Students at UConn@COP24 (video courtesy of OS intern Charlotte Rhodes, January 2019)


COP24 students with Greta Thunberg!
UConn@COP24 delegates with renowned climate justice activist, Greta Thunberg

Each year, the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) (to the UNFCCC) holds its official Climate Change Conference in a different host city around the world.  The event brings together diplomats, business executives, heads of government, university leaders, environmental activists, NGO's and other delegates to discuss progress in dealing with climate change.

UConn began sending students and faculty to attend the conference in 2015, the year of COP21, which culminated with the landmark Paris Agreement. UConn students and faculty have attended COP each year  since, and in doing so have gained a unique perspective on the global effort to combat climate change and promote climate justice.

Through this program, UConn students have participated on panels at international press conferences, networked with global NGO's, environmentally-minded businesses & renewable energy companies, engaged in immersive art exhibitions, attended film screenings put on by the directors themselves, interacted with international delegates & core members of environmental justice movements, and connected with like-minded, passionate students at other colleges & universities in the U.S. and around the world. Apply in the spring and be in the room where it happens.

 

COP24
Faculty & students at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.


Program Details:

The UConn@COP Fellowship Program strives to build future leaders in climate science and policy and to promote UConn’s leadership on climate change and sustainability issues through four main pillars:

  1. Student Engagement
  2. Experiential Learning
  3. Interdisciplinary Group Discussion
  4. Cultural Immersion

Fellows are selected through a highly competitive application process that considers GPA, relative extracurricular involvement, and a 700 word essay that speaks to their interest in the program.  Upon returning to campus, they share their experiences through appearances on campus & through online publications. In order to attract the best & brightest environmental leaders, the cost of the trip, including airfare, lodging, & conference fees is almost entirely funded by the University & donors. To continue providing this benefit to students in the program, we need continued financial support from potential donors... like you!

UConn@COP Brochure

Donate to the UConn@COP Fund


UConn@COP25

COP25 will be held in Santiago, Chile from December 2nd -13th, 2019. The UConn contingent of selected undergraduate and graduate students will attend the first week of the conference only, departing from the Storrs campus on November 30th and returning on December. 7th, 2019.

The application period for this year is now closed.  Students will be able to apply for COP26 during the 2020 Spring semester.

Learn More About Previous Fellows

Click on the menu below to learn more about UConn@COP alumni!

 

UConn@COP25 Fellows

 

Louanne Cooley

Louanne Cooley is a third-year student at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She is a research assistant at the Center for Energy and Environmental Law at UConn Law and is pursuing a Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law. She has focused on Energy Law and Policy, Land Use, Environmental Law and Animal Law. This summer she was an intern at Pratt and Whitney in Environmental Health and Safety Compliance. Previously she interned at the State of Connecticut DEEP Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Additionally, she serves on the Town of Mansfield Planning and Zoning Commission and has helped revise town zoning regulations. Louanne has a BA and MS in Biology from Bowling Green State University and pursued PhD studies at the University of Michigan where she taught at the University of Michigan Biological Station. Prior to Law School, she was an adjunct instructor at UConn’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Hope Dymond

hope

Hope is currently a sophomore studying Environmental Engineering with a minor in Human Rights. She came to UConn from Common Ground, an ecologically themed high school in New Haven, which gave her a background in topics of environmental justice and food production. At UConn she interns at the Office of Sustainability, working with technical aspects of energy efficiency such as LEED building design, as well as social awareness programs such as the Green Office Certification program and other outreach. Hope is taking a course through the CT Brownfields Initiative at UConn where she is learning about environmental policy, remediation engineering, and the multidisciplinary aspects of brownfield transformation. In the fall she and three other students are writing an EPA grant for the city of Middletown, and in the spring she will do her "practicum" with a town on a Brownfields project. She is also an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Christine Kirchhoff, who is analyzing both the barriers and drivers of resiliency action in coastal Connecticut towns. Hope believes that in her very technical engineering program, it is necessary and beneficial to step out into the world of social sciences. Engineers may design solar panel systems, or carbon capture technologies, but the policy framework can be critical to their actual implementation. There is a history and an art to international relations, around environmental issues and beyond, that Hope knows little about. That is where she is drawn to learn more.

Megan Ferris

Megan Ferris is a senior from Danbury, CT majoring in Environmental Science with a concentration in global change and a minor in Animal Science. Over the past two summers, she has interned at Woodcock Nature Center as an Environmental Educator where she implemented environmental lessons, facilitated hands-on nature-themed activities, and encouraged children to connect with their natural surroundings. She also volunteered in the Bagchi lab on the FEN project studying forest fragmentation on invasive Gypsy Moths in Connecticut forests. At UConn, she is the Vice-President of the UConn Wildlife Society, and in her free time loves to hike, hammock, read, and swim. She is very interested in environmental justice, policy, and education and is looking forward to hearing how different nations are taking action against climate change. She hopes to implement what she learns at COP25 in her own life by teaching her communities what other nations have done in response to the climate emergency and by opening conversations in order to make all people more aware of the urgent issues at stake.

Michael Goccia

Michael Goccia is a senior from Mystic, CT pursuing a dual degree in Management and Economics. He spent the summer working as a Strategic Investment Intern at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT. His cross country road trip in 2018 exploring many of America’s National Parks and Forests and strong passion for the outdoors inspired him to get more involved with conservation and climate change related endeavors. Mike has a focus on resource economics and how climate change and sustainability policy relates to business operations. After graduation, Mike hopes to enter the workforce helping to impact business sustainability in a positive way. At UConn, Mike enjoys being involved and staying active. Mike is the volunteer Program Director for the Mansfield Middle School Tutoring Program where he oversees tutoring for about 75 other UConn students. Mike is also on the UConn Western Team and involved in weekend hiking trips with the UConn Outing Club.

Georgia G. Hernández

Georgia G. Hernández is a graduate student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on physiological responses of tropical plants to temperature and local adaptation, and how tropical plants will respond to climate change. She conducts her thesis research in her native Costa Rica, working with Zingiberales (gingers, heliconias, and banana tree-like plants). She earned a B.Sc. degree in Biology at National University of Costa Rica and then worked as an intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama for six months. Georgia is also co-founder of an environmental and social Enterprise called Brenesii, focusing on activities that combine science communication, outreach and research in Costa Rica. She received the recognition of Environmental Leadership Award (Office of Environmental Policy and the Environmental Policy Advisory Council, University of Connecticut) thanks to Brenesii’s contributions to education and dedication to environmental literacy of Costa Rican students.

Xinyu Lin

Xinyu Lin is a senior studying Civil Engineering with minors in Environmental Engineering and Math. She spent this summer interviewing minority identity leaders in the environmental movement from across America as a BOLD Women's Leadership Network Scholar, and presented this work through a photo story exhibition this fall titled "Our Sides on the Outside" to bring awareness to diversity issues in environmental advocacy. As the Program Director of the SOS Food Recovery Program, she works closely with food waste and insecurity issues in the UConn and Willimantic communities. Xinyu is a researcher on the UConn PIRE Project and is investigating how groundwater resources in Ethiopia can be utilized as a dependable water source by subsistence farmers to supplement unpredictable rainfall patterns due to the climate crisis. She is also a trip leader for UConn Outdoors and enjoys climbing, hiking and biking. Xinyu hopes to work as a technical expert on community-based solutions to social issues exacerbated by the climate emergency. She loves eating hummus and having thoughtful conversations. 

Emma MacDonald

Emma MacDonald is a junior in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources. She is a Natural Resources major with a focus in sustainable forest management; by the end of a hike with her, you will be able to identify at least one more tree than you could at the beginning of the hike. She was elected President of Service of EcoHusky for the 2019-2020 school year and was selected to serve as a student representative on the Environmental Policy Advisory Committee this year as well. Additionally, she is a member of the organizing board for Fridays For Future, the club on campus that led UConn’s branch of the Global Climate Strike on September 20th, 2019. She is passionate and curious, and if she could spend the rest of her life attending college, she would pursue a degree in everything from Astronomy to Musical Theatre. She has performed in more than 25 musicals, and has a love for singing that rings through in all aspects of her life.

Himaja Nagireddy

Himaja Nagireddy, from Acton, MA, is a senior undergraduate student pursuing three degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology, Physiology and Neurobiology, and Sociology with a minor in Chemistry. She is a STEM Scholar, Honors Scholar, BOLD Scholar, 2019 Leadership Legacy Fellow, and was a UConn representative for the Truman, Udall, and Marshall Scholarships. Himaja is an elected representative of the National Council for the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a civil organization founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, where she works with over 20,000 members to coordinate efforts to support the UN. Through her work at UNA-USA, she has attended the 62nd and 63rd Commission on the Status of Women and launched a national gender equality education program called the 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellowship. Himaja is currently pursuing her theses research in Sociology and Molecular and Cell Biology at the UConn-Eversource Center and the Jackson Laboratory in Genomic Medicine, respectively. Himaja is also a 2019-2020 Virtual Student Federal Intern for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where she works on world food resiliency research with the Senior Youth Advisor for the Bureau for Food Security. Through her work, Himaja strives to better understand the intersectionalities between health, society, and the environment, which is why she is excited to attend the COP25 this year.

Danny Alejandro Osorio

Danny Alejandro Osorio was born in Colombia and is a junior studying Molecular and Cellular Biology and Marine Sciences. He spent his previous summer conducting research through an REU at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Here, he studied the ecology of the fish species, California grunion, on California beaches, an environment under pressure. Beaches play critical roles in many plant and animal life cycles, and support unique biodiversity. However, traditionally they have been treated as recreational areas to protect human health and safety; few people know that beaches play a key role in coastal ecosystems. Compared to other environments, sandy beaches have been studied very little, so the research group that Danny was part of studied the nature of the California grunion on some tourist beaches where it spawns. He and his group were developing new methods to monitor and look at keystone species on sandy beaches.

Additionally, Danny volunteers at Mystic aquarium in the animal rescue center where he’s had the opportunity to deal with different species and help in their recovery. He also conducts research at UConn with Dr. Nyholm. The focus of this research is squid and their symbiotic relationship with bacteria. He is pursuing his degree because he loves the ocean and wants to be part of the genetic modification projects that are done in coral to prevent them from bleaching, keeping them healthy and protecting them from the effects of global warming. Aside from his passion for marine life, he is interested in policies that affect coastal communities due to the fact that the communities like the one he grew up in are the first areas to be severely affected by the environmental crisis we are living in. In his free time, Danny is the vice-captain of UConn taekwondo and as a fun fact, was team Colombia sub 16. He has traveled with many UConn clubs to different places to raise awareness of many social issues (mostly with UConn Outreach and Hearts Over Latin America). He is a realist and knows that small scale social work can only do so much. However, he considers himself really lucky to have had the opportunity to come to America and tries to impact at least one person with the same positivity and hardworking attitude that he tries to achieve every day.

Lauren Pawlowski

Lauren Pawlowski is a sophomore from Shelton, CT. She is pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies and a BS in Economics as part of the UConn Honors Program. Lauren spent this past summer interning at the Fairfield Water Pollution Control Facility, where she conducted laboratory water quality analyses and learned more about wastewater treatment. At UConn, she works as an intern for the Office of Sustainability and is involved with EcoHusky, UConn Club Pole Vault, Women and Minorities in Economics, the Outing Club, and more. After attending the Alternative Spring Break to Immokalee, FL focused on migrant farmworker rights and rural poverty, she co-founded the UConn Student Farmworker Alliance to raise awareness about these issues. She also recently joined SOS Food Recovery to alleviate food waste and food insecurity and UConn’s She’s the First Chapter to raise money for women’s education. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys painting, travelling, and propagating plants. She is interested in renewable energy, sustainable business and green design as potential career paths. At COP25, she hopes to learn more about the intersections of economic development, social justice, and environmental issues, while enjoying all that Chile has to offer!

Sarah Schechter

Sarah Schechter is a junior from Danbury, CT, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. She enjoys studying the effects of climate change, specifically sea level rise and coastal flooding. This past summer, Sarah was an intern with the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, and she created a video about flood management and mitigation. This video is the first in an online series that she will continue working on throughout the rest of her time at UConn. Also, as a member of EcoHouse for two years, Sarah took part in many environmental activities around campus such as improving the Hillside Environmental Education Park, assisting at Green Game Days, and teaching students about food waste during the Earth Day Spring Fling. Sarah took part in UConn’s Sustainable Amsterdam Program in the summer of 2018, where she developed a video about foreign food sustainability practices. She also enjoys running with UConn’s running club and hiking. Sarah is excited for the opportunity to attend COP25 in Chile and looks forward to learning about aspects of climate change through an international lens.

Mara Tu

Mara Tu is a junior Environmental Science and Urban and Community Studies student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mara works at the Office of Sustainability as an intern and is an officer of EcoHusky and Student Farmworker Alliance where she wishes to spread her interests in conservation, communal energy, spread of ideas, social issues and climate and environmental justice. As a BOLD Scholar, Mara hopes to explore how climate change has and will affect the mental health of individuals and communities and how to work on climate issues productively. Over the summer, she interned at the C.S. Mott Foundation based in Flint, MI as their Environment Team intern where she learned about non-profit and philanthropy work and worked on research about climate migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and local clean drinking water advancements. In her future, she hopes to continue mitigative and adaptive work that addresses climate and environmental effects on people and the ecosystems around us. She enjoys being self-reflective, being with those she loves, and learning as much as possible in her free time.

Matthew Yang

Matthew Yang is a senior civil engineering from Stamford CT. At UConn he is involved with UConn’s Seismic Design Team, and SOS Food recovery program where he helps deliver excess food to a local soup kitchen. He is also the treasurer of the UConn Green Building Council where he has contributed to projects including a sustainability plan for a local commercially licensed kitchen. During the Summer of 2018 he conducted research through an REU at UConn on emerging wind energy technology. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and creating sustainable solutions that work in today’s market economy. Matt is passionate about the problem of food waste and is currently pursuing a startup idea focused around mitigating food waste. In his free time he loves to cook, play tennis, basketball and rock climb with his friends. He is excited to go to Chile and learn how other countries and leaders are planning to address environmental issues like food waste and carbon neutrality. He’s also extremely excited to learn more about the local culture and cuisine!

Harry Zehner

Harry Zehner is a Junior political science major with a minor in environmental policy and economics. At UConn, he works at the Office of Sustainability and as the Opinion Editor at the Daily Campus, where he writes weekly on social, environmental and economic issues. He helped organize the climate strike and the following actions as a member of UConn Friday’s for Future. Off campus, Harry has interned for the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Sustainable CT and served as the lead policy advisor for Seth Poole’s New Haven mayoral campaign. In the future, Harry hopes to work on radical local campaigns promoting environmental justice through affordable housing, food security, transit equity and energy democracy. In his free time, Harry enjoys reading, coping with eco-anxiety and traveling with friends.

UConn@COP25 Faculty

Rich Miller

Rich is Director of the University’s Office of Sustainability, which he established as the Office of Environmental Policy in 2002 and which is now affiliated with UConn’s new Institute of the Environment. He oversees a full spectrum of sustainability initiatives and programs, including those that promote clean energy, conservation and resource efficiency, waste reduction and diversion, low impact development, preservation of natural resources, and campus environmental outreach & engagement. In 2015, Rich worked with the academic co-chairs to develop the UConn@COP program as an experiential learning and leadership development program in climate science and policy for a select, high-achieving, and intellectually diverse, group of UConn students. He is the founding advisor to the EcoHusky and ECOalition student groups, and currently is Immediate Past Chair 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 organization.

Patrick McKee

Patrick McKee was hired by the OS 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. 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. 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.

Dr. Miriah Russo Kelly

Miriah Kelly

Dr. Miriah Russo Kelly is an Extension Educator in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Dr. Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and has over ten years of experience assessing environmental education, outreach, and engagement initiatives. Dr. Kelly’s work focuses on the intersections of social and biophysical environmental science. Currently, Dr. Kelly works with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) on the Resilient Connecticut Project, and serves as affiliated faculty to the UCONN Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), and the Institute for the Environment (IfE).

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 junior 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. 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