Research Team

Brianne BerryBrieanne Berry, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral researcher, UMaine Department of Anthropology

Why is Materials Management important to you?

The challenge of sustainably managing materials throughout their lifecycle is enormous. The work of our research team is critical because sustainable materials management crosses over disciplinary lines, and involves understanding diverse perspectives. Our interdisciplinary work to bring stakeholders, students, and policymakers into the research process is what makes this research team so important.

Produced and/or Pending works:

For more information about Brie’s work click here 

Jared EntwistleJared Entwistle

UMaine master’s student, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Business Administration

Why is Materials Management Important to you?

As I pursue a dual degree in MBA and MS in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, I am increasingly concerned with the amount of waste our society creates, both as an issue of lost economic efficiency and the physical refuse we create and discard. The research the Materials Management team produces helps clarify issues in our current waste stream and provides insight on possible solutions, which are important steps toward creating an economy that is sustainable for our environmental and societal health.

Travis Blackmer thumbnailTravis Blackmer, M.A.

Lecturer and undergraduate coordinator, UMaine School of Economics; Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management Important to you?

Travis got his first exposure to materials management through a summer research project as an undergraduate student where he led a team that sorted 20,000lbs of garbage for the Maine State Planning Office. This experience was eye opening (and nostril de-sensitizing) and has become a driving force for his interest in working with stakeholders to look at materials of all kinds that are no longer wanted by the end user. The idea that everything has a VALUE, even if that value is negative, is an important facet of improving our materials management. Composting and the circular food system has become a primary focus. Travis has a passion for projects that connect communities to food waste diversion options locally, with initiatives recently in Midcoast and Kennebec Valley.

Produced and/or Pending works:

Michael HaedickeMichael Haedicke, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, UMaine Department of Sociology; Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

As an environmental sociologist with a research focus on food and agricultural systems, I am particularly interested in developments related to the management and reduction of food waste. The systemic approach of the materials management team fits very well with the perspectives that I use in my research and teaching.

Published and/or Pending works:

Cindy IsenhourCynthia Isenhour, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, UMaine Department of Anthropology; Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

Cindy Isenhour joined the Materials Management Research Group in 2015.  With expertise linked to cross-cultural environmental governance and sustainability movements Isenhour has since enjoyed learning more about the end of production-consumption-disposal systems and the opportunity to research culturally appropriate and just policies to reduce waste and materials use. In addition to the MMRG’s collaborative research projects, Isenhour is also working on research projects focused on Maine’s second hand economy and Circular Economy policy and practice in the United States. 

Produced and/or Pending works:

Susanne Lee,Susanne Lee M.B.A.

Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

It is really a privilege to be part of the Mitchell Center’s Materials Management team. I love working with such a talented and diverse interdisciplinary team to research and develop sustainable materials management solutions.  In the end, our work can save money and build economic opportunities for Maine, improve the quality of life in Maine communities, and protect Maine’s amazing natural resources.

Produced and/or Pending works:

For more information on Susanne’s work, click here

Jean McCrae headshotJean MacRae, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, UMaine Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

I think we need to move a more sustainable system where we are more efficient in our use of materials (and energy and water) so we can leave more habitat undisturbed. To me, that means finding ways to recover everything that is reusable, and put the remainder to its best alternative purpose – including recovering energy, fertilizer and soil amendments from food scraps, and recovering value from other waste streams.

Produced and/or Pending works:

  • Review of Chemical and Microbial Contamination in Food: What are the Threats to a Circular Food System? Submitted to Environmental Research
  • Does Recycling Source-Separated Food Waste Present a Risk to Food? Submitted to Waste Management
  • Anaerobic Digestion: A Sustainable Alternative for Food Waste Management in Maine. UMaine Student Symposium, April 10, 2019
  • Using GIS to find optimal locations for food waste digestion and/or composting operations in Maine
  •  Uptake of mercury by thiol-grafted chitosan gel beads. 
  • Sorption of Cadmium by Chitosan-based Crab Shells.

Debbie SaberDeborah Saber, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, UMaine School of Nursing; Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

In June of 2016, I joined the Mitchell Center Materials Management Research Group to focus on the role of healthcare on environmental sustainability within an interdisciplinary team. My research interests broadened to include the role of healthcare within food system sustainability. Our work is critically important as we continue to work towards comprehensive solutions to support environmental sustainability.

Produced and/or Pending works:

Linda Silka Material Management

Linda Silka, Ph.D.

Mitchell Center Senior Fellow

Why is Materials Management important to you?

I first became interested in materials management issues when I directed the Center for Family, Work, and Community at UMass Lowell and we were contacted by the city of Lowell and asked to “educate” the growing immigrant and refugee residents who were not recycling. We took this as an opportunity to learn and not to tell others what to do. We set up all sorts of sharing events (we called them “Talking Trash”) to learn from each other about how to recycle and what to recycle. We built recycling themes into “English as a Second Language” as another way for learning to occur. We all learned so much and changed many practices in the city to ensure that recycling was responsive to all of the needs, wants, and skills of community members. It has been exciting to continue this work in Maine.

Produced and/or Pending Works: