Meet the Princeton Hydro Leadership Team

The members of our Leadership Team provide a depth of industry and operating experience that is fundamental to the success of Princeton Hydro. They are a group of passionate individuals who help to drive our people, culture, and strategy, and are committed to the firm’s mission of “changing our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities for the better.”

Today, we’re putting the spotlight our each member of our Leadership Team and asking them to share with us, in one sentence, what they enjoy most about their work.

Let’s meet them!


Scott Churm

As our Director of Field Operations and Field Office Manager, Scott and his team are responsible for providing pond and lake management and invasive species control services. Scott is an expert in species identification and determination of appropriate treatment response and adaptive management techniques. He is a licensed pesticide applicator in five states and has managed the treatment of nuisance aquatic and terrestrial plants at hundreds of sites totaling more than 1,000 acres. His experience also includes the design, installation and maintenance of aeration systems, the implementation of water quality and biological sampling programs, erosion control plans, and shoreline aquascaping projects.

“What I enjoy the most about working at Princeton Hydro is the ability to work outside the box to find new and better ways of doing what we do.”

 


Laura Craig, PhD

Laura, our Director of Natural Resources, is an aquatic ecologist and restoration practitioner with specific expertise in aquatic ecology, river restoration theory and practice (especially dam removal), nutrient dynamics, and climate adaptation. She is a big picture thinker with extensive experience in science communication, strategic planning, metrics and evaluation, project and budget management, policy, fundraising, and public engagement. Laura is passionate about identifying and improving how we manage existing and emerging threats to rivers.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work on many different types of projects, especially those that improve ecosystem function and help us adapt to a changing climate.”

 


John Eichholz

As our Chief Financial Officer, John leads our financial operations and provides overall strategic direction across the firm. John has more than 25 years of experience in financial analysis, strategic planning, business operations, and marketing strategy. He has worked at an array of globally-recognized companies, including Dun & Bradstreet, American Express, MasterCard, and Barclays. He specializes in financial forecasting, enhancing marketing performance through analysis and competitive intelligence, and developing strategic frameworks on how to lead corporate-wide initiatives.

“I enjoy helping the firm improve its overall profitability and financial stability by analyzing trends, identifying financial opportunities, and providing all colleagues with the tools they need to move Princeton Hydro forward… by making the firm stronger financially, we can serve our customers better and improve the lives of our employees and their families.”


Clay Emerson, PhD, PE, CFM

Clay is our Director of Stormwater Management & Green Infrastructure. His expertise includes a substantial amount of critical overlap between engineering and environmental science. Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, stormwater management and infiltration, nonpoint source pollution, watershed modeling, groundwater hydrology/modeling, and water quality and quantity monitoring are a few of the areas Clay specializes in. Additionally, Clay is an adjunct professor at Rowan University and he regularly teaches continuing education seminars and presents at events throughout the country.

“Problem solving has always been a passion of mine, and what I love most about my work is applying problem solving skills to help our clients resolve an issue or accomplish a goal.”

 


Karen Johnson

Karen, our Business Administrator, brings to the team over 35 years of experience in office and finance administration. Her background includes accounting systems, contracts, and reconciliations to file management and telephone system maintenance. Karen is also an active volunteer: she is the President of the Hillsborough High School Band Parents Association, where she fundraises and assists with coordination of over 100 band students and their families.

“What I enjoy most about my work is that there is something new every day … never a dull moment and always something new to learn!”

 


Fred Lubnow, PhD

As our Director of Aquatic Resources, Fred manages a variety of lake and watershed restoration projects. Fred has extensive experience in lake and watershed management, restoration ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, cyanobacteria biology, and the use of benthic macroinvertebrate and fish in-stream bioassessment protocols. He is a committed speaker and educator and has given countless presentations over the years for organizations throughout the country, including the New York State Federation of Lake Associations, North American Lake Management Society, the Cary Institute, and as an adjunct professor at DelVal University’s Environmental Studies program. Fred was recently featured in a Washington Post story about climate change and the impacts it’s had on Lake Hopatcong, specifically.

“I love how the entire staff of the company is absolutely committed to improving and protecting our natural resources.”

 


Samara McAuliffe

Samara brings over ten years of human resources and management experience to her position as our Employee Relations Manager. She has worked as a business partner and advisor in various sectors, from finance to retail. Her hands-on experience includes researching and resolution of complex human resources related issues, recruitment process management, HRIS implementation, representation at unemployment hearings, creation of EEOC position statements, leading and administering open enrollment initiatives, as well as management coaching and training.

“What I enjoy most about working in human resources at Princeton Hydro is supporting such a talented and dynamic group of creative minds.”

 


Dana Patterson

Dana is a passionate environmental communicator who brings to her position as our Marketing and Communications Manager a strong mix of diverse stakeholder engagement experience, coupled with values-based communication strategy. She specializes in branding, marketing, and digital media strategy, and strives to enhance the mission and values of Princeton Hydro. She earned her Master of Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she focused on strategies for climate change and wildlife conservation communication. Dana is an active volunteer for a variety of organizations, including Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) New Jersey Post, which recently presented her with an award for her efforts.

“Storytelling! Princeton Hydro has designed some of the most innovative, resilient ecosystem restoration projects in the Northeast that no one knows about. I’m passionate about sharing our story and building our brand so we can continue to enhance urban, suburban, and rural spaces where both wildlife and people can thrive.”


Laura Wildman, PE

Laura is the Director of River Restoration and the Manager of our New England office. Considered one of the foremost experts in the U.S. on dam/barrier removal and alternative fish passage, Laura has been involved in 200+ dam removal projects throughout the country (primarily in the Northeast) and is also involved in river restoration efforts in Europe. Laura is passionate about reconnecting communities to rivers and restoring the balance between natural resource management and healthy river systems.

“My favorite part about my work are the people I work with, their passion, their laughter, their stories, their successes, their hobbies, their kids, their dogs, and their focus on restoring healthy, self-sustaining ecosystems for future generations.”


Kevin Yezdimer, PE

Kevin is a multidisciplinary professional civil engineer with degrees in both Geology and Civil Engineering. As our Chief Operating Officer and Director of Geosciences, Kevin combines his 15 years of experience as a design consultant and project manager with his proven ability to lead others. He works hand-in-hand with each of our practice areas, the administration, and the principals to propel our firm forward. He also works to ensure that the company culture remains driven towards excellence in innovative and integrated science and engineering.

“Princeton Hydro provides me with the opportunity to work closely with talented and passionate folks to provide unique, comprehensive, and value-added solutions to our diverse clientele’s ecosystem and environmental challenges in order to positively impact these communities who entrust us with this great responsibility.”


 

Click here to learn more about all of the passionate and talented individuals who make up the Princeton Hydro team!

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our New Team Members

We’re excited to announce the hiring of four new team members! The addition of this group of talented individuals strengthens our commitment to delivering exceptional service.

Laura Craig, PhD, Director of Natural Resources

Dr. Laura “LC” Craig is an aquatic ecologist and restoration practitioner with more than ten years of experience working in river conservation both as the chief scientist at a national environmental nonprofit and as a restoration practitioner. She is a big picture thinker with extensive experience in science communication, strategic planning, metrics and evaluation, project and budget management, policy, fundraising, and public engagement. Laura’s specific areas of scientific expertise are aquatic ecology, river restoration theory and practice (especially dam removal), nutrient dynamics, and climate adaptation. Laura also has a keen interest in improving how we manage existing and emerging threats to rivers. Laura earned a B.S. in Biology from Susquehanna University and a PhD in Aquatic Ecology from University of Maryland-College Park.

Laura lives in Palmyra, New Jersey where she serves on Borough Council and the Land Use Board. In her free time, Laura goes to punk rock shows with her husband and relaxes on the beach in Asbury Park.

Lori Cooper, Accounting Assistant

Lori has a diverse professional background which includes acting as an animal health technician, Director of Children’s Programming for a community organization, human resource generalist, executive assistant and as an office manager. Her well-rounded experience has effectively utilized her creativity, organizational skills, attention to detail and strength at building relationships. Lori is thrilled to play a supporting role for a company that is making a positive impact on our environment.

Outside of work, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, climbing, gardening and volunteering with various charitable organizations that pull at her heartstrings.

Jerry Vogel, Aquatic Specialist

Jerry has experience in the stormwater, wastewater, and subsurface mapping. Prior to coming to Princeton Hydro, he worked as an Intern with the Economic Geology Division at the Pennsylvania Department of Energy using geophysical logs from abandoned oil and gas wells to map subsurface stratigraphy in the Western Regions of Pennsylvania. Jerry graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors in Earth and Environmental Science from Lehigh University. As an undergraduate, in addition to extensive geology and ecology related coursework, including extensive work involving the remote sensing of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, he completed a six-week geological field camp based in the Northern Rockies, Bighorn Basin, Tetons, Yellowstone, Montana and Idaho gaining a deep understanding of the natural world from basin to mountaintop.

Jerry has a passion for fishing, hiking and being outdoors with his wife and dog. He prides himself on being an environmental steward working to conserve, preserve, and restore nature so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

Tim Cutler, Aquatic Specialist

Tim is a member of Princeton Hydro’s Field Operations Practice Area. He has ten years of experience working on the water. He is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and served active duty from 2000-2005 as a Machinery Technician. For several years, Tim worked in emergency and marine spill response. He also has experience working with water quality analyzers as a Service Technician in the Power Generation field.

Outside of work, Tim enjoys being outdoors, seeing live music, going to the movies, and spending time with his wife and cats. He is also a drummer and illustrator in his spare time.

 

Learn more about our team.

 

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our New Team Members

We’re excited to announce the hiring of a new employee and the promotion of a member of our Field Operations team.

 

Jennifer Duff, Administrative Assistant

Jennifer works in our Glastonbury, CT location assisting with office coordination and administrative tasks. She is skilled in data visualization and graphic design, and enjoys working with our wonderful team of scientists, engineers, specialists, and people passionate about the environment and outdoors.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, crafting, and design. She is also passionate about local land and fiber, and spends time knitting and organizing wool farmers in the region.

Jacob Pigman, Aquatic Specialist

Jacob began with Princeton Hydro as a part-time staffer and is now a full-time member of the Aquatics Field Services Practice Area. His daily responsibilities include a variety of field tasks, including the treatment of lakes and ponds for hazardous algal blooms, the treatment/removal of invasive plant species, and the installation of fountain and/or aeration systems for sustainable water management. Working on the field operations team has given Jacob an opportunity to learn about the environmental science field, and he hopes to continue to grow his experience into a successful and bright future with the firm.

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Jacob enjoys spending time at the beach. He also enjoys cooking.

 

Learn more about our team.

 

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our New Team Members

Join us in welcoming ten new team members! We’ve hired four full-time staff and six part-time staff and interns spread throughout our Ringoes, Sicklerville, and Glastonbury offices.

Meet the new team members:

MARCIE ROBINSON, P.E., Senior Project Manager

With nearly two decades of experience in both the private and public sectors, Marcie has extensive knowledge of both facets of the civil engineering world. Her area of expertise includes water resource engineering and more specifically stormwater management, having designed multiple stormwater facilities utilizing best management practices. Marcie has worked on all aspects of land development projects including residential, industrial, commercial, and educational site plans and subdivisions; construction administration; and municipal engineering. She has prepared capital improvement projects for local municipalities and reviewed land development projects for conformance with local ordinances and the NJDEP stormwater regulations.

Outside of work, Marcie enjoys camping, gardening, raising money for various charities, and spending time with her husband, son, and beagle. She is eager to utilize her technical background, problem solving skills, and motivation to contribute to new challenging projects.

MATT SHAPPELL, Logistics Operations Manager

As of July 9, Matt joins our team as the Logistics Operations Manager, and is primarily responsible for project coordination, staff and equipment scheduling, managing health and safety procedures, site visits, field work, staff training, and general oversight of operational logistics. Matt has worked in the environmental/aquatics field for over 15 years, and has extensive experience in geotechnical sampling as well as geophysical and hydrographic surveys. He is also a USCG 100 ton licensed vessel captain and a certified SCUBA diver.

Outside of work, Matt enjoys traveling, kayaking and hiking with his family.

SAMARA MCAULIFFE, Executive Advisor & Employee Relations Manager

With over ten years of human resources and management experience, Samara has worked as a business partner and advisor in various sectors, from finance to retail. Her hands-on experience includes researching and resolution of complex human resources related issues, recruitment process management, HRIS implementation, representation at unemployment hearings, creation of EEOC position statements, leading and administering open enrollment initiatives, as well as management coaching and training.

Outside of work, Samara is an active member of her community, volunteering for various causes dear to her heart. She enjoys spending time with her son and daughter and makes every effort to be outside as much as possible, preferably hiking or kayaking.

Marissa Ciocco, Staff Engineer

After spending the last year interning for our Geosciences Engineering Practice Area, we’re thrilled to have Marissa join our team full-time. She is a recent graduate of Rowan University holding a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a Bantivoglio Honors Concentration. She was a member of the Orientation Staff for two years and is a member of the Student Alumni Association. She participated in the CREATE’s Fellowship program at Rowan University, and currently helps out at a local french bakery and tea room on the weekends. Her Junior Clinic class experience includes a green roof feasibility study and testing the effects of water quality on masonry mortar. In the future, Marissa hopes to work towards creating a greener and safer environment.

Marissa enjoys playing field hockey, cooking, knitting, car rides, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys watching home improvement shows, listening to country music, and mumbling phrases in Italian.

Ivy Babson, Staff Scientist

Ivy, who previously interned with us last summer, recently earned her B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Design, and minor in Geospatial Technologies from the University of Vermont, and has now joined our team full time. During her studies, she was a member of UVM’s Humanitarian Mapping Club and has “virtually” responded to earthquake and hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Texas, and Afghanistan via interactive spatial imagery programs. Ivy has also been the Art Editor of UVM’s alternative newspaper, drawing attention to environmental and social issues through articles and cartoons. Ivy worked closely through her school with the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to create a restoration plan and GIS map of an altered wetland near Lake Champlain that would hopefully help regain the ecosystem services lost from agricultural development. In the future, she hopes to implement ecological design in impacted ecosystems and in urban areas to help rehabilitate and restore damaged resources.

Ivy enjoys drawing, listening to her favorite 90s alt rock bands, road tripping, and watching re-runs of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

eric Libis, Aquatics specialist

Eric Libis is passionate of the outdoors. As a resident of Alaska, Eric has extensive hands on experience with nature in all its forms. Previously, he’s held a variety of positions including small engine mechanic, project manager, and served in the U.S. Army. New to Princeton Hydro, he hopes to expand his conservation skills and knowledge while providing his experience to the field operations team.

Fond of all things outdoors, Eric can (or cannot) be found, hiking in the back-country, mountaineering, rock mineral and fossil collecting, camping (both primitive and modern), boating, fishing, trail-building, and educating the leaders of tomorrow of the importance in preserving nature for everyone to enjoy.

Chris Johnson, Field Technician

Chris currently attends The College of New Jersey as a chemistry major with a background in small molecule synthesis. As member of Princeton Hydro’s field operations staff, he primarily utilizes his pesticide operator’s license to treat aquatic invasive weeds and algae. Chris also assists in the installation of aeration systems and fountains. Outside of work, Chris enjoys the outdoors, hiking in the Sourland mountains, camping, and video gaming.

Zach Johnson, Field Technician

Zack is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering from Rowan University. As a field technician and licensed pesticide operator, he is responsible for treating ponds and lakes with aquatic pesticides to control invasive species. Additionally, Zach assists with aeration system and fountain installations. In his free time, he enjoys movies, bike riding, video gaming and learning new life skills.

Becca Burrell, Communications Intern

Becca is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, working to attain a degree in Media and Professional Communications on the Corporate and Community Relations track, along with a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. Through her previous experience and classwork, Rebecca has learned how to engage with others through social media, writing, and marketing. At Pitt, Rebecca is a member of two honor societies, plays intramural field hockey, and is on the events committee for the Imagination Project, a group that dresses as famous characters in kids’ movies/TV shows and visits local children’s hospitals and other rec centers. She is also a student worker in the English Department. At Princeton Hydro, she is excited to promote and further the company’s goals through the use of thoughtful communication strategies.

During her free time, you can find Becca hanging out with her family, friends, and dog. She also enjoys reading, taking walks, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Will Kelleher, Environmental Science Intern

Will returns to Princeton Hydro for second summer with our Aquatics team. Will is a rising senior at the University of Vermont, studying Environmental Science with a concentration in Water Resources. His current career interests are focused around wetlands restoration and water chemistry. He recently spent two weeks studying water management and sustainable technology in the Netherlands and in the past has helped with biological and chemical stream monitoring with Raritan Headwaters Association. At school, he is involved in many environmental clubs on campus including Wildlife Society, Beekeeping Club and Green House Residential Sustainability.

Outside his love for the environment, Will is also an avid hockey fan, fisherman, and aspiring traveler of the world.

Nicole King, Water Resources Intern

Nicole is an environmental engineering student with experienced in CAD drafting, technical writing, and environmental sampling processes. Prior to Princeton Hydro, she worked for an automated assembly systems manufacturer where she developed her drafting skills and organized an archive system for their project drawings.As a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, Nicole has participated in research investigating the effect of high precipitation events using coded and built pressure-depth sensors in a dammed reservoir. She is also a part of an entrepreneurship club where she expressed innovation and collaboration with other members.

In her free time, Nicole competitively swims and enjoys reading, drawing, and watching movies.

Nina Petracca, landscape design intern

Nina is a rising senior at Rutgers University studying in the Landscape Architecture Program. In her studies Nina has focused on park design, environmental planning, stream bank restoration and planting design. Her most recent project involved designing a park in Germany to compliment an engineered wetland. When she enters the Rutgers Landscape Architecture MLA Program she plans to focus her education on wetland design and its beneficial relation to the community. Over the course of her internship with us, Nina hopes to gain a better understanding of wetland design and eco-restoration and develop stronger graphic skills.

In her free time Nina enjoys hiking, dancing, cooking, spending time with loved ones and being a bird mom.

Lucas Pick, Environmental Science Intern

Lucas is entering his final year at the College of New Jersey. He is majoring in Biology with a focus in Ecology and Evolution and is minoring in Statistics. He performs research through TCNJ to investigate the interactive effects of deer and invasive species on suburban forest plant communities. He is also working on a capstone study to develop a structural equation model that encompasses the driving factors for oak regeneration. Lucas has been exposed to a wide variety of natural resource management projects, including forest stand improvements, wetland enhancements, stream restorations, and dam removals. He is seeking a career in ecology, agriculture, and natural resource management, and has joined Princeton Hydro in hopes of developing his knowledge of aquatic ecology and environmental science.

In his free time, Lucas enjoys long distance running, playing baseball, and practicing guitar.

Learn more about our team.

**Blog Content Updated on July 11, 2019**