Our team of seventeen currently works on more than
a dozen projects to increase adoption of IPM and other best practices that improve working conditions, reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality, water quality and soil health and reduce risks to health and the environment from pesticide and nutrient use in agriculture and communities.
Dr. Thomas Green Co-Founder Tom 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 a 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.
Caitlin Leahy Project Manager: 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.
Ariel Larson 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.
Coordinator: Community IPM Valerie McGoldrick Valerie has a B.S. in Soil and Crop Science and Environmental Horticulture with a minor in Social and Environmental Justice from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Her interest in IPM started when she was working on vegetable farms in high school and through her course work at college. She has developed IPM plans previously for horticulture and agriculture, and has led an educational course on IPM. In her free time she enjoys cycling, hiking, and gardening.
Shruti Sarode Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group Shruti earned her M.S. in Environmental Conservation from UW-Madison and MTech in Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur, India. Her past projects were focused on the implementation of scientific research for forest conservation and sustainable agriculture. She has worked on environmental research projects in India, China, Japan and Canada and is a published science writer. Her experience in working with farmers in India on the certification of sustainable forest commodities and her work experience with the Rainforest Alliance inspired her to work with the IPM institute. Outside of work, Shruti enjoys cooking spicy food, playing table tennis and scrabble.
Nick Speckman Office Manager Nick began his career with 10 years working in the financial sector, followed by five years with a Landscape Architect firm. In the latter, he developed a true appreciation for sustainable agriculture and environmentally conscious design. Nick studied Business & Human Resource Management and Accounting, and also attended certificate classes at the University of Wisconsin – Madison on Servant Leadership & Cultural Civility and Respect. Outside of work, Nick enjoys hiking, traveling and being outdoors.
Kelly Adams Co-Director of Operations: Financial and grant administration, 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.
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.
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.
Leah Reuter Coordinator: Potato Sustainability Initiative, pesticiderisk.org Leah received her B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Coe College in 2019. During her time in college, Leah conducted two independent research projects for her economics major. These projects focused on topics in the agricultural industry. The first looked at the economics behind food waste, and the second focused on building a mathematical model to evaluate the effectiveness of an NRCS agricultural conservation program. After her junior year in college, she was also able to spend the summer working on a Community Supported Agriculture farm in Iowa. These experiences furthered her interest in agriculture and sustainable farming, which led her to the IPM Institute. Outside of work, Leah likes running, hiking and gardening.
Gabriel Schaffner Team Member: Sustainable Food Group Gabriel earned his B.A. in Environmental Justice and Citizenship, with a minor in Political Science from Beloit College, where he also worked on the campus sustainability program. He has a strong interest in the interconnectedness of economic systems, environmental systems and social justice. Outside of work Gabriel enjoys live music, the outdoors, and all varieties of horror and science fiction.
Aria Tivari Administrative Assistant Aria earned her Technical Diploma in Microsoft Office at Madison College and is pursuing an associates in accounting. She has over ten years of experience in customer service and administration. Aria assists our financial management team with bookkeeping and provides general administrative support for our programs. Outside of work, Aria enjoys playing video games and board games, reading and playing viola.
Rozemarijn (Rose) van den Brink Senior Manager Rose has extensive background and experience in corporate sustainability efforts in Europe, Australia and now the USA. She earned a M.S. in Culture, Organizations and Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and worked in strategy consultancy for years, and then for the Global Sustainability team of ING Bank. In Australia, she helped social enterprises and non-profit organizations increase their positive impact and then joined Sustainable Food Group when she moved to the USA in 2019. Outside of work, Rose enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her husband and their three young children.
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.
Josie Dillon Coordinator: Specialty Crops IPM Program Josie has a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of North Dakota. Since graduating college, she has worked in grassland ecology, climate change research, entomology and agronomy. Before joining the IPM Institute, she worked for the University of Minnesota as a researcher studying potato and soybean pests. Her interest in IPM stemmed from working hands on with growers and learning the importance of sustainable agriculture. Outside of work, Josie enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and nature photography.
Maria Weber Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group Maria earned a B.S. in Plant Pathology and a certificate in Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She gained experience in IPM while developing and operating an IPM program for a 1,200-acre ornamental trees and shrubs nursery. Maria’s background in IPM and special interests in regenerative and sustainable agriculture, local food systems and food security led her to the IPM Institute. Outside of work, Maria enjoys volunteering for and checking out farmers’ markets, tabletop role-playing games and broomball.
Josie Talbert Team Member: Sustainable Food Group Josie graduated from The University of Wisconsin La Crosse (UWL) with a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Environmental Studies. In La Crosse, Josie built on her interest in sustainability and agriculture through internships and volunteering. She worked on projects for UWL and Western Technical College regarding food waste, sustainability marketing, single use plastic reduction and tracking CO2 emissions. Josie also planned climate strikes and managed community gardens in the area to expand on her interest in urban farming and climate justice. In her free time, Josie enjoys backpacking, gardening and music.