To contact a staff member by phone, dial 515-244-1194 and the individual's extension, listed below. You may also e-mail a member of the staff by using the format firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ralph Rosenberg, Executive Director (ext. 201)
Ralph Rosenberg became the Iowa Environmental Council’s executive director in August, 2012. Prior to joining the Council, Rosenberg led the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, a state agency, as it expanded its outreach activities, established a new legal clinic, and successfully secured significant new federal funding. Prior to that, Rosenberg directed the Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa, a membership association of 32 public and private agencies serving at-risk children and families. He also co-founded a statewide nonpartisan institute for emerging leaders in all three branches of Iowa’s government.
As a member of the Iowa legislature, Ralph was a leader in a bipartisan group of lawmakers who successfully enacted a series of landmark bills, including Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act and a major energy efficiency law, both of which served as models for other states.
His work on energy and environmental issues earned him accolades from the National Center for Policy Alternatives. He has been recognized by the Council of State Governments for his work establishing innovative state and local partnerships, and received legislator of the year honors from the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Izaak Walton League, and the Wildlife Society.
Nathaniel Baer , Energy Program Director (ext. 206)
Nathaniel joined the Council, in July 2007, from Environment Iowa, an extension of Iowa PIRG—Public Interest Research Group. There he successfully advocated for new policies in Iowa to address global warming, boost clean energy, and improve energy efficiency programs.
Nathaniel has a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he graduated with high honors and was awarded the Michelle Bennett Client Representation Award and the Public Interest Law Foundation Grant. During law school, he represented nonprofit organizations on formation and management and won asylum cases for several clients from east Africa. Prior to law school, Nathaniel managed a large organic farm in southern Minnesota and worked as a policy advocate and organizer on affordable housing issues.
jamie burch, development Director (ext. 202)
Jamie Burch joined the Iowa Environmental Council in February 2015. Prior to joining the Council she worked in campaign politics. Most recently, Jamie served as the Iowa Finance Director for Bruce Braley’s U.S. Senate race. Jamie grew up in Ossian, Iowa in Winneshiek County, and is a graduate of Drake University.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in politics and international relations. As the Council’s development director, Jamie manages the individual giving and major donor programs, organizational development strategies and grant procurement.
Susan Heathcote, Water Program Director (ext. 205)
Susan joined the Council in 1996 and provides leadership for the Council on a number of issues, including agricultural nonpoint source pollution, livestock manure management, water quality monitoring, water quality standards, and restoration of impaired waters.
Susan obtained her undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Arkansas in 1976 and received her Master’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Iowa in 1979. Susan worked for 11 years as a petroleum geophysicist for Mobil Oil and for 6 years as an environmental consultant for the Howard R. Green Company prior to joining the Council.
KATY HEGGEN, COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH DIRECTOR (ext. 210)
Katy joined the Iowa Environmental Council in July 2014. Prior to joining the Council, Katy served as marketing and communications manager at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. At the Council, Katy works to raise awareness of and strengthen support for the Council, its mission and programs through the agency’s communications and outreach efforts.
Katy, a St. Paul, MN native, came to Des Moines by way of Drake University, where she earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication with a public relations focus.
CLARE KERNEK, WATER PROGRAM ASSISTANT (ext 209)
Clare joined the Council in June 2015. Prior to joining the Council, she spent her last semester of law school working as an “extern” at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division in Denver, CO. Clare is elated to be back in her adopted home state of Iowa, advocating for stronger protections of the state’s water resources as a water program assistant.
Clare holds a J.D. and Certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR, and degrees in English and Anthropology from the University of Iowa.
Cindy joined the Iowa Environmental Council in June 2014, working with the energy program director to address climate issues and advance clean energy policies in the state. Raised and educated in Iowa, Cindy holds both a law degree and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.
Prior to her work at the Council, Cindy worked with environmental nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin, as well as with multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firms in Iowa.
jANET MEADE, office manager/bookkeeper (Ext. 200)
Janet joined the Iowa Environmental Council in June 2015. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in accounting from Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri, which is close to Janet’s hometown of Novinger. Janet overseas the Council’s accounting, budget and finances, provides database and administrative support, manages vendor relations and provides customer service to our supporters, member organizations and staff.
Janet has previously served in various roles in financial management, and was an assistant accounting professor at Simpson College’s Division of Adult Learning.
zoe muehleip, communications & development intern
Zoe joined the Council in August of 2015. She is a senior at Simpson College studying Environmental Science and Graphic Design. Prior to working with the Council, Zoe worked as a research intern at Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit while studying abroad in Thailand. After graduation, Zoe is considering graduate studies in sustainability or further environmental sciences.
Zoe assists the Communications and Development departments with an assortment of tasks including creating outreach materials, strengthening social media, and event planning.
THOMAS tOLBERT, legal INTERN
Thomas joined the Council in May 2015. Thomas is currently a second year law student at Drake University Law School, with a focus on environmental law, and an interest in joining the United States Air Force JAG Corps after graduation. Thomas graduated from Wichita State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in French.
At the Council, Thomas is researching Iowa’s antidegradation implementation procedure and evaluating how an economic efficiency analysis could be conducted in the state. Prior to joining the Council, Thomas worked as an office assistant at a law firm in Wichita, KS that focused on civil litigation and workers’ compensation.