Meet the Fellows
Marissa Fink, Southern Maine Sustainability Fellow
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.
Emma Perry, City Sustainability Fellow
Emma grew up in Manchester, Vermont where she spent most of her time skiing, exploring in the woods, and playing soccer for her local high school. She recently graduated from the University of Vermont where she received a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies and Food Systems. After graduating Emma spent her summer working as a farm and food systems educator at an outdoor summer camp in Northern Vermont. Emma is interested in helping to foster a deeper connection between humans and the environment as well as educating people about the small but impactful changes they can make to make our city, and world, a more sustainable place. Emma moved to Maine to be closer to the ocean, and in her free time she loves to explore all that Maine has to offer with her dog Arlo. Whether it be hiking, cross-country skiing, or being on the water in the summer, you can find Emma at her happiest in the outdoors. As a Resilience Corps member, Emma looks forward to being a part of a team that’s helping turn Portland into a sustainable city for residents now and in the future.
Sofia Reali, Energy Efficiency Fellow
Sofia grew up in Cumberland, ME. She studied at the University of Vermont where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She now calls Portland, ME home again and is eager to serve communities in Maine to help grow and adapt to the constantly changing challenges they face. After graduating Sofia was an Ecosystems Governance Intern at SustainaMetrix in Portland, ME where she explored how market forces, government and civil society interact and work together to build and support systems of change. Sofia feels most at peace in the outdoors whether it be running, hiking, or walking along the coastal waters of Maine. In her free time, she likes to volunteer for the Friends of Casco Bay and consults for the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine(E2Tech). She understands the importance of community engagement and outreach when it comes to building long-term resiliency within communities. Sofia is interested in regional and community planning which is why she is excited to join the Resilience Corps Fellowship with GPCOG.
Reed Silvers, Sustainable Transportation Fellow
Reed holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning with a minor in Political Science from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. While his love of the outdoors drew him to the White Mountains for college, his heart lies with his home state of Maine, and he is excited to return to the Greater Portland community. Reed grew up in Cumberland, lived briefly in Raymond, and now resides in Portland. While he has had a passion for environmental sustainability since a young age, the love for his specific niche in GIS and sustainable city planning was discovered while taking urban geography courses in college. His experience as an intern at a New Hampshire regional planning commission further piqued his interest in the field. As a Resilience Corps Fellow, Reed is eager to help create pedestrian-safe streets, improve transit, and engage in the community. In his free time, Reed enjoys cross country and alpine skiing, hiking, camping, playing tennis, and frequenting Portland’s many cafes and restaurants.
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.