Incoming Class and Past Alumni
Read about the student's Peace Corps assignment. Each student's thesis is available in PDF format on their page. Some student pages have quite a few images and may take a while to load if you have a slow connection.
Matt Widen, Peace Corps - Guyana
Rhiley Allbee, heading to Senegal in September 2015
Biology major, chemistry and sociology minor, Saginaw Valley State University.
- Samuel Clair, in Panama
Horticulture major, University of Wisconsin - River Falls
- Aric Devens, in Senegal
BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
- Kyle Fredrickson, in Mexico
Film Studies major, Spanish minor, University of Wisconsin - River Falls
- Noah Goyke, in Paraguay
Biological Sciences major, Chemistry minor, College of Saint Scholastica
- Fahimeh Baziari, Ghana
Biological Sciences major, Michigan State University
- Justin Gelb, Burkina Faso
Environmental Biology major, Fort Lewis College
Brook Alloway, Paraguay
Community Studies major, U. of California - Santa Cruz
Thesis: Volume yields of smallholder Eucalyptus grandis W. Hill ex Maiden stands in eastern Paraguay
First Job: District Forester, Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Conservation District
- Brian Barbre, Ethiopia
Historic Preservation major, U. of Mary Washington
Thesis: Biomass Fuel-Briquettes and Improved Stoves in Dinsho, Ethiopia.
First Job: Educational Programming and Facilities Coordinator, Hull Springs Farm, Longwood University.
- Ruth Bennett, Honduras
Biological Sciences major, Non-western History minor, Pacific Lutheran University
After Graduation: Back in Honduras working on data collection of warblers, starting a PhD program at Cornell, Fall 2013
Thesis: Habitat Associations of the Golden-winged Warbler in Hondarus.
- Jonathan Malette, Nicaragua
Business Administration major, Michigan Technological University
Thesis: Assessing Land Use and Land Cover Change in Tropical Dry Forest of Northern Chinandega, Nicaragua from 1985 to 2011.
First Job: Resource Forester, Plum Creek, Fordyce, Arkansas
- Katie Preston, Tanzania
Chemistry major, U. of Michigan
Thesis: Fuelwood Collection and Consumption: A Case Study in Lupeta, Tanzania.
- Mary Snyder, Cameroon
Zoology major, Chemistry minor, Northern Michigan University
Thesis: Local Use and Management of Tasba (Senna obtusifolia) in the Traditional Food System of Sanguéré Paul, North Cameroon.
First Job: Park Ranger, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
- Kyle Earnshaw, Honduras
English major, Grove City College
Thesis: The effects of soil moisture, field-scale toposequential position, and slope on yields in irrigated upland rice fields in Flores, Comayagua, Honduras.
After Graduation: Ph.D. Candidate, Purdue University.
- Peggy Fox, Ecuador
International Studies major, Environmental Studies minor, Boston College
Thesis: Management Impacts on Carex Assiniboinensis and Cardamine Concatenata on the Ottawa National Forest
First Job: Data Analyst, Chicago Public Schools.
- Paul Francis, Tanzania
Advertising major, Michigan State University
Thesis: Small-scale timber management techniques: A case study of woodlots in Isangati, Tanzania. ( Appendix: Farm System Diagram for Isangati
First Job: Forester, San Carlos Apache Tribe, San Carlos AZ.
- Brian Pattullo, Paraguay
Forest Science major, Michigan State University
Thesis: Agroforestry Addressing Social and Environmental Issues in Paraguay.
- Evan Anderson, El Salvador
Forest Resource Management major, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Thesis: The Impact of Balsamo (Myroxylon balsamum L. Harms) on Coffee Yield and Household Income in El Balsamar, El Salvador.
This thesis was the 2012 nominee from Michigan Tech for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Award.
First Job: Urban Forester, Davey Tree, San Francisco CA.
- Callie Bertsch, Bulgaria
Biology major, John Brown University
Thesis: An Ethnobotanical Survery of the Economic and Cultural Significance of Non-Timber Forest Resources in the Southwest Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria.
First Job: Conservation Technician, Land and Water Conservation Department, Vilas Co. WI.
Second Job: Conservation Technician Assistant, Gladstone MI
- Jonathan D. Carlson, Tanzania
Environmental Studies major/Geology major, Geography minor, Gustavus Adolphus College
Thesis: Detection and management of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) (Coleoptera: Bupresticae) in low-density populations
Currently: Science Librarian, St Johns / St Benedicts University
- Michelle Cisz, Paraguay
Biological Sciences major, Ohio University
Thesis: The spatial distribution of Copernicia alba (Morong) in the District of Bahia Negra, Paraguay.
Currently: PhD Candidate, Michigan Technological University
Kristina Denison, Zambia
Psychology major, Gustavus Adolphus College
Thesis: Farmer land allocation for maize, groundnut, and cotton production in Chipata District, Eastern Province, Zambia.
First Job: Executive Director, Chippewa-East Mackinac Conservation District
- Patricia Butler, Armenia
Fisheries and Wildlife major, Michigan State University
Thesis: Composition of Solid Waste in the Berd Municipal Dump in Tavush Marz, Armenia.
First Job: Sustainable Forestry, Little Traverse Conservancy.. Current Job: Climate Change Outreach Specialist, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.
- Noah Daniels, Panama
Geology major, Bucknell University; Masters of Geology, University of Colorado
Thesis: Variations in Coffee Processing and their Impact on Quality and Consistency
First Job: Member of Black Hills Fire Use Module, National Park Service.
Current Job: Fuels Crew Supervisor, Lassen Volcanic National Park , Mineral CA.
- Gisselle Mejia, El Salvador
Political Science major, Case Western Reserve University
Thesis: Understanding Farmers' Motivations for Forest Management and Their Perception of Forest Management Plans in Los Planes de la Palma, El Salvador
First Job: Environmental Specialist with FEMA, Environmental and Historic Preservation Cadre.
Current Job: Assistant Director of Community Development (Washington Heights), City Harvest, New York City.
- Jason Rhoades, Armenia
Music emphasis, Goddard College
First Job: Park Educator, Vermont State Parks / Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Currently: PhD Candidate, Antioch
Thesis: Impacts of Deforestation and Land Cover Change on Mountain Soils in Hrazdan, Armenia
- Bryan Roosien, Vanuatu
Math major, Northern Michigan University
Thesis: Plant communities associated with native Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) forests.
Currently: PhD candidate, Washington State University
- Casey (Rosengarden) Jogerst, Panama
Biology major, University of Iowa
First Job: Urban Forester, New York City
Currently: Urban Forester, City of Milwaukee
Thesis: Land Management Strategies and Fuelwood Collection in the Indigenous Ngabe Village of Hato Horcon, Comarca Ngabe-Bugle, Panama
- Amber Kenny, Togo
Environmental Anthropology major, University of Michigan
Thesis (Amber's thesis was a Michigan Tech finalist in the competition for Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Award.): Optimal Land Allocation of Maize, Cassava, and Teak for Small Landholders in Southern Togo, West Africa
First Job: Capacity Building and Development Office of the Foreign Agriculture Service working in Afghanistan and the MIddle East. Then: Urban Forester, Washington DC
Currently: USAID, Nairobi.
- Brian Satterlee, Cameroon
Business Administration major, Wayne State University
Thesis: Maize Yield and Soil Property Response to Entada Abyssinica Cuttings in the Adamawa Lowlands, Cameroon
First Job: Urban Forester with ACRT , working in the greater Boston area. Then: Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Area Council.
Currently: Coastal District Forestry Supervisor, National Grid
- Jason Anderson, Honduras
Biology major, LeTourneau University
Thesis: Thimbleberry Jam Production in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, Michigan.
First job: Production Manager, Robinson Lumber, Honduras. Then: Forester, Chestnut Ridge Forestry.
Currently: US Customs Service employee.
- Panchita Paulete, Gambia
English Major, Communications Minor, Elon University.
Thesis: The Gambia All Schools Tree Nursery Competition: Promoting Conservation in the Gambia through Grassroots Environmental Education .
First job: NEPA Intern, USDA Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest, Watersmeet, MI.; Next Job: NEPA planner, Silver Lake and Paisley Ranger Districts, Fremont - Winema National Forests, Oregon. then NEPA planner, Upper Willamette Resource Area, Eugene District, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon.
Current Job: District planner, Eugene District, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon.
- Olaf Zerbock, Honduras
Biology major, Chemistry minor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Thesis: Land Use and Water Quality in El Corpus, Choluteca, Honduras.
First job: Project Administrator, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington DC. Then: Employed by Conservation International; Currently: USAID forestry and biodiversity team working on climate change and REDD+ issues.
- Marge Ely, Nepal
Mathematics major, Business and Women's Studies minors, State University of New York at Albany
Thesis: Analysis of Renewable Energy Project Implementation: Biogas and Improved Cookstoves in the Village of Chhaling, Bhaktapur District, Nepal and several appendices are in a separate pdf file.
First Job: Street Trees Planting Forester, New York City. Then: Manhattan Borough Forester, New York City. Current Job: Natural Resources Group, Project Manager of PlaNYC Reforestation, New York City.
- Greer Gurganus, Togo
Earth Science major, Eastern Michigan University
Thesis: A Study of the Farming System and Technology Adoption in Yade-Bohou, Togo
First Job: Working at the Prevention Resource Center in Helena, Montana, Then: in Darjeeling,India at the Manjushree Institute for Tibetan Language with time on either side of this working with hotels and cruise ships;
Currently: IKEA - Designer / Planner.
- Kate Lincoln Povel, Panama
Horticulture major with a focus in Landscape Design, University of Nebraska
Thesis: The Use and Potential of the Pita Plant, Aechmea magdalenae, (Andre) Andre ex. Bake, in a Ngobe Village: A Case Study of Chalite, Bocas del Toro, Panama
First Job: Forest Nursery Technician for the J.E. Schoeder Seed Orchard with the Oregon Department of Forestry. Primary job responsibility: preserve genetic diversity in seed crops of doug fir, western hemlock and ponderosa pine. (Kate at work) Starting March 2006: Research Specialist II- Model Farm Manager, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Virgin Islands. August 2007: Director of Farm Operations, Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute. 2009: Urban and Community Forester for the US Virgin Islands. 2012: Executive Director of Geercrest Farm and Historical Society.
- Russell Slatton Povel, Panama
Geography major with focus in planning, Environmental Studies minor, Certificate in Geographic Information System Technology, California State University at Chico
Thesis: An Evaluation of Agricultural Adoption by Ngobe Farmers in Chalite, Panama
First Job: Field Access Specialist, The Nature Conservancy, Oregon. Next: Planning Assistant for Washington County, Oregon. Currently private environmental consultant, US Virgin Islands.
- Daniella Zanin, Panama
Anthropology major, Women's Studies minor, University of Illinois - Chicago
First job: Grades 4 - 8 Environmental Science teacher, Chicago. Then Job: Project Manager, Bronx Forest Restoration, Natural Resources Group, NYC Parks. Current Job: Deputy Directory of New York City's GreenApple Corps.
Thesis: Feasibility of Teak Production for Smallholders in eastern Panama
- Kara Filius, Ukraine
Music Theory and Composition major, Central Michigan University
Thesis: 100% Inventory Methods for Urban Parks in Khimelnitsky, Ukraine and Appendix F is a separate pdf file.
First Job: Forestry Technician - USDA Forest Service, Natchitoches, Louisiana. Next Job: Head District Timber Marker, Huron-Manistee National Forest, USDA Forest Service. Current Job: Prep / Admin Forester for the Northern Hills Ranger District, Black Hills NF.
- Jennifer Papillo, Paraguay
Geography Major, University of Delaware
First Job: Environmental Educator and Field Studies Coordinator at the Ashland Nature Center of the Delaware Nature Society. Recently Environmental Educator, White Clay Creek State Park, Delaware, Program Coordinator for Cultural and Historical Interpretation at the Judge Morris Estate, Delaware State Parks Currently Castleruddery Organic Farm, West Wicklow, Ireland and Natural Areas/Ecotourism Consultant.
- Frank Aragona, Bolivia
University Studies major, University of New Mexico
Thesis: A Case Study of Onion Production in the Tipajara Watershed, Mizque, Bolivia
First Job: Project Director for Agricultural Innovations, Inc.
- Michael Downs, Morocco
Geography major, University of Kentucky
Thesis: Hearth Fuel Acquisition and Use in Morocco's Imnane Valley
First Job: Naturalist for the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary on the Kentucky River. Anna and Michael became the parents of twins in the Fall of 2004.
- Andrea Durham, Ecuador
Liberal Studies major, University of California
Thesis: Social Network Analysis of Women, Resources, and Community in Angla, Ecuador
First Job: Forester with the USDA Forest Service on the Kenton Ranger District, Ottawa National Forest, Michigan. Then: Education Program Assistant with the Benton County 4-H Extension Office, Corvallis OR;
Currently: Recreation Planner / Wilderness Coordinator, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, Gifford Pinchot NF, Randle WA.
- Matt Judd, Gambia
Mathematics major, Computer Science Concentration, St. Olaf College
Thesis: Introduction and Management of Neem (Azadirachta indica) in the Smallholder's Farm Fields in Baddibu Districts of The Gambia, West Afric
First Job: NEPA Services Group (formerly the USDA Forest Service Content Analysis Team) in Salt Lake City.
Currently: NEPA Planner, USDA Forest Service, Duluth MN
- Sara Keinath, Nepal
Biology major, Alma College
Thesis: Environmental Education and Perceptions in Eastern Nepal: Analysis of Student Drawings with the posters in the appendix in a separate set of pdf files.
First Job: firefighter with Inyo National Forest in California.
Currently: 4H Youth Educator, Wexford Co., MI
- Kristina Owens, Bolivia
Spanish major, SUNY - Geneseo
Thesis: Genetic Diversity of Annona cherimola Mill in South Central Bolivia
First Job: Biological Laboratory Science Technician (Molecular Biology),USDA-ARS Fruit Lab, Beltsville, Maryland.
Currently: Plant Biologist-Support Scientist, National Plant Germplasm and Biotechnology Laboratory
- Wendy Owens, Paraguay
Environmental and Forest Biology major, SUNY/CESF-Syracuse
Thesis: Riparian Buffer Zones of the Ybytyruzu Mountain Range, Paraguay
Current Job: Adjunct Professor of Environmental Biology at Prince George's Community College and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Howard Community College
- Matt Cohen, Bolivia
Wildlife Biology major, University of California-Davis
Thesis: Utilizing Microcatchment Systems to Increase Tree Establishment Rates in the Bolivian High Plains
First Job: Summer of 1999 working for Glenn Lukos Associates in wetlands analysis and deliniation. Glenn Lukos is an RPCV from the Dominican Republic in the late 60s. Law School at UC-Davis. Summer 2003: legal intern working on environmental and human rights issues in India. Currently: Associate Attorney with Richards, Watson & Gershon, working in environmental law. Currently: Environmental/International Law, USAID, Nairobi.
- Susan Fox, Bolivia
Biology major, University of Texas
Thesis: Analysis of Ecotourism: The Municipal Reserve "Curichi Cuajo", Buena Vista, Bolivia
First Job: Forester with the USDA Forest Service in Mio, Michigan. Currently: Co-owner of Metcalfe Forestry in Grayling, Michigan.
- Mike Jones, Honduras
Biology major, Albion College
Thesis: Evaluation of Honduran Forestry Cooperatives: Five Case Studies
First Job: Employed by CHP International in Honduras. 2004, Married and back in Honduras. then owner of Mike's Bikes in La Cieba. Currently: Benzie County Conservation District, Michigan.
- Margaret Shao, Ghana
Biology major, San Francisco State University
Thesis: Parkia biglobosa: Changes in Resource Allocation in Kandiga, Ghana
First Job: Content Analysis Team, USDA Forest Service. Then, Community Forestry Coordinator for the State of Utah.
Currently: Forestry Extension Agent, Utah State University. Currently, Doctoral Candidate, Five Branches University.
- Josh Amend, Tanzania
American Studies major, Carleton College
First job: Worked for North Wind Environmental in Wyoming after graduation, then Technical Forestry Services in Greybull, Wyoming. Currently: Extension Forester, Division of Forestry in Florida
Thesis: Risk and Coffee Production in Mhaji, Tanzania
- Willy Heist, Ghana
Exercise/Health Science major, Psychology minor, Alma College
Thesis: Community Tree Nurseries in Ghana, West Africa: A Case Study of the Collaborative Community Forestry Initiative (CCFI)
First Job: Content Analysis Team of the Forest Service in Salt Lake City. Then employed by DCgreenworks in the Washington DC area. Certified arborist as of March 2004. After that, a tree care consultant with The Care of Trees. Currently an urban forester for the District of Columbia
- Alec Jarvis, Paraguay
Botany major, Miami University, Ohio
Thesis: Paraguayan Tung (Aleurites fordii Hemsl.): An Important Small Farmer Crop Diversification Strategy
First Job: Fall of 2001 working in El Salvador with the Crisis Corps, a part of Peace Corps. Non-timber asset operations assistant for Hancock Land. Then: Regional Land Manager, UPC Wind Management, LLC, Portland ME.
Currently: Senior Associate, Kleinschmidt and Associates..
- Lynne Kraskouskas, Gabon
Geology major, Bryn Mawr College
First Job: Living proof that one can never have enough education, has completed a nursing degree. Now a nurse in Massachusetts.
- Kristen Rahn Thrall, Paraguay
Visual Arts major, Albion College
Thesis: Cultural Assessment of Reforestation Practices in Rural Eastern Paraguay
First Job: Content Analysis Team, USDA Forest Service in Missoula Montana. Then part of the USDA Forest Service Recreational Solutions enterprise management team as a recreation forester in Troy, Montana. Currently Recreation Program Coordinator, Huron-Manistee National Forest.
- Dan Bergert, Ghana
Philosophy major, Northland College,
Thesis: Management Strategies for Elaeis Guineensis (Oil Palm) in Response to Localized Markets in Southeastern Ghana, West Africa.
First job: A hard man to keep track of. After working in South Korea (early 2003) was kayaking in Thailand. Currently a vessel agent in Unalaska (the Aleutian Islands), Alaska.
- Andrew Brower, Honduras
English major, Albion College, including time with Hurricane Mitch.
Thesis: Honduras: An Ethnographic Study of El Armado National Wildlife Refuge and Guayape, Olancho.
First Job: Director of Human Resources at Butterball Farms, Inc. in Grand Rapids. "it's because I speak spanish and I've always done better taking care of other people rather than myself. good or bad?!?" Currently founder and director of The Source, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Source is a community resource and employment training center. The Source works primarily in workforce development and creating opportunities for lower-income employees.
Currently: Program Manager for Youth and Community Development, The Kellogg Foundation.
- Jeff Ploetz, Bulgaria
Biology major, Michigan Tech University,
Thesis: Implementation and Effectiveness of a Traveling Nature Display for Environmental Education in Central Balkan National Park, Bulgaria.
Prior: Natural Resources Management Specialist, DevTech Systems, Inc., Washington D.C.
Currently: Environmental Project Manager, The Cloudburst Group, Landover MD
- Kerry Ploetz, Bulgaria
Biology major, Michigan Tech University
Thesis: An Ethnobotanical Survey of Wild Herb Use in Bulgaria.
First Job: Teaching 4th and 5th Grade at Burgundy Farm Country Day School.
Currently: Math Tutor
- Katrina Schnobrich, Paraguay
Forestry major, Michigan Tech University,
Thesis: An Ethnographic Study of Tree-Planting Successes and Failures by Small Farmers in Paraguay.
Currently: Urban Forester with FirstEnergy and Very Important Person & Board President of the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Other Michigan Tech Peace Corps Volunteers
- Amy Collick, Madagascar
- Dave and Nancy Canavera, Brazil
- Dan Malueg, Nepal
- Mike Tighe, Paraguay
- Tom Brayak, India
- Michelle Laskowski, El Salvador
- Eric Wergeland, China
- Patti Burns, Cameroon
- Aidan Gullickson, Cameroon
- Mark Holden,
- Greg Mullen, Lesotho
- Jonathon D. Colman, Burkina Faso
- Marla Rader, Ecuador
- Blair Orr, Lesotho