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2024 Annual Meeting July 12th, 12:00-1:00 pm

2020 Winter Conference – Speakers

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Emily Cole leads AFT’s Climate and Agriculture Program in New England. She works both to improve and advocate for the integration of climate-smart management practices into New England’s productive farming communities through education, outreach, and policy. She earned her Doctorate in plant and soil sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where her research focused on improving soil health and carbon sequestration through the application of biochar and implementation of climate-smart management practices. She also holds a Master of Science Education from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Kenyon College. 

27 August Rd
Simsbury, CT 06070
(413) 240-4629

Karen Ribeiro has worked in the renewable energy and efficiency markets since 2008 when she left a career in banking to serve the planet. Karen has two undergraduate degrees from UMass Amherst and has earned an M.B.A. from Western New England University. Karen has extensive sales and service experience and is well informed on utility regulations, state policies and incentive programs. She is an owner of PV Squared Solar, is a member of the commercial design & sales team, and represents PV Squared regionally and nationally on the political front.

PV Squared Solar
311 Wells St. Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 265-3892

Christopher Stone is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 30 years of experience as a designer, project manager and regulator in a broad spectrum of civil and environmental engineering applications. He began his career in private consulting as a site and utility design engineer, eventually specializing in stormwater management in the site design process. Chris left consulting to develop the CTDEEP’s stormwater program as their first stormwater engineer. He has written all of the current DEEP stormwater general permits including the first-in-the-nation commercial stormwater general permit issued in 1995. His current focus is on the development of the next generation of stormwater general permits addressing industrial, commercial, municipal and construction stormwater management. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Urban Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a NICET certified Land Management and Water Control Inspector and has received the Recognition Award for Outstanding Professional Service from Connecticut Engineers in Private Practice and the DEEP Green Circle Award.

CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-3850

Sharon Klein is an Associate Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Maine. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Klein worked as a high school environmental systems teacher in Quito, Ecuador for 2 years; a middle school science teacher in San Diego, CA for 3 years; an environmental technician in San Diego for 1.5 year; and an Americorps National Civilian Community Corps volunteer in the Southeast region of the US for 1 year. Dr. Klein’s research and teaching are multi-disciplinary in nature, centering on the technical, economic, environmental and social tradeoffs inherent in sustainable energy decision-making. Dr. Klein is interested in all sustainable energy options but has keen interest in solar energy research, completing her PhD dissertation on the engineering, economic, and environmental tradeoffs associated with using thermal molten salt energy storage and dry cooling in concentrated solar power plants, and more recently, assessing the social and economic benefits and costs of community-based solar initiatives. Dr. Klein and her colleagues have created the first US Community Renewable Energy Database – a central location for sharing information on community-based renewable energy projects:

5782 Winslow Hall, Room 305
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
(207) 581-3174

Yasmin Yacoby is the Program Manager for Energy Justice issues at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Rhode Island’s lead state agency on energy policy and programming. Her role focuses on the equitability and accessibility of Rhode Island’s energy systems, programs, and policies, and she is working to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to clean, affordable, and dependable energy. She is working together with members of her department, other state agencies, and community members to strengthen support for low-to-moderate income households and communities of color. Yasmin is a Govern for America Fellow and graduated from Harvard University with Honors in May 2019 with a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy. She wrote her Honors Senior Thesis on the flaws within the National Environmental Policy Act that lead to and exacerbate environmental injustice in marginalized communities. In her spare time, Yasmin loves to hike, and is a freelance light designer for various theatres in the Boston and Providence area.

RI Office of Energy Resources
1 Capitol Hill, Providence RI
(401) 574-9103

Lucy Bullock-Sieger is the Director of Civic Engagement at BlueWave Solar. She leads the Government and Community Affairs strategy at BlueWave. Lucy works closely with industry colleagues, legislators, and administration officials across all BlueWave markets to advocate for sustainable community solar policy. Additionally, she drives BlueWave’s social impact efforts that includes community service, corporate giving, and B Corp Certification. Prior to BlueWave Lucy was the US communications and fundraising lead for an international aid organization. For the last ten years Lucy has focused on energy, land use and public health policy and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Northeastern University.

BlueWave Solar
111 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02199
(803) 606-6364

Stephen Herbert is a Professor of agriculture and former Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Agriculture, the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station and UMass Extension at UMass with 40+ years of professional activity in crop production and product evaluation both in the U.S. and in Asia. Currently leads a project evaluating growth of vegetables in partial shade of solar panels.

204 Bowditch Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003

Abby Barnicle is a Renewable Energy Program Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). At DOER, Abby helps to implement the Commonwealth’s solar incentive programs, including the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. Prior to joining DOER, Abby worked as the operations manager for Zapotec Energy Inc., a solar engineering firm in Cambridge, MA. Abby graduated from Stonehill College with a B.A. in English.

MA Department of Energy Resources
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-7339

Dwanye Breger is an Extension Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and serves as the Director of the Clean Energy Extension. The Clean Energy Extension supports state goals to accelerate clean energy markets in Massachusetts through market outreach, technical assistance, and applied research. Dwayne came to UMass in 2015 after 13 years as the Director of the Renewable Energy Division at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). At DOER, he was responsible for the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the development of the RPS solar carve-out and solar loan program, the advance of biomass energy policy, and served on the staff working group that designed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Prior to DOER, he was an Assistant Professor in engineering at Lafayette College, an AAAS/U.S. EPA Environmental Science and Engineering Fellow, a U.S. participant in the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Program, and served as a Senior Research Associate at UMass in Mechanical Engineering. Dwayne received his Ph.D. in Resource Economics from UMass Amherst, an M.S. in technology and policy from MIT, and a B.S. degree in engineering from Swarthmore College.

209 Agricultural Engineering Building
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-8512

Zara Dowling is a postdoctoral research fellow with UMass Clean Energy Extension and the American Wind Wildlife Institute.  She works on a variety of projects regarding environmental and wildlife issues associated with development of solar and wind energy, as well as municipal energy efficiency and carbon neutral planning efforts.  She serves on her town Conservation Commission and Energy Committee.

209 Agricultural Engineering Building
University of Massachusetts
250 Natural Resources Way
(413) 545-8516

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