ASPI is a non-profit resource center advocating for sustainable development, responsible resource management, and informed personal choices. We use science and technology to benefit current and future generations, and the environment by promoting innovative ideas and appropriate technologies. We accomplish this through education, advocacy, research, consulting, and demonstration projects.
Suzanne Van Etten
Bio: Suzi has spent her time all over the country, working with
local and regional governments, private developments, resort
destinations, and a multitude of stakeholders to engage communities in a
comprehensive planning process based in the principles of
sustainability. She received her MS in Environmental Policy from Bard
College, and BS from West Virginia University. Mrs. Van Etten has
expertise in community planning, environmental policy and law, water
conservation and quality, alternative energy, open space protection, and
environmental risk and management. She has worked closely with mining communities in Appalachia, and is passionate about the unique culture and heritage of the people in the mountains. She was born in Kentucky, and is excited to raise her daughter, Madeline, in her home state, close to good friends and family.
2013 Grow Appalachia Positions:
PT Field Assistant- Seasonal (for operating the tiller and conducting site visits from mid-April through mid-September) $10/hr
High School Interns- PT, $500 Stipend
2013 Nature Center Positions:
Send your Letter of Interest and Resume to: ASPI c/o Suzi Van Etten, 50 Lair Street, Mt Vernon, KY 40506
Bio: ASPI's graphic artist and Simple Lifestyle Calendar author and designer. Mark is one of six kids and was born in upstate New York. He's widely traveled, including a stint at Mother Teresa's hospitals in India, a cross-country bicycle trip, and a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Mark arrived from Herron School of Art and Design as an intern at ASPI in 1986, and with a few breaks for biking, nesting, and trekking in between, has been here since. Through the years Mark has worked on many important ASPI projects including the design of ASPI and project logos, audio and video recording for oral history projects, and the Earth Healing TV shows. He lives in the Solar House and enjoys hiking, reading, and collecting all sorts of crazy stuff for "found object" art projects. But your cards and letters with calendar kudos and suggestions still do the most to light up his eyes.
Bio: Martha was born at home on the farm in Brodhead, and had two brothers, though one died in infancy. Her mother and father raised tobacco, and Martha graduated from Livingston High School and married and started a family. She found out about ASPI when one of her sons-in-law did some work for Al Fritsch, and she started as the Office Manager in the Cordwood House in February of 1988, moving with the office to establish the Mt Vernon Small Town Demonstration site in 1995. Her husband Ott and she raised ten kids in Livingston, and now live in Mt Vernon. Martha is staying busy as always, attending Livingston Pentecostal Holiness Church and teaching Vacation Bible School. She is enjoying her grandbabies and great-grandbabies in her semi-retirement, but also enjoys her days in the office because she likes keeping in touch with all the generous folks who help to keep ASPI going. She works on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so give her a call if you need anything, or just to say “Hi!”
Library Keeper and Long-time Volunteer
Jack Kieffer, SJ
Bio: Fr. Jack Kieffer came to ASPI in 1992 from Love Canal, where he had been a technical consultant for the citizens' advocate organization The Ecumenical Council. With a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Detroit, and a doctorate in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering from Washington University, he knew how complicated what would become a Superfund project could be. He watched over the contractors responsible for monitoring the site, pointing out problems like their reporting of zero water contamination in monitoring wells, when in fact the only reason no contamination was found was that the wells were dry. After arriving at ASPI he busied himself with various projects including organic gardening, maintenance of our cisterns, greywater beds, composting toilets, and consulting for people wanting to install alternative wastewater systems. These days Jack divides his time between his parish at St Peter's in Monticello, KY, and ASPI's organic gardens at the river and appropriate technology library in Mt Vernon. Always busy, he does ginseng research, conducts visitor tours of our facility, and works closely with our students and interns, who value his deliberate pace and the opportunity to learn about the soils and plants of our region. When asked what he likes most about being at ASPI, he replies, "Striving to live simply in harmony with the earth and helping others to discover that joy." We are fortunate to have him here and thankful for the support he and his Jesuit brothers bring to our organization.