SoGES announces 20 scientists from 15 departments in 2022-23 cohort of Sustainability Leadership Fellows

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at Colorado State University has announced the selection of 20 early career scientists as Sustainability Leadership Fellows for the 2022-23 academic year.

This cohort represents 15 departments and units and six colleges at CSU. The school’s Sustainability Leadership Fellows program prepares future innovators and thought leaders with state-of-the-art science communication and career development training.

In one school year, fellows receive training to become leaders. The program focuses on building skills to adeptly understand, translate, adapt and communicate their sustainability expertise so they can have a meaningful impact on the social-environmental-economic challenges the world faces.

Fellows receive training in science communication, engagement, identifying shared values, interacting with policy, building effective teams and other professional development skills to incorporate meaningful strategies into their future sustainability careers.

The SoGES program is among the first of its kind and is one of the longest running programs of its type in North America. The 2022-23 year will mark the 12th cohort and 240 fellows trained through SoGES.

The program is in a collaborative network with other higher education institutions across the U.S. and Canada to continually integrate best practices, share ideas and imbue cutting-edge training as part of the ANGLES network: A Network for Graduate Leadership in Sustainability.

SoGES recognizes that CSU’s future Ph.D.s and postdoctoral researchers are a primary informational resource for the complex decisions that can move the world towards a sustainable future. The Sustainability Leadership Fellows program exists to provide additional skills and expertise to these sustainability experts so they can better tackle these grand challenges in their future careers.

To learn more about the SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows program and the ANGLES network, which is headquartered at SoGES, contact Aleta Rudeen Weller, senior research and engagement officer.

2022-2023 Sustainability Leadership Fellows


Jackie Billotte, Ph.D. student, Department of Agricultural Biology, advisor: Ruth Hufbauer

Eliza Clark, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Agricultural Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, advisor: Ruth Hufbauer

Valerie Seitz, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Cell & Molecular Biology, advisor: Jessica Prenni

Sahar Toulabi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, mentor: David Holm



Débora Nunes, Ph.D. student, Department of Economics, advisor: Elissa Braunstein

Michelan Wilson, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Economics, advisor: Edward Barbier

Mary Witlacil, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, advisor: Bradley Macdonald



Matthew DeSaix, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biology, advisor: Kristen Ruegg

Olivia Hajek, Ph.D. student, Department of Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, advisor: Alan Knapp

Mary Linabury, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, advisor: Melinda D. Smith

Sheela Turbek, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology, mentor: Kristen Ruegg



Coby McDonald, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology and Biology, mentors: Sue VandeWoude and W. Chris Funk



Marybeth Arcodia, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Atmospheric Science, mentor: Elizabeth Barnes

Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Atmospheric Science, advisor: Emily V. Fischer

Kathryn Moore, Ph.D. student, Department of Atmospheric Science, advisors: Sonia Kreidenweis and Paul DeMott



Julia Branstrator, Ph.D. student, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, advisor: Christina Cavaliere

Saeideh Esmaeili, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, mentor: Sarah R. B. King

Bennett Hardy, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, advisors: Larissa Bailey and W. Chris Funk

Emily Iskin, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Geosciences, advisor: Ellen Wohl

Clara Mosso, Ph.D. student, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, advisor: Stephanie Kampf