Introducing...Your Alumni Community Vanguard!

Originally published: 
January, 2017

When the University of Michigan offered the nation’s first college-level forestry course in 1881, it staked a claim to environmental leadership for decades to come. Since then, the Department of Forestry, the School of Forestry and Conservation, SNR, and SNRE have developed a powerful alumni community - 10,000 strong - around the globe!

From John and Frank Craighead (“Champions of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies”) to Bill Stapp (“Founder of Environmental Education”) to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha (“Flint’s Whistleblower on Lead”), our alumni community has led the country – and the world – to greater heights in protecting the planet and its people.

So what’s the vanguard?

Now, twenty-one new alumni leaders have stepped up to the challenge to serve on the school’s advisory board and lead regional alumni clubs.

This national network (currently representing San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Bozeman, Denver, Ann Arbor, Boston, DC, and Chicago) has a mission to foster connection between alumni in their region, strengthen alumni programming, and collectively give back to the school. Through their work, you will have the opportunity to get involved by: 

  • Attending alumni networking events
  • Connecting to prominent faculty and thought leaders
  • Investing in scholarships for current students
  • Sharing your and other alumni’s stories of impact
  • Mentoring current students
  • Recruiting the next wave of environmental leaders to attend SEAS 

How do I get involved?

Please take a moment to check out these leaders below. If you’re in one of these regions, be on the lookout for a survey that will help them plan for the next year. Your vision will help guide the exciting future of our alumni community!

Not receiving our communications about alumni clubs for your region? Update your contact information here. Additionally, if you don’t see a region where you live, but still want to get involved, contact Nicole Ver Kuilen at

You can help prepare Michigan’s next wave of victors for the environment. Thank you for staying connected to our great school!



Nancy Schrank (Advisory Board)

BS '71
Community Volunteer/Homemaker

Outdoor place I love most: the water, pine, rock and blueberries on the Canadian side of the St. Mary's River

Kate Harris (Advisory Board)

MS/AM '13
Regional Philanthropy Officer, Great Lakes Regional Center - National Wildlife Federation

Marcus Jones (Advisory Board)

MS/MUP '12
President, Detroit Training Center
Owner, MJ Realty Service PLLC

Fun fact: I was in the movie Drumline.


Robyn Roberts (Advisory Board)

MS/MBA '98
Sustainability Consultant and Community Advocate in Atlanta, Georgia

Outdoor place I love most: A wooded stream in the mountains

Roger Lane (Advisory Board)

BS '68
Retired, DTE Energy Supply Chain Management. Heavy Industrial Construction Labor Relations

Hannah Erickson (San Francisco Club Leader)

MS '13
Strategy and Funds Specialist, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Founder and Director, Carbon Roots International

Favorite pastimes: making tortillas, struggling through marathons and triathlons, and pulling weeds from my overgrown garden

Samantha Wolf (Portland Club Leader)

MS '13
Urban Lumber & Forestry Projects Coordinator, Clackamas County

Outdoor place I love most: Trillium Lake, Oregon

Steve Higgs (Portland Club Leader)

MS/JD '05
Executive Director, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity (SAGE)

Outdoor place I love most: ocean beaches

Jeff Laufle (Seattle Club Leader)

BS '78
Recently retired, Army Corps of Engineers

Favorite pastime: I love getting outdoors in the Pacific northwest, meaning sailing, hiking, skiing, biking, diving and snowshoeing, and traveling to other parts of the world!

Harriet Morgan (Seattle Club Leader)

MS '14
Research Consultant at the Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington

Outdoor place I love most: North Cascades National Park

Julia Ruedig (Seattle Club Leader)

MS/MBA '15
Senior Program Manager of Fresh Operations, Amazon

Favorite pastimes: gardening, fishing, camping and hiking 

Carolyn Poissant (Bozeman Club Leader)

BS '81, MLA '87
Manager of Trails, Open Space, and Parks Design and Development,City of Bozeman

Fun fact: My favorite activity is hiking in the mountains. I grew up in the city of Detroit, worked in Michigan for several years, and then headed west!

Sara Mills (Denver Club Leader)

MS/MBA '12
Project Manager - Renewables, Ulteig

Favorite ice cream flavor: Dulce de Leche Tentacion (dulce de leche ice cream with ribbons of dulce de leche in it! Why do other desserts exist?)

Lauren Berent (Denver Club Leader)

MS '12
Community Events Coordinator and Environmental Educator, The Greenway Foundation

Favorite pastime: Hiking (and picking wild raspberries!) in the mountains

Ellen Shieh (Chicago Club Leader)

MS '13
Implementation Consultant, cr360 (Sustainability Software)

Favorite ice cream flavor: Toasted almond

Erika Hasle (Chicago Club Leader)

MS '09
Conservation Ecologist, The Field Museum

Outdoor place you love most: Pembroke Savanna in Kankakee County, IL

Laura Palombi (Ann Arbor Club Leader)

MS/MBA '11
Strategy Lead, Sustainability, NSF International

Favorite biome: the sweet spot between the treeline and the alpine tundra

Josh Rego (Ann Arbor Club Leader)

MS '13
Senior Consultant - Energy Efficiency, Navigant Consulting

Ideal flannel color: Maize and Blue, obviously

Morgane Treanton (Boston Club Leader)

MS ’12
Economist/Energy Regulatory Analyst, Electric Power Division, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities

Favorite pastime: sailing

Kathryn Prater Bomey (D.C. Club Leader)

MS ’12
Writer, Editor, and Social Media Strategist, The Nature Conservancy

Favorite pastime: My favorite non-outdoor pastime is playing the flute in local concert bands.

Pri Ekanayake (D.C. Club Leader)

MS ’13
Population Education Fellow, Population Connection


Contact Nicole Ver Kuilen at
if you're interested in joining this team of leaders!