Our multi-disciplinary core staff


Amy Powers, Principal and Co-Founder

Education: M.S. in Environmental Administration, Antioch; B.A. in Environmental Studies & Spanish, Bates College.

Home: Past two decades in a domehome in Vermont; originally from Long Island.

Work: 20 years as an evaluator after nearly a decade teaching EE; my motivation in this work is a desire to help our world become more just, hopeful, and sustainable.

Outside interests: Spending time with three getting-taller-than-me children; growing food; trail running, falling off a mountain bike, nordic skiing.

Fun fact: I enjoy napping more than I should (I guess that's actually a 'boring fact').


Joy Kubarek, Senior Research Associate

Education: Ph.D. in Science Education, Illinois Institute of Technology; M.Ed. in Environmental Education, University of Minnesota Duluth; B.S. in Biology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

Home: Born and raised on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin/Minnesota, currently residing in New Hampshire.

Work: I love seeing people develop their evaluation literacy and have their evaluation "aha" moments.

Outside interests: Running, traveling, hiking, running some more.

Fun fact: Helped chase after the world's only remaining wild horses in Mongolia.


Chris Hardee, Consulting Associate

Education: M.S.T. Antioch University New England; Sc.B. Biology/Geology Brown University.

Home: Deeply tied to the white pine forests and small towns of the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire since the late 1970s; born and raised near the streams and oak-hickory forest of Maryland north of Baltimore.

Work: I am continually intrigued by how we learn about science, nature, and the environment.

Outside interests: Practically any activity that is literally “outside” and disconnected from the digital world, be it canoeing, biking, house projects, gardening, or just plain rambling.

Fun fact: If you haven’t noticed, the world is a wide, wild place.


Michael Duffin, Principal and Co-Founder

Education: Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change, Antioch University; M.S. in Environmental Education, Antioch New England; B.A. in Physics and Music, Whitman College.

Home: Grew up in the Pacific Northwest, happily settled in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire for over 20 years.

Work: I love the way evaluation straddles academia and practice.

Outside interests: Community theater, tennis, soccer, hiking (finished PCT in 2017).

Fun fact: My home office is 25 feet up in an oak tree.


Brian Johnson, Senior Research Associate

Education: Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England, M.S. in Environmental Administration, Lesley University; B.S. in Journalism, Northwestern University.

Home: Portside in Vancouver, British Columbia, though I’ve lived in America’s Dairyland, the Big Apple, and the Northwest of England.

Work: 20 years as educator and evaluator, specializing in zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, and conservation education.

Outside interests: I make amazing homemade soap (we call it the “million dollar bar”), enjoy cooking at home, and get outside daily for walks with my dog.

Fun fact: I’ve been a contestant on two game shows… work with me and you can find out how I did!


Your Name Here, Research Associate

We’re looking for a new team member! Might it be you?!

See this link for details.


Andrew Powers, Senior Research Associate, Finance Director, and Co-Founder

Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, CU Boulder (I like to figure out how things work!).

Home: Fled the dry hills of California for the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Work: Fifteen years as jack-of-all-trades for PEER, always trying to find a framework to unpack complex issues (messes CAN become useful spreadsheets!).

Outside interests: Building, tinkering, backcountry skiing.

Fun fact: I've never met a cheese I didn't like.


Qing Ren, Research Associate

Education: M.S. in Environmental Interpretation, SUNY-ESF; B.A. in Animation Art, Communication University of China.

Home: South Burlington, VT since 2014, born and raised on the Yellow River in central China, studied and worked in Beijing and Syracuse, NY.

Work: I like to combine my expertise in data analysis and graphic design to help environmental and conservation practitioners achieve their goals.

Outside interests: Bird watching, cooking at home, reading, and occasionally painting watercolor

Fun fact: I have seen all five species of loons in the world.


Other Consulting Associates

At any given time, PEER has 2-10 additional colleagues contracted to be part of the PEER team on various projects. They provide flexible capacity and project-specific expertise.

By far the greatest strength I see in working with PEER is the high degree of interactivity they maintain with clients.
— Bob Coulter, Director, Litzsinger Road Ecology School, Missouri Botanical Garden