Ana Arache (Program Assistant): Ana manages technical assistance and training, promotes educational research, and community outreach for SU-EFC programs in Puerto Rico. Her focus areas include community/K-12 green infrastructure and sustainable materials management integration, agriculture BMP research facilitation, community needs assessment, and comprehensive planning assistance. Ana holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and is currently working on her Master’s thesis on Environmental Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
Brad DeFrees (Program Coordinator) 315-558-8046: Brad manages technical assistance and training conferences, mini-grant programs, educational research, and community outreach for SU-EFC programs across EPA Region 2. His focus areas include community/K-12 green infrastructure and sustainable materials management integration, water quality and agriculture BMP research facilitation, community needs assessment, and comprehensive planning assistance. He has also been involved in regional sustainability planning efforts regarding material management strategies. Brad holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Khristopher Dodson (Associate Director) 315-443-8818:
Khris provides technical assistance to local government leaders on topics related to Asset Management, Land Use and Comprehensive Planning, stormwater management and other topics related to Local Infrastructure, Leadership, Management and Finance. He was also the coordinator for Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program. Khris has a master’s degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Master of Arts from Syracuse University.
Kathy Forrest (Budget Administrator) 315-443-1131: Kathy assists senior staff in overseeing grant-related charges. She manages all financial transactions for sponsored and non-sponsored projects. She reviews SU Policies and grant guidelines to ensure compliance by attending various Sponsored Projects Training. She also coordinates a portion of CSCS sponsored events. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Albany.
Stephanie I. Anderson-Morales (Program Assistant): Stephanie works at the SU-EFC/Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions (CSCS) San Juan Satellite office. She assists with the SMM Stewardship Program and Generating Replicable Environmental Education Networks in Puerto Rico (GREEN-PR). She holds a master’s degree in international development studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. She has worked in several economic development projects, including the community micro-enterprise Martín Peña Recicla where she gave support and technical assistance as part of her role with Americorps VISTA in Proyecto Enlace del Caño Martín Peña. She is also founding member of the urban cycling collective, RUEDA Ciclista.
Lisa Ruggero (Program Coordinator) 315-443-0292: Lisa specializes in the coordination of non-profit membership organizations, specifically in the Sustainable Materials Management field, at both the state and national levels. She has expertise in communication, event coordination, webinar administration, and program development. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Communications from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and is passionate about spreading environmental awareness in creative ways.
Melissa Young (Assistant Director): Melissa oversees SU-EFC’s programs related to community sustainability, local leadership development, and sustainable materials management (SMM) project facilitation and education. She is trained in organics management through receiving certification from the US Composting Council, Onondaga County as a certified Master Composter, and New York City Master Composter certification (June 2014). Melissa received an M.S. in natural resource management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and another degree in philosophy. Prior to working with SU-EFC, Melissa worked in natural resource management at the Willow Biomass Project in Tully New York, Tropical Forestry Initiative in Costa Rica, and with New York State Parks in Long Island. She is based at a SU-EFC satellite office in New York City.
Savannah Betkowski: Savannah assists with national programming for drinking water system operators. She is also the staff assistant with the National Recycling Coalition (NRC). Savannah manages the NRC’s administrative needs, assists with communications and outreach, helps with events, and supports the Board of Directors and NRC committees. Savannah has a bachelor’s of science in Environmental Studies focused on Natural Systems Application from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry.
Ura Connelly: Michael works at SU-EFC’s Puerto Rico Satellite Office and assists primarily with sustainable materials management and green infrastructure on his island home of Vieques. Michael is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. His main focus is on public education and outreach to implement sustainability solutions in school, festivals and public spaces.
Kaira T. Fuentes: Kaira is a PhD student in water and wetland studies in the Graduate Program in Environmental Science at SUNY-ESF. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, and a master’s degree in environmental planning, both from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Ms. Fuentes was formerly an Environmental Project Manager for the Photojournalism Workshop (Taller de Fotoperiodismo) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an Environmental Interpreter at the Foundation for Green Space (Fundación Espacios Verdes) in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an Internship Coordinator for the SU-EFC’s Puerto Rico Organics Education Internship Program. In addition to serving as a a STEM Mentor in the Syracuse City School District, Kaira is currently assisting SU-EFC with the the Meso American Reef Leadership Program.
Kristen Hychka: Kristen provides technical assistance to municipalities regarding water resources management and smart growth planning. Her focus areas include flood resilience, stormwater management, and green infrastructure planning and implementation. She also has expertise in wetlands and watershed management, geographic information systems (GIS), ecosystem services, and public engagement. She has a BA in Biology from Smith College, an MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State, and a PhD in Geography from Penn State.
Jesse Kerns: Jesse assists with Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) programs, including SMM facility tours, case studies, the NYS SMM Stewardship Program, the Trash Free Waters initiative, and the Food Recovery Campaign. Previously, he worked for Grid, a sustainability focused magazine based in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from SUNY-Fredonia, and he is currently enrolled at SUNY-ESF in the Graduate Program in Environmental Science, specializing in Coupled Natural and Human Systems.
Melvin Rodriguez-Rodriguez: Melvin works at SU-EFC’s Puerto Rico Satellite Office and assists primarily with sustainable materials management and green infrastructure programs in the Caribbean region, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Melvin is pursuing his master’s degree in Puerto Rican studies at the Center of Higher Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico.