2021 - 2022 Fellows

Meet the Fellows

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Mia Ambroiggio 

Sustainability Fellow (South Portland Office of Sustainability)

Mia supported the South Portland Sustainability Office during her service year as the Sustainability Fellow. In this role, she connected community members to sustainability and climate action as a weekly columnist in the South Portland Sentry and a monthly columnist in Amjambo Africa. Mia also supported the City’s waste reduction efforts through event planning and execution, assisted in program narrative writing for 2023 projects, and created an office-wide engagement plan and outreach calendar. In the latter half of her service year, Mia assisted GOPIF’s Region 1 Coordinator Collaborative on outreach content connecting region 1 communities to funding, events, and relevant resources. Mia is thankful for the opportunity to connect different audience groups to climate action and meet the amazing people in Maine's sustainability space. 

Mia grew up in Villa Park, Illinois, before moving to Chicago to earn her bachelor’s degrees in environmental studies and communication studies, with a minor in urban studies and sustainability, from Loyola University Chicago. During her time at Loyola, Mia was heavily involved in advocacy and education through Women in Leadership Loyola, an intersectional feminist organization, and wrote on climate and justice as an opinion columnist for the Loyola Phoenix. Off campus, Mia worked to create inclusive, transparent climate communications as well as sustainability programming and engagement through internships with neighborhood environmental nonprofits and large cultural institutions in Chicago. Outside of work, Mia enjoys creative writing, wandering to new places, re-watching comfort movies, and staring at the moon. Despite becoming familiar with sustainability concepts through academic coursework and internships, Mia is excited to apply her sustainability foundation to projects that will benefit the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of the greater Portland region, absorb the knowledge and experience of her host site coworkers, and expand her conception of resilience through collaboration with her cohort!

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Charlie Cobb

Active Transportation Fellow (Portland Trails)

Charlie served as the Active Transportation Fellow with Portland Trails. In this role, Charlie transitioned all of Portland Trails’ trail data into GIS, worked with external consultants to create the next edition of Portland Trails’ full Paper and Digital trail maps, and used GIS to make several new trail system maps to help improve on-the-ground wayfinding. Charlie also researched trail accessibility standards and recorded trail accessibility measurements on all of the trails to help people with physical disabilities better access the trails. Additionally, Charlie designed and implemented a trail-usage data collection program using trail counters to investigate trail usage patterns across Portland Trails’ trail network. Coming away from his service, Charlie is grateful to have had the opportunity to work outside, improve his GIS skills, and learn about the inner workings of non-profit land trusts. 

Charlie grew up in the small, rural town of Westford, Vermont. As a kid, Charlie spent lots of time hiking, cross-country skiing, and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains, leading him to develop a lifelong commitment to conservation. This commitment led him to attend Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he graduated in 2020 with a BA in Environmental Science. After graduation, Charlie worked a variety of jobs from election campaigning to youth ski coaching, to hardware store retail. Most recently, Charlie worked in an AmeriCorps position, constructing cattle fences and monitoring fish health for the Federal Bureau of Reclamation in Cascade, Idaho. In his free time, Charlie enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, running, and kayaking. He also likes to read books, watch Netflix, and spend time with friends. As a Resilience Corps member, Charlie is excited to learn about and explore the Greater Portland area and help create a more viable and accessible active (non-car) transportation system.

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Haley Castle-Miller

Economic Opportunity Fellow (City of Portland Office of Economic Opportunity)

Haley spent the year serving at the City of Portland Office of Economic Opportunity, where she managed the immigration legal aid clinic, administered office communications, and assisted in the return of cultural orientation in a new video format. She supported the continuation of the Natural Helpers program, the ESOL Collaborative, and the use of Journey Maps to make resources more accessible. Near the end of her service, she also worked on the Safe in Maine Fund through GPCOG, by providing research and administrative support. 

Haley grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor's degree in Peace Studies and Spanish from Goucher College and continued her education at Arcadia University, where she received her master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Through her studies, she became interested in alternative economic policies and creative ways to redistribute wealth and resources. She is excited to expand her knowledge and cultivate creativity in her position as the Economic Opportunity Fellow. The Resilience Corps is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with others to build a more equitable and welcoming city for everyone. Haley is also looking forward to hiking, spending time at the beach, and exploring the Greater Portland Region.

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Courtney Crossgrove

Climate Resilience Finance Fellow (New England Environmental Finance Center)

Courtney supported sustainability and climate resilience initiatives through the New England Environmental Finance Center (NEEFC) and the City of Portland Office of Sustainability. At the NEEFC she helped coordinate the newly launched New England Sustainable Craft Beverage Program, assisted with Community Resilience Planning, and developed finance and funding resources. Courtney began serving part-time with the City of Portland Office of Sustainability in June where she focused on expanding the City’s food scrap recycling program and sustainable land care education and outreach. Courtney has enjoyed engaging with Mainers on their climate and sustainability concerns and values. 

Courtney Crossgrove is originally from Moravia, New York but also lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and now Maine. Courtney has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of New Haven and a master’s degree in Sustainability Science focused on food systems and agriculture from UMass Amherst. Courtney has experience working in campus dining, nutrition education, university programming, state hunger elimination research and planning, and humanitarian assistance. Courtney’s personal interests include making ice cream, cooking, baking, staying active, kayaking, being outdoors, her dog Simmons, trying new restaurants, and reading. Courtney is excited to learn about and integrate into the greater Portland community through Resilience Corps. She is also interested in learning about the various ways that the region is approaching adaptation and mitigation as well as positively contributing to these efforts.

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Claire Luning

Land Use and Transportation Planning Fellow (GPCOG)

As Regional Planning Fellow, Claire contributed to GPCOG's municipal planning and transportation projects. Examples include the Casco Comprehensive Plan, Connect 2045, the Biddeford Saco Transit Oriented Development Plan, and the Gray Village Visioning Plan. Claire's role included data collection and analysis, plan drafting and design, and extensive community engagement. 

Claire grew up in Chicago, Illinois before moving to Poughkeepsie, New York to study at Vassar College. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies in 2021. While at Vassar, Claire worked with local organizations including a small coffee roaster, a carceral justice advocacy group, a large affordable housing non-profit, and a tutoring group. These experiences fueled Claire’s interest in how local networks of people and organizations create strong urban communities. In joining Resilience Corps, Claire is excited to learn what communities strengthen the Greater Portland Area and assist in nurturing livable, comfortable, and resilient cities. Outside of work, Claire enjoys reading on the waterfront, knitting, baking, and hanging out with cats. As an urban Midwesterner, Claire is looking forward to experiencing the beautiful Maine outdoors through hiking and cross country skiing and the city of Portland through long walks and trying new restaurants.

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Joe Oliva

Community Broadband Fellow (GPCOG)

Joe’s service as the Community Broadband Fellow had a split focus on the region with GPCOG and the Cumberland Oxford Lakes Area Broadband Initiative, and across the state with the Maine Broadband Coalition. With the Coalition, Joe conducted community outreach in addition to creating and supporting initiative tracking efforts and broadband educational programming. Though working with each organization entailed slightly different responsibilities, at the core of the work was connecting Mainers to the resources they needed to better their communities. He is constantly amazed by the incredible capability and incomparable warmth of community members across the region and state. 

Joe is a Mainer through and through. He was born in Portland and grew up in Yarmouth after his parents figured that a two-bedroom apartment wouldn't fit their newborn twins and an older brother. He went on to study Government at Colby College, and thereafter moved back to Portland, where he lives now. In his free time, he enjoys making music, riding his bike, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee on a cool morning. He has worked behind a deli counter, pouring beers at a brewery, and as an organizer during the 2020 campaign season. Each of these experiences brought a new love and appreciation for the people, places, and ways of being that make Maine special. Joe is, above all else, looking forward to serving the communities that he feels very lucky to call home.

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Josee Steitich

Coastal Resilience Fellow (Casco Bay Estuary Partnership)

Josee supported Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP) and Casco Bay Regional Shellfish Working Group with different projects under the umbrella of coastal resilience. In support of Maine’s working waterfront with the Working Group, she coordinated the creation of Preserving Access to the Intertidal: a Toolkit for Coastal Stakeholders and helped develop a waterfront infrastructure inventory. At CBEP, she coordinated and supported long-term monitoring fieldwork at living shorelines and habitat restoration sites. In addition, she assisted coastal municipalities in enrolling in the Community Resilience Partnership. She was inspired by learning from a new ecological and cultural landscape. 

Josee was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Westminster College in 2019, exploring the intersections of ecology, policy, and climate justice in the American West. While in school, she worked with local nonprofits focusing on public land advocacy and environmental health. She moved to the rural town of Boulder, Utah on the fringes of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument after reading about it in the New Yorker. When she wasn’t working at the local farm-to-table restaurant, she was wandering the lush canyons and vast stretches of sandstone of the Colorado Plateau. Living in one of the most remote communities in the country got her interested in resilience, specifically in the face of climate change. When she’s not biking, traveling, skiing, or hiking, she bakes sourdough bread and dabbles in film photography. Josee is excited to connect with Mainers about resilience efforts and explore a completely different ecosystem.

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Lucy Sinclair

Transportation and GIS Fellow (GPCOG)

Lucy served for 7 months as the transportation and GIS fellow. During this time, she contributed to municipal and regional plans and policies including regional Vision Zero and Complete Streets policies, Connect 2045 (the regional long range transportation plan), the Gorham-Westbrook-Portland rapid transit feasibility study, the Casco Comprehensive Plan, and the Gray Downtown Plan. Lucy’s work included research, data analysis, community engagement, document production, and creation of maps and infographics. Lucy’s term of service deepened her understanding of local government and showed her how transportation/land use planning can improve quality of life and help communities to become safer and more sustainable. 

Lucy is from Beverly, Massachusetts. She has a bachelor’s degree with a double major in applied mathematics and French from Vassar College. Throughout college, Lucy worked in conservation and environmental education with the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and the Appalachian Mountain Club. She also interned with a transportation planning consulting firm in Brussels, Belgium and the Dutchess County Transportation Council – gaining insight into the process of transportation planning in the private and public sector. These experiences opened her eyes to the impact of transportation systems on the environment, residents’ quality of life, and their access to opportunities. Lucy is interested in how we communicate technical information to various audiences, and she is excited to learn more about how effective communication and community engagement can help improve transportation systems. As a Resilience Corps Fellow, Lucy is looking forward to learning about the structure of local government and how it fits into the larger Portland community and helping to ensure that residents have access to efficient, equitable, and reliable transit. In her free time, Lucy enjoys making music and food, crafting, hiking, swimming in the ocean, and playing rugby.

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Addie Wright

Community Rewilding Fellow (The Wild Seed Project)

Addie served as the Community Resilience Fellow with the Wild Seed Project for the duration of their service term. They supported numerous outreach projects, working with local towns and municipalities to create partnerships and support communities that want to increase climate resiliency and biodiversity through native plants. Addie also created a volunteer management system, coordinated volunteers for events, and worked with a local illustrator to create educational signage. Addie's service term with Wild Seed Project allowed them to create meaningful connections with driven community members and volunteers who are passionate about increasing the abundance of native plants in the Maine landscape. 

Addie grew up in Richmond, Virginia before moving to Fort Collins to get their B.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University. They spent their summers interning at the Nature Conservancy of Colorado and working with a film project that deepens public understanding of sacred places, indigenous cultures, and environmental justice. After college, Addie has spent time in Northern California working in community development and moved to Maine after a fifty-day outdoor educator course with Outward Bound. Outside of work, they love hiking, running, swimming, and anything involving whitewater. On slower days, Addie loves reading, writing, and going to the beach with their dog. Addie believes in the power of equipping communities with the tools to implement environmentally focused practices and they are excited to continue this work and gain more experience as the Community Rewilding Fellow!

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Max Zakian

Climate Action Planning Fellow (Falmouth Office of Sustainability, GPCOG)

Splitting his time between the Town of Falmouth and GPCOG, Maxim supported the drafting of the Town’s upcoming climate action plan. This involved collecting a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory, developing a climate hazard vulnerability assessment, and maintaining consistent climate outreach materials to engage and inform residents throughout the process. Maxim also supported climate and resilience efforts at the regional level with GPCOG’s Sustainability Team, advising on projects like the Town of Windham’s Energy Plan.  During his year of service, Maxim was encouraged by the focus on incorporating input from local stakeholders in future planning. 

A Maine native from Biddeford, Max is excited to collaborate with the communities he grew up in as they prepare for the effects of climate change. Studying International Relations at the University of Maine taught him the necessity in bringing as many perspectives to the table as possible when crafting any form of policy. His career experience has focused on providing direct service to individuals and communities as a whole, from interning at the Code Enforcement Department in the City of Biddeford, to working as a journalist and fundraising organizer for Gyumri Without Makeshift Shelters, a non-profit housing earthquake survivors in Armenia. Through his experience, Max is inspired most by the ability of local institutions to make an impact in their community every single day. He sees service itself as a relationship stakeholders build together and is certain that climate change will be solved primarily through the grassroots movements he sees sprouting all across his home state. In his free time, Max enjoys hiking, writing, board games, and meeting new dogs.