Initiative Director Tom Rodd, thomasrodd@hotmail.com; (c) 304-541-4494; 304-265-0018

 

 

 

Featured Speakers

 

David (Dave) Bassage

David (Dave) Bassage is Chief of Staff at the Ace Adventure Resort, a leading West Virginia outdoor recreation business headquartered in Minden, West Virginia.  An avid whitewater boater, in 1995 he founded Friends of the Cheat, a watershed organization devoted to addressing acid mine drainage problems of the Cheat River watershed through a cooperative effort between industry, government, citizens, and academia.  He served as chief administrator of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Office of Innovation.  He organized and chaired the West Virginia Conference on the Environment, focusing on climate change and sustainability.  Dave is a 1981 graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, with a B.A. in Mathematics.

Sarah Forbes

Sarah M. Forbes is a scientist at the US Department of Energy in the Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management. Sarah’s work focuses on the future of fossil energy in a climate change context. Prior to joining the US Department of Energy, Sarah worked at the World Resources Institute (a non-profit environmental "think tank"), where she led a number of efforts on carbon dioxide capture and storage in China. Sarah earned a B.S. from Wheaton College in 1996 and a M.S. in Biological Science from Mississippi State University in 1999.  She applies her ecological perspective to the regulatory, political and engineering challenges associated with demonstrating and deploying new energy technologies, including CCS. Sarah lives near Elkins, West Virginia.

Louis Iverson

Louis Iverson is a Landscape Ecologist at the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station in Delaware, Ohio, and a pioneer in GIS modeling of landscape ecology.  He and his colleagues have developed models for 135 tree species and 150 bird species on the potential impacts of several scenarios of climate change.  These models are available to land managers and the general public online at http://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/atlas/.  Dr. Iverson received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Dakota.  He is an adjunct professor at Ohio State University

James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand

James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand is the Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the West Virginia University College of Law.  He previously served as Executive Director of the Pace Law School Energy and Climate Center, and as a private lawyer represented energy clients in state regulatory proceedings in eight western states, as well as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Professor Van Nostrand has published and lectured widely on emissions trading and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, energy policy, renewable energy, utility rates and electric restructuring plans, environmental justice, and utility mergers and acquisitions. In his role as Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, he is involved in various energy and environmental efforts in West Virginia and the Appalachian region, offering objective, unbiased research and policy analyses and promoting policies that strike a proper balance between the development of energy resources and protection of the environment.  He received a LL.M. in Environmental Law from the Pace University School of Law in 2011, a M.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany in 1985, a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1979, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976

Herman Mays

Herman Mays is an assistant professor in genetics in the Department of Biological Sciences at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.  In 2015 he represented the national group Climate Parents in urging the West Virginia Board of Education not to undermine science teaching standards for climate change.  He previously worked as Curator of Zoology at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  He received a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology from the University of Kentucky in 2001, and a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology in 1992.  He has taught at Thomas More College, Xavier University, and the University of Cincinnati.  His research in bird species tackles basic questions in biological diversity.  He is deeply committed to creating environments that foster intellectual development, particularly in regards to undergraduate science education.

Amy Hessl

Amy E. Hessl is a Professor in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia and a Benedum Distinguished Scholar.  She coordinates the Montane Forest Dynamics Lab, focusing on the interaction between climate variability, ecosystem processes, and human activities in forested systems.  The Lab has studied the influence of climate and land use history in the Appalachian Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and Mongolia and has developed millennial-length climate reconstructions of climate for the Mid-Atlantic Region using the tree rings of ancient eastern red cedar (collected in West Virginia). Dr. Hessl and her graduate students have also explored the relative impacts of climate variability and harvest strategies on carbon sequestration by eastern deciduous forests. In collaboration with the National Park Service, they are exploring the plant diversity on the cliffs of the New River Gorge.  Dr. Hessl received a Ph.D. in Geography and Regional Development from the University of Arizona, Tucson in 2000, a M.A. in Geography and Recreation at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming in 1996; and a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992.  In 2000-2001 she was a Research Scientist at the USGS-BRD Cascadia Field Station, Department of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Jim Schaberl

Jim Schaberl currently serves as the Division Chief for Natural and Cultural Resources at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  His workgroup is responsible for the natural sciences, cultural/historical sciences, and land resource management of nearly 200,000 acres, backcountry visitor use and designated Wilderness management, and the management of a 500-mile network of hiking and horse trails.  Jim has worked more than 26 years in the National Park Service – including service in Mount Rainier and Voyageurs National Parks) - before becoming a manager at Shenandoah in 2011.  Jim is active in planning/coordinating climate change research, modeling, and public outreach. His professional expertise includes river/stream ecology, upland/mixed forest/high altitude forest aquatic systems and resources, aquatic invasive species, and terrestrial animal pathogens.  He studied wildlife sciences at Pennsylvania State University and West Virginia University and holds a Master's Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  

Lori Petrauski

Lori Petrauski is a graduate student at West Virginia University in the department of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources.  She majored in ecology at Seattle Pacific University.  As part of her graduate studies, Laurie is developing the West Virginia Climate History Project, which involves collecting historic phenologic (calendar-related) data about West Virginia flora and fauna, especially data potentially related to climate change. The Project will analyze patterns of songbird breeding and wildflower blooming, as well as create a general database of phenologic information for the WVU Natural History Museum.

Brian Bellew

Brian Bellew is a 2015 graduate of West Virginia University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.  He served as President of the WVU Student Sierra Coalition, and is a trained and enthusiastic outings leader.  Brian has a strong interest in climate change.  He has trained with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, the National Adaptation Forum, and PowerShift.  Beginning in October 2014, Brian has worked for Friends of Blackwater, where he helped develop FOB’s 2015 “On the Chopping Block” report, which he has presented to a number of groups around the Highlands region

Hari Swarup Jammuamadaka

 

Hari Swarup Jammulamadaka, a graduate assistant at the West Virginia University Industrial Assessment Center, is pursuing a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He is currently focusing his research efforts on investigating the effects of heated glass on the building energy envelope of a residential building. His research interests include implementation of green energy solutions in industrial, commercial, and residential settings, and the development of energy-efficiency improvement programs. In 2012, Hari earned a M.S. in Energy and Mineral Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and in 2004 he earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, India.

Emmett Pepper

Emmett Pepper is the Executive Director of Energy Efficient West Virginia, headquartered in Charleston, WV.  He graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 2012, and in 2000 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.A. in Political Science.  His work experience includes a clerkship with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and work with the League of Conservation Voters and the U.S. Department of the Interior.  He was the Connecticut and Hudson Valley Program Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment from 2004 to 2009. 

Joseph Trimboli

Joe Trimboli is a Community Planner with the Huntington District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who works in the Flood Damage Reduction Program, Floodplain Management Services, Planning Assistance to States, and other research. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree focused on Graphic Design, Planning, and Geography (magna cum laude) and a Masters of Science Degree in Geography, both from Marshall University. He began his career with the Corps in 1980 while in high school.  His work includes flood recovery for the State of Kentucky.  His military service includes deployment to Afghanistan in 2012.  He became a Certified Floodplain Manager in 2008. He is currently Lead Planner for the Floodplain Management Services Program and acts as Lead Geographical Information Systems Planner in the Corps' Huntington District.

Winston Paul Smith

Winston Paul Smith is a conservation biologist with 38 years of experience studying the ecology of imperiled and disturbance-sensitive species. He is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, and retired as a Principal Wildlife Scientist for the USDA Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station.  He completed a Ph.D. in wildlife science and zoology at Oregon State University in 1981, and has been an ecological advisor to recovery teams or conservation committees of federally listed species, including authorship of the first recovery plan with a population viability analysis, organizing workshops to reduce conflicts between forest management and maintaining habitat for disturbance-sensitive forest species, reviewing the information in delisting proposals and accompanying documentation, and developing inventorying and monitoring protocols for wildlife populations. Dr. Smith's research has examined fundamental assumptions of conservation plans to maintain wildlife viability across planning areas, most notably the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus).  He is currently working as a consultant with Friends of Blackwater, the University of Indiana, and the Forest Service on ground-breaking flying squirrel research in the Allegheny Highlands.

Brandi Gaertner

Brandi Gaertner is a doctoral fellow at West Virginia University, where she is conducting research on the effect of climate change on Mid-Atlantic surface water resources. Her research primarily focuses on evaluating the historical and future climate and hydrologic trends in the Central Appalachian region. Her research also focuses on partitioning the effects of humans from climate impacts on large scale watersheds. She has her M.S. in Environmental Biology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she conducted research on the effect of large woody debris on brook trout populations in Pennsylvania. Additionally, she has her B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, motorcycle trips, trail riding, and reading.

Emily Linn

Emily Linn is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focusing on clean air initiatives including the Clean Power Plan.  She has a Master's in Environmental and Energy Policy and Sustainable Development from the University of Delaware, and a Bachelor's from the College of Wooster in History and Geology.

 

STAFF

Judy Rodd, Executive Director - Friends of Blackwater

Tom Rodd, Project Director - WV Allegheny Highlands Climate Change Impacts Initiative

Brandae Mullins

Brian Bellew