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Meet Our Team 

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Our Staff

Lauren Weston plants a small tamarack tree in the ground with a trowel

Lauren Weston

District Manager

Lauren's background includes a wide range of projects involving water resource engineering, agriculture, climate justice, and community building; she is excited to combine and continue to work on these topics as part of her new role as District Manager, which started in January 2021. In 2015, Lauren graduated from Smith College in her hometown of Northampton, MA and traveled for a few years until settling into Vermont in early 2018.  Lauren spent the 2019 growing season in Franklin County, working on a small farm in Montgomery and serving the community at two local restaurants. She enjoys her work in Franklin County with folks who are dedicated to the land, water, and life around them. 

Email: info@franklincountynrcd.org

lauren@franklincountynrcd.org

Phone: 802-528-4176

Mel Auffredou

Mel Auffredou

Natural Resources Planner

Mel gained a love for nature after growing up in the Southern Adirondacks in upstate New York. She originally studied and taught English and has lived in Brazil, France, and South Korea. After returning to the US, Mel decided to devote her career to environmental conservation. Since then, she has completed a masters degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy with a focus in environmental justice from Johns Hopkins University. She has also served with ECO AmeriCorps at NorthWoods Stewardship Center and the VTDEC Monitoring and Assessment Program, where she gained experience in water quality, aquatic ecology, and riparian restoration. She is excited to use these skills to work with community members and the Franklin County NRCD team to protect Franklin County's natural resources. In her free time, you can find Mel hiking, reading, and learning new languages. 

mel@franklincountynrcd.org

802-528-4159

Kerry smiling next to a birch tree

Kerry Brosnan

ECO AmeriCorps Member

 

Kerry’s love of nature was founded in her family’s yearly tradition of visiting an old camping spot in the woods of Pennsylvania. After a busy day of searching for red efts, crayfish, and mossy rocks with her sister, mom, and dad, they would close out the night calling out to groups of deer and breathing in the refreshing, earthy air. Kerry became interested in food systems while growing up on Long Island wondering where her food came from and how far it traveled to get to her plate. Due to these experiences, Kerry decided to study Natural Resources at the University of Vermont specializing in Food Systems, Sustainability, and Justice. While in Vermont, Kerry’s passion about the intersection of agriculture and conservation blossomed. Kerry has studied food systems in Atlanta, Georgia and Quito, Ecuador and has worked at various farms within Chittenden County, Vermont. She gained ecological restoration experience while working with North Branch Nature Center and learned about environmental policy while working as a legislative intern with Vermont Natural Resources Council. In her free time, you will likely find Kerry birding along the Winooski River, biking to her favorite Lake Champlain swimming spots, or reading in her backyard! She is delighted to be serving at Franklin County NRCD with ECO AmeriCorps this year!

kerry@franklincountynrcd.org

Kate Wettergreen, the FCNRCD EcoAmericorps member.

Kate Wettergreen

Project Technician

Kate is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and now lives in Richmond, Vermont. She graduated from UVM with a degree in Environmental Science and then spent two years as an ECO AmeriCorps member, first serving for a year with the VT DEC Lakes and Ponds program, and then with the Franklin County NRCD. She is excited to be staying on at the District as a project technician. In her free time you can find her hiking, gardening, baking, and exploring new places around Vermont!

kate@franklincountynrcd.org

802-528-4180

Dorothy wearing a hat and carrying a backpacking pack amongst conifer trees

Dorothy Kinney-Landis

Projects Coordinator

Dorothy grew up in Southeastern Vermont and moved north to attend the University of Vermont where she obtained an B.S. in Environmental Studies. Her degree focused on ecological agriculture and food systems, and while pursuing her degree she began working on farms and quickly fell in love with growing food and tending to productive landscapes. Since graduating, she has worked on diversified vegetable farms in the Burlington area. Through her studies and work, Dorothy became interested in ecological landscape design and planning, especially in relation to agricultural landscapes, leading her to pursue an M.S. in Ecological Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design. Outside of her work, Dorothy enjoys doing pottery, hiking, gardening, cooking, and canning tomatoes on the hottest days of the summer. 

dorothy@franklincountynrcd.org

802-528-4186

meryl braconnier

Meryl Braconnier

Project Technician

 

Meryl grew up in Lynnfield, Massachusetts and moved to Burlington, Vermont to earn her B.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Vermont. She pursued an interdisciplinary approach to natural resources management, learning about soil science, nutrient cycling, ecological landscape design, and human geography. She wrote and edited for the student-run environmental publication, Headwaters Magazine, engaging with stories on climate justice and environmental art. Meryl’s undergraduate studies culminated in an Honors thesis project that examined conservation perspectives of riverside landowners in Vermont’s Upper Missisquoi Watershed. She went on to work for the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts for nearly 3 years, providing technical and financial assistance to farmers and forest landowners in the Northwest Zone. Meryl spent the 2023 growing season with her hands in the dirt at a small-scale vegetable farm in Chittenden County. Meryl is passionate about helping people manage land sustainably through conservation efforts, lifelong learning, and community resources. She is excited to join the Franklin County NRCD to provide temporary assistance with communications and technical projects. In her free time, you can find Meryl reading fiction and poetry, enjoying the outdoors, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and working on her stand-up comedy material.

meryl@franklincountynrcd.org

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Julietta Tucci

Agricultural Programs Specialist

Julietta is originally from Poughkeepsie, New York but moved to Vermont in 2019 to attend the University of Vermont. She graduated from UVM with a degree in Wildlife Biology. While looking for hands-on animal experience in undergrad, Julietta stumbled upon the UVM CREAM program, a student-run holstein herd at the University of Vermont. There she learned the ins and outs of dairy farming but was itching to learn more. Following her completion of the CREAM program she worked at different dairy farms in the Chittenden County area. Julietta is passionate about the intersection of dairy farming and the environment as well as educating others on the importance of the Vermont dairy industry. She is excited to use her skills to aid farmers in Franklin County. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her fur-babies, gardening, and hanging out with the UVM cows.

julietta@franklincountynrcd.org

Our Board of Supervisors

Richard Noel, Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

Richard Noel

Chair

Richard began serving on the Board in the 1980s. Born in Connecticut to French Canadian parents, soon moved to Vermont to join farming relatives. He started haying when he was 9 years old and has worked on farms all his life. From 1972 to 1999 he ran his own dairy on the headwaters of the Rock River in Highgate, and continued haying until 2017. He likes to help the NRCS and District bring information to farmers. Because he knows the area so well, he brings local knowledge to staff who come from out of state. He still has a 45 acre farm where he sugars and hays. Reach Richard at 802-868-4162.

Molly Magnan, a member of the board of supervisors.

Molly Magnan

Supervisor

Molly grew up in St. Albans. She attended BFA and then UVM, where she received a degree in Chemistry. She worked three years in an environmental testing laboratory in Williston. Since then, she has been teaching physics and environmental science at BFA. Her husband owns and operates a farm with his brothers in Fairfield, on which they raise their three children.

A smiling woman wearing a tank top and shorts stands in front of a blooming garden on a sunny day.

Vicky Drew

Treasurer

Vicky is originally from a small mining town in southeastern California.  After traveling for a few months after high school, she landed at the University of Georgia where she earned a BS in Agronomy with an emphasis in soil science. She joined the Soil Conservation Service (now the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) in 1983 as a student intern and continued to work for the agency for 38 years in Georgia, Rhode Island, and Vermont, along with temporary appointments in Virginia and Washington DC.  She has worked with a variety of agricultural producers throughout her career on all types of natural resource issues.  Most recently she served as the State Conservationist for VT NRCS, where she helped form the Vermont Ag Water Quality Partnership, and guided NRCS’ programs, policies, and staff to assist private landowners in addressing their water quality needs, as well as other high priority concerns.  Vicky retired from NRCS in 2021.  She and her husband Greg reside on a small farm in Georgia, Vermont, and both volunteer on several community based organizations.  Vicky looks forward to using her knowledge of conservation, agriculture and state/federal policies to help guide the District in developing and implementing a strong conservation program in Franklin County.

Phil Parent, vice chair of the board of supervisors.

Phil Parent

Associate Supervisor

Phil grew up helping his dad on the family farm in Enosburg, and as a high-schooler at Bellows Free Academy he was an active member of FFA and 4-H. On buying the farm from his dad in 1987, Phil quips, “That’s when he saddled me with debt forever.” Before joining the Conservation District in 2000, Phil was involved with a local group helping farmers with record keeping and nutrient management. Today he serves on the District’s board as a way to give a voice to farmers in the community and make a positive difference. Reach him at 802-933-2382.

carissa stein

Carissa Stein

Vice Chair

Carissa resides on a forested hillside in Montgomery where she strives to learn from the land and all that inhabit it. Originally from a little farm in rural Virginia, she traveled place-to-place in the military while serving as a Weather Forecaster till 2009. After which she went to college in Bozeman, Montana for Rangeland Ecology. In 2014, she took residence in Vermont, happily found herself back in agrarian culture while working for farmers at Natural Resources Conservation Service till December 2021. Her hope is to serve the dynamic community with evolving balance and connection.

Dan Pipes displaying his deer catch in the back of a pick up truck.

Dan Pipes

Supervisor

Dan Pipes is our newest board member. He lives with his wife, Mary, in Fairfield. They have two daughters who grew up here.

Their land is an interesting blend of hayfields, orchards, wetlands, ponds, streams, sugar woods, and mixed softwood/ hardwood forests. Dan served in the Army and the Army National Guard for 31 years, including multiple deployments across the world. Dan speaks German, some Polish, and can be rude to you in Dari.

Dan brings infectious enthusiasm for woodlot management to our board. He is interested in improving the health and composition of our natural resources, with an eye on long term sustainability.

Dan earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Western Maryland college, and a Masters degree in National Security/ strategic planning from the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

Retired since 2019, Dan stays busy tending to his gardens, orchards, woodlots, bees, hunting fishing, and helping neighbors, especially during the spring.

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