Nels Anderson, Seven Mile Creek Watershed Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org 507.931.2550 x117
(M.S. Environmental Geography/Bio-geography candidate, University of North Dakota, B.S. Geography/Natural Resource Management & Planning/GIS, Bemidji State University)
Nels assists and collaborates with landowners to enhance water quality through implementation of conservation practices within the Minnesota River basin, primarily the Seven Mile Creek Watershed located south of St. Peter. He has worked with numerous agencies in land management projects in prairie, erosion control, watershed analysis, water quality, and GIS, including The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, and Minnesota and Michigan departments of natural resources. For agricultural areas specifically he's completed wetland delineation and runoff assessment using remote sensing and GIS, rotational grazing for restoration and wildlife, and easement administration. Nels enjoys fishing, hunting, traveling and adventuring with Loki, his Karelian Bear Dog.
Wiley Buck, Restoration Ecologist
email@example.com 651-665-9500 x15
(M.S., Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota)
Wiley is one of Greening’s professional ecologists and project managers, overseeing restoration activities across some of the organization’s hallmark projects. He also manages Greening’s participation within the Metro Conservation Corridors Partnership, a cooperative effort for protection and acquisition in priority areas of the Greater Twin Cities Metro Area. Prior to coming to Greening, Wiley gained his restoration expertise through his experience with McHenry County Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, and Chicago Wilderness in Illinois, and Minnesota DNR’s Scientific and Natural Areas Program (SNA). As Resource Management Supervisor with SNA, he developed and implemented SNA management policy, supervised crew and staff, and helped build budgets and funding priorities.
Laura Durenberger-Grunow, Volunteer Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org 651-665-9500 x11
Laura is responsible for managing Great River Greening's volunteer base. She helps plan public and private volunteer events, helps oversee volunteer events day of, and is responsible for recruiting new volunteers from communities all over the state. Before joining Greening, Laura worked at various environmental seasonal jobs, and spent almost six years managing student staff and acting as an event manager at the U of M Tickets and Events Office at the University of Minnesota. In her spare time, Laura enjoys photography and spending as much time as possible outside with her husband, family and friends. Laura is also a candidate for a Masters in Natural Science and Environmental Education through Hamline University.
Deborah Karasov, Executive Director
email@example.com 651-665-9500 x14
(M.L.A., Landscape Architecture, Harvard University; Ph.D., Geography, University of Minnesota)
Deborah is senior officer for Greening, with oversight for all program and fundraising activities. Previously, as assistant director for external relations, she helped with all project development, external relations, and legislative work. Deborah was a professor and director of the Landscape Studies Center, an outreach arm of the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota. Previously, at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, she completed several research publications related to environmental impact assessment.
Rob Nygaard, Development Director
firstname.lastname@example.org 651-665-9500 x18
(B.S.B., Marketing, University of Minnesota)
Rob is responsible for Great River Greening’s fundraising operations, including individual appeals, corporate partnerships, and foundation support. He also oversees donor data management and stewardship efforts. Before joining Greening, Rob spent 5 years at the Guthrie Theater as a Development Associate. During that time, he co-founded The Strange Capers theater company and served as its Managing Director. Rob is an avid paddler and fisherman and is learning to sail.
Wayne Ostlie, Director of Conservation Programs
email@example.com 651-665-9500 x19
(M.A., Biology (Botany), University of Kansas; B.A., Biology, Luther College)
Wayne directs new initiatives, projects, and partnerships for Great River Greening, and works to build the organization both geographically and programmatically. Prior to coming to Great River Greening, Wayne worked in a variety of capacities with The Nature Conservancy over the past 20 years. As Science Director of the Conservancy’s Iowa program, Wayne managed the chapter’s preserve portfolio, along with staff and an extensive volunteer network. Later, as Science Director for the Conservancy’s Great Plains Program and then through various roles within its core Science program, Wayne led and managed an array of programs and high-level projects in furtherance of the Conservancy’s regional and global objectives.
Todd Rexine, Director of Operations
firstname.lastname@example.org 651-665-9500 x28
(M.L.A., University of Minnesota)
Todd is Greening's Director of Operations, and is responsible for providing ecologically sensitive and sustainable landscape design services on a variety of Great River Greening projects. While at Great River Greening, he has designed and installed environmentally sensitive landscapes of varying degrees and sizes. Projects have include river and stream bank stabilization, shoreline restoration, urban stormwater retrofits, rain gardens, and site specific best management practices. Todd is currently supervising the trails and interpretive plan for the Pilot Knob project (Mendota Heights) and many of the best management practices (BMPs) implemented to improve water quality within the St. Croix River. As the Director of Operations, Todd is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the conservation staff, volunteer manager, and field crew. Prior to his work with Great River Greening, he was in the design-build field and brings significant installation, computer and budget experience to the projects he is on.
William Smith, Director of Finance and Administration
email@example.com 651-665-9500 x17
(B.S.B.A., Accounting, University of Minnesota)
Bill is responsible for Great River Greening's financial and administrative operations, including budget planning, financial management, accounting and reporting; government grant and contract management, human resources and information technology. Before joining Greening, Bill served as CFO and COO for several companies including AppTec Laboratory Services, ViroMed Laboratories and Pace Laboratories. Bill also has non-profit experience as a Board member and auditor.
Steve Thomforde, Ecologist
(M.S., Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Steve is an Ecologist and Project Manager at Great River Greening, and is responsible for preliminary site assessments, fostering partnerships, assisting with development and design, supervising installation, and cultivating long-term relationships for each project. Steve has nearly 20 seasons experience in project design and installation totaling 200 sites and 2000 acres in four states. At UW-Madison, Steve conducted research in restoration on a variety of topics including: grazing, state transition models, invasive species theory, biotic controls, ecosystem services, and keystone species. His research provides a framework to implement innovative restoration management strategies that are both technically feasible and scientifically valid.
Mary Anne Welch, Communications Manager
Mary Anne manages communications for Greening, including content for print and online venues, brand management and media relations. She has worked in related fields for 20+ years, as a writer, editor, media contact, content strategist, and website designer. Much of that work has been for non profits. Before coming to Greening, she promoted wind energy to rural landowners and policy makers for a national nonprofit, and she worked on social justice issues surround affordable housing, youth development, and adult employment. Mary Anne loves to camp, hike, walk the lakes, bike, spend time with her family, and read. She is interested in learning how new and old technologies can help communites realize shared visions.
Julia Wells, Office Manager
(B.A., Economics & Psychology, University of Minnesota)
Julia supports Greening in accounting, database management, IT, human resources, and general office management. Since 2009, Julia has been the Board Treasurer for Cycles for Change (formerly Sibley Bike Depot), providing financial leadership, managing financial procedures, and working to strengthen organizational financial policies. She is interested in alternative methods of transportation, and enjoys the challenge of reducing car dependency through commuting by bicycle. Julia is also a candidate for a Masters in Nonprofit Management through Hamline University.
Sean Wickhem, Field Supervisor
(B.S., History, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Sean is the Field Supervisor at Greening, and is responsible for managing the field crew, implementing restoration strategies with volunteers and contract crews, maintaining tools and equipment, and getting the community excited about interacting with their natural areas. He previously spent three years with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota's Youth Outdoors Program training and managing crews, implementing restoration projects and teaching environmental education to high school youth. Sean also spent a year installing solar panels with the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and obtained his Permaculture Design Certification through The Permaculture Project.
Barge photo © Angela Henriksen for Aggregate Industries, High Bridge photo © Department of Natural Resources