Amy Cabaniss, CAP Coordinator & Visiting Asst. Extension Educator
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Telephone: (860) 486-5239

Amy Cabaniss is the new Visiting Assistant Extension Educator with the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP). She received her BS in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire, M.B.A. in Management and Organization from the University of New Haven and a doctorate in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. For the past several years, Amy has served as adjunct faculty, teaching undergraduate courses in environmental studies and communication, and business sustainability in an MBA program. She has an established career in environmental education with applied research in conservation psychology to encourage environmentally-responsible behavior.

Jason Vokoun, Associate Professor & Department Head
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Telephone: (860) 486-0141

Jason Vokoun is Department Head and Associate Professor of fisheries. His research broadly encompasses fisheries conservation and management issues. Working in the freshwaters of Southern New England, Dr. Vokoun has studied state endangered species and other fishes of imperiled status, defining the needed habitats and stream water quantities and quality necessary for sustainable populations into the future. His research recently documented how fish communities changed in rivers that receive increasing levels of water withdrawals for both human drinking water and agriculture. He has also worked with species that are abundant and recreationally fished, including largemouth bass, and sunfish/perch communities in lakes and ponds.

Cary Chadwick, Geospatial Training Program Coordinator
Department of Extension & Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)
Telephone: (860) 345-5216

Cary Chadwick is a faculty member in the Department of Extension & CLEAR at UConn. As a Geospatial Extension Educator, she coordinates the Geospatial Training Program for CLEAR, spending her time teaching hands-on technical trainings on the use of geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS). Cary is also involved in a number of collaborative research projects that integrate geospatial technologies to better manage and understand natural resource systems.

Laura Cisneros, Assistant Extension Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
& Institute of the Environment
Telephone: (860) 486-4917

Laura Cisneros is an Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment & Institute of the Environment at UConn. She received her B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UConn. Laura's Ph.D. research explored the effects of human-modified landscapes on bat communities, and identified landscape characteristics that promote biodiversity and vital services provided by bats (e.g. pollination, seed dispersal). Currently, Laura works with the NRCA to develop and implement place-based, environmental action programs that integrate technology used by professionals and support intergenerational (e.g., teen & adult teams) community conservation projects. Her integrated research efforts center on understanding how environmental action programs and citizen science impact capacity to address environmental issues.

Michael Dietz, CT NEMO Program Director
Department of Extension & Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)
Telephone: (860) 345-5225

Mike Dietz is a water resources educator, with primary responsibilities for running the CT NEMO Program. Mike’s position is jointly held between CLEAR and the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program at the Avery Point campus. In addition to assuming the leadership of the NEMO Program, Mike will contribute to Sea Grant’s sustainable coastal community development program. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from UConn, focusing on stormwater and low impact development (LID) techniques. Upon his graduation, he worked with the Connecticut NEMO Program from 2005 to 2007 on projects related to LID. He left Connecticut in 2007 to take a position at Utah State University as an assistant professor and extension specialist in sustainable living, where he continued to work on stormwater monitoring and LID, in addition to green building, energy conservation, and water harvesting. He was director of Utah House, a demonstration house for green building techniques.

Ashley Helton, Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment & Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Telephone: (860) 486-1259

Ashley Helton is an Assistant Professor of landscape biogeochemistry. She received a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Cincinnati and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. Her research addresses how land use and global climate change alter water, nutrient, and carbon cycles. She is interested in water quantity and quality across a wide range of freshwater ecosystems, including small headwater streams, large river floodplains, vernal pools, and coastal wetlands.

Lisa Krall, Soil Scientist
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Telephone: (860) 871-4051

Lisa Krall received a B.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Maine, Orono. Previous positions for NRCS involve mapping soils in Maine and Florida, providing technical soils services in southern Maine, and as a soil interpretations specialist. Lisa has worked as a soils technical around New England, and is actively involved in CT Envirothon.

Tracy Rittenhouse, Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Telephone: (860) 486-5042

Tracy Rittenhouse is an Assistant Professor of wildlife ecology in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at UConn. Her research addresses wildlife response to land use, climate change, and invasive species. She is interested in understanding how wildlife populations may or may not persist in human-dominated landscapes. She is passionate about the conservation of amphibian populations.

John Volin, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Professor
Office of the Provost & Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
Telephone: (860) 486-0631

John Volin is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut. John received his Ph.D. in forestry, specializing in physiological ecology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also did a postdoctoral fellowship. Before joining UConn, he was Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences as well as Director of the Environmental Sciences Program at Florida Atlantic University. John has conducted research in ecosystems around the world, focusing on invasive species and restoration ecology. He has been awarded more than $23M in extramural funding for both research and foundational activities. Previously at UConn, John served as Head of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Director of the interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences Program, and the Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center. John also founded and directed the Natural Resources Conservation Academy, a new program in conservation and land use planning targeted at high school students, which is designed to help educate the next generation of environmental leaders.

Michael Willig, Professor & Director
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE)
Telephone: (860) 486-1455

Michael Willig is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & the Director of CESE. His research focuses on population biology and community ecology of animals along gradients of latitude, elevation, landscape structure, productivity, and disturbance.  In addition to working in temperate forests of the US, he has considerable international experience, with research projects in Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico.

Emily Wilson, Geospatial Educator
Department of Extension & Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)
Telephone: (860) 345-5226

Emily Wilson is a faculty member with CLEAR at UConn. She provides geospatial information and support to the outreach programs of CLEAR and conducts a range of geospatial analyses and research. Emily does a significant amount of web work with the goal of providing easy access to geospatial information and maps with particular focus on natural resource data. 

Tom Worthley, Forestry Professor & Extension Educator
Department of Extension & Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)
Telephone: (860) 345-5232

Tom Worthley is Associate Extension Professor at UConn's Cooperative Extension Service and UConn's Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He has written a number of scholarly articles and also teaches courses in Forest Management and Dendrology. He has worked extensively on tracts in the UConn Forest and beyond in both outreach and educational activities.


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