Teresa Erickson, Staff Director

Teresa has been Northern Plains’ Staff Director since 1986. A Colorado native and daughter of a hard-rock miner, she holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Northern Colorado. In 1993, Teresa received the first annual Jeannette Rankin Award from A Territory Resource, recognizing her years of dedication to principles of social justice and land stewardship. In 2010, Teresa and her husband, Pat Sweeney, were presented with the Len and Sandy Sargent Stewardship Award by the Cinnabar Foundation. She is an experienced and respected trainer and is known for her ability to work with people of all backgrounds. Email:

Olivia Stockman Splinter, Director of Organizing and Campaigns

Olivia is a 2008 addition to the staff. Having grown up in the Midwest, she earned degrees in political science (B.A. from the University of Kansas; M.A. from the University of New Mexico), and previously worked for the League of Conservation Voters, Service Employees International Union,  and Western Organization of Resource Councils. She directs the work of the organizing team.

Svein Newman, Deputy Director of Organizing

A Billings native, Svein is a 2009 graduate of the University of Montana, where he majored in political science and led a successful anti-sweatshop campaign. Svein joined the Northern Plains staff in 2009 and is our lead for our multi-faceted coal campaign. He also is in charge of social media outreach and works out of our Missoula office. Email:

Maggie Zaback, Lead Organizer

Maggie joined the staff in 2013. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, she has a degree in biology and environmental sciences from Gonzaga University. Before coming to Northern Plains, Maggie worked as a crew leader for the Montana Conservation Corps and was awarded Crew Leader of the Year. She was an active member of Northern Plains before coming on staff. She staffs Northern Plains’ Agriculture Task Force and two of our affiliate groups, the Carbon County Resource Council and Bear Creek Council.

Alicia Pettys, Lead Organizer

Alicia headed to Montana to work at Northern Plains after graduating from Kalamazoo College in Michigan in 2013 in anthropology, sociology, and economics. She is originally from Illinois. While in college she was involved with numerous student and community campaigns on subjects such as clean energy and local foods. She leads our clean energy work as well as staffs our Yellowstone County chapter, YVCC. Email:

Hannah Hostetter, Lead Organizer, Good Neighbor Agreement Administrator

Hannah is a Montana native who joined our staff in 2013. She earned degrees in environmental studies and English literature at Seattle University, and has also worked with the Community Farm Connection in Wenatchee, Washington, and  Montana Conservation Corps in Bozeman. Hannah administers Northern Plains’ Good Neighbor Agreement with Stillwater Mining Company and staffs affiliate Cottonwood Resource Council in Big Timber, where oil and gas drilling is proposed.

Cameron Clevidence, Lead Organizer, Good Neighbor Agreement Manager

A native of Kalispell, Cameron joined our staff in 2015. He earned a degree in ecology from Montana State University. He previously worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as for a California organization dedicated to ridding the oceans of plastic waste. Cameron manages Northern Plains’ participation in the Good Neighbor Agreement with Stillwater Mining Company and staffs our affiliate Stillwater Protective Association.

Sydney Ausen, Community Organizer

A native of Billings, Sydney joined our staff in 2016. She earned a degree in Political Science and Development Studies from the University of Montana. Before coming to Northern Plains, she  worked as an intern & research assistant at MPG Ranch and on a voter registration campaign. Sydney staffs two of our affiliates, Carbon County Resource Council and Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council.

Caitlin Cromwell, Community Organizer, History Project Manager

Caitlin joined the Northern Plains staff in 2016. She is originally from Maryland and earned a degree in English from Yale University. Before coming to Northern Plains, Caitlin worked at the Western Organization of Resource Councils as both a summer intern and a year-long Fellow. She manages our organizational History Project and staffs our Glendive affiliate, Dawson Resource Council.

Alex Cunha, Community Organizer

Alex joined Northern Plains in 2017.  He is originally from northern California and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University. He worked as a tree technician in Wyoming prior to moving to Montana. His work with Northern Plains is currently focused on helping coal country diversify its economic base as well as staffing our Rosebud County affiliate, Rosebud Protective Association.

Makenna Sellers, Community Organizer

Makenna is a Billings native who joined the Northern Plains staff in 2017. She earned her degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Business from Gonzaga University, where she worked closely with the Office of Sustainability. After college, Makenna was a Northern Plains intern and focused on oil and gas issue work. She staffs our Helena affiliate, Sleeping Giant Citizens Council and works on clean energy policy.

 Steve Paulson, Development Coordinator

Steve came to Northern Plains from his native South Dakota in 1992. He earned degrees in political science (B.S. Ed. at Black Hills State University; M.S. at Utah State University) and wrote his thesis on mineral tax policy. Steve prepares grant proposals and reports, does a wide range of editing, and is involved with human resources and financial tasks. Email:

Caleb Lande, Director of Grassroots Fundraising

A Montana native, Caleb came to Northern Plains in 2008. Caleb holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Montana, where his thesis dealt with homeowners’ valuation of energy efficiency. A former Northern Plains organizer, Caleb is our lead staffer for internal fundraising and events. Email:

Sarah FitzGerald, Marketing Fundraiser

Sarah earned a bachelor’s in environmental ethics and policy from University of Portland. After college, she served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps from 2013-15, one year at a middle school in St. Louis and one year at Northern Plains. Sarah returned to Northern Plains in 2016 in her new position involved with fundraising, events, and communications. She is originally from California. Email:

Karen Olson, Office Manager

Karen joined the Northern Plains staff in 2010. Born and raised in Billings, she earned a bachelor’s in liberal studies from Montana State University-Billings. Before coming to Northern Plains, Karen was a longtime network technician for Qwest and also worked in printing services for Office Max. She has long been an active community volunteer. Email:

Paula Berg, Comptroller

Paula is a Montana native who earned a bachelor’s in business administration at the University of Montana. Prior to coming to Northern Plains in 2011, she performed accounting and administrative work in the private sector. Paula oversees our day-to-day accounting, transactions in our bank and brokerage accounts, and handles reporting requirements. Email:

 Kristen Kelly, Jesuit Volunteer

Kristen is a Jesuit Volunteer that began at Northern Plains in the summer of 2017 and will be a part of the staff for a year. She was born and raised in northern New Jersey and earned her degree in Global Studies at Loyola University Maryland. This degree included topics such as environmental studies, economics, and international politics. Kristen will be working on issues such as rural electric co-ops, clean energy, and homegrown prosperity. Email:

220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154