Our Climate Fellows

Spring 2019 New England Fellows

Violette Ballecer

Violette is a freshman studying Environmental Analysis and Policy at Boston University while concurrently earning her MA in Energy and Environment. A California native, she spent her childhood exploring ‘the great outdoors’, gaining a deep appreciation and respect for the world around her. Violette’s passion for environmental advocacy stems from her experience as a lifelong resident of the Central Valley, America’s agricultural capital. In just 18 years, her home has become unrecognizable due to climate change, ravaged by droughts and wildfires. By championing carbon pricing with Our Climate, she hopes to set a positive precedent for future environmental policy and be an example for the nation’s youth. When she is not studying or working, Violette can be found running, cycling, skiing, hiking, or stargazing in her hammock with her black lab, Gus.

Caitlin Colino

Caitlin is a first-year Environmental Engineer at Tufts University. She grew up in Seattle, WA which gave her a deep appreciation of the natural world, our planet, and the people who live on it. Throughout middle and high school she learned to turn this passion into productivity through a group called Sustainability Ambassadors where she trained in policy analysis, performance assessment, project management, and public speaking. Caitlin is pumped to take the next step with Our Climate and focus her work on policies surrounding putting a price on carbon, and hopes to help make the movement more inclusive. She believes deeply that climate injustice is one of, if not the greatest, challenges of our time and that we must approach all sustainability work through an equity lens. Whenever she has time Caitlin enjoys dancing, playing frisbee, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.

Connor Farnham

Connor is currently a senior at the School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts, Boston. They grew up in suburban Wilmington, MA and spent their childhood exploring the forests, mountains, and lakes of New Hampshire. As a member of the LGBTQ community and an ardent student of Marxian economics, Connor is most passionate about fighting climate change through a social justice and economic lens. They aim to pursue a PhD in environmental policy focusing on theories of environmental imperialism and political ecology, hopefully ending up as a professor somewhere in the secluded wilderness of New England.

Ava Harrington

Ava Harrington is a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy who grew up in North Reading, Massachusetts. Her interest in biology and ecology has pushed her to feel extremely concerned about climate change She believes that climate change is the greatest issue facing her generation. She is excited to tackle these issues by addressing them at the source: legislature. She believes carbon pricing is the best way to tackle the disaster of climate change, and hopes to study biology and political science in college. Outside of learning all things bio, Ava loves writing and hopes to be a science writer one day. She spends her free time playing video games, reading, and hanging out with her pet fish.

Hannah Lydon

Hannah Lydon became interested in climate change when she was young through reading An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. Since then, Hannah has studied Environmental Technology at Essex Technical High School where she first started learning GIS and studying how sea level rise would affect coastal communities. Today Hannah is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Boston pursuing her bachelors of science in Environmental Science. Hannah looks forward to increasing her knowledge of carbon pricing and environmental activism with Our Climate. She is especially excited to be working with other youth leaders to create statewide change. Hannah also enjoys practicing, teaching, and competing in kung fu, tai chi, and dragon dance.

Rhiannon McIsaac

Rhiannon is a senior at Attleboro High School. She has loved the ocean since she was a child and intends to major in marine science in the coming fall. She came to climate activism through researching marine science and seeing the effects of a changing climate on the oceans she loves so much. She is especially excited to work with Our Climate on carbon pricing as she believes it is a real solution to a very real problem. In her free time, Rhiannon enjoys reading, taking pictures, and hiking with her dog who is very ironically named Diesel.

Emily Radkowski

Emily is a first-year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a major in environmental science and a certificate in coastal and marine sciences. As a former captain of her high school’s speech and debate team, she is passionate about helping others find their voices and share their stories. Through her fellowship with Our Climate, Emily hopes to continue that passion. She is excited to assist other young people in advocating for strong and equitable carbon pricing legislation in her home state of Massachusetts. In her downtime, Emily can either be found hiking, trying new recipes, or searching for the best reading spots on campus.

Meaghan Tully

Meaghan is a senior at Attleboro High school, graduating in May. She plans to attend College in the Fall and pursue a degree in Environmental Studies. Born in Brockton and raised in Attleboro, MA, Meaghan has always been passionate about environmental protection and advocacy. She believes that Climate Change is the most pressing issue of our time, and is concerned that everyone will feel the effects, especially those most vulnerable to a changing landscape. This belief led her to Our Climate’s campaign. She believes carbon fee and rebate policies are a viable, equitable way to help tackle the issue and create tangible change. In her free time, Meaghan enjoys skateboarding, skiing, knitting, and spending quality time with her dog, Kato.  

Ruby Wincele

Ruby is a junior at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she is majoring in Economics and Mathematics, and minoring in Environmental Studies and Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity. She is interested in the economic impacts of climate change and is currently focusing on environmental and food policy in school.  In 2018, Ruby worked at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), which helps researchers and undergraduate students understand and explore environmental solutions. At ESI, she learned about carbon pricing and how this type of policy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide benefits to American families and help communities adapt to climate change. She is excited to be working with Our Climate to help increase support for carbon pricing in Massachusetts and to learn more about environmental activism. Originally from White Plains, NY, Ruby is a huge New York Yankees fan; she also loves coffee, cats, hiking and baking.

Spring 2019 New York Fellows

Elizabeth Aranguiz

Elizabeth Aranguiz is a senior at Stony Brook University, currently studying Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning. She is working toward becoming an urban planner, and would like to enter the workforce before she pursuing a masters or law school. Elizabeth is the Public Relations Manager for 3Diatrics, an organization on her campus dedicated to 3D printing toys for children at Stony Brook Hospital. She also works at iCreate as an Innovation Consultant, and is on the committee for the annual InnovateIT hackathon, which is currently focused on climate change solutions. In her spare time, Elizabeth likes to garden, bake, and travel.

Morgan Margulies

Morgan Margulies is currently a Freshman at Columbia University in Manhattan majoring in Political Science and Mathematics-Statistics. He grew up in Nevada City, California, a small town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Raised in the woods, Morgan developed a passion for the environment that surrounded him. In his free time, Morgan enjoys spending time at the Yuba River, climbing mountains, stargazing, and eating pesto pasta with basil from his family’s garden. His appreciation for nature translated into a dedication to environmental stewardship and restoration. Additionally, Morgan believes climate change is an issue of social justice and is concerned with how pollution disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. Morgan is enthusiastic about grass roots organizing and is ecstatic to be working with Our Climate, an organization he believes can influence meaningful policy to take climate change head on.

Gabriel Bongiorno

Gabriel Bongiorno is a sophomore at Binghamton University. As an Environmental Policy and Economics double major, he is excited to work with Our Climate to raise support and awareness for a sensible solution to climate change. Gabriel is a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and plans on attending law school after graduating so he can pursue a career in environmental law. When he’s not studying for his classes, Gabriel enjoys swimming and performing in his student-run theater group.  

Karim Hanna

Karim Hanna is a senior at Stony Brook University, currently studying Technological Systems Management, as well as, Ecosystems and Human Impact. He is working towards becoming a field researcher and environmental/climate scientist, and hopes to enter the workforce before pursuing graduate degrees. Karim is currently a Resident Assistant at Stony Brook and a member of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. In his free time Karim can be found listening to music, talking about social issues, reading, or on a nature walk.

Thomas Minett

Thomas Minett is in his junior year at Ithaca College. He’s studying Environmental Science with a minor in International Communications. On campus, Thomas is a tour guide and conducts research with his professor looking at the effects of microplastics in freshwater environments.  He’s excited to get involved with Our Climate and to learn more about grassroots change and policy making. Thomas believes that climate change is urgent long-term issue that needs attention today. After graduation, he’s hoping to spend a couple years in the Peace Corps before pursuing his masters degree. In his free time, Thomas enjoys hiking, traveling, playing tennis, and attending concerts.

Lucy Battle

Lucy Battle is a sophomore, Political Science major, and Economics and History minor at Skidmore College. She is excited to work with Our Climate in order to make real political change. Lucy believes that climate change is an imperative issue that impacts all of our lives. She is a huge U.S. Government nerd, and loves the opportunity to work closely with state and local governments to make impactful change. In her free time she enjoys socializing with friends, reading a good book, and rowing on Skidmore’s crew team.

Christopher Pereira

Christopher Pereira is a Sophomore at Binghamton University who has joined Our Climate as a Fellow to advocate for climate change within New York State. Christopher is working within his community in Binghamton to spark engagement and support for putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions. He is pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Studies as well as a minor in Biological Sciences. Upon graduation in 2021, Chris aims to continue his education in pursuit of an MBA. In his free time, he enjoys socializing with friends, traveling, skiing and is working to become a certified scuba diver.

Omarra Hannibal-Williams

Omarra Hannibal-Williams is a junior at Union College where she currently studies political science and environmental science and policy.  A future presidential hopeful, she hopes to learn the ins and out of policy making, as well as how to engage and educate her campus and surrounding community on pressing environmental issues. At Union, Omarra is a member of Gamma Phi Beta, and a student representative on the Campus Operations/Facilities Committee.  In her free time, Omarra likes to kayak, play basketball, and listen to music.

Spring 2019 Oregon Fellows

Marion Powell

Marion was born and raised on the little island of MolokaʻI and is currently enrolled as a Freshman at Willamette University with a goal to double major in Environmental Science and Political Science. Through the course of her life she’s always been interested in the environment, whether it be through paddling in the open ocean or competing in Science Fair high above in the beautiful native forest. With this fellowship, Marion hopes to gain experience in lobbying, learn the ways of politics, and advocate for a bill that she strongly believes has the capability of putting Oregon as the leader in fighting one of our greatest enemies, Climate Change.

Claire Mathews-Lingen

Claire is a sophomore sociology major at Willamette University. She came from Minnesota to attend Willamette and is excited about getting connected to Oregon organizing through this fellowship. Political work specifically around the environment has been a big part of her life. Claire wants to make change through lobbying, activism, and eventually running for office.


Ross Wheeler

Ross Wheeler has always had a passion for exploring the science behind global climate change and the personal and societal changes that we must make to reduce our impact on the environment. Growing up on Vashon Island, Washington, Ross experienced the close relationship between humans, health, and the natural environment. Ross is excited to join Our Climate to fight for market-based solutions to climate change as an essential part of a total climate solution. Ross is currently a Sophomore Politics major at Willamette University.

Erin Kanzig

Erin grew up in beautiful Central Oregon and then attended Whitman College, where she graduated with a BA in sociology and environmental studies. After college she lived and worked in Detroit, MI for six years, where she became greatly interested in social and environmental justice issues. Inspired by the talented people organizing in Detroit, she decided to pursue a Master of Public Policy degree, which she is currently working on at Oregon State University, focusing on environmental policy. Erin is thrilled to be working as a fellow for Our Climate to advocate for the Clean Energy Jobs Bill and gain experience lobbying for the sake of the public and the environment. 

Sarah Settimo

Sarah is a senior at Oregon State University studying Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Policy, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, Sarah has experienced the effects of climate change first hand through the worsening of wildfires in her region. This experience has made her concerned about issues surrounding climate change. Through working for Our Climate, she is excited to bring about change in Oregon's environmental policy and gain experience advocating for our planet. After graduating from Oregon State, she hopes to study Environmental Policy or Law.

John Stepanek

John is a PhD student at Oregon State University studying how vegetation on coastal sand dunes responds to and mitigates the effects of climate change. He earned his B.S. in Biology and Ecology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA and was very active with organizations focused on sustainability issues. Currently, he is working with Our Climate to push for clean energy policies in Oregon that will be ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, surfing, and gardening and wants to protect the environment for his generation and those to follow.

Spring 2019 Washington Fellows

Robin Chapman

Robin is a freshman at The Evergreen State College. She's originally from Issaquah, Washington, but is excited to be in Olympia studying the environment and policy. Robin has always cared for animals and nature since she has lived so close to both. Robin's care for climate change really solidified at the Seattle Aquarium when she was a Youth Ocean Advocate during high school. Robin saw the effects climate change had on the ocean and felt like she could make a difference . Robin now feels personally responsible for making sure the Pacific Northwest stays beautiful and sustainable. This is Robin's second time being a part of Our Climate's Fellowship!

Monique Reese

Monique is a junior at Eastern Washington University.  She’s always had a love for science, which lead her to major in Environmental Chemistry.  In efforts to become a part of the movement for cleaner energy, she joined the Our Climate Fellowship in Washington.  Throughout this experience she hopes to continue building on her leadership skills, network with other leaders in her campus and city community, and make a difference in our nations pollution habits.  National change is a big goal. But to create change in our world, we must think globally and act locally.

Zoe Hemez

Zoe is a freshman at Western Washington University, where she plans on double-majoring in mathematics and public health. Born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Zoe has always felt deeply passionate about preserving the environment for generations to come. By serving as an Our Climate fellow for her campus, she hopes to inspire her fellow students to speak out against those issues that threaten the future of our planet. In her spare time, Zoe loves to rock climb, take photos, read books, and pet her kitties.

Jessica Hart

Jessica is a junior at Washington State University and currently studying Sports Science. She hopes to go into the medical field but firmly believes that a crucial piece of one's health is the environmental conditions they are in. Growing up in an area where she was able to see the effects of environmental degradation and the side effects on public health, she hopes to be able to share her experiences to prevent others from the same situations. 

Spring 2019 Virginia Fellow

Riley Place is a a Freshman at the University of Richmond. Originally from the Washington DC area, Riley began his involvement with Our Climate by working on the DC Put A Price On It Campaign. This campaign succeeded in passing one of the most ambitious local level climate bills in the country. In Virginia, Riley has facilitated training and petitioning events on campus, published an Op-Ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and organized a lobby day for carbon pricing in the state offices. In his free time, Riley enjoys running along the James River and birdwatching. He believes this is a critical time to mitigate climate change, as many of the effects of climate change on biodiversity and human society will be either impossible or extremely expensive to address the longer society waits.

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