UVM's Dudley H. Davis Center | Burlington, VT | December 18 - 19, 2019 



Joshua Faulkner, PhD

Dr. Joshua Faulkner is a Research Assistant Professor for University of Vermont Extension. He has coordinated the Farming and Climate Change Program in UVM Extension’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture for the past six years. He does applied research, outreach, and education on soil, water, and nutrient related issues across the state and region. He also works with farmers on practices and innovative solutions to improve the management of these resources and enhance farm resilience to climate change. His focus spans across all agricultural sectors, and from the farmstead to the watershed scale.



Rachel E. Schattman, PhD

Dr. Rachel E. Schattman is a Research Fellow with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, and an Affiliate of the UVM Extension Vegetable and Berry Program. Her research focuses on climate change perceptions and how they influence on - farm management decisions, as well as water use efficiency in northeast vegetable systems. She has been the leader on several USDA Climate Hub research and outreach projects, including a National survey with USDA field employees on their understanding of the risks associated with climate change. She has published on best practices for designing educational climate change curricula for adult learning audiences, Drawing upon her history as an Extension specialist and researcher Dr. Schattman will start as Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Maine in January, 2020.

Terence Bradshaw, PhD

Dr. Terence Bradshaw is a Research Assistant Professor of specialty crops production and the Director of the UVM Fruit Team and the Horticulture Research and Education Center. He has conducted research on organic apple production systems specifically since 2006, and on components of sustainable agroecosystems including cultivar / rootstock evaluation and alternatives to synthetic pesticides for use in organic production since 1995. In 2014, he founded the Catamount Education Farm at UVM, which includes ten acres of vegetable and fruit plots for use in teaching and research programs.


Amy Garrett

Amy Garrett has been working with Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Small Farms Program in the Southern Willamette Valley of Oregon since 2011. She has 23 years of experience in the horticulture industry ranging from landscape design, installation and maintenance to organic farming, research, and education. Drought mitigation tools and strategies for growing with little or no irrigation have become a focus in her work. The OSU Dry Farming Project she is leading has expanded over the past several years, from case studies and demonstrations to a multifaceted participatory research project with more than 30 trial hosts in the Dry Farming Collaborative in 2019

Dr. David Hollinger

Dr. David Hollinger is Director of the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, providing expertise on the impacts of a changing climate on agriculture and forests in the Northeast, and ways for landowners to increase climate resilience. He is a Supervisory Plant Physiologist for the USDA Forest Service and Team Leader within the Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences group of the Northern Research Station. His recent research interests include cost-effective and practical responses to changing climatic conditions in forests and on farms across the northeastern United States. He has led long-term research into impacts of climate on forest growth and water-use at the Howland forest in Maine and helped found the AmeriFlux network of research sites. He received a B.A. in Biology from Dartmouth College in 1977, and a Ph.D. in Ecophysiology from Stanford University in 1984.

Dr. Raul I. Cabrera

Raul has a BS in Horticulture from Universidad Agraria “Antonio Narro” (Saltillo, Mexico), and a MS in Plant Physiology and PhD in Plant Biology from the University of California at Davis. He has worked as Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Nursery Crops Management at Rutgers University (1994-1999), then as Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture with Texas A&M University, and 4 years ago he returned to his old position in Nursery Crop Production at Rutgers University, where he is serving as Associate Professor and Extension Specialist. His areas of expertise and interest in research and extension focus on the applied physiology and management of ornamental crops and plants (floriculture, nursery and landscape), particularly in the topics of nutrition/fertilization) and water/irrigation management.


Kate McFarland

Kate MacFarland is the Assistant Agroforesterfor the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC). She is part of the outreach and education team at NAC, serving as the liaison to the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Northwestern regions. Her work focuses on providing leadership for national and regional workshops and trainings, developing outreach materials for science delivery to a range of technical and general audiences, and supporting the integration of agroforestry into USDA programs. Kate is also involved with NAC’s human dimensions research.

Ellen Mecray

Ellen Mecray is NOAA’s Regional Climate Services Director for the Eastern Region, based in Norton, Massachusetts. In this role, Mecray helps bring NOAA’s climate information to other federal agencies as well as regional, state, and local geographies and specific sectors of importance to the eastern region. Mecray is also the Federal Coordinating Lead Author for the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Northeast Chapter and an author on the Energy national chapter. She recently served as acting Director of the National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder,CO. Prior to joining NOAA, Mecray was an oceanographer with the US Geological Survey’s Coastal and Marine Geology program conducting research on urban contamination of coastal sediments. Before her federal career, Mecray taught chemistry and environmentalscience at the Williston Northampton School in MA. For over 20 years, Mecray’s teaching, research, and leadership have focused on efficient, cross-sectoral collaboration among inter-and intra-agency partners. Mecray holds a B.A. in geology from Colgate University and a M.S. in geological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. She lives in Falmouth, MA with her husband, daughter, two golden retrievers, and a hamster.

Dr. Lily Calderwood

Dr. Lily Calderwood’s is the Wild BlueberrySpecialist and an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the University of Maine. Her research and education program aims to provide whole farm approaches to lowbush (wild) blueberry production. Current projects include organic blueberry fertility and weed management, a lowbush blueberry weed survey, biological control of weeds, pest and crop decision making tool needs assessments, aging farmer interviews, and the improvement of blueberry quality measures. Her program is focused on connecting farmers to stakeholders through applied research and education.

Dr. Mandy Bayer

Dr. Mandy Bayer is an Extension Assistant Professor of Sustainable Landscape Horticulture at UMass Amherst. She has a BS in Landscape Contracting from Penn State, a MS in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in Horticulturefrom the University of Georgia. Her research and extension outreach focuses on increasing the sustainability of built landscapes through improved landscape establishment and maintenance and improving ornamental plant production practices. She is particularly interested in improving irrigation and fertilizer use.

Dr. Doug Parker

Dr. Doug Parker is the Director of the California Institute for Water Resources in the University of California’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He coordinates water-related research, extension, and education efforts across the 10 UC campuses, the UC ANR system, and other academic institutions within California. Current research and extension interests include sustainable groundwater management, reducing the risk of nitrates in California’s groundwater,and climate smart agriculture. Prior to joining the University of California, Doug worked on water quality issues related to the Chesapeake Bay as a Professor and Extension Specialist in theDepartment of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland. He has also worked on issues related to California water as a Cooperative Extension Economist at UC Berkeley. Doug obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara.

Nate Nourse

Nate Norse was formerly the Berry Production Specialist and Sales Director Nourse Farms,and is a founding member and current Chairman National Clean Plant Network, Tier II Berries.He serves as anExecutive Board Member New England Vegetable Growers Association, and is the past President of the North AmericanStrawberry Growers Association. He is also the past President North American Raspberry Blackberry Growers Association and aFoundingExecutive Board Member National Berry Crops Initiative, and a council member of theUnited Fresh Produce Association Government Relations.

Jeremy DeLisle

Jeremy DeLisleis a Field Specialist for UNH Cooperative Extension on the Fruit and Vegetable Team. His primary responsibilities are to coordinate and deliver educational programming and provide individual consultations for commercial fruit and vegetable producers in New Hampshire. He is also a member of the Pesticide Safety Education Program team. Prior to joining UNH Extension, Jeremy worked as a County Agricultural Agent for the NC Cooperative Extension Service from 2004 to 2014. His programs there focused primarily on fruit and vegetable production, food safety and the development local food distribution systems. He attended North Carolina State University, where he earned degrees in Horticulture and Agricultural Education.

Dr. Long He

Dr. Long He is an assistant professor and extension specialist at Fruit Research and Extension Center, Pennsylvania State University. He has about 10 years of experience on agricultural mechanization and automation for specialty crop production. He received his PhD degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Yanshan University in China. His current research interests are on agricultural automation and precision agriculture, and has been working on a variety of related projects, including robotic hop twining, mechanical apple and cherry harvesting, robotic apple bin handling during harvesting; robotic fruit tree branch pruning, precision irrigation for specialty crops, and mechanical mushroom harvesting.


Ben Waterman

Ben and Stacey Waterman met while they were studying soil science and agronomy at the University of Maryland. Theirmentor was sustainable agriculture guru Dr. Ray Weil, a co-author of the Nature and Properties of Soils, a comprehensive soil science text used in universities throughout the country. The Watermans served together in the U.S. Peace Corps in Malawi, where they learned the language of Chitumbuka, and volunteered as national parks, forestry and agricultural extension agents. Shortly after returning from Malawi, the Watermans bought the farm, where they built an off-the-grid homestead. They established Waterman Orchards, initially “Waterman’s Berry Farm” in 2009.

Les Wright

Les Wright, PE is a civil engineer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Rutland, Vermont where heworks with agricultural producers to design and install various conservation practices ranging from animal waste management systems to streambank stabilization projects. Since 2012, Les has lead Vermont NRCS’s efforts to assist with irrigation and has developed the procedures used in Vermont to implement the program. Les has worked for NRCS in Rutland since 2005. Prior to that he worked for NRCS in Highland, NY beginning in 2003. Les graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering in 2003.

Art DeGaetano

Art DeGaetano a Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell. He is also the director of the NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC). Art serves as a climate editor for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. He also was a Principal Investigator on The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York as well as a contributor to the 2018 National Climate Assessment. He received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. focusing on Climatology and Horticulture from Rutgers University in 1989.

Meredith Niles

Dr. Meredith Niles is an assistant professor in the Food Systems program and the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont. Meredith’s work focuses on the nexus of food and environment with a focus on people, behaviors and policy. Meredith’s current research examines 1) farmer’s adoption of sustainable practices including those related to water, nutrient management, and climate change, as well as farmer’s environmental policy perceptions; 2) climate change impacts on food security, diet diversity and food systems and adaptation responses and 3) food waste behaviors and policy perceptions. Her research spans from the Northeast US to California, New Zealand and many low-income countries in Africa and Asia. Meredith holds a B.A in political science with honors in environmental studies from The Catholic University of America. She holds a PhD in ecology with a focus on human ecology and environmental policy from the University of California-Davis. She was a Sustainability Science post-doctorate fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she worked with the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) group of the CGIAR to explore smallholder farmer experiences with climate change and food security.

Joe Ayotte

Joe Ayotte is a supervisory hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey New England Water Science Center and Chief of the Groundwater Quality Assessment Section in New England, where he oversees multidisciplinary studies involving groundwater quality. Most recently, he has worked on national and regional studies of trace elements (primarily arsenic) in groundwater and has worked closely with the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and the Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention on arsenic in drinking water supplies. He received his B.S. in Hydrology from the University of New Hampshire. He joined the USGS in 1987 and has been involved in many studies of groundwater and surface water resources in New England and the U.S.


Chris Miller

Chris is currently serving a year-long detail assignment as an NRCS Project Liaison to the Northeast and Southeast USDA Climate Hubs. He has been the Manager of the NRCS Cape May Plant Materials Center for 12 years. Prior to that, he served for 18 years as an NRCS Plant Materials Specialist for the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. He has provided guidance to NRCS state technical specialists and field office/Conservation District staff on techniques and plant selection for many NRCS conservation practices, including critical area stabilization, conservation cover, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and native grass plantings. In addition he has worked with many partnering agencies on stabilizing disturbed and eroding areas such as dunes, tidal shorelines, streambanks, and mined areas. Chris has a B.S Degree in Agronomy from Penn State and an M.S. in Plant Science from the South Dakota State University.

Cheryl Dieter

Cheryl Dieter is a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center. She has served as the USGS Water-Use Specialist for the northeast US for the past five years and has contributed to the USGS estimates of water use inthe United States for 2010 and 2015. Her current research is focused on estimating water-use for the public-supply category, leading a team tasked with estimating water-use for public supply systems at finer spatial and temporal resolution than current estimates. The project is part of a USGS project to estimate components of the water budget, including water use, for the Nation at a daily timestep and watershed scale. She has also been involved with various studies related to recharge and water-supply issues in regional aquifers, ground-water flow modeling, geochemistry in aquifers, and ground and surface-water interaction.

Chris Callahan

Chris Callahan is the Associate Extension Professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Vermont. His work focuses on the application of the engineering practice to food systems. Specific engagement is with food producers, processors, and distributors to improve efficiency, quality, safety, and cost control through the integration of technology, systems integration, and process controls. Research and educational programming includes covered growing systems (e.g. greenhouses, high-tunnels), postharvest practices and storage (e.g. water management, environmental control, drying systems, humidification systems, refrigeration systems), energy use inthe food system (e.g. farm-based biofuels, renewable energy systems, energy efficiency measures), and development of specialized harvest and postharvest equipment (e.g. hops harvesting, hops drying, meat curing). This work has led to a number of technical innovations that are either in application for patent or have been made available as open-source for public adoption.


Alissa White

Alissa White is a researcher and PhD student in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. Alissa works closely with extension and applied research projects to engage farmers in research on climate resilience and ecosystem services in Vermont and the northeastern US. Her research integrates social, economic and ecological data, and highlights the role of peer learning in supporting innovation and adaptation in agricultural communities. Alissa brings fifteen years of experience working on program development, grassroots fundraising, education and horticulture to her work for UVM. She recently coordinated the New England Adaptation Survey, which asked hundreds of farmers in the northeast to identify promising strategies for adapting to extreme weather, and the resources needed to support farmers’ climate resilience.

Mina Vescera

Mina Vescera is an Extension Educator and Nursery and Landscape Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. She holds a bachelor of science in forestry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s in plant science from the University of Rhode Island at Kingston. Prior to joining Cornell Cooperative Extension, Mina spent eleven years in Downeast Maine working as an estate gardeneron Mount Desert Island and managing her own company, Sundew Gardening Services, specializing in native and organic gardening. She also worked for Acadia National Park as an Interpretive Ranger giving informational nature tours. Mina loves to foster appreciation for plants, and to share her passion for growing and caring for plants.

Suzy Hodgson

Based at UVM’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Suzy Hodgson undertakes research and outreach, writing farmer profiles, developing videos, feasibility studies, and economic case studies on farming practices as part UVM Extension’s New Farming Network, Women in Agriculture Network and the Farming & Climate Change program. Prior to UVM, she launched a mission-driven on-line business to support local food with 100+ farmers and 3000+ households. From 1992 to 2008, she worked in the UK as principal consultant with Carbon Clear, Ltd. measuring and managing carbon footprints and researching ghg protocols for carbon calculators and as program director, Center for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, she designed, developed and managed the University’s first cross-departmental cross-disciplinary MSc in Environmental Strategy.


Roger Noonan

Roger Noonan is the President of the New England Farmers Union and an organic farmer in New Boston, New Hampshire. Middle Branch Farm is a diversified family farm with operations ranging from maple syrup production, greenhouse production, organic vegetable production, organic hay and forage crop production, livestock production and on-farm composting. Roger is a founding board member of Local Harvest CSA, a co-operative of eight organic farms. He is a supervisor for the Hillsborough County Conservation District, President of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts, and a member of the Government Affairs Committee for New Hampshire Farm Bureau. He serves as the Agricultural Representative on the New Hampshire Rivers Management Advisory Council and is his county’s representative to the New Hampshire Agricultural Advisory Board. Most recently, Roger has been a national leader on food safety and speaks around the country on the Food Safety Modernization Act and other policy issues that affect family farmers.

Glen Koehler

Glen Koehler has directed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tree Fruit Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program since 1988. He served for 10 years as coordinating editor of the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide. Recognizing the critical impact of weather on orchard management decisions, for the past 23 years he has developed and operated Ag-Radar, an automated online system that translates observed and forecast hourly weather into apple pest and horticultural risk assessments and management advisories. Recently he became co-founder of AgEye Weather, a provider of high-resolution, real-time hourly weatherdata from the NOAA forecast and observation gridded weather databases used as the foundation for weather reports in the United States. Koehler added climate change coverage to his Extension work in 2012, developing presentations for tree fruit growers andthe public. In 2015, he helped establish the UMaine Climate and Agriculture Network.

Dr. Alicyn Smart

Dr. Alicyn Smart is an Assistant Extension Professor and Director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Maine. Alicyn addresses 1,000 inquiries that come through the lab each year pertaining to plant diseases. Her research is on Verticillium wilt on strawberries and potatoes. She is specifically looking at improving disease identification and distribution across Maine. She is also performing research comparing biological fumigant to synthetic fumigants management in potato production.


Harry Schomberg

Harry Schomberg is a Research Ecologist in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory at the USDA-ARS Beltsville Research Center in Maryland. His current research focuses on understanding and improving nutrient and water use in agronomic cropping systems. As a member of a team conducting on-farm research to increase cover crop utilization, he led development of a low-cost data logging system for continuously monitoring soil water content based on the Arduino electronic prototyping platform. His past research activities have focused on improving conservation cropping systems, crop residue management, nutrient management and understanding and modeling crop residue decomposition and N mineralization.

Dr. Alan Lakso

Dr. Lakso is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University in the Horticulture Section. During over 45 years of research on fruit crop physiology he has focused on the interactions of crop development, environment and cultural practices with experimentation and mechanistic modeling. In retirement he is continuing several research projects and has co-founded a tech start-up to commercialize an innovative plant drought stress sensor.

Jon Clements

Jon Clements has been an Extension Tree Fruit Specialist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for 20 years wherehe has advised on sustainable production practices of apples, pears, peaches, and cherries including horticulture and pest management. Before that, he was a Michigan State University Berrien County Extension Horticulture Agent, and a research technician at the University of Vermont where he received his M.S. in Plant and Soil Science. Clements is on the Board of Directors of the International Fruit Tree Association and is the Massachusetts State Coordinator for the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA). He also runs the University of Massachusetts RIMpro Advisory Service, a cloud-based disease and insect management decision support application for apples, pears, peaches, and grapes. He has long been an advocate for user-friendly, decision support applications to help Northeast orchardists make information-based integrated pest and crop management decisions.


Lynn Knight

Lynn G. Knight is a Regional Economist with NRCS East National Technology Support Center (ENTSC). She is responsible for providing conservation economic technical assistance and training to 22 States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Her background includes work with USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights conducting damage assessments, Senior Economist with USDA NRCS in Washington DC conducting regulatory impact studies, and State Economist for NRCS in Vermont. She also served as an economic and government policy consultant for American Farmland Trust, Winrock International, Farm Pilot Project Coordination Inc. and EnSave. Lynn holds a B.S. in Animal Science, and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Vermont.

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson began his electrical engineering career as a product development engineer at the Microwave Division of HP in Palo Alto in 1967. As HP expanded its operations he wound up at Disc Memory Division in Boise where he became the R&D manager for the division. In movingto Idaho he purchased a 6 acre horse pasture on the Boise River near Meridian where he built a home for his family, planted a 100+ tree mixed orchard, cleared a large garden plot and bought a Jersey cow. Six of his seven sons became engineers after havingthe experience of early morning cow milking. The seventh son became an accountant after learning how to catch a few trout while the milker was running. Four daughters also learned how to provide the family with dairy products and fruit. In 1995 he retiredfrom HP and began doing research on how to control irrigation in his diverse crops of peaches, raspberries, black currants, vegetables, grapes, pastures, etc. This study led to the development of several patents in Time Domain-based soil moisture sensing and the founding of Acclima, Inc. Now, in his 80th year, Scott is the full-time president of Acclima and also runs the orchard, garden and cow milking. He and his wife Diane preside over a family of more than 100 souls.

Silas Branson

Silas Branson is a manager at Intervale Community Farm, where he has worked since 2010. One of his key responsibilities is helping to coordinate and balance the flow of irrigation with tractor work, cultivation, planting, etc. Intervale Community Farm is a 50-acre diversified organic vegetable farm in Burlington, VT. The farm focuses on distribution to on-farm CSA shares, which are offered throughout the year.




Panel Sessions 
Each session will be 1.5 hrs long. Session organizers propose the overarching theme of the session, co-presenters and their topics: 
Each presentation will be 15 minutes long, and will be assigned a session by conference organizers: 
Graduate Student Poster Session  
Student posters will be available to view during the symposium and virtually on this site following the event.