For Alumni

An earlier version of this website, during a simpler time online, included an open forum for ISE alums to submit their personal updates.  Here’s what we received.  Hope everyone will join us on August 23-25th, 2024 in central Vermont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ISE!

Updates from ISE Alumni


Gil Friend

Year of Attendance: 1974-75 (Faculty)
Current Residence: CA
Current Activities: Founder and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc – strategy firm advising companies and governments on sustainability strategies – prospering by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise.
Also: Author, The Truth About Green Business (FT Press), Blogging at Tweeting at

Phil Ferraro

Year of Attendance: 1977
Current Residence: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Current Activities: Founder/Director Institute for Bioregional Studies Ltd.. focusing on Permaculture, Corporate Social Responsibility Consulting, Green Building (Green Roofs, Living Walls and Tiny Houses).

Rod Munroe

Year of Attendance: 1977
Current Residence: North Chittenden, VT
Current Activities: Have been living in North Chittenden, VT. Have been working as a lab technician for a waste water facility for last 25 years. Have been involved in local organic farm initiatives in Rutland County and environmental concerns in the area.

Seth Wilson

Year of Attendance: 1977
Current Residence: Riverside, CA
Current Activities: Managing energy commodity and credit risk for North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp in Chicago, IL.

Bill Warters

Year of Attendance:  1977
Current Residence:  Detroit, MI
Current Activities:  I’m a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, teaching in our Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution program.


Kenyon Kelly

Year of Attendance: 1980
Current Residence:  Newton, NC
Current Activities: Teaching at a Montessori School for last twenty years w/ a special focus on permacultural gardening w/children. Founded and directed and conservation/community group focusing on land protection & increasing recreation opportunities for past ten. Married for 17 joyous years.

Don (Whistlepig) Davis

Year of Attendance: 1984-87
Current Residence: Dalton State
Current Activities: Teaching, writing, organizing (mountaintop removal), traveling (Tajikistan, Ukraine, Romania, Mexico), and growing an heirloom garden.

Bob Brister

Year of Attendance Summer 1987
Current Residence  Salt Lake City, UT
What are you up to? Professionally I’ve focused on public lands and wildlife conservation for the last 15 years, currently as staff for the Utah Environmental Congress. I’m campaigning to allow wolves to return to Utah. I organize a monthly anti-war protest (Honk and Wave for Peace) at a busy intersection in Salt Lake City. In 2006 I was the Green Party of Utah nominee for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. I’m now an independent ecological leftist.

Eric Jacobson

Year of Attendance: 1989-1992
Current Residence: London, UK
Current Activities: I’m writing a book on Hannah Arendt and developing a PhD program in Social Ecology at the University of Roehampton in London.


Deborah McLaren

Year of Attendance: 90-91
Current Residence: Saint Paul, MN 55104
Current Activities: Still working in tourism. Recently coordinated a sustainable tourism program/route at White Earth Indian Reservation (MN) with Winona LaDuke. Married w/children. Living dangerously… close to Izzy’s Ice Cream in Saint Paul, MN. Just read the Brian Tokar interview with EcoClub. Nice interview. Keep pushing that good word. There is some good news – less greenwash and more “ethical” types of tourism. Come & visit me in Minnesota and I’ll take you on a tour of White Earth (with a stop at Izzys).

Awatif Alshaikh

Year of Attendance: 1991-1993
Current Residence: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Current Activities: I spend most of my time in UAE with my children and grand-children. Here I am active with Dubai Women Association and I am a member of multicultural foundation and The Environment Group in Abu Dhabi. I spend autumn and winter in Suoan .There I have a lot to do.. Part of that is manageable can be taken care of. My dream project of organic farming and producing honey is still at halt. SALAM TO YOU ALL.

Jan Jones

Year of Attendance 1991-92
Current Residence  Scottsville, Va
Current Activities: Still growing blueberries and antique apples and have recently set up a practice in Sound Healing. Glad to see ISE still out there pushing the envelope.

Allen Butcher

Year of Attendance: 1992
Current Residence: Denver,CO
Current Activities: Writing a book, further developing material on my website.

April Heaslip

Year of Attendance: 1996-1997
Current Residence: Ashfield, MA
Current Activities: I teach Gender & Women’s Studies at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts. I created The Inside-Out-Stitute which provides workshops for women.

Brad Charles Melzer

Year of Attendance: 1998-2000
Current Residence: Cleveland, OH
Current Activities: Currently, I’m involved in three powerful projects. I landed a position with a company called Filtrexx International. Filtrexx is a carbon negative company with a for profit and non profit arm. We are carbon negative and in 2009 used over 2 million cubic yards of compost and planted 7,500 acres of permanantly vegetated land. From our site in Grafton, OH we donated over 500 lbs of produce for local food shelves. I have been teaching in the Soc and Bio/Geo depts of Baldwin-Wallace College and helped develop Ohio’s first Sustainability degree program. Also, I am on the board of directors for the Green Triangle: Northeast Ohio’s most active Permaculture group

Dan Chard

Year of Attendance: 1999
Current Residence:  Northampton, MA
Current Activities: I am a graduate student beginning the Ph.D. program in the UMass History Department in the fall (2010). Please keep me informed of ISE activities in the region! I’m glad to know that the ISE is back!



Year of Attendance: 2000-2001
Current Residence:  Carbondale, Southern IL
Current Activities:  I’m an author, teacher, and advocate of social and ecological justice. I co-host an ecologically-themed weekly radio show called Your Community Spirit on WDBX 91.1 FM. Currently, I’m teaching an informal class on Environmental Ethics at a local community center. (Needless to say, I included a section on Social Ecology!) I also do computer work and other support work for a renewable energy company called Advanced Energy Solutions.

Dy Adamson

Year of Attendance: 2001
Current Residence: Baltimore, MD
Current Activities: I am a graduate of Gallaudet University and using my Elementary Education degree working as a Reading Specialist with Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students program with Living Classrooms and a Science teacher with the Mi Segunda Casa program with Education Based Latino Outreach. The (BUGS) Program works with children from under-served Baltimore City communities and EBLO provides an after-school program for Hispanic students that foster academic achievement, self esteem and cultural awareness. When I get the chance I go to National Science Teachers Association conferences and Wonderwise trainings.

Alvaro González-Gervasio

Year of Attendance: 2001
Current Residence: Montevideo, Uruguay
Current Activities: Teaching Geography at a private institute; preparing the edition of a Geography book for College; working on a project of sustainable tourism.

Natalie A. Soleil

Year of Attendance 2001 SDBLU (as Natalie A.)
Current Residence  Brooklyn, NY
What are you up to? Garden Manager, GIFT Garden Project, Brooklyn, NY
Founder, Tasting Awareness

Matt Leonard

Year of Attendance:  2001
Current Residence:  Oakland, CA
What are you up to?    Heavily involved in the climate and energy justice movements, working as a campaigner, organizer, action coordinator, and strategies for both NGO and grasroots efforts. Worked on staff at Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, and currently coordinating the Tar Sands Action – a sustained civil disobedience campaign focused on transforming the climate movement. Currently finishing BA at Prescott College in AZ, and eyeing grad school options.

Clay Distler

Year of Attendance: 2002
Current Residence: NY
Current Activities: I recently graduated from NYU with a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, specializing in Anti-Racism. I am now returning to work in the field in New York City.

Andrew Hedden

Year of Attendance: 2002
Current Residence: Seattle, WA – ’til I die! (or go underground)
Current Activities: Making do as coordinator of a university program. Still trying to organize against capitalism and oppression. ISE feels like light years away but I owe so much to the experiences I had!

Leni T. Goggins

Year of Attendance: 2002
Current Residence: Vancouver, B.C.
Current Activities: Studying journalism. Running youth-senior magazine

Katrin Redfern

Year of Attendance: 2002-2004
Current Residence: NYC, NY
Current Activites: writing about feminist issues in Cambodia and NYC.

Bob Wester

Year of Attendance:    2004
Current Residence:    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
What are you up to?    Working daily as union organizer in a public sector union. In spare free time building a radical grass roots organisation inspired by social ecology, anarchism, Marxism and more for a socialism for the 21st century. Focusing on figthing migration control and the current attack on worker’s rights these past years.

Eleanor Finley

Year of Attendance:    2011
Current Residence:    Richmond,VA
What are you up to?    I just visited Zucotti Park in New York City and had an absolute blast. I would recommend attendance to even the most cynical (though be warned that the drum circle is SO ANNOYING). Owen and I are already making plans to stay at the Occupation in the long term. To all ISE folks in NYC- let’s get in touch!