Montana Environmental Information Center

Clean and healthful. It's your right, our mission.

Staff

Cory Crouser

Policy and Communications Intern

IMG_3292Cory Crouser is a Communications and Sociology student at Carroll College and a former newspaper reporter. Originally from Oregon, he is an avid hiker and spends as much of the little spare time he has exploring Montana’s wilderness areas.

At MEIC, Cory monitors policy developments and facilitates public awareness and involvement efforts.

Contact Cory at: ccrouser@meic.org

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Mel Griffin

Donor Relations Director

griffin_head_for_webIn 2012, Mel moved from Minneapolis to Helena to pursue a career in the arts. She immediately fell in love with Montana’s beautiful trails and rivers and decided to make the relocation permanent. As Donor Relations Manager, Mel spends most of her time working with MEIC’s highest contributors.

Before joining the MEIC staff, Mel was a Resident Artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, and also worked as a college professor and outdoor educator. She continues to work as a professional ceramic artist and illustrator from her new studio and home in the Scratchgravel Hills.

In her free time, Mel can be found trail running, cooking, and observing and drawing wildlife.

Contact Mel at: mgriffin@meic.org

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Anne Hedges

Deputy Director & Lead Lobbyist

Linkedin LogoAnne hedges has been program director and lead lobbyist for the Montana Environmental Information Center since 1993. Anne works with citizens, administrative agencies, and elected officials on issues such as global warming, energy policy, air pollution, coal mining, state lands management, land use regulation and general environmental policy. Most recently, Anne has focused on air quality, waste, mining and water issues surrounding the development of Montana’s vast coal resources.

Anne received her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental policy analysis and planning from the University of California at Davis and a Masters of Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. She spent two years in the Peace Corps as an environmental education volunteer in paraguay.

In 2006 Anne was given an award by the Montana Wildlife Federation for her outstanding work lobbying on behalf of conservation interests. She also received a similar award from Women’s Voices for the Earth two years earlier. In December 2008, the Helena-based Cinnabar Foundation recognized Anne with its highest award, the Len and Sandy Sargent Stewardship Award. Foundation executive director, Jim Posewitz said: “Through the years, your abilities as a spokesperson for protecting Montana’s precious environment have been recognized by a number of conservation organizations. Cinnabar now joins their ranks in expressing our appreciation for your contributions as a lobbyist and a consistent advocate for our state’s air, water, and precious landscapes.” The award included a grant of $5,000 to MEIC.

In September 2010, Anne received the Outstanding Preservation Leadership award from the Montana Preservation Alliance for “Championing Preservation of the Great Falls Portage National Historic Landmark.”

Contact Anne at: ahedges@meic.org

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Jim Jensen

Executive Director, Lobbyist

Linkedin LogoJim Jensen has been MEIC’s Executive Director since 1985. Previously he served in the Montana House of Representatives from Billings where he was a member of the Natural Resources, Fish and Game, and Judiciary committees. Prior to taking his present position he was a lobbyist for various interests including the elderly, child care providers, and judges. From 1990 to 1994 he was an elected supervisor of the Lewis and Clark County Conservation District.

In 1988 Jim was a founding member of the State Environmental Leadership Program, a national network of state-based environmental groups headquartered in Madison, WI.

In 1989 he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and reappointed by President Bill Clinton to a Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. EPA Administrator on mine waste regulation. He also served as a member of the Western Governors Association’s Mine Waste Advisory Group. In 1998 he authored and was the chief advocate for a successful ballot initiative that banned open-pit cyanide-leach gold mining in Montana.

He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Boulder, CO-based Western Clean Energy Campaign and is on the board of directors of the Portland, OR-based Renewable Northwest Project. He was a founding steering committee member of the Seattle based Northwest Climate Connections (now a program of Climate Solutions), a collaborative organization of private businesses, governments and public interest groups who are working to substantially reduce green house gas emissions in the Pacific Northwest (including British Columbia) through voluntary, co-operative and incentive based approaches.

He attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Univ. of Montana (1980).

Contact Jim at: jjensen@meic.org

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Derf Johnson

Associate Program Director, Staff Attorney

Linkedin LogoDerf Johnson has served as a program associate, lobbyist, and communications specialist for MEIC since December 2010. Derf is a policy advocate and attorney, and works primarily on coal, oil, and gas.

Derf grew up in Montana’s Gallatin Valley. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Montana School of Law, and his bachelor of arts in environmental studies and anthropology from the University of Montana. During law school, Derf worked in the land use planning clinic, for the Missoula County Attorney’s Office, and served as a staff member for the Public Lands and Resources Law Review. He has a certificate in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution from the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, and he is a member of the Montana Bar Association (MBA) and the MBA section on Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment. Derf has volunteered and worked previously with Montana Conservation Voters and the Montana Public Interest Research Group. Prior to joining MEIC, Derf worked as a statewide outreach coordinator for I-164, the successful statewide ballot initiative addressing predatory payday lending. He also lobbied during the 2007 session on consumer issues and voter access.

In his free time, Derf enjoys rafting and fishing Montana’s rivers, hiking, biking, skiing, and climbing in our beautiful mountain ranges, and picking a banjo tune.

Contact Derf at: djohnson@meic.org

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Kyla Maki

Clean Energy Program Director

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A native Montanan, Kyla graduated from the University of Montana in 2006, obtaining a degree in Wildlife Biology with an emphasis in Political Science from the College of Forestry and Conservation. Before coming to MEIC in 2008, Kyla worked in the Tribal Lands Program at the National Wildlife Federation, interned in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a wildlife technician at Denali National Park in Alaska.

Kyla serves on the boards of the Northwest Energy Coalition and the Montana Renewable Energy Association. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, flyfishing, skiing and cooking.

Contact Kyla at: kmaki@meic.org

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Sara Marino

Development Director

As MEIC’s Development Director. Sara works to recruit and retain members for MEIC, keep our active and committed volunteers busy, raise money for MEIC’s environmental work, and more.

Prior to joining MEIC, Sara did research work at the National Institute on Money in State Politics located in Helena. Before moving to Montana in 1998, she worked in membership services for the Center for Marine Conservation in Washington, DC and for a direct marketing firm that fundraised for a variety of non-profit clients.

When not at MEIC, Sara can be found hiking and backpacking in Montana’s wild places from Glacier down to the Beartooths.

Contact Sara at: smarino@meic.org

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Adam McLane

Business Manager

With MEIC since 1985, Adam manages MEIC’s finances, helps on member recruiting and fundraising, edits MEIC publications, and assists on other projects. He maintains all MEIC’s databases and mailing lists. He has a B.A. in History from Williams College (1960), an M.B.A. in Accounting from Stanford University (1968), is a Certified Public Accountant, and has worked for nonprofit organizations since 1972.

Contact Adam at: mclane@meic.org

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Gail Speck

Staff Assistant

Gail joined the MEIC staff in 1999. A native of Whitehall, Montana, Gail has lived in Helena since 1985.

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