Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa
Nov 19, 2019
Melissa Cuff and Kari Wallin
Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management and emergency response work.  Their goals are to help young people from diverse backgrounds become more connected to the environment, engaged in conservation, involved in the community and prepared for future employment.

Kari Wallin is currently serving as an AmeriCorps member with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa through a full-term placement at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) program. In this role, she is the SNA Volunteer and Site Steward Specialist responsible for coordinating and managing volunteers for the SNA program. Coordination includes hosting volunteer stewardship events and supporting a network of SNA Site Stewards who “adopt” an SNA and help with overall preservation and stewardship of SNAs.

Kari has always had a passion for conservation and connecting people to the outdoors, which lead her to a career in natural resources. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Bethel University in May 2017. During and after college, Kari gained a variety of experience in the natural resources field, including working for Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, the Minnesota Zoo, Dakota County, and now the DNR. She was interested in joining the Conservation Corps to gain valuable experience and connections while doing very meaningful work with passionate, dedicated people, such as our SNA volunteers. She has thoroughly enjoyed her experience so far with the SNA program and Conservation Corps, and has appreciated the chance to learn, meet wonderful people, and contribute to the overall goal of conserving Minnesota’s beautiful natural lands.

Melissa Cuff is the Director of Development, Marketing, and Communications with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa overseeing external relations. In this role, she develops and executes strategy, secures funding to advance the mission, raises public awareness, and continually seeks opportunities to expand community support for Corps programs and projects. Melissa holds a MBA from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Music from Illinois Wesleyan University. With over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, she brings expertise in fund development, marketing, and team leadership.