Elissa Tikalsky

Elissa Tikalsky

Career Interests

policy, water, community-based, management

Employment Sought:
Permanent Position


Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University, Durham, NC
Concentration: Environmental Economics & Policy
Community Based Environmental Management 
Graduate Coursework: Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Duke Law, Ecology and Management of Streams and Rivers, Decision Analysis, Community-Based Environmental Management, Natural Resource Economics, Statistical Analysis for Environmental Management, Federal Fisheries Management (Survey), Coastal Geologic Processes (Survey)
Client-Based Master's Project: Reducing Toxic Exposures in Community Gardens in North Carolina, Client: Duke Superfund Research Center
Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
Study Abroad: Sustainable China Study Tour, Water Resource Policy and Planning, December 2011; The School for Field Studies, Costa Rica Sustainable Development Program, Fall Semester 2010

Professional Experience

Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
Co-Founder and Director, Green Roof & Orchard Workforce
Built and fostered a network of diverse internal and external partners for collaboration on projects and events. Co-led a vibrant core team. Identified and secured $10,000 of grant and donor funding for events and facilities improvement. Designed a public website to share project goals, participation opportunities, and resources.2015-2017
Client Project, Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Duke Law
Researched and advised a local organization on navigating compliance with stormwater and zoning ordinances. Spring 2016
Master’s Project, Communicating Contaminant Exposure Risk in NC Community Gardens, Duke Superfund Research Center
Met with community groups across the state to assess contamination risk in the gardens, awareness, and concern, in order to develop a long-term outreach and education project with the Duke Superfund Research Center's Community Engagement Core and partners. 2016-2017
Executive Officer, Duke University Greening Initiative
Worked with a core team to select, support, and advise mini-grant recipients of up to $5000 for local environmental projects. 2016-2017
The Nature Conservancy, Minneapolis, MN
Independent Project Volunteer 
Solicited and evaluated proposals from carbon accounting firms for the chapter’s initial carbon inventory. May-July 2015
Conservation Intern
Designed and populated intranet database of conservation properties to organize and provide staff with access to all management documents in compliance with Land Trust Alliance accreditation and future auditing needs. Jan-May 2013
The New England Aquarium, Boston, MA
Program Educator
Presented educational programming to the public through traveling programs and activities in the aquarium. May-August 2014
Volunteer Lobster Research and Aquaculturist, Lobster Research and Rearing Facility of the John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory
Massachusetts Audubon Society, multiple locations, NH and MA
Nature Center Coordinator, Wildwood Camp
Developed and led educational programs and activities to teach and inspire campers about the environment. Summer 2013
Counselor Naturalist, Wildwood Camp,
Live in counselor responsible for overnight campers ages 13-16.  Led educational programs. Summer 2012
Farm Hand, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and Community Farm

Additional Information

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint
Database design and management, various platforms
WordPress Website Design
NVivo Qualitative Data Analysis Software
STATA Statistical Analysis Software
Basic Mapping and Analysis with ArcMap
STELLA Modeling and Simulation Software


project management
stakeholder engagement
volunteer management
water resources management

Graduation Date

May 2017

Additional Resources



Preferred Location


Preferred Sector

Academic Institution
Federal Government
Non-profit / NGO
Research Institute / Think Tank
State / Local Government