Board of Directors

Shauntice Allen, PhD, President

Dr. Allen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the UAB School of Public Health with over 15 years of experience with health education program design, implementation and evaluation with multi-disciplinary and complex community and academic partnerships. Her research interests are in community resiliency and livability as well as environmental justice and health equity strategies.

Richard Rice, Vice-President

Richard A. Rice is a Public Interest Attorney and Community Organizer based in Birmingham, AL and in 2009, he founded The Rice Firm, LLC. In his practice, Rice assists consumers, homeowners, injury victims, veterans, charities and small business owners with a multitude of legal issues. The firm’s practice areas are diverse but are generally focused on the pursuit of social justice and economic empowerment including consumer law, personal injury, human rights/civil rights and small business/non-profit consulting. Richard chairs our Board’s Legal Committee.

The Rev. Mark Johnston, Treasurer

The Rev. Mark Johnston is a retired priest in the Episcopal Church and the former executive director of Camp McDowell. Mark actively pursues social justice issues in Alabama. In Winston County he has worked to stop pollution from coal mining and illegal dumping of toxic waste in the Clear Creek watershed. At the state level, he served as president of the Alabama Rivers Alliance and treasurer of the Alabama Environmental Council. Mark founded the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Reform Coalition. Nationally, he was on the board of directors of the Institute for Conservation Leadership and American Rivers. Mark has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work including Alabama’s Outstanding Young Religious Leader, The James Dockery Southern Environmental Leadership Award, River Hero by the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Sierra Club Environmentalist of the Year.

Gabrielle Gordon, Secretary

Bio coming soon!

Nelson Brooke

Nelson Brooke, a Birmingham native, graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with an anthropology degree. Nelson is an Eagle Scout and outdoor enthusiast who has enjoyed fishing and hunting along the banks of the Black Warrior River since he was seven years old. Nelson has been Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s staff Riverkeeper since January of 2004. He also served as Executive Director from August 2007 through December 2009. Nelson was named “2010 Alabama River Hero” by the Alabama Rivers Alliance. As Riverkeeper, Nelson patrols and photographs the Black Warrior River and its tributaries from the land, water, and air, looks for pollution problems, responds to citizen complaints, researches and analyzes polluters’ permits, collects pollution samples for laboratory analysis, educates the public about the beauty of the river and threats to it, works to empower stakeholders throughout the watershed, advocates compliance with environmental laws, works on finding solutions to pollution problems, and is a spokesman for the Black Warrior River watershed. Nelson runs the Riverkeeper Patrol Program and coordinates with our Legal Program when appropriate.


Chenoia Bryant, PhD

Bio coming soon! 

Charline Whyte, Director

Charline Whyte is a practicing attorney. She was born and raised in Costa Rica where she earned degrees in Special Education and Management of Natural Resources. In 2017, she obtained a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law, graduating as a Cum Laude graduate. Charline is married and mother of a 17 year old. She enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering at river clean-ups, at Habitat for Humanity and The Greater Birmingham Humane Society.