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Our Team


J. Carl Ganter: Co-Founder and Director

J. Carl Ganter is co-founder and director of Circle of Blue, the internationally recognized center for original frontline reporting, research, and analysis on resource issues with a focus on the intersection between water, food, and energy. He earned his MSJ in investigative and magazine writing at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism after graduating with honors from the university’s American Studies Program. Carl — an award-winning photojournalist, reporter, and broadcaster — is recognized for developing the keen skills that helped to shape the multimedia journalism era. He received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial Innovation Award (2012), and he shared 2nd place in the Society of Environmental Journalist’s annual awards competition for photography with two other Circle of Blue photographers (2014). Carl is vice-chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security. For more than five years, he has served on the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Navigating Peace Water Working Group. Carl lives with his wife and daughter in Traverse City, where he was raised and which now serves as the base of his global travel for Circle of Blue.


Matthew Welch: Operations Director

Matthew manages the logistics of research, analysis, reporting, and grant writing for Circle of Blue. Matthew has a BA in international studies from DePaul University, an MBA from the Ross School of Business, and an MS in sustainable systems from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He has more than 18 years of experience in general management, sustainable development, and consulting. In that time, Matthew has lead strategy, partnership, and stakeholder-engagement development for the sustainability efforts of the U.S. dairy industry; run a profitable retail food business; assisted small-scale agribusinesses in Peru with the U.S. Peace Corps; conducted revenue-generation projects for nonprofit organizations; and consulted for Fortune 500 companies, social enterprises, and start-up businesses, including Pepsico, Ecolab, and Proctor & Gamble. He is co-author of Hybrid Organizations: New Business Models for Environmental Leadership.


Keith Schneider: Senior Editor and Chief Correspondent

Keith manages story development for Circle of Blue. As senior editor and chief correspondent for our Global Choke Point project, Keith has reported on the intensifying confrontation between water, food, and energy from five continents. Keith holds a BA from Haverford College, and he is a nationally known journalist, online communications specialist, and environmental policy expert. He has won numerous awards for his work as a journalist, program innovator, and editor, including two George Polk Memorial Awards for environmental and national reporting (1984 and 1988), which are among the most prestigious in American journalism. For more than a decade, Keith was a national correspondent for The New York Times, where he continues to report as a special writer on energy, urban affairs, real estate, business, technology, environment, agriculture, and cultural trends. Before joining Circle of Blue, he was media and communications director at the US Climate Action Network and communications director at the Apollo Alliance. Keith developed one of the first independent online news desks as the founder and executive director of the Michigan Land Use Institute. A sought-after public speaker on the role of original reporting and online communications in the public interest, Keith writes from his home in Northern Michigan, where he has lived since 1993. Read his personal site at


Brett Walton: Reporter

Brett writes about agriculture, energy, and the politics and economics of water in the United States for Circle of Blue, and he occasionally reports on Australia, India, and the Middle East. Brett also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He has an MA in Central Asian studies from the University of Washington and a BA in English from the University of Richmond. In 2014, the Society of Environmental Journalists awarded Brett 3rd place in the SEJ annual awards competition for beat reporting in a small market (Western water issues). Brett has received fellowships from SEJ (2013) and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (2011). Prior to Circle of Blue, Brett worked on a NASA-affiliated water data research project and as a member of a State Department project on climate change and water management in Central Asia. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies.


Codi Yeager-Kozacek: Reporter

Codi writes about food security, agricultural runoff, ecology, and mining for Circle of Blue. She also writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Codi has a BS in Journalism and a minor in Biology, having graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. Codi has received fellowships from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (2013) and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole (2014). Prior to Circle of Blue, Codi performed research at the College of the Bahamas Gerace Research Center on San Salvador Island, where she published a study on coastal dune plants for the Bahamas Natural History Proceedings. In 2010, she covered the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster for AOL. From her home in Hawaii, Codi swims and walks her dog daily.


Kaye LaFond: Data Visualization and Reporting Manager

Kaye is both a scientist and a journalist, helping to drive Circle of Blue’s reporting with data and research. She holds an MS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. She does the GIS work for the team, supports stories with data, and creates visualizations and infographics. She has worked on policy issues for multiple environmental nonprofits, done academic research in the areas of hydrology and social science, and spent time in Amman, Jordan, studying Arabic. Kaye’s number one goal is to make science and data interesting and understandable. The Great Lakes are her first love, followed by her cats.

Special Reports

  •    Bulk Water Exports

  •    Reign of Sand

  •    Himalayas Melting

  •    Tehuacan

  •    China Karst

  •    WaterViews

  •    Asian Carp

  •    Biggest Dry

  •    Patagonia