​​Marisa Rinkus

Degree: BS Wildlife
Year: 1998
Email: mrinkus@hotmail.com
Business Title: Graduate Student
Business: Michigan State University, Deptartment of Fisheries and Wildlife
City, State: East Lansing, MI
Web Address: http://www.msu.edu/

Marisa Rinkus  

I recently returned to school in the fall of 2006 to pursue a MS and PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University with a specialization in Human Dimensions and Gender, Justice and Environmental Change. Currently I am working on a research project with my adviser regarding stormwater management issues in the Greater Lansing area, particularly focusing on multiple stakeholder use and collaboration in meeting Phase II NPDES permits for urbanized areas. We are also looking at the possibilities for alternative stormwater management practices such as rain gardens, bioretention ponds and constructed wetlands as part of an interdisciplinary project that integrates natural, social and engineering sciences.

Previously I worked at the National Wildlife Federation's regional office, the Great Lakes Natural Resource Center, in Ann Arbor, MI as the Population & Environment Outreach Coordinator. In this position I was responsible for regional coalition building and program outreach and advocacy, along with special projects that focus on population, wildlife, and water management.   In addition, I also served as the project leader for the Great Lakes Women's Environmental Network, which promotes leadership development and activism among women in the region by providing capacity building and leadership development trainings. This position offered me a multitude of opportunities to increase my knowledge on environmental policy and the opportunity to experience lobbying on Capitol Hill in to Washington, D.C.

After graduation I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala working in three project areas: environmental education, community based ecotourism, and solid waste management.
During my two and half years in Guatemala, I collaborated with elementary school teachers to design and implement an integrated environmental education curriculum for grades 3-6 with support from CARE International. I also worked with small communities, the local government, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in assessing the potential for ecotourism in the area and promoting the region through brochures and exhibitions. My experience as a Peace Corps volunteer was extremely valuable in many ways, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the time that I spent there.

In my spare time I serve on the Board of Directors of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and volunteer as a mentor to high school students in Southwest Detroit (a primarily Hispanic area). I also manage a small educational scholarship fund in Purulha, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala where I served as a Peace Corps volunteer. With the help of donations from family and friends we have been able to send 3 students to school for 2 years straight!​​​​​

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