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Health and Extreme Weather Adaptation and Resilience

John Scherer (CEMWG member, Co-chair HWR sub-group)

Mr. Scherer is an environmental professional who has worked as a consultant on five of the world’s seven continents. Throughout his career he has worked in environmental disciplines such as remediation, consultation, auditing, compliance, and emergency response. From everyday actions such as cleaning up soil contamination in the greater Washington D.C. area to large response actions such as responding to the 9-11 disaster and living and working in Afghanistan supporting the NATO troops there with environmental and emergency concerns. 

Mr. Scherer currently resides in Frederick City after returning from  his work overseas and volunteers with local community groups to help clean up streams and waterways in the DC Metro Area.

Vanessa Gress (HWR sub-group member)

Vanessa Gress is an environmental scientist in the environmental consulting industry. She has been in the environmental science field for over 11 years and has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Hood College. She also likes to volunteer with the Sierra Club and progressive political groups. She is experienced in research and data interpretation, and passionate about topics that impact the environment such as climate change and consumerism. As a member of the working group, she hopes to contribute her time and skills to helping Frederick County adapt to and learn more about the impacts of climate change. She also loves to walk her dogs on the many trails in Frederick County, read books, and drink wine at her book club. Unfortunately, her dogs are not adapting very well to the hotter weather in the county, and may soon have to be carted around in baby strollers. She hopes to do her part to make the world a better place for dogs and people and all other living beings!

Karen Russell

(HWR sub-group member)

Karen Russell is a Maryland Master Naturalist. She taught classes on the Chesapeake Watershed to elementary and middle classes, as a volunteer, for the Teaching Environmental Awareness in Maryland program of the Department of Natural Resources. She completed the Maryland Climate Leadership Academy sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Association of Climate Change Officers. In 2016, she formed the Climate Change Working Group of Frederick County, an all-volunteer organization focused on addressing the local effects of climate change through research, education, and advocacy. Karen is an engaged problem solver who brings experience in public relations and project management to her environmental work.

Kevin Sellner

(CEMWG co-chair, HWR sub-group member, liaison to ETB sub-group)


Kevin Sellner trained as a biological oceanographer and phytoplankton ecologist, Dr. Kevin Sellner focused his research career on phytoplankton dynamics and the fate of primary production in fresh and marine waters.  After retiring to Frederick in 2015, Kevin worked within Hood College’s Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies to monitor and advise local jurisdictions and HOAs on mitigating cyanobacteria blooms and water quality declines,  serves as a member of the Frederick County Sustainability Commission, is a member of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s Strategies for Preventing & Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms (HCBs) Team providing web guidance and options on mitigating freshwater cyanobacteria blooms, and frequently provides written comments and oral testimony to County and City officials on local water quality (2020 Monocacy River Water Quality Assessment), land use, and future conditions and options to respond to our changing climate.  For the latter interest, he has been asked to co-chair the current Climate Emergency Mobilization Workgroup in a year-long effort to provide recommendations to the City and County on options to reduce GHG emissions and implement practices and policies that will best adapt the area to the new climate we now face.

Audrey Ting (HWR sub-group member)


Darlene J. Bucciero  (HWR sub-group member)

Darlene Bucciero is currently the Director of the Research Facilities Management Office for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland.  In this capacity, she is responsible for facilities focusing on agricultural research.  Many of these facilities are aging and her goal is to continue upgrading with as many sustainable elements as possible such as geothermal energy, LED lighting and any other applicable green building elements appropriate for these facilities.  Darlene previously worked for Frederick County Government for 10 years where she spent her last five years as the Capital Improvements Program Manager for the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources strategically planning restoration projects to achieve compliance with the NPDES stormwater program. 


Darlene used her education in Civil and Environmental Engineering to focus on the environmental sustainability of the transportation, stormwater, and building industries.


Darlene is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a member of the HWR sub group. 

Faith Klareich (HWR sub-group member)

Audrey Ting is a junior at Johns Hopkins University double majoring in Environmental Science and Public Health. She is especially interested in sustainable food systems and how food affects both environmental and human health. Although she has never lived in Frederick city or county, she is impressed by the area’s efforts to address climate change and proud to be a part of this workgroup. In her free time, Audrey enjoys gardening, rock climbing, and walking her dog.

Joanna La Follette

(HWR sub-group member)

I am an organizer with a local community garden where the primary goal is sharing the surplus with others. We have distributed veggies in the South Street neighborhood, which is a diverse community and where access to fresh veggies can be limited. Most recently, we have donated to the Frederick Food security network. We are also forming mutual aid networks, where we have shared resources with other gardeners, including a seed bank, labor, and donating plants and supplies. Creating  beneficial relationships among communities in Frederick County and the city Is the foundation of sustainable gardening.


I am also a long time climate activist since college. My first interest in sustainability was passive solar energy and today, I am studying permaculture. Although my formative years were in Frederick, Md, I lived on the West Coast for several years, New York and have since returned to Maryland.


I have an interest in sustainable communities where everyone can benefit from working cooperatively. Our efforts must include equity and social justice, where participation is inclusive for all people, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability or socioeconomic status.

Faith has more than 35 years of experience in working with Federal, State, and local sustainability programs and clean energy development and deployment efforts. From working on the multi-agency Federal Climate Change Action Plan in the 90s to the expanded DOE clean energy programs under the Recovery Act, Ms. Klareich has led large, multi-year, multi-million-dollar Federal and State contracts on strategies, policies, and technology development programs to mitigate the effects of climate change impacts.  Along with the DOE, she has worked with HUD, EPA, GSA, DOD, ORNL, Sandia National Laboratories, and NETL as well as the States of Maine, New York, and Texas. 


Ms. Klareich received a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University and conducted graduate coursework in energy and technology management at the University of Denver. She is the Board President of Story Tapestries, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit promoting arts through education and community outreach. She serves as a member of the Aeras Institutional Recombinant DNA Biosafety Committee.  She is Vice Chair of Frederick County’s Sustainability Commission and was formerly the Chair of the City of Rockville’s Commission on the Environment. Under her direction, the Rockville Commission was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award sponsored by the EPA.  Ms. Klareich has been a resident of Frederick County for over ten years.

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