upper mississippi River Institute Staff
Dave Spratt is IJNR's CEO. 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, a neurotic terrier named Lily, and a laid-back pit bull named Flo, who all eagerly await the next visit home from their college-going daughters Emma and Natalie.
Adam Hinterthuer is IJNR's Director of 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 gigs for various science and environmental publications.
Melissa Mylchreest wears a lot of hats at IJNR: She’s Director of Communications & 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 sometimes gets boring, so she’s done some other things too, including working as a professor, cook, government 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, volunteering with animal rescue groups, and spending as much time as possible outside with her two-legged and four-legged buddies.
Mike Scott doesn’t have a split personality. Honest. But you should know that by day, he's a Senior Media Relations Specialist at Case Western Reserve University who cares deeply about Cleveland sports teams. Then when an IJNR Institute comes along, Mike goes all Digital Media Whisperer and makes like he cares slightly less deeply about Cleveland’s sports teams. Mike’s combination of environmental expertise (he was a long-time environment reporter and assistant metro editor at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland) and new-media savvy (he was the Dealer’s first-ever web editor and is a Kiplinger-trained disciple of all things online) makes him the ideal person to help Fellows figure out how to bend digital technology to their will in telling environment stories. Mike holds a BS from Kent State University, and is well acquainted with IJNR, having been a Fellow on three of our Institutes. Mike lives in the leafy Cleveland suburb of Painesville with his wife, Brie, and happens to be a remarkably young grandfather. (No, really, ask him about Brody, Farrah and Kensley some time — just be prepared for pictures…).