Thank you for visiting! I am a life-long Michigander that grew up enjoying the Great Lakes through many family camping trips along their shores – a tradition my husband and I are thrilled to pass along to my son. Since studying Political Science and Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!), I have been lucky enough to combine my passion and professional life by working for the Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation as the Community Outreach Coordinator.
My current work includes community organizing for the Energy and Climate teams providing outreach for initiatives that support and protect communities, natural resources and wildlife. Three years ago, Michigan experienced the largest and most costly inland oil spill in U.S. history, which also happened to impacted the communities I grew up in. Since that time I have been the lead organizer for NWF’s response to the Kalamazoo River oil spill, working to ensure proper response and accountability.
Through that work, I have developed a unique focus for protecting the Great Lakes from similar disasters by working to improve and lessen the need for the transportation of oil throughout the Great Lakes region. I have testified before Congress on the impacts of the spill and its effects on the environment, wildlife, economy, and local communities. I have also testified before the National Academy of Sciences to push for a study on the impacts of diluted bitumen spills and helped lead a rulemaking petition to the EPA and PHMSA for increased pipeline safety regulations.
In addition to the above, I’m honored to be a part of the pipeline safety advocates group set up through the Pipeline Safety Trust. Within the Great Lakes, our groups are pushing for the establishment of a Great Lakes Pipeline Safety Trust from a portion of the fines and penalties that will be a result of the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.
You can see some of my past Wildlife Promise blogs here.
Thanks again for taking the time to check out my page!