Meet the IJNR Staff



Dave Spratt is IJNR’s Chief Executive Officer.     734-395-1750

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. In addition to being a three-time IJNR Fellow, Dave is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and frequent end user of clean air, clear water and healthy habitat — human and otherwise. And most of all, he wants the world to understand why those things are so important.

Dave lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Sarah, and the two of them are kept in line by a slightly kooky terrier and an exceptionally affectionate pit bull. They have two daughters in college: A Bronco (WMU) and a Spartan (MSU).



Melissa Mylchreest is IJNR’s Director of Communications and Development.     406-493-8230

Melissa lives in Missoula, Montana. At IJNR she's director of all things development- and communications-related, but she also works on programming sometimes, too. When she's not wearing her IJNR hat, she's a freelance writer, covering art, architecture, science, and society. She received a B.A. in creative writing from Connecticut College, an M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana (UM), 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, government lackey, and barn-dismantler, among many others. When she’s not working, she gardens, cooks, makes things out of clay, volunteers with animal rescue groups, and spends as much time as possible outside with her two-legged and four-legged buddies.



Adam Hinterthuer is IJNR’s Director of Programs.     608-630-5737

Adam also serves as a part-time outreach/communications specialist for the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Center for Limnology (the study of lakes, basically). Adam lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Carrie, and their two daughters. If he had free time to spend, it would be spent hiking, camping, canoeing and brewing his own beer. 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. He hasn’t completely given up his freelance writing career and sometimes succumbs to lapses in judgement, taking freelance gigs for science and environmental publications like BioScience magazine, Scientific American, and Audubon online.



Carrie Hinterthuer is IJNR’s Business Manager.     608-630-5738

In addition to keeping the books for the organization, Carrie is tasked with helping with the myriad things that keep the ship sailing smoothly. Carrie has her master’s degree in public health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned her undergraduate degree from Carleton College (where she met a certain IJNR director of programs). Carrie lives with Adam and their two daughters in Madison.

Contractors & interns


Mike Scott is IJNR’s Digital Media Trainer

Mike is kind of like Superman. Normally, he's the media and marketing strategist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. But then an IJNR Institute comes along, Mike hops in a phone booth (do phone booths even exist anymore?), and out pops Digital Media Guru Extraordinaire! Mike’s combination of environmental expertise (he was a long-time environment reporter and assistant metro editor at the largest newspaper in Ohio, namely The Plain Dealer in Cleveland) and new-media savvy makes him the ideal person to help Fellows figure out how to bend digital technology to their will. Mike holds a BA from Kent State University, and is well-acquainted with IJNR, having been a Fellow on three of our Great Lakes-based Institutes, and a digital trainer with us since early 2013. 


Shweta Karikehalli is IJNR's 2018 Saint Lawrence River Intern

Shweta currently lives in Syracuse, New York where she's wrapping up her graduate studies in magazine, newspaper and online journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She's worked at The Daily Orange, SU's independent, student-run newspaper, where she's been able to cover important campus issues as well as issues that affect the greater Syracuse area. Before that, Shweta lived on Tybee Island, Georgia where she taught marine biology and environmental science to school groups. Shweta has a B.S. in conservation biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and she's passionate about reporting on environmental and science issues in engaging and understandable ways. Her dream job would be to work at a publication where she can help bridge the gap between science and the public, and she's also interested in international, cultural and education reporting. In her spare time, Shweta loves reading, climbing trees, exploring new places and learning new things. 

Past Interns


Lysandra Marquez - 2018 Lower Colorado River Intern

Lysandra Marquez lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a recent graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she got her Masters in Journalism and specialized in covering the Borderlands beat.  She also holds a B.A. in Psychology from Arizona State University, and is bilingual, fluent in Spanish and English.

During her time at the Cronkite School, Lysandra worked on video segments regarding the first-ever vaccine for bees, and anchored for the award-winning student led newscast, Cronkite News. She also traveled to Israel to report on water technology in agriculture, and also Queretaro, Mexico to speak to leading officials about the growing development of the aeronautic sector.

Lysandra is actively seeking opportunities and wants to focus on environmental and social justice issues, but is open to covering a diverse list of beats as well. Her long term goal is to become an international correspondent somewhere in South America. When not writing, Lysandra enjoys spending time with her unruly Alaskan husky, Jolene, and listening to medleys of Led Zeppelin (a little too loudly, if you ask her neighbors).