STAFF

Darrah Bach  Oyster Shell Recycling Program Coordinator

Darrah served as CRCL’s monitoring and remote sensing technician through Serve Louisiana until joining the staff as the OSRP coordinator. Originally from San Francisco, California, Darrah moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in environmental studies and sociology from Tulane University. In her free time, Darrah enjoys drawing and collage making.  (darrah.bach@crcl.org)

Hannah Cohen  Community Engagement Associate

Hannah works to engage and inform coastal communities through advocacy and volunteer opportunities. She received a master's degree in anthropology from Tulane University, focusing on community-based environmental challenges and movements in the Gulf South. Hannah previously worked in the Tulane Office of Sustainability and on campaigns for environmental justice. In her spare time, Hannah is a New Orleans radio DJ. (hannah.cohen@crcl.org)

Kellyn LaCour-Conant  Restoration Programs Director

Kellyn is a restoration ecologist with over 10 years of experience in Gulf Coast ecosystems, community engagement, program development, and JEDI advocacy. Raised in Houston with family roots on Isle Brevelle, they went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology from Amherst College and a master’s degree in marine and environmental biology from Nicholls State, and are currently a PhD student in urban forestry at Southern University. Kellyn also serves as an if/then ambassador with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Previously, Kellyn has worked as a coastal resources scientist at CPRA and assistant program coordinator at Baton Roots Community Farm. In their free time, Kellyn enjoys beach volleyball and cooking.  (kellyn.lacour-conant@crcl.org)

Isabella Donnell – Special Projects Coordinator

Isabella grew up by Mobile Bay, Alabama, and moved to New Orleans to attend college in 2015. Isabella received her master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Tulane University in May 2020. Her studies focused on plant ecology and marsh ecosystems. Through her studies, Isabella became interested in how the health of our coast informs the health of our communities. In her spare time, Isabella likes to read, garden and continue to learn about the natural environment around her.. (isabella.donnell@crcl.org)

Addison Ellis - Social Media Strategist

Addison is a small-business entrepreneur and Serve Louisiana member. She graduated from Loyola University with honors in environmental studies (with a concentration in social sciences) and a biology minor. She has passions for environmental communications and social justice, and she is helping expand CRCL’s social media presence as a tool for connecting with the community. (addison.ellis@crcl.org)

Sofia Giordano – Oyster Shell Recycling Technician

Sofia is an AmeriCorps member working with the Oyster Shell Recycling Program and coordinating volunteers. She is originally from Long Island, N.Y., but has lived in New Orleans for 16 years. Sofia graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science with a concentration in biology. She is also an avid sailor who spend lots of time on Lake Pontchartrain. (sofia.giordano@crcl.org)

Gardner Goodall - Habitat Restoration Program Coordinator

Gardner is an ecologist, urban enthusiast and avid bicyclist hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. As suggested by his name, he enjoys working with plants, and he is excited to be leading volunteers to support coastal restoration through native plantings. Gardner holds a degree in environmental studies from UNC-Asheville, and he has years of experience in volunteer management and land stewardship. In his free time he likes to garden, play disc golf and cook with friends. (gardner.goodall@crcl.org)

Piper Howard - Outreach Assistant

Piper is a Serve Louisiana member working with the Student Ambassador program. She graduated from Loyola University in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. Raised in New Orleans, Piper is passionate about advocating for environmental justice across coastal communities in Louisiana. In her free time, Piper enjoys playing piano, gardening, and crocheting. (piper.howard@crcl.org)

James Karst – Communications and Marketing Director

James is in charge of internal and external communications and marketing. He is a former journalist in New Orleans, having worked for many years as an editor at The Times-Picayune. He was on the newspaper's staff that won two Pulitzer Prizes in 2006. He has also published stories in magazines including 64 Parishes and Preservation in Print. He has been interviewed on the air by NPR's "Weekend Edition" and on television shows that have aired on the NFL Network, the Travel Channel, and National Geographic. A story about his writing was recently published by The New Yorker. He moonlights as a professional competitive eater (formerly the No. 4 oyster eater in the International Federation of Competitive Eating -- 15 dozen oysters in 8 minutes) and as an actor, with credits including "NCIS: New Orleans," "Treme," and "America's Most Wanted." He received his Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. (james.karst@crcl.org

Kelly Messer – Special Events Director

Kelly develops and executes our public and private events, and is our lead graphic designer and webmaster. She joined the CRCL team in 2007. CRCL has long been known for its well-planned and orchestrated events because of Kelly’s artistic eye and attention to detail. As CRCL’s graphic designer, she is responsible for developing critical informational pieces for both internal and external distribution. Kelly’s expertise in IT has allowed CRCL to incorporate the latest technology into its web design and computer networks. She also develops and maintains CRCL’s extensive database system. (kelly.messer@crcl.org)

 

Corey Miller – Director of Community Resilience

Corey leads our Outreach and Engagement program, assisting residents of coastal Louisiana to become more informed, engaged, and prepared for the future of our changing coast. Through the program, CRCL develops innovative ways to reach residents: infographics, videos, presentations, and community forums. He also works directly with other community-based organizations. He joined CRCL in 2012. A third-generation native of the New Orleans area and an alumnus of LSU, Corey received his Master of Sociology from the University of New Orleans through a research assistantship with the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART). (corey.miller@crcl.org)

Kimberly Ortiz - Remote Sensing and Monitoring Technician

Kimberly, a Serve Louisiana member, studied civil engineering at LSU. She grew up in North Carolina and moved to Louisiana 4 years ago for school and family. She enjoys doing outdoors activities, going to the gym and staying in, depending on the weather and her mood. Upon completion of her service year, Kimberly is interested in pursuing a master’s degree and a career in coastal engineering. (kimberly.ortiz@crcl.org)

Kimberly Davis Reyher – Executive Director

Kim leads CRCL, setting strategic direction and overseeing staff and programs. Kim joined CRCL as Executive Director in June 2014 after 13 years with the World Wildlife Fund, where she served as Fisheries Program Director. In that capacity, she promoted fisheries sustainability through engagement with fisheries around the world and influential players in the seafood industry. Kim co-led the development of a $29 million tuna management project with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and led the International Smart Gear Competition, which awards cash prizes for fishing gear innovations and supervised projects in more than 20 countries. Before joining WWF, she worked with the Ocean Conservancy in Florida and Washington, D.C. Kim received a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University. (kimberly.reyher@crcl.org)

Emily Vuxton – Policy Director

Before joining CRCL as Policy Director, Emily was a Coastal Policy Specialist at the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) at the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Alexandria, Virginia. Previously, she served as a NOAA Knauss Sea Grant Fellow with the Engineer Research and Development Center, USACE. At IWR, she supported some environmental, coastal and navigation initiatives, including PIANC USA, an international navigation NGO, the USACE Resilience Initiative, the USACE Recreation Program, and the Future Directions initiative. She also served as an author on the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, analyzing policy challenges to implementing natural infrastructure in Hurricane Sandy-affected areas. She has a Master’s degree from Duke University in Coastal Environmental Management and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Zoology. (emily.vuxton@crcl.org)

 

Marissa Allweiss Wendte – Development & Membership Director

Marissa joined CRCL as our new Development & Membership Director in March 2019.  Marissa is a native New Orleanian with a dedication to the community in which she was raised. She has routinely volunteered in projects throughout the region, returning post-Katrina from Tucson, Arizona, where she had been attending college. She has worked and volunteered with many organizations -- including CRCL.  After graduating from Tulane University, Marissa spent two years working as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO). During this time, Marissa co-founded the environmentally-conscious nonprofit organization The ReUse District, a partnership of businesses and organizations that received a special proclamation from New Orleans City Council. After her time with RTNO, she spent four years with Tipitina’s Foundation as the Special Events and Fundraising Coordinator before becoming the Director of Development for Choice Foundation, a Charter Management Organization. (marissa.wendte@crcl.org)

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