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2022 - 2023 Fellows

Meet the Fellows

Steve Genovese 

Sustainability Outreach Fellow

Steve was born in North Haven, CT, but calls Portland, ME home. He graduated from Western New England College in 2011 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting and is currently enrolled in MEEM - the Master of Energy and Environmental Management program at the University of Connecticut.  He completed a post-bachelor certificate in Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management in 2022 and is excited to translate this education into actionable change through his Resilience Corps role. Steve served in the United States Peace Corps from 2018-2020 as a sustainable agriculture and economic development volunteer in rural southwest Tanzania and developed a passion for driving renewable energy programming and creating and maintaining thriving sustainable food systems as a result.  In his free time, he loves to hike, travel, and try as many new foods as possible! Steve is excited about the Resilience Corps Fellowship with GPCOG because it combines so many of his passions in a place that he loves; the beautiful southern coast of Maine.  He is looking forward to working with the city of South Portland to meet and exceed all of their goals in environmental communications, benchmarking, and planning.   

Virginia Hawkins

Coastal Resilience Fellow

Virginia is from a small town in eastern North Carolina. She studied at Western Carolina University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. While earning her education in the Appalachian Mountains, her love of protecting the great outdoors flourished. Following graduation, she worked for the North Carolina State Parks as an assistant park ranger at Hammocks Beach State Park. Working as an assistant park ranger allowed her to grasp an understanding of the importance of natural resource conservation in the coastal region as well as grow an appreciation for coastal communities which inspired her to serve in Portland. Virginia enjoys exploring the great outdoors by hiking, camping, and a little bit of fishing. She also likes to do pottery, baking, and adventuring around thrift shops, museums, and local restaurants. She aims to become a leader in the climate action movement in order to protect the planet and its people which is why she is excited to serve as the Coastal Resilience fellow.  

Abigail Long

Resilience Outreach Fellow

Abigail is originally from Setauket, NY on the north shore of Long Island. She recently graduated from Binghamton University with bachelor's degrees in biology and environmental science with a concentration in ecosystems. Through her studies, she developed an interest in sustainability and the growing connection between humans and the environment. By working in the parks department, interning on an organic farm and being involved in a variety of community groups, Abigail has developed a greater understanding and interest in building strong community relationships. She believes that community focused organizations are the cornerstone to creating positive change. Abigail loves everything about the outdoors, but also loves to cook, listen to music, make (and eat) charcuterie boards, meet new people and spend time with friends and family. She is excited to learn more about community science efforts in Maine and connect with the Greater Portland community! 

Cady Netland

Conservation Communications Fellow

Cady grew up in the North Shore of Massachusetts and recently earned her B.S. in Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology with a minor in Spanish at UC Davis. Within her program, she developed and cultivated a passion for ornithology, environmental law and the work of NGOs. She also was a devoted birdwatcher, chamber choir member, research intern and foster mom for 11 different rescue dogs. From assisting in caretaking for elephants at the Elephant Conservation Center in Luang Prabang, Thailand to helping construct a turtle hatchery in Camaronal National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, Cady has loved her experiences traveling and having a direct impact on conservation efforts around the world. With a deep family history in and connection to Maine, she is thrilled to be bringing her passions and skills to a community she feels inherently at home in. She is particularly excited to continue to learn, discover ways to inspire her new community about positive conservation action and have a direct hand in protecting the birds she knows and loves from the threat of collision. 

Anna Paddock

Climate Action Planning Fellow

Anna is originally from New Hampshire, but grew up in Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, and around the United States. For her undergrad, Anna attended the University of South Florida for biochemistry and environmental science & policy. Through research and volunteer projects there, Anna became very interested in environmental resilience and community planning. She loves spending time outdoors, whether it be biking, walking, or painting. Anna loves cooking and is always looking for new foods to try! She is excited to learn about the Portland community and improve sustainable practices locally. 

Caitlan Vultaggio

Community Resilience Fellow

Caitlan is from Long Island, New York. She received a B.S. from Stony Brook University with a double-major in Business Management and Environmental Studies. During her last year in college, Caitlan applied both her business and environmental knowledge as a Research Assistant to Dr. Sara Hamideh where she analyzed the market for coastal resilience bonds in Charleston, SC. The bonds would serve as proactive mitigation for the adverse effects of climate change and ignited her interest in city planning and community resilience. Caitlan also spent a month in Tanzania, conducting research on water quality and studying the intersections of healthcare, culture, and the environment in a developing country. As a Resilience Corps Fellow, Caitlan is excited to embrace community-led approaches to environmental issues and to gain the perspectives and skills needed to promote resilient communities and equitable climate action. In her free time, Caitlan enjoys traveling, cooking, exercising, and sitting by the ocean. 

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