Michael Simpson

Co-Director, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; Chair, Environmental Studies Department; Director, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Concentration, ES Master’s Degree

Michael-simpson-159Michael 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 twenty-five years experience in wetland and riparian corridor assessments, employing a variety of assessment approaches and data collection procedures. Much of his research has been funded by NOAA and the US EPA; it focuses on working with local stakeholders to identify potential risks from projected climate and land-use change, followed by developing an adaptation strategy for communities to build for projected impacts. Currently, he is the Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England. He has graduate degrees from Dartmouth College and Antioch University New England.

Abigail Abrash Walton

Co-Director, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; Director, Advocacy Concentration, Environmental Studies Master’s Degree; Director, Center for Academic Innovation

AbrashwaltonAbigailAbigail serves as founding Director of Antioch University New England’s Center for Academic Innovation, co-director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, and as faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she directs the Advocacy master’s degree concentration. Under her leadership, AUNE has developed and advanced its own climate action plan, including significant reductions in electricity usage through low-/no-cost behavior change strategies. Innovation programming at AUNE has yielded a 10-to-1 return on mission-driven investment. Her current research focuses on organizational leadership, pro-environmental behavior, and institutional fossil fuel divestment and clean energy reinvestment. She has played a central role in piloting AUNE’s Conservation Psychology Institute and Translating Research to Inform Policy workshops and in catalyzing a national-level working group to build the capacity of scientists and researchers to engage with the public policy process. Previously, she was program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. Her publications include “Conservation through Different Lenses: Reflection, Responsibility and the Politics of Participation in Conservation Advocacy,” in the journal Environmental Management, “The Amungme, Kamoro and Freeport: How Indigenous Papuans Have Resisted the World’s Largest Gold and Copper Mine,” in The Globalization Reader (Lechner & Boli, eds.), and “The Victims in Indonesia’s Pursuit of Progress,” an invited New York Times op-ed.

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 M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.

Christa Daniels AICP

Program Manager, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; Faculty and Doctoral Student Antioch University New England

Program Manager, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Faculty and Doctoral Student Antioch University New EnglandChrista Daniels AICP is the program manager for the Center where she specializes in climate mitigation and resiliency along with citizen engagement strategies. For the past 15 years, Christa has worked with local governments to foster energy independence, reduce traffic congestion, curb local air pollution, strengthen local economies, and increase their resiliency to the changing climate. Mrs. Daniels has facilitated and created innovative participatory stakeholder engagement strategies with towns and regions such as 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 B.A. in Political Science at Pace University and her M.S. in Resource Management and Administration at Antioch Graduate School. 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 also currently works for Climate Access as a research coordinator on translating social science into effective engagement strategies along with an innovative Sea Level Rise 3D visualization project in Marin County California. Christa is a doctoral student and faculty at AUNE.

Jim Gruber

Senior Associate, AUNE Professor

JGruberprofileJim is an internationally recognized academic expert and professional in the topics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management and methods for engaged and participatory research that leads to sustainable governance of ecosystems. He is a Professor and Director of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies and Co-Director of the Resource Management and Conservation MS Program at Antioch University New England. During the past 30 years, he has consulted to national and state governments, regional non-profit organizations, universities, and local governments in Eastern Europe, Mexico, South America, Africa, and the United States on environmental policy, community-based natural resource management, social capital building, facilitating systemic change, engaged scholarship, climate adaptation and resilience, energy conservation, and solar technology. He has published numerous articles on his research. Recently jointly established the first US Peace Corps – PhD in Environmental Studies partnership with Antioch University New England. He previously served as a municipal manager for communities in Vermont and New Hampshire. During his time as co-Founder and Executive Director of Antioch New England Institute (ANEI), which provided training, programs, and resources (U.S. and international) in leadership development, community capacity building, environmental education, and environmental policy development and implementation. Finally, Jim holds a PhD from the University of Zagreb in Environmental Resource Management, a MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a professional Civil Engineer (PE).

Clara Fang

Clara Fang is pursuing a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. Her interests include climate change mitigation, advocacy, and communication. She is higher education outreach director at Citizens’ Climate Lobby and co-chair of the Detroit chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. She serves on the Board of Directors of Our Climate, a youth led organization advancing science-based and equitable climate policies. She has worked as sustainability manager in higher education, and as sustainability consultant to the city of Albany, New York. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University and a MFA in Creative Writing from University of Utah. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.

Justin Woods, JD, LL.M, MPA

Justin Woods is an Associate Fellow at the Center where he specializes in helping communities build more sustainable and just economies. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Pace University, and a Scholar at the Pace Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development. For the last 20 years, Professor Woods has worked with municipal governments and nonprofits on a variety of planning, housing, community, and economic development initiatives. As the Director of Planning & Development in Ogdensburg, New York, he initiated and directed the City’s ICLEI-honored energy and sustainability program. Professor Woods graduated cum laude from Green Mountain College with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Public Policy. He has a Master of Public Administration (4.0), Juris Doctor cum laude, and Master of Laws cum laude in Environmental Law (Land Use and Sustainable Development track) from Pace University. He is currently pursuing joint doctoral degrees (PhD/SJD) in Environmental Studies and Environmental Law at Antioch University and Pace Law School.

Jason Rhoades, PhD

Researcher, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; International Service Program Director and Faculty, AUNE

JasonBIOpicAs a researcher for the Center, Jason 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.


Upcoming Events


2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference

Antioch University New England is hosting the 2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference on April 30, May 1 and May 2nd 2018 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.
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