LAES Fellowships


Here is a list of many of the organizations that will be hosting your Fellowship Placements.


A. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation (DCR)
The Quabbin Reservoir is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles (105 km) to the east, as well as 50 other Commonwealth communities, representing 40% of the state's population. The DCR-Division of Water Supply Protection's mission is to protect and conserve the natural and cultural resources on its 125,000 acres of watershed lands.

Host: Clif Read
Supervisor of Interpretive Services
Tel:  413-323-6921
Mr. Read is responsible for educational and outreach programs for the DCR Quabbin. The Quabbin Reservoir is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles (105 km) to the east, as well as 50 other Commonwealth communities, representing 40% of the state's population. The DCR-Division of Water Supply Protection's mission is to protect and conserve the natural and cultural resources on its 125,000 acres of watershed lands.

Assigned Fellows

Paola Guadalupe Mendez (Chiapas, Mexico), 961-269-5506
Paola is a biologist for the National Commission of Protected Areas (equivalent to the National park Service). She is in charge of impact assessments in protected areas and wetlands. She also monitors private guides and tour companies operating within the protected areas.

Andres Carvajales (Montevideo, Uruguay), 59899365924
Andres Works as a biologist for the National Environment Directorate (DINAMA).  In the Biodiversity Division he designs and implements programs aimed at conserving biodiversity. He also advises on the biodiversity component of public policies and territorial planning.   In his application he says, “In particular, my activities here are primarily related with biodiversity information management and public participation in biodiversity management.”

B. Springfield Community T.V.
Focus Springfield is the new public access television hub that includes professional grade digital video and audio equipment, five editing suites, a modern control room, a “green room” for guests, and a studio with space to seat up to 100 people for performances, town hall-style meetings or political debates.

Host: Steven Cary
Station Manager

Assigned Fellows:

Liliam Evelyn Puycan Espejo (Trujillo, Peru), cell: 51949648153
Liliam works at the family owned, local television station “Ozone TV”, Channel 41 Trujillo. She is responsible for environmental programming. The company has led and promoted many campaigns to raise awareness about the environment.

Carlos Miguel Herrera Tapia (Chiapas, Mexico), cell: 9611770644
Carlos works as a wildlife photographer and wildlife documentary videographer.  He has been working with landowners, biologists, conservation managers and others to produce high quality videos about natural areas in southern Mexico.  He is dedicated to communication as an essential element toward raising awareness about environmental protections.

C. USDA-US Forest Service – Urban Natural Resource Institute and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – USFWS
The Urban Natural Resources Institute (UNRI) is a science-based source for information and answers to questions on urban natural resources stewardship. A goal of the Institute is to strengthen public awareness of activities related to urban natural resources research and management. The USFWS administers a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources within the United. The Refuge Planning office leads conservation planning for national wildlife refuges, wetland management districts, and landscapes across the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Host: David V. Bloniarz
Project Coordinator, UNRI
Phone: 413-545-3755, Cell Phone: 413/537-3748
Dr. Bloniarz serves as the project director for UNRI. His focus is the development of tools and technologies that can be utilized by city planners, managers and researchers.


Host: Nancy McGarigal
Lead Natural Resource Planner, USFWS
(413) 253-8562
Ms. McGarigal is lead Refuge planner for the region.

Assigned Fellows:

Cynthia Fiorella Trujillo Cabanillas (La Libertad, Peru), cell: 943027603 
Cynthia is an economist for the Peruvian legislature.  She advises congress about environmental issues. She participates in the working group on climate change (COP).

Jose Félix Ayala (Chiapas, Mexico), cell: 961-7013206
Jose Felix works as an environmental planner for Mexico's Ministry of the Environment. He is responsible for overseeing the physical and financial progress of environmental projects in Chiapas. He advises municipalities and regions in Chiapas about land management.  He has organized several workshops and forums around the adaptation of sustainable technologies in agriculture and environmental management.

D. Springfield Department of Parks and Recreation
The Department of Public Parks provides recreation programming, maintenance and horticultural services for 2400 acres of park land and forestry services to trees in parks and on tree belts. 

Host: Mike Tully
Senior Planner
Phone:  413-736-3111

Assigned Fellows:

Marco Berting Martínez Linares (Lima, Peru), 51199448244
Marco works as a project coordinator for the organization Salesians of Peru in Lima. He works on several community based projects striving toward environmental sustainability.

Luis Gaston Martinez Alfaro (Montevideo, Uruguay) –, 099546707
Luis is an agricultural engineer that works at the Adolescent Criminal Responsibility System -Institute of Child and Adolescent of Uruguay (SIRPA-INAU) teaching organic garden to some of the young criminals held in that facility.

E. Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Since 1962, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) has been the designated regional planning body for the Pioneer Valley region, which encompasses 43 cities and towns in the Hampden and Hampshire county areas. PVPC is the primary agency responsible for increasing communication, cooperation, and coordination among all levels of government as well as the private business and civic sectors in order to benefit the Pioneer Valley region and to improve its residents' quality of life.

Host: Catherine Ratte
Principal Planner/Section Manager
60 Congress Street  FL 1
Springfield, Massachusetts  01104
Tel. 413-781-6045
Ms. Ratte manages the Environment and Land Use Section of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. PVPC is one of 13 regional planning agencies in Massachusetts providing a range of value-added planning and implementation services to 43 member municipalities and to the 604,304 people living in the region.

Assigned Fellows:

Mariana Robano (Montevideo, Uruguay), cell: 59899296988 
Since 2009, Mariana has been working with a team of environmental specialists at UTE (the national company of electricity supply). Her main activities are: (i) performing environmental monitoring of the company facilities and of the power generation plants (thermal, hydro, wind); (ii) Modelling the dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere, and conducting plans for solid waste management; (iii) the design and implementation of plans to monitor noise, effluents, soil, and water, among others. She is interested in wastewater treatment systems.

Sofia Yescas (Chiapas, Mexico), cell: 961-188-4963 
Sofia is a Public Servant for the municipality of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas' largest city.  She is the head of the planning department and develops sustainable programs and projects in her city.  She works to create more collaborative links between government and citizens in the area of urban planning. Unlike most civil servants in her position she has been able to hold her position across several changes in administration.

Non-governmental Organizations

F. Friends of Lake Warner
The Friends of Lake Warner and the Mill River are a non-profit corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are dedicated to the preservation, improvement and responsible use of the Mill River and Lake Warner in Hadley, Massachusetts. 

Host: Jason Johnson
Executive Director
Tel: 413-320-3386

Jason Johnson is a Watershed and Wetland Scientist with 25 years' experience with anadromous and freshwater fisheries restoration on the West and East coasts of the United Sates. He is the Executive Director of The Friends of Lake Warner and the Mill River, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Hadley focused on the management and restoration of Lake Warner and the Mill River.

Assigned Fellows:

Laura Fuentes Casulo (Montevideo, Uruguay), cell:  59898558349
Laura Works at the biological research station –Clemente Estable – in Montevideo. She is part of a team that studies certain aspects of hydrogen production as an alternative energy source. They propose to analyze the microbiology of the processes involved in energy production from wastewater in Uruguay. Hydrogen is a versatile and environmentally friendly fuel because its use does not produce greenhouse gases and it is considered the fuel of the future.

Lucia Nuñez (Montevideo, Uruguay), cell: 094198889
Lucia is an environmental specialist for the Uruguayan Navy.  She investigates soil microbiology in coastal areas. She is also working with the navy on planning to avoid maritime disasters.


G.  New England Environmental Inc. (NEE)
NEE is a full-service environmental consulting firm established in Massachusetts in 1986. NEE's mission is to provide clients with high quality, cost effective, and responsive solutions to environmental issues while protecting critical natural resources.

Host: Naomi Valentine
Assistant Project Manager

Naomi is a Wetland Professional in Training and Restoration Specialist with New England Environmental, Inc. (NEE) as well as a first time host for the fellows program.  During the 2015 spring and fall fellows, Naomi assisted with much of the fellows scheduling and project work.  This year NEE hopes to allow our fellows to assist and become familiar with the workings of private sector environmental consulting as it pertains to local/state agencies' in the following areas: invasive species management, wetland delineation and natural resource permitting, riverbank restoration, resource area monitoring programs and solar permitting and design.

Assigned Fellows:

Pierre Gabriel Gutierrez Medina (Piura, Peru), cell: 511996569676
Pierre is an environmentalist with an industrial engineering background. He works as a plant manager at a bottling company in Piura, Peru. He was selected for this project because of his leadership in Peru's “Climate Reality Project”.  In that role he has reached out to more than 10,000 Peruvians about climate change. He is interested in all aspects of environmental management and has received a national award in “eco-efficiency”.

Gabriel Alberto Franco Guillén (Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico), 529616584512 
Gabriel works as Technical Operation Manager at Cecropia Soluciones locales a retos globales A.C. His job consists in research, management and implementation of sustainable development processes and projects for the abatement of emissions and achieve a low carbon growth at local level.