Andrea was born and raised in Michigan, in a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan. She obtained a Psychology degree from Kalamazoo College and a Master’s in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Michigan. In 1999, she began working in Information Technology with an entry-level computer support job. Over the next 10 years, she worked her way up to her final role as a Project Manager in a hospital IT department. She moved to Alaska in 2007 and quickly got involved in the Fairbanks recycling scene – mostly by realizing there were very few opportunities for recycling in town. She joined the FNSB Recycling Task Force in December 2007, where she met Pam Seiser and was recruited as a volunteer for an IAGS Electronics Recycling Event. Volunteering led to a spot on the Board of Directors, and in October 2009 she became the Executive Director of IAGS. Andrea has since started working full time for UAF, handing over her ED Position and becoming an active Board Member. Andrea is thrilled to be working on projects that benefit her local community and help Fairbanks and surrounding areas become more sustainable. She believes that “Think Global, Act Local” is the best way for her to have an impact on preserving our natural resources for future generations. When not helping people with their recycling questions, she can usually be found reading, knitting, or hanging out with her partner and their two dogs.
Interior Alaska Green Star is a good fit for Pam, because she likes to talk trash. Her work as a Wildlife Biologist at ABR takes her to remote wildlands, where she sees firsthand how Alaska’s landscape changes when we harvest our natural resources. The funny thing is that the best method she finds to help protect the beauty of Alaska’s wild places is not by traveling to those areas, but by getting people to discuss their trash and garbage habits right here in Fairbanks. The less raw resources we consume, the less land we need to develop. At Interior Alaska Green Star, she can teach that examining our trash is the best proof of our efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. When not at a recycling event, Pam is enjoying winter sports, art, and dogs (more reasons why Fairbanks is such a good fit for Pam).
Dennis L. Michel II
American Mechanical Inc.
“Denny” has been an Alaskan his whole life. Raised in Fairbanks since he was 6 months old, Denny has seen the different recycling efforts that our town has provided. From crushing soda cans and trading them in for enough money to buy a McDonalds lunch, to still using a 25-year-old save-a-sac reusable grocery bag. Recycling has always been a part of Denny’s life.
Denny spent four years in Los Angeles, CA where he received a B.S. in Business Information Management from the University of Southern California. After a brief stop back in Alaska to work in the Alaska State Senate as a legislative aide, Denny moved to Denver, CO to work for IBM. Denny worked as a Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Consultant for eight years. While at IBM he developed a hobby of building and repairing servers and desktop computers. That hobby produced a fair amount of electronic waste (e-waste) and enlightened Denny to all of the heavy metals and toxic substances that our modern electronic devices contain. Civic and environmental mindfulness led him to seek out reputable recyclers for his e-waste. Denny left IBM and completed his MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Denver.
That MBA program led him to a renewed interest in his family-owned construction company, American Mechanical Inc. Denny moved back to Fairbanks in 2012 to become the Finance and IT manager for American Mechanical.
Looking for an e-waste recycling solution in Fairbanks led Denny to Green Star. Throughout the past four years Denny’s interaction with Green Star has evolved from being a user of their recycling program, then becoming a volunteer at the Electronics Recycling Depot and now serving as a board member. Denny hopes to use his knowledge of financial management to help Green Star grow and continue recycling e-waste throughout the Interior.
University of Alaska Fairbanks – Student
Originally from Maine, Andrew has been living in Fairbanks for 14 years. In 2003, He earned a degree from the University of Maine in Wildlife Ecology with an emphasis on conservation biology and forestry. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying the use of fish as biomonitoring tools for environmental contaminants. He served in the Peace Corps in Morocco from 2006-2008, seeing first-hand the ingenuity born from necessity, but also witnessed severely polluted environments of countries with no waste management programs or governmental oversight of environmental concerns.
His interest in recycling has been a life-long pursuit, starting with assisting with programs in his home town, to assisting Green Star for the past several years with their recycling events and educational outreach. He has always had a personal interest in researching the ideas and methods supporting energy reduction and conservation, recycling options, and the energetics underlying resource extraction versus recycling.
Andrew believes that despite our society’s need for resource extraction (mining, oil and gas, forestry, etc.), reusing and recycling the materials we have already extracted is one of the first steps we can do to reduce the amount of waste generated, landfill space used, and toxic substances we release into our air and water.
He joined the Board of Directors of Green Star to help share his passion for recycling with the organization, the people of Fairbanks, and the environment. He hopes that his experiences, positive energy, creativity, and knowledge of environmental contaminants can add depth and new outlooks to the programs and educational outreach of Green Star.
Originally from North Carolina, Amanda moved to Fairbanks in 2013 after earning a B.S. In Environmental Biology and certificate in GIS from the University of North Alabama. She intended to work in Fairbanks just for the summer, but fell in love with the Golden Heart City and decided to make Fairbanks her home. She has been with with Doyon Utilities as the environmental permit coordinator for over two years and feels lucky to have a career she enjoys so much that it often doesn’t feel like work.
Interests in conservation and sustainability are the driving interests that led Amanda to Green Star. She enjoys helping tackle issues that may arise when industry and environmental stewardship collide and firmly believes that the two can be compatible, especially when organizations like Green Star are involved. She looks forward to serving the local community and working together to realize Green Star’s vision.