Holly Miller

Hello, my name is Holly Miller. I am a 4th year environmental policy major at The Ohio State University. I am both excited and honored to have been given the opportunity to be a Clean Water Fellow! My interest in this position derives from the express desire to learn as much as I can about water quality issues facing society today. My long term goals are to become involved in the development of better sustainable water systems and policies, as well as other infrastructure needs in developing countries. I believe that by gaining experience with a program as dedicated to promoting water quality as The Sierra Club, I will be another step closer to achieving this goal.

I am currently involved in another organization on campus known as TerrAqua that is participating in a water quality monitoring program in conjunction with OLMS (The Ohio Lake Management Society). I am also involved in the School of Environment and Natural Resources Coalition of Student Organizations (a student council of environmental groups here on campus) as a representative for TerrAqua, Peace Corps Club and The Sierra Club Student Coalition at the Ohio State University. It’s always exciting to see so many student groups working towards a better, cleaner world!

Ryan Ainger

Ryan Ainger bio picMy name is Ryan Ainger and I am a junior at Kent State University studying Park Management. This will be my first semester working with the Clean Water Sierra Club Campaign and I could not be more grateful for this opportunity. I am excited for the education and experience that will come with working for this amazing organization. I look forward to being able to connect others to the outdoors and demonstrate responsible actions for our natural resources- especially our local waterways. I grew up in Cleveland and living next to Cuyahoga Valley National Park has shown me the importance of conserving our resources and the issues that our environment is currently facing. With my studies and through the Sierra Club I am fortunate to be able to do my part in protecting our local ecosystems. Outside of my work and studies I enjoy kayaking local waterways, rock climbing, and hikes and bike rides with my friends and family.

Amy Francis

Amy FI’m back! Hi, I’m Amy Francis and returning this semester as a Clean Water fellow at the University of Cincinnati. Working with the Sierra Club is a perfect fit for me, as I can apply what I learn as an Environmental Studies student, and have a lot of fun doing it.

With the Rain Barrel Initiative, I’ve helped my Cincinnati neighbors save thousands of gallons of water each rainfall from flowing into the already overloaded storm sewers and have reduced the sewage overflow from being deposited into the beautiful Ohio River. Partnering with local businesses, more than 100 plastic barrels were re-purposed and a lot of money was saved on water bills.

I enjoy engaging my neighbors, friends and others to understand the importance of local and state environmental issues and the impact we all can make on positive change. Stopping the Eastern Corridor Project to protect the health and safety of my neighborhood is important to me, and so is persuading the Metropolitan Sewer District to use green infrastructure when redesigning the Lower Mill Creek. In my spare time, I am also a water sentinel. Sounds like I have a lot to do this semester!

Salam Farhan

My name is Salam Farhan and I am a sophomore at Youngstown State University majoring in Geology. I believe that with education and knowledge comes responsibility.  I am thankful that, in this period of my education, The Clean Water Sierra Club Campaign is giving me the chance to act on that belief by teaching me how to be a positive, effective, and active member of my community. I have learned about many different water, environmental, and community building issues in my area, and I have goals to become a part of their solution! Beside my geological studies, I also enjoy spending time with my loving family, spending time outdoors, connecting with people, and playing music. This is my first semester as a Sierra Club student fellow, and I could not be more excited to bring what I have to the table, and to learn and work with the great people that make up this organization.

Alexis Threatt

2Alexis is grateful for the opportunity for interning with the Sierra Fellowship Water club this year. She is hoping to gain a lot of knowledge and an awesome learning experience during her experience. Her dream is to possibly help people in Africa obtain safe drinking water and, with any luck, maybe she will be able to take the knowledge she will learn from here and would be able to do that. This will be an amazing journey and learning about the importance about water and water conservation maybe one day she would be able to implement something very beneficial to this subject.

Natasha Ghica

nghicaNatasha was born and raised in Romania and is new to the state of Ohio. She is a Natural Resources student at Oregon State University, where she is focusing her studies on policy and conservation. Natasha is a dedicated environmental activist with a passion for protecting the planet and conserving nature. As an environmental advocate, she is extremely excited to be working with the Sierra Club for the Clean Water Fellowship in Columbus. She is ready to fight for clean water and eager to clean up Ohio’s waterways.

Natasha hopes to educate others about the importance of clean water and the possibilities of living in a sustainable future. She is thankful for this opportunity to meet other passionate environmentalists and to spread awareness about water issues. When she is not busy working or studying until the early hours of the morning, Natasha enjoys writing short stories and getting lost in the woods.

 

Past Fellowship Students

Brandon Beck

Sierra Club Bio PicMy name is Brandon Beck. I am a 5th year Environmental Policy major, specializing in Water Conservation. I am currently serving as the Sustainability Intern for The Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life. This is my first year as a Sierra Club Clean Water Fellow, and I am looking forward to becoming acclimated and getting to work.

Seeing as my focus within my major is water, there was no hesitation to accept the offer of becoming a Sierra Club Clean Water Fellow. I am excited about getting the chance to collaborate with the other fellows and mentors in order to educate the public and raise awareness concerning water issues. I feel that proper education is the key to enabling a clean, sustainable future. I am looking forward to becoming familiar with various water quality testing techniques in order to ensure the cleanliness of Ohio’s waterways. My focus will be dealing with wetland protection and conservation, and I am happy to be able to make a difference with the Sierra Club.

Kadiatou Diarra

mr-lgflagMy name is Kadiatou Diarra, I’m seeking a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Cincinnati, and I am from Mauritania.   I have a curiosity to know how humans and animals interact with and in their environment and the consequences of environmental quality.

Specifically, I decided to be an environmentalist because I want to help reduce water problems and improve the quality of our waterways. Therefore, my fellowship goals are to gain more practice water sampling and monitoring, and develop my data entry, GIS, and laboratory skills.

My short-term goal is to specialize in either hydrology or in any water related field. My long-term goals are to obtain a doctoral degree in a water related field, advocate for clean and healthy water bodies in America, and to help poor people in my country’s rural villages to have access to clean and healthy water.

I believe that Sierra Club will really help me achieve these goals.

Myra Morehart

pastplasticMy name is Myra Morehart and I am in my fifth year at the University of Cincinnati studying English. I have lived in Cincinnati my entire life and love this city. I want to do everything I can to make Cincinnati a cleaner and greener place. Johnna Jackson and I have been working together on a campaign called Cincinnati Past Plastic hoping to educate the community on plastic waste and to push the city to place a small fee on single-use plastic bags. This year we hope to host more screenings of the film Bag-It, educate folks on plastic waste at more community events, get as many postcards signed as possible, and to introduce our proposed legislation to City Council.

Let’s move Cincinnati PAST PLASTIC!

Eric Nestor

Eric and mantisMy name is Eric Nestor and I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, with a concentration in Environmental Science, from Lake Erie College. I am currently attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks online, working on a Master degree within the Earth Science and Geology Department.

Growing up in Northeast Ohio, I have witnessed terrible acts of destruction in the name of “progress”: my hiking areas have dwindled in numbers since my childhood and I have witnessed severe impacts on local biodiversity. One place that hits close to home is Mentor Marsh, which has been negatively impacted by urban sprawl and pollution issues for decades. I feel honored to have an official role with the Sierra Club protecting the very same areas I have cared about since childhood and I look forward to utilizing this experience, hopefully working one day in the great field of environmental protection and education!

 Alex Litofsky

Alex Litofsky

Alex is finishing up her Master’s in Environmental Engineering this spring 2013 at Case Western Reserve University. She is excited to apply her engineering interests toward her desire to actively connect Ohio citizens with their waterways and improve the health of Ohio’s watersheds. Alex plans to work with the Ohio Water Sentinels to make compelling displays of their monitoring data, in order to direct efforts for gathering further evidence of problems, while relaying to the public the results of the Sentinels’ efforts. Alex would also like to tackle accelerated stormwater runoff problems, starting in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, by employing her Master’s research on evaluating the effectiveness of rain barrels for runoff reduction when used to irrigate gardens, and exploring the effectiveness of other runoff management methods.

Joe Jennings

Joe Jennings

Joe is a grad student at Ohio University seeking a master’s degree in Environmental Studies. He did his undergraduate studies at Slippery Rock University, where he majored in Environmental Education. He has worked as a classroom teacher, as an educator for the National Audubon Society and as a seasonal naturalist for Ohio and New York state parks. He loves the outdoors, camping, birding and nature photography. He is interested in clean water issues as they impact biodiversity and human health and is looking forward to advancing the water sentinel program in Appalachia Ohio and raising public awareness of clean water issues.

Alec Erickson

Alec Erickson

Alec is a student at the University of Cincinnati pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies and a Certificate in Urban Planning. Originally an intern for the Clean Water Fellow in the winter of 2012, he is very excited to take on a larger role in the Fellowship Program. His interest in environmental advocacy started while working with the Beyond Coal Campaign on campus. Further learning of the importance of urban sustainability led him to the issue of clean water, “In my opinion, water is the single most important environmental issue facing a growing society today because it is so vital to life.” Alec’s fellowship will be focused on the Cincinnati Water Sentinel project, engaging, educating, and empowering Hamilton County residents on combined sewer overflow issues. Look for Alec along the streamside this spring.

Khristina Martin

Khristina Martin

My name is Khristina Martin and I am a first year graduate student at Ohio University in the Environmental Studies program.  I am very interested in sustainable agriculture, the “fracking” issue in Southeastern, Ohio, and how these two topics correlate.  I did my undergraduate at Muskingum University in philosophy, specifically environmental ethics paired with social political philosophy. I hope to carry that philosophical background with me on this graduate school endeavor but also in this fellowship with the Sierra Club.With this fellowship I hope to gain the skills to monitor water quality, learn how to create a plan of action for restoration, and connect and empower communities to take back their basic human right to clean and safe water. Community collaborate is key to sustainability and I hope to be a connecting link. In addition, I am excited to learn new skills to help build the case for a renewable future, where our food comes from small family farms and our water is clean. The skills I hope to learn will propel me into a field that needs a lot of fighting for, environmental justice!

Megan Smith

Megan SmithHello all! My name is Megan Smith and I am currently a junior at Kent State University. I am majoring in Geography with an environmental concentration. After three years of studying Biology at Kent State, I realized that my true passion is engaging myself in the environment, the issues it faces, and how to solve them and educate others. This is why I happily decided to enroll in the Geography Department, and have never been happier! As a Clean Water Fellow with the Sierra Club, my main focus is to increase my awareness on more local water issues and to delve into as much fieldwork and as many water monitoring trips as I can. I am extremely excited to explore local habitats and am especially interested in participating in environmentally focused community projects such as rain garden construction.

Christina Wade

Christina Wade

Christina Wade is attending the University of Toledo and highly anticipates her May 2012 graduation. After Christina graduates she plans to attend graduate school to study marine biology. Her interest in marine biology led her to the University of Belize where she studied coastal zone management and tropical ecology for 5 months. She loves to scuba dive and is passionate about protecting water resources. As a Clean Water Fellow she will be collaborating
with the Western Lake Erie group and working on local rain garden and water monitoring initiatives. Christina looks forward to spreading water issue awareness and hopes to make a profound impact on the way people view water resources and the environment.

Rachel Hyden

Rachel Hyden

My name is Rachel Hyden and I am currently a junior at Ohio University studying public relations. I have a profound interest in the nonprofit sector, more specifically organizations with a focus on clean water advocacy. At Ohio University, I balance a heavy load of school and work, but I love every minute of it. As the public relations intern for the nonprofit United Campus Ministry, I am fortunate enough to gain the most wonderful experience honing my public relations skills according to my enthusiasm for work towards social justice and community service. And now, as a Clean Water Fellow with the Ohio Sierra Club, my passion for water advocacy is now a reality. I’ll be focusing my fellowship on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in Southeast Ohio, and will be making it my utmost priority to educate landowners about the effects of this method of drilling. From advocacy around Appalachia Ohio, to research on the fundamentals of the issue, fracking is my focus for the summer of 2011.This clean water fellowship is going to be such an enlightening and enriching opportunity for me. While my education at Ohio University is focused on the practice of public relations, this fellowship will give me the knowledge behind the causes I so desperately want to promote. I am so thankful I have the opportunity to work with this awesome organization and I truly look forward to the experience I’ll gain working in the field I intend to devote my life to.

Kari Klug

Kari Klug

My major is Environmental Science with a minor in Biology at Northern Kentucky University. I have experience with event planning and community outreach in environmental education. I have learned a great deal about water quality issues and hope to expand on my knowledge and skills with the Sierra Club’s Clean Water Fellowship Program. I enjoy collaborating with organizations and engaging with citizens to inspire innovative change for sustainable growth. I can’t wait to use my creativity and leadership skills to be a part of effective solutions for clean water here in Cincinnati, Ohio. This Fellowship Program gives me a great opportunity to work with a dedicated group of people that are passionate about cleaning up Ohio’s waterways.

Sara Ernst

Sara Ernst is currently in the Master of Community Planning program at the University of Cincinnati. She is part of a graduate fellowship program that places returned Peace Corps volunteers in internships. All Fellows serve in under-served communities, allowing them to bring home, and expand upon, the skills they learned as volunteers. Her background is in botany and environmental education, and she served as an Agroforestry volunteer in El Salvador, Central America. Sara realizes the value of biodiversity, the importance of kids playing outside, and appreciates clean water and air. As a future planner, she hopes to help conserve natural areas so that smart decisions about land use and natural resources extend well into the future.

Sara enjoys making soup from random ingredients she finds, tending to her worm bin, and trying to identify professors who are most likely to grant extensions. In her spare time, she becomes agitated over her loss of free time, and also manages some hikes in the woods.

Kevin Howells

Kevin Howells

Originally, I am from Boardman Ohio. At The Ohio State University, I am studying Environmental Science with a specification of water. I am interested in water ecology as well as marine biology. On campus, I am apart of several organizations: OSU’s Soil & Water Conservation Society, TerrAqua and Free The Planet. Environmental advocacy is my passion. My fellowship with the Sierra Club will facilitate the development of many new skills.  My goal with the Sierra Club is not just to advocate for water quality issues, but to become a more experienced and well rounded person. The Fellowship Program is a platform that provides an opportunity to do both of those things. After college, I plan on entering the Peace Corps to teach environmental awareness and apply the skills I’ve learned over the years. After my 27 months overseas, I plan on getting my masters in science (MS). If you are passionate about environmental advocacy then be sure to check out the Sierra Club and this Fellowship position.

Yang Xing

Yang Xing

As a PhD student in environmental science at The Ohio State University, my dissertation topic is about environmental quality and citizen science approaches for conservation programs. I have been working with Sierra Club as an intern and volunteer for a long time.   As a Clean Water Fellow I worked on; arranging public meetings, organizing River Clean ups, and updating the State Chapter Website. My Fellowship was a wonderful experience and learned a lot of new skills.. Anyone who is interested in water issues should definitely check this opportunity out!

Adam Peterca

Adam PetercaOriginally from Cleveland, Ohio Adam is currently a student at the Ohio State University.  He is majoring in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Ecological Engineering.  Some of his past research has focused on rain gardens, stream restoration techniques and modeling, ecosystem modeling, and alternative energy.  His fellowship with the Sierra Club consists of both research and outreach.  The research portion of the fellowship revolves around performing a long-term economic analysis comparing rain gardens and traditional storm sewer systems.  The outreach portion of his fellowship involves promoting the future utilization of green infrastructure and sustainable development through meeting with leaders in local government.  In the future, Adam plans to obtain a PhD in ecology, while focusing on modeling the relationships between biodiversity, extinctions, ecosystem stability, and ecosystem services.

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