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Meghann Jarchow

Board President

I am from South Dakota; I grew up outside of Brandon.  I moved to Vermillion in July 2012 when USD started the Sustainability Program. I am now the Chair of the Department of Sustainability & Environment.  My research interests include tallgrass prairies, how people value their landscapes, and sustainability education.  Outside of my job, I enjoy spending time with my family.

Maggie Pettersen

Board Vice President & Treasurer

I was raised in Vermillion and attended the University of South Dakota when tuition was $99 a semester! After a 2-year stint in New York City, I landed in the Washington, DC, suburbs, finally finding my calling as an editor. After 40 years, I returned to Vermillion with all sorts of high-falutin’ ideas about green living. I joined the Sierra Club to help advocate for a trail along our magnificent National Park —the Missouri River — and that's now happening. I organized several summer film series and hikes for the public and jumped on the Earth Days bandwagon when it came through town. Supporting Greening Vermillion was the next logical step.

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Deb Christensen

Board Member


I am originally from Northwest Iowa and grew up on a farm. I moved to Vermillion in 1985 as a student at USD and never left. My husband, Clark, and I have one daughter.  She, her husband and two children are moving back to Vermillion this summer so we are very excited to have them so close. My husband and I love gardening and sharing that knowledge with our grandchildren. We compost to make our own garden soil. Bank of the West, the company I work for has taken a strong stance on protecting the environment by giving to projects like 1% for the Planet and restricting or banning the funding of industries that are destroying the planet we live on. I asked the VCDC to pair me up with organizations in our community that have the same focus and passion for environmental awareness and was told about Greening Vermillion. I am very excited to be on this board and to help get the word out to this wonderful community we live in.


Samantha O'Kelley

Board Member


I grew up in Minnesota and moved to Vermillion from California.  I have an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Northland College in Ashland, WI, and I have had roles in my career that have varying responsibilities in the environmental compliance realm.  I try to do my part with naturalizing some of my city lot and getting involved in community organizations, like Greening Vermillion.  In the past I have worked in environmental compliance for chemical and waste processing industries and served on City or County environmental boards in Durham, NC, and Anoka, MN. I enjoy gardening and am learning organic techniques, cultivating edible perennials, and concepts of permaculture, which includes spaces for community exploration… in other words, it’s okay to eat the berries when you walk by or take photos or catch the insects!

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Anna Moore

Board Member

I grew up in a college town in western Massachusetts and went to college in northeast Ohio. After graduating with a bachelor's in environmental studies, I stayed near Cleveland and led zero-waste efforts for an outdoor concert venue surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In 2020, I moved to Vermillion for a master’s in sustainability and a position coordinating campus recycling. I now work for Sodexo and focus on sustainability in foodservice at South Dakota campuses. Some of my favorite Vermillion things include fitness classes at the USD Wellness Center, focus time and conversation at The Bean, trivia at Brick House, and the reliable siren on Monday at noon.

Caleb Swanson

Board Member and Board Secretary

I am originally from Mitchell, South Dakota. I am a current Sustainability and Political Science student at the University of South Dakota, and I serve as a student representative on the Greening Vermillion Board of Directors. While I am in my final year at USD, throughout my collegiate tenure I have served as Student Government Association President and Environmental Club President, and I have also competed on USD's Men's Swim Team. I am excited to be working with passionate community leaders "to make Vermillion the greenest town in South Dakota.

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