Meet Our Team

The ANGLES Steering Committee provides strategic guidance for the network.

Aleta Rudeen Weller, Senior Research and Engagement Officer, School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University

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Aleta Rudeen Weller is the Senior Research and Engagement Officer at Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability. For the School, Aleta works to facilitate discourse and creative approaches to sustainability research, leadership, and engagement. She runs the School’s collaborative research programs for CSU faculty, creates opportunities for networking and dialogue across the University’s disciplinary and organizational boundaries, and helps form innovative, strategic partnerships to advance sustainability scholarship. Aleta runs the School’s selection and annual training of early career sustainability science leadership fellows and sits on the advisory committee of ANGLES, a network of higher education institutions doing similar leadership training across the U.S. and Canada. She is in charge of the School’s strategy for developing new interdisciplinary research activities, return on investment, messaging, and role in community and campus connections.

Aleta has an interdisciplinary background in communication, facilitation, conflict management and collaboration in natural resources. She has worked on a variety of projects that link science and management; has a research and applied background in collaborative process; and is a certified mediator. Aleta has a Master of Science degree from Colorado State University in Rangeland Ecosystem Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Northern Arizona University. Prior to coming on board at SoGES, Aleta was the Director of Outreach and Leadership Development for the Society for Range Management.

Aleta runs and is the point of contact for the following areas: research partnerships, networking, and ideas; Global Challenges Research Teams; Resident Fellows; Visiting Fellows; Sustainability Leadership Fellows; Dining with Sustainability dinners; and any novel ideas and proposals for engagement. Aleta also advises the SoGES Student Sustainability Center, serves as the School’s representative on CSU’s President’s Sustainability Commission, sits on the advisory committee of ANGLES, serves as CSU’s designated point of contact to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Living Association.

Nicole Motzer, Assistant Director for Interdisciplinary Science, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)

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As an interdisciplinary programs manager and researcher at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland, Dr. Nicole Motzer facilitates opportunities and enhances capacities for young scientists and scholars collaborating at the intersection of social and environmental systems to solve complex challenges. Nicole has worked directly with hundreds of graduate students from across disciplines and around the world through first-of-their-kind programs, workshops, and trainings she regularly designs and leads. She particularly enjoys facilitating the development of interdisciplinary research ideas, teaching leadership skills and team science capacities, and coaching teams through the twists and turns of collaborative science. She is passionate about closing training and educational gaps in these areas, and is excited by the growth in innovative, graduate-focused networks and programs like ANGLES.

Nicole draws from her interactions with diverse individuals and teams to empirically and longitudinally test the effects of providing a genuine, team-based research experience for graduate students seeking to build interdisciplinary research capacities. When she is not focusing on the next generation of leaders and science, Nicole also serves as a Co-PI for several projects and awards, including a 2018 award from the National Science Foundation's Engineering Directorate and a collaboration supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Marine Conservation Initiative. She is also involved in multi-institutional efforts focused on the role of qualitative data in accelerating synthesis research and evaluating the outcomes and products of interdisciplinary research in standardized and transparent ways. For this work, Nicole was awarded a Spring 2019 Visiting Fellowship at Michigan State University's Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I).

Nicole completed a doctorate in Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017. Nicole’s strongly interdisciplinary background ranges from assessing the effects of nature-based tourism on poverty and inequality in southern Africa, to investigating how food system regionalization and ender dynamics shape rural development processes in the Rocky Mountain West, to surveying trees on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and mapping water quality and invasive species in the Florida Everglades. In her free time, Nicole enjoys gardening, birds, fiction novels, and yoga.

Simon Donner, Professor of Climatology at the University of British Columbia

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As a Professor of Climatology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), I study why the climate matters to society as well as to ecosystems like coral reefs. My group’s work provides insight into the causes and effects of climate change, public attitudes, policy options at home and abroad, and what can be done to adapt.

Being a scientist, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to engage my curiosity about the natural world for a living. With that opportunity, comes responsibility. As an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and a Google Science Communication Fellow, I am committed to bridging the gap between the academia and the real world. I regularly participate in public events, comment on radio and television, and maintain a blog.

I grew up in the diverse city of Toronto where even in the dead of winter, I was often packed in a baby carriage and left outside to sleep. Since then, I have been interested in the human, societal, and environmental impacts of climate and climate change. Today I am a Professor in the Department of Geography at UBC in beautiful, damp Vancouver, as well as an associate in UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, The Biodiversity Research Centre, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), the Atmospheric Sciences Program, and the Director of UBC’s Ocean Leaders program.

I came to UBC after a few years in the Science, Technology and Environment Program in the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Years before that, I spent my undergraduate days in the terrific interdisciplinary Arts and Science Programme at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario learning just enough philosophy to make the rest of life difficult. I also did a master’s degree in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University where like most transplants to North Carolina I conducted research on lake ice. After a break from academe, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin to do a PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin with the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment.