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Environmental Management & Business Institute


Past Recipients

Dr. Yue Rong

Environmental Program Manager at the California Environmental Protection Agency

2019  Award Recipient
Dr. Yue Rong (aka, YR) is currently the Environmental Program Manager at the California Environmental Protection Agency, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.  He was also the acting Assistant Executive Officer of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, in groundwater division.  Dr. Rong is the manager in charge of site assessment and remediation of leaking underground storage tank (UST) sites, and the program of water quality control in oil and gas production fields. The UST program contains large number of leaking UST sites to be remediated in Los Angeles area, which was ranked in top 10 in terms of total numbers of the impacted sites.  He has 29-year experience with the Agency in dealing with groundwater contamination problems in the Los Angeles area of California, U.S.A.  His expertise includes organic pollutants fate and transport in the subsurface soil and groundwater, environmental analytical chemistry and quality assurance and quality control, environmental statistics, risk assessment, and soil and groundwater pollution assessment and remediation.  The projects he worked and involved with include collaboration with USEPA at superfund sites in Los Angeles area, Santa Monica methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) drinking water pollution cleanup, I-710 corridor regional cleanup, and water quality control at oil and gas production fields in Los Angeles area.
Continue reading about Dr. Rong>>

Douglas McLaughlin

Principal Research Scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI)                                                 

2018 Award Recipient
Since 2002, Doug has been a Principal Research Scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), a non-profit environmental research organization funded by the forest products industry. He is based near Kalamazoo, Michigan where he provides scientific expertise and research that address questions affecting surface water quality and management. Over the last several years, he has focused on the science underpinning the development of numeric water quality criteria for nutrients and other pollutants. These criteria are a central part of water quality management in the U.S. under the Clean Water Act, and represent potentially important sustainability goals for guiding human interactions with aquatic ecosystems. Continue reading about Doug>>


Meleesa Johnson

Director of Solid Waste Management for Marathon County
2017 Award Recipient

Meleesa Johnson is the director of solid waste management for Marathon County. She oversees solid waste programming and facilities serving central and north-central Wisconsin.  Under her leadership the Solid Waste Department transitioned from primarily a landfill business to a regional resource for residents, businesses and local governments working on waste reduction and recycling programming as means of creating greater sustainability.

Serving as adjunct faculty at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Meleesa helped create the current curriculum for both the introductory and advanced waste management classes.  The advanced class now serves as a capstone class for the Waste Management and Soils degree program.  While she no longer enjoys a position with the university, she continues to guest lecture and mentor students. Continue reading about Meleesa>>

Neil Diboll

Prairie Nursery President and Consulting Ecologist

2016 Award Recipient
Neil Diboll received his degree from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay in 1978.  He has since worked for the U.S. Park Service in Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado, and the University of Wisconsin.  In 1982, Neil began his involvement with Prairie Nursery, producing native plants and seeds and designing native landscapes.  He has since devoted his efforts to championing the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs and wetland plants, in contemporary American landscapes.

In addition to helping popularize the use of native plants long before they were “cool,’ Neil developed the first scientific methodology for designing prairie seed mixes.  By calculating the relative numbers of seeds per square foot for each species in a seed mix, the resultant prairie plant community could be more accurately predicted.  Neil also worked to set industry standards for seed purity and germination to assure customers receive quantifiable, viable seed. Continue reading about Neil>>

David Kriebel

Professor of Epidemiology at U. Mass Lowell

2015 Award Recipient
David Kriebel​ is a professor of epidemiology in the Department of Work Environment and co-director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The Lowell Center collaborates with industries, government agencies, unions, and community organizations on the redesign of systems of production to make them healthier and more environmentally sound. Kriebel graduated summa cum laude from UW-Green Bay in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology. He then worked with Dr. Barry Commoner, famed champion of the environmental activist movement, coordinating Commoner’s biology laboratories at Washington University in St. Louis and working on his 1980 Citizens Party campaign for president. Kriebel then discovered his professional passion and earned a master’s in physiology and a doctorate in epidemiology from Harvard. He won a Fulbright fellowship to Italy to study at one of the world’s premier cancer-prevention centers. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and co-authored two public health textbooks.

Paul Linzmeyer

Sustainability Leader at ThedaCare

2014 Award Recipient
A leader with proven business acumen who has years of executive level leadership, Paul brings a strong background of 35+ years as a ‘business activist’ with a deep and abiding belief that business can benefit from triple bottom line thinking. He is currently the Sustainability Leader at ThedaCare, which has five hospitals and 25 clinics and is the largest employer in NE Wisconsin. Paul is known as an international strategist and speaker on business Innovation and Sustainability principles. In the past, he was a US delegate to the OECD’s Sustainable Manufacturing and Eco-Innovation committee. He also is a past Chair of the Wisconsin Workforce Investment Council, the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, and the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan Stockwell

Agriculture Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation

2013 Award Recipient
Currently, Ryan is the Agriculture Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation where he conducts outreach on agriculture policy, performs policy analysis on agricultural legislation impacting wildlife and natural resources, and provides strategic leadership in eliminating barriers to farmer adoption of cover crops.


Education: Magna Cum Laude from UWGB in 2001 with a double major in Social Change and Development and History, Ph.D. History, University of Missouri

Victoria Harris

Water Quality and Habitat Specialist, UW Sea Grant, Green Bay, WI

2012 Award Recipient
Victoria Harris, the longtime water quality and habitat restoration specialist with the UW Sea Grant Institute on the UW-Green Bay campus, has dedicated her life to clean water. Harris spent 37 years devoted to protecting and restoring the environment in and around UW-Green Bay. 

Education: M.S. Environmental Science and Policy, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Paul Wozniak

Environmental Historian and Environmental Educator, Chicago, IL

2011 Award Recipient
Paul Wozniak is an environmental historian, a statistical analyst and an environmental educator. He helped write the book on Earth Day — collaborating on Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise with U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson and former UW-Green Bay instructor Susan Campbell. Wozniak works as a senior consultant with Navigant Consulting of Chicago. His work involves the evaluation of programs attempting to influence energy behaviors through advanced communications systems. He is currently advising three of the nation's largest electric utilities. Wozniak volunteers as a historian for the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame and he worked as an associate to help launch UW-Green Bay's Environmental Management Business Institute. He also serves as a research director for the Fox/Wolf Rivers Environmental History Project.


Paul Tower

President and CEO of Applied Filter Technology, in Snohomish, Washington

2010 Award Recipient
Paul Tower is the recipient of UW-Green Bay's first Alumni Earth Caretaker Award. Tower graduated from UW-Green Bay in 1978 with a Master's Degree in Environmental Arts and Sciences and an emphasis in process engineering. Tower has focused his career on improving the environment with technology. He is President and CEO of Applied Filter Technology (AFT), in Snohomish, Wash., a firm that designs, builds, and operates waste gas recovery processes for use in energy production. His company provides the technology to create biogas energy from green wastes, such as lumber byproducts and landscaping trimmings. For the city of Madison, for example, technology created by AFT helps the Wisconsin Waste Water Treatment Plant process waste by a methane digester to produce electricity and heat used for plant operations. AFT has 167 operational sites in North America and 300 internationally.

Education: M.S. Environmental Science and Policy, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay