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The Team

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


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.

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Jo Ann Kim

Board Member


I live in Vermillion, South Dakota. I grew up on my parents' farm outside of Hubbard, Nebraska, located across the Vermillion bridge. I am currently a full-time nurse practitioner graduate student at Mount Marty University in Yankton. I look forward to returning to the workforce during the summer of 2021. My interests include gardening, helping the pollinators, and having time with my family and dog.  


Samantha O'Kelley

Board Member


I grew up in Minnesota and moved to

Vermillion 9 years ago from California.  I am happy to be back in the Midwest where the weather is interesting and being a neighbor means something.  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. My first westward move was to college in Ohio. After graduating, I stayed near Cleveland and led zero-waste efforts for an outdoor concert venue. In January 2020, I moved to Vermillion for a master’s in sustainability and a position coordinating campus recycling.

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