Katherine (Kata) Young

As the Natural Climate Solutions Manager for Clean Wisconsin, Kata is responsible for the organization’s emerging work on nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and policy development in Wisconsin. Kata is passionate about multi-stakeholder engagement, coalition-building, strategic planning, science-based evidence, monitoring and evaluation, and opportunities for transitioning and scaling up economically viable, climate-smart agriculture in the state of Wisconsin. Kata is committed to elevating both traditional ecological knowledge and science-based evidence to advocate for and catalyze bold policy commitments to strategically address and plan for the impacts (and opportunities) of climate change realities on diverse stakeholders across Wisconsin. 

Prior to joining Clean Wisconsin, Kata worked on climate change mitigation/adaptation measures via integrated landscape management and agro-ecological intensification for over 15 years, particularly in areas of the world disproportionally affected by climate change and freshwater quality burdens: Central and South America, south-eastern Africa, and southern Asia. With technical expertise in assisted natural regeneration, agroforestry, soil ecology, and community-based development, she has worked on climate-smart agriculture policy development with public, private, and civic sector stakeholders. Her technical expertise, published research, strategic analysis and planning, and facilitation skills have directly influenced landscape leaders and policymakers in supporting actions and policies to address climate change through improved landscape management. Closer to home, Kata worked as an ISA Certified Arborist and tree health/landscape assessor, and as an agro-ecological consultant and designer on edible landscaping for private clients throughout SE Wisconsin. Her years as a field-based practitioner in a variety of socio-ecological settings has given Kata a valuable foundation for realistic problem-solving across the research-planning-management-evaluation-facilitation spectrum, while her multi-disciplinary scholarship enables a broad analytic perspective. Kata seeks to apply these experiences to help forge a clear pathway towards opportunities in climate resiliency and a more hopeful, bountiful future for the diverse stakeholders in her home state of Wisconsin.

Kata holds a joint Masters in Forest Science from Yale University’s School of Environmental Studies and The New York Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany, and a B.S. in Agriculture & Rural Development from Cornell University.

Favorite things to do outdoors in Wisconsin: Design, develop, and expand her multi-functional edible landscaping home garden with her feline garden-mascot, Thalia; explore the coastlines in her traditional Greenland-style kayak; forage and collect seeds; reacquaint herself with downhill and cross-country skiing, and enjoy cozy musical bonfires with friends and family.