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, Associate

We’re always open to finding our next new team member! Might it be you? Feel free to reach out to us to explore working together.


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