About Us

Sustainability, Livelihoods, Peace

Director: Nina Smolyar

Nina is a Phd. student at the University of Vermont, studying Ecological Economics, with an emphasis on justice and reconciliation. Here mission is rooted in the nexus of social justice, economic empowerment, and ecological sustainability. Her expertise revolves around communication and advocacy; strategic innovation; program, project, and event development & management.  Thus far in her career she has focused on community organizing, collective impact, progressive economic reform, integrated public policy.  Nina became the Chapter director of Steady State Vermont in August of 2018, following the leave of Eric Zencey.  As you can read below, Eric made outstanding efforts in his role.

Assistant Director: Skyler Perkins

Skyler is a project manager with the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.  He also works to support the Vermont Chapter in particular having grown up in Chittenden County, and completed both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Vermont.  Skyler assists with Steady State Vermont Chapter with film and photo and website primarily, but also specializes in steady state agriculture, and coalition building for national advocacy.

Chapter Advisor: Josh Farley

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Josh Farley:  an Ecological Economist, Professor in the department of Community Development and applied economics at the University of Vermont.  Josh holds degrees in biology, international affairs and economics. Among other positions, he has served as program director at the School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies, and as Executive Director of the University of Maryland International Institute for Ecological Economics.  His broad vision allows him to integrate social, ecological, and economic perspectives in order to design mechanisms for allocating resources in ways that generate both private and public goods, and restore natural capital.  He is co-author with Herman Daly of the textbook Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications.  Farley is directing this research project made possible through a Hatch grant, which is building on many other of his research projects at the intersection of agro-ecology, public goods, and economics.

Past Chapter Directors

Eric Zencey

Eric is the author of Virgin Forest: Meditations on History, Ecology, and Culture and the forthcoming The Other Road to Serfdom: Essays in Sustainable Democracy. An internationally published (and nationally best-selling) novelist, Eric has been teaching ecological and steady state economics since the 1980s. He holds a Ph.D. in political philosophy, and currently is a visiting professor of historical and political studies for Empire State College. He is also an affiliate of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.

Aaron Witham

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While leading this Chapter, Aaron was the sustainability coordinator of Green Mountain College in  Vermont. He holds an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of  Vermont and a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics from the  Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. He was also a former research  scholar at the Transportation Research Center at UVM and the Managing  Director of the Center for Environmental Education in Maine. His  research interests include reforming the fractional reserve banking  system, promoting alternative economic indicators, and mitigating  climate change. As an avid hunter and fisherman, Aaron is also  interested in steady-state outreach among outdoor enthusiasts.