Maggie Songster, Chair
Maggie Songster is a senior at the University of Georgia pursuing a degree in Ecology and a certificate in Sustainability. She has always had an interest in understanding how the world around her works, as well as ensuring that we keep it in one piece! This has led her to work with local groups such as Athens for Everyone, and work with the UGA Office of Sustainability. She is a full-blown Athens townie, growing up here with her family and one other sibling. She is very excited to be a part of GC3, and very hopeful about seeing a more sustainable Athens.
Mark McConnell, Co-Chair
Mark McConnell is an environmental activist, an arborist, a landscape design and contractor, an environmental consultant, a commercial composter and an avid gardener and fisherman. Since 1997, Mark has been working on Global Climate Issues. He has served on the nonprofit boards of Creative Earth, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network, Athens Grow Green Coalition and the Athens Human Rights Festival. Mark has been serving on the board of the Georgia Climate Change Coalition since 2012. He has participated in the first “People’s Climate March” in New York City and also 2017’s march in D.C. and the fight to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Mark was the first in the state of Georgia to divert and compost food residuals commercially. His company Back To The Garden has composted over 1 million lbs of food waste in a single year.
Dan Everett teaches computer science at the University of Georgia and has recently been accepted into the UGA Certificate of Sustainability. He also teaches climate-related adult education classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UGA, and is part of the green sanctuary and ethical eating committees at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. Dan was the GC3 chair for the previous two years.
Amanda Holmes, Treasurer
Amanda Holmes is a UGA graduate with a background in foreign languages and English. When not nerding out on local history, she can be found at the yoga studio, in the kitchen making lots of food, walking her very spoiled dogs, playing softball at Bishop Park or meditating in the woods somewhere.
Liza Willett, Secretary
Just finishing up her undergraduate degree at UGA, Liza Willett found herself getting ever more involved in her childhood love for environmentalism. Excited by GC3’s mission and committed team, she wanted to help by providing one of her best skills, organization! As secretary, she is inspired by how every person can make a wave of difference for their community and feel an ever bigger part of it. In her other life, she spends her time as a model and promoting sustainable, eco-friendly fashion brands. Previously, she interned for fashion company Untitled Thoughts to increase awareness of the environmental dangers of fast fashion, while providing gorgeous eco-friendly alternatives
Jaiko Celka is a junior at the University of Georgia pursuing a degree in Environmental Economics and Management, a minor in Ecology, and a certificate in Sustainability. She is interested in reducing food waste in the United States and providing access to healthy food for all people. In her remaining time at UGA, she looks forward to making a difference in her community with the rest of the amazing GC3 group.
Chris Dowd is on the board of GC3 and also Athens for Everyone, where he has worked on diverse projects such as expanding public transportation and securing living wages for all. Now with GC3, he will focus on growing the organization’s capacity and defending forests by fighting subsidies for the wood pellet industry.
Emily Holbrook recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. She is hoping to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Policy and eventually a career in that field. Emily is passionate about the environment and sustainability and believes that climate and energy issues are paramount in our society right now. She works on the research end of GC3 to ensure that we are always staying up to date with current news and technological updates and is very enthusiastic to be a part of this team.
Evan Barnard is a student at the University of Georgia majoring in ecology. Evan is especially interested in habitat and species conservation, and has been conducting scientific research for five years on the effects of roads on roadside soil and habitats. He is currently conducting soil research at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology on soil bioremediation as a potential method to counteract climate change. Evan plans to continue his research in college, majoring in environmental science and environmental policy with a focus on biogeochemistry. In his free time Evan enjoys birding, visiting nature preserves, and playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. Evan hopes to eventually work in the field of environmental and conservation policy.
From left to right: Fiona Sheehan, Mark McConnell, Dan Everett, Chris Dowd, Evan Bernard, Maggie Songster, Emily Holbrook, Rich Rusk, Jaiko Celka