Follow Us On
About the Ecology Center
Who Are We?
The Ecology Center is a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded by community activists after the country's first Earth Day in 1970, the Ecology Center is now a regional leader that works for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play.
The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.
What Do We Do?
The Ecology Center works for a just and healthy environment through grassroots organizing, advocacy, education, and demonstration projects. Today, our major programs are:
- Climate and Energy, research and advocacy for energy efficiency and cleaner fuels, especially in transportation and power generation.
- Environmental Education, a program reaching 10,000 K-12 students and teachers in southeast Michigan every year.
- Environmental Health Project, working to protect our health from toxic chemicals in food, air, water, and household products.
- HealthyStuff.org, researching consumer product chemical hazards to promote chemical policy reform.
- Land Use, preserving farmland and natural areas, concentrate development where infrastructure exists, and reduce traffic congestion.
- Recycle Ann Arbor, a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of the Ecology Centeroffering a variety of recycling and reuse services for households, businesses, and municipalities.
Stay informed on these issues! Sign up for EcoLink, our monthly e-newsletter.
How to Join
Become a member of the Ecology Center and help support community action to improve our local environment. As an Ecology Center member, you will receive our monthly e-newsletter EcoLink, environmental alerts, voting privileges, and invitations to special events.
Ecology Center Staff
- Thom Arnold, Finance & Development Associate
- Hillary Bisnett, Healthy Food in Healthcare Project Director
- Alexis Blizman, Legislative & Policy Director
- Jennifer Canvasser, Environmental Health Organizer
- Tracey Easthope, Environmental Health Director
- Susan Froelich, Senior Development Officer
- Terry Gallagher, Communications Director
- Mike Garfield, Director
- Jeff Gearhart, Research Director
- Charles Griffith, Climate & Energy Program Director
- Ken Kozora, Events Coordinator
- Lauren LaRocca, Environmental Educator
- Brigit Macomber, Finance Manager
- Rebecca Meuninck, Environmental Health Campaign Director
- Monica Patel, Policy Specialist
- Kathryn Savoie, Detroit Community Health Director
- Mike Shriberg, Policy Advisor
- Jenn Watson Ketz, Office, Membership and Events Manager
Board of Directors
Stuart Batterman is professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and professor of water resources and environmental engineering in the U-M College of Engineering. Among numerous other projects, Batterman was the principal investigator on "The Detroit Asthma Morbidity, Air Quality and Traffic" study. He earned a bachelor's degree from Rutgers, and a master's and doctoral degrees from the Masschusetts Institute of Technology.
Al Beeton is the former director of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, a retired limnologist, and professor in the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. He is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost scientific authorities on the Great Lakes.
Michael Garfield has served as director of the Ecology Center since 1993. He has led grassroots advocacy campaigns to raise over $100 million in public funds for land preservation.
Beverly Ghesquiere, elected to the board in 2011, coordinates financial and human resources at Dawn Farm in Ann Arbor, which provides drug and alcohol treatment for both residential and outpatient clients. Ghesquiere earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago. Ghesquiere’s mother was involved in the earliest days of the Ecology Center, and “we were raised with an environmental conscience.”
Christine Green has practiced law in Washtenaw County for more than 25 years, specializing in civil rights, employment discrimination, wrongful termination and personal injury. Green also has served Scio Township in a number of roles since her election to the township board of trustees in 2008. Green earned her bachelor’s degree and law degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan.
Link Howard III
Link Howard III, president and chief executive officer of Powerlink Facilities Management , is a successful entrepreneur, devoted leader and dedicated community advocate. Founded in 2003, Powerlink is an ISO 9001-certified company with more than 600 employees in several states and Canada providing services in housekeeping, grounds keeping and general facilities maintenance to business customers in a variety of industries.
Riyaz Kanji is a partner in Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, a law firm with offices in Seattle and Ann Arbor that represents Indian nations and tribes across the country on a wide variety of issues including sovereignty and governance, treaty fishing and hunting rights, Indian gaming and environmental protection.
Erica Munzel is an attorney currently serving as midwest regional director of development and alumni relations at the University of Michigan Law School. She has been a leading grassroots environmental activist in her home community, in Livingston County, and was re-elected to the Ecology Center board in 2011.
Michelle Palmer, vice president/relationships manager with JP Morgan Chase Bank, has worked in finance and banking for more than 20 years. Since joining the Ecology Center board in 2006, Palmer has served as the Ecology Center’s treasurer and as the board’s representative to the Recycle Ann Arbor board of directors. She co-chairs the Ecology Center’s finance committee, and also sits on Recycle Ann Arbor’s finance committee.
Frank Parkinson is an attorney with DeLoof, Hopper, Dever & Wright in Ann Arbor. He has worked as an entrepreneur, real estate developer, green builder, real estate broker, and LEED credentialed professional in Illinois and Michigan. He has spent the past four years actively involved with the Climate Project, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about climate change.
Dax Ponce de Leon
Dax Ponce de Leon is a project manager with PMA Consultants, an international construction consulting firm with corporate headquarters in Detroit. He is currently leading the development of a mixed-use building which would be the first project in southeast Michigan to receive LEED platinum certification.
Vijay Sankaran, who was elected to the board in 2011, is director of information technology application development at Ford Motor Company, where he is responsible for managing Ford’s adoption of emerging technologies that are changing the driving experience, including social media, and mobile computing and cloud computing. Sankaran received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a master of business administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.
Doug Selby is a “building-science expert” and managing partner in Meadowlark Builders, a design/build construction firm that he started with Kirk Brandon in 2004. Since its founding, the firm has become Michigan’s leader in LEED-certified home construction, and a national leader in high-performance new homes and energy efficient renovations of existing homes.