Stormwater Department Welcomes New AmeriCorps Members

The City of Oak Ridge Stormwater Management Department welcomes two AmeriCorps members to our community. In partnership with Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC), our department welcomes Ellen Comeau and Erin Kelbly as the City’s first AmeriCorps members. Ellen and Erin will be working with Oak Ridge High School students from Beth Adler’s classes throughout the year, as well as partnering with local organizations for various events. They will also be helping to permanently map the City’s stormwater infrastructure in order to reach the permit requirements mandated by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the EPA as a new Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program. Erin and Ellen will serve an 11 month term with the City, completing in June 2016.

Ellen Comeau is a native of New Hampshire. She received her B.S. in Conservation Biology from St. Lawrence University in 2013. Last year she participated in the CAC AmeriCorps program, serving at Beardsley Community Farm in Knoxville, TN. She is especially excited about her second AmeriCorps term as she will work with the unique Oak Ridge community. During her time in Oak Ridge, Ellen is looking forward to exploring our streams and stormwater infrastructure, as well as working with local citizens to learn about them in order to appreciate the impact they have on Oak Ridge’s environment. In her spare time Ellen enjoys birding, hiking, reading, and listening to local legends.

Erin Kelbly graduated from the University of Texas in 2014 with Bachelor’s degrees in both Geography and IRG- International Relations and Global Studies. She was introduced to Esri ArcGIS near the end of her undergraduate time and has been especially interested in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since. The AmeriCorps Stormwater Quality Technician position provides valuable field experience in GIS mapping of the stormwater infrastructure. Erin is enjoys learning about the Federal Clean Water Act regulations and engaging in public outreach and education. Her hobbies include exploring trails and restaurants in new towns, running, riding bikes, longboarding, listening to audio books, and doing jigsaw puzzles. This is Erin’s first time living outside of Texas. She is really enjoying Tennessee’s natural beauty as well as the captivating history of the Atomic City.

CAC AmeriCorps has been a program with the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee since 1994. The primary goal of this program is to provide environmental conservation services through hands-on field work, as well as education in many different areas which include water quality, recycling, and other sustainability efforts. CAC AmeriCorps works with many partners in the region; the City of Oak Ridge is very excited to have members serving in our community for the first time.