Jim VandenBrook, Executive Director
Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, Inc.
Jim VandenBrook is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association and represents about 425 county Land Conservation Committee members and their nearly 350 staff statewide. The mission of the association is to enhance and preserve the natural resources of Wisconsin. Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked as a County Conservationist in Vernon County, WI and Soil and Water Conservationist in Trempealeau County in the early 80's and then 26 years with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as Grants Manager for the Soil and Water Conservation Program, Groundwater Section Chief in the Agri-chemical Management Bureau, and Water Quality Section Chief in the Land and Water Resources Bureau. He was a member of the Wisconsin Land Information Board, and served on the Dane County Regional Planning Commission. In February, Jim skied his 31st American Birkebeiner.
Chad Ingels, Extension Watershed Management Specialist
Iowa State University, Extension and Outreach
Chad Ingels is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach watershed specialist located in northeast Iowa. He is currently providing facilitation and administration services for farmer-led watershed councils as they develop and implement performance-based incentive programs in their impaired watersheds. Within each watershed, Chad works with individual farmers to determine field and farm performance using agronomic indices that measure the impacts of conservation practices. He has been a part of ISUEO watershed programming for over 13 years and has been closely involved in the evolution of the locally-led performance-based approach and actively promotes the approach regionally.
Chad has coordinated over 200 on-farm soil, water and nutrient management demonstrations over the course of his Extension career. He is currently focusing on assisting farmers with evaluations of cover crops and denitrifying bioreactors through in-field, edge-of-field and stream monitoring efforts. Chad is also involved in the Extension components of two multi-state USDA-NIFA sponsored projects: Sustainable Corn and CenUSA Bioenergy.
Chad has been active in agricultural issues locally and at the state level; serving as a county Farm Bureau president and on the State Resolutions Committee. He was recently appointed to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission. Chad is married, has three children and farms part-time, raising corn, soybean and niche pork.
Jeff grew up on an Iowa Heritage family dairy farm. Currently he crop farms approximately 600 no-till acres and custom farms approximately 800 acres. He has been no-till farming since 1994. His No-till farming is complimented with CRP Waterways, Headlands, Grade Stabilization Structure, and Riparian Buffers. Jeff also works for Wilson Trailer Company as a territory rep for the state of Wisconsin. He and his wife have been married for 26 years and they have 2 children.
Jeff has been the Chairman of the Hewitt Creek Watershed since 2005. He is also the Vice President of the Dubuque County Farm Bureau and a member of the Board of Directors for Three Rivers FS Coop. Jeff is a Growmark Certified Cooperative Board Director, has completed Farm Bureau's Ag Leaders Institute in 2010, and sits on the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards Selection Committee.
Jeff has been on 2 Iowa Minute commercials for Iowa Farm Bureau highlighting volunteer-led conservation, and has been featured in several newspapers and magazines, such as Corn and Soybean Digest and Farm Futures, with articles on the Hewitt Creek Watershed, conservation, and no-till practices and equipment.
Hans W. Paerl is Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina's Institute of Marine Sciences. His research addresses aquatic nutrient cycling and primary production dynamics, environmental controls and management of harmful algal blooms, and assessing effects of human and climatic alterations of water quality and sustainability of inland and coastal waters. He has published over 250 refereed article and book chapters on these research topics. He received the 2003 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and the 2011 Odum Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation for addressing the causes, consequences and controls of eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems.
Dale Dahlke, Vice President
Wisconsin Clear Waters chapter, Trout Unlimited
Dale and his wife Linda live on Wilson Creek between Knapp and Menomonie. Wilson Creek is a Class I trout stream that supports a naturally-reproducing population of brook trout. They have donated an easement to the DNR for public access and restoration on their property. TU members are partnering in several ongoing restoration projects along Wilson Creek before it enters Lake Menomin. Tim also serves on the board of the Dunn County Fish and Game Association.
Randy Eide, Director of Public Works
City of Menomonie
Randy Eide is a registered Professional Engineer with the State of Wisconsin and has been serving as the Director of Public Works for the City of Menomonie since 2004. Prior to working for the City, Randy was on active duty in the Air Force for 21-years. Randy served as a Civil Engineer Officer in the Air Force with tours of duty throughout the world and retired from active duty in 2004 at the grade of Lt Col. Randy has a Bachelors Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison and a Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Mike Engleson, Executive Director
Mike took over leadership of Wisconsin Lakes this past July after serving as the organization's Communications and Membership Director since 2009. He's dedicated much of his career to working and volunteering for non-profit organizations such as the River Alliance of Wisconsin, 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin, Prairie Music Academy, the Wisconsin Community Fund, and the Tenant Resource Center of Wisconsin. He is also a graduate of the Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute leadership program.
Mike's dedication to conserving our natural resources was instilled in a childhood spent exploring the fields, forests, and lakes of Wisconsin. A graduate of Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mike is excited to be leading such a powerful bipartisan voice for clean, healthy waters in Wisconsin.
Brad Johnson, cash grain farmer
Brad Johnson farms near Star Prairie, WI, with his wife Susan, son Andrew, and daughter-in-law Kristine. The family grows corn, soybeans, and small grains on 845 acres. The Johnsons bought their first no-till corn planter in 1980 have been exclusively no-till since 1997. In 1998, the farm was named Wisconsin State Conservation Farm of the Year. Johnson has served as the Town of Alden chairman since 2001 and was recently elected chair of the Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Association. A USAF veteran, Johnson has a B.S. from UW-River Falls and an M.S. in management from the University of Arkansas.
Jennifer L. Jermalowicz-Jones, Water Resources Director and Owner
Restorative Lake Sciences, LLC
Jennifer L. Jermalowicz-Jones, MS, PhD Candidate, is the Water Resources Director and Owner at RLS and oversees over 50 inland lake projects which include aquatic vegetation mapping and management, lake sediment reduction studies and management, algal quantification and identification and algal management programs, and watershed management programs. She has over 23 years of experience in lake research and management and is pursuing her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in Water Resource Development. She is also a Past President of the Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society, serves as the Science Advisory Chair and as a Corporate Director on the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Board of Directors, has won numerous awards for her aquatic ecosystem research, and has presented numerous papers at state and national conferences on water resource and lake management. Jennifer is also a certified professional watershed manager and is currently studying for her certification in community engagement.
Amanda Little, Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Dr. Amanda Little is a wetland plant ecologist, with interests in invasive plant species control, theoretical ecology, and plant taxonomy. Her current research focuses on the effects of seasonal climatic variation and landscape spatial configuration on the populations of plants, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates in the ephemeral ponds of the Chippewa Moraine region. She received a BS in Biology and Resource Management from UW-Stevens Point, an MS in Botany and Landscape Architecture from UW-Madison, and a PhD in Botany from UW-Madison. Her dissertation research focused on the effects of beaver and human activity on wetland plant communities in Acadia National Park, Maine. Dr. Little is in her sixth year as a faculty member at UW-Stout.
Tim Meyer, Former NRCS Field Specialist, Former President and current board member/project manager.
Wisconsin Clear Waters chapter, Trout Unlimited
Tim lives in Eau Claire. He is a former WI Clear Waters Trout Unlimited President and is a current board member and Project Manager for numerous TU stream restoration projects in Barron, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Rusk, Trempealeau counties. These projects each involve partnerships with local organizations and schools.
Ben MrDutt, grazier
Amanda Hanson, Conservation Planner
Amanda Hanson is a Conservation Planner with the Dunn County Land Conservation Division. Prior to being a Conservation Planner, Amanda was a Conservation Engineering Technician with the South Fork Hay River Priority Watershed. She has been employed with the Dunn County Land Conservation since 2002. She is a Certified Crop Advisor. She has a B.S. in Broad Area Agriculture with minors in Agronomy and Animal Science from University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Amanda was raised on her parents’ farm that was homesteaded by her great grandfather in Hay River Township.
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Julia Olmstead coordinates University of Wisconsin-Extension's Farmer-Led Watershed Council project in the Red Cedar and St. Croix River Basins. From 2009-2012 she was a senior associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minneapolis-based non-profit. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California-Berkeley, an M.S. in plant breeding and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University, and a B.A. from UW-Madison.
Rod Olson, President
Desair Lake Restoration, Inc.
Rod is a twenty year activist for Desair Lake protection, an endangered lake northwest of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Starting as a lake monitor, Rod grew to learn lake ecology and how to recruit neighbors to reverse the destructive forces leading to algae overgrowth. Bringing together lakeshore owners, farmers, State and County agencies, Rod helped to construct multiple erosion control devices, stimulate landowner commitment to improving water quality, and teaching kids the value of not only enjoying a lake but taking care of it. He was awarded the 2013 Wisconsin Lakes Citizen Stewardship Award for his work on Desair Lake. Last June he kayaked the entire Red Cedar River recording its status and collecting water samples at stream entrances. He has given presentations at schools and lake improvement associations to stir awareness the river.
Laura Paine, Initiative Coordinator
Wisconsin Green Lands Blue Waters
Laura Paine is a Grazing & Agriculture Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She provides economic, business and market development education and assistance to producers in developing specialty business and marketing opportunities. She coordinates and advises several private sector advisory councils and teams including the GrassWorks Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council. Paine has been a guest speaker at the Wisconsin Grazing Conference and the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference. She and her husband raise grass-fed beef on their farm near Columbus, Wisconsin.
Nels Paulson, Assistant Professor, Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Nels Paulson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Wisconsin-Stout. His research focuses on the environment and civil society. Past research projects on civil society include disaster relief and religion, hunting as a substantive issue among international environmental organizations, and the place of indigenous groups in global environmental advocacy and governance. His research has been published in Conservation and Society, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Nature and Culture, and Environmental Values. His current work is on phosphorus pollution in the Midwestern United States and the place of civil society in mitigating non-point source pollution.
Duke Welter, Secretary, Past Chair, WI DNR Board
Wisconsin Clear Waters chapter, Trout Unlimited, Driftless Area Restoration Effort
He is currently a Trout Unlimited employee working with the Driftless Area Restoration Effort. This project, spearheaded by TU, is working to protect the unique 24,000 square-mile unglaciated Driftless Area region in the heart of the Upper Mississippi River basin. This scenic landscape is home to one of the country’s most remarkable freshwater resources—over 600 coldwater limestone spring-fed creeks. Over 4,000 miles of mineral-rich spring creeks weave across the landscape. Duke is a retired attorney, living in Eau Claire.