Meet our 1 Mississippi team for 2013!
For our national campaign to succeed, it has to be implemented locally, by community leaders and volunteers who are passionate about their region. That is why we have an awesome team assembled for each region along the River. They come from many different backgrounds, but their enthusiasm and commitment to the River is the same. The team will be out and about, up and down the River, recruiting River Citizens, coordinating education events and organizing special River Citizens events to engage people with the River and each other. Please feel free to contact your local Team Member to learn about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
Minnesota/Wisconsin: Kelsey Reinke
Kelsey Reinke is the 1 Mississippi team member located in the St.Paul/Minneapolis region. She received a Bachelors Degree in Architecture and Spanish Minor from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with the River running right through the college campus. Kelsey is involved in the River Life Program and the Institute on the Environment through the University of Minnesota, as well as events sponsored by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. Having grown up on the St. Croix River in Stillwater, Minnesota, rivers have been a source of beauty and recreation all her life. Kelsey is interested in what we can do with the built environment, as well as personal choices, to protect our natural resources. She believes in sharing information with other concerned citizens about the lifestyle changes we can make to have a more positive impact on the environment. “Through a strong sense of community focused on activation around common goals we can keep the River healthy.” Her passion for the environment led her to the Mississippi River Fund, her regional host for the 1 Mississippi campaign.
Iowa: Natalie Busta
Natalie Busta is the 1 Mississippi team member located in the Quad Cities region. She returns to us for a second year and will graduate in May from Loras College in Dubuque, IA, with a BS in Biology. She plans to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy at either the University of Minnesota or Creighton University. Her approach to improving the health of our River is to educate communities along the Mississippi about the River’s condition. She also aims to guide them in keeping the River healthy. Natalie is a great team player and enjoys getting as many people involved as possible in school and community activities. Her interest in the sciences led her to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, her regional host for the 1 Mississippi campaign.
Missouri/Illinois: Amitie Flynn
Amitie Flynn is the 1 Mississippi team member located in the St. Louis region. Born and raised in Jerseyville Illinois, as a child Amitie developed a strong connection to the nearby Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, spending countless summer days enjoying recreation on the River with her family. She is a passionate advocate of the ecological importance and beauty of natural world engaging others to care for and respect our natural resources. She loves to be outdoors and can likely be found canoeing, fishing, or camping on or near the Mississippi River. A proactive leader and strong writer, Amitie is an excellent representative of the 1 Mississippi campaign and the Sierra Club Piasa Palisades Group, her regional host. Amitie will graduate in December with her BS is Sociology and plans to continue her education at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville to obtain her Master’s in Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Education.
Tennessee/Kentucky: Karen Thornton
Karen Thornton is the 1 Mississippi team member located in the Memphis region. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development at University of Kansas and her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis. Through her studies and field experiences she has played a crucial role in improving the sustainability of communities and the resources that support them. The Mississippi River Corridor-Tennessee is her regional host and she looks forward to marrying their passions to improve the quality of life and prosperity for all constituents directly and indirectly affected by the River.
Arkansas/Mississippi: Mark “River” Peoples
Mark “River” Peoples is returning for a second year as the
1 Mississippi team member located in Clarksdale, MS. He is a River guide and youth leader with the Quapaw Canoe Company, his 1 Mississippi regional host. He also serves on the board of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. When not on the water, Mark mentors Delta youth and educates them on the importance of the protection and preservation of our national treasure for generations to come. Mark works hard on changing the perception of our great River and its tributaries. Through cleanups, lectures and workshops, Mark’s goal is overall systemic health of the Mississippi River, making him an excellent 1 Mississippi representative for the southern region.
Mississippi/Louisiana: Christopher Staudinger
Christopher Staudinger is the 1 Mississippi team member who will help out in the south, both in Clarksdale, MS, and New Orleans, LA. In fact, Chris was born 46 arpents from the Mississippi River in New Orleans. His fascination with that land was piqued in his final year at Boston College with an honors thesis titled, “Mudded: The people and foundations of Southeastern Louisiana.” He left the North to continue his education on the River that started it all. He works as a canoe guide and boat builder for the Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale, MS, his regional host. He is also a staff member at the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. He hopes to one day move back to the wetlands at the end of the world to nourish a community of artists, fishers, philosophers and river rats. Chris’s appreciation for the River and understanding of the unique culture in Louisiana makes him an ideal
1 Mississippi intern.
1 Mississippi Outreach Coordinator: Annette Anderson
Annette Anderson, 1 Mississippi Outreach Coordinator, joined Bluestem Communications in August 2012. She works with Mississippi River Network members to implement the public communications campaign, 1 Mississippi, throughout the ten-state River region. The goal of the campaign is to protect and restore the Mississippi River by inspiring people to take action. Annette manages the 1 Mississippi Intern Team, develops and disseminates campaign materials as she actively increases the campaign’s presence in the national media. In addition, she is in charge of educating and promoting River Citizens through the website, social networking sites and a monthly newsletter. Prior to joining Bluestem Communications, Annette worked in Tennessee, increasing public awareness of solar power and sustainability. She holds a B.A. from the University of South Florida in history with a focus on activism and social change, and is a certified yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance.