Who teaches these classes?
Our instructors are experienced academics and working professionals with years of installation and business experience. They have performed thousands of solar installations and energy audits, are qualified teachers, and bring their expertise, commitment, passion and enthusiasm into the classroom. Some have worked independently, some for larger businesses, some are teachers, all are passionate about this extremely important work.
We have listed our full time staff under instructor bios and will be updating this list with our adjunct instructors this fall.
Brian Adams teaches Introduction to Environmental Science, Natural History and Freshwater Ecology. He is also the Program Coordinator for the Environmental Studies/Natural Resources option. As GCC Fish Project Director he coordinates the anadromous fish population study work on the Connecticut River and hires numerous GCC students for seasonal work. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Ecology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a Master’s in Environmental Biology from Antioch in Keene, New Hampshire. He can be reached at #413-775-1454 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa Jones graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT, with a double degree in Environmental Studies and History. She received her master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Plant Biology. She has worked as a science reporter and co-authored a book on asthma. She began teaching at the high school level before coming to GCC in 1999. She currently teaches Botany and Sustainable Energy courses. Teresa can be reached at (413) 775-1462 and at email@example.com.
Peter Talmage is an instructor in the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program. He ran his own business, Talmage Solar Engineering, from 1975 to 2002, designing, selling and installing solar thermal, wind and photovoltaic systems and integrating whole house energy systems. Peter has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and in his free time (ha!) he continues to run an energy and design consulting business. Peter’s passions are biking, hiking, astronomy and energy projects. Don’t be surprised to him commuting the many miles from his home in Northfield on his electric bicycle.
Ted Johnson teaches Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology as well as coordinates the Engineering program. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering, an MS in Science Education, 12 years of engineering experience, and several decades of teaching experience . He brings experience in solar building design, amateur radio work, computer applications, artificial intelligence and vision work, and engineering experience in meteorological weather balloons, piezoelectric transducer design and fabrication, resinate deposition based ceramic microcircuits, commercial radio transmitters and repeaters, antenna design, as well as business experience as an industrial process consultant and troubleshooter. He has taught courses in electronic circuit design, both analog and digital, most programming languages, robotics – motion and vision, several levels of physics – classical and modern, electrical wiring, astronomy, meteorology, and industrial electronic control systems. His work experience includes Raytheon, Sprague Electric, US Sonics Corp, General Electric, Mount Anthony Vocational Center, Vermont Dept of Labor and Industry, Berkshire Community College, Westfield State College, Community College of Vermont and Greenfield Community College. He can be reached at 775-1429 and at Johnson@gcc.mass.edu.
Lynn Benander: I teach Community Energy Solutions. It’s a course I really enjoy because we take an interdisciplinary approach – looking at how we use energy in our world from a scientific, social, environmental, and economic perspective – and using everything you already know about how you use energy in your own life and work. I manage a sustainable energy cooperative and work with lots of employers in the region, so I’m good at helping people figure out where they might fit in as workers in this growing local economy. I have a Masters in Education and strive to create an environment where people can learn valuable skills and make meaning in their lives.
William Gran: Earth is warming, human activities are the cause, and only we can act to reduce the potentially catastrophic impacts. I am teaching Introduction to Global Warming because I think students need to understand the basics of climate science and the challenges we face transforming to a sustainable, zero-carbon civilization. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Urban and Regional Planning, and a lifetime career in planning and community development.
Thomas Benjamin is a registered Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional (AP) practicing design and sustainability consulting in Massachusetts. He works concurrently as a Landscape Architect for the Regenerative Design Group and as a Sustainability Consultant for the Energy Services Division of Environmental Compliance Services (ECS). He has more than 20 years experience in environmental design work often focused on ecological restoration and green design, including energy and food systems. His restoration experience includes assessment, design, and construction of upland, wetland, riparian and coastal sites/properties using low tech bioengineering solutions. In addition, Prof. Benjamin’s site planning work emphasizes low maintenance native plantings for public facilities, commercial, institutional, residential developments and private residences. His work has often encompassed creation and enhancement of natural stormwater filtration systems in both developed and natural contexts. He also has natural resource planning and land use regulatory experience. His skills support projects from conceptual planning through design, construction and monitoring phases. Prof. Benjamin has lectured at Harvard, MIT and many professional conferences. He continues to teach sustainable landscape design at the University of Massachusetts and Greenfield Community College. His courses tie the built environment to natural systems to advance less resource intensive landscape design approaches. Topics include energy efficient landscapes, composting and solid waste reduction, and integration of productive, permaculture based food systems.In addition to being an avid ecological gardener, he enjoys weeding the woods.
Jeremy Toal is a Registered Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP BD+C), and a Senior Design Manager at Steffian Bradley Architects inEnfield,CT. Jeremy has been practicing sustainable design for over 18 years, specializing in highly energy-efficient construction methods, passive solar design, natural renewable materials, and renewable energy alternatives, with the goal of creating inspiring buildings which have a positive impact on their surroundings
Alex Risley Schroeder: The ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ economy that we’re building together has the potential to engage all of us. I teach the Green Careers Exploration course to think and learn with folks interested in figuring out the ways their work can help build this economy out. As a statewide and regional policy and training consultant on green job creation and preparation, and the former Green Careers Coach at the Franklin Hampshire Career Center, I bring a range of green career perspectives and job seeking strategies to the class. I have a Masters in Education from UMass Amherst. My current work looks simultaneously at preparing adult learners for work in the sustainable economy and growing these jobs.