Meet the Team

Although this project involves the collaboration of many staff across multiple departments, this page highlights the main operational team responsible for the weekly loading and off-loading of the composting system:

Gina Talt ’15, Food Systems Project Specialist; Office of Sustainability

Gina is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the composting system, compiling and analyzing data to inform a feasibility study, leading communication and engagement efforts around the project, and working closely with the Campus as Lab program to develop and support related coursework and research opportunities for staff, faculty, and students.

OPERATIONAL ASSISTANTS

Current:

Name : Kiley Coates ’20
Major: Geosciences
Hometown: Fort Mill, SC
Why I was interested in assisting: Projects like the S.C.R.A.P. Lab relate heavily to my studies. As a Geosciences concentrator, I want to be able to help solve environmental issues and create a society where we live more sustainably. The S.C.R.A.P. Lab is a great step to not only reduce food waste on campus, but model how this could be applied in other settings.

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Name: Milan Eldridge ’20
Major:  Art & Archaeology
Hometown:  Dayton, Ohio / Louisville, Kentucky
Why I was interested in assisting: I have really enjoyed being involved in Pink House [Forbes College’s residential social sustainability living community] what I could do to personally be more sustainable. Among many things, this led me to become more interested in composting on a larger scale and I wanted to help convert our campus’s food waste into a useful material. I am excited to help make our university more environmentally friendly while meeting like-minded peers!

Name and Class Year: Christian Hernandez ’22
Concentration: Molecular Biology
Hometown: Manvel, TX
Why you decided to join the team: As a small farmer and composter myself, I want to participate in how composting can work at a larger scale as well as just maintain some fitness through physical labor.

Name : Joe Kawalec ’21
Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Why I was interested in assisting: I wanted to get some hands on experience with data collection and composting, as well as get involved with a great sustainable initiative on our campus.

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Name: Roy Kim ’22
Major: Anthropology
Hometown: New York City
Why I was interested in assisting: I wanted to help steward the incredible resource of food scraps that we have on campus by turning it to beautiful compost.

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Name  Reese Knopp ’23
Major:  Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:  Northport, NY
Why I was interested in assisting: I’ve always been interested in environmentalism and sustainability, so the S.C.R.A.P. lab has provided me with a great opportunity to participate in practical efforts that make a difference on campus, while also learning a lot about food waste mitigation and composting practices.

Maya McHugh ’22

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Name and Class Year: Chloé Vettier, GS
Concentration: French Literature
Hometown: Paris, France
Why you decided to join the team: because I want to support sustainable initiatives on campus – and I really miss my composter in Paris!

Name : Wesley Wiggins ’21
Major: Geosciences
Hometown: Washington, DC
Why I was interested in assisting: To further participate in helping the campus become greener and environmentally-friendly. I also want to learn more about sustainable practices and meet new people

Past Assistants:

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Name and Class Year: Julia Herrle, ’19*23
Concentration: MPA, International Relations
Hometown: Wexford, PA
Why you decided to join the team: I’m passionate about improving food security and sustainability of food systems. Reducing food waste is an important part of this, and I’m excited to learn more about composting at Princeton

Name and Class Year: Ishanya Anthapur ’20

Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Why you decided to join the team: Working at the S.C.R.A.P. Lab seemed like a great way to learn about the food circulation at Princeton and to reckon with how much extra food waste we generate and what we’re doing to offset that

Name and Class Year: K. Stiefel ’20

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: Flemington, NJ

Why you decided to join the team: For a while I’ve been interested in individual-scale composting, but I’m interested in seeing how the process is effected on larger scales as well. This is the perfect opportunity.

Name: Daniel Tjondro ’20
Major: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Queens, NY
Why I was interested in assisting: To reduce food waste on campus by repurposing it into nutrient-rich soil.

Name : Helena Van Brande ’19
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Why I was interested in assisting: First, as someone interested in farming, composting has always intrigued me. More pressing, however, is that food waste is a terrible part of the food environment on the Princeton campus and also in the food industry at large. One way to ameliorate it is through compost, so that it can be used other than for human consumption, and the biodigester does this much faster than traditional composting. I am looking forward to learning more and being a part of the team!

Name : Henry Wietfeldt ’22
Major: Physics (prospective)
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Why I was interested in assisting: To help the environment!

Name : Kaylin Xu ’22
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Why I was interested in assisting: I care about sustainability and I also work in the dining hall, so I am just following the compost trail to the biodigester.

Name : Tatijana Stewart ’21
Major: Architecture
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Why I was interested in assisting:  Working the Biodigester is a great way to learn about an important landfill-diversion process and contribute to sustainability efforts on campus.

Name : Vincent Yang ’22
Major: Electrical Engineering or Computer Science
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Why I was interested in assisting:  I wanted to work a job that had a meaningful impact on the world. In the biodigester operational assistant job, I found an opportunity to work for the benefit of the community, helping to convert Princeton University’s food waste to compost. I also felt that because the biodigester project was a brand-new job opportunity, it would feel like working at a start-up where all my colleagues would be enthusiastic about the work and everyone would be open to new ideas that help to improve the project.

Name : Zoe Rennie ’21
Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: San Leandro, CA
Why I was interested in assisting:Interested in substituting potentially harmful synthetic materials with cleaner and organic alternatives