The Yale Landscape Lab brings together staff and students from across disciplines to shape the space and build its programming. Our academic year student interns bring their diverse backgrounds, their energy, their expertise, and their deep drives to engage problems and change the world. Read on to learn more about our 2019-2020 team.

 
 
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Justin Freiberg    Founder, Director   Justin’s background is in building collaborations: he co-founded Encendia Biochar, as well as the Urban Foodshed Collaborative, both of which aimed to close material and social loops to create resilient, sustainable systems. Past work with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Added Value, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, the US-Asia Institute, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture has taught him to create programming that engages communities around shared interests in the natural environment, food and farming, and entrepreneurship. Justin holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, an M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. Justin has apprenticed under farmers in Italy, France, and the U.S.

Justin Freiberg

Founder, Director

Justin’s background is in building collaborations: he co-founded Encendia Biochar, as well as the Urban Foodshed Collaborative, both of which aimed to close material and social loops to create resilient, sustainable systems. Past work with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Added Value, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, the US-Asia Institute, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture has taught him to create programming that engages communities around shared interests in the natural environment, food and farming, and entrepreneurship. Justin holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, an M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. Justin has apprenticed under farmers in Italy, France, and the U.S.

Allec Willis    Fellow   Allec originally hails from rural Mississippi, where he first developed his love for being outdoors. During his time as a Yale undergraduate, prior to his graduation in 2019, he found expression for that love at the landscape lab. With nearly three years of experience at the YLL, Allec’s passion for the space has only increased. In his past positions at the YLL, he has focused on restructuring the landscape lab’s physical space to improve accessibility and on composing an ethnography to investigate how the YLL as a space relates to the people who comprise the YLL as an organization. As fellow, Allec is excited to bring his experiences with the YLL’s space and with its community to help the YLL function smoothly and honor equitably the contributions of its constituents. By facilitating the relationship of the YLL’s interns with their work environment, he hopes to further the landscape lab’s mission as an organization for supporting research, fostering education, and building community.

Allec Willis

Fellow

Allec originally hails from rural Mississippi, where he first developed his love for being outdoors. During his time as a Yale undergraduate, prior to his graduation in 2019, he found expression for that love at the landscape lab. With nearly three years of experience at the YLL, Allec’s passion for the space has only increased. In his past positions at the YLL, he has focused on restructuring the landscape lab’s physical space to improve accessibility and on composing an ethnography to investigate how the YLL as a space relates to the people who comprise the YLL as an organization. As fellow, Allec is excited to bring his experiences with the YLL’s space and with its community to help the YLL function smoothly and honor equitably the contributions of its constituents. By facilitating the relationship of the YLL’s interns with their work environment, he hopes to further the landscape lab’s mission as an organization for supporting research, fostering education, and building community.

Sanjeet Baidwan    Co-Director, Yale Cultivate Health   Sanjeet is an Internal Medicine attending physician, and currently serves as the Medical Director for Complex Care at Oscar Health in NYC, and teach Prevention & Lifestyle Medicine at Yale Medical School.  After completing her residency at Yale School of Medicine, she served as its first advocacy and community health chief, where she focused on issues of food access and social justice.  Having served on the board of New Haven Farms, she has worked with at-risk populations with preventable chronic diseases, increasing their access to fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrition education and exercise facilities through the expansion of the program to several clinics, increasing Yale New Haven Hospital’s partnerships with local NGOs.

Sanjeet Baidwan

Co-Director, Yale Cultivate Health

Sanjeet is an Internal Medicine attending physician, and currently serves as the Medical Director for Complex Care at Oscar Health in NYC, and teach Prevention & Lifestyle Medicine at Yale Medical School.

After completing her residency at Yale School of Medicine, she served as its first advocacy and community health chief, where she focused on issues of food access and social justice.

Having served on the board of New Haven Farms, she has worked with at-risk populations with preventable chronic diseases, increasing their access to fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrition education and exercise facilities through the expansion of the program to several clinics, increasing Yale New Haven Hospital’s partnerships with local NGOs.

 
Sophia Lafargue    Director, Yale Bee Link   Sophia is a beekeeper and political strategist with years of Congressional and foreign policy experience influencing the policy and practice of beekeeping. As an apiarist, Sophia engages cross sectorally with backyard beekeepers, entomologists, small businesses, multination corporations, NGOs, and global governing bodies alike. Sophia is a pollinator enthusiast focused on mentoring new beekeepers and highlighting the interconnection of beekeeping with environmental science, agriculture, nutrition, economic advancement, and leadership development. She has assisted in devising legislative action and initiatives that address the plight of pollinators in decline and the challenges of beekeeping. Sophia has traveled extensively and works closely with organizations that use beekeeping for the greater good. She has affiliations with apiary associations and government entities as well as industry stakeholders, and works domestically and internationally to better understand and remedy beekeeping related challenges.

Sophia Lafargue

Director, Yale Bee Link

Sophia is a beekeeper and political strategist with years of Congressional and foreign policy experience influencing the policy and practice of beekeeping. As an apiarist, Sophia engages cross sectorally with backyard beekeepers, entomologists, small businesses, multination corporations, NGOs, and global governing bodies alike. Sophia is a pollinator enthusiast focused on mentoring new beekeepers and highlighting the interconnection of beekeeping with environmental science, agriculture, nutrition, economic advancement, and leadership development. She has assisted in devising legislative action and initiatives that address the plight of pollinators in decline and the challenges of beekeeping. Sophia has traveled extensively and works closely with organizations that use beekeeping for the greater good. She has affiliations with apiary associations and government entities as well as industry stakeholders, and works domestically and internationally to better understand and remedy beekeeping related challenges.


 
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Andrew Currie    Agroforestry Space Manager   Andrew hails from from South Eastern Pennsylvania, but most of his time farming has been in New England. He is driven by a love of spending time outdoors, raising plants, and eating food. Through his work in agriculture, Andrew would like to help nutrient flows, associated with food production, to become cyclic. Andrew is completing a joint degree between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Cambridge University.

Andrew Currie

Agroforestry Space Manager

Andrew hails from from South Eastern Pennsylvania, but most of his time farming has been in New England. He is driven by a love of spending time outdoors, raising plants, and eating food. Through his work in agriculture, Andrew would like to help nutrient flows, associated with food production, to become cyclic. Andrew is completing a joint degree between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Cambridge University.

 
Genevieve Lipari    Farm Manager   Genevieve is a Yale School of Nursing midwifery student who farmed in her past career. She has a bachelors degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from UC Davis and has experience managing farmers markets, working in food distribution and farm-to-school. She is excited to continue sharing her passion for food and farming with the landscape lab as she begins her new career as a nurse midwife.

Genevieve Lipari

Farm Manager

Genevieve is a Yale School of Nursing midwifery student who farmed in her past career. She has a bachelors degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from UC Davis and has experience managing farmers markets, working in food distribution and farm-to-school. She is excited to continue sharing her passion for food and farming with the landscape lab as she begins her new career as a nurse midwife.

Emmanuel Alain Kibicho    Landscape and Project Manager   Emmanuel Alain Kibicho is a first year at Yale College from Nairobi, Kenya. He is a prospective Political Science major. With the knowledge gained from the Landscape Lab, he hopes to get involved in sustainable agricultural policies in developing countries.

Emmanuel Alain Kibicho

Landscape and Project Manager

Emmanuel Alain Kibicho is a first year at Yale College from Nairobi, Kenya. He is a prospective Political Science major. With the knowledge gained from the Landscape Lab, he hopes to get involved in sustainable agricultural policies in developing countries.

Jenna Walczak    Farm Manager   Jenna is a student in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she is working towards a Master of Environmental Management degree. She was born and grew up just outside of Buffalo, New York. Her passion lies at the intersection of environmental and social issues. She enjoys helping others gain access to the materials, space, and knowledge to grow food for themselves and their communities.

Jenna Walczak

Farm Manager

Jenna is a student in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she is working towards a Master of Environmental Management degree. She was born and grew up just outside of Buffalo, New York. Her passion lies at the intersection of environmental and social issues. She enjoys helping others gain access to the materials, space, and knowledge to grow food for themselves and their communities.

 
David Bruce    Design and Building Manager   David hails from from Hanover, New Hampshire. He is a joint degree between the School of Architecture and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is interested in how human designed spaces can more powerfully integrate with the ecological intricacies of the sites where we build.

David Bruce

Design and Building Manager

David hails from from Hanover, New Hampshire. He is a joint degree between the School of Architecture and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is interested in how human designed spaces can more powerfully integrate with the ecological intricacies of the sites where we build.

 
Harry Kim    Manager, Yale Bee Link   Harry is a student in the School of Public Health. Before coming to Yale, he grew up in Montreal, Canada, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology. He is interested in developing sustainable, long-term health interventions that empower the involved communities. He would love to continue his career back in Canada, and work with Indigenous and First Nations communities. He also love bees and social insects.

Harry Kim

Manager, Yale Bee Link

Harry is a student in the School of Public Health. Before coming to Yale, he grew up in Montreal, Canada, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology. He is interested in developing sustainable, long-term health interventions that empower the involved communities. He would love to continue his career back in Canada, and work with Indigenous and First Nations communities. He also love bees and social insects.

 
Leif Castren    Landscape and Project Manager   Leif Castren is a third-year joint-degree student at Yale School of Forestry and Yale Divinity School. He studies ecology, environmental policy, and ethics. His passion for crossing disciplines and exploring the human condition through physical work and ecological observation brings him to the landscape lab. At present Leif is especially interested in how religious ideas and spiritual experiences inform environmental ethics and his recent research has explored how environmentally-concerned religious leaders in the rural west navigate environmental politics and approach advocating for the environment. Leif is from the Pacific Northwest — Kalispell, Montana and Yacolt, Washington.

Leif Castren

Landscape and Project Manager

Leif Castren is a third-year joint-degree student at Yale School of Forestry and Yale Divinity School. He studies ecology, environmental policy, and ethics. His passion for crossing disciplines and exploring the human condition through physical work and ecological observation brings him to the landscape lab. At present Leif is especially interested in how religious ideas and spiritual experiences inform environmental ethics and his recent research has explored how environmentally-concerned religious leaders in the rural west navigate environmental politics and approach advocating for the environment. Leif is from the Pacific Northwest — Kalispell, Montana and Yacolt, Washington.

 
Lindsey Gillis    Farm Manager   Lindsey is currently enrolled at the Yale School of Nursing (YSN) in the Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. Prior to studying at YSN, she worked as a midwife in a busy out-of-hospital birth center on the US/Mexico border, and later, as a home birth midwife in snowy Vermont. Currently, she works at YLL as a farm manager. She is enthusiastic about exploring the intersections of nutrition education, food justice, and food access in Connecticut.

Lindsey Gillis

Farm Manager

Lindsey is currently enrolled at the Yale School of Nursing (YSN) in the Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. Prior to studying at YSN, she worked as a midwife in a busy out-of-hospital birth center on the US/Mexico border, and later, as a home birth midwife in snowy Vermont. Currently, she works at YLL as a farm manager. She is enthusiastic about exploring the intersections of nutrition education, food justice, and food access in Connecticut.

 
Dylan Hausthor    Communications and Mycological Projects Manager   Dylan Hausthor grew up in Vermont and came to New Haven from Maine, where he was working as a photographer, cinematographer, and at a mushroom farm. He is currently in his first year of the MFA program at the Yale School of Art.

Dylan Hausthor

Communications and Mycological Projects Manager

Dylan Hausthor grew up in Vermont and came to New Haven from Maine, where he was working as a photographer, cinematographer, and at a mushroom farm. He is currently in his first year of the MFA program at the Yale School of Art.

Marlena Ashley Springstubb    Farm Manager   Marlena is a student at Yale School of Nursing and is completing her masters degree in Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Marlena is from New York but previously lived in central Massachusetts. She has worked on farms in Peru, and central Massachusetts mostly on vegetable and berry farms. At the farm Marlena manages the medicinal garden, which she would eventually like to incorporate into her midwifery practice as well.

Marlena Ashley Springstubb

Farm Manager

Marlena is a student at Yale School of Nursing and is completing her masters degree in Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Marlena is from New York but previously lived in central Massachusetts. She has worked on farms in Peru, and central Massachusetts mostly on vegetable and berry farms. At the farm Marlena manages the medicinal garden, which she would eventually like to incorporate into her midwifery practice as well.

 
 
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In 2013, the Lab’s roots were planted in its first outdoor classroom site: the West Campus Urban Farm. The Farm’s creation was among the first initiatives to bring community together at Yale’s new West Campus following its purchase from Bayer Pharmaceuticals in 2007. In those earliest years, we tapped maple trees, welcomed local school children, and began our volunteer days to help build community through growing organic produce together.

In the ensuing years, educational programming was designed and executed, and new partnerships were built across Yale. Of our earliest partnerships, we worked alongside the Yale Sustainable Food Program to complement the food and agriculture programming at the New Haven-based Yale Farm. With the school of Forestry & Environmental Studies, we worked with students to envision a more extensive campus trail system. With these and other Centers at Yale, we identified a greater potential where the wider application and realization of student ideas could be brought to scale at the Lab.

 
 
 

Today, the farm serves the same purpose – engaging members of the Yale community as well as members of our local towns – but our ambitions to serve broader academic aims steadily evolved to make full use of the entire 136 acre Campus. Our landscape typologies have in turn extended to meet new needs as our partners at Yale continue to confront issues across the world and the need to address them through nearby implementation.

Students, staff, and faculty from across Yale have embraced this vision for use of the campus landscape -- creating events, workshops, and courses. From our initial footprint at the farm, our programs are now integrated into coursework at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Nursing, where future doctors and nurses are connecting with the natural environment to better serve their patients. In research, we’ve partnered with faculty to analyze the microbial diversity of soil types, harvested and supplies plants for analyses of their photosynthetic properties, and investigated natural compounds for potential cancer therapeutics. In innovation and entrepreneurship, we site and support student ventures on the landscape that range in focus from renewable energy to alternative protein production.

 
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Today, we draw partnership from over thirty departments, schools, and Centers across the entire University. Over the next five years, we will continue to diversify ever more who we work with, continue to partner on solving some of the big problems where we can make a difference, and continue to give students transformative access to the tangible realization of their ideas while at Yale.

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