2015 COP21-CMP11 Delegation

Kelsey Bain

Kelsey is currently pursuing her J.D. and Masters in Energy Regulation Law at Vermont Law School, where she also works as a research associate with the Institute for Energy and the Environment. She received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University where she majored in ecology and evolutionary biology. During her undergraduate career she worked with various non-profits around the New Orleans area. Specifically, after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 she worked with the Audubon Institute in a partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife rehabilitating oiled sea turtles and pelicans. She also worked as a lab assistant at the Audubon Center for the Research of Endangered Species assisting with in vitro fertilization techniques for endangered feline species.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree. Kelsey went on to work as a field assistant for the University of California Berkeley, researching parasitism in western blue bird populations. Before coming to Vermont Law School, Kelsey worked for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a non-profit organization based in New Orleans that works with communities near oil refineries. There she assisted many low-income communities in their campaigns to hold the local oil industry accountable for its pollution by helping residents monitor air quality and work for pollution reductions, community health, and environmental justice. Kelsey hopes to continue working in the nonprofit field as an advocate for low-income communities working to find sustainable, affordable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Sara BarnowskiCOP21-SBarnowski-Photo-June2015
JD ’17

Sara is currently pursuing her JD at Vermont Law School with emphasis on energy and natural resources law and business law. Prior to law school, she was a Senior Analyst at CoEfficient, LLC, a start-up company that managed commercial and industrial energy efficiency projects by using future energy savings to pay for the installation of high-efficiency technologies. Sara also worked for the Carbon War Room where she was a member of the Energy Efficiency Operation. Sara has a BS in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Environmental Public Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MS in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University. As a student, Sara focused her studies on the development of small scale, sustainable energy and water technologies, including establishing a campus laboratory for the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil, helping create and lead a workshop teaching Brazilian catadores how to convert diesel engines to run on vegetable oil, and deploying pedal powered mills and clothes washers to orphanages in Peru.

Archer H. ChristianArcher-Photo
MELP ‘15

Born and raised in central Virginia, Archer spent her early working years as a solar greenhouse designer, farmer, energy auditor, engineering technician, and home remodeler. She received her BS from Vanderbilt University and her MS in Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences from VA Tech. For the past 26 years, Archer has worked in regional nonprofit organizations in sustainable agriculture/community food system development, chemicals policy reform, and clean energy/climate change mitigation advocacy. Her roles have ranged from Program Manager and Policy Coordinator, to Development Director and Executive Director. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI, pursuing her masters in environmental law and policy through Vermont Law School’s distance-learning program. She can be reached at archerchristian@vermontlaw.edu.

Rebecca DavidsonRebecca Davidson

Rebecca is currently a distance learning student in the Masters of Environmental Law and Policy program at Vermont Law School. Rebecca grew up in Tucson, Arizona and lives in Scottsdale, where she works as a Senior Water Rights Analyst at the Salt River Project, a water and power utility. Rebecca concentrates on issues associated with water policy and management, water sustainability in the arid southwest, forest and headwater protection actions, and the development of innovative partnerships and ecosystem service incentive and investment programs. Before joining the Salt River Project, Rebecca worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department where she focused on state and federal land planning, natural resource and wildlife management, environmental regulations, and endangered species biology and monitoring. Rebecca has a BS in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University.

Catie DavisCatie Davis
JD ’17

Catie is a JD student at Vermont Law School where she is specializing in Agriculture and Food Systems and International and Comparative Law. She is currently working as a student clinician at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, and is interested in food security and food justice issues. After law school Catie hopes to address food systems issues in order to help establish a system where all people may access political and economic systems that allow them to provide nourishing foods to their families with dignity. Before attending law school, Catie worked for environmental non-profit organizations where she helped lead inclusive outdoor trips connecting all types of people to one another and to their environment. She recently served as an Emerging Leader at the 2015 New England Food Solutions Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. Catie received her BA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

KatheKatie Dresselrine Dressel
JD ’16

Katherine is a Connecticut native beginning her third year at Vermont Law School. She is currently pursuing a juris doctor and the International and Comparative Law Certificate. Katherine graduated from the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science, and a minor in French language and literature. During her undergraduate career, Katherine participated in the Boston University Paris Internship Program, through which she had the opportunity to work at Cabinet d’Avocats CBBC, an international family law firm. Upon returning to the United States, Katherine worked as a corporate recovery associate at the Locator Services Group in Boston, which is a private firm that locates and recovers abandoned financial assets on behalf of Fortune 500 corporations. Between her first and second years of law school, Katherine worked at the State’s Attorney’s Office at the Milford Superior Court in Connecticut. Katherine is currently clerking at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Vermont.

While Katherine sincerely hopes to continue her work in the international legal field, she also sees a future in criminal litigation and appellate advocacy. She was selected among her classmates to participate in the National Trial Competition in Boston this past January where VLS proved worthy opponents to the nation’s top law school. Katherine most recently had the honor of arguing a case before the Vermont Supreme Court as a finalist in the Debevoise Moot Court Competition. In her time as a law student, Katherine has secured positions on the Vermont Law Review, the National Moot Court Team, in the Dean’s Fellow Program, and as a student ambassador. Katherine lives in South Royalton with her Goldendoodle, Chewy, and her bunny, Fuzzy Slippers. She is looking forward to delving into the world of environmental law and climate change.

Mark JamesJames_Mark2
LLM ’16
Global Energy Fellow

Mark is a Global Energy Fellow in the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, where he is concurrently pursuing a LL.M in Energy Law. As a Global Energy Fellow, Mark leads the DOE-funded SunShot Solar PV Plug and Play team which is providing legal assistance to efforts to commercialize a solar panel that can be adhered to asphalt shingle roofs.

Before coming to VLS, Mark received his J.D. from the University of Ottawa where he specialized in environmental law. His research included carbon taxes, environmental justice, and relationship between climate change adaptation and securities law. Mark is the co-founder of the Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies (CAELS), a national environmental law student group connecting Canadian environmental law students. He served as co-chair for the first two CAELS national environmental law conferences.

Bonnie SmithSmith, Bonnie COP21
JD ’17

Bonnie L. Smith is a second year law student at Vermont Law School and is pursuing a dual degree in French business law with Cergy-Pontoise in Paris. Bonnie is a Western North Carolina native and graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Romance Languages and a minor in music/piano performance. Prior to attending law school, Bonnie worked for the French Ministry of Education as an English teaching assistant in Toulouse, France. Additionally, Bonnie taught Spanish at a community college in Murphy, NC. She also spent time studying in and backpacking through Central and South America. Her knowledge of Spanish and French languages and passion for global issues inspired her to study international environmental law. Through her legal studies, Bonnie aspires to reach a greater understanding of sustainable solutions to human development though responsible business practices.

Rachel StevensStevens Pic Small
LLM ’15
Staff Attorney, ENRLC

Rachel is a staff attorney and LL.M. fellow with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic of Vermont Law School, where she also worked during her third year of law school and received the Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award. She has a deep appreciation for the Clinic’s mission to promote access to justice on important environmental issues and enjoys representing conservation organizations and local community groups. Rachel also serves as an Executive Committee Member for the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club where she chairs the Forest and Wildlife Committee. She has previously worked for Stack & Associates P.C., a boutique environmental and land use law firm in Atlanta, Georgia; the Witcher Law Firm; and the Office of the Georgia Capital Defenders. She earned her undergraduate degree in English, History, and Spanish from the University of Georgia; a JD from the Vermont Law School; and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from the Vermont Law School. When Rachel is not working on her cases or taking environmental law classes, she can be found outside enjoying Vermont’s scenic environment.

Madhavi Venkatesan, PhDM_Venkatesan
MELP ’16

Madhavi Venkatesan is a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Bridgewater State University. Her present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable development. Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity she was a key point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. Madhavi started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She has a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University.

AnnieWarnerPhotoAngela (Annie) Warner
JD ‘16

Annie is pursuing her JD at Vermont Law School. She is particularly interested in ocean and coastal law and policy. Annie has a BA in environmental science with a marine science concentration from Colby College. After graduating from Colby, Annie interned on a NSF-funded research cruise in the Southern Ocean, studying the impact of ocean acidification on a particular phytoplankton. She then spent more than two years working as a paralegal at Chin & Curtis, LLP, a business immigration law firm in Boston. During her law school summers, Annie has worked for the Center for Ocean Solutions and the Conservation Law Foundation.

Linda A. Wendlingwendling
LLM ‘15

Linda is pursuing the Climate Change certificate with a particular concentration examining how global climate changes are affecting food sustainability and agricultural adaptability. She earned her law degree from Seton Hall Law School where she spent a summer abroad at Kings College in London. For “fun” she then pursued a Master’s degree in History at North Carolina State University concentrating in 17th century British constitutional theory. Her undergraduate degree is in French and Political Science from Rutgers College of Rutgers University. She is currently the Program Director for Legal Studies at South University’s High Point campus and Chairs the Department overseeing 10 campuses nationwide.

Keeping a balance is important in life, so she has studied ballet since she was a young child, becoming an advanced ballet instructor and dancing up until recently. The earth needs balance too. That’s where she is concentrating more of her energies now. Humankind needs to re-balance priorities to re-balance natural cycles again. Once we pass that climate tipping point, we are lost to each other – the earth and ourselves.

Despite her ever-increasingly busy professional schedule, she always balances her time to enjoy the delights of her life – her daughters, Emmelia and Katerina, her patient and supportive husband JohnMark, and her scruffy mess of a dog, Martha.