Our Team

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Justinn Overton. Executive Director. Justinn oversees day-to-day operations and management and  ensures Coosa Riverkeeper has the resources needed to fight for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Coosa River. Read her full bio.



Frank Chitwood. Riverkeeper. Frank oversees the Riverkeeper Patrol Program and actively patrols the river documenting pollution. He monitors water quality, responds to complaints, advocates for the river, and much more. Read his full bio.





Karli Riley. Program Manager. Karli is responsible for the successful implementation of the popular Swim Guide program, Fish Guide program, and education and outreach initiatives. Read her full bio.








Board of Directors. The Coosa Riverkeeper Board of Directors manages the long-term vision of Coosa Riverkeeper, enables our staff and volunteers to work towards that vision, and acts as stewards of our organization in the community. Meet our Directors.

Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is a group of important community members and leaders in their respective fields that provide support and assistance to Coosa Riverkeeper when needed. Meet our Advisory Council.

Fall 2018 Interns & Service Learning

We’re happy to partner with these UAB School of Public Health Students in the Food, Air, and Water Class!

Abbi Hallman, Environmental Justice Intern. Abbi is a Junior and studying Urban Environmental Studies at Birmingham-Southern College, I enjoy drinking coffee, playing music, and talking to my plants.

ABOUT HER ROLE: Her project this semester will voice on the Tri-State Water Wars.





Kendall Hamm, Environmental Justice Intern. Kendell is a senior at Birmingham-Southern College majoring in Urban Environmental Studies (BS track). She is also the shortstop for the BSC softball team. At a young age Kendell’s father began teaching her how to hunt, track, and fish, and it is this early introduction to nature along with her Cherokee heritage that Kendell believes sparked her interest in the environment. Kendell plans to pursue a career in habitat management with a particular interest in endangered species habitat. A fun fact about Kendell is she is fluent in Disney movie quotes and song lyrics, and never gets tired of visiting Disney World.

ABOUT HER ROLE: Her project this semester will focus on highlighting each of the species lost during the damming of the Coosa River.

Austin Aaron, Environmental Justice Intern. Austin is a Senior at Urban Environmental Studies major at Birmingham-Southern College. He plans on working as a zookeeper after college to save money until he’s able to move to Africa. Once in Africa, he plans on working with anti-poaching units and resolving predator/civilian conflicts.

ABOUT HIS ROLE: His project this semester will focus on the correlation between water quality and the impact on large mammals such as turkey and deer populations.



Emma Smith, Public Health Intern. Emma is a Public Health Major and with a Psychology Minor at University of Alabama at Birmingham. During her time there, she have gained factual knowledge in business, psychology, and public health fields.

ABOUT HER ROLE: Her focus this semester will be supporting our events and outreach efforts as well as field work!

Eric Embry, Public Health Intern. Eric is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), who after this semester will earn this Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health (Environmental Health focus). Prior to this he achieved an Associate’s Degree in Biology at Jefferson State Community College. In getting this Associate’s degree he always enjoyed the dissections, and was enthusiastic to learn more about life in the world around him through education. He has served a 1-month mission trip for his church back in 2014, and earned the status of “Eagle Scout” in the Boy Scouts of America organization at the age of 14.

ABOUT HIS ROLE: His focus this semester will be on compiling our Toxic Release Inventory data into useful infographics and assisting with our Fish Guide Recipe Videos.

Wilnadia Murrell, Education and Outreach Intern. Wilnadia is a Public Health student at UAB who loves helping her community and working with Coosa Riverkeepers. Nadia busies herself with brain teasers and video games during her down time and has a weakness for puppies.
ABOUT HER ROLE: Wilnadia will be assisting our Program Manager in developing curriculum that can be distributed to teachers across the watershed.

Leslie Urrutia, Fish Guide Intern. Leslie is a senior at UAB majoring in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health Science, and minors in Psychology and Spanish. She is currently working on a Spanish for Specific Purposes Certificate which will allow her to better help and serve the Spanish community. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with friends or write fictional stories on her blog. She  became interested in the Coosa River when Justinn, our ED, came to speak at her public health classes. It was then she learned about the work we do to protect, promote and restore the Coosa River.

ABOUT HER ROLE: Leslie will be helping us translate the bulk in our Fish Guide Program to Spanish. This way, we can expand our reach to fishermen who may not understand English very well!

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