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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
- Jason Bing, Climate and Energy Specialist
- 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
- Kate Harris, Grants Director
- Laura Holladay, Education Director
- Brigit Macomber, Finance Manager
- MacKenzie Maxwell, Materials Recovery Facility Educator
- Rebecca Meuninck, Environmental Health Campaign Director
- Nicki Milgrom, Healthy Food in Health Care Organizer
- Alyson Oslin, Healthy Food Project Coordinator
- Karla Pena, Healthy Stuff Project Coordinator
- Monica Patel, Policy Specialist
- Melissa Sargent, Environmental Health Educator
- Kathryn Savoie, Detroit Community Health Director
- Liz Starke, Climate & Energy Outreach Coordinator
- Martha Valadez, Transit Organizer
- 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.
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, Treasurer
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.
Director of human resources at Powerlink Facilities Management Services, Kathleen Howard is widely recognized for her leadership and personal commitment to providing workforce opportunities for women, the disabled, older Americans, minorities, immigrants, and the economically disadvantaged. At Powerlink, Howard is responsible for talent acquisition, training, policy development, labor relations, performance and compliance.
A member of the Detroit-based law firm Bodman PLC, Craig Hupp advises clients on compliance with environmental law and represents them in a wide variety of environmental matters. He has served as a mediator in environmental disputes, and served in an advisory role to the Governor’s Climate Action Council.
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.
Eleanor Marsh, a long-time leader in environmental and cultural organizations in the Detroit metropolitan area, has served as the president and chair of development at Greening of Detroit and at Local Motion Green, a Grosse Pointe-based environmental health organization that merged with the Ecology Center in 2013.
Erica Munzel, Secretary
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, President
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.
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.
David Stead, who served as director of public policy at the Ecology Center from 1984 to 1987, is principal and vice president of Resource Recycling Systems, a nationally recognized environmental consulting and engineering firm that works on projects to build a sustainable and waste-free future.