May 1, 2010
Prairie Rivers Network would like to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
Lucy Bannon (Oak Park, IL) has been volunteering with PRN since 2008. She has helped track water pollution permits long enough to “see the process come full circle.” Lucy finds the interactions with the IEPA to be “exciting and encouraging.” She is pursuing a degree in environmental studies at UIUC and hopes to continue to work with non-profits in the Chicagoland area and beyond. Lucy was PRN’s Volunteer of the Year in 2009.
Lauren Eiten (Peru, IL) has been working on a variety of projects for PRN, from updating our media contacts to conducting research on legislation. She is currently a student at UIUC, minoring in the Environmental Fellows Program. After college she hopes to work for the federal government dealing with either foreign affairs or environmental affairs. She has been interested in the environment since high school, where she founded an environmental club. Lauren is also an avid hiker: she has hiked 17 of the 18 canyons at Starved Rock State Park.
Joel McDonald (Seymour, IL) created a great set of activities for people to learn more about their rivers. Joel has a background particularly suited to his volunteer work with PRN: he has degrees in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, a concentration in Water Resource Management, and a Master’s in Environmental Education. His hobbies include boating, hiking, photography, home remodeling, nature study, and playing with his 2-year old daughter, Rory.
Manasi Mhasawade (Pune, India) is working on a coal mine waste water reclamation project. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and has completed a thesis on using wetlands to treat wastewater. She is graduating from UIUC this May with another Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and is looking for work on restoration projects. When she is not busy working on Master’s degrees, she loves reading biographies and enjoys cooking.
Jennifer Nelson (Stone Mountain, GA) is researching mining regulation in Illinois. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. Jennifer’s research focuses on the intersection of water quality and quantity laws in the Tualatin River watershed in Oregon, particularly as these issues will be impacted by climate change. She intends to practice environmental law with a government agency or non-profit organization after graduate school. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hiking, cooking and yoga.
Felipe Westhelle (São Leopoldo, Brazil) has helped PRN monitor water issues across the state and nation, among many other valuable contributions. This spring, Felipe is graduating with a degree in International Studies; his research focus is hydropolitics. Felipe says that working to protect Illinois’ waterways “is not easy…but it certainly is fulfilling.” When Felipe is not studying, he enjoys traveling the world funded by his sales of homemade granola and beer.