Our Team

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: Financial and grant administration, employee services management, former School IPM Project Coordinator. Kelly attended certificate classes at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, which fueled an interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental health issues, particularly school and community-based projects.

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.

Thomas Bernard, Project Coordinator: IPM and Conservation Programs. Thomas received his B.S. in Environmental Studies with a directed study in sustainable horticulture from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. After graduation he guided sea kayakers on Lake Superior, built mountain bike trails in the Chequamegon region, and found his way to a well-known orchard in Bayfield, WI. While serving on the orchard’s management team for two seasons, he developed a keen interest in the complexity of tree fruit production and found a source of understanding through the application of IPM technology. He and his partner Anna currently reside in the backwaters of Trempealeau County.

Astrid De la Cruz, Project Team Member: Supply Chain Sustainability. 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.

Alina Eva Freund, Project Manager: Community IPM. Alina is responsible for the strategic direction of a suite of projects that improve health and environment in our communities and make schools healthier places for children. She also oversees certification programs for Green Shield Certified and IPM Star for schools. Before following her Midwestern husband to the U.S., Alina worked for international organizations that focus on sustainability in global supply chains, and managed projects on market research.

Anna Gudjonsdottir, Project Coordinator: Partnership for Ag Resource Management. Anna received her B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Luther College in 2015. Her previous research experience includes investigating the evolution of MDR bacteria produced from CAFO manure runoff and exploring the effects of varying harvesting regimes on insect diversity. She hopes to continue to contribute to sustainable resource management in order to protect our shared water resources. In her free time, Anna enjoys backpacking, reading, trivia, and playing with her dog Luna.

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.

William Hamel, Audit Team Member: Supply Chain Sustainability. Will received a B.A. in English and Environmental Policy & Decision Making at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. His interest is sustainable agriculture and its cultural contexts stem from studying environmental literature and history. After graduation he worked on a coastal island farm in Maine as part of an organic gardening apprenticeship. At the IPM Institute, Will assists in the verification of a sustainable rating system project for a national retailer. Outside of work, he enjoys biking, cooking, jazz, and creative writing.

Ariel Larson, M.S., Project Manager: Supply Chain Sustainability. 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 research background includes weed management in the establishment of switchgrass. Her interest in sustainable food production and socially responsible business led to her work at IPM Institute, where she will be working to implement a sustainability rating system for a national food retailer and their suppliers.

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.

Frank Laufenberg, Project Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability, 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.

Ali Loker, Project Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. 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.

Erika Nickels, Audit Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. Erika received her B.S. in Sociology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Growing up her parents owned a local restaurant which is where she developed an interest in sustainable food systems. In her free time, you can find Erika hiking, camping or eating sweet potatoes.

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 the Pesticide Risk Mitigation Engine (PRIME). His interests include biking, cooking, golf and skiing.

Christian Steponitis, Project Team Member: IPM Symposium, Supply Chain Sustainability, IPM Voice. Christian received his B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has spent time working in both the field and the lab for University funded research. In doing so he has learned that there is a lot more to farming than just planting and harvesting. His other interests include writing music, gardening and skateboarding around campus.

Peter Werts, Project Manager: Apple IPM Program, NRCS-IPM Working Group, Growers’ Incentives for IPM, Red Tomato Eco Apple Project and NRCS TSP services. 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.

Ida Yu, Project 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.