About Us

Team

Earth Matter has many staff members, trainees, volunteers, and friends that make achieving our mission possible.

Meet the team!

Staff

Marisa DeDominicis

Co-founder
Project Manager

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Marisa

Marisa DeDominicis has a BA in Business and Organizational Communications from Emerson College, Boston. She worked for the Trust for Public Land as an environmental educator and site coordinator for 18 years.

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She was an activist in the urban homesteading/squatting movement in the East Village, where she lived for 25 years. Her parents owned L & A Blacksmith Shop in Beacon, NY, and her maternal grandmother was the village midwife and butcher in Cugnoli, Italy. She has three lovely children: Kali, Lucca, and Selene.

Charlie Bayrer

Co-founder
Operations Manager

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Charlie

Charlie Bayrer has been an active community composter and gardener for 13 years. He was a co-chair of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust healthy soils initiative, which sampled and tested the soil in all 34 member gardens from 2007 to 2008.

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He helped develop the sampling protocol, guidelines for remediation, gardener education on contamination and test interpretation, and implementation of remediation plans. Charlie is an organizer of the Fort Greene Compost Project, an all volunteer community-based collaboration that is currently composting over 40 tons per year of residential food waste for local use. He is also a founding partner of Earth Matter. All of these efforts are centered primarily across central Brooklyn from Red Hook to Bushwick.

Andrea Lieske

Resource Recovery Coordinator

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Andrea

Andrea joined Earth Matter in 2013 as an apprentice and was fortunate enough to turn her passion for playing with microbes into a job.

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She has been an active composter and community garden member in Harlem since 2012, where she is a founding member of the compost group the Earth Picklers. That is where she fell in love with microorganisms and started her journey of learning about how important they are and how they interact with all life on earth. Her mission is to help the environment and advance sustainable living.

Andrea hails from Germany originally. By nature she is an organizer and ‘doer’. She loves being part of an urban farm. As a mother of two young children, a former contemporary dancer and the former Assistant Director of the Alban Elved Dance company. She is used to wearing many hats. She has many years of experience working in the food industry, theater industry and in construction.

Kim Tateo

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Kim

Whether it comes to organizing events, volunteer coordination, or preparing project schedules, Kim is a planner by nature. She’s also an artist and loves finding beauty in the every day.

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Kim draws on her 7 years of experience from working as an Account Executive at a creative agency focusing on project management, client relationships, and social media, as well as her experience as a volunteer Team Leader with New York Cares.

Kim believes in people and their potential. She loves making new connections and considers everyone she meets a flower in her “garden” of life.

Syed Arif Mumtaz

Field Assistant 

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Syed

In his third year in the agriculture field, Syed has taken a joy working toward a simpler future with bio-diverse soils and nutrient rich food.

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Having spent a season growing crops for the Glynwood CSA in Cold Spring, NY, and with ties to the Queens County Farm Museum, he is eager to delve into the world of urban farming. A Master Composter from Queens, Syed knows the benefits of curbing waste, getting people involved in the process, and spreading great compost where needed. When not advocating recycling you can find Syed working on music compositions with his band or gardening in his Jamaica home.

Alex Marber

Organics Recovery Coordinator

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Alex

After 11 months of volunteer farming through Europe, Alex knew he wanted to take the leap from finance to food scraps. With a childhood passion for cooking he is now working to see that kitchen waste stays out of landfills.

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Graduating with an economics degree from Western Washington University in two years, he moved from Seattle to New York to work as an operations analyst for a private equity fund. With a taste for adventure and yearning to get back to his “hands on” roots of Seattle’s restaurants, he picked up his life after a year and rode his bicycle from San Francisco back to the Big Apple. Then off to Europe to learn permaculture principles on organics farms through the WWOOF network. Four farms, a skydiving license, and a permaculture certification later and Alex is back in NYC to make a difference in organics waste management.

Mark Leger

Bookkeeper/Human Resources Coordinator

Earth Matter NY

Contact Mark

Building sustainable, mission-driven organizations and caring for the urban environment and its people are Mark’s twin passions. He’s also a long-time NYC community gardener and a knitter who dyes his own yarn.

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Mark has been working for social justice non-profits for over decade in a variety of roles: communications, fundraising, membership development, and financial management. On his days off, you can usually find him outdoors working alongside the other members of two community gardens in northeast Brooklyn. Says Mark, “I love how caring for the earth and growing food together creates and cements strong community bonds. Like knitting, it’s about creating a kind of fabric— a social fabric— stitch by stitch.”

Conrad is part of the Billion Oyster Project Shell Collection Program team.

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Conrad has worked driving for several carriers and on many music projects. He feels great knowing that his key role driving throughout New York collecting oyster shells from BOP restaurant partners has a huge impact and a powerful message: food scraps are not waste!

Brandon is part of the Billion Oyster Project Shell Collection Program team.

NYC Service

Jessica Haltzman

NYC Service Corps Member
2016-2017

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Jessica

Jessica Haltzman graduated from the University of Colorado in 2015, with a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasize in sustainable development.

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She became very inspired by people all over the world living zero waste lifestyles and began to pursue her own environmentally-conscious life. She has made huge strides in reducing waste in all aspects of her life, for example she buys almost all of her groceries packaged free. This change in her lifestyle has allowed her to finally feel like she is living by her values. During her transition she realized that composting food waste was an integral part of the zero waste movement. She hopes to change the way people view waste and reduce the amount of organics being sent to landfills.

Infinitae Stockton

NYC Service Corps Member
2015-2016

NYC Compost Project
Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Contact Infinitae

During Infinitae’s childhood, she witnessed her grandfather, an agricultural-wise Jamaican, grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs while maintaining an urban farm and grocery store in the Bronx.

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Her life transformed once she became a wife and mother, making her children the center of her creativity. Today, Infinitae is a NYC Service Corp Member at the NYC Compost Project hosted by Earth Matter NY, working to be a role model and leader in her community. She enjoys working with various populations and multi-generations and is a visionary with nature as a concentration.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board includes people who are passionate about composting and sustainable practices and have joined with Earth Matter by lending their expertise, skills, facilities and/or advice to us. Advisory Board Members are our active guides to the direction in which our organization will grow.

Advisory Board Members’ vision and expertise can be in just about any area related to sustainability and organizational growth as related to our mission. Some examples of Advisory Member focus are: composting, environmental education, biology, horticulture, urban agriculture, technical support for physical operations, volunteer coordination, public relations, event planning and fundraising, accounting, rainwater harvesting, and many more.

Laura Rosenshine

Treasurer
Community composting pilot program organizer and composting advocate for NYC. Laura works with Global Enviro, a company that provides on site food waste solutions. Laura creates compost training videos for Earth Matter.

Wylie Goodman

Development
Wylie Goodman has been working professionally on green space advocacy in New York City since 2009, when she joined Partnerships for Parks as an outreach coordinator.

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In 2010, she become PfP’s technical assistance coordinator, co-leading with the nonprofit Hester Street Collaborative People Make Parks, a project that actively engages the public in the capital and design process for NYC’s parks. In 2013, she moved to the New York City Department of Transportation to serve as staff analyst in their Superstorm Sandy unit, project managing grants from FEMA and FHWA. Outside of her professional work, Wylie is a first-year student at Farm School, a program training NYC residents in urban agriculture, and a supporter of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, which spearheaded the effort to construct a 14-mile pedestrian and bicycling path from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge. She is excited to be joining the board of Earth Matter to more productively direct her composting compulsion.

Marisa DeDominicis

President

See above for bio.

Charlie Bayrer

Vice President

See above for bio.

Apprentices

Earth Matter’s apprenticeship program is aimed at adults (ages 18+) that are interested in scaling up their community composting operations, acquiring green job skills, and spreading knowledge of composting best practices in New York City and beyond. If you are interested in learning more about Earth Matter’s apprenticeship program, see Apprenticeships.

Current Apprentices

2016

Anna Cassell

Harrison Weiss

Jessica Haltzman

Kevin Doby

Marc Shifflett

Matthew Civello

Paul Glick

Perry Leung

Previous Apprentices

2016 “Seasonal”

Dominick Caravella

Sharonne Caullychurn

Tisha Chong

David Klein

Sarah Lehrich

2015-2016 “3-Season”

Joan Conlon

Trang Dong

Rosalia Lucero

Frederick Phillips

Infinitae Stockton

Pat Simmonds

Kam Yau

2015

David Granik

Michelle Hernandez

Imane Azzamrehali

2014

Darym Alden

Gloria Diaz

Sarah Tobias

Sarah Tobias

Jabani Bennett

Clay Ezell

Leah Rhyne

Alberto Carreras

Andrea Lieske

Angela De Roberts

Anandi A. Premlall

2013

Margot Becker

Margot Becker

Alexis Negran

Stephen Toriello

Stephen Toriello

Miles Bolton

Shafina Rahim

Prita Tal

Prita Lal

Barry Rothstein

Barry Rothstein

Emmanuel Martinez

Emmanuel Martinez

Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson

2012

2011

Jeremy Teperman

Jeremy Teperman

Aaron Nesser

Anna Davis

Maya Ito

Maya Ito

Interns

Earth Matter’s internship program is aimed at high school students (ages 14 to 18) that are interested in acquiring practical and theoretical knowledge with respect to composting, animal husbandry, farming, resource recovery, and conservation. If you are interested in learning more about Earth Matter’s internship program, see internships.

In addition to internships open to all high school students, Earth Matter maintains a special relationship with the New York Harbor School, our neighbors on Governors Island. Harbor School interns work on special programs with us, including composting the school’s food waste and curing oyster shells for the Billion Oyster Project, which is repopulating oysters in New York Harbor.

Current Interns

Abril Orzuna

Stephanie Arango

Kaila Scott

2016

Boone Campbell

Malik Taylor

Ileana Aguilar

Cezanne Bies

Nicholas Cumberbatch

Previous Interns

2015

Theo Bolton

Salma Mendez

Greta Smith

Oliver Gutierrez

Christian Mondragon

Maia Smith

Cindy Isidoro

Nell Pearson

Maya Juman

Henry Nye

2014

Emmie Campbell

Eric Weimer

Kim Choi

Ulysses Wilson

Mia Luna

Sofia Pierson

Sofia Pierson

2013

Selene Castrucci

Selene Castrucci

Darian Roberto

Zoe Holland

Zoe Holland

Athira Sivan

Athira Sivan

Shaalini Ganesalingam

Shaalini Ganesalingam

Sam Pirani

Sam Pirani

2012

2011

Theresa Rivera

Marino Vargas

Misha Bailey

Hector Perez

Cecilio Ben

2010

Luis Escobar

Jen Soto

Rot Star of the Month

At Earth Matter, we have many stellar friends that help us make compost and care for our animals and gardens. Our “Rot Star of the Month” is a profile of an individual or group that holds a special place in our family.

Winter 2016: Meredith Levine

Meredith Levine
by Marisa DeDominicis

Seaport resident Meredith Levine is this month’s rot star! Meredith eagerly and competently embraced the hard work of pitching yesterday’s food scraps onto the hot pile, and enhancing our CLC’s pad 1 garden this past summer with a touch of pizzazz that only a seasoned gardener can give.

Meredith’s special gift of caring translates to all whom she comes in contact with. She loves all our critters and always checked in on them to make sure they were comfortable and well looked after in all kinds of weather. Always willing to pick up a shift if a volunteer could not make it, teach a trick of the animal care trade to someone coming for their first time, or their 10th time, or assist others with work that she “divined” was needed, Meredith Levine would do WHATEVER was needed with her brilliant smile and can do attitude.

Meredith is currently down south taking a break from NYC. We are sure she is shining her light of kindness, humility and compassion.

Summer-Fall 2016: Infinitae Stockton – A Year of Service

A Year of Service by Kim Tateo and Marisa DeDominicis Infinitae first became part of the Earth Matter family when she joined the "3-season" apprenticeship program in 2016, she became part of the inaugural City Service Corps sponsored by the NYCCompost Project. Over...

Spring 2016: Lydia Baird

By Marisa DeDominicis Lydia Baird first volunteered at Earth Matter’s CLC in 2014, as part of her quest to find a suitable muslin composting system for her College, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Located in Chelsea, Manhattan, Lydia envisioned a...

December 2015-January 2016: New York Cares

Animal Care Volunteers since May 2015 (From left to right starting on the top row): Lori, Meredith, Jennifer, and Courtney (May-August), Anessa, Jake, Sacha, Emily (August-November), Serena, Sharonne, Jiwon, and David (December-Present). By Kim Tateo My love for...

October-November 2015: Mary Ng – Farm cooperator

Connie, Mary + Christian worked the bean patch. By Marisa DeDominicis Mary Ng joined our animal care volunteer group about a year ago signing up on our website to help out at the Vendy’s Awards event. She started coming on Sundays to help with Animal Care, then got...

Summer 2015: Michelle Jane Hernandez and Imane Azzam-Rehali

By Marisa DeDominicis Off-season graduate apprentices, Michelle and Imane, are two amazing women who are inclined to look for ways to improve their knowledge around helping to heal the earth, and understand how to implement these practices in their own lives. They...

May 2015: Frederick Phillips

By Marisa DeDominicis Frederick Phillips is Barbados-born, which is a place where life is, largely lived out-of-doors. There were plants and trees in his front yard, back yard and on both sides of his home, and Frederick and his siblings climbed and reaped fruits from...

April 2015: Milo Kotis and Ayun Halliday

By Marisa DeDominicis Milo, son, and Ayun, mom, happened to wander by the Compost Outpost one summer day in 2013, and by the following season they were regular volunteers at Earth Matter’s Friday work days. They brought with them smiles to light up a cloudy midnight...

March 2015: Emmie Campbell and Lori Nelson

By Marisa DeDominicis The first time Emmie Campbell, a high school sophomore, showed up at Earth Matter’s Center was on a Friday volunteer day, near the end of summer 2013, introduced to us by her mom, Lori Nelson. Lori has an intimacy with GI as a core member of one...

December 2014: Leslie Nowinski and Alison Simko

By Marisa DeDominicis Leslie Nowinski and Alison Simko are friends who live in Battery Park City. Three years ago they came to Earth Matter to assist in our animal care, and are now the regular chicken caregivers every Thursday. During the growing season they also...

October 2014: The Schor Family

By Bill Koehnlein The Schror family—William, Sanae, and their son, Haruki—have been helping out at Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center for the past three years. In the summer, they delight in spending time with the goats and taking them for walks around the Center....