About Us

Oil & Water is an independently produced podcast made by a team of dedicated educators and storytellers from across Montana and the Northwest. Our mission is to create a public dialogue that shares stories of the people, places, and communities directly involved in the Keystone XL pipeline project in Montana, and to ask meaningful questions about our relationship with oil.

We are a project of The Systems Zoo LLC, an educational media collaborative that addresses the complex social and environmental problems of our time.

Our Vision is to facilitate conversation and action that addresses shared common values across diverse perspectives. In doing so, we will:

The Crew

Joe headshot

Joe is an educator in higher education, teaching environmental studies and leadership topics. He is a white Euro-American male: being sensitive to the injustices that give privilege to those positions over others in society, he looks for ways to decolonize aspects of his own life, including the media that he creates. This means offering an honest narrative that counteracts the prevailing story of progress at the expense of “vanishing” Indigenous people, expendable natural resources, and a superior white race; it also means practicing the 4 R’s of relational accountability: Respect, Reciprocity, and Responsibility in a Relational context. Joe loves teaching, farming, his family, rivers, and flying kites.

Raichle headshot

Raichle's grandparents came from Europe. She grew up in a middle-class family and had the privilege to pursue a college degree. Through her time organizing, Raichle has seen the inequity that is imbued in our society. She seeks to actively dismantle oppressive systems through her work. Through her work in white communities, Raichle has found that people are often unable or unwilling to consider their privilege. Creating media that challenges white folks to consider the ways they are complicit in oppressive systems is a form of decolonizing work, and she strives to uplift voices on the margins with her privilege and skills.

Alexei headshot

Although he was born in Colorado, Alexei spent a number of years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zaire, and other countries while growing up and attributes his diverse cultural and ecosystem awareness to this time traveling with his family. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and German, and an M.Ed. in Environmental Education. In the Pacific Northwest, he worked as an Americorps member to implement environmental community initiatives with high school students, as a wilderness mentor and EMT, and as an instructor with the Redfish School of Change, a field-based, bioregional program for undergraduates. Music, particularly Americana guitar and bluegrass, trail running, ski-mountaineering, and reading are some of his personal passions and past times.