Executive Director (he/him)
Erik joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2003 and became executive director in 2012. He has fought in court to safeguard our climate from dirty fossil fuels, promote our transition to a clean energy future, and protect the American West’s rivers and wildlands. An expert in issues related to oil and gas development, Erik leads WELC’s campaigns to phase out fossil fuels and build climate resilience. Prior to joining WELC, he worked as a public lands attorney for The Wilderness Society. Erik is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in natural resources, and earned his law degree and a certificate in environmental & natural resources law from the University of Oregon School of Law. Erik works from our Southwest Office, 575-751-0351 x137 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Erik’s docket.
Ally joined WELC as a legal fellow in 2019 and became a staff attorney in 2020. She earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. During law school, Ally was a notes editor for the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, worked for the Michigan Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic, interned at the Earthjustice Mid-Pacific Office, and was a Dean’s Public Service Fellow. She then spent her final semester of law school as a full-time extern at WELC in Taos. Ally holds a B.S. in Biology, with minors in Latin American Studies and Spanish, from the University of Oklahoma, and an MPH from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, Health and Social Behavior concentration, with a specialty area in Public Health Nutrition. Between the MPH program and law school, Ally worked in Bolivia on sustainable housing, environmental/occupational health, and water rights issues, and was an ASPPH Environmental Health Fellow at the U.S. EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection in Washington, D.C., where she focused on the intersection of social determinants of health and environmental justice, and the effects of early-life experiences and environmental exposures on health inequities. Ally works from our Southwest office, and can be reached at 575-751-0351 x133 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior Attorney, Rocky Mountains Office Director (he/him)
Matt joined WELC as a staff attorney in 1998 and spent his first decade working from our Southwest office in Taos, New Mexico. He returned to his hometown of Helena, Montana in 2008 and established WELC’s Rocky Mountains office. Matt works on public lands issues throughout the West and leads our efforts to protect iconic Western predators including wolverines, Canada lynx, grizzly bears, and Mexican wolves. Matt is a graduate of Whitman College and earned his law degree from Vermont Law School. He is the director of our Rocky Mountains office, 406-324-8011 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Matt’s docket. Read a profile of Matt here.
Senior Attorney (she/her)
Barbara joined WELC in 2021 after 15 years working on water law and policy in Montana. Originally from South Carolina, Barbara earned a B.A. in economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her law degree from the University of Montana School of Law. She previously worked to restore instream flows across Montana as a project manager and executive director of a statewide water trust. From 2010 through 2016, as the legal director for the Clark Fork Coalition, Barbara developed and advanced strategies for protecting and restoring the Clark Fork river watershed. She joined WELC after working as an attorney for the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation for five years on water rights law and policy. Barbara works from our Rocky Mountains office and can be reached using the email form at the bottom of this page or 406-430-3023.
Senior Attorney (she/ella)
Tannis joined WELC in 2020 as a staff attorney. She focuses on moving New Mexico away from its overreliance on oil and gas, and toward clean energy sources. Previously, Tannis was engaged in environmental protection work for the state of New Mexico for almost 20 years, with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and as Deputy General Counsel for the New Mexico Environmental Department, with a focus on water quality protection. She was the 2016 recipient of the Karl Souder Water Protection Award from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for her work on copper mines. Most recently, Tannis served as U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s speechwriter. Tannis graduated from Williams College with a major in economics, graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Tannis works from our Southwest office, 505-629-0732 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Pete’s great-grandparents immigrated to Idaho and Oregon in the 1890s. He joined WELC in 1999, and has since litigated in federal and state courts to preserve forests, rivers, wildlife, and wilderness in the West. Pete graduated from Stanford University and the University of Oregon School of Law. He is a recipient of the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award. Pete works from our Northwest office, 541-359-3239, or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Pete’s docket.
Senior Attorney, Kirkwood Advocate (she/they)
Pam joined WELC in 2017 and is our Kirkwood advocate. Pam works to shift local paradigms of public lands management away from resource extraction and toward a broader, more durable suite of ecosystem and community services. She joined WELC with more than a decade of experience in collaborative negotiation on behalf of environmental interests as well as several years of litigation experience. Prior to WELC she worked for Oregon Wild and 1000 Friends of Oregon. Pam graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1991, spent a decade as a backcountry guide in the American West, and earned her law degree at the University of Oregon in 2006. Pam works from our Northwest office, 541-914-9698 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Communications and Outreach Associate (she/her)
Renata joined WELC in January 2022 after four years working in media and communications for national parks in Alaska, California, and Montana. Prior to that, she received bachelor’s degrees in international development and French, worked as an English teacher, wedding photographer, pastry cook, and video editor. While agonizing over what path to take, she dove into volunteering on conservation and ecology research projects, eventually realizing she wanted to meld her interests in media and the environment. An Ohioan at heart, Renata is based in northwest Montana and a dedicated volunteer in local citizen science wildlife monitoring projects. She can be contacted via the email form at the bottom of the page.
Senior Attorney (he/him)
Andrew joined WELC in 2017 as a staff attorney. Originally from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Andrew earned B.S. in biology from the Pennsylvania State University and his law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. From 2004 to 2008, Andrew was the Walter Kulman Legal Fellow and then Staff Attorney at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC, working to protect North Atlantic right whales, Florida panthers, bald eagles, wolverine, and lynx among other wildlife. In 2008, Andrew returned to Oregon to join the Northwest Environmental Defense Center as the organization’s first staff attorney, where he focused on Clean Water Act enforcement and protecting the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. Andrew works from our Seattle office, 206-487-7207 x142 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Andrew’s docket.
Executive Assistant (she/her)
Rachel joined WELC in 2023 as an executive assistant. She grew up in Brooklyn and, after earning a B.A. in geology magna cum laude from Oberlin College, moved to Seattle, where she began to fall in love with the landscapes of the western U.S. Rachel has led ecological restoration projects in the forests of the Puget Sound region, patrolled as a backcountry ranger in the remote Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, coordinated preservation of ancestral Puebloan dwellings by Pueblo youth in Bandelier National Monument, and guided groups of children and international students on hiking, rafting, rock climbing and backpacking trips in the Southern Rockies and Grand Canyon. Before joining WELC, she earned an M.S. in environmental studies with a concentration in conservation biology from Prescott College and thru-hiked the 480-mile Colorado Trail with her dog, Rio. Rachel works from our Southwest office and can be reached at 575-224-6781 or via the email form at the bottom of the page.
Senior Attorney (she/her)
Melissa joined WELC in January 2020 after working in state and federal government. She holds a B.S. in botany and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Washington, and obtained her J.D. in 2008 from Hastings College of the Law. The next year, she earned a M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana. Before practicing as an attorney, Melissa worked in the field as a botanist/biological technician for various academic and governmental entities, including the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey. She worked as an attorney with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on tribal and federal water rights issues, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Montana with the Department of Justice. Melissa works from our Rocky Mountains office, 406-708-3058 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Sangye joined WELC as a legal fellow in 2019 and became a staff attorney in 2020, He earned his law degree cum laude at Lewis & Clark Law School with certificates in Environmental and International Law. Upon graduating, Sangye received the Williamson Public Interest Environmental Law Award, was selected as a recipient of the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Leadership Award, and was selected as a member of the Cornelius Honor Society. While a law student, he worked for Center for Biological Diversity, Earthrise Law Center, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and World Animal Protection. Sangye earned his B.A. in Anthropology summa cum laude from Southern Oregon University in 2012, and spent four years producing documentary films and videos for nonprofit groups in southern Oregon before enrolling in law school. Sangye works from our Northwest office, 541-778-6626 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Sristi Kamal, Ph.D.
Deputy Director (she/her)
Sristi is a conservation practitioner with a special focus on human dimensions of wildlife conservation and science-based policy advocacy. Over her career, she has worked with indigenous communities in India, landowners, and rural communities to address complex conservation and livelihood issues. She was born and raised in Assam (India), home to megafauna like tigers, rhinos, elephants, and leopards, which sparked her love for wildlife and wild places. Sristi has a Ph.D. in Ecology from Jagiellonian University (Poland), with research work conducted at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has spent time in various parts of the world working on conservation issues including in India, Poland, Haiti, Timor Leste, Ethiopia, and now the US. Prior to joining WELC, Sristi worked for Defenders of Wildlife as their Senior Representative. Sristi is based out of Portland, Oregon and in her spare time she enjoys Oregon’s beautiful outdoors hiking, kayaking and backpacking with her dog, Kropka. She is also passionate about Muay Thai. Sristi works from our Northwest Office, 971-808-0775, x112 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Jenna M.A. Kloeppel
Development Director (she/her)
Jenna is a native New Mexican who brings to her work a love of the outdoors and wildlife of her home state, as well as an accomplished background in non-profit management and philanthropy. Trained as an art historian, Jenna specialized in her graduate studies in Pueblo depictions of wildlife and the natural world. Jenna holds degrees from George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the University of New Mexico, and lives in Tesuque, New Mexico, with her daughter Aurelia, husband Dietger, and gaggle of beloved pets. Use the email form at the bottom of this page to contact her.
Individual Gifts Coordinator (she/her)
Michelle joined WELC in 2016 as an administrative assistant and became the individual gifts coordinator in 2017. She received her B.A. in environmental policy with a cognate in sociology and specialization in environmental studies from Michigan State University. Prior to joining WELC, Michelle worked for the Kane-DuPage Soil and Water Conservation District and interned for The Nature Conservancy and Midwest Pesticide Action Center. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and is an advocate for the zero waste lifestyle. Michelle works from our Northwest Office, 206-487-7207 x118 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Design and Communications Manager (she/her)
Jackie joined WELC in 2008 and focuses on design, communications, and fundraising. She updates supporters with our victories and their impact by doing graphic design, writing, and editing for our newsletters, reports, mailings, emails, and other materials. She has received several awards for her graphic design work. Prior to WELC, she did membership, fundraising, and outreach for Pacific Rivers Council and Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, was an outdoor educator and wilderness guide for City of Eugene and Appalachian Mountain Club, and did GIS for Grand Canyon Trust. She graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in environmental science and emphasis in ecosystem management. She won the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science Hydrology Presentation Award, Lowell Observatory Achievement Award, and was the university’s Standard Bearer. Jackie works from the Southwest, 541-485-2471 x111 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Legal Assistant (she/her)
Cindy joined WELC in August of 2022 as their first legal assistant, bringing well over 12 years of experience working at the law firm of Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C., in Helena, Montana, and from home for local attorney Richard Llewelyn. Prior to that, she has managed a restaurant, worked in her local government at the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office, helping to develop local non-profit, community grassroots organizations focused on changing environmental norms to create sustainable, safe communities. Cindy was raised in Oakdale, CA, but has called Montana home since 1986. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in the mountains near Boulder, Montana. She can be reached at 406-351-0105 x126 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior Attorney, Wildlands & Wildlife Program Director (she/her)
Sarah McMillan grew up reading Ed Abbey by kerosene lamp at night and exploring the woods, rivers, and mountains of Montana and western Washington by day. She received her B.A. from Williams College and her J.D. from the University of Montana. Sarah is an avid hiker, locavore wannabe (notable downfalls include olive oil, licorice, Marmite, and black tea), and lifelong environmentalist. She has worked in private practice, with WELC as a staff attorney, and at WildEarth Guardians, rejoining WELC in 2022 to become Wildlands & Wildlife Program Director. Her litigation background is broad—from the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, to protecting Montanans right to a clean and healthful environment, to defending a citizen’s initiative that effectively stopped game farm “hunting” in Montana. Sarah works from Montana. To contact her, use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Shared Earth Wildlife Attorney (she/her)
Kelly Nokes joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2018. Before that, Kelly worked to protect the American West’s wildlife and wild places with WildEarth Guardians. She formerly served as a legal intern at Trustees for Alaska and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, and was a program administrator for Columbia Riverkeeper. She holds a J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Outdoor Recreation, Leadership & Management from Northern Michigan University. Kelly works from our Southwest office, 575-613-8051 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Sadie joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2021. She earned her law degree at Lewis & Clark Law School with a certificate in environmental law and with an emphasis in Tribal law. Prior to joining WELC she was a judicial clerk for the Superior Court in Anchorage, Alaska. During law school she worked for Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, the Department of Interior—Solicitor’s Office, Earthrise Law Center, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Freshwater Trust. She was also vice president of the Native American Law Students Association and a founding member of Students for Eliminating Environmental Discrimination (SEED). In her final year of law school Sadie published Protecting Water Quality Through Tribal Fishing Rights: an Analysis of Idaho’s Fish Consumption Rate in the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Sadie earned her bachelor’s in environmental policy and American Indian studies magna cum laude from Western Washington University in 2015, where she also received the Presidential Scholars Award from Western’s College of the Environment. Sadie can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her partner and their mini Aussie. Sadie works from our Northwest office, and can be reached at 1.485.2471 x119 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Staff Attorney (she/her/hers)
Finance and Administration Director (she/her)
Lyndee joined WELC in 2014. She has more than 16 years of diverse accounting and business experience. Lyndee graduated from the School of Business at the University of Montana. Her desire to work for WELC is fueled by a love of the outdoors, which began in her youth as a native of Montana. Lyndee works from our Northwest office, 541-485-2471 x113 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Rose joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2021. She earned a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2019, where she specialized in critical race studies and public interest law and policy. During law school, Rose was president of the Native American Law Students Association and editor-in-chief of the Indigenous People’s Journal of Law, Culture, and Resistance. After law school, Rose worked at DNA-People’s Legal Services in Farmington, New Mexico, as the director of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) project, providing assistance to victims of domestic violence. While at DNA-People’s Legal Services, Rose was appointed to serve on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Rose holds a B.A. in Political Science from the City University of New York, Hunter College. Rose is based in Farmington, New Mexico, and can be reached via the email form at the bottom of the page or 505-278-9577.
Administrative and Technology Coordinator (she/her)
Kelly Scoble joined WELC as an administrative and technology coordinator in 2019. She has 12 years of experience working in technology and business. Prior to WELC, she provided administrative support for the nonprofit academic retailer, The Duck Store, in Oregon. Kelly holds B.A. degrees in economics and Japanese from the University of Oregon. She enjoys hiking and admiring the majesty of the Pacific Northwest. Kelly works from our Northwest office, 541-485-2471 x114 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Thomas Singer, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Advisor (he/him/his)
Tom joined WELC as a senior policy advisor in 2013. He previously served as senior advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as the director of research for the Western Governors’ Association. Tom works on policy development, advocacy, and litigation support to address the environmental impacts of oil and natural gas development with an emphasis on reducing methane pollution. Tom holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s School of Business, and a Ph.D. in international business from George Washington University. Tom works from our Southwest office, 505-231-1070 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Tom’s docket.
Communications Director (he/him)
Brian joined WELC in 2015 as communications director. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in agricultural journalism/life sciences communication and a certificate (minor) in environmental studies. Before joining WELC, he performed communications duties for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of the Great Lakes and editorial communications at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Brian works from our Southwest office, 505-570-5567 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior Attorney, Climate and Energy Director (he/him)
Kyle has worked at Western Environmental Law Center since 2011, serving as a senior attorney and the Climate & Energy Program director. His work centers on the nexus of public lands and fossil fuel development, with the aim of aligning federal decision-making with the demands of climate science, bringing a managed end to fossil fuel exploitation, and ensuring a just transition for Indigenous and frontline communities that have endured generations of harms from fossil fuels. Kyle has prevailed in dozens of cases in federal court, setting new precedent on the government’s obligation to consider the cumulative impacts of climate change and the harms to people and communities in its fossil fuel decisions, and frequently engages state and the federal governments on climate and environmental justice policies. Kyle received a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University and earned his law degree from Vermont Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Kyle’s docket.