UConn@COP

The UN Conference of Parties (COP), is an annual United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted by a different country around the world each year. The event brings together diplomats, business executives, heads of government and other delegates to discuss action on climate change.

UConn began sending students and faculty to attend this conference in 2015. This was the year of COP21, which was held in Paris and resulted in the pivotal Paris Agreement. UConn students and faculty have attended COP every year since, and in doing so have gained a unique perspective on the global effort to combat climate change.

Click on the menu below to see this year's COP Fellows!

Donate to the UConn@COP Fund

check back in Spring 2019 for student and faculty applications to attend COP25!

UConn@COP24 Fellows

 

Luke Anderson

Luke Anderson is a junior from Tolland, CT. He is pursuing a dual degree in Anthropology and Nutritional Sciences at UConn, with a minor in Mathematics. He currently works in the Honors Program as a Guide for Peer Success (GPS), a peer advisor for fellow Honors students to help them to navigate their college experience, as well as in the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) as a research assistant helping to research the influence of various social factors on people's health behaviors. Luke is passionate about helping others through service and promoting health in a culturally sensitive manner. He's involved in a variety of political and cultural organizations around campus and is on the founding organizing committee for UConn's first student-run Global Health Symposium. In the long-term, he hopes to incorporate his love of travel and food into service in a nutrition and agriculture program in the Peace Corps, then pursue a higher graduate degree. He's always down for a good book or music recommendation and really loves a good hike with his dogs.

Kayleigh Granville

Kayleigh Granville is a senior pursing a BS in Environmental Science with a concentration in Global Change. At UConn, she is a University Scholar and the president of Wildlife Society. She is also an undergraduate researcher in the Helton lab, where she is working on an honors thesis studying the effects of sea level rise on nitrous oxide emissions from coastal wetlands. In her spare time, Kayleigh enjoys hiking, running, and reading. After graduation, she plans to earn an MS in Environmental Science. Kayleigh aspires to use research as a tool to find solutions to the complex environmental problems facing our generation, including climate change, sea level rise, and carbon emissions, and is excited to see how these issues are discussed at COP24!

Frank Griggs

Frank Griggs is a doctoral student in the Political Science department at the University of Connecticut. Broadly, his research focuses on how politics influence, and are influenced by, climate change. His dissertation examines the relationship between persons displaced by climate extremes (e.g. natural disasters such as floods and storms) and the incidence of armed conflict and protests. In addition, Frank has had the opportunity to teach a Global Environmental Politics course on three occasions. He respectively earned BA and MA degrees of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Northridge. His professional experience before coming to UConn includes employment as a social worker within California’s Regional Center system for developmentally disabled persons, as well as service and activism as an elected officer of a labor union chapter.

Emily Kaufman

Emily Kaufman is a sophomore double majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. This summer she traveled to Ecuador where she interned with the Social Entrepreneurship Corps. At UConn, she is currently the co-chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee under Undergraduate Student Government, a student representative for the University's Environmental Policy Advisory Council, and a member of the General Education Environmental Literacy Task Force. Emily has a passion for environmental justice education and advocacy. She is particularly interested in the intersections between social issues and climate change and redefining the unproductive and unequal system through collaborative education. Emily is a member of UConn’s club running team and an on-campus a capella group. She loves to travel, especially when it means trying new and exotic food and spending time outdoors. She is excited for the opportunity to go to Poland and attend such an important conference!

Katarina Konon

Kat Konon is a junior studying Chemical Engineering. Over the summer she worked on developing a way to release antibiotics from coatings on medical devices in order to help prevent infection. On campus, she is a member of EcoHusky and an engineering tutor. Kat hopes to learn more about the political and social aspects of climate change at the conference, and she’s excited to be around so many people from around the world that care about the environment. She loves Horsebarn Hill, intramural sports, crispy m&m’s, and watching The Office.

Risa Lewis

Risa Lewis is a junior from Avon, CT majoring in Applied and Resource Economics with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Economics and minoring in English. She spent the summer working at the Cornell Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, learning more about the intersection of research in environmental economics and behavioral economics. Her study abroad experience last fall focusing on Sustainable Food and Environmental Systems in Florence, Italy solidified her interest in tackling environmental issues, particularly climate change. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Resource Economics and is interested in the cutting edge economic and environmental policy research being done at organizations such as Resources For the Future. At UConn, Risa loves to exercise any way she can—as President of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, Social Media Coordinator of the Swing and Blues Club, and a bouldering enthusiast. Her favorite place at UConn is Horsebarn Hill at sunrise.

Sahil Lual

Sahil Laul is a senior studying Molecular & Cell Biology and Global Health with minors in Spanish and Anthropology. As a Connecticut native with a strong passion for public health and health equity, he has been conducting research at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on a variety of different topics including sickle cell disease, prescription errors, health care access, and nutrition and food insecurity. Upon graduation, Sahil hopes to study the practices and policies of key global health actors with the ultimate goal of becoming a practitioner of globalized medicine and an advocate of healthcare as a fundamental human right through a master’s in global health and medical degree program. After starting UConn’s Annual Global Health Symposium with a group of students last year, he will be moderating several panels at this year’s symposium and hopes to integrate what he learns at COP24 with discussions of the impact of climate change on health. Sahil also enjoys studying languages and cultures and will be traveling to Spain during the winter of 2018 to film a documentary on the various implications of language in the context of the Catalan independence movement through UConn’s IDEA Grant. In his spare time he enjoys DJ-ing at WHUS Radio, hiking, traveling, and dancing.

Sophie MacDonald

Sophie MacDonald is a sophomore from Bantam, CT majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in philosophy and math. She plans to pursue an M.S. in Sustainable Engineering, and she aspires to be a practicing engineer in the renewable energy sector. Freshman year, she conducted research under Dr. Leslie Shor in her engineered microhabitats laboratory, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. This semester, she is conducting research more directly associated with her career goals under Dr. Alexander Agrios, whose research focuses on perovskites, the latest technology in solar power. At the end of her freshman year, Sophie was hired as an intern at the UConn Office of Environmental Policy, where she runs the website and works on various initiatives to promote sustainability on campus. She is also a co-lead for the Uganda Project for the University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), as well as the founder of a collaboration project between EWB-UConn and the Hartford Professional Chapter of EWB. Within this organization, Sophie works to help the environment as well as the community of people who depend on its protection. When the dust settles every so often, Sophie loves to do anything and everything outdoors, from hiking to ice climbing to birding.

Leann McLaren

Leann is a senior majoring in political science and history and is enrolled in the honors program. She was born and raised in Manchester, CT. She is a member of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Leadership Board, and a past executive member of the UConn chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) . She has served as a research assistant under faculty projects facilitated by Dr. Evelyn Simien, Dr. Jeremy Pressman, and Dr. Fiona Vernal. She has also participated in internships in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Children’s Law Center, and Right2Know, a political rights organization as apart of her study abroad trip to Capetown, South Africa. This past summer she conducted research under the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University and is currently writing here thesis project regarding West Indian Immigrant incorporation in Hartford, CT funded through the UConn IDEA Grant Program. Leann is interested in the intersectionality of poverty, racial issues, human rights, and the environment. She hopes to learn how environmental policy is both debated and enforced at the international level and wants to incorporate lessons into her career goals of attaining a PhD in political science.

Delaney Meyer

Delaney Meyer is a junior from Bedford, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Construction Engineering and Management. Around campus, she is an employee for the Engineering Tutoring Center, the Vice President of the Tap Team and a member of the UConn Dance Company. Since being on campus, Delaney's interest in environmental causes has grown exponentially. She was a member of EcoHouse for two years and worked on several small scale projects around campus, including improving the Hillside Environmental Education Park. She also took part in an alternative break focused on environmental conservation in Utah. Delaney is excited to absorb as much information from COP as possible and wants to gain a greater understanding of the political actions being taken to mitigate climate change in other countries.

Adrienne Nguyen

Adrienne Nguyen is a junior from Avon, CT majoring Pathobiology and Molecular and Cell Biology (with a minor in Human Rights). She supports the One Health approach to health care and believes the environment plays a crucial but often under-looked role in human health. Over the summer she was one of the El Instituto Fellows working as a vitals lead for UConn Health’s Migrant Farmworker Clinics providing health care access to an under-served population. Her career goal is to bring more awareness and work on the intersection of medicine and human rights. On campus, she is a member of the Honors GPS team, on Student Health Services’ support staff, and one of the Chief RAs for CCMC’s Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP). In her free time, she enjoys taking pictures of sunsets, recreational swimming, and playing with her cat, Cupcake.

Nikki Pirtel

Nikki Pirtel is a senior Environmental Science major with a concentration in Global Change. She is President of Service for EcoHusky and treasurer of the Forestry and Wildlife Club. After graduation, She plans on attending graduate school for a masters degree in some kind of forest ecology. The inspiration for going to grad school came from doing field work in Dr. Bagchi's lab in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department for the past three summers, studying how forest fragmentation/human disturbance impacts biodiversity of natural ecosystems, which is the primary focus of her Honor's thesis. As an Environmental Science major, Nikki learns about climate change in almost all of her classes, but never much about the policy aspect of the science. With this trip, she hopes to gain more knowledge of environmental law and international collaboration on such a vital issue by members of countries having vastly different socioeconomic statuses. In the future, she will use the knowledge she gains to help bridge the communication gap between scientists and the general population, as she believes that public outreach and education is an important tool to advocate for more effective environmental protection policies.

Charlotte Rhodes

Charlotte Rhodes is a junior from Manchester, CT. She is majoring in Environmental Studies with a double minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). On campus, she is an intern at the Office of Environmental Policy, a member of EcoHusky, and Vice President of Operations of Alpha Epsilon Phi. She spent this past summer working with the U.S. Forest Service in Vallejo, California where her work focused on Sustainable Operations, Climate Change, and Wildlife Ecology. Charlotte is particularly interested in how climate change will affect the relationship between the environment and human health, and after graduation hopes to pursue a graduate degree in entomology and vector borne diseases.

Jon Ursillo

Jonathan Ursillo is a junior double major in Environmental Sciences and Economics from Rehoboth, MA. He is interested in the intersection of business and the environment, particularly in the assessment of the total cost of economic behavior. At UConn, Jonathan is a Sustainability Intern at the OEP, focusing primarily on recycling, and is a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, skiing, and staying active. Jonathan enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures, so he is looking forward to visiting Poland and learning more about climate change from a global perspective.

Jessica Weaver

Jessica Weaver is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Human Rights and Entrepreneurship. She is also on a fast-track to get her Master's in Public Policy. At UConn, Jessica serves as President of the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Partners in Health Engage. She is an active member of the CLAS Student Leadership Board and an avid dancer. Jessica looks forward to attending COP to learn more about not only what state actors can do about climate change, but non-state actors as well. She is particularly interested in the intersection of Human Rights and Business, and wants to find innovative ways for the private sector to contribute to climate change solutions. She ultimately hopes to work for the UN Women as an advocate for gender equality in the areas of economic justice, climate justice, and political representation.

UConn@COP24 Faculty

Rich Miller

Rich is the Director of Environmental Policy for UConn.  He established and oversees the University’s Sustainability Office and Environmental Compliance Office. Rich reports to UConn’s EVP & CFO and directs a wide range of sustainability initiatives and programs that promote clean energy, conservation and resource efficiency, waste reduction and diversion, low impact development, green building, Climate Action and student engagement, like the UConn@COP program. He is the founding advisor to the EcoHusky and ECOalition student groups, and currently is Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of AASHE. Prior to becoming UConn’s first environmental officer, Rich held positions as a corporate environmental manager for a Fortune 500 energy company, practicing environmental and land use attorney, faculty adjunct in environmental law, legislative attorney, and an energy and environmental program director and lobbyist for a statewide association.

Patrick McKee

Patrick McKee was hired by the OEP in 2018 to serve as UConn’s Sustainability Program Manager. He received a B.S. in Biology from Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA, in 2011 and received his M.S. in Environmental Science and Management from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2013. Reporting to the OEP Director, Patrick works to develop, plan, and administer programs, initiatives and events related to sustainability at UConn. He also supervises the OEP’s high-achieving student intern staff. Patrick’s prior experience in the sustainability field spans both the private and public sectors with time spent as the sustainability manager at Eastern Kentucky University and as a sustainability analyst at Legrand North America, in West Hartford, CT.

Dr. Prakash Kashwan

Prakash Kashwan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy (2011) from Indiana University, Bloomington with specialization in Public and Environmental Affairs and Research Methods. Dr. Kashwan’s research, scholarship, and teaching focuses on climate justice, global climate and environmental governance, and political economy of development. In these endeavors he build on his over two-decade-long engagements with questions of global and international environmental governance, including a first career in international development (1999-2005). He was among the winners of 2009 Young Scientist Research Award from the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Stockholm.

Dr. Anji Seth

Anji SethDr. Anji Seth is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and an executive committee member for the UConn Atmospheric Sciences Group. Her research focuses on the physical climate system, in particular, how regional climates are likely to evolve in the larger setting of human initiated global warming. She works with large global and regional observational data sets and numerical climate models to understand regional processes involved in monsoon regions and mid-latitude climates. She received her B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1985) and her Ph.D from the University of Michigan (1995).

Dr. Scott Stephenson

Scott StephensonDr. Scott Stephenson is an assistant professor in the UConn Department of Geography. He received his B.S. in Human Biology with a minor in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford in 2003, and his PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014. Dr. Stephenson’s research involves human causes of and responses to climate change in the Arctic, and has received numerous accolades related to this environmentally-involved research. Such distinctions include being a New Generation of Polar Researchers Leadership Symposium Scholar in 2015, as well as being selected as an AAG Delegate at last year’s COP.

Dr. Mark C. Urban

Mark UrbanDr. Mark C. Urban is a biologist and associate professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His work focuses on the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape natural communities across multiple spatial scales. Mark C. Urban received his B.S. in Environmental Science and Political Science at Muhlenberg College in 1998 (summa cum laude). He received his M.E.Sc. from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2001 and his Ph.D. in 2006 from Yale University.

UConn@COP23 Fellows

 

Caroline Anastasia

Caroline Anastasia is a junior from Hampton, NH. She is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Mathematics, and one day hopes to be a research scientist. She works as an intern at the Office of Environmental Policy, where she is a lead intern for the annual EcoMadness competition and Football Green Game Day. Caroline also works as an undergraduate researcher in the Sotzing group studying conductive polymers. When she is not at work, she captains the UConn Women's Ultimate Frisbee team, and is the president of the Undergraduate Society of Plastics Engineers. She also enjoys ice cream, skiing, and recycling.

Adrianna Antigiovanni

Adrianna Antigiovanni is a senior Environmental Studies major. At UConn, Adrianna is Co-President of the EcoHusky student group and a sustainability intern at the Office of Environmental Policy.  She is also a dedicated member of the club running team, RunUC, as well as a peer educator for UConn's Health Education Office.  She has spent several of the past summers with her hands in the dirt as part of the farm crew at SubEdge Farm in Farmington, Connecticut, where she has worked hard to grow and take care of the wide variety of vegetables throughout the season. After graduation, Adrianna hopes to join FoodCorps where she will have an impact on implementing healthy food in under-served schools and provide nutrition education to students to combat diet-related diseases. Additionally, she looks forward to pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Policy.  Her passions lie within Environmental Justice, EcoFeminism, and living a vegan lifestyle.  She also loves to play her bassoon and violin when she gets the chance.

Colby Buehler

Colby Buehler is a senior studying Chemical Engineering with an environmental perspective. As a member of Dr. Wagstrom's Computational Atmospheric Chemistry and Exposure Lab he developed an interest in air pollution and climate change. Currently he is working towards his Honors Thesis on pesticide drift between conventional and organic farmland. His career goal is to be a professor of environmental engineering to further understand the chemistry of atmospheric pollution. Outside of the classroom he is involved with EcoHusky, is the proud president of Honors Council, and is a member of the UConn Trombone Choir.

Colleen Dollard

Colleen Dollard is a double major in Geography and Maritime Studies with a focus on environmental economics and policy at the UConn Avery Point Campus. She grew up on Long Island Sound, which was the catalyst for her interest in the coastal environment. Colleen’s studies at UConn have focused primarily on the coastal environment, environmental protection, and the relationship between humans and the environment. She interned with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) for over a year and has also worked with DEEP. After graduation, she hopes to work in either the environmental policy or education fields. Outside of her studies, Colleen enjoys hiking, cooking, and being out on or in the water.

Mary Donato

Mary is a senior Natural Resources and the Environment major with a concentration in Water Resources and Climate. She is particularly interested in wetland systems and is working on an honors thesis focusing on carbon gas flux in wetlands in connection to water quality and plant species. Climate change and its effects on human lives and natural systems has been a major component of her studies at UConn. Spreading her current knowledge and gaining new knowledge on these subjects excites her, and she hopes to continue these passions in her future career. She loves to dance and is the Vice President of the UConn Tap Team. Mary’s interest in natural systems and humans’ role in climate started at a young age, when she could always be found either outside, dancing, or obsessively watching Animal Planet. She hopes to use all of her experiences at UConn to help create a more balanced and sustainable world.

Wawa Gatheru

Wawa Gatheru is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Connecticut, with a minor in Environmental Economics and Policy. At UConn, she currently interns at the Office of Environmental Policy and serves as the Student Services Chairwoman of the Undergraduate Student Government. In addition, she serves as an FYE Mentor and volunteer for SOS Food Recovery and Cross Cultural Connections. She is particularly interested in the intersection of environmental activism and food sovereignty, previously serving as a student coordinator in the Husky Nutrition Program and currently acting as a research assistant in the Nutrition Department. Her long-term goals include becoming an Environmental Foreign Service officer for USAID, a goal that was solidified during her year-long fellowship with the U.S. State Department in Thailand. In obtaining this goal, she also hopes to take part in the redefinition of culturally-competent, sustainable environmental development.

Benjamin Hawkins

Ben Hawkins is a senior double majoring in History and Human Rights. He is a former President of Alpha Phi Omega, a coed service fraternity and former handler of Jonathan XIV. Currently, he is a USG Senator representing commuter undergraduates. Ben loves to travel and spent 4 months hiking in New Zealand while fundraising for Common Ground, a New Haven charter school focused on teaching students about the environment. As an aspiring lawyer and Air Force officer, he is excited to learn more about international environmental law while at COP23!

Weston Henry

Weston Henry is a junior in the honors program pursuing a dual degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Landscape Architecture. Originally from Mansfield, Connecticut, he spent most of last summer in the hills of western Connecticut, studying a state-endangered butterfly and living in a cabin on stilts over the Housatonic River. After school, he plans on working field jobs in ecology in exotic locales, travelling extensively, and working in an ecological design firm, preferably somewhere in California. He loves art and design, being in nature, and most of all having fun.

Rebecca Kaufman

Rebecca Kaufman is double majoring in political science and human rights and minoring in public policy. She aspires one day to lead legal efforts on behalf of the victims of environmental injustice.  An avid runner, Rebecca has worked as Program Design Fellow for Net Impact in Oakland, CA, interned for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, worked with local leaders in rural Guatemala through the Social Entrepreneurship Corps, and studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she interned at the Economic Justice Network. As a spring 2016 IDEA Grant recipient, Rebecca used her funding to analyze the policy outcomes and increased female empowerment promulgated by women in local government in the Asia-Pacific region. In spring 2017, she was awarded the Augusta H. Gerberich Scholarship, which is given annually to a junior or senior majoring in political science whose special field of interest is international relations.  She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received an Alan R. Bennett Research Assistantship in fall 2014.  In the spring of 2016, Rebecca and three other students co-founded the Student Coalition for Social Justice, which conducts sustained, intersectional social justice campaigns in order to incite positive social change on the UConn campus and beyond.

Austin Langer

Austin Langer is a junior majoring in Finance and Economics. Following his politics of oil course, he has developed a strong interest in climate change and climate policy. Austin has interned with U.S. Congressman Jim Himes and U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy, working on issues involving climate change for both. At UConn, Austin has served as a senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, and is currently an RA for first-year honors students. Austin loves to travel and is excited to visit Germany for the first time.

Jillianne Lyon

Jillianne Lyon is a senior pursuing a double major in Human Rights and Political Science (with a minor in French). She lived in EcoHouse her freshman year, where she discovered a passion for environmental conservation sustainable agriculture. Throughout her career at UConn, Jillianne has interned with a refugee resettlement agency in New Haven managing a food bank and community garden. She additionally interned at the Connecticut General Assembly where she focused on anti-discrimination and environmental protection legislation. This past summer, Jillianne was a Human Rights Institute Fellow and worked at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, where she co-published an article outlining the effects of climate change on marginalized communities in the US. Jillianne hopes to pursue a career in international human rights, focusing on the intersectionality between gender and climate change. She is thrilled to be representing UConn at COP23 this year!

Katie Main

Katie Mae Main is a senior pursuing a BSE in Environmental Engineering. She is an intern at the Office of Environmental Policy, where her work focuses on graphic design, UConn's Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Green Game Days, and running the OEP website. She is also the Treasurer for both EcoHusky and ECOalition, and does undergraduate research on catalyses for renewable energy processes with Dr. Alexander Agrios. Katie traveled to Italy in the summer of 2016 to study the Roman Aqueduct Systems, and is now even more eager to learn about resource availability on a global scale, especially considering the complications that come with climate change. Her dream job is to work on green building and low impact development design for residential homes. Her favorite activities include hiking, cooking and eating, and spending time with her dog, Milo.

Taylor Mayes

Taylor is a senior, Environmental Studies, and Political Science double major at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is very passionate about black liberation and environmental justice, so those areas are where she has focused her studies. In the summer of 2017, she interned at CIRCA (The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation) as a program assistant, and that summer, she was also involved with Hartford’s Climate Stewardship Initiative as a student intern. She conducts climate change research with her Professor Anji Seth as an independent study – with a focus on the impacts of climate change on the Northeast, United States. She is currently the Sustainability Sub-Committee Chair for Undergraduate Student Government here at UConn. Her favorite past time is spending time with her family and friends and playing volleyball!

Lindsay Tenenbaum

Lindsay Tenenbaum is a senior, pursuing a dual degree in International Business Management and Natural Resources. She spent last semester studying abroad in Lund, Sweden where she took courses focusing on global sustainability. She hopes to eventually work as a project manager or a consultant, helping to implement environmentally conscious practices within the corporate sector. Lindsay is also very passionate about community service. She is a director for two Special Olympics events on campus, has been on multiple alternative breaks, and is a Morale Captain this year for HuskyTHON. She is very ​excited about this opportunity to attend such an important international conference!

UConn@COP23 Faculty

Rich Miller

Rich is the Director of Environmental Policy for UConn.  He established and oversees the University’s Sustainability Office and Environmental Compliance Office. Rich reports to UConn’s EVP & CFO and directs a wide range of sustainability initiatives and programs that promote clean energy, conservation and resource efficiency, waste reduction and diversion, low impact development, green building, Climate Action and student engagement, like the UConn@COP program. He is the founding advisor to the EcoHusky and ECOalition student groups, and currently is Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of AASHE. Prior to becoming UConn’s first environmental officer, Rich held positions as a corporate environmental manager for a Fortune 500 energy company, practicing environmental and land use attorney, faculty adjunct in environmental law, legislative attorney, and an energy and environmental program director and lobbyist for a statewide association.

Sarah M.T. Munro

Sarah M.T. Munro is the Sustainability Program Coordinator for the Office of Environmental Policy (OEP). She is responsible for supervising student staff in the OEP's Sustainability Office, developing, planning, and administering sustainability initiatives and events across campus, chairing the EPAC Recycling Workgroup, maintaining the OEP's (EcoHusky) Website, and developing and publishing OEP newsletters and outreach materials. Sarah holds a B.A. (triple major) in Political Science, German, and International Studies: Europe, from Guilford College in N.C., an M.A. in International Relations (focused on EU environmental policy) from Central European University, and an M.A. in Political Science from UConn. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Political Science at UConn.

Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse

Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse is an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at UConn. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin in 2000, and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Dr. Rittenhouse has authored numerous papers relating to her research, which focuses on increasing understanding of wildlife populations within social-ecological systems. Most recently, her work has delved into the study of wildlife populations living in forest systems that contain human housing. With this research, the ultimate goal is to develop strategies to effectively manage such systems wherein wildlife and humans are in close proximity, thus promoting the livelihood of all parties involved.

Dr. Anji Seth

Anji SethDr. Anji Seth is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and an executive committee member for the UConn Atmospheric Sciences Group. Her research focuses on the physical climate system, in particular, how regional climates are likely to evolve in the larger setting of human initiated global warming. She works with large global and regional observational data sets and numerical climate models to understand regional processes involved in monsoon regions and mid-latitude climates. She received her B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1985) and her Ph.D from the University of Michigan (1995).

Dr. Scott Stephenson

Scott StephensonDr. Scott Stephenson is an assistant professor in the UConn Department of Geography. He received his B.S. in Human Biology with a minor in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford in 2003, and his PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014. Dr. Stephenson’s research involves human causes of and responses to climate change in the Arctic, and has received numerous accolades related to this environmentally-involved research. Such distinctions include being a New Generation of Polar Researchers Leadership Symposium Scholar in 2015, as well as being selected as an AAG Delegate at last year’s COP.

Dr. Mark C. Urban

Mark UrbanDr. Mark C. Urban is a biologist and associate professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His work focuses on the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape natural communities across multiple spatial scales. Mark C. Urban received his B.S. in Environmental Science and Political Science at Muhlenberg College in 1998 (summa cum laude). He received his M.E.Sc. from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2001 and his Ph.D. in 2006 from Yale University.

UConn@COP22 Fellows

Christen BellucciChristen Bellucci

Christen Bellucci is a junior majoring in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Human Health. She grew up on Long Island, New York, where she first developed a strong interest in the sciences. At UConn, Christen is Co-President of the EcoHusky student group and a sustainability intern at the Office of Environmental Policy, where her roles include organizing the annual Earth Day Spring Fling event and editing the OEP blogs and newsletters. Christen aspires to be a middle or high school science educator, and hopes to extend her experiences at UConn and COP22 to her future students.

Ben BreslauBen Breslau

Ben Breslau is a junior, pursuing a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Wildlife Conservation. He is an intern at the Office of Environmental Policy, where he works as the lead intern on the annual EcoMadness competition and the 2016 Environmental Leadership Awards Ceremony. He also serves as Vice President of ECOalition, and actively participates in organizations such as EcoHusky, the UConn Scouting Association, and Maimonides. Ben greatly enjoys the outdoors, and loves to go biking and camping whenever possible.

Kristin BurnhamKristin Burnham

Kristin Burnham is pursuing a B.S. in Pathobiology and B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology. In 2015 she graduated from The Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School. Currently, she co-leads an incredible team of undergraduate engineers from the UCONN chapter of Engineers Without Borders. The undergraduate engineers are working with professors from Ethiopia, UCONN faculty and Professional Engineers to develop a sustainable irrigation system for small rural farming community in Woreta Zuria, Ethiopia. Kristin’s work on this project sparked her interest in the impact climate change has on food security and health. Her other passions include running during thunderstorms, wilderness medicine and infectious diseases.

Hannah CaseyHannah Casey

Hannah Casey is a junior at UConn and is from Higganum, CT. She is currently an intern at the Office of Environmental Policy where she works on getting grants for the Campus Sustainability Fund, assists with Green Game Day, and helped with planning the COP22 trip. She has previously interned at Dominion Power Station Environmental Laboratory and will be living in Clarksburg, West Virginia this upcoming summer to intern at Dominion Hope Gas. Hannah is also vice-president of EcoHusky and has always had an interest in the environment. She wants to extend that interest to her career, so she is currently pursuing her B.A. in Environmental Studies while simultaneously working on her master’s degree in Public Policy. She wants to create environmental policies and eventually go into Environmental Law. Aside from the environment, Hannah enjoys kayaking, hiking, painting, and her cat Chester. This will be Hannah’s first time travelling outside of the United States and she is extremely excited to represent UConn at COP22!

Steph HubliStephanie Hubli

Stephanie is a Senior majoring in Environmental Engineering. She works on campus as an engineering tutor, has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, and captains the UConn Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team. Stephanie spent her Sophomore summer researching trace metal removal capacity of a constructed stormwater treatment wetland system. She currently works as a water resource design engineering intern at a Civil/Environmental Engineering firm. She chose the engineering track, in particular, because she wants to stress the application of these engineering principles in order to improve and preserve environmental quality. As an Environmental Engineer, she hopes to apply the knowledge she gains at the conference by incorporating sustainability in her profession through every facet of design.

Eddie McInerneyEddie McInerney

Eddie McInerney is currently a junior pursuing a degree in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Last spring, he studied the equity implications of national plans for carbon emissions reductions, and analyzed submissions to COP21 by different members of the G20, which includes some of the most economically powerful countries in the world. He is also a member of EcoHusky on campus, and has had a general interest in the implications of global climate change on international discourse from a young age (mostly due to a dad and sister who couldn't stop talking about it).

Wyatt MillionWyatt Million

Wyatt Million’s friend once said, "I wished I loved something as much as Wyatt loves plants." Even though Wyatt planned to go to graduate school for marine biology and not botany, he is proud to be seen in this way. His love for all things natural started during his childhood and has only grown throughout the years. Wyatt became a biological science major so he could conserve the things that are such an important part of his life. While he still has far to go, he believes that he is on the right path to achieve this goal. Now as a senior, Wyatt is working on his Honors Thesis dealing with symbiotic green algae under the advisement of Dr. Louise Lewis. In addition to academics, he is a member of the Division I cross country and track and field team here at UConn as well as a representative in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In the off season, he hits the Northeast's raging rivers with his fellow boaters in UConn Whitewater Kayaking Club. He has plans to enter graduate school to earn a PhD in marine science, a field where understanding the effects of a warming climate is hot topic, pun intended.

Genevieve NuttallGenevieve Nuttall

Genevieve Nuttall is studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology while working on a combined Master's degree in Conservation Biology and Biodiversity. She plans on working in avian conservation, but is interested in all environmental fields! She is looking forward to the chance to learn more about climate change in Morocco which is a country she has always wanted to visit.

Usra QureshiUsra Qureshi

Usra Qureshi is currently a sophomore student double majoring in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Human Rights. She is a full time activist, spending her time assisting displaced and resettled refugees, as well as engaging in meaningful dialogue on international social and political issues with the intention of invoking change. Her interests in both the sciences and humanities spearhead her desire to practice medicine in underrepresented and impoverished settings. With this career goal in mind, she makes an effort to diversify her frame of thinking through programs and activities inclusive of the world perspective. In her free time, Usra enjoys photography/videography as well as other forms of art, often collaborating with her friends on projects meant to "capture the moment".

Klara ReischKlara Reisch

Klara Reisch is a molecular and cell biology major and chemistry minor, and is a Senior Resident Assistant in the NextGen Hall for EcoHouse. She is in the honors program and a STEM Scholar. During her freshman year, she received the Holster Grant to do research over the summer in the MCB department doing wet lab research on microbes. Klara is the president and founder of a student-lead organization on campus called Honors in STEM and am a team leader for an alternative break on campus. She was born in Germany and enjoy traveling and learning new languages and cultures.

Brook SiegelBrook Siegel

Brooke Siegel is a junior undergraduate student studying Environmental Studies and Urban and Community Studies. She has a career goal of working in the field of sustainability with an eye towards urban planning and environmental design. Brooke is the President of Pencils of Promise, a club on campus that raises money to build schools in Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos. In addition, she is a Solar Ambassador Intern in which she participates in crowd funding and community outreach programs to educate the Mansfield community on solar energy. The goal of her fundraising is to bring a nonprofit in Windham, CT solar power by the Summer of 2017. Brooke hopes that after COP22 UConn will take a big step towards lessening their carbon footprint.

Margaux VAMargaux Verlaque-Amara

Margaux Verlaque-Amara is an honors Molecular & Cell Biology major and a Chemistry minor. She is deeply passionate about health equity, particularly interested in the link between an individual's environment and their health. She hopes to make strides in areas such as environmental racism and environmental justice in her future. In her free time loves to dance, paint, and play with her cat, Oscar.

UConn@COP22 Faculty

Oksan BayulgenDr. Oksan Bayulgen

Dr. Oksan Bayulgen is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and faculty director for the UConn Global House first year learning community. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. She teaches a range of comparative politics courses, including introduction to comparative politics, politics of Russia and the former Soviet Union, comparative democratization, foreign policy of Russia, politics of oil, introduction to non-western politics and sustainable energy. Her research focuses on the political economy of energy and democratization in the post-Soviet and the Middle East regions. She has conducted extensive field-work in Azerbaijan, Russia, Norway, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. She is currently working on a project analyzing the politics of renewable energy development in Turkey.

Richard Miller 2Rich Miller

Rich Miller is the Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Office for the University of Connecticut, as well as the Vice Chair of AASHE's Board of Directors through 2017. He is responsible for developing policies and guidelines for protecting natural resources, reducing the University's ecological footprint, and ensuring accountability for "green" building and low-impact development in UConn's ongoing capital improvement program. Rich also oversees UConn's compliance with environmental regulations, with emphasis on environmental impact evaluations, and permits and approvals for construction and land use activities, air pollution control, water quality and site remediation projects. He received his B.A. from Penn State University and a J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.

Sarah MunroSarah M.T. Munro

Sarah M.T. Munro is the Sustainability Program Coordinator for the Office of Environmental Policy (OEP). She is responsible for supervising student staff in the OEP's Sustainability Office, developing, planning, and administering sustainability initiatives and events across campus, chairing the EPAC Recycling Workgroup, maintaining the OEP's (EcoHusky) Website, and developing and publishing OEP newsletters and outreach materials. Sarah holds a B.A. (triple major) in Political Science, German, and International Studies: Europe, from Guilford College in N.C., an M.A. in International Relations (focused on EU environmental policy) from Central European University, and an M.A. in Political Science from UConn. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Political Science at UConn.

Anji SethDr. Anji Seth

Dr. Anji Seth is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and an executive committee member for the UConn Atmospheric Sciences Group. Her research focuses on the physical climate system, in particular, how regional climates are likely to evolve in the larger setting of human initiated global warming. She works with large global and regional observational data sets and numerical climate models to understand regional processes involved in monsoon regions and mid-latitude climates. She received her B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1985) and her Ph.D from the University of Michigan (1995).

Lawrence Silbart on Sept. 19, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Dr. Lawrence Silbart

Dr. Lawrence Silbart was appointed Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives in 2013. He is also a Professor of Allied Health Science in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). Dr. Silbart received his BGS, MPH and Ph.D. in Toxicology and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Michigan. His area of expertise is on mucosal vaccines, adjuvants, mucosal immunology and host-pathogen interactions. As Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Silbart oversees the Next Generation Connecticut Initiative--a 10-year, $1.7 billion dollar initiative spanning FY'15-FY'24. He also leads the development of the Tech Park and its cornerstone building, the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB), which is currently under construction and will become operational in Q3, 2017.

Mark UrbanDr. Mark C. Urban

Dr. Mark C. Urban is a biologist and associate professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His work focuses on the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape natural communities across multiple spatial scales. Mark C. Urban received his B.S. in Environmental Science and Political Science at Muhlenberg College in 1998 (summa cum laude). He received his M.E.Sc. from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2001 and his Ph.D. in 2006 from Yale University.

UConn@COP21 Fellows

In 2015, UConn sent 12 students (selected from 77 student applicants), four faculty members, and two OEP Sustainability Staff members to COP21 in Paris. This trip was just the first of what is hopefully many future UConn@COP trips. The COP21 Conference itself made history when 195 UN countries signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, the first ever legally-binding agreement to focus on combating climate change.

More Information on the COP21 Fellows