some YSEers, so if you’re around, reach out!”

    Charlie Liu writes: “Married with two kids in Cambridge, Massachusetts, these days — say hi if in town. Hobbies now involve kids top roping, kids sledding, kids ... — you get the idea. Also doing a local backyard taiji group here: freshpondtaiji.com.”

    Brandon (Berkeley) Middaugh writes: “I am now living in Seattle and managing Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund of sustainable investments in decarbonization startups and projects. My husband, Mark, and I recently welcomed our second baby boy and are enjoying life as a family of four. In the past year we enjoyed camping and visits with fellow Yale friends such as Claire Gagne and Anton Chiono ’08. I’m currently reading ‘The Big Burn,’ which I recommend to all fellow alums.”

    Tamara Muruetagoiena writes: “For the last two years I have been working as executive director of our beloved Great Mountain Forest and had the privilege to meet the incoming YSE students. I have also expanded my human rights work, and after many years of encouragement from my YSE friends, I have started a process in Spain to have my father recognized as a victim of a human rights violation. I am also a proud mom of my 5-year-old son, Luke.”

    Elizabeth Pickett writes: “This year will mark 15 years at Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization for me. Over that time, we have become a hub of all things wildfire in our Hawaii-Pacific region. Since fires impact forests, streams, nearshore waters, and communities, addressing fire issues requires diverse partnerships and lots of time with people in many sectors and geographies. I continue to love facilitating collaborative projects that protect both people and place, made better only by the fun and capable team we have. On the home front, my son is 6 and loves hiking; surfing; watching insects and reptiles; and playing with our chickens, cats, dog, and fish. Our bananas and breadfruit are really producing a lot these days — come visit and have some with us!”

  6. Class of ’08

    Class Volunteers

    Angelica Afanador Ardila, Troy Hill, Jennifer McIvor-Hennings, Terry M. Unger, Jason A. Weiner, Kelsey Kidd Wharton

    Natalie Ceperley writes: “I now live in a social-environmental cooperative in a former chocolate warehouse in Bern, Switzerland, called Warmbächli (warmbaechli.ch). Please check it out and get in touch if you live in or are building a similar type of cooperative! We have guest rooms, and it would be great to host YSEers!”

    Chris Clement writes: “I recently joined Encore Renewable Energy as CFO/CIO and am planning on moving back to Vermont this summer. Would love to connect or reconnect with folks in the Burlington area or elsewhere in New England. Excited to be heading back north after over six years in North Carolina. Our family grew this year to four (plus our goldendoodle, Honey Bear) when Oliver (‘Ollie’) Forest Clement came into the world in March 2021. Based on the roots of his name, he is destined to be an elf warrior or a tree planter, both of which sound pretty cool to us.”

    Andrew Mackie writes: “After 11 years in Colorado running the Central Colorado Conservancy, I left this position and returned to New England as the executive director of the Scarborough Land Trust in Maine. I also founded a new organization, Amphibian and Reptile Trust International (amphibianreptile.org), in March 2020, weeks before the pandemic closed most everything down.”

    Yuliya Schmidt writes: “I am an energy advisor to a commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission, where I spend most of my time working on electric vehicles, planning for increases in renewable energy, and handling other electric grid issues. I live in Alameda, an island near San Francisco, and am pursuing a bevy of new COVID hobbies along with old interests: rock climbing, body boarding, rollerblading, and skiing. My partner and I are currently combating the quirks and malfunctions of a 100-year-old house under the watchful eyes of our cat.”

  7. Class of ’09

    Class Volunteers

    Jude Abel, Haley Gilbert, Rajesh Koirala, Neelesh Shrestha, Simon Tudiver, Jack Yeh

    Jude (Wu) Abel writes: “After 10 great years in nature conservation, I’m now fixated on developing innovative finance for global reforestation, particularly by tapping into carbon markets. Excited to join forces with pioneering alums in this space!”

    Ke Cao writes: “In early 2022, I gratefully received in Canada via mail an old-style holiday greeting card with lovely family pictures and generous words sent from Kenya by my dear classmate and good friend Murefu Barasa. I was deeply touched and hope you all stay healthy, strong, and hopeful during the COVID pandemic and beyond.”

    John Paul Jewell writes: “I live in San Francisco with my husband, Gary, and our rescue pit bull, Brujo. I’ve been working for ENGIE helping decarbonize the public sector for the last five years. I got married in October and had the joy of celebrating in true San Francisco style — including a wedding wig-adorned run through Golden Gate Park — with fellow alumni Audrey Davenport, Cat Manzo ’10, Benson Gabler, and Julie Witherspoon ’08. Give a shout if you’re in the Bay Area and want to reconnect!”


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  8. Class of ’10

    Class Volunteers

    Luke H. Bassett, Paul T. Beaton, David N. Burns, Changxin Fang, William K. Lynam, Francisco J. Espinoza Magri, Tyra M. Pendergrass, Huijia Phua, Kristin C. Tracz, Daniella Aburto Valle, Alexandra N. Whitney

    Nasser Brahim ’10, Ben Blom ’10, Eliot Logan-Hines ’10, and Nick Olson ’16 gather for Eliot’s llama Chawar wedding in Taos, New Mexico
    Nasser Brahim ’10, Ben Blom ’10, Eliot Logan-Hines ’10, and Nick Olson ’16 gather for Eliot’s llama Chawar wedding in Taos, New Mexico.

    Nasser Brahim writes: “Fun times behind me and ahead! Attended Eliot Logan-Hines’s amazing llama Chawar wedding alongside Ben Blom, Ian Cummins, and Nick Olson ’16 (aka Paul Rudd). Daughter number two is on the way, due on St. Paddy’s Day (so was I). Living with the in-laws while our house is under construction (I love them). Working hard and feeling fulfilled at Woods Hole Group alongside Joe Famely ’09 and Ted Wickwire ’96, helping local communities build coastal resilience — join us!”

    Chelsea Chandler writes: “Last April, Scott Laeser ’08 and I welcomed our son, Sylvan, to the world. We upgraded our ’99 Camry to an electric car, which is working well for our family despite limited public charging in rural Wisconsin (I’m working on it). I’m directing the climate, energy, and air program at Clean Wisconsin, and this summer we’ll be celebrating our 10th season running Plowshares & Prairie Farm.”

    Leslie King writes: “While I am and will always be Doctor Leslie, I am now also a commissioner for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, where I have joined fellow alum Kathayoon Khali. My most pressing goal is increasing diversity in the outdoors both in terms of participation and via promotion of a more inclusive narrative. I am also keenly interested in crafting a more equitable conservation model that values both game and nongame species. Finally, while ODFW now has a mandate to include the impact of climate change in all future management plans, my goal is to foster a more practical application of this mandate via greening all current and future building/facilities operations, including charging stations required for an electrified vehicle fleet. ODFW commissioners are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate for four-year terms with the option of a single renewal for a maximum of eight years of service. Thus, it will be quite interesting to see how my 2030 class note reads.”

  9. Class of ’11

    Class Volunteers

    Margaret W. Arbuthnot, Lucien A. Bouffard, David D. Henry, Gabriel A. Mejias, Geofrey R. Mwanjela, Shelby L. Semmes, Gina J. Lopez Solorzano, Rebecca M. Steinberg, Randy A. Strobo, Mona Yang

    David Henry writes: “I am delighted to still be a full-time dad to Iris, Charlie, and Douglas. When I am not with them, I help lead a group, Senate Circle (senatecircle.org), that helps support competitive, underfunded U.S. Senate races. Happy to be back on the political side of environmental work. Come say hi if you are ever in Concord, Massachusetts!”

    Ben Larson writes: “After 15+ years of carpetbagging to work on longleaf and loblolly, black gum and bald cypress, I’m now learning about shelterwood sequences and Appalachian coves in my home region of the Mid-Atlantic, working to diversify habitats with The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society. I especially love establishing partnerships with other conservation orgs, state and federal agencies, and paper and packaging companies.”

    Gina Lopez Solorzano writes: “While the world seemed to be sleeping off 2020, I said yes to the two biggest adventures of my life: marriage and parenthood. In October, I got married, moved to San Francisco (from Santa Rosa, California), and conceived twins who were then born the following June. Those two keep me plenty busy and happy. So, in December 2021, I decided to leave my job as a project analyst for Living Systems Alliance, a nonprofit that builds collaborations on a regional scale to reduce catastrophic wildfires. I continue to volunteer as a board director for LandPaths, a Bay Area nonprofit that connects people to the land. I love connecting my babies to the land through neighborhood walks and hikes in the twin carrier on local trails, which always stops people in their tracks.”

  10. Class of ’12

    Class Volunteers

    Paulo Quadri Barba, Wilson M. Chan, Simon De Stercke, Naazia Ebrahim, Yan He, Alison C. Schaffer, Sharon J. Smith, Leigh A. Whelpton, Yupu Zhao

    Brian Kauffman and wife, Stacey, with their little ones
    Brian Kauffman ’12 and wife, Stacey, introduce their little ones to nature.

    Brian Kauffman writes: “My wife, Stacey Kallem, and I welcomed Charlotte Lena Kauffman on May 23, 10 days after moving to the suburbs of Lower Merion from our 10 years in Center City, Philadelphia. Everyone is healthy and getting some sleep never. Big brother Henry (4) loves his baby sister and has a hundred nicknames for her already; I like ‘Baby Shoo Shoo’ the best. We are embracing intense domestic time and getting settled in the suburbs. We love the Wissahickon Creek Trail and Schuylkill River and teaching our kids about ‘trail running,’ which has supplanted hiking because toddlers love to move. One of my favorite ways of passing the early days of the pandemic was joining Chris Colvin ’13 via FaceTime at his gym for crazy HIIT workouts. Total lifesaver. Chris is a boss. For work, I’m four years with Enel North America as an analyst and advocate to reform PJM Interconnection’s electricity markets in the Mid-Atlantic region and change rules that impose barriers for clean energy. It’s a real trip to charge our Honda plug-in with our Enel JuiceBox charger after getting a passion for electric vehicles at Yale back in their infancy. It’s always great to hear from friends — please reach out and come through Philly this summer!”

    Bassem Khalifa writes: “After almost a decade documenting Egyptian food heritage and selling good, clean, fair local food, my interest was waning just as COVID emerged. I was privileged enough to spend a good third of the pandemic by the beach on the Mediterranean. This year sees me pivoting back to tech and development through the interlinkages of food, energy, and transport. I’m on the business team of fast-growing U.K. impact startup Ox (oxdelivers.com), which designs off-road, rural EV trucks (launched at COP26) and is deploying them to offer transport as a service in our pilot country, Rwanda. I’m fully remote and working out of Cairo (for now) — get in touch!”

    Daniela Marini portrait
    Daniela Marini ’12 is an assistant professor at the Integrative Studies Department at Grand Valley.

    Daniela Marini writes: “Dear fellow classmates of 2012, I miss you a lot. This year is our 10th anniversary! To celebrate, I want to share some updates about me: After completing my PhD in geography at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2020, I’m now an assistant professor at the Integrative Studies Department at Grand Valley State University. I continue conducting research in Argentina. My work focuses on political agroecology efforts in the central temperate region of the country, mostly covered with GMO soy fields. Not all efforts to transition to a less-toxic agricultural model are rooted in environmental justice work. My job as a researcher is to document and elevate the voices of transformative alternatives. Please reach out if you are in Michigan or Argentina. And let’s plan a reunion!”

    Shelly Barnes Thomsen writes: “Managing public affairs and conservation for a water and sewer district in beautiful Lake Tahoe. I was honored to receive the 2022 California Water Environment Association Community Engagement and Outreach Person of the Year Award. The biggest achievement of the year was working crazy hours during the Caldor Fire to ensure firefighters had reliable water to fight the fire while our entire community was evacuated.”

    Pablo Torres writes: “I moved to Durham, North Carolina, with my wife and two daughters and rejoined USAID contractor RTI International. I am helping lead RTI’s international climate and energy work. Let me know if you are in the area!”

  11. Class of ’13

    Class Volunteers

    Judith Ament, Adedana M. Ashebir, Kendall L. Barbery, Jose Medina Mora De Leon, Rebecca Z. de Sa, Laura A. Johnson, Victoria M. Lockhart, Liliana Davila Stern, Maximilian N. Tattenbach, Jeffrey M. Yos

    Ellen Arnstein writes: “I’m a Westie now! I moved to Seattle in June 2020 to start as forest stewardship program manager with King Conservation District. I coordinate the urban forestry program and herd the cats that do rural forestry and wildfire preparedness. On the weekends I haunt foggy Puget Sound beaches. During the pandemic Nara Lee ’14 and I opened up our highly exclusive monthly call to include Sumana Serchan ’14, Ambika Khadka, Mio Kitayama ’14, and Sam Ostrowski, and it’s been great trading reports on the weather, vaccine rollouts, babies, and our super awesome successes.”

    Bonnie Frye Hemphill and Aaron Paul write: “Aaron and I are doing well, chasing 3-year-old Gideon, who’s chasing the chickens, who are chasing the old pup as we all get ready for Giddy’s brother arriving early April. Workwise, Aaron’s leading forest acquisitions for the new Bluesource Sustainable Forestry Company; I’m building both a public affairs and sustainability desk for a 102-year-old construction company. But we hit the hills as much as we can. We’d love to see you on the trail or around the table.”

    Pablo Peña writes: “I recently made an exciting move from professional work in environmental policy to academia. I started the doctoral program in socio-legal studies at the University of Oxford to do research on law and deforestation using empirical methods. I’ll be back in Peru soon to conduct my fieldwork somewhere in the Amazon!”

    Teodora Stoyanova writes: “While still in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic, quite a few changes happened for me. In October 2020 I started as an associate for the SEE program at the European Climate Foundation. In October 2022, I took my first trip abroad after almost four years of not traveling to other countries. Enjoying life close to the beach and the occasional 15-minute snowfall in the winters of Varna.”

    Mona Wang writes: “Entering the most daunting, nerve-wracking, and exciting chapter of life yet: motherhood! Wah? There’s something more complex than protecting the planet? Raising future planet stewards to continue to care for this place we call home might be our greatest endeavor yet. Who knows? They might even help us figure out the first puzzle challenge.”

  12. Class of ’14

    Class Volunteers

    Reginald Rex E. Barrer, Robert W. Buchkowski, Benjamin Friedman, William L. Georgia, Chetana Kallakuri, Tse Yang Lim,, Desiree F. Lopes, Niancen N. Miao, Jennifer M. Milikowsky, Elizabeth T. Ojo, Lin Shi, Cary L. Simmons, Elizabeth M. Tellman, Elgin W. Tucker, Karen A. Tuddenham

    Dominique Bikaba portrait
    Dominique Bikaba ’14 is seen here in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Dominique Bikaba writes: “With Strong Roots Congo (strongrootscongo.org), we are working on a connectivity program to bring about 600,000 hectares of traditional forestlands into sustainable conservation to preserve remaining populations of the critically endangered and endemic eastern lowland gorilla and other wildlife species. This community-based conserved area is an ecological corridor connecting two existing protected areas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, catalyzing long-term conflict resolution over protected area management in Central Africa. Part of the program effort is for landscape restoration for wildlife habitat connectivity, improved livelihoods for forest peoples, and the creation of means for climate change adaption and resilience while repairing biodiversity degradation from illegal extraction of strategic natural resources, poor governance structures over traditional lands, and unsecured ancestral land tenure.”

    Four-year-old daughter of Lynette Leighton explores the beach in Okinawa, Japan
    Four-year-old Avalon, daughter of Lynette Leighton ’14, explores the beach in Okinawa, Japan.

    Lynette Leighton writes: “Konnichiwa from Okinawa, Japan! We arrived on island in July 2020 and have been trying to do, see, and eat as much as possible between lockdowns. I am still working as an environmental planning project manager for a California-based company, Merlin and Sterling are soaking up the rays and views from our oceanfront house, we welcomed our second baby girl in 2021, and my husband was recently promoted to major in the USMC. Hope to reconnect with folks when we return stateside!” 

    Lin Shi writes: “I’m excited to complete my PhD defense via Zoom and am now working at Amazon’s Lab126 as a sustainability scientist. I’m grateful that my kitty, Calvin, is growing fierce and healthy. I recently picked up drawing because of him.”

  13. Class of ’15

    Class Volunteers

    Yaping Cheng, Kenneth J. Cloft, Akiva N. Fishman, Yesenia Gallardo, David J. Gonzalez, Emily S. Grady, Susannah M. Harris, Dawn Henning, Philip B. Kunhardt, Hyacinthe Naré, Frances E. Sawyer, Kristina A. Solheim

    Shane Feyers writes: “In 2017, I began (and will soon complete) a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida, where I studied conservation enterprises on private property. During this program, I spent a summer conducting a wildlife survey at a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in Costa Rica, published a book chapter offering a universal citizen science toolkit to measure and regulate impacts of tourism on habitat and wildlife anywhere in the world, led the development of a second IUCN resolution for sustainable tourism, and spent three months as a fellow for USFWS designing a five-year evaluation plan to measure efforts of urban wildlife programs on diverse stakeholder groups. In March of this year, I began a new position with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, leading a statewide stakeholder engagement effort to assess the needs, interests, and concerns of offshore aquaculture development. Come south, friends, nature down here needs help!”

    Danielle Lehle writes: “I’ve been with the National Park Service’s Denver Service Center Planning Division for over five years. We work with park units all across the country on resource stewardship strategies, general management plans, trail management plans, visitor use management plans, strategic plans, wilderness plans, and so forth! I’ve worked with 66-acre national historic sites; 4,000-acre Civil War battlefield sites; and 3.3 million-acre national parks. My favorite project is whichever one I’m working on at the moment — and I currently have 10. Prior to the pandemic, I occasionally got to travel out to the park units to facilitate planning workshops. For the last two years it’s been all virtual, but I’m hopeful that I’ll get to travel again this spring. When not working, I play percussion with two community orchestras and try to spend as much time in the mountains as possible — skiing, hiking, backpacking, and/or photographing.”


    Yale School of the Environment Reunion 2023

    October 6-8

    Kroon Hall as seen from Sachem Wood
  14. Class of ’16

    Class Volunteers

    Ralien Bekkers, Marguerite M. Harden, Michael R. Johnson, Grace Kankindi, Mohammad Aatish A. Khan, Apurva Mathur, Nicholas J. McClure, Sabrina H. Szeto, Tamara Thomas, Paloma F. Caro Torres, Mariana Vedoveto, Lisa M. Veliz Waweru, Raymond Waweru

    Mikael Cejtin writes: “After Yale, Ash Draper (’16 YSN) and I moved to a remote part of New York north of the Adirondacks. In 2018, I moved to Albany to work in state government, and Ash was recruited back to YSN as faculty. We got married in 2019 and bought a house in Hamden in March 2020 right as COVID hit … hello, loneliness! This fall I started a new job at The Nature Conservancy as coordinator of the Staying Connected Initiative, a U.S.-Canadian, multistakeholder partnership that conserves and restores wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity in the northern Appalachians-Acadian ecoregion, roughly the lands from New York to Nova Scotia. With 30x30 policies advancing and historic federal funding for conservation, there are now real opportunities to secure the interconnected network of lands and waters urgently needed for wildlife to move and migrate due to climate change. It is both a scary and thrilling time to be doing this work! Best wishes to my fellow YSE alums, and I hope to (re)connect with many of you this year.”

    Katie Christiansen writes: “Hello from the ponderosa forests of Colorado! Life is good here. My work these days is mostly composed of developing, illustrating, and writing interpretive signs for parks and protected areas in the West. These are fun projects to complete with rewarding, tangible outcomes: signs in the ground describing beautiful places. My book, ‘The Artist’s Field Guide to Yellowstone,’ came out last spring, and I’ve illustrated two other books on topics including predator-friendly ranching and wildlife power dynamics, both out this year. I’m artist-in-residence at the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, where I get to work with fellow YSE alumni across Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Jordan and I have our hands full with two kids, Crosby and Sylva, and pup Juneau is living her best life, though she misses spontaneous raids of Nica’s dumpsters. But then again, don’t we all?” 

    Johnson and family at Mount Tahoma (Rainier) in Washington
    Mike Johnson ’16 and his wife Leah snowshoe with baby Isla at Mount Tahoma (Rainier) in Washington.

    Mike Johnson writes: “Leah and I welcomed baby Isla to our family last June (the name ‘Kroon Girl’ was briefly considered). We take daily walks through our neighborhood in Tacoma, identifying street trees and looking for new depave projects. In January, we made it up to Mount Tahoma (Mount Rainier) for Isla’s first snowshoeing trip and look forward to sunny days to enjoy more PNW trails. Leah and I continue to work in public service for the city and the state, and while it was great to Zoom-in to our virtual fifth reunion, we look forward to the next time we can all dance together in Bowers and clean up dishes in Kroon kitchen.”

    Deborah Merriam writes: “I am a full-time arboretum director working on a great consulting project partnering with Friends of the Blue Hills on a grant-funded program to develop an invasive species management plan for Ponkapoag Pond, a 500-acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern in the Blue Hills Reservation. The great thing about this project is that we are using iNaturalist, a citizen science data collection platform, to gather the data. Currently we have trained more than 250 volunteers to collect data on seven invasive species and five native species. This is a yearlong project that gets folks out to enjoy nature and learn about plants at the same time! Once the plan is approved by the state of Massachusetts, volunteers will be leading the charge to remove as many of the invasive species as possible.”

  15. Class of ’17

    Class Volunteers

    Ethan Addicott, Samuel Geldin, Milagros M. De Camps German, David E. McCarthy, Ann Robertson, Ben Serrurier, Rebecca Shively, Sachi Singh, Eva Wang, Emily Wier, Farrukh Zaman

    Erik Connelly writes: “I miss F&ES/YSE every day and keep in touch with alumni all over the world. I am happy to report that my work causes me to regularly bump into YSE colleagues. There are many stories, so to name just a couple of fun examples: Tristanne Davis ’16 and I met up in Luxembourg on sustainable packaging work (and definitely went out for drinks afterward). Kevin Ogorzalek ’07 has been an amazing mentor and friend here in Chicago after a happy accident led us to meet during our work on a sustainable sugar-sourcing project. I appreciate our YSE community and know there is always an open door to ask questions and share learning in a safe space (be that online through random messages or in person). I’m currently in Chicago working in corporate sustainability in the food/consumer goods industry. I look forward to seeing you around as we all continue to cross paths, doing our best for positive impact in our work and communities! Let me know if you’re ever in Chicago. (Come back and visit again one day, Sara Rose!)”

    Anja Nikolova and Yi Shi caught up in London.
    Anja Nikolova ’17 and Yi Shi ’17 get caught up in London.

    Shams-il Arefin Islam writes: “I am currently working in Toronto, Canada, as a senior program officer on scope 3 emissions reduction for an organization called Pur Projet (headquartered in Paris, France). I work specifically on insetting practices for large-scale suppliers in agroforestry and carbon neutrality and advising clients on the latest developments in Article 6 under the Paris Agreement, science-based target initiatives, and various other critical environmental reporting guidelines. I recently appeared in the November 2021 Reader’s Digest Our Canada magazine.” 

    Yi Shi writes: “Happy Lunar New Year! I just want to resurface and say hi to my fellow tree huggers. After YSE, I spent a year in Connecticut and Rhode Island doing green banking before hopping over Lake Ontario for an MBA at the University of Toronto. I got out of school at the peak of COVID and ended up working in sustainable investing with the lovely Canadians. I now find myself across the Atlantic in London. Are there any YSEers here? Helloooo? Hit me up on LinkedIn, and let’s meet up!”

  16. Class of ’18

    Class Volunteers

    Nikola Alexandre, Eve D. Boyce, Emily C. Dolhansky, Kelechi Eleanya, Maristher Guevara, Caroline E. Hobbs, Yishen Li, Brenda C. Meany, Krisztina Pjeczka, Kate C. Richard, Weiyang Zhao

    Julia Calderon Cendejas writes: “Hi, all! Last year I joined South Pole to develop projects that generate carbon credits from conservation, reforestation, and restoration of forests, grasslands, and wetlands. It’s a finance tool that gives these projects more resources to operate and continue their good work. Also, it allows me to work holistically in pursuing social, environmental, and climatic goals (and to listen to all the amazing conservation stories around the world). Please get in touch if you want to learn more about carbon markets, if you know of projects that could benefit from the generation of carbon credits, or if you just want to chat!”

    Jeremy Menkhaus writes: “My wife, Samantha, and I were blessed to welcome our second baby boy (in just 17 months!), Cole, in June 2021.”

  17. Class of ’19

    Class Volunteers

    Prerna C. Bhat, Christine M. Ventura, Santiago Zindel

    Prerna Bhat writes: “After five different jobs (plus a number of side gigs) in the approximately two years since graduating, I left the (mostly virtual) campaign trail and am now seven months into my first-ever permanent job (i.e., one that doesn’t end a week after Election Day) working on climate, energy, and environmental policy for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I moved up to D.C. in the fall and have enjoyed running into YSE classmates — both literally on the street and on the bus to work as well as in Zoom meetings. They weren’t kidding when they said your YSE classmates are the people you’ll be bumping into and working with for the rest of your life! And living with — I’m very lucky to have Andy Lee as one of my housemates. As the weather and hopefully the COVID situation improve, I hope to reconnect with more folks in the D.C. area and get plugged into our YSE community here. I’m always down to explore fun events and go on adventures!”

    Peter Ludwig writes: “Hi! I live in New Haven with my partner, Kristin, and almost 4-year-old son, Ellison. That’s how long you have been out of school: Ellison is going to be 4. I do market engagement for the Connecticut Green Bank’s commercial lending programs. In 2022, I expect to graduate from the Financing and Deploying Clean Energy certificate program at Yale. I also serve on the board of Common Ground High School in New Haven and Operation Fuel, a nonprofit helping lower-income households afford energy bills. Come and say hi when you visit New Haven!”

    Thomas (Launer) Nygaard writes: “I will be legally changing my last name to my mom’s family’s maiden name: Nygaard. Those of you with keen eyes may have noticed I used this name on our class photo, as it was a decision I made among all of you. Lots of love and gratitude to those who helped me become who I am today: Thomas Nygaard! And Guia is doing great! He recently turned 7 and is as fluffy, outgoing, and contemptuous as ever.”

  18. Class of ’20

    Class Volunteers

    Sundara Bhandaram, Hannah M. Darrin, Phillip T. Dube, Leo M. Goldsmith, Andrea Cruz Quiroz

    Minshu Deng writes: “I’ve been working at the Climate Imperative Foundation since our virtual graduation. Outside of that I’m enjoying life with two front teeth and plant babies in San Francisco. My fiancé, Andrés, and I are recently engaged and I’m basically trying to recreate MODs in Yosemite as my wedding.”

  19. Class of ’22

    Class Volunteers

    Stewarded by the office of development and alumni services

    Chandra and her son, Alexander
    Suman Chandra ’22 and her son, Alexander.pose for a sweet selfie.

    Suman Chandra writes: “Half of the time I dream of honing my son to be the prime minister of India, and the other half I plan how I myself can be one. In between, I glimpse out the window to catch some snow, waiting to see if Zoom-doom is over and I will see the light of day in Kroon!”