Matt Taylor is an avid outdoorsman and serves as a Senior Policy Analyst with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices, where he works on a diverse range of environmental policy, strategic planning, and sustainability initiatives for the state of Tennessee. In addition to his role with TDEC, Matt serves as a member of the Nashville Co-op Grocery Store Board, which seeks to bring a Co-op grocery store to Nashville. He serves as a TN Achieves Mentor and one of the founders of TDEC’s internal group, TDEC Emerging Professionals. Matt is also extremely passionate about combating food waste and has been a leading voice in TDEC efforts relating to food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion.
As a fanatical whitewater kayaker, Matt has traveled to Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uganda, Nepal, New Zealand, and over 20 states in pursuit of outdoor adventures. Beyond a passion for kayaking, Matt has been fortunate to intimately explore and learn about U.S. ecosystems through working as Hydrologic Technician for the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service performing geomorphological field work for four seasons and the lead River Ranger on the Payette River in the Boise National Forest for a season. Matt also worked as a Field Technician for the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on a groundwater hydrology research project on New Zealand’s South Island.
Matt is passionate about giving back to the outdoors and regularly volunteers around town. His education includes a BS in Resource and Environmental Studies from Texas State University and an MA from University of Arkansas focusing on climate change, and he’s currently working towards a BS in Urban Studies from Tennessee State University. Outside of his college work, Matt has also completed the Belmont University Mini MBA Certificate Program, attended the University of Illinois, Chicago, Summer Institute on Sustainability & Energy, has a TN Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) Level 1 Certification, and is currently attending the Tennessee Naturalist Program and University of Vermont Breakthrough Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems (expected completion June 2018).