Leadership and Governance
Karen is a Professor of Environmental Sciences, and also leads the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research (VCR LTER) program, based at UVA’s Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Her research focuses on the roles of climate, land use, and species invasions in driving long-term change in coastal ecosystems. She has led multi-disciplinary teams addressing strategies for coastal resilience. She is a member of the LTER National Science Council and the Foundation of the State Arboretum Board of the Directors, and is Associate Editor of the journal Ecosystems.
Associate Director, ERI
Andres is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Director of the Virginia Environmentally Sustainable Technologies Laboratory. His research is focused broadly on how carbon is manipulated, reused, and sequestered in engineered systems. The results of his work have been important for developing efficient strategies for mitigating the emissions that are driving climate change. At the largest scales, his system-level modeling work has explored the life cycle of systems in the manufacturing, transportation, and energy sectors.
Associate Director, ERI
Leon Szeptycki joined the law faculty in 2019 after serving as a professor of the practice and executive director of Water in the West at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, where he oversaw an interdisciplinary research program focused on water management in the American West. Szeptycki is an expert in water law and policy and has worked extensively on large-scale watershed restoration projects.
Program Manager, ERI
Jonah handles a variety of activities including funding opportunity identification, communications, research team building, interaction with funding agencies and institutional research administration and leadership, provides support to the university-wide ERI Graduate Research Forum, and coordinates outreach activities and training. He works closely with ERI’s Directors, and ensures the ERI Steering Committee’s involvement in governance decisions of the Institute. Jonah holds a PhD in Natural Resources with a policy minor, a Master’s of Landscape Architecture, and a BS in Hydrogeology. He’s taught at a graduate level and more than a decade of experience in community-based education and development on topics of public administration and land use planning.
An eight-member panel of faculty from five schools at UVA represent diverse academic disciplines and interests. The Steering Committee serves an advisory role to the ERI Leadership Team in setting funding priorities and vetting project proposals, suggesting partners to leverage success, and acting as a liaison to the larger academic community.