BOARD of DIRECTORS
(September 2017 – August 2018)
President: TOM AKIN
SNEC member since 2005
Tom Akin is the State Resource Conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Amherst, MA, since January 2015; from 2003 to 2015, Tom was the Conservation Agronomist for NRCS. From 1998 to 2003, Tom worked at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain as the Assistant Superintendent and Internship Coordinator. Tom has also worked as an IPM Coordinator at Weston Nurseries, an Extension Educator with UMass Amherst, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic. Tom has a BA in English from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN and an MS in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Tom’s interests are community gardening, helping farmers and gardeners improve their soil’s health, good local beer, and an occasional round of golf.
Vice President: TIMOTHY RANDHIR
SNEC member since 1994
Dr. Timothy O. Randhir is a Professor of Watershed Management and Water Quality with the Department of Environmental Conservation at University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1995 and did post-doctoral work there before joining UMass as a faculty in 1997. Timothy specializes in watershed management, climate change, water resources, ecological economics, dynamic systems modeling and optimization, GIS and spatial analysis, land use policy, common pool resource management, nonpoint source pollution, and natural resources policy. He serves as Editor of three international journals. Timothy is the author of a book on Watershed Management and has published more than 45 referred articles in leading journals including Water Resources Research, Ecological Modeling, Climatic Change, Journal of Hydrology, Forest Ecology and Management, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, and Journal of American Water Resources Association.
Secretary: CAROL GRASIS
SNEC member since 1995
Carol Grasis graduated from the University of College in 1994 with a BS in Renewable Natural Resources. Carol has been employed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service since 1994. She was originally hired as a cartographic technician for the Statewide Soil Survey program and then became a soil conservationist in 1996 and worked in the Windsor Service Center until moving to the CT NRCS State Office in 2010. She is currently a Resource Conservationist, working on the Program Staff for CT NRCS. Outside of the office, her interests include hiking, gardening, reading and spending time with her family. She is a trail manager and volunteer with the Vernon Greenways Volunteers, and has coached baseball at the Little League and Babe Ruth level. Carol has served on the board of SNEC-SWCS in the past, including terms as CT Director (1999), President (2001, 2002), President (2013) and Secretary (2015).
Treasurer: CHRISTINE ODIAGA
SNEC member since 2013
Christine Odiaga recently fulfilled her life-long dream of “washing ashore” on Cape Cod by joining the staff of Friends of Herring River as Assistant Project Manager, working on an 1100-acre salt marsh restoration in Wellfleet. She brings over a decade of regulatory experience to the table, having worked 10 years as Southeast Region Circuit Rider for MassDEP Wetlands & Waterways Program and 3 years as a municipal Conservation Agent. Christine is no stranger to large, complex projects; she conducted NPDES sampling and monitoring for 6 years on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (“FASCINATING!!”), where she began as a field technician, rewrote the BMP section of the SWPPP to address construction-generated discharges and wound up doubling as NPDES Permit Coordinator. Christine participated in the Cooperative Education Program at Northeastern University (“as important as anything learned in class”), and earned a BS in Biology and a minor in Marine Studies. Christine served as President of the IECA Northeast Chapter for four years, and as RI Director for SWCS SNEC for 2 years prior to a 28-month stint as SNEC Executive Director. Her hobbies include visiting family in Perú, dinner parties and dancing to live music.
Rhode Island Representative: JEFFREY PETERSON
SNEC member since 2008
Jeff Peterson is a Senior Wetland and Soil Scientist at VHB with 35 years combined international and national experience, 22 of them for VHB. His skills include wetland delineation, soil description and classification, erosion and sediment control planning, plant identification, and wetland functional assessments. Jeff is certified as a Professional Soil Scientist, PWS, CPESC by ACOE Baltimore District as a Wetland Delineator. He has served on the New England Hydric Soils Technical Committee, responsible for establishing criteria for identifying wetland soils, since 1999. Jeffrey’s studies of mesic Spodosols in northeastern Connecticut helped improve wetland delineations in these problem soils. He has also authored several successful local, state, and federal wetland permit applications for public and private sector developments in southern New England states.
Massachusetts Representative: JOHN DUDULA
SNEC member since 2013
John Dudula has been a Natural Resource Specialist with the North Central Conservation District (NCCD) in Vernon, CT from December 2015 to the present. The NCCD is a non-profit organization that serves municipalities and residents by providing environmental technical services and education. John has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science from Curry College in Milton, MA and a Masters of Science Degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. His concentration is in water, watersheds and wetland science. John published an article in the Journal of Hydrology in 2016 titled, Modeling the influence of climate change on watershed systems: Adaptation through target practices. His professional skills include Spatial Analysis, GIS, Watershed modeling, Regulation/Compliance, and Data Analysis/Reports. John’s interests include environmental conservation, reading, skiing and hiking.
Connecticut Representative: DEVLEENA GHOSH-BROWER
SNEC member since 2013
Devleena is currently a Senior Specialist with Eversource Energy’s Licenising and Permitting department overseeing all of Western Massachusetts Transmission & Distribution project. She also is a registered Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), and a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC). In her past life, she was in the environmental consulting world with Tighe & Bond and VHB for 11 years. She was also an adjunct lecturer with Eastern Connecticut State University teaching a freshman Ecology course. She is a board member with the Manchester Conservation Commission and has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Harvard University. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, travelling and spending time with family. She lives in Manchester, CT with her husband Josh, twins Hudson and Maya, and Willow the golden Labrador.