Sept. 2022 CALS New Hires

Carolyn Claxton, Office/Program Support Generalist

Carolyn Claxton is standing in front of some green trees.Carolyn Claxton joined the Community Development and Applied Economics Department (CDAE) as their office/program support generalist in July. In this role, she supports all members of the CDAE community. Prior to joining UVM, Claxton was employed by Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for nearly 12 years, where she served as the coordinator for student affairs.

Claxton was born in Vermont, the youngest of eight children, but spent several years in Mississippi and South Carolina. She married her high school sweetheart, and together they have two grown daughters, an adorable granddaughter, and a cat named Minnie. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventures, learning all about birds, exploring Vermont, lively conversations, and time spent with family and friends.

Claire Whitehouse, Research Specialist

Claire WhitehouseClaire Whitehouse joined the Center for Rural Studies (CRS) as a research specialist in August. Whitehouse graduated from UVMs Food Systems Masters Program in May. As a graduate student, she worked with Professor David Conner on several projects investigating local and alternative food system resilience. She also tutored young migrant farmers in math and computer skills for UVM Extension’s Migrant Education Program. At CRS, she works as a researcher and project manager on a wide range of projects related to food, agriculture, and rural communities.

Before moving to Vermont to attend graduate school, Whitehouse worked in nonprofit administration with a focus on performing arts in Boston and New York City. Outside of work, she can be found cooking, running, hiking, watching theatre and music performances, and singing with the Vermont Choral Union.

Julia McClafferty, Laboratory Research Technician

Julia McClaffertyJulia McClafferty has been hired as a laboratory research technician in the Plant Biology Department. After completing her undergraduate research in the Barrington Lab and receiving her bachelor’s in plant biology from UVM, McClafferty has continued on as a lab technician and works on projects involving hybrid fern complexes.

McClafferty’s primary interest is in plant evolutionary biology. She enjoys being involved in ongoing research and considers the challenges it comes with as opportunities to learn. Before coming to Vermont to pursue her bachelor’s degree, she grew up in northern Virginia as one of three sisters. She currently enjoys living in Vermont for its beautiful scenery, and is curious about its geologic history and history of deforestation.

Aaron Rik Vansintjan, Post Doctoral Associate

Aaron Rik VansintjinVansintjan earned a master’s degree in natural resource sciences at McGill University, and a PhD in geography at Birkbeck, University of London. His research focuses on two axes: degrowth and heterodox economics, and urban political ecology.

His PhD dissertation examined green gentrification and changes in food systems in Hanoi and Montreal. Aaron is co-author of “The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to A World Beyond Capitalism,” published in 2022 with Verso Books, and co-editor of Uneven Earth, a website on ecological politics.

Anna R. Brown, Crops and Soils Coordinator

Anna R. BrownAnna Brown joined the Extension Northwest Crops and Soils team in June while wrapping up her masters degree in plant and soil science at UVM. Her master’s focused on soil pathogen management on organic vegetable farms in Vermont, and will be focusing on agronomic, production, and market optimization research for grain crops in the Northeast.

Brown moved to Vermont from Santa Cruz, California in 2020. She majored in biology and environmental studies at the University of California Santa Cruz (go banana slugs!), and worked in researching and implementing alternative methods to soil fumigation for pathogen management in organic strawberry production in central CA. She transitioned off the farm to working in a hemp and cannabis testing laboratory for several years, where she gained extensive experience with analytical chemistry instrumentation and analysis.

Although she enjoyed the fast pace and challenges of a production laboratory, she missed field work and collaborating with the agriculture community. Brown decided to move across the country to pursue higher education in soil science at UVM. She now lives in Fairfax, VT. Her favorite things about the Northeast include creemees, leaf peeping, and swimming in rivers during the summer. She is still adjusting to mosquitoes/biting insects in general and the short days of winter.

Anna Loewald, Research Specialist

Anna LoewaldAnna Loewald (they/she) is a new research specialist for the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS). Loewald’s role includes conducting and writing literature reviews regarding need-based produce safety questions, following the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), and developing informational guides to disperse research-based risk assessment aid to small farmers.

Prior to joining NECAFS, Loewald worked as a field crew member/farmers market staff on two small organic farms: Elmer Farm in Middlebury, VT, and Langwater Farm in North Easton, MA, where they gained experience in low-till and organic vegetable production and food safety protocols and implementation. Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental geology from Middlebury College and now lives in Burlington.

Alexandra (Ali) Kosiba, Extension Assistant Professor of Forestry

Alexandra KosibaAlexandra (Ali) Kosiba is a forest ecophysiologist with an MS and PhD in forest science from the University of Vermont. She specializes in climate change impacts to forests, forest health, climate-adaptative forest management, and forest carbon.

Kosiba recently returned to UVM after working at Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation as the nations first climate forester. She lives in Bolton and is based out of the South Burlington Extension office. When not working she can be found in her large garden or in the woods hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or looking for plants, mushrooms, and wildlife tracks.

Kelsey Rose, Clinical Assistant Professor

Kelsey RoseKelsey Rose is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at UVM, where she also serves as the dietetic practicum coordinator. Rose has a BA in political science from Ohio University and graduated with a masters in public health from the University of Michigan. During the period between her undergraduate and graduate degree, she spent time studying food systems, by way of farm-to-school programs, small scale agriculture, and food service management.

Rose completed her dietetic training in the treatment of eating disorders at Simmons University. Following her training, she served as a fellow for the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health fellowship program at Boston Childrens Hospital, where she worked clinically for the Outpatient Eating Disorder Program and the Strategies for Teen Empowerment and Physical Activity clinic. In her most recent clinical appointment, Rose served as the first and only outpatient eating disorder dietitian for the Michigan Medicine system, where she provided counseling for individuals of all ages and educated fellow health care practitioners on weight inclusivity, eating disorders, and disordered eating.

At UVM, Rose teaches undergraduate courses in clinical nutrition, food service management, and nutrition throughout the human lifecycle. She provides support to the MS program and serves as a research mentor for the graduate capstone. In the classroom, she utilizes exercises that support a variety of nutrition careers, with a focus on applied learning, such as writing reflections, interactive lectures, case studies and small group discussions.

Amber Reed, Grazing and Pasture Outreach Professional

Amber ReedAmber Reed joined the Center for Sustainable Agriculture as a grazing specialist. She covers all of Vermont and all types of pastured livestock, but especially sheep and cattle grazing systems.

Reeds love of farming was just part of her family’s Italian culture. Everyone enjoyed gardening, chickens, cows, cooking, canning, and giving loads of advice. She grew up off the grid in central Maine and spent much of her early 20’s as a canoe guide in northern Maine and the wilds of Canada.

Reed double majored in environmental studies and art at Bowdoin College in Maine, and went on to teach biology in public school before she found her calling as a farmer. She spent some years as a ranch and later a dairy apprentice in Colorado with the Quivira Coalition. Quivira is nonprofit that brings together ranchers, environmentalists and scientists to find innovative solutions, and to make progress for the sake of the land, the animals and the people on the land. This is the work that she is dedicated to.

For almost two decades, Reed worked for farmers and managed farms from Colorado to Maine. She feels lucky to have worked with a wide variety of animals, landscapes, and people. Amber and her family have a sheep farm in Barnet, Vermont on the banks of the Connecticut River. They spend their free time on the water or hiking in the woods.

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