Meet your USVI Storm Strong Team.
Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D.
Good day, my name is Kristin Wilson Grimes and I am the Project Lead for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I am a coastal wetlands scientist by training, but now work more broadly to understand how people impact and interact with coastal habitats. I work closely with USVI communities to engage them in the projects I work on, to make sure that the science remains relevant and accessible. I live on St. Thomas with my husband, our two island dogs, and adopted cat from Maine! Outside of work, I enjoy relaxing on our beautiful beaches, attending crossfit, cooking, and reading.
Greg Guannell, Ph.D.
My name is Greg Guannel, I work at UVI and I co-manage the USVI Storm Strong project. I’m a Civil Engineer by training, and have been working on hazard risk reduction issues for more than 10 years. I live on St Thomas with my wife and 2 young kids. Originally from Martinique, I enjoy Caribbean food, music, culture, as well as walking ghuts and learning about the history of the VI. I have a young family and love all things Caribbean, especially Zouk, Kompa, and ginger beer.
Allie Durdall, MSc
Hi there, I’m Allie Durdall. I recently graduated from and work at UVI. I’m a marine and environmental scientist with a love for coastal systems: mangroves, seagrass beds and salt ponds. Originally from Minnesota, I now live on St. Thomas with my rescue-pup, Cooper. I love the warm weather here and enjoy gardening, SCUBA diving, and hiking and swimming with my dog.
Howard Forbes, Jr., MSc
Hi there, I’m Howard Forbes Jr. I am graduate from the University of the Virgin Islands and now serve as the St. Thomas Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service. In this role, I have the opportunity to educate the local community about the importance of our natural resources within the territory. Originally, I am from the island of St. Croix but now reside on St. Thomas. I love living in the tropics as I get to scuba dive, enjoy mostly warm weather, and indulge in authentic Caribbean cuisine.
Kristina K. Edwards
Oh hi, I almost didn’t see you there. My name is Jarvon. I am a native Virgin Islander and one of the curriculum facilitators for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I have a background in marine biology and have been working as an outreach specialist for 4 years. When I am not engaging and educating underserved communities of the Virgin Islands, I’m spending my time hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or scheduling multiple power naps for the upcoming week.
Elisa Bryan Lacatena
When I’m not in my office, I can be found in the studio making art, practicing yoga and raising a teenager. A fun fact about me is that I am certified by the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City in Food For Healing.
Karen Peterman, Ph.D.
My name is Karen Peterman and I am the Evaluator for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I am a developmental psychologist by training, but I work with clients from around the United States to study STEM projects and the effect they have on audiences. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and now reside in Durham, North Carolina. Outside of work, I enjoy watching my 8-year-old play sports, doing Pilates, and reading.
At Catalyst Miami, Zelalem works to educate Miami-Dade County residents on the local impacts of climate change, connect climate change to other social justice initiatives, implement programs that strengthen the resilience of communities, and advocate for policies that call for climate action. Zelalem has a Masters in Public Health in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelors degree in Community Health from Brown University.