About the Instructors and Guest Speakers
Kristin Baja is USDN’s first Climate Resilience Officer, responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation and building their capacity to take action. The majority of her time is spent supporting cities and facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to USDN, she served as the Climate and Resilience Planner with the City of Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability where she led the city’s climate adaptation and equity work. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan. In 2016, she was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for her work on climate and equity.
For over the past 15 years, Christa Daniels has worked with local governments to foster energy independence, reduce traffic congestion, curb local air pollution, strengthen local economies, and increase their resilience to the changing climate. Dr. Daniels has facilitated and created innovative participatory stakeholder engagement strategies with towns and regions such as Marin and San Mateo County California, Pittsburgh PA, the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Monadnock region in New Hampshire, NY Department of Conservation, Maplewood NJ, and Bridgeport CT. Christa earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England, a M.S. in Resource Management and Administration at Antioch University New England, and a B.A. in Political Science at Pace University. Christa’s past experience includes working for the United Nations, NH Department of Environmental Services, Clean Air Cool Planet, and as a city planner for Keene, NH. She currently works for Antioch University New England (AUNE) as the Program Manager for the Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Center and Climate Access as a research coordinator. Christa’s research focuses on local climate resilience and civic engagement. Christa loves snow-boarding, running, and spending time with her 6 year old son.
For 20 years, Taryn Fisher worked in the corporate sector for blue-chip firms including Procter & Gamble, The Gillette Company, and Fidelity Investments. Her area of expertise is value chain management and optimization. Dr. Fisher has taught graduate level courses in operational and financial management and most recently served as the Director of Antioch University New England’s triple-bottom-line business education degree, the MBA in Sustainability. Dr. Fisher’s research interest is sustainable business practice. She has expertise in B Corp certification and is engaged in creating a strong B Local Community in Northern New England. Collaborators for this initiative include UNH, KSC, NHBSR, and NHSBDC. In addition, Dr. Fisher has supported many businesses and organizations in developing and implementing robust strategic and operational plans to achieve equitable prosperity and resilience. One example is Green Energy Options, a privately-held, community-focused business based in Keene that is committed to energy efficiency and energy independence. Currently, Dr. Fisher works for both the NH Small Business Development Center and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce managing programs focused on business and leadership development. With a love for all things related to arts and culture, Dr. Fisher has launched TASHVAULT Gallery, a virtual platform that connects artists and art-lovers around the world. TASHVAULT’s mission is to promote civil discourse about social justice and environmental stewardship. Dr. Fisher is pursuing B Corp certification for her business. In her free time, Dr. Fisher enjoys taking leisurely walks with her yellow lab, Jazzy.
Kevin Geiger has over 20 years of experience in assisting Vermont towns. He recently wrote our successful application to EPA for $400,000 in brownfields assessment funds, putting our dormant brownfields back into action. Kevin is also responsible for Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission’s local and regional emergency management planning efforts and water quality policy; as well as assisting towns with regulating floodplain development, zoning, and capital budgeting. Off hours in March, Kevin can be found pruning apple trees, as well as moderating the Pomfret Town Meeting.
Dr. Moser is Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, in Santa Cruz, CA and a Social Science Research Fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment. As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in climate change communication, the psychological dimension of human responses to climate change, adaptation, and science-policy interactions, she works with governmental and non-governmental organizations, researchers and community groups in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada. Dr. Moser is a geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University) with broad interdisciplinary expertise, and previously held positions at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the Heinz Center in Washington, DC, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, MA. She has served on scientific and advisory boards for Future Earth, the International Social Science Council, the International Human Dimensions Program, the National Research Council, and numerous other agencies and organizations. She contributed to the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the IPCC, served as a Review Editor for the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events, Disaster Risk Management and Adaptation, and helped scope the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees of Global Warming. She also was a member of the federal advisory committee on the Third US National Climate Assessment, and has lead, co-lead or contributed to regional assessments around the country. She is a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership, Kavli Frontiers of Science, Donella Meadows Leadership, Google Science Communication, and Walton Sustainability Solutions Programs. For more information see: www.susannemoser.com.
Osterberg’s overarching research objective is to understand how and why climate has changed, and identify trends and sources of air pollution. His specialty is creating long (50-50,000 years) records of climate change and air pollution by analyzing chemical markets preserved in glacier ice cores. He also studies data from weather stations and climate models to determine recent climate trends to differentiate natural cycles from human-caused changes. he is particularly interested in aspects of climate change that impact communities, including sea-level rise from melting glaciers, and the changing number and intensity of storms. He is an associate professor of each sciences at Dartmouth College. For more information see: www.dartmouth.edu/~eosterberg/Research.html
As a researcher for the Center, Dr. Rhoades’ work focuses on providing meaningful opportunities for marginalized groups to engage in participatory planning and decision-making. In particular, he facilitates and studies collaborative climate change adaptation planning projects with vulnerable populations. Most recently he completed a participatory adaptation planning project with the senior citizen community of Bridgeport, Connecticut. In addition to his work with the Center, Jason serves on the faculty in the Environmental Studies and Management Departments and directs the International Service Program at Antioch University New England. Jason earned his PhD in Environmental Studies at AUNE in 2016. Prior to joining AUNE, he held a variety of positions in the environmental field including serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Armenia.
Michael Simpson has been a senior environmental scientist and partner for two environmental consultant firms in the Northeast. He has also worked for both the NH Dept. of Environmental Services and the MA Dept. of Environmental Protection. He is a licensed wetlands scientist with over thirty years of experience in wetland and riparian corridor assessments, employing a variety of assessment approaches and data collection procedures. Much of his current research has been funded by NOAA and the US EPA, which focuses on working with local stakeholders to identify potential risks from riparian corridors from a changing landscape, in the context of changing climate. Many of his applied research projects have included a stakeholder capacity building effort to develop and implement adaptation strategies in the face of projected impacts. Currently, he directs the graduate degree program in Resource Management and Conservation at Antioch University New England; where he also co-directs the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. He has graduate degrees from Dartmouth College and Antioch University New England.
Sarika Tandon is an Equity Consultant who works to help environmental organizations develop and implement strategies that increase their equity impacts in communities of color and communities facing poverty. Most recently she has worked with The Nature Conservancy, where she was a contributing author and Senior Editor of The Field Guide to Conservation in Cities. Sarika is a former Program Director at Center for Whole Communities, where she led the development of Whole Measures for Urban Conservation, an equity-oriented planning, evaluation and community engagement framework for The Nature Conservancy’s North America Cities Network. In 2013 Sarika completed her Master’s degree in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability from Antioch University New England’s Department of Environmental Studies. For her Master’s Project, she developed a practitioner tool to help integrate social justice parameters into climate adaptation planning processes.
Abigail Abrash Walton serves as co-director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience (CCPCR), and as faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she directs the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s degree concentration. Under her leadership, the CCPCR has developed and delivered applied research and education/training programming, including the Weathering Change: Local Solutions for Strong Communities webinar series, in partnership with NOAA and U.S. EPA; the CCPCR’s road test of version 1.0 of the Obama Administration’s Climate Resilience Toolkit; a coastal resilience Facilitated Community of Practice on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; development of a Climate and Health Adaptation Plan for New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region; and the 2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness conference. She also served on the leadership teams for the 2014 and 2016 Local Solutions conferences, convened by Antioch in partnership with U.S. EPA. Her research focuses on leadership, including fossil fuel divestment. Previously, she served as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. She serves on the leadership team for the tri-state region’s Ecovation Hub (MA, NH, and VT).
Abigail chaired the City of Keene’s Planning Board (2011-2014) and served on the Steering Committee for the City’s Master Plan, which focuses explicitly on sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation. She contributed to the city’s adoption of a Hillside Protection Ordinance and Surface Water Protection Ordinance as well as updates to the Planning Board’s development standards to include Comprehensive Transportation Management and Low-Impact Development.
She has been a commentator for The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now!” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” among other media outlets. Abigail holds a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.