AnaAna 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.



 KhrisKhristopher 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.


KathyKathy 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.



StephanieStephanie 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.

LisaLisa 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.


MelissaMelissa 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.

Project Assistants


SavannahSavannah 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.


Tess Clark works as a Project Assistant on SU-EFC climate adaptation and resiliency program areas. She also works with the Sustainable Materials Management team on policy research and economic development. Tess received her M.S. from SUNY-ESF in environmental policy, with a research focus on New York State timber sales and forest policy. She has worked with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the SUNY Research Foundation, and Brooklyn-based non-profit the Human Impacts Institute. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from New York University.

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.

Jessica Eckerlin: Jessica assists with the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program, which provides technical assistance to local government leaders on topics relating to Local Infrastructure, Leadership, Management and Finance.  Jessica holds a Master of Science degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry specializing in water and wetland resources and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


KairaKaira 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.


JesseJesse Kerns: Jesse assists with Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) programming, including the NYS SMM Stewardship Program, SMM Facility Tours and Case Studiesthe Trash Free Waters initiative, Plastic-Free Waterways Through Art, NYSAR3‘s Organics Council, and the NYS 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 working towards a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from SUNY-ESF.


Kate Palermo

Meredith Perreault: Meredith manages SU-EFC’s National Fish and Wildlife Foundation-funded watershed planning project and assists with SU-EFC’s resiliency initiatives. She has expertise in collaborative watershed planning and management, water quality and land conservation education and outreach, organizational management, and grant writing. Meredith has a Master’s degree in Geography from Texas State University. In addition to her SU EFC role, she is the executive director of the Central New York Land Trust.


Melvin-01Melvin 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.


Bill Whipps: Bill coordinates the Smart Management for Small Drinking Water Systems Program, which provides training and technical assistance to water systems and local government leaders on topics such as Asset Management, Financial Planning, Climate Resiliency and Workforce Development. Bill holds a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an M.A. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining SU-EFC, Bill worked for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Water Protection Program managing development of Total Maximum Daily Loads and state water quality standards.