Christopher Collins, Executive Director
Chris Collins has helmed Solar One since 2004. A graduate of Holy Cross College and Albany Law School, Chris previously worked for 20 years as a litigator in both New York and California, specializing in complex commercial litigation, environmental litigation, civil rights, securities, elder abuse and many other areas of the law. After leaving the law in 1999, Chris worked as a Director at Oracle Corp. and as a Director of Risk Management at Sapient. Born and raised in the NYC area, Chris moved to San Francisco in 1988 and returned to New York to take the position of Executive Director at Solar One. He has had a long history of working with non-profit organizations, including being one of the founders of New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Services Center and the Callan-Lourde Health Clinic. He served as Co-chair of the LGBT Center between 1985 and 1989. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force between 1991 and 1996 and served as Board Co-chair between 1994 and 1996.
Esther Siskind, Director of Programs
Esther Siskind has fostered the growth of Solar One’s innovative initiatives since joining Solar One three years ago. Esther came to Solar One from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection where she managed a wide range of water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. She was a lead developer of New York City’s Green Infrastructure Plan that proposes green infrastructure and water conservation as integral components of a comprehensive strategy to address combined sewer overflows and defer large grey infrastructure investments. With a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Esther has worked for over 25 years as an environmental planner and brings a wide range of policy, project management, and technical skills to her job. She has also worked as a community organizer and co-founded a kids club that focused on learning about environmental issues and taking action to address them. Esther was born and raised in New York City and worked here for most of her career, bringing an in-depth knowledge of how to be effective and produce results in the City’s complex landscape.
Sarah Pidgeon, Director, NYC K-12 Education Program
Sarah Pidgeon joined Solar One in 2009 and saw the growth of Green Design Lab from a small scale pilot to its current reach of over 300 schools. Sarah is passionate about inspiring NYC students to bring sustainability into their schools and communities. Prior to joining Solar One, Sarah worked as an educator for several years at the Center for the Urban Environment in Brooklyn, where she taught classes in Urban Design and Ecology. However, her real passion for environmental education began during her childhood spent as a camper and staff member at Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskill Mountains, where she was first exposed to sustainable practices like composting food waste. When she is not busy teaching about all things sustainable, Sarah enjoys riding her bike, cooking, and drawing.
Karen Alsen, Assistant Director for Instruction
Karen Alsen is an environmental educator with diverse experience teaching science, sustainability, and arts programming to young people. She has taught and designed curricula for Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, City Science, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Bronx River Alliance, Sustainable Learning, and LeapNYC. Through these organizations, she has worked with dozens of schools all over NYC. Prior to becoming an educator, Karen worked for Scientific American and Nature Publishing Group. In addition to her love of science and the natural world, Karen is a musician and has travelled abroad, performing and teaching workshops on songwriting. Karen holds an MS in Environmental Education from Antioch University in Keene, NH.
Sarah Lorya, K-12 Outreach Manager
Sarah Lorya, the K-12 Education Outreach Manager for Solar One, graduated from The New School of Public Policy Engagement with a Masters in International Affairs: Governance and Human Rights. While attending The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Sarah earned a B.A. in History and Political Science and a B.A in Social Sciences. Sarah has a passion for education and works with the K-12 Education Director and Education team to establish a stronger presence with teachers through marketing and outreach. Sarah has a background in developing curriculum to promote global competency through intercultural learning and worked as a Truancy Case Manager in the Philadelphia Public School District. Sarah studied abroad in Germany with Youth for Understanding’s Young Leaders Fellowship Program. She currently serves as a member of the steering committee of the Global Education Coalition of New York City (GEC-NYC.) She was born in Nairobi, Kenya and speaks Sudanese Arabic and German. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.
Geovani Caldero, K-12 Environmental Educator
Geovani Caldero joined Solar One in 2017 as an environmental educator with experience in teaching biology and environmental conservation in formal and non-formal settings. A graduate from New York University with a Masters in Environmental Conservation Education, Geovani was a conservation leader for the Student Conservation Association in New York City. He holds a B.A in Secondary Education with a major in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. While growing up in Puerto Rico, Geovani spent time outdoors in the natural world inspired by the traditional music of Puerto Rico. He loves to play Cuatro and Panderos because this music increases his love of nature and for his homeland.
Sarah Cooley, K-12 Environmental Educator
Sarah Cooley is an environmental educator with almost a decade of NYC public school science teaching experience. Sarah is passionate about helping both teachers and students understand the importance of our rapidly changing environment and how sustainability efforts can reach into multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Prior to becoming a teacher, Sarah spent time volunteering and coordinating educational efforts in in areas effected by natural disasters such as Haiti and New Orleans. Sarah became enthusiastic about sustainability at a young age, when learning about drought and water waste while growing up in southern California. Sarah holds a bachelor degree in both Sociology and Environmental Studies from UCLA and in her spare time loves making art, traveling and spending time with her friends, family and dog.
Amy Colorado, K-12 Environmental Educator
Amy Colorado joined Solar One’s Green Design Lab in 2017. She delivers in-school programming to NYC students and professional development training to teachers interested in climate change, sustainability, and environmental change. As a native New Yorker, she enjoys being able to work with schools all throughout the city promoting environmental literacy. Amy holds a Masters in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Rochester. Having previously taught for the New York Botanical Garden, American Museum of Natural History, and Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Amy has gained experience in hands-on, project-based learning. In addition to working with the Education team, Amy also assists with Solar One’s Green Workforce Training programs at Rikers Island.