Institute Staff


dave spratt

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For more than 20 years, Dave was a fixture at daily newspapers in Colorado and Michigan, writing and editing sports, features and news, nurturing young writers and staring longingly out the window where the real action was. Dave left inky fingers behind in 2009, when he took a buyout from the Detroit News to freelance and carry coolers for IJNR until being named CEO in January 2013. Dave is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and frequent end user of clean air, clear water and healthy habitat — human and otherwise. Easily distracted by wildlife, Dave lives just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife Sarah and two marginally compliant terriers, who all eagerly await the next visit home from their adult daughters Emma and Natalie. Dave has a B.A. in Journalism from Michigan State University and earned a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Eastern Michigan University.

Adam Hinterthuer


Adam is largely responsible for IJNR’s programs, which means he spends months lining up speakers, scouting locations and noodling topics in between programs, and days fretting about meeting schedules, herding cats and finding coffee. Adam also serves as outreach and communications specialist for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Limnology (the study of lakes, more or less) where he gets paid to go out on boats and write about it. Adam lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Carrie, and their two daughters, Brynn and Maggie. He's striving to raise tomboy princesses, teaching his girls to build a campfire and catch a fish, while also willingly participating in tea parties and the construction of fairy houses. Adam received his master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and has a bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. While he undoubtedly peaked before he had kids, he hasn't completely given up his freelance writing career, and sometimes succumbs to lapses in judgement, taking freelancing gigs for various science and environmental publications.

Melissa Mylchreest


Melissa wears a lot of hats at IJNR: She’s in charge of communications and often works on development, but sometimes she puts together programs too. Melissa lives in Missoula, Montana, and in addition to working for IJNR she’s a freelance writer covering art, architecture, science, and the environment. She received a B.A. in creative writing from Connecticut College, an M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana, and an M.F.A. in creative writing, also at UM. But writing all the time sometimes gets boring, so she’s done some other things too, including working as a professor, cook, DNRC lackey, and barn-dismantler, among many others. When she’s not working she’s in the pottery studio, and when her hands aren’t covered in clay, she can be found gardening, cooking, canoeing, and spending as much time as possible outside. She and her husband Lagan enjoy getting out on rivers and being outnumbered by their three dogs.