Michele Vachon is the project manager for the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative and the Bioregional Planning and Community Design Master’s Program. Michele’s research interests focus on community and regional economic development. She is responsible for coordinating large scale service-learning projects for the BSCI, which includes the outreach and engagement efforts of seven colleges and 10 departments, including U-Idaho Extension. Michele has more than 12 years in non-profit and government contract relations, environmental planning, emergency response planning, stakeholder facilitations for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fundraising, entrepreneurship training, leaning manufacturing and waste minimization. She is also skilled in curriculum design and adult training, coordinating public outreach and engagement for large watersheds and Brownfield redevelopment grant writing and project management. Michele works with U-Idaho faculty, staff and graduate students and coordinates with communities to create community-based plans, programs and policies that sustain and enhance their culture, resource base, built environment and economic vitality.

Michele is a native of Detroit, Mich. She is a certified hazardous materials manager and holds a master’s in environmental science. She is currently enrolled as a part-time doctoral student in geography at the University of Idaho.