Our AmeriCorps Members

AmeriCorps is a voluntary civil society program supported by the U.S. federal government, foundations, corporations, and other donors engaging adults in public service work with a goal of "helping others and meeting critical needs in the community." The Mobile Baykeeper AmeriCorps Members make up three teams: Patrol (water quality monitoring, responding to citizen concerns), SWAMP (environmental education and monitor training), and Volunteer Engagement (organizing cleanups, recruiting volunteers for events). To get involved, check our careers page for opportunities.

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Ryann Wilcoxon

Volunteer Engagement

Ryann grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina before attending Presbyterian College, where she met her husband, Buz. They moved to Mobile in 2013 to be close to Buz’s family in Fairhope. Ryann has a degree in psychology and taught preschool for twelve years before starting as an AmeriCorps Member with Mobile Baykeeper in 2018. She and her family (including Lohi, 9, and Wilson, 5) have been volunteering with Mobile Baykeeper since they moved here. Ryann also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and is on the PTA Board at Mary B. Austin Elementary School. Ryann enjoys running, cycling, swimming, yoga, kayaking, and any other chance to get outside with her family.


Kassey Trahanas

Strategic Watershed Awareness and Monitoring Program

Kassey grew up along the lakefront of an urban jungle: the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois. Her interest in marine life flourished at a young age, leading to a Bachelor’s in Zoology from Olivet Nazarene University. She followed her passion for wildlife to internships in the Puget Sound and along the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast. After working at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, she joined Mobile Baykeeper to educate students on the importance of our watershed. She also guides and educates tourists as a wildlife guide with Wild Native Tours. Kassey enjoys long walks in nature preserves with her dog, Malcolm, attending live music events, and going to the beach.


Lizzie Simon


Lizzie was born in Georgia but grew up in beautiful Mobile, Alabama. She began serving her community at a young age through Girl Scouts of America, through which she grew to love the outdoors while hiking, swimming, and kayaking. This love of the environment drove her to pursue her B.S. in Biology, which she is currently completing at the University of South Alabama. She is thrilled to continue serving her community with the AmeriCorps Patrol team, and hopes to continue a career in environmental science. Lizzie plans to continue her education by pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Science or Marine Biology.


Jamie Ellis


Jamie was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and raised in lower Alabama, where she developed the utmost love for Mobile. She will graduate from the University of South Alabama with a BS in Geology this year and has served as a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador since 2016. She discovered her passion for planetary sciences through field camp in New Mexico and utilizes her passion to show young girls their potential in any STEM field. Jamie has cultivated herself not only to be versatile but also unique within her field of study. She hopes to leverage her knowledge and skills gained at Baykeeper to forward future water missions within Planetary sciences.


DeMonzo McGinnis


DeMonzo was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He grew up fishing, biking, and exploring the beautiful diverse ecosystems of Lower Alabama. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, he developed a love for the environment and his community. In high school, he volunteered with the Lion’s Club in the City of Prichard to serve his community. He also works with United Cerebral Palsy, an organization that helps adults with disabilities live a life without limits. He has also interned with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which ignited his passion for preserving the environment. He is a Senior at the University of South Alabama this year and he will graduate with a Bachelor’s in Biology.


Kevin Pulliam


Kevin grew up in Mobile, where he developed a love for nature. After graduating from South Alabama and working for seven years in a corporate environment, he found a passion for helping others through non-profit organizations. Kevin joined VSN Projects in Nepal to provide health care and sanitation for disadvantaged children in the Kathmandu Valley. After returning to Mobile, he felt compelled to help in his hometown. Kevin is an avid birder and enjoys taking his kayak into the Delta. This interest in the outdoors and a strong passion for protecting the Mobile Bay Watershed made joining Mobile Baykeeper a natural choice. As an AmeriCorps Patrol member Kevin works to analyze policy issues, assist with comment letters, and communicate the Patrol team’s work in protecting Mobile Bay.


Nick Bartkowiak


Nick Bartkowiak was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Throughout his life, he always had an interest and a desire to work in marine sciences. This drove him to acquire his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Purdue Fort Wayne and to move to Mobile to pursue a Master’s degree in Marine Conservation from the University of South Alabama. Most of his work with Mobile Baykeeper focuses on S.W.I.M. sampling and lab analysis. Outside of Mobile Baykeeper, Nick can be found waiting tables at different restaurants around town. In his free time, if there is any, he enjoys playing various sports and watching Notre Dame football.


Rachel Fillingim

Volunteer Engagement

Rachel Fillingim was born and raised here in Mobile, where she developed a love for the outdoors at a young age. Her passion for the environment grew as she pursued her B.S. in Environmental Science from Auburn University, which she completed in May of 2019. She then returned home to Mobile, where she jumped at the opportunity to join the Mobile Baykeeper AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement team. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with her family.


Amanda Price

Strategic Watershed Awareness and Monitoring Program

Amanda was raised on sweet tea and gumbo in the great city of Mobile, Alabama. From a young age she developed a deep love for the Gulf Coast and its wildlife. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology a minor in related sciences from the University of South Alabama. While at USA, she discovered an artistic side and continued taking ceramics classes until she received a second minor. She hopes to further her education in biology by specializing in ornithology and would like to get a B.A. Her passion for wildlife led to a job at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and then to a position with Mobile Baykeeper. Amanda enjoys bird watching, pottery, costume making, kayaking, and spending time with her seven parrots.