Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska - Faculty
Dave Atcheson is the Evening Education Coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College. He is the author of the guidebook Fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, and National Geographic's Hidden Alaska: Bristol Bay and Beyond. His latest book Dead Reckoning, Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier, Courting Tragedy on its High Seas, will be published later this year. Dave has worked for Trout Unlimited, The Renewable Resources Foundation, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and as a commercial fisherman.
Lauren Watka graduated from Brown University with a Master's in Environmental Studies in 2012 and continues to explore the natural, and specifically marine, world at every opportunity. She received a B.S. in biology and has conducted research at Brown University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dartmouth College in subjects from micro- and molecular biology to ecology. In addition to research, Lauren has worked as a fisheries scientist on a few New Bedford commercial fishing boats and as an educator with the New England Aquarium in Boston. Now back at Brown, as a Program Manager, she enjoys the opportunity to learn alongside seasoned environmental education veterans and students new to the field. As a Providence resident, Lauren supports local food and fishery initiatives, bikes as a means of transportation, and serves with her church in the city.
Eric LeFlore, a Massachusetts native, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass). He has always been fascinated by the interactions between large mammals and people and his dissertation research focuses on addressing human-lion conflict in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Over the last few years, Eric lived and worked closely with rural villagers in northern Botswana to test potential conflict mitigation strategies. He received a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Music from Connecticut College in 2011 and a M.S. from his current department at UMass in 2014 for his work studying coyotes, red fox and gray fox in Massachusetts. In addition to his studies, Eric works with the Division of Migratory Birds at the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Eric is a BELL alum, having participated in the program throughout his own high school years, and has remained active with Brown’s Leadership Institute in varying capacities since then. He enjoys listening to and playing music, outdoor activities like hiking and biking, playing with dogs, and cooking.
G. Maris Jones graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthropology and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies in 2015. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Climate and Development Lab and attended the 2014 UN Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru. After graduation, Maris facilitated outdoor education programs focused on environmental stewardship and indigenous knowledge systems for youth in Hawai'i. Currently residing in her hometown of New Orleans, Maris works as the Community Engagement and Outreach Fellow at the Gulf Restoration Network on issues relating to flooding and green infrastructure in New Orleans, as well as how vulnerable, marginalized communities in coastal Louisiana are adapting to climate change. She spends her free time writing articles, fostering her love of photography, and dancing at music festivals. In the long term, Maris aspires to be a Carefree Black Girl with a PhD in environmental anthropology, fighting for climate justice. Maris is beyond excited to serve as the BELL Alaska Leader Fellow for a second summer and to learn alongside students and staff.
Gil Carr has been interested in environmental topics from a young age. He ended up getting an Environmental Science and Architecture degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He only then found out that he could work as an outdoor educator and bring people into new environments. This involved working for a climbing and teambuilding center, as a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor, and eventually moving to Alaska for more schooling. He received his Master of Science in Outdoor and Environmental Education from Alaska Pacific University after working diligently climbing mountains, kayaking seas, skiing over snow, teaching children, and writing papers. He currently works as a Recreation Therapist at a residential treatment center for adolescents. He joined the BELL Alaska staff last year and loved being a part of such a wonderful learning experience for students from across the world who are interested in coming to Alaska!
Edwige Cavan is a third year doctoral student at the Sorbonne in Paris, specializing in United States strategy and leadership in the High North. Her research focuses on the possibilities for protection of the Arctic area beyond national jurisdiction by considering the arguments for and against the implementation of International Marine Peace Park seaward of the Arctic nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Edwige holds a Bachelor Degree in English Studies from the Sorbonne and received a Master's Degree with honor in American Studies. Prior to attending Brown University as visiting research scholar under the Fulbright Programme as a Lurcy fellow to conduct doctoral research, Edwige has been a visiting fellow at Duke University in 2015 and at Columbia University in 2016. She has worked at the Sorbonne as graduate teaching fellow in American Studies between 2014 and 2015.
Lexi Weintraub holds a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University. Lexi loves studying and foraging plants and mushrooms, and her research has taken her from the tree-tops of Mexico to the rocky coasts of Washington state and many places in between. A current project aims to quantify the carbon-sequestering potential of a tree-based agricultural system. She teaches high school science in her hometown of Chicago and has been teaching with the BELL programs since 2005.