Jill Baumgartner | Global Renewable Energy Leadership Fellow
Jill Baumgartner is a postdoctoral researcher with the Global Renewable Energy Leadership Fellowship program. Her research interests range from understanding the health, climate and environmental implications of household energy use through a combination of high-quality field data and modeling to investigating the role of energy in technological innovation and policy change in climate change mitigation and public health improvement in low-income countries. Jill holds a joint doctoral degree in population health science and environment and resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master's degree from Harvard University.
Brett Bayles | Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Brett Bayles is a postdoctoral research fellow at IonE studying the linkages between ecosystem services and human health. After earning a B.A. in biological anthropology from the University of California at San Diego, he spent time volunteering in Tanzania and working in HIV/AIDS prevention for the Department of Defense. He earned his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from the School of Public Health at Saint Louis University, where he studied emerging infectious diseases. When not at IonE, you can find him running uncomfortably long distances or catching a movie at the local movie house.
Brian Bell | Acara Challenge Program Coordinator
As program coordinator with the Acara Challenge, Brian supports entrepreneurs addressing environmental and societal dilemmas in developing societies. Brian has experience with water, waste and sanitation infrastructure in the U.S., Uganda, Haiti, Nepal and India. He has worked most recently with St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Engineers Without Borders, UN-HABITAT, the Indian government and Envest. Brian holds a bachelor's in civil-environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master's in sustainable development from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He was the USA Youth Delegate to UNESCO in 2009.
Jeff Bielicki | Visiting Scholar
Jeff Bielicki is a visiting research scientist at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Jeff researches energy and environmental systems and policy. Jeff was most recently a Weinberg fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Baker Center for Public Policy (University of Tennessee). Jeff was a research fellow with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy Group (Harvard Kennedy School). Jeff has degrees from Valparaiso University (BSME), University of Chicago (MBA) and Harvard University (MPA, Ph.D.). In his free time, he plays baseball, studies taekwondo, improvises and tries to play acoustic guitar.
Dominique Boczek | Undergraduate Student Assistant
Dominique is an undergraduate student assistant with IonE's Sustainability Education program. She is a blog manager and website developer, and contributes to outreach, event planning and social media communication. Dominique is a junior studying bioproducts, marketing and management with a focus in residential building science technologies and a minor in sustainability. She has a passion for the environment and plans to work with renewable energy and sustainable building. She enjoys spending her free time volunteering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and participating in the Indian Student Association.
Kate Brauman | Global Landscapes Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow
Kate Brauman is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Landscapes Initiative. She received her doctorate from the Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, where she evaluated the effects of land use change on water resources. Using the framework of hydrologic ecosystem services, Kate designed and led a project on the Big Island of Hawai'i quantifying the effects of pasture and forest on groundwater recharge and calculating the associated costs of water extraction. At IonE, Kate is looking at the global distribution of water use in agriculture and at its effects on downstream water quantity and quality.
Lacey Jo Braun | Sustainability Education Event Planning and Promotions Assistant
Lacey is a Sustainability Education Event Planning and Promotions Assistant. She has been part of the Sustainability Education team since January 2013, and works to plan and promote outreach events to University undergraduates, faculty, staff and individuals in the Twin Cities community. She also assists with the website, social media, blog, and graphics. Lacey is studying Public Relations and Design in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the U of M. In her free time Lacey enjoys knitting, drinking coffee, and swing dancing.
Molly Buss | Project Coordinator
Molly Buss is the project coordinator for the Institute's administrative office. Molly's role includes providing logistical support to mini-grants and program staff for meetings and events. She also serves as the first point of contact support on a number of administrative fronts, including managing the front desk. Prior to her current role, Molly was the administrative assistant for IonE. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in communications and a minor in mass communication. In her free time, she enjoys attending concerts, working out and traveling.
Kimberly Carlson | Global Landscapes Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow
Kimberly Carlson is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Landscapes Initiative. She earned her Ph.D. at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she studied land use change driven by agribusiness development in the tropics. Coupling remote sensing and spatially explicit land change modeling with socio-ecological field data, her dissertation examined the influence of oil palm plantation expansion on land cover and ecosystem processes at nested spatial scales in Indonesian Borneo. At IonE, she is assessing trade-offs between agriculture and the environment. When not doing science, you might find her on a yoga mat, trail running or practicing her Portuguese.
Emily Cassidy | Global Landscapes Initiative Graduate Research Assistant
Emily's research with the Global Landscapes Initiative investigates agricultural productivity, but not just in terms of yield. Emily's research looks at how much actual food humans receive from global farmlands. She is interested in better understanding how diets affect global land-use patterns and their associated environmental consequences. Besides thinking about the food she eats, Emily enjoys attending academic seminars, going on picnics and finding cool animals in the woods.
Barrett Colombo | Graduate Sustainability Education Network
Barrett is a program associate for the Resilient Communities Project and supports the Boreas Leadership Program and the Sustainability Faculty Network. Barrett is also a curriculum developer and teaching assistant for "Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?", a new undergraduate challenge course to be taught by IonE director Jonathan Foley in Spring 2013. He has worked previously as a policy analyst as well as a high school teacher outside Boston and in Washington, D.C. Barrett has a master's degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Emily Dombeck | Global Landscapes Initiative Junior Scientist & Assistant to the Director
Emily Dombeck is a junior scientist with the Global Landscapes Initiative, where she is both a researcher and assistant to the director. She received her B.S. in ecology, evolution and behavior from the University of Minnesota, and has worked at the U for over 10 years. Emily is interested in finding creative ways to encourage environmental stewardship and sustainability, and she will be assisting with GLI's research in sustainable agriculture. Her interests include reading, hiking, swimming, photography and reattempting failed home improvement projects.
David Doody | Associate Editor/Writer
David Doody is the associate editor/writer for IonE and Ensia. Prior to joining the communications team at IonE, he was the senior editor at METRO magazine, an associate editor at Utne Reader and the blog editor at Guernica magazine. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in English with an emphasis in writing. One of his proudest accomplishments is actually finishing—and understanding (for the most part)—Ulysses.
Peder Engstrom | Global Landscapes Initiative Undergraduate Research Assistant
Peder Engstrom is an undergraduate research assistant with IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. As a student of geographic information systems and science, Peder provides assistance with maps and other data requests from GLI's corporate and NGO partners. If you see Peder at IonE, chances are he is looking at, talking about or making a map. In his spare time, he also loves hiking where there are no trails, gardening, cooking and live music.
Jamie Gerber | Global Landscapes Initiative Program Coordinator
Jamie Gerber is a scientific program coordinator for the Institute on the Environment's Global Landscapes Initiative. In this role, he assists with research and analysis related to the global environmental consequences of land use and land cover change. Prior to joining the IonE, he worked as the senior hydrodynamics researcher at Ocean Power Technologies, helping to develop devices to convert ocean wave energy to electricity. Jamie has a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and their two children. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, soccer, hockey, cooking and practicing his French and Spanish language skills.
Jacob Grafenstein | Undergraduate Service Desk Technician
Jacob Grafenstein is a service desk technician in the Institute’s Information Technology department. He is currently an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota with an interest in computer science and web design. Jacob also has a passion for music, which has driven him to learn to play several musical instruments and to form groups outside of a typical classroom setting. Jacob has a long history of customer service positions and cares about being sustainable, believing that there are simple tasks, such as turning off lights or running water, that everyone can afford to perform for the betterment of the environment.
Bridget Henning | Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow
Bridget Henning is a Ph.D. student in conservation biology and an interdisciplinary doctoral fellow at IonE. Her research examines the application of neoliberal conservation, such as payments for environmental services, in Melanesia. More specifically, she is using economics, cultural anthropology and biology to investigate the Wanang Conservation project in Papua New Guinea to understand the different ways the project is understood and valued. Bridget received her bachelor’s degree in zoology and conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and worked on conservation issues with the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Mary Hoff | Managing Editor
Mary Hoff became the IonE communications team's managing editor in 2010 after contributing to a broad range of science- and environment-related communication efforts as an independent writer and editor. She holds a B.S. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in mass communication/science communication from the University of Minnesota. Interests outside of work include backpacking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, running, reading Sherlock Holmes, baking bread and bantering. She and her husband have three grown children—all of whom mysteriously ended up math majors.
Ben Janke | Postdoctoral Research Associate
Ben Janke is a postdoctoral researcher at IonE through a Discovery Grant. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State and his MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and has a background in hydrologic and heat transfer modeling in urban watersheds. In graduate school he studied thermal pollution of cold-water streams, with particular emphasis on storm water impacts. At IonE, Ben's research will focus on improving knowledge of the linkage of land cover and public/private land management decisions on nutrient loading and water quality in urban landscapes.
Anastasia Johns | Assistant to the Director
Anastasia Johns is assisting the director of the Institute on the Environment for the summer. Anastasia recently received her B.S. in biology and her B.A. in music from the University of Minnesota. She will be attending the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall. Anastasia’s previous work has been in animal behavior research, and she is excited for this new opportunity to be involved with and learn more about the Global Landscapes Initiative. In her free time, Anastasia enjoys cooking, riding her horses and hanging out with her extremely lazy cat Joule.
Matt Johnston | Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Matt Johnston is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Landscapes Initiative. His research focuses on the intersection of bioenergy and food security, and how more efficient production and consumption of agricultural resources might ease competition pressures and increase sustainability. Matt is also interested in how collaborations among farmers, governments, nonprofits, investors and institutions can accelerate positive change. Matt received his B.S. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worked for Intel Corporation and AstroPower, then returned to his alma mater to earn an M.S. in land resources, certificate in energy analysis and policy, and Ph.D. in environment and resources.
Suhyun Jung | Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow
Suhyun Jung is a Ph.D graduate student in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include environmental regulation, corporate responsibility, and valuation of ecosystem services. His current research project investigates the role of agricultural multinationals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help mitigate deforestation and improve provisioning of ecosystem services in the Brazilian Amazon. After graduation, he is looking forward to teaching and researching in the area of environmental and resource economics. You will find him running along the lakes, swimming in the pool, or travelling awesome places when he is not in his office.
Sarah Karnas | Creative Director
IonE creative director Sarah Karnas' duties range from branding and strategic communications to promotion and graphic design (including Ensia). Prior to her current role, she coordinated consumer events for Minnesota Monthly and designed materials for the Uptown Art Fair and other local clients. A Minneapolis native and an alumna of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Sarah enjoys travel, photography, yoga, the Chain of Lakes and seeking out the best vegetarian fare in the city. At home, she spends time with her sports-obsessed husband Matt, her raccoon-sized cat Vinny and her teeny-tiny dog Lou.
Bonnie Keeler | Natural Capital Project Research Assistant
Bonnie is a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resources Science and Management Program and a research assistant with the Natural Capital Project. Her research is on the assessment and valuation of ecosystem services, with a focus on water quality in agricultural landscapes. She is developing a framework for the economic valuation of water quality services based on integrated biophysical and economic models. Bonnie will apply this framework, along with the ecosystem services model InVEST, to investigate the environmental and economic consequences of different bioenergy crop production scenarios in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
Matt Kilpo | NorthStar Initiative Undergraduate Research Assistant
Matt Kilpo is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota studying environmental science, policy, and management with an emphasis in corporate environmental management. His research is focused on environmental labeling and marketing, environmental reporting, life cycle analysis, and materials cycling. As an undergraduate research assistant with NiSE, Matt is currently gathering and analyzing market research for the Materials Cycling Initiative. He also has an interest in renewable technologies and energy efficiency projects. While he hasn’t spent a great deal of time with renewable technologies or energy efficiency projects, those areas are of interest to Matt as he moves forward with his career.
Kate Knuth | Boreas Leadership Program Coordinator
Kate Knuth runs the Boreas Environmental Leadership Program. She is also pursuing her Ph.D. in conservation biology. Kate is a citizen member of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board and served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Kate previously worked at Hamline University's Center for Global Environmental Education. She holds a M.Sc. from Oxford University and a B.A. from the University of Chicago, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Norway. Kate enjoys cross country skiing and the occasional sprint triathlon.
Dan Kunitz | Digital Content & IT Professional
Dan oversees the Ensia and IonE online presence while supporting the technical needs of faculty, staff and researchers. He holds a B.S. in graphic design from the University of Minnesota's College of Design with a minor in information technology. Dan is always exploring methods of conservation and efficiency, while experimenting with small-scale solar electricity.
Graham MacDonald | Global Landscapes Initiative Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Graham MacDonald is a postdoctoral researcher with the Global Landscapes Initiative. Graham received a Ph.D. from McGill University, where he studied human impacts on phosphorus cycling at large scales. His research combined spatial analysis and data synthesis to examine diverse issues surrounding agricultural phosphorus management, often incorporating cross-scale or historical perspectives. At IonE, Graham is assessing the role of global trade on linking agricultural production and consumption with environmental outcomes across regions. Graham completed a B.A. in geography and M.Sc. in renewable resource management from McGill, and enjoys exploring Twin Cities by bike in his spare time.
Alex Maple | Student Administrative Assistant
Alex works as IonE's administrative assistant, maintaining the organization of IonE’s administrative offices and assisting with preparation for events. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in genetics, cell biology and development with a minor in psychology. Alex has a particular interest in the study, prevention and treatment of genetic diseases and hopes to become a genetic counselor. In her free time, Alex enjoys attending concerts, biking and skiing.
Lauren McCarthy | Sustainability Minor Adviser
Lauren McCarthy is the sustainability minor adviser and a scholarship coordinator for CFANS undergraduates. Lauren worked with scholarships, orientation services and honors students at the University of Iowa. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from the University of Iowa in 2006 and her M.Phil. in Latin American studies from Cambridge University in 2007.
Moana McClellan | Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow
Moana McClellan is a Ph.D. student in plant biology and an interdisciplinary doctoral fellow at IonE. She is intrigued by the links between society and environment, which serve as the umbrella under which she guides her research questions. More specifically, she is interested in how forest ecology and forest ecosystem services are affected by human decisions. She spent last year in Costa Rica on a Fulbright Fellowship conducting fieldwork in tropical dry forests and interviewing local landowners. She loves to make ice cream and bake pies.
Nathan Mueller | Global Landscapes Initiative Research Assistant
Nathan Mueller is a doctoral student working with the Global Landscapes Initiative. His research analyzes the influence of agricultural management practices on global crop yields, nutrient loading, water use and climate change adaptation. Nathan received his bachelor's degree in biology and environmental studies from St. Olaf College, where he researched ecological stoichiometry and freshwater nutrient cycling. He was a research assistant at the U.S. EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division before joining IonE. When Nathan's not analyzing data, he's often working on his culinary skills or escaping outdoors to hike, bike and climb.
Christine O'Connell | Global Landscapes Initiative Graduate Research Fellow
Christine O'Connell is a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior and a research fellow with the Global Landscape Initiative. She uses ecosystem ecology to explore the role ecosystem services can play in sustainable tropical forest management. Christine's dissertation investigates the effects of increased agricultural production on Amazonia’s contribution to global climate, biodiversity and nitrogen cycling, using statistical modeling and fieldwork in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Christine received a B.S. from Stanford University in earth systems with a focus in biology and spent several years teaching high school biology in an urban charter school in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rylie Pelton | Graduate Research Assistant
Rylie Pelton is a graduate research assistant with the NorthStar Initiative. Her research focuses on developing a life cycle analysis tool that will help to identify which environmental claims lead to sustainable product performance, and assessing the environmental performance of solar bio-gasification technology. Rylie holds a B.S. in corporate environmental management and is currently pursuing her master's degree in the Natural Resources, Science and Management program, with an emphasis on sustainability in business, at the University of Minnesota.
Emily Peters | Boreal Forest Project Forest Ecologist
Emily Peters is a forest ecologist for the Institute on the Environment's Boreal Forest Resilience Project. She is responsible for ecological research and analyses related to understanding and managing boreal forests in northeastern Minnesota in the face of climate, economic and social change. Emily has a doctorate in ecology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in ecology and evolution from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She grew up in St. Paul and now lives in Minneapolis. Outside work, she enjoys traveling, gardening, swimming and flying kites.
Rebecca Pickens | NorthStar Initiative Program Associate
Rebecca Pickens is a program associate with IonE's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NiSE). She does research and program development for the Materials Cycling Initiative. Previously, as a graduate assistant, she completed a study of Green Patent Programs for NiSE and worked at the Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy on energy and climate policy research. Rebecca has an M.S. in science, technology and environmental policy from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, she worked in manufacturing and control engineering.
Deepak Ray | Global Landscapes Initiative Research Associate
Deepak Ray is a research associate with IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. He is studying how global crop areas and yields have changed over time. He has published 18 peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from satellite remote sensing to regional climate modeling, land use change modeling and population studies. Deepak's research projects have covered international locations, including Central America and Australia. He holds a doctoral degree in atmospheric sciences from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In his free time, he enjoys observing the antics of his cat (Sundari), taking Sundari for walks, reading novels and watching movies.
Joey Reid | Boreas Leadership Program Teaching Assistant
Joey Reid is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and a teaching assistant for the Boreas Leadership Program's Systems Dynamics workshops. He uses models, field work and experiments to understand the role temporal patterns of resource availability (pulsing) play in structuring ecosystem processes. Joey left the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in botany and spent five years producing videos, including a documentary on drag queens. He enjoys botanizing, sailing, cycling, cooking, reading and just about everything else.
Joanne Richardson | River Life Digital Information Manager
Joanne Richardson is the digital information manager for IonE's River Life program. Her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota focused on geology, architecture, computer science and French, and she received a master's degree in landscape architecture from the College of Design. Having spent many childhood weekends and holidays backpacking through many of the great American landscapes, she developed an early and lasting love of geology that has colored her interests ever since. She has a particular interest in digital communication media and tools.
Brian Robinson | Global Environmental Leadership Fellow
Brian Robinson is an IonE environmental leadership fellow. He is interested in how ecosystem services and programs to protect ecosystem services impact livelihoods and the environmental resources in developing countries. For Brian's doctoral work, he investigated the impact of management institutions on forest resources and livelihoods in Yunnan, China. At IonE, Brian continues to use an economic lens to look at ecosystem service issues in China and elsewhere. In addition to his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brian holds two masters degrees from MIT and a BS from Georgia Tech.
Sima Sajjadiani | Sustainability Education Program Graduate Assistant
Sima Sajjadiani joined IonE in September 2012 as a graduate assistant overseeing the logistics of sustainability education programs, including recruitment, registering and tracking students, running focus groups, administering student feedback surveys and supervising students using the Web and social media to communicate and market sustainability education programs and events. Sima is a graduate student in the Carlson School of Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA. If time allows, she enjoys cooking, watching movies and traveling.
Jennifer Schmitt | NorthStar Initiative Research Fellow
Jennifer Schmitt is a research fellow with the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise. She is working on projects that include corporate embedded sustainability and smart network applications in Tanzania. Jennifer's prior work in sustainability has been coordinating a proposed graduate sustainability minor and assisting with sustainability reporting. Jennifer has a M.S. in applied economics and Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in biology and international relations from Beloit College. Her past research has included conservation policies and socioeconomics in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania.
Franziska Schrodt | Plant Data Synthesis Research Associate
Franziska Schrodt is a research associate working on the Plant Data Synthesis Discovery Grant in collaboration with the U of M departments of forest resources and computer sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. She develops new algorithms to fill sparse matrices in plant functional trait databases. Franziska earned her Ph.D. in geography at the University of Leeds, UK, on biogeochemical comparisons of tropical forest-savannah zones of transition in Africa and South America. Franziska is also interested in the socioeconomic aspects of environmental change, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
April Snyder | Associate Administrator
April became IonE associate administrator after working in finance and grants management in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Her role includes assisting with program implementation, managing finance and HR workflows and managing internal and external grants. She started her career in contracts management while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Between then and now, she has moved across the country and overseas, and ended up right back in Minnesota. With a growing family, April works hard to make time for gardens full of food and flowers on her small plot of land in the city.
Maria Clara Starling | Undergraduate Research Associate
Maria Clara is an undergraduate research associate working with IonE's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NiSE). She is currently researching on a Biomass Supply Chain Mapping Project. She is a Biology Major who is at the University of Minnesota as an exchange sponsored student through the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program. She really enjoys the experience she has been having at the U and she has been learning a lot from it both academically and personally. She has a passion for the environment and plans to work with environmental management either in a company or agency in the near future.
Shipeng Sun | Sustainability Education Program Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Shipeng Sun is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Landscapes Initiative. He studied geographic information science (GIS) and human-environment interactions at the University of Minnesota Department of Geography. After graduating in 2009, he worked for the Spatial Land-Use Change and Ecological Effects (SLUCE) project and continued research on land use change, land markets, carbon dynamics and other human-environment issues in exurban America using GIS and agent-based modeling. At IonE, Shipeng is working on Web mapping GLI data using Google products and on other research activities.
Mary Swenson | Fiscal Lead
Mary Swenson works with the Institute on the Environment as the fiscal lead, which entails overseeing budgetary needs and accounting. The University of Minnesota has been a common thread throughout Mary's life, and one that has come full circle. During her years as an undergraduate, she met her future husband and they graduated together after earning bachelor's degrees in business from the Carlson School of Management. Mary returned as an employee 14 years ago. Now empty-nesters except for a tiny (but ferocious) miniature pinscher, Mary and her husband attend Gopher games and other activities as alumni.
Harriet Van Vleck | Research Associate
Harriet Van Vleck is a research associate working on the Reconnecting Fragmented Prairie Landscapes project, a joint effort between The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the economic viability of creating restored working prairie landscapes in Minnesota and the impact of these land uses on the provision and value of ecosystem services. She received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in geology and environmental studies from Bowdoin College.
Molly Wangen-Becker | Student Administrative Assistant
As the student administrative assistant, Molly's primary role is to support the institute's staff with administrative needs and to provide front-desk reception. In addition, she contributes logistical support for meetings and events. Molly is currently pursuing a degree at the University in journalism with a focus in public relations. In her spare time she enjoys running, hiking and traveling with friends and family.
Lauren Werner-Foley | Communications Assistant
Lauren is a student assistant with IonE communications team. She provides editorial assistance for Ensia and contributes to other IonE communications. Outside IonE, she is pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of Minnesota and loves learning about and working on larger environmental issues, such as food security and sustainable development. She stays busy with school, spending time with friends, playing tennis and learning new things.
Paul West | Global Landscapes Initiative Chief Collaboration Officer
Paul West is chief collaboration officer for IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. His work is related to increasing global food production while decreasing environmental impacts. Paul conducts research on sustainably managing ecosystems with emphasis on the effects of agriculture. He also works with leaders from agribusiness, NGOs, foundations, technology companies and public agencies to increase accessibility and relevance of GLI's research. Before joining the U of M, Paul worked 17 years at The Nature Conservancy. He has published in leading science journals. His main hobbies revolve around rediscovering the wonders of the world through the eyes of his two young daughters.
Lori Young-Williams | Human Resources Manager
Lori Young-Williams serves as an associate administrator, managing human resources for IonE. She has worked at the University of Minnesota for more than 15 years, and is a University alumna with a bachelor's degree in human relationships and a master of liberal studies focusing on the Great Migration. Lori is also an emerging poet/writer.