Presenters

2015 Planned Keynote Presenters

WATER- Rod Olson

Wounded Water by Rod Olson, MD 
Red Cedar River Partnership and co-chair of the Red Cedar Watershed Conference
Rod Olson, MD has worked as a family doctor and emergency physician in Rice Lake, Wisconsin for 35 years. He grew up on a farm in central Minnesota and married in 1969. He and his wife, Carol, raised two boys and took them on many camping and canoeing trips. He is energized by nature and especially drawn to water. He worked with neighbors and a DNR Lake Protection Grant restoring the algae choked Desair Lake. In 2013, he received the Wisconsin Lakes Stewardship Award. For sharing his collected data from the Red Cedar River, he received a good neighbor award from the Tainter Menomin Lake Association. As a member of the Red Cedar River Partnership and co-chairman of the Red Cedar Watershed conference, he sees a great future in collaboration between scientists and farmer-lead councils to solve water and soil issues.He believes "the water will run clear someday. The soil on our fields will become healthy. A thousand rain gardens and detention ponds will protect our rivers and lakes. And our grandchildren will be grateful".  


LAND- RAY

Farming For the 21st Century: Understanding the Principles of Soil Health by Ray Archuleta,
Conservation Agronomist
NRCS East National Technology Center, in Greensboro, North Carolina
Ray Archuleta is a Conservation Agronomist/Soil Health Specialist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service East at National Technology Service Center, located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ray teaches soil health and the principles of agroecology throughout the country. He utilizes biomimicry strategies to restore soil function on rangeland, forest land and agroecosystems.
He has 29 years of government service. He has lived and worked for Natural Resource Conservation Service in four different states. He is also a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with Soil Science Society of America. He also served two years in Guatemala working as Livestock Specialist in the Peace Corps. He has an A.S. in Livestock Science from North New Mexico College and later he earned his B.S. in Agricultural Biology from New Mexico State University.


PEOPLE- Sean7crop

Active Citizenship by Sean Kershaw, Executive Director
Citizens League of Minnesota

Sean Kershaw became just the sixth Citizens League Executive Director in its 62-year history, in 2003. Sean has been a member of the Citizens League Board of Directors since 1996, and co-chaired the Citizens League's 50th Anniversary report on Doing the Common Good Better prior to becoming the Executive Director.
Before joining the Citizens League, Sean was Deputy Director for the City of Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED), where he had worked for 11 years. During his tenure, Sean chaired then Mayor Norm Coleman's e-Government initiative and coordinated his information technology, charter school, and education initiatives. Prior to that, he was planning coordinator for the Public Housing Authority in his hometown of Omaha Nebraska. 
During his tenure, membership in the Citizens League has doubled; revenue has tripled, and the organization is implementing an innovative new model for public policy called "civic policy making". Accomplishments include helping to make significant reforms to the mental health and healthcare systems, hundreds of millions of dollars for transit and road improvements, and leading a coalition to help pass the "Dream Act".
Sean is passionate about active citizenship, civic organizing, and good public policy.He is a founding member of the Active Citizens School, a young-adult civic leadership program, and is currently part of the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative.Sean is on the Board for the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Chairs the Development Committee for his church, and sometimes tries to teach Sunday school to small children.
Sean and his husband, Tim Hawkins, live in Saint Paul with their two kids, Aidan and Grace, and their dogs Pearl and Patrick.

 


 2015 Planned Breakout Session Presenters



Andy Bendsend, Crop farmer
Topic: Experience with Soil Health in the Red Cedar Watershed
Andy is a crop farmer, he is custom in hay and silage harvesting. He will discuss cover crop planting and seed source. He is passionate about soil health. 



Jay Michels, CPESC, Erosion & Sediment Control Specialist with 
Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc.
Topic: Minimal Impact Design Standards: taking urban management to the next generation
Jay Michels is a Project Manager with Emmons & Olivier Resources in Oakdale, MN. He is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control with over 30 years of experience in construction management, erosion control and stormwater managementThe emphasis of his work is in low impact development project design, project management, storm water pollution and erosion and sediment control planning and implementation, ordinance and storm water policy, program and outreach and education development.  Jay is known for his work throughout the upper Midwest and Canada as an educator on low impact development, storm water management and erosion and sediment control.
Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) represent the next generation of stormwater management. Through the concepts of Low Impact Development (LID), the emphasis today is on keeping the raindrop where it falls in order to minimize stormwater runoff and associated pollution. The MIDS program offers simple, consistent and flexible standards developed to replace more complicated standards for managing runoff from new and redevelopment projects.   MIDS was developed over three years by a diverse group of Minnesota stakeholders (including cities, state agencies, local governments, builders and developers) to standardize credits and create flexible treatment options that are easy to implement at the local level.  This presentation will focus on the MIDS program and how it is being used to help the City of Menomonie update their stormwater management policies to improve water quality.


Nels Paulson, Associate Professor, Sociology; Director, LAKES REU with University of Wisconsin- Stout

Topic: LAKES REU Project (Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates)
Nels Paulson is an Associate 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.


 

John Kettenacker, 60 cow dairy farmer that has been no-till for 10 years
Aaron Dietsche, dairy and cash crop farmer
Ben Mrdutt, grazier and member of the Hay River Farmer Lead Council
Topic: Farmer panel



Daniel Zerr, Natural Resources Educator with University Of Wisconsin-Extension
Topic: A Phosphorus Management Plan for the Red Cedar River System

Daniel Zerr is a regional natural resource educator with UW-Extension, based in Eau Claire.  He has been working on Red Cedar River water quality and other regional water quality issues since taking this position in 2008.  Previously he worked as a researcher at the University of Missouri, and as an environmental scientist for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  He has a MS in environmental science from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and a BS in biology from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD.
In late 2013, a group was brought together to oversee water quality work in the Red Cedar River system.  The group, now known as the Red Cedar River Water Quality Partnership, has created a plan for what can be done in the next ten years regarding phosphorus, algae blooms, and water quality in general within the Red Cedar River system.  This session will discuss the Partnership, as well as the phosphorus management/TMDL implementation plan.

 

Elizabeth Katt-Reinders, Director, Policy and Communications with Clean Lakes Alliance
Topic: Fundraising and Recruiting Business to Support Watershed Efforts
Elizabeth Katt-Reinders is the Director of Policy and Communications at the Clean Lakes Alliance, a non-profit organization in Madison, Wisconsin that works to improve water quality in the Yahara River watershed. Elizabeth has worked extensively on environmental and water resource issues for well over a decade in both the public and private sectors, and currently works with elected and non-elected government officials, farmers, businesses, and a wide variety of other stakeholders on policy and implementation initiatives to reduce phosphorus-loading into surface waters.


Randy Hoffman, former Natural Areas Ecologist with the WI Department of Natural Resources

Topic: Historic Ecology of the Red Cedar River Basin
Randy recently retired from the Wisconsin DNR after 29 years. He worked his entire career in  the State Natural Areas program. Randy has inventoried all 673 State Naturals Areas and hundreds of other natural areas. He also authored the book Wisconsin's Natural Communities.
The Red Cedar River lies at the confluence of three major biomes - the coniferous boreal forest to the north, the expansive deciduous forest to the southeast and the prairies to the west.  This fortuitous combination provides the elements for great diversity.  Explore the Red Cedar's natural communities from the glacial times to the present.
 


Elizabeth Wheeler, staff Attorney with Clean Wisconsin
& Abby Meyer Smith, Director, Programs and Government Relations with Clean Wisconsin
Topic: Water Ethics, the Passion and Commitment and What is Happening in Madison Concerning Water Quality
 


Aaron Thompson, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Planning; Land Use Specialist with the Center of Land Use Education, at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point
Topic: Use of Social Data in Land Use Issues
Dr. Aaron W. Thompson is a landscape planner whose work focuses on using applied social-ecological science research to achieve better decision making at the interface of land use planning and natural resource management.  Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a land use specialist with UW-Extension.  In this role he works to support collaborative, stakeholder-driven planning by consulting with state and local governments, land trusts, and community organizations.
Leaders of landscape planning efforts are increasingly realizing the necessity of approaching resource management challenges from a social-ecological perspective.  Whether responding to threats to water quality, habitat conservation, or rural planning priorities the need to understand and respond to the diversity of stakeholder attitudes is critical to long term success.  This session will focus on current UW-Extension Center for Land Use Education efforts to understand and use social science assessments to support natural resource planning initiatives in Wisconsin.