Faculty & Staff

Core Faculty & Staff

Chester Arnold, NEMO Program Co-Founder, CLEAR Director
Juliana Barrett, Coastal Habitat/Resilience Educator, CT Sea Grant
Kara Bonsack, Graphic Design & Web Development, CLEAR & the Department of Extension
Cary Chadwick, Geospatial Training Program Coordinator
Laura Cisneros, Program Coordinator & Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, NRCA
Michael Dietz, CT NEMO Program Co-Director
Dave Dickson, NEMO Program Co-Director & Mobile Mapping Educator, CLEAR & the Department of Extension
James Hurd, Research Associate, LERIS
Bruce Hyde, Land Use Academy Director
Jesse Rubenstein, Geospatial Educator
Amanda Ryan, Municipal Stormwater Educator, NEMO
John Volin, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost & Professor of Natural Resources, Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
Emily Wilson, Geospatial Educator
Tom Worthley, Forestry Program, Forest Sustainability

CLEAR Emeritus

Dan Civco
Joel Stocker

Affiliated Faculty

Mark Boyer, Geography Department
Sylvain DeGuise
, Connecticut Sea Grant College Program
Mike O'Neill
, UConn Extension
Bob Ricard
, Department of Extension
Gary Robbins
, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Core Faculty & Staff

Core Faculty & Staff are folks who spend most or all of their time on CLEAR projects, and/or are in charge of major CLEAR projects.

Chet Arnold

Chet Arnold

NEMO Program Co-Founder, CLEAR Director
chester.arnold@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5230

Chet Arnold is an Extension Educator and CLEAR Director. Chet has been with the University since 1987, and has worked on the Long Island Sound Study Public Outreach Program, the NEMO Program, the National NEMO Network, and CLEAR – all of which he helped to create. He has authored several national award-winning papers and has been Principal Investigator or Co-PI on over $20M of external grants. As Director, Chet focuses on the integration and dissemination of CLEAR land use research, geospatial tools and training, and outreach programs to best serve CLEAR’s municipal and other audiences. His specialty is harnessing the talent of his younger and more intelligent colleagues and taking credit for their work.

Juliana Barrett

Juliana Barrett

Coastal Habitat/Resilience Educator, CT Sea Grant
juliana.barrett@uconn.edu
(860) 405-9106

Juliana Barrett became a member of the CLEAR team in 2006. She is an Educator with Connecticut Sea Grant College Program at the Avery Point campus and the CT NEMO Program. As an ecologist, her focus is the coastal habitats of Connecticut as well as on resilience and adaptation of communities. She works with the towns and groups on the conservation, restoration and enhancement of natural areas. Juliana is developing programs to assist coastal and inland community leaders with technical matters related to the impact of land use on habitats, riparian buffers, habitat management and restoration of coastal habitats, as well as on resilience of communities to our changing climate and associated impacts.

Kara Bonsack

Kara Bonsack

Graphic Design & Web Development for CLEAR & the Department of Extension
kara.bonsack@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5227

Kara Bonsack joined the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) team in 2002 as the National NEMO Network Communicator. Since then, she has become the primary designer for CLEAR and the Department of Extension. Her responsibilities include the design, development and maintenance of websites and publications and assists programs with conferences and training sessions. Her reputation for professional-looking design and attention to detail within printed/online materials and websites has her in demand with other departments and Centers within the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). She's worked with the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Sea Grant. More recently, she has Developed and/or designed (and helps maintain) the following websites: CLEAR, Connecticut Institute of Water Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Academy, Adapt CT, NEMO MS4 and Stormwise. Her skills have also been noticed outside of CAHNR; she was brought on as the web designer for the Eversource Energy Center website, and she designed and developed the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) website, and continues to help them with graphic design needs and website expansion.

Kara is also an avid photographer and has taken many of the photographs used in print materials and websites she creates.

Kara received the 2013 The Arland R. Meade Communications Award, in recognition of helping improve communications within the Cooperative Extension System. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in graphic design.

Cary Chadwick

Cary Chadwick

Geospatial Training Program Coordinator
cary.chadwick@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5216

Cary Chadwick joined the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) team in 2006 as a member of the Geospatial Training Program. As a geospatial educator, her role is to contribute to the hands-on technical training classes offered by the program on the use of geographic information systems and global positioning systems. Cary is also actively involved in a number of collaborative research projects that integrate geospatial technologies to better manage and understand natural resource systems.

Cary is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. She also holds a M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Haven. 

Laura Cisneros

Laura Cisneros

NRCA Program Coordinator & Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

laura.cisneros@uconn.edu
(860) 486-4917

Laura Cisneros is a Program Coordinator of UConn's Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA), and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at UConn. She received her B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UConn. Laura's Ph.D. research explored the effects of human-modified landscapes on bat communities, and identified landscape characteristics that promote biodiversity and vital services provided by bats (e.g. pollination, seed dispersal). Currently, Laura's efforts are focused on integrating research with community outreach as a coordinator of the Natural Resources Conservation Academy. To date, she has collaborated with land trusts, conservation organizations, and government agencies to mentor/advise over 80 intergenerational conservation projects statewide.

Dave Dickson

David Dickson

NEMO Program Co-Director & Mobile Mapping Educator for CLEAR & the Department of Extension
david.dickson@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5228

Dave Dickson is a faculty member of the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and an Associate Extension Educator in the Department of Extension in the College of Ag, Health and Natural Resources. As the Co-Director of the NEMO program at CLEAR, he works primary on municipal stormwater management and low impact development issues, but also provides outreach and training focused on mobile mapping technologies as a member of CLEAR’s Geospatial Training Program. He is the co-creator of the Rain Garden smartphone app and National LID Atlas. When pressed, or convenient, he will admit to being a lawyer by training, although not by practice or inclination.

Micheal Dietz

Michael Dietz

NEMO Program Co-Director
michael.dietz@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5225

Mike is a water resources educator, with primary responsibilities for running the CT NEMO Program. Mike’s position is jointly held between the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program at the Avery Point campus. In addition to assuming the leadership of the NEMO Program, Mike will contribute to Sea Grant’s sustainable coastal community development program.

He received both his Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, focusing on stormwater and low impact development (LID) techniques. Upon his graduation, he worked with the Connecticut NEMO program from 2005 to 2007 on projects related to LID. He left Connecticut in 2007 to take a position at Utah State University as an assistant professor and extension specialist in sustainable living, where he continued to work on stormwater monitoring and LID, in addition to green building, energy conservation, and water harvesting. He was director of Utah House, a demonstration house for green building techniques.

James Hurd

James Hurd

Research Associate, LERIS
james.hurd_jr@uconn.edu
(860) 486-4610

James Hurd is a Remote Sensing Specialist for the University of Connecticut Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), and serves as the Director of NRE's Laboratory for Earth Resources Information Systems (LERIS). Established in 1982, LERIS is the principal center at UConn for conducting remote sensing and GIS research oriented toward natural resources, ecology, and the environment.

James received both his BS and MS degrees in natural resources from the University of Connecticut with a focus on remote sensing and geospatial technology. Research interests focus on the use of remote sensing and geospatial technology for the detection of land cover, land cover change and landscape characterization.

Bruce Hyde

Bruce Hyde

Land Use Academy Director
bruce.hyde@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5229

Bruce Hyde is a Land Use Educator for the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR). He is primarily responsible for coordinating the Land Use Academy, which provides basic training for local land use commissioners. In addition, he provides technical assistance to communities in a variety of areas including reviewing land use regulations, affordable housing education and community outreach.

Bruce is an AICP certified planner who has worked in the planning field for over 30 years. He has served in a wide variety of positions including city planner, regional planner, private sector consultant and local planning commissioner. He has a B.S. in Economics from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont.

Jesse Rubenstein

Jesse Rubenstein

Geospatial Educator
jesse.rubenstein@uconn.edu
(860)-345-5215

Jesse Rubenstein is a geospatial educator, primarily working with the Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) on the Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP) and Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) programs. He also works with geospatial technologies on various CLEAR projects. Originally from the Great Lakes in Western New York, Jesse specializes in conservation biogeography, where his research focuses on habitat suitability modeling for threatened bird species. He holds dual graduate degrees, with an M.S. in Geographic Information Sciences from University at Buffalo, and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. His past environmental conservation work includes: conducting avian point counts in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador, monitoring Atlantic Puffin in Maine, banding birds on the Great Lakes, and regularly teaching birdwatching 101 courses.  

Amanda Ryan

Amanda Ryan

Municipal Stormwater Educator, NEMO
amanda.ryan@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5231

Amanda Ryan is a Municipal Stormwater Educator primarily responsible for statewide outreach and education to communities and institutions regulated by the state Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4) general permit.

Amanda has experience in regional planning, municipal conservation, and served two tours as an active duty Coast Guard officer. Amanda is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Sciences. She received a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from the University of Rhode Island.

John Volin

John Volin

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost & Professor of Natural Resources, Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
john.volin@uconn.edu
(860) 486-0137

John Volin is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut. John received his Ph.D. in forestry, specializing in physiological ecology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also did a postdoctoral fellowship. Before joining UConn, he was Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences as well as Director of the Environmental Sciences Program at Florida Atlantic University. John has conducted research in ecosystems around the world, focusing on invasive species and restoration ecology. He has been awarded more than $23M in extramural funding for both research and foundational activities. Previously at UConn, John served as Head of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Director of the interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences Program, and the Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center. John also founded and directed the Natural Resources Conservation Academy, a new program in conservation and land use planning targeted at high school students, which is designed to help educate the next generation of environmental leaders.

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson

Geospatial Educator
emily.wilson@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5226

Emily Wilson is a Geospatial Educator at CLEAR. Since joining UConn in 2000, her role has been to provide GIS and remote sensing information and support to CLEAR programs including the NEMO Program, the Geospatial Training Program and other related research and outreach efforts. Emily does a significant amount of work on the CT ECO and CLEAR websites with the goal of providing easy access to geospatial information and maps.

Emily is a graduate of Connecticut College with a BA in environmental science and botany. She received her M.S. in forestry and remote sensing from the University of Maine.

Tom Worthley

Tom Worthley

Forestry Program, Forest Sustainability
thomas.Worthley@uconn.edu
(860) 345-5232

Tom Worthley is Assistant Extension Professor at the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Connecticut Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He has written a number of scholarly articles and also teaches courses in Forest Ecology and Management and Dendrology. He has worked extensively on tracts in the UConn Forest and beyond in both outreach and educational activities.


CLEAR Emeritus

The bad news is that we’ve lost some good people to retirement. The good news is that we’ve managed to stay around long enough to lose some good people to retirement.

Dan Civco

Daniel Civco

CLEAR Co-Director, Professor of Geomatics

Dan Civco is a Professor Emeritus of Geomatics in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut. Dan He has more than 35 years experience as an earth resources scientist and educator specializing in remote sensing and GIS applications. He has been involved extensively in research addressing both inland and coastal wetland resources, land use mapping and change analysis, impervious surface detection, and natural resources inventory and analysis. Further, he has been involved in algorithm development and refinement for processing remote sensing and other geospatial data. Dan was the Director for Research of CLEAR from its inception in 2002 until his retirement in 2016, and he is the founder of the Laboratory for Earth Resources Information Systems (LERIS). Dan cannot be replaced, but part of his legacy is a small cadre of remote sensing experts at UConn that continue to do innovative work in the Civco tradition.

Joel Stocker

Joel Stocker

Assistant Educator, UConn Cooperative Extension

Joel started with the NEMO program, CLEAR’s predecessor, as a graduate assistant within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. After graduating with a Masters in Natural Resources Management and Engineering in 1994 he continued full time with NEMO through the Cooperative Extension System. For the last 10 years of his career he spent most of his time working with the Extension Forestry team and the CLEAR Land Use and Climate Resilience Team. Over the years, Joel’s wide-ranging expertise in remote sensing, GIS, general computer IT and drone technology was critical to a long list of CLEAR projects. Joel has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Prior to joining the University Joel worked as an Engineer in the US Air Force, separating, honorably, as a Captain. His separation from CLEAR was no less honorable, although we are jealous that he gets to hike the beaches and woods and fly his drones all day.

Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated Faculty work closely with CLEAR Core Faculty on collaborative projects, but have lives of their own.

Mark Boyer, Geography Department

Mark, a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and political scientist who specializes in globalization, works with a number of CLEAR faculty on climate resilience projects like the Climate Corps, on which he is a Co-PI.  Mark’s faculty page.

 
Sylvain DeGuise, Connecticut Sea Grant College Program

Sylvain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, but more important for CLEAR purposes, he is the Director of Connecticut Sea Grant.  Sea Grant and CLEAR have been strong partners for many years and several CLEAR core faculty are also associated with Sea Grant (or visa-versa).  Sylvain is a member of the CLEAR/Sea Grant climate resilience team.  Sylvain’s faculty page.

 
Mike O’Neill, UConn Extension

Mike is Associate Dean of CAHNR and Associate Director of the UConn Cooperative Extension System.  Mike is an agricultural water expert and works with a number of CLEAR staff on several large USDA-funded projects for which he serves as the Principal Investigator.  Mike’s faculty page.

 

Bob Ricard, Department of Extension

Bob is a Senior Extension Educator with the Department of Extension and teaches in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. As part of CLEAR, Bob conducts the Tree Warden School and assists the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc., which he formed in 1992.  Bob’s faculty page.

 

Gary Robbins, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Gary is a Professor of Geology and hydrogeologist who studies and teaches primarily about groundwater.  Gary works with members of the CLEAR Water Team on research related to the Low Impact Development practices on the UConn campus and elsewhere.  Gary’s faculty page.