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Institute for Sustainable Solutions Staff

Robert Liberty
Director
503-725-8989 | rliberty@pdx.edu

Robert works with the ISS staff and PSU faculty, students, and community partners to advance the Institute’s research, academic, and community service agendas and to attract the resources needed to increase the impact of ISS. Prior to becoming director of ISS, he helped create the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at PSU, a program he continues to lead. Before coming to PSU, Robert was a Metro councilor (the Portland area’s regional elected government), senior counsel to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, and a staff attorney and executive director at 1000 Friends of Oregon. Robert serves as a member of the Columbia Gorge Commission, which administers the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Robert has degrees from the University of Oregon Honors College, Oxford University, and Harvard Law School. In his spare time, he enjoys backpacking, painting, and gardening. 

 

Fletcher Beaudoin
Assistant Director
503-784-5981 | beaudoin@pdx.edu

Fletcher focuses on sustainability research, education, and community engagement, working to build links between the PSU community and sustainability practitioners. He develops programs focused on scaling applied research and curriculum across the university, serves as a convener and connector for advancing collaborative actions for addressing complex sustainability issues, cultivates university-practitioner partnerships around topics of urban sustainability and ecosystem services, and provides the day-to-day management of the Institute’s activities and programs. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from the University of Oregon and his Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy and Energy Policy from Columbia University. When he’s not collaborating on how to make the Northwest even greener, Fletcher can be found brewing beer, sprinting on the soccer field, or biking around Portland.

 

Vivek Shandas 
Research Director
503-725-5222 | vshandas@pdx.edu

Vivek supports the development of ISS research agenda, which focuses on the production, translation, and implementation of university knowledge. By engaging faculty, students, and staff through proposals, projects, and planning, his role offers an opportunity to catalyze university research in addressing the pressing sustainability challenges to society. Vivek is an associate professor urban studies and planning and is trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, with an undergraduate degree in biology (University of California, Santa Cruz), graduate degrees in environmental policy, and economics (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), and a doctorate in urban ecology (University of Washington). In his spare time, he enjoys playing "monsters" with his son, looking for the Cascadian sasquatch, and tasting beverages made with fermented grains. 


Judy Walton 
Program Administrator, Urban Sustainability Accelerator
503-725-5839 | judywalton@pdx.edu

Judy joined the Urban Sustainability Accelerator in Winter 2014. She has experience in green building consulting, neighborhood planning, and open space planning, and has taught courses in sustainable cities and urban geography at Humboldt State University and Portland State University. Judy received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics from the University of California at San Diego; an M.A. in Geography from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in Geography from Syracuse University. Her academic area of emphasis is urban geography, including downtown revitalization and sustainable cities. Judy was the founding director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and an initiator of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) as well as the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the premier sustainability assessment system used by colleges and universities.  

 

Laura GleimLaura Gleim
Communications Manager
503-725-2699 | lgleim@pdx.edu

Laura manages communications for ISS, working with faculty, students, and community partners to craft and broadcast the stories of PSU’s diverse sustainability initiatives. Laura has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. When she’s not sharing the stories of the people and programs that make sustainability a reality at PSU, she enjoys experiencing different cultures, exploring different landscapes, and discovering the next best lightly packaged wine (to take backpacking).

 

Mary Vance
Sustainability Career Counselor
503-725-4005 | vancem@pdx.edu

Mary connects students across the University with meaningful internship experiences and green job opportunities designed to translate the systems thinking and sustainability problem-solving skills they are learning int he classroom into resume-building job experiences. She holds Master's degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Columbia University and Counseling from University of Maryland, College Park; and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When she's not out developing new internship programs, she loves to be doing anything outside but especially exploring the Sandy River Delta with her dog.  

 

Jacob Sherman

Jacob Sherman 
Student Experience & Community Partnerships Program Manager
503-725-9120 | jsherman@pdx.edu

Jacob works to better integrate sustainability into curriculum at Portland State by creating applied projects where students can put their sustainability education to action, both on campus and in the community. He manages PSU’s Living Lab and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, leads faculty development programming, and guides strategic planning, implementation, and assessment of the University’s sustainability curriculum. Jacob holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy with a specialization in Leadership for Sustainability Education, and has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Portland State University. When he is not working with professors and local organizations to plan the next community-based student project, Jacob can be found serving as the chair of his neighborhood association, chasing chickens out of his garden, backpacking through amazing landscapes, or playing board games with his family. 

 

Beth Elaine Gilden
Research Coordinator
bgilden@pdx.edu

Beth facilitates the connection between PSU sustainability research teams and community partners. She coordinates the Portland Climate Action Collaborative and other interdisciplinary research programs, including initiatives around affordable and sustainable accessory dwelling units (ADUs), climate change risk and resilience, and neighborhood-level response to climate change challenges. Beth has a Bachelor of Science in Decision Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from PSU. Beth is the proud owner of a Bernese Mt. Dog, and in her free time she enjoys cooking, running, and listening to podcasts.

 

Beth Lloyd-PoolBeth Lloyd-Pool
Program Manager
503-725-8556 | elloyd@pdx.edu

Beth manages ISS’ internal operations and programs to promote sustainability research and education across the campus and community. A PSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, she has over 10 years of experience working at the University. She administers the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, manages various funding opportunities for faculty and students, and helps develop strategic planning and assessment of sustainability initiatives. When she’s not gastronomically musing at a local restaurant, Beth is out hiking, camping, and enjoying the great outdoors with her family.

 

Tania HoodeTania Hoode
Program Assistant
503-725-9940 | thoode@pdx.edu

Tania provides administrative support for the Institute’s internal operations, making sure that details behind the scenes are completed in a timely manner. She also offers a friendly face at our front desk and keeps the office running smoothly. Tania holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College and is a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA). In her spare time, Tania enjoys spending time with her husband and friends, gardening, reading, walking, camping, taking outdoor photos, and occasionally beading and playing guitar.

 

Graduate Assistants

Eric Rutledge
Program Assistant, Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative
rutledge@pdx.edu 

Eric supports the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative by identifying and initiating projects, tracking project implementation, and engaging with PSU faculty, students, and community partners in a positive and productive way. Eric received a double major in geography and environmental studies from San Francisco State University, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. Outside of work and school you can find Eric at the top of a local peak or rooftop taking landscape and cityscape photos.

 

Maria Sipin
Communications Assistant
msipin@pdx.edu 

Maria enjoys working on projects combining social justice and public health. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Cal Poly Pomona, and her work experience has been dedicated to nonprofit organizations in health care and transportation advocating for the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth and low-income communities of color. Maria is a pursuing dual Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Public Health degrees at Portland State University, actively volunteers for Multicultural Communities for Mobility, and is a certified bicycle safety instructor. She spends her free time going on walks, taking photos during local adventures, and learning do-it-yourself projects via YouTube.

 

Amanda Hudson 
Community Coordinator, Student Fellows program
hudsonam@pdx.edu

Amanda is the community coordinator for the ISS Student Fellows program, which provides students interested in sustainability issues an opportunity to build their networks, skills, and experience on campus and beyond. Amanda received her Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Southern Oregon University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Urban Studies, with a focus on community development, participatory democracy, and popular education. As a first-generation college student, Amanda is passionate about serving communities and students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and connecting them to opportunities for empowerment and transformative learning. In her spare time, Amanda can be found reading fantasy literature, hanging out with her family, recruiting people to play board games with her, or exhorting the virtues and vices of the Portland community.

Research Professors

David Ervin
Senior Research Faculty 
dervin@pdx.edu

Dave's research and policy outreach center on the value of ecosystem services for urban regions and agriculture, and on the use of community-based approaches to manage the wicked problem of herbicide resistance. His undergraduate and Master's degrees were received in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University in agricultural and resource economics. When not wrestling questions of valuation and management, Dave enjoys exploring beautiful natural areas on foot, in a kayak, or on a bicycle, and experiencing fine food, wine, music and art wherever he travels.


Sean GordonSean Gordon
Research Assistant Professor
503-808-2698 | sean.gordon@pdx.edu 

Sean studies the design and use of information systems for supporting natural resource decisions. His current work involves developing assessment and prioritization models for the Northwest Forest Plan and the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project. He is also studying how natural resource data is used in landscape and urban decision making, and teaches a course on urban ecology for the PSU Honors program. Sean has a Ph.D. from the Oregon State College of Forestry, as well as a Master of Environmental Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Computer Science from Yale University. When not working, Sean cheers his son’s soccer team, jogs with his dog, and imagines getting back into gardening.

 

Rebecca McLainRebecca McLain
Research Assistant Professor
971-570-3294 | mclainrj@pdx.edu

Rebecca studies the effects of forest management practices on human and natural communities. She is currently exploring GIS techniques for mapping cultural values associated with Pacific Northwest ecosystems, and is studying the policy barriers to integrating non-timber forest products into urban ecosystem management. Rebecca has a Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s College of Forestry, a Master of Science in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Texas-Austin. When not working, Rebecca enjoys gathering fruit and firewood in southeast Portland, picking wild mushrooms in the Cascades, and reading detective novels.