About Our Team
Myra A. Crawford, PhD, MFA, MPH, founded the Cahaba Riverkeeper and has served as Executive Director and Riverkeeper since 2009. She has applied her scientific training to serve the Cahaba and the issues that beset its health.
Dr. Crawford retired as Clinical Research Professor and Director of the Research Division and the Human Energetics Assessment Laboratory in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham. For twenty years, she conducted behavioral research in substance abuse and other health risky behaviors. She also spearheaded creation of the Alabama Practice Based Research Network (APBRN), a consortium of primary care physicians conducting clinic-based research in many Alabama counties who collect and study research data on tobacco cessation and obesity reduction protocols.
Dr. Crawford, who has a profound connection with the land in its natural state, has lived on ten acres near the Cahaba River in a passive solar home for more than forty years. She is a mother of two daughters and a son. Her son is an environmental scientist who devotes significant hours to monitoring the waters of the Cahaba River. She was a member of the advisory council of the Black Warrior Riverkeeper and a founding member of the board of the Green Resource Center for Alabama.
Dr. Crawford holds degrees from Samford University (BA, English), the University of Alabama (MA, communications), the University of Iowa (MFA, Writers Workshop), and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (MPH, health behavior; and PhD, health services administration). She has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist and as a technical writer and editor. She has published more than a hundred scientific and commercial articles, as well as works of fiction. She has traveled extensively in China, Tibet, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Central Europe, and Central and South America.
Peggy Gargis holds a B.A. in mass communication/print journalism from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with minors in French and English. Her professional life in communications began with work as a proofreader for her hometown newspaper. She was a medical proofreader and copy editor at Southern Medical Journal, Alabama Journal of Medical Sciences, & Educational Reviews, and a medical technical writer for Nichols TXEN & Electronic Health Systems. She also worked as a stringer news reporter for Reuters/Thomson Reuters International News (wire service).
Gargis’ community activist/taxpayer watchdog roles have included being a member of the executive committee of Cahaba Group of the Alabama Chapter of Sierra Club that opposed Jefferson County’s failed SuperSewer and sewer expansion and researching and documenting information on various ALDOT projects, specifically the failed elevated Highway 280 project. Her efforts to expose Jefferson County’s sewer scandal garnered her two awards from statewide environmental groups. The Alabama Chapter of Sierra Club awarded her the 2002 Cahaba Pit Bull Award “for latching onto the backside of the Sewer Barons and refusing to let go.” The Alabama Environmental Council awarded her their Malcolm Stewart Award, “in recognition of dedicated conservation service in 2002.”
Steve worked for 13 years in environmental education, then I was an environmental scientist for the state of Alabama for 24 years. He brings his rich experience in environmental science to the Cahaba Riverkeeper Board!
Lee Jeffrey is our newest board member at Cahaba Riverkeeper. Lee is the owner/host of his radio show “Sweet Science Radio” on Birmingham Mountain Radio (107.3 FM) for 5 years running. Lee has been an event planner/entertainer/ cultural liaison for the last 18 years and curates event fundraisers by working with artists from all mediums on several different platforms in hopes to raise awareness about our Cahaba Riverkeeper’s mission. Lee is a husband and proud father of two which lead him to join us in the fight for clean water as a labor of love for the people in his community.
Debra Sharpe is the owner of Sharpe Solutions, International (SSI), a small business specializing in developing sustainable solutions for Public, Private, Government, Academic, Research, and Medical communities. She has over 25 years of experience in the implementation of compliance management systems for laboratory safety, biosafety, biosecurity, and environmental safety and health. Debra has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Tulane University and is a candidate in the Doctor of Public Health Program in Environmental Health at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She has significant experience developing policies, procedures and training programs to ensure the facilities receive all necessary registrations and certifications. She has worked extensively in academic, private research and diagnostic public health laboratories. She is also a member of multiple professional organizations and has participated in the development of policies and regulations to protect the public and environment from dangerous pathogens originating from high-containment laboratories, while supporting the important mission of diagnostic and research laboratories.
Robert A. Webb
Robert A. Webb is the Treasurer for Cahaba RiverKeepers, Inc. He attended University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate and graduate education, and attended the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the Birmingham School of Law. Robert has his own CPA and Law Practice on Highland Avenue inBirmingham, AL.
Lynda Wilson is a Professor Emerita from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. She has a keen interest in environmental issues and protecting our rivers, and brings to the board skills in research and grant-writing.
New Board Member
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