Staff Members


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


Aubrey Ann Parker: Outreach Coordinator

Aubrey has managed Circle of Blue’s news desk, served as assistant editor, led our data analysis and visualization, and reported from Copenhagen, India, and the West Bank. Most recently, she has been focusing on our outreach and social media. Aubrey has a BA in chemistry from Kalamazoo College, as well as a BSE in chemical engineering and a BS in Spanish from the University of Michigan. In addition, she spent seven months at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. As a 2009 Graham Institute Scholar, Aubrey traveled to Chilean Patagonia where she helped author a paper on the relationship between hydroelectric development projects and aquatic ecosystems. Past data-analysis internships have included watershed erosion-control practices, algae fermentation for use as a biofuel, and the creation of a “green” three-in-one lubricant oil. Visit her personal site at


Jordan Bates: Web Producer

Jordan manages the day-to-day publishing of Circle of Blue’s online content. He is also responsible for implementing website design changes and some of our online data visualizations. Jordan holds a BGS with a focus on English and religion from the University of Michigan. His background includes newspaper publishing, e-commerce, and search engine optimization. Jordan runs a successful local newspaper and a community calendar in Benzie County. In addition to Circle of Blue, Jordan has designed and/or built numerous websites. Over the course of five months in 2010, Jordan increased web traffic to Eco Building Products, an online distributor of green home-building supplies. Because of Jordan’s SEO services, Martha Stewart Living found North Star Organics cherry farm’s website and sent a team to write and photograph a 12-page spread for the July 2011 magazine. Jordan enjoys swimming in and collecting rare stones from Lake Michigan.


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