Board of Directors
Originally from Atlanta, Catherine came up north to attend Amherst College where she majored in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies with a focus on sustainable agriculture and grassroots movements for environmental justice. Catherine completed a Master’s thesis on US-based pilot projects in urine diversion and community-scale ecological sanitation schemes. This past year she studied similar campaigns in Oaxaca, Mexico with the support of a Fulbright scholarship. Currently, she is working as a regional planner in Bennington, Vermont.
Ben has been working with composting toilet systems since the 1970′s, as a resource person and educator for Helios Habitat, an experimental alternative architecture and technology community based in Alberta, Canada. After receiving his B.A. in Human Ecology from College Of The Atlantic, and his M.S. in Environmental Education from Audubon Expedition Institute, he became even more interested in natural resources conservation, especially soil and water. Ben manufactures worm-composting bins and keeps worms as pets in his woodworking shop in western Massachusetts.
John is a Realtor and Sales Manager at Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors. John has been in sales and customer service for his working career, now in real estate, before in the natural foods industry. John serves now and has served on a number of Boards of Directors, and brings his interest in visioning and governance to the Rich Earth Institute. He lives with his wife, Kate, and their two wonderful young adults, Tyler and Guthrie, on a small farm in Westminster, and tries to find enough free time to ride his road bike.
Melissa has worked in education as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, in the health field as a massage therapist, and in social services as a volunteer coordinator at Brattleboro Area Hospice. She has enthusiastically participated in the activities of the Rich Earth Institute from its early days. Previous to joining the board in 2016, she was involved with the field work (planting, fertilizing, harvesting), served on several committees, and helped organize community events. Melissa is currently the keeper of the Rich Earth archives, but her main focus is on strengthening ties within the community of urine donors—those dedicated folks who make our work possible.
Conor is an Ecological Sanitation Planner with a background in watershed science and ecological design. He graduated from BU with a Master’s in Energy and Environmental Analysis, where his studies focused on the technical and social feasibility of composting toilets and urine diversion systems. He earned a B.S. in Watershed Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where he studied watershed science, ecological engineering, and emerging building programs. He has previously served as Project Manager for John Todd Ecological Design, and is a co-founder of Nutrient Networks.
Nadav is a long-serving former member of the national LEED Faculty, he is an experienced trainer and facilitator, convening the network of architecture firm Sustainable Design Leaders and teaching diverse groups about LEED and green building. As president and CEO of BuildingGreen, he oversees the company’s industry-leading information and community-building websites BuildingGreen.com and LEEDuser. He also served as executive editor of GreenSource magazine throughout its highly decorated seven-year run. Nadav also led the team that created the U.S. Department of Energy’s High Performance Buildings Database, and continues to oversee BuildingGreen’s responsibility for ensuring the quality of case studies and collecting meaningful data on actual building performance.
Dan has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, where he was part of the Water Resources Group and interned at the Earth Institute. During his time at Columbia, he began working on water and sanitation in Haiti, where he realized the need to understand and combine social and technical perspectives surrounding water and sanitation initiatives. Dan currently works as a project engineer in the wastewater treatment industry.
Konrad has a B.S. in Geology from Hampshire College and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Massachusetts where he received a Eugene M. Isenberg award for studies in engineering, management and natural science. He owns Evergreen Building Contractors, focusing on sustainable construction and design, and energy retrofitting of existing homes.
Tatiana received her B.S. in Rural Sociology and Nutrition from Cornell University, her M.A. in Mass Communications from Emerson College and her Ph.D in Environmental Studies from Antioch University Graduate School. Her graduate work examined economic, ecological and cultural sustainability and resilience among coffee and cacao growers in Chiapas, Mexico. She has worked as a public radio journalist and freelances for various print media as well as teaches at area colleges. Her on-going scholarly and activist focus is on ways that agriculture and food can be a means to improve the ecological health of communities. She also operates a small farmstead, Sowing Peace Farm, in Westminster West, Vermont.
Former Board Members:
Peter Abell, Marion Abell, Jennifer Atlee, Ashley Bahlkow, Molly Dowd, Mike Early, Emily Fabel, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Julia Jandrisits, Rebecca Rueter, Ellen Williams