Current members

  • Adam Kay is the co-organizer of the Stewardship Science Program,adam head shot Director of the Social Innovation Collaboratory, and Associate Professor in the Biology Department at the University of St. Thomas.


  • ChipChip Small is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department and Environmental Science Program at the University of St. Thomas.  He is an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist.  He enjoys playing the mandolin and coaching 3 & 4 year-old basketball.
  • Paliza Shrestha
    I am a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Gaston E. Small since January 2018. I am passionate about using research as a tool to tackle soil and water quality problems. My current areas of interest are:
    Green storm water infrastructure for improved storm water management of quantity (volume and peak flow mitigation) and quality (of mainly nutrients, sediments, and heavy metals)
    Nitrogen and phosphorus transformation and retention in soils
    Researching soil amendments to mitigate nutrient leaching from composts
    Soil greenhouse gas fluxes from natural and managed land uses
  • Alyssa Gilmore
    I am senior studying Neuroscience and Environmental Science (Biology Concentration) double major, with an English minor. I got involved in this project because I believe that if we’re going to continue to feed the world, then the way that we look at agriculture needs to change. Urban agriculture is really interesting to me because it is integrated into our urban environments, and can help mitigate food insecurity while also helping to maintain the environment. Working on this project excites me because it allows me to look at the interconnections that exist between human actions and biogeochemical processes realistically, while also continuing to inspire the hope that I have for the future. Fun fact stuff: Song I never get sick of: Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. Ultimate dream vacation: Iceland. One way to make my day: Buy me coffee. If I could have one wish come true it would be: Banning plastic bags and straws. Superpower: Controlling time. Hogwarts house: Slytherin!
  • Hannah Wallace
    Hi I’m Hannah! I’m going to start my senior year this upcoming fall! I’m majoring in environmental science with a focus in biology. I am currently the president of the Sustainability club on campus and run the Food Recovery Network, we donate food from the on-campus dining halls to local charities. My interest in combining sustainability and education has lead me to working with both the Stewardship garden and a non-profit, Spark-Y. With Spark-Y I will lead an internship program at Roosevelt High School focusing on advancing the research done at the Stewardship garden.
  • Erin MahreIMG_1135
    Hey! I’m Erin Mahre and I’m a junior majoring in Biochemistry at St. Thomas. I was interested in working in the Stewardship Garden because I loved taking the Plants, Food, and Medicine class on campus and I wanted to combine my interest in botany with research so that I could understand more about the inner and outer workings of a plant. One day I hope I can work as a researcher specializing in plant biochemistry. When I’m not studying I like to discover new music & coffee shops in the Twin Cities, draw, write, and play bass guitar.
  • Courtney Pelissero
    Hi I am Courtney! I just graduated from UST with a double major in Environmental Science and Psychology and a minor in sustainability. This is my second year working as part of the urban agriculture team, so I am excited to be back. I am passionate about studying urban ecosystems, sustainable food systems, and the human-environment relationship. Urban agriculture is a great setting to dig into these topics! Beyond conducting research, I like to spend time outdoors and explore the Twin Cities.
  • Jake Walters
    Hi, I’m Jake! I am a junior and am studying biochemistry at UST. I am very passionate about the outdoors, farming, and the biology field in general. This passion has led me to the opportunity of working with the Stewardship garden and conducting urban agricultural research. I know that this work will help me to advance my career for the future in which I hope to become an anesthesiologist. Besides being passionate about the outdoors, I also enjoy riding and showing my horse.
  • Megan HayIMG_1113
    Hey everyone! I’m Megan H., a rising senior returning for my second year in the Stewardship Garden. I’m a neuroscience major, with English and sustainability minors. I got involved with this project last summer after doing some work in the garden as part of my Biology of Sustainability class. I hope to become a science writer after I graduate next year and share my passions for mental health and environmental justice. I’m a huge geek, so when I’m not working in the Stewardship Garden, you might find me hard at work on a cosplay, reading or writing a novel, or gaming.
  • Jenna Abrahamson
    Hi I’m Jenna! I’m a senior studying Environmental Science with a concentration in Geoscience and minors in Sustainability and GIS. I previously did geology research for a little over two years which I loved, but I wanted to challenge myself to gain some research experience in a new and different area of Environmental Science and the Stewardship Garden provided the perfect opportunity! I’m excited to expand my knowledge and research experience in this field of study while learning how my previous experience in geology can be applied when it comes to sustainable urban agriculture and soil science. Outside of school and research I enjoy traveling, painting, reading, and playing soccer!
  • Spencer WihlmIMG_1119
    Hello my name is Spencer. I am a senior studying Biology at UST. I enjoy science IMG_1119and gardening, so I thought working at the Stewardship garden would be a good fit. In my spare time I enjoy fishing and reading
  • Megan Deppa
    Hi, I’m Megan! I am a recent UST graduate with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology! This is my first year doing undergraduate research and I am excited to be a part of the Urban Agriculture research team this summer! This summer, I hope to learn a lot but also grow in my passions for food justice and urban food systems. In my spare time I love to snuggle with my dog and watch Netflix or spend time with family and friends!
  • Michael Salzl. IMG_1115
    I am an incoming Junior Environmental Science major with a focus in Biology. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas I am planning on attending graduate school at an undecided location studying urban or sustainable agriculture. I initially became involved working with the stewardship garden to gain experience in some of the laboratory techniques used in this lab, as well as to get a good tan for the Summer. I also am interested on developing better ways to feed our growing planet. I am from a large farm family from a small farming community in central Minnesota. Growing up I would always be forced to work in the family garden and I HATED it. Ten years later I have been hired to garden professionally for Dr. Small’s lab and I could not be happier. The work is pretty similar in Chip’s garden compared to the one back home, but the title is much more eloquent. Besides gardening I enjoy hiking and kayaking.

    Lab Alumni

  • Katherine Connelly (’17)
  • Katie Dennis (’17)
  • Alex Guxman (’17)
  • Megan Hay (’17)
  • Anneliese Johnson (’17)
  • Will Kreuser (’17)
  • Cari Monroe (’17)
  • Sara Osborne (’17)
  • Courtney Pelissero (’17)
  • Isabelle Tjokrosetio (’17)
  • David Ahrens, Cas Roland, and Christiana Wilke (’17)
  • Taylor Schuweiler (’16)
  • Haley Zimmerman (’16)
  • Sam Harvey (’16)
  • Jake Anderson (’16)
  • Acadia Stephan (’16)
  • Liam Coulter (’16)
  • Kristen Bastug (’15)
  • Hunter Gaitan (’15)
  • Carly Dent (’14)
  • Liz Scherber (’14)
  • Leann Luecke (’14)
  • Ryan Burke
  • Emma Button
  • Louise Messina
  • Stephanie Worden
  • Daniel Yang
  • Tyler Abrahamson (’13). Currently working for Our Community Food Projects
  • Aaron Hays
  • Ashela Richardson (’13)
  • Megan Sheridan
  • Quinn Wrenholt (’13). Currently working with the HECUA/Gandhi Mahal Urban Farm
  • Andy Van Alst (’11). Currently working on guppy evolution in Trinidad.

Collaborators and Community Partners

  • Kristen Klingler and Nora Hoeft (Minneapolis Health Department)
  • Kevin Hannigan (Fields of Joy)
  • Amanda Lovelee
  • Collie Graddi