Dr. Thomas Green has been a national leader in market-based sustainability and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) initiatives for more than thirty years. He co-founded and directs the Institute, and served as a director of the Entomological Foundation from 2009 to 2015, and as vice-president and president from 2011-2014. He was awarded the Foundation’s Medal of Honor in 2015. He has been a member of the Entomological Society of America since 1983, and served on the Presidential Committee on Science Policy and the Presidential Committee on Awards. He served on the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Plan stakeholder development committee and currently serves on the Minnesota Pollinator Health and Crop Production Task Force. Dr. Green is a Certified Crop Advisor and a USDA NRCS-certified Technical Service Provider. He holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Massachusetts and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and presented at more than 250 professional and industry events.
Kelly Adams, Co-Director of Operations: Financial and grant administration, employee services management, former School IPM Project Coordinator. Kelly studied Art History and Art Studio with a focus on wood-working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also attended certificate classes at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, which fueled an interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental health, particularly school and community-based projects. Her interests include permaculture, wood-working, hiking and travel.
Mark Adelsperger, Resource Management Specialist: Partnership for Ag Resource Management. Mark has a degree in Business Administration from Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio and a background in agriculture, sales and customer service. Mark’s immersion in agriculture and enjoyment of the rural lifestyle reinforces his viewpoint that farming is an ever-evolving way of life.
Julian Cooper, M.S., Project Manager: Community IPM. Julian received his M.S. in crop science from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, where his research identified sources of quantitative resistance to Goss’s wilt in maize. His work in plant pathology introduced him to the ideas of IPM, and his desire to inform the public on the need for sustainable agriculture brought him to the IPM Institute after graduation. In his free time, Julian enjoys working out and is learning to play the banjo.
Astrid De la Cruz, Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group. Astrid received her B.S. in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her past experiences in landscape ecology research have taught her that separate components of biological systems are deeply interconnected, something that she has realized also applies to agriculture and the food system. She believes that changing the way consumers view and interact with food can significantly impact how other sectors of the food system operate. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, painting, yoga and brewing Kombucha.
Julia Freuck, Coordinator: Partnership for Ag Resource Management. Julia received her B.S. in Environmental Science and certificates in Environmental Studies and Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. Before joining the IPM Institute, Julia interned for Clean Lakes Alliance where her passion for improving environmental health and agricultural sustainability was enhanced. Her past experiences have strengthened her interest in the connection between environmental and human health. In her personal life, Julia enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking and being outdoors.
Sharon Haberkorn, Office Manager. Sharon has a financial and management background working as an Operations Officer at a bank and as a Paid Audience Development Manager with a media company. She will be managing financial/bookkeeping and human resources. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening and cooking.
Ariel Larson, M.S., Project Manager: Sustainable Food Group. Ariel received her M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2013, with a certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility. Her interest in sustainable food production and socially responsible business led to her work at IPM Institute, where she works with food companies to develop and implement supply chain sustainability programs.
Frank Laufenberg, Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group, Public Tick Working Group, School IPM Working Group. Frank received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences as well as Community and Environmental Sociology from UW-Madison. In short, Frank enjoys anything that involves ecology and humans. Working as Urban Ag Director for a student organization Frank realized the power that sustainable agriculture and food has to connect physical and social science. He further pursued the research side of organic agriculture as a field assistant in Dr. Erin Silva’s lab. Outside of work Frank is an avid musician and gardener.
Caitlin Leahy, Outreach Coordinator: Partnership for Ag Resource Management. Caitlin obtained her B.S. in environmental studies with an emphasis in policy and values at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Her past research includes tropical ecosystem resource management in different regions of Belize, and alternative energy systems using biodigesters at the Viessmann Academy in Allendorf, Germany. Caitlin has a special interest in natural resource management with a focus on agriculture, and wishes to extend her knowledge through continued education and travel. In her personal life, Caitlin enjoys daily hikes with her dog, Gracie, the theater, art museums, international travel, and primitive camping.
Matt Lichty, Team Member: Sustainable Food Group. Matt received his B.A. in Environmental Studies and Computer Science from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where he learned the importance of sustainable agriculture and social justice. Since graduating college, he has worked in data analysis, farming and restoration ecology. Outside of work Matt enjoys camping, hiking, practicing yoga and gardening.
Ali Loker, Project Manager: Sustainable Food Group. Ali received her B.S. in Community and Environmental Sociology and a certificate in Global Health. Her interest in sustainable agriculture began after an internship on an organic vegetable farm during college. Since then, she has continued to work in food systems with an emphasis on social justice and community engagement. Outside of work, Ali enjoys trail running, experimenting with fermentation and trivia.
Cole Schmitt, Junior Front End Developer: pesticiderisk.org. Cole received a B.S. in Community and Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduation he began coaching wrestling and completed the Software Development course at devCodeCamp. When not at work or coaching, he enjoys hiking, reading, and art.
Daniel Skolnik, Senior Software Engineer: pesticiderisk.org. Daniel received a B.S. in Engineering and a Master’s degree in Information Technology, both from the University of Wisconsin. Daniel has software development experience working in industry including work at a sub-contractor for NASA and working on vision software for manufacturing and quality control applications. His present focus is primarily on the software that runs pesticiderisk.org (PRT). His interests include biking, cooking, golf and skiing.
Peter Werts, Project Manager: Specialty Crops IPM Program. Peter has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Before joining the IPM Institute he worked as one of the regional interns with the Wisconsin Eco-Apple project in the Bayfield region. His interest in IPM has been a natural progression building upon his knowledge and skills from his days working on the fruit farms in Bayfield, Wisconsin while in college.
Paige Wettach, Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group. Paige received her B.A. in Communication Studies from Luther College and M.A. in Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership from Edgewood College. Before joining the IPM Institute, she spent 2 years serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Northeast Iowa working in schools and rural communities to further sustainability efforts through education, gardening, and local food procurement. In addition to gardening, she is also interested in social and economic sustainability and their importance in larger systems. Outside of work, her interests include baking, gardening, podcasts, and any outdoor activity.
Michele Wigern, Resource Management Specialist: Partnership for Ag Resource Management. Michele earned a B.S. in Environmental Management from South Dakota State University and has worked in conservation for the past eight years in south central Minnesota. Most recently, Michele worked with agricultural producers to implement conservation practices to increase soil health, yields and profits. Outside of work Michele enjoys golfing, fishing, and keeping up with her two very active boys.
Ida Yu, Coordinator: pesticiderisk.org, Potato Sustainability Initiative. Ida received her B.A. in Computer Science and Psychology, with a minor in Global Sustainability, from the University of Virginia. Following graduation, she moved into sustainable food, working at a small diversified vegetable farm and with food/sustainability-focused nonprofits. In her free time, she can be found baking layer cakes, playing board games, running, and canning.
Madeline Zastrow, Coordinator: Community IPM. Madeline is responsible for the daily operations of the Green Shield Certified program and assists with the development of other Community IPM projects. She received her B.A. in Geography, Environmental Studies and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madeline solidified her passion for improving environmental and community health while working as a program evaluator for a nonprofit dedicated to farm-to-school education and community sustainability. Her interests include painting, watching Sunday night HBO and meeting up with friends at the Spanish conversation table in Madison.