Michelle is a Senior Associate on the Water Quality Team in the People & Ecosystems Program. She leads the Mississippi River basin nutrient trading project, the farm conservation targeting projects, and the watershed-scale tool development projects.
Michelle conducts economic and policy analyses of existing voluntary approaches to increasing adoption of farm conservation practices. She explores improvements to these approaches including pay-for-performance mechanisms, geographic targeting, outcome-goal setting, and performance measurement. She collaborates with scientific and economic modeling partners to develop field- and watershed-scale tools for use by farmers and policy-makers to achieve water quality outcomes. Michelle also collaborates with leading environmental, conservation, and farm trade association groups, university specialists, and federal, state, and regional agency representatives.
Previously, Michelle was a Senior Analyst with the Environmental Working Group where she published reports evaluating federal conservation programs operating in the 10 states bordering the Mississippi River and the six states in the Chesapeake Bay. Before that, she worked for the Alliance to Save Energy on international energy efficiency issues in China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Michelle holds a doctorate in environmental policy from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Her dissertation is a three-state comparative case study of agricultural regulations in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Occidental College.
Michelle also serves as President of the National Capital Chapter for the Soil Water Conservation Society. SWCS is a professional society that fosters the science and art of soil, water, and natural resource conservation. Michelle grew up in the Philippines and Nigeria and spent her summers in Greeley, Colorado. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their non-fetching pure-bred mutt. She has an incredible step-daughter in college and a new baby on the way. In her “free time,” Michelle enjoys salsa dancing, yoga, gardening, and historical fiction.