Meet Our Team

Administration and Staff

Dr. Christa McDermott, Director

Director Christa McDermott

Dr. Christa McDermott is a social psychologist whose work focuses on environmental behavior change at institutional and individual levels. She has a long history of involvement in environmental policy, the use of social science to inform behavior change, and advocacy for better materials management. As an APA Congressional Fellow and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, she worked for Senator Robert Menendez, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy on projects that ranged from climate change policy to improving uptake of energy efficiency initiatives. While working in federal government, she kept active in local zero waste efforts, serving on the advisory board of SCRAP-DC, an affiliate of Portland’s SCRAP. She holds a joint Ph.D. in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan where she conducted research on the relationship between personality and environmental attitudes and behaviors. She was hooked on reducing waste before graduate school, starting a recycling program at her undergraduate college and helping run an NCRA conference on recycling in California. As a psychologist, Dr. McDermott has a special interest in our emotional relationships with possessions, how we construct identities through consumption, and hoarding. She looks forward to working with CES students, PSU faculty, and community partners on using a lifecycle approach in materials management, improving social equity and environmental health while reducing waste, and finding ways to encourage re-use. She likes to process ideas by taking ‘walking meetings’ but know that if she invites you to one, she inevitably ends up with her hands full of litter picked up along the way and she might ask you to hold some when she spies that 'last' piece.

Hannah Carleson, Interim Program Administrator 

Hannah Carleson Project Assistant

Hannah Carleson is a student Portland State's Master of Public Administration program with a specialization in Natural Resource Management and Administration. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from University of Oregon Clark Honors College. Born and raised in Oregon, she enjoys hiking, reading fiction and fantasy, and delving into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Hannah is an alumna of the Master Recycler Program and Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.





Joshewa Fulton, Interim Program Administrator

Interim Program Administrator Joshewa Fulton

Joshewa Fulton is the Interim Program Administrator at CES. He joined the team in the spring of 2018 as a Project Assistant and soon after became the Project Lead for the Portland Event Recycling program. An undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Geography and Urban and Public Affairs. Joshewa has a history of supporting students through his role at CES and previous work at the Student Sustainability Center.

 Ben Acord-BeckerSolid Waste Assessment Team, Project Lead

SWAT Project Lead Ben Acord-Becker

Ben Acord-Becker is the Solid Waste Assessment Team project lead at CES. As SWAT lead, he coordinates with public and private firms to provide data-driven consultation and recommendations on how these firms can improve their waste management practices towards more efficient and green solutions. He is pursuing a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning degree at Portland State University with an emphasis in environmental planning and sustainable development. His current career aspiration is to work in climate-action planning. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Philosophy from Pacific Lutheran University. Ben has been interested in working in waste diversion since 2015 when he began working as a waste technician for the department of Waste Diversion at PLU.

Karissa Pavlik, Waste Minimization Team, Data Coordinator

Data Coordinator Karissa Pavlik

Karissa joined CES in 2015 as a Project Assistant and is currently the Data Coordinator for the Port of Portland Technical Assistant Project. As Support Staff, she primarily worked on Materials Assessments and Portland Multifamily Recycling. Karissa earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies in 2019 and is currently in her second year of the Master of Public Health: Management and Policy program at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.





Alexandra Vargas, Waste Minimization Team, Recycling and Reuse Coordinator

Recycling and Reuse Coordinator Alexandra Vargas

Alexandra is a graduate student in the Professional Science Master in Environmental Science and Management program at PSU, building on her bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering. She has seven years of experience working in sustainability and carbon footprint management in the private sector back home in Peru. Additionally, Alexandra has implemented environmental education tools and carried out awareness campaigns because she is confident that environmental awareness is the first step to achieve global change. For her master's degree, she is working in a team integrated project studying PSU's approach to stormwater management.

Krista Harrington, Single Family Weight, Project Lead

PMF/SFW Project Lead Krista Harrington

Krista Harrington (she/her/hers) is the City of Portland Multifamily Outreach & Single Family Can Weight Study Project Lead for Community Environmental Services in the College of Urban & Public Affairs at PSU. As a project lead, Krista interacts directly with property managers on behalf of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability while collecting data to help set garbage, recycling, and compost hauling rates in the metro area. Krista is an M.S. candidate in the Geography Department at PSU, investigating sustainable solutions between agricultural water use and social responsibility. She holds a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University and has sense worked under the U.S. Forest Service, U.S Geological Survey, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians striving to acknowledge diverse stakeholder roles in environmental stewardship. You can find her river fishing, summiting mountains, digging for insects, or weightlifting in her spare time.




Chelsea Stanton, Project Assistant

Project Assistant Chelsea Stanton

Chelsea is a Project Assistant with Community Environmental Services at Portland State University. She has a diverse professional background, with experience in administrative support, international food and beverage manufacturing, and carbon footprint calculation of large organizations. She is a graduate student in the Sustainability Certificate program, with plans to pursue a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. Chelsea enjoys exploring new countries, corny jokes, and any opportunity to maximize efficiency.

Erin McCarty, Project Assistant

Project Assistant Erin McCarty

Ms. McCarty is a senior at Portland State in the Honors College. She is working towards a Bachelors of Science degree in Communication with a focus in Environmental Education. In 2018, Erin earned an Associates Degree in Communication Sciences from Pasadena City College and transferred to Portland State in 2019. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, ceramics, and juggling. Environmental conservation is the driving force behind her goals and accomplishments.

As a Project Assistant, Erin has the privilege of aiding any/all of the projects CES oversees. She assisted Portland Event Recycling, the Solid Waste Assessment Team, and Single Family Weight Study in the 2019-2020 school year. Working through challenges with this team of devoted individuals is her favorite part of Community Environmental Service.

Giang Nguyen, Project Assistant