Melissa Damaschke Wins Environmental Achievement Award from Alma Mater

Melissa Damaschke, vice president of programs, was presented the Environmental Achievement Award in September 2022 from her alma mater, Northland College. Melissa graduated from Northland College in 2003 with a degree in Environmental Studies. She was a member of the Environmental Council and served as a senator, trustee, and president of the Northland College Student Association.

Since graduating, Melissa has been a staunch advocate for the Great Lakes, working in various roles for the Sierra Club and the Erb Family Foundation. She has led many efforts to protect the lakes and people from combined sewer overflows, toxic algal blooms, aquatic invasive species, and PFAS contamination through educational programs, policies, and grantmaking. She was also a key leader of the Great Lakes Funders Collaborative which harnessed an enormous coordinated set of grantmaking across more than 50 foundations binationally. She is an advisor in water issues at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University. In her current role, she leads the placement of $14mm in grants per year and leads a team of five expert program officers and grants managers.

About Northland College

Northland College is a private liberal arts college with a progressive focus on the environment and sustainability. Founded in 1892, Northland College is the first college in the country to fully integrate an environmental focus with its liberal arts curriculum. Located on the south shore of Lake Superior, surrounded by northern forests, Northland inspires students to explore the fundamental interconnections between nature, place, and people.