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.


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. 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.  
Spring 2017 Interns

Democracy in Action, Rebecca Dowd: Rebecca followed her passion for environmental awareness, protection and justice by becoming a Democracy in Action Intern at Missouri Coalition for the Environment. She earned a Bachelors in Journalism and a minor in Environmental Studies and Dance from the University of Kansas. While there, she was a reporter and editor for the student newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, to write about issues she felt passionate to share with others such as fracking, factory farming, and clean water. Before starting her internship, she backpacked through Scandinavia and spent time in Costa Rica and Spain. She enjoys writing (especially about her travels) as well as hiking, biking, dancing, and yoga. 

Clean Water Policy, Ava Rollins: In 2016, Ava received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a minor in Political Science from Texas Christian University. There, Ava was enlightened through her course work about the global fight for natural resources,  climate change, waste pollution, environmental racism, and food injustice. As a former environment and sustainability intern at two nationally-recognized Botanic Gardens,  Ava has developed an unique skill set for developing green missions and has garnered a passion for being a part of the paramount movement of environmental stewardship. It is that passion and concern for the environment that led Ava to MCE. Some of her hobbies include: photography, hiking, personal training, and traveling. In total Ava has traveled to 5 countries, and looks forward to adding Thailand to the list in June 2017.

Food Access, Claudia Noto: Claudia is a junior attending Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Global Health with minors in Political Science and Design. As MCE's Food Access intern, she is working on research and outreach to other cities that have made strides in improving access to nutritious foods in food deserts. She will also be reaching out to St. Louis neighborhood communities to learn more about their needs and experiences as well as contacting grocery stores and markets. The focus of this work is to improve access to healthy food and increasing public transit in St. Louis neighborhoods with low food access. 


West Lake Landfill, Xandi Barrett: Xandi is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, studying Environmental Earth Science and African and African American Studies. She has been involved in environmental and racial justice activism on her campus through her work with Green Action and Students in Solidarity. She is a member of the 2017 cohort of Civic Scholars at Washington University, and her participation in that program brought her to her internship at MCE. She is excited to be able to work with community members on their efforts to clean up the radioactive, smoldering West Lake Landfill and fight St. Louis's nuclear waste legacy. In her free time, she likes to bake, take photos, and go camping.

Food and Farm GIS Intern, Sandy Perez: Sandy is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working towards a Bachelor of Sciences in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability. She also works on food access with Claudia as a GIS intern under Melissa Vatterott. Her work specifically centers on developing interactive geographical representations of food deserts and their many variables to be used as public education and leveraging tools in our work towards a more equitable food system. Outside of work, she enjoys running, travelling, talking about social justice, and dance. You can find her in Champaign working for her University's YMCA and taking classes through Wednesday, and in St Louis with MCE the rest of the week.

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