Our diverse team is made up of more than 65 scientists, planners, economists, and researchers from across our partner institutions. Our executive team is made up of representatives from each partner institution as well as key stakeholders. Our executive team is made up of representatives from each partner institution as well as key stakeholders.
Assistant Professor of Regional Planning
Camille Barchers has practiced as a regional planner throughout Florida, the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. Prior to joining LARP, Camille taught in the Leadership Education and Development program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Camille’s work examines how planners use technology and how it changes the way we engage with the public. Her research interests include community engagement via information & communication technology, big data applications for equitable long-range planning, and the interaction between land use & transportation planning.
Coastal Engineer, Woods Hole Group
Kirk F. Bosma, PE, is a Senior Coastal Engineer and Team Leader of the Coastal Sciences, Engineering & Planning team at Woods Hole Group. He manages projects and develops engineering solutions related to coastal structure design, beach nourishment, beach management, inlet stabilization, water quality, environmental permitting, impacts of offshore dredging, marsh restoration, climate change planning, and wave, tide, and current data collection. He holds expertise in habitat restoration, shoreline protection, and climate change planning projects for a diverse client base and specializes in applying numerical models to optimize engineering designs and reduce overall project life cycle costs.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Professor Darst is a specialist in international relations, environmental politics, and human rights. He is author of the book Smokestack Diplomacy: Cooperation and Conflict in East-West Environmental Politics (MIT Press). He co-authored the article "Exit, Voice, and Denial: Confronting the factory farm in the United States" which appeared in Society and Animals, and his article "Waiting for the Nuclear Renaissance" was published in Risks Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy He has also published articles in journals such as Environment, Journal of Human Rights, Environmental Politics, Journal of Refugee Studies, and Global Environmental Politics.
Co-Director of the School of Earth & Sustainability, Professor Department of Geosciences
Rob DeConto is a Professor of Geosciences and Co-Director of the School of Earth & Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Previously, he held research positions at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rob studies polar climate change, the response of ice sheets to a warming climate, and coastal impacts of sea-level rise. Rob serves on international science advisory boards and is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Professor, School for the Environment
John Duff is a professor of environmental law and policy in the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He received his J.D. from Suffolk University and his LL.M. from the University of Washington. He also holds degrees in Business and Journalism. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and radio production associate; an attorney in private practice; general counsel to a marine conservation organization; and, served as president of The Coastal Society. He teaches, researches and writes on issues of ocean and coastal management, planning and land use law, environmental policy, and natural resource management. His research has been employed by legislative committees; cited by state supreme courts; and, integrated into executive branch analyses and reports.
Associate Professor, School for Marine Science and Technology
Dr. Gavin Fay (he/him) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries Oceanography at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST). Gavin’s research group applies statistical and mathematical models for better ecosystem-based decision making for fisheries and our oceans. He is interested in both developing new methods for statistical modeling, fisheries assessment, and ecosystem-based management; and also, how open data science tools can empower better communication of scientific results for management and policy advice. Gavin received his BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from the University of Stirling, and his MS & PhD in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from the University of Washington. At SMAST, Gavin teaches courses in statistics, population modeling, science communication, and Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management. Gavin currently serves on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee, as well as the New England Fishery Management Council's Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Plan Development Team.
Elisabeth Hamin Infield
Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
Dr. Hamin Infield is the Professor of Regional Planning. She teaches and researches in land use planning, with a particular focus on planning for climate change adaptation and large-scale landscape planning. Throughstudios and projects, she works with regional planning agencies and communities on master plans, special projects, and climate change planning. She served as Department Chair from 2013-2017 and program director for the PhD in Regional Planning for over ten years prior to that. Her most recent book is Planning for Climate Change: A Reader in Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Design for Resilient Cities, co-edited with Yaser Abunnasr and Robert L. Ryan (2019, Routledge Press).
Prior to coming to UMass, Dr. Hamin Infield taught at Iowa State University (1995 to 2001). During her doctorate she worked in land use and energy consulting, and before her doctorate she worked in real estate consulting and development, providing financial and marketing analysis to major real estate developers across the United States.
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
James is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at UMass Lowell, with research interests in coastal groundwater-surface water interactions, climate change and sea level rise impacts to coastal groundwater resources, and chemical fluxes along the land-sea transition zone. His current research focuses on the hydrologic forcings (waves, tides, currents, extreme precipitation, storm surge, and sea level rise) that move water and chemicals between aquifers and nearshore surface water bodies. James explores these processes using field and laboratory techniques, numerical models, and quantitative synthesis of large datasets.
Extension Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Conservation
Kahl began work at the Marine Station at Hodgkins Cove in early January 2018. She most recently spent six years in Michigan working on climate change adaptation and coastal resilience for The Nature Conservancy with Great Lakes communities, state and provincial governments and others. She has a master’s and Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife with an emphasis in landscape ecology from Michigan State University. She holds a B.S. in biology from Truman State University in Missouri. Kahl moved to Gloucester last year with her husband, a Gloucester native, and their two children, to be closer to family. Kahl says she looks forward to meeting with leaders from other Gulf of Maine economic development and research institutions that are helping communities and marine economic interests to develop new and sustainable plans, advocating for fisherman, and launching educational ocean literacy programs.
Professor and Director, Stone Living Lab
School for the Environment
Paul Kirshen is a Professor in the School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts Boston. He is also Director of the Stone Living Lab – a partnership of the university, Boston Harbor Now, the National Park Service, and the City of Boston focused on research on nature-based solutions for coastal resiliency and flood risk reduction. He has much experience serving as Principal Investigator of complex, interdisciplinary, participatory research related to water resources, coastal zone, and infrastructure management, and climate variability and change. He was a Lead Author for the IPCC Assessment Report and the US National Climate Assessment. He works at scales ranging from local to international. He has been conducting research on the integrated vulnerability of metro Boston and Massachusetts to present and future climates and adaptation/management strategies since 1990. He received his ScB in Engineering from Brown University and his MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
University of Waterloo
Dr. Kelsey Leonard is a water scientist, legal scholar, policy expert, writer, and enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Nation. Her work focuses on Indigenous water justice and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings for our shared sustainable future. Dr. Leonard represents the Shinnecock Nation on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean, which is charged with protecting America's ocean ecosystems and coastlines. She also serves as a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission. Dr. Leonard has been instrumental in safeguarding the interests of Indigenous Nations for environmental planning, and builds Indigenous science and knowledge into new solutions for sustainable water and ocean governance.
Executive Vice President and COO, Essex County Community Foundation
As Executive Vice President & COO, Stratton manages the Foundation’s strategy, finance and business operations and serves as the lead for systems philanthropy initiatives, which focus on tackling some of the most complex social issues facing Essex County today. Stratton joined the ECCF staff in July 2018 after serving as a strategic advisor on Impact Essex County, the Foundation’s lasting commitment to effecting positive change in the region. Since then, he has been consistently inspired by the relentless efforts, smart ideas and passion of the many community partners that he collaborates with on this work. Prior to joining ECCF, Stratton served as executive vice president of Strategy, Product Management and Customer Operations at EBSCO Information Services, a private Fortune 200 company based in Ipswich, where he worked for 14 years. He was also the founder and managing director of First Look, Inc., now known as YouthServe, a nonprofit global youth service-education organization that empowers young people through volunteerism and leadership.
Darci Connor Maresca
Assistant Director, School of Earth & Sustainability
For more than fifteen years, Darci Connor Maresca has facilitated meaningful change through a transdisciplinary approach to environmental programs and sustainability initiatives. At UMass Amherst, Darci is responsible for curating the long-term goals, overseeing the day-to-day operations, building vibrant partnerships, and implementing priorities for the School of Earth & Sustainability. A central part of Darci's role is to build capacity and assemble high-impact collaborative teams. All of her work at UMass relies on strong partnerships with university officials, campus colleagues, alumni, regional organizations, and workforce leaders.
With strong interpersonal and organizational skills, Darci specializes in strategic planning, team building, communications, and stakeholder engagement. Many of her projects focus on coastal resilience, climate change, sustainable food systems, and conservation planning. Darci has worked on Oregon's Tsunami Preparedness Program, California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO). Darci earned her Master of Science in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sheree Pagsuyoin is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her overall research encompasses the environment-health nexus and focuses on human-environment interactions that impact water systems, the ecological and public health impacts of emerging contaminants, and water treatment technologies. Her research has been funded by different sources including the National Science Foundation, US Department of Interior, Grand Challenges Canada, Canada Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and private industries. Dr. Pagsuyoin received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia and her MSc in Environmental Engineering from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Her research about the impact of residual drugs on aquatic ecosystems has recently been awarded the National Science Foundation National Faculty Early Career Development award.
Krish Thiagarajan Sharman
Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy and Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Krish Thiagarajan Sharman is an Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy & Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst. He holds a PhD in Naval Architecture and Marine engineering from the University of Michigan, and has been an academic at various universities in Australia and the US over the past 25 years. He is a Fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers since 2016, and was selected as the Faculty Advisor of the Year in 2016. He is the coordinator of the Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium of the Ocean Offshore and Arctic Eng conference along with serving in the co-chair role of the International Offshore Wind Technical Conference. His areas of interest focus on design and fluid-structure interaction analysis of floating offshore wind systems, wave and tidal energy systems, coastal food production systems and offshore platforms in general.
Professor, Computer and Information Science
Iren Valova is currently a professor with the computer science department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. For many years, she has been working with neural network architectures and the applicable learning algorithms. In more recent years, her work has centered on applying deep learning techniques to the analysis of ocean floor mechanical properties. She has also been in collaboration with Australia on a study of coral reefs developments.
Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences
Jon Woodruff is a sedimentologist who focuses on coastal, estuarine and fluvial processes.
In particular, he studies mechanisms of sediment transport during extreme flooding, as well as how these high-magnitude, low-frequency events are recorded within the geologic record. Recent projects include assessing relationships between climate and tropical cyclone activity using storm-overwash reconstructions from the Western North Atlantic, flooding impacts by extreme precipitation within floodplain settings, and tsunami and typhoon reconstructions from southern Japan. Jon received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program (MIT/WHOI) in Geology and Geophysics, M.S. in Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering (also in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program), and B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University.