Kate Miller is a conservation ecologist, with an interest in the complex interactions of organisms, including humans, and their environment. Kate earned her PhD in Biology at Wesleyan in 2013. Her doctoral project explored interacting influences of prey, habitat and landscape, as well as the effects of a devastating fungal pathogen (white-nose syndrome), on communities of foraging bats. As part of the Chernoff Lab team she also studied the effects of dam removal and drought on river systems.
Prior to coming to Wesleyan Kate spent more than two decades as an educator, and an environmental advocate and program coordinator. Her work included helping to establish CT’s recycling law, implementing that law in New Haven (receiving an award for best municipal recycling program), creating environmental education programs and educating, training and mentoring undergraduates, primarily at Middlesex Community College.
She received her Master’s Degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and was awarded the Switzer Environmental Fellowship. She obtained an interest in making environmental and social change – along with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology - from Tufts University.
Currently Kate is the Curriculum Innovation Coordinator for the $1.3 million Health & Life Sciences Career Initiative at Middlesex Community College, part of a consortium grant funded by the US Department of Labor to expand academic and career training in STEM fields. She continues her research on bats, and in finding ways to involve undergraduates in ecological and conservation oriented projects.
Kate is a long-time member of Middletown’s Conservation Commission, the Jonah Center for Earth and Art (and its Coginchaug River Action Group) and Project Green Lawn. She spends much time with family and with friends, her suburban backyard wildlife habitat, hiking and traveling.
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Max Perel-Slater, a San Francisco Bay Area native, received his BA in Environmental Studies & Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University in May 2011. As part of his undergraduate degree he studied abroad with the School for International Training (SIT) in Arusha, Tanzania where he did his Independent Study Project (ISP) on the water situation in Shirati. He continued this research the following summer as part of his Senior Capstone Project at Wesleyan University's College of the Environment.
In 2009, Max started working on water projects in East Africa, leading the construction of a ferro-cement rainwater catchment system. In 2011, Max worked in Kibera, Kenya for the Community Based Organization (CBO) Shining Hope for Communities where he coordinated their water project and co-led their summer program for American university students. In March 2012, Max co-founded a disease prevention and health promotion project called Maji Safi Group (MSG). A core belief of MSG is that preventable diseases can be avoided by taking a community-led approach through empowering women and children to promote disease prevention.
Currently, Max lives in the rural village of Shirati, Tanzania where he works as the president of the US nonprofit corporation, Maji Safi Group, and as the treasurer of the Tanzanian affiliate non-governmental organization (NGO), Maji Safi Organization (MSO).