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Are you a member of the coe community with a story to share? interested in contributing? Reach out via email or connect on social (links above)! Read on for more about our current coexist contributors!

Laurie Kenney has been a member of the Wesleyan University community since 2014. Before joining the College of the Environment, she was a writer/editor and the editorial marketing manager in Wesleyan’s Office of University Communications. Laurie’s professional experience includes 20+ years in publishing, public relations, marketing, and education. Her favorite on-the-job experience: Working with Sir Roger Moore on his book, Bond on Bond: Reflections on 50 Years of James Bond Movies. Laurie spent her last three vacations on a monthlong cross-country road trip with her family, in a yurt in East Haddam, Connecticut, and in a tiny house in Epsom, New Hampshire.

Shaya Tousi is an intern at the College of the Environment and a member of the Class of 2022 from Long Island, New York. A prospective English and Environmental Studies double major, she would love to work in a publishing house with a focus on environmentally themed literature or study environmental law. Shaya first become conscious of environmentalism when a section of woods was clear-cut in her favorite childhood park, leaving her inconsolable over the loss of what she considered the best climbing trees in her small world. Fun fact: Shaya is a violist (aka a viola player).


Jules White is an intern at the College of the Environment and a student in Wesleyan’s Class of 2022. He grew up in scenic Huntington, New York, and has a special attachment to Caumsett State Park. Though undeclared, he is exploring English and History as prospective majors, and enjoys E&ES classes on the side. In his spare time he writes for fun, and was a recipient of an honorable mention in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Personal Essay contest. His favorite environmentally themed movie: Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.


Barry Chernoff is the director of the College of the Environment and The Robert F. Schumann Chair of Environmental Studies. Chernoff joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2003. He teaches courses in Environmental Studies, Tropical Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation, and Quantitative Analysis for the departments of Biology and Earth & Environmental Sciences. Chernoff’s research centers on the freshwater fishes of the Neotropical region, primarily those in South America in the Amazon. His research includes, ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. He has also led international teams on expeditions designed to conserve large watersheds of the world, having made more than 32 expeditions in 12 countries.

In the past, Chernoff held professorial and curatorial positions at the Field Museum, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.  He holds a visiting position at Universidad Central de Venezuela.  In his “spare” time, Chernoff is the guitarist for the Mattabesset String Collective, a 5-piece acoustic ensemble playing an eclectic mix of bluegrass, blues, folk, mountain, country and rock, all in a string band style.