heatherHeadshotExecutive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Heather followed her passion for environmental protection and justice to MCE in 2013. She earned a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. While there, she participated as a student and later as a student attorney in the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. Before coming to MCE, she spent over three years practicing as a civil rights lawyer at a private firm in St. Louis. She was an inaugural fellow of the St. Louis New Leaders Council and has volunteered and served on the boards of several organizations, including The Green Center, the national council of Pax Christi USA, and the Central West End Association. She enjoys camping with her family, practicing yoga, and traveling. And she's proud to call Missouri home.



Big Rivers Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Prior to his work in the conservation and environmental sector, Brad worked for over 20 years in the construction industry, primarily performing construction management for large wastewater treatment plants in the western US. Beginning in 1998 Brad spent two years in Jamaica working for the US Peace Corps. He worked for 2-1/2 years with American Farm Land Trust in northern Illinois organizing county-level farmland protection programs and then moved to river-related advocacy. He was the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) Restoration Coordinator for Prairie Rivers Network in Illinois from 2006 until 2008 and the Izaak Walton League of America’s UMR Coordinator until May 2011. Brad has a B.S in Civil Engineering and a M.A. in Geography.


EdSmith headshotPolicy Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Ed joined MCE in 2011 and successfully helped prevent the legislature from eroding Missouri's voter approved ban on Construction Work In Progress (CWIP). Missouri's ban on CWIP means that monopoly electric utilities cannot recover the cost of a new power plant until it is operational and the expenses are deemed prudent by the Public Service Commission, which helps prevent overbuilding and helps keep rates low. Ed continues to ensure our ban on CWIP is preserved as well as promoting the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, implementation of Missouri's voter approved Renewable Energy Standard, watchdogs the Callaway 1 nuclear reactor, and works with people impacted by the smoldering and radioactive West Lake Landfill.


 Food & Farm Coordinator,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Melissa graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2014, where she focused her studies in environmental and natural resource law. With a B.S. in environmental science and a minor in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri, Melissa has particular appreciation for soil conservation and environmental and agricultural policy. Since writing MCE's St. Louis Regional Food Study published in 2014, Melissa works to support environmentally responsible farming practices and local food systems across the state, which includes directing the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition


Clean Water Policy Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Alicia came to St. Louis from the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. There, she studied Environmental Resources and Policy at SIU Carbondale, where she also earned her Master's Degree in Political Science. She completed a National Science Foundation IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) Fellowship for doctoral students in Watershed Science and Policy and she is passionate about how sustainable land use and agriculture conservation can benefit our rivers and streams. Alicia enjoys running and hiking Missouri's trails and paddling our spectacular rivers with her dog, Rasta.


Education and Outreach Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Caitlin graduated from Webster University in 2014 with a B.A. in film production and a minor in Environmental Sustainability Studies. While at Webster she worked as a student employee for the Facilities Operations department doing outreach and education for the recycling and waste reduction program and was a member of the sustainability grant writing team for the university. Her senior thesis documentary about the Missouri section of the Flanagan South Tar Sands pipeline has been featured at the St. Louis Filmmakers’ Showcase, the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, on the Higher Education Channel, and at multiple community screenings across the region. She is passionate about local food issues and volunteering at her local farmers market.    


Executive Assistant, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Denise began her lifelong environmental non-profit career at Indianan's largest environmental organization, where she served as Administration Director, Assistant Development Director, and Managing Editor of Monitor, the statewide environmental magazine. Afterward, she served as Advancement Director for the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay in gorgeous northern Michigan. In St.Louis, Denise served as Director of Development at the Academy of Science. Denise graduated cum laude with a B.A. in journalism and English from Indiana University. She is author of a book of poetry and the drummer for Swampcat Holler. Denise loves tending to her native garden and hiking.     


Food and Environmental Outreach VISTA, Ally Siegler: Ally is originally from O’Fallon, IL and graduated from The University of Alabama in 2017 with her Bachelor’s of Science in Food Studies and Community Health. Her interests include all things food: critical nutrition, sustainable agriculture, food justice, etc. More importantly, she enjoys eating food and her favorites include sweet potatoes, coffee, and anything with hot sauce. In her VISTA year, she will be working on increasing food access across the city and county by collaborating with residents, farmers, and retailers. She hopes to attend graduate school to continue working on improving the local food system in St. Louis.   


Parks and Public Lands Intern, Emily Piontek: Emily graduated from Washington University in 2012 with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Political Science. As an avid proponent of healthy, easy-to-access public lands, she hopes to encourage more Missourians to explore our beautiful parks this summer by writing about different parks,by interviewing people who use or care for the public lands, and by exploring the ways in which communities across the state benefit from their existence. Check out her pieces on the parks blog here.       


Super Volunteer, David Behrens: David first became involved with MCE in the late 1970s circulating an MCE petition in St. Louis and Kansas City against of the Callaway Nuclear power plant. He returned to MCE in 2014 to work on several projects: reviewing MSD’s semi-annual reports on their compliance with the Consent Decree and working on MCE’s comments on the US Park Service’s revised management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. He is now the lead volunteer working on MCE's newest resources, The People's Guide to Environmental Action. David is a veteran of the United States Army and holds a BA in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. and an AS in Bio-Medical Engineering from Forest Park.  Since his retirement in 2014, he has been volunteering one day each week in the MCE office working on everything from research to assistance with clerical work. He also heads up many of MCE's tabling efforts at community events. He is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, has lived in Saint Louis for over four decades with his wife.  He has two children and two grandchildren. He and his wife enjoy doing Laughter Yoga.


Summer 2017 Interns

Agriculture Outreach and Advocacy, Mae Riordan: Mae is a rising senior at Denison University, where she studies environmental studies and anthropology/sociology. She is originally from St. Louis, so she is excited to be spending her summer in St. Louis with the MCE and helping the environmental cause in her home state. Mae enjoys coaching swimming during her free time. 

Democracy in Action, Chris Barnett: Chris is a rising sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, studying Political Science and History.  He is from the St. Louis area, more specifically Wildwood.  He will be working on collecting flood damage data and will also be working on the Democracy in Action initiative.  Chris has a twin brother, eight minutes his elder.

Democracy in Action, Aitan Groener: Aitan is a rising senior at Washington University studying environmental policy and economics. They will be working this summer on a research paper investigating the impacts of corporate personhood upon American democracy. Aitan hails from nearby Olivette, Missouri and enjoys cold-brew coffee, sit-coms, and postmodern fiction.

Environmental Research and Policy, Richard Wu: Richard is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, studying environmental biology and operations and supply chain management. He hails from the Chicagoland area and one day hopes to find a career in corporate sustainability or environmental consulting. Richard also has performed in the Sydney Opera House as part of the New Trier High School Symphony Orchestra. 

Food and Farm Legal Intern, Tyler Thompson: Tyler is an Environmental Administration graduate from the University of Evansville, currently attending Saint Louis University School of Law.  He hopes to practice environmental law and advocate for sustainability in the United States and internationally.  He is also a writer of short and serial fiction, currently working on his first book.  When not typing for law or fun, he enjoys hiking, reading, and gaming.

Food and Farm Intern, Claudia Noto: Claudia is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studies global health, political science and design. She began working under the Food and Farm Program and STLFPC this January and is looking forward to continuing to work at MCE this summer. In her free time, Claudia enjoys cooking with friends, hiking and painting. She hopes to continue working on topics related to food access and promoting local food systems after graduation in the spring. 

Food and Farm Intern, Hannah Schanzer: Hannah is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis studying environmental policy and urban studies. She hopes to one day work in urban sustainability at the city level. Even though she spends all year in St. Louis, she is excited to be here over the summer and explore the city. 

High School Intern, Susie Parker: Susie is rising junior at the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience Magnet Preparatory high school in the St. Louis, but instead of attending traditional high school classes she will be dually enrolled St. Louis Community College as a full time student. She will graduate high school with an Associates in General Transfer Studies, and she is planning on finishing her Bachelors with a major in business. She is involved in many things such as Civitas-Model UN and is an UMSL Bridge Saturday academy student. She is also a top competitor in the St. Louis Urban Debate League, and she is working with Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club to introduce debate to incoming high-school students. In her free time (which is very rare), she enjoys gardening and binge-watching Breaking Bad.

High School Intern, Anna Pendleton: Anna is a rising high school senior at Nerinx Hall High School. She lives in Webster Groves. Her favorite subjects in school are math and science, and she dreams of one day pursuing a career in the STEM field. Anna spends her free time volunteering at the St. Louis Zoo or binge-watching Netflix.

West Lake Landfill Intern, Alayna Jenkins: Alayna attends Orchard Farm High School in Saint Charles, Missouri. Alayna is a Girl Scout Ambassador and also serves on their Board of Directors. She currently serves as Student Council Secretary, National Honor Society Historian and Health Occupation Students of America Treasurer at her school. Alayna also participates in a program called Gateway to Change where she works with peers and local businesses to help improve race relations. She also has an active interest in politics and hopes to study law in the future. During her rare free time, she enjoys watching documentaries, going to local state parks and skiing.


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