Board of Directors


Seth Coan, Executive Director
Seth has over 15 years of experience in environmental engineering, technical project management, and investment analysis. He has focused on the mining sector and has led engagements for several multinational mineral and metal mining companies analyzing mining reclamation and environmental liabilities and construction management practices. He has a deep understanding of mine operations, permitting requirements, closure requirements, reclamation cost estimation, and environmental risks associated with mining operations.

As Senior Environmental Specialist with Deloitte, he focused on environmental risk management, construction management and consulting, cost-benefit analyses, and advised on sustainability strategy development. Seth has also worked as a Civil and Environmental Engineer, focusing on infrastructure projects for a number of private and public sector clients.

Seth holds a Masters of Engineering degree in Environmental Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, a Bachelors of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, and a Masters of Science in Real Estate from Georgia State University. Seth is also fluent in Spanish and proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

Jim Kilberg, Director
Jim was named Plum Creek’s senior vice president, real estate, energy and natural resources in April 2006. In this position, he oversees the company’s non-timber business's, including real estate development, land asset management, conservation, mitigation banking, recreational lease management, oil and gas, construction materials, heavy minerals, wind and water.

Jim began his career serving in a variety of marketing positions with IBM and AT&T. In 1983, he joined Trammell Crow Company where he held roles of increasing responsibility in the development business. In 1987, he became divisional partner and later served as executive vice president of asset management for the southeastern United States. In 1992, Kilberg became senior director of the Pizza Hut division of PepsiCo. He later became an officer and vice president of the division. In 1995, he joined Pep Boys as vice president of real estate. In 1998, he returned to Trammell Crow Company as a principal to oversee the company’s national retail practice. In 2001, he became managing director for the global services business. He remained in this role until joining Plum Creek as vice president, land management in January 2003.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He also received a master’s degree in business management from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in corporate real estate from the National Association of Corporate Real Estate.

He also serves on the board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance Theater, as well as the Corporate Council of the Land Trust Alliance.

Dr. Shawn Grushecky, Director
Shawn serves as the Coordinator for the Energy Land Management Program (ELM) and Associate Director of the Appalachian Hardwood Center (AHC) at West Virginia University. As part of the ELM program, he teaches multiple courses in the program and serves as the undergraduate adviser for students enrolled in the degree program. He holds a PhD in Forest/Natural Resource Science from the School of Natural Resources (formally DFNR) at WVU. Shawn maintains an active research program in the area of natural resource and related energy development. He has been the investigator or co-investigator on 81 research grants totaling over $4 million and has published 45 peer-reviewed research papers while with WVU. He also provides direct service to industrial clients in the areas of energy development and natural resource based enterprises.

Board of Advisors

Kirsten Nathanson
Kirsten L. Nathanson is a partner in the firm Crowell & Mooring LLP in the Environment & Natural Resources Group, focusing on environmental litigation, enforcement defense, risk assessment, and regulatory counseling under the major federal environmental and public lands statutes. Her litigation experience covers the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, FIFRA, NEPA, SMCRA, RCRA, and CERCLA, encompassing citizen suit defense, regulatory challenges, remediation cost recovery and defense, Administrative Procedure Act actions, and EPA enforcement.

Kirsten has been recognized as a leading environmental lawyer in Washington, D.C. by Chambers and Partners USA 2013-2015.

Dr. Jeff Skousen
Jeff has more than 30 years of experience in reclamation of disturbed lands and agriculture. He teaches courses in soil science, environmental science, and reclamation of disturbed soils. His research program includes acid mine drainage control and treatment, water quality, overburden and soil analyses, revegetation of disturbed lands, reforestation, native plant restoration, biomass for bioenergy, and post-mining land use development. He has published over 250 articles in journals, books, proceedings, and extension publications. He works with faculty on campus and with researchers at other institutions, guides graduate student research, and presents findings at professional meetings. He organizes the annual Acid Mine Drainage Task Force Symposium, conducts seminars and workshops on mined land reclamation, and consults with state and federal agency personnel, landowners, coal operators, and consultants. He works internationally on land reclamation issues in Asia and Europe.

Dr. Alex Rau
Alex is the Managing Director of Climate Wedge Ltd, a privately held, independent carbon management and investment advisory firm pursuing proprietary investments and project development in the carbon and environmental markets, and providing carbon finance and emissions-traded related advisory services to corporations, financials, and sovereigns/governments worldwide.

Climate Wedge and its affiliates have acted as principal and/or advisor on transactions exceeding 100 MtCO2eq emissions reductions with notional value exceeding US$1 billion, across dozens of projects and transactions in the US, Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Clients and partners have ranged from financials and institutional investors such as Cheyne Capital and CalPERs, through to large corporates and industrial groups including News Corporation, McKinsey & Company, Rio Tinto, and Warstila Oyj, as well as multilateral agencies and governments, including the Inter American Development Bank and the Government of Finland.


Dr. Tim Volk
Dr. Timothy Volk has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of forestry, agroforestry, short-rotation woody crops, bioenergy and phytoremediation in the Northeastern United States and Africa. He holds degrees from the University of Guelph (BS (Agr.), Guelph, Ontario) in Natural Resources Management, Cornell University (MS, Ithaca, NY) in Forest Science and SUNY – ESF (PhD, Syracuse, NY) in Forest and Natural Resources Management. He is currently the co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and senior research associate at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, NY. He is responsible for a series of research projects focused on the development of shrub willow biomass cropping systems as a feedstock for bioproducts and bioenergy and the use of willow as an alternative cover for industrial waste sites. He is also actively involved in research and development of sustainability assessments of bioenergy systems, life cycle assessments of willow biomass crops and woody biomass from forests, assessments of woody biomass availability from natural forests, economic modeling of short rotation woody crops, living snowfences, regional woody biomass resource supplies, and harvesting systems for short rotation woody crops. He chaired the ad hoc committee at SUNY-ESF that developed and is now implementing the curriculum for a minor in Renewable Energy and is currently teaching courses on Energy Systems and Biomass Energy.