Alumni Profiles

Environmental Policy and Management

JanneJanne K. Flisrand (’94) is a self-employed urban sustainability consultant. In this capacity, she “connects people, places, and ideas through smart process.”  Her consulting work focuses on affordable and healthy housing, green building, and energy conservation. She has also presented on green marketing, sustainable investing, and transportation/land use. As an urban sustainability consultant she has worked with the State of Minnesota through Minnesota Green Communities to make all publicly-funded affordable housing meet Green Communities Criteria. She is frequently hired to write policy research papers, accessible handbooks, and program summaries.  She also works as a facilitator when a group of organizations wants to work together.

Will Hoyer (‘02) was one of the first students to graduate from Luther with an individualized major in Environmental Studies. He is currently a research associate for the Iowa Policy Project, a non-profit research organization based in Iowa City.  He is focused on water quality, especially the impact that agriculture has on the state's waters, as well energy efficiency and renewable energy.  His work is aimed at improving policies at the state and local level.

Food Systems

RyanRyan Jepsen (‘99) graduated from Luther with a degree in Biology, though he is now pursuing a career in Environmental Studies. He is a founding owner and heads the sales and procurement division of Grass Run Farm, a Decorah area local-meats company. In this capacity, he buys grass-fed beef, all-natural grain-fed beef, and all-natural non-confinement pork from local livestock producers, then arranges the sale of that meat to cooperative grocery stores, restaurants, and institutions (including Luther) across the Upper Midwest. Ryan also arranges processing at USDA-inspected craft-processing facilities and maintains relationships with dozens of customers and vendors throughout the local foods industry.

Environmental Education

AndrewAndrew White (’11) graduated from Luther with a degree in Environmental Studies (Policy concentration) and Spanish. He is currently a Seasonal Park Ranger-Interpreter at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In this capacity he connects people to the park by presenting a variety of interpretive programs such as guided hikes, slideshow presentations, and wildlife watches. He also ensures that visitors to the park have meaningful, satisfying, and safe park experiences by helping them decide how to spend their time in the park and informing them about the park’s natural, cultural, and historic resources.

Environmental Science

PieterPieter Ver Steeg (’10) graduated from Luther with both Environmental Studies (Geoscience concentration) and Biology majors. Upon graduation, Pieter enrolled in the Professional Science Masters in Ecosystem Management (PSM-EM) program at the University of Northern Iowa. The culmination of the program is a summer internship, which Pieter will spend with the Nature Conservancy at its Minnesota Regional Office in Minneapolis. As their Conservation Areas Planning Intern, he will be using GIS and working with many other staff members to update management plans for nature preserves in Minnesota. The position will involve both office and field work, which he says, “is perfect for me!

Long-Term Volunteer Corps

Emily Odland (’10) spent the year after her graduation with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She worked as a an online communications and fundraising assistant for the East Bay Alliance for Sustainable Economy (EBASE) in Oakland, CA. In this position she engaged a dynamic network of supporters in campaigns for worker justice by managing an on-line database, updating the EBASE website, sending email blasts, blogging, and updating a Facebook page with hundreds of fans.

DanDan Bellrichard ('01) Coordinator of Student Groups at Luther College, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa, from 2001-2003.  He served in a small rural village of about 4,000 people working on small business development. As the initial Peace Corps volunteer in the village he focused on building relationships with the community. He also started a mobile savings bank for the village and a community radio program.