Summary of Education:
- University of St Thomas Opus College of Business: Certified Professional Project Manager, 2014
- University of Wisconsin Madison: Master of Science, Environment and Resources, 2010
- Minnesota State University Mankato: Bachelor of Science, Teaching License, Biology, 1991
- Normandale Community College: Associate of Arts, 1990
Summary of Work Experience:
Great River Greening: St Paul, MN 06/2012 – Present
- Develop long-term, strategic management plans for ecological restoration including vision statements, goals, objectives, strategies, and work plans.
- Successfully develop & manage grants through state programs including LCCMR, LSOHC, and federal, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.
- Conduct site assessments and inventories, research historic documents and current land use patterns, and develop reports and GIS documents to facilitate project planning.
- Develop and manage RFPs, contracts, subcontracts, budgets, timelines, amendments, punch lists, work evaluation and retainer criteria, payment schedules, and project closeout documents.
- Develop quick and concise data collection protocols for baseline and comparative data in herbaceous, woody, and aquatic plant communities.
- Design, secure funding for, and implement research studies including:
- Impacts of haying and grazing on soil nitrogen (N) and plant, bird, and pollinator diversity.
- Impacts of multiple seeds rains on plant diversity.
- Comparison between southern, western, and local oak ecotypes in the face of climate change.
- Assist with managing conservation programs, developing project scope documents, budgets, timelines, and compliance reporting.
- Conducting outreach via presentations, demonstrations, volunteer events, text, and social media.
- Foster project partnerships with an array of organizations including: LUGs, state and federal agencies, non-profit & for profit organizations, private landowners, and research institutions.
- Provide conceptual and technical guidance to staff, partners, stakeholders, funding sources, work crews, and subcontractors.
- Acquire wetland & burn permits through USACE, MN-DNR, county, city, township, law enforcement, and fire departments.
- Gain knowledge, experience, and skills in prairie, savanna, deciduous forest, wetland, shore-land, riparian, trout stream, and lake restorations, and in a variety of techniques including conservation grazing, haying, prescribed fire, woody biomass harvest, invasive species control, nutrient management, and infiltration basin, rain garden, water-way and buffer-strip installation and maintenance.
Madison College: Madison, WI 2010 – 2012
- Gained botanical knowledge in plant physiology, anatomy, and natural history that informs my ecological perspective concerning the role of vegetation at a range of scales, from the plant community through the ecosystem, landscape, biome, and the biosphere.
- Instructed a 5 credit botany course where duties included developing syllabi, curriculum, presentations, lectures, exams, coordinating labs & field trips, and maintaining course website.
- Designed a certificate program in Ecological Restoration and two classes in Restoration Ecology and Natural History of the Midwest.
Allen Lab: UW-Madison 2006 – 2012
- Developed a framework to guide natural resource management and restoration based on foundational ecological concepts including: keystone species, succession, disturbance theory, alternative stable states and state transition models, resilience, ecosystem function, ecosystem phenomenology, far from equilibrium dynamics, and ecosystem services.
- Designed restoration plans for large shallow water lakes based on state transition models and novel concepts of organisms imposing powerful controls over phosphorus regulation in ways which reinforce the clear water state.
- Conducted research on herbivory to show how plants and animals are codependent upon one another, and how this relationship can inform resource management planning, implementation, and policy formation.
- Researched the farm “Cooperative” process in WI, including Aldo Leopold’s Coon Valley and the Faville Grove game & agricultural cooperatives, and the emergence of the Organic Valley Coop, and the potential for the current consumer trend for value added products including; dairy, meat, wool, and leather products, could help achieve both ecological and agricultural objectives.
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems: UW-Madison 2010 – 2012
- Conducted research on the potential for grazing to achieve both ecological and agricultural objectives including: increases in biological diversity, ecosystem services, social-ecological system resilience, value-added market opportunities, and job formation.
- Facilitated regional meetings tasked to identify perceived obstacles and opportunities to expand grazing in the Midwest where participants included: producers, processers, extension, government agencies, and consumers.
- Conducted research and developed an annotated bibliography of 85 peer-reviewed articles on the impacts of grazing in relation to natural resource management and agricultural production.
- Conducted research on funding opportunities that support grazing and developed a financial & assistance document for producers.
- Presented findings from the regional meetings to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) in order to identify new or modify existing policies designed to expand conservation grazing, haying, and buffer strip & riparian management programs.
- Gained knowledge and experience in a variety of grazing techniques and associated impacts on
ecological & agricultural objectives, pasture & social research techniques, facilitating regional meetings, and developing documents designed to inform agroecology policy.
Lakeshore Nature Preserve: UW-Madison 2007 – 2011
- Gained knowledge & experience in developing 5-year comprehensive capital plans, long term strategic plans, work plans, conducting stakeholder meetings, implementing prairie, savanna, deciduous forest, and shoreline restorations, conducting urban Rx-burn planning and implementation and conducting volunteer events.
- Conducted site assessments and inventories of biotic communities and edaphic attributes, researched historic ecological documents, and researched current land use patterns to help develop management plans, projects, work plans & specifications.
- Implemented project plans and oversaw project management including: developing RFPs, contracts, subcontracts, change orders, punch lists, retainer criteria, and supervision of field crews, contractors, researchers, and volunteers.
- Designed and implemented several research projects that included:
- Impacts of biomass harvest on soil nitrogen on plant community configuration
- Impacts of multiple seed rains on plant community configuration
- Identifying mammals that would have inhabited LNP prior to 1800, food preferences, and feasible reintroductions
- Mentor, motivate, and empower staff, work crews, subcontractors, volunteers, and interns by providing knowledge and narratives in natural history, ecology, & resource management in ways which allow the mentee to form frameworks for thinking and decision making in resource management, which in turn empowers and motivates participants in their work.
- Developed successful grant proposals through WI-DNR to fund shoreland water quality projects.
Madison Audubon: Madison WI, 2005 – 2007
- Developed a long term management plan for Madison Audubon Faville Grove Sanctuary including: facilitating stakeholder meetings, crafting a vision, goals, objectives, & strategies, prioritizing tasks, timelines, and developing budgets.
- Supervised crews in invasive species control, seed collection, seed cleaning, site preparation, installation, and conducting simple vegetation assessments through transect/quadrat analysis for future comparative analysis as to the effectiveness of management strategies.
- Worked with UW faculty and graduate students on research design and implementation for studies on:
- Impacts of fire on fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) populations
- Impacts of grass specific herbicides on reed canary grass (Pharlaris arundinacea)
- Impacts of “Multiple Seed rains” on plant diversity
- Nurtured partnerships with NRCS, WI-LCDs, LWCDs, UW-Madison, Audubon members, and the general public to build cooperative collaborations designed to maximize project outcomes.
- Gained knowledge and experience in designing and implementing prairie, fen, wetland, sedge meadow, and savanna restorations, and Rx-burn planning and implementation.
Prairie Moon Nursery: Winona MN 1998 – 2004
- Designed and sold >250 seed mixes for a variety of clients throughout the Midwest including: government agencies, non-profits, and private land owners, for projects as large as 260 acres, for seed mixes costing in excess of $80k, and for prairie, wetland, fen, savanna, and deciduous woodland communities.
- Conducted site assessments for large-scale, complex projects including meeting with stakeholders, developing seed mix budgets and planting strategies, and providing feedback to the Prairie Moon seed mix design staff.
- Provided Prairie Moon strategic input to increase the number of species offered, extend PLS to more species, and maintain source identification.
Eco Tech Inc. Cannon Falls, MN 1996 – 2004
- Owned and operated an ecological restoration business that installed over 4,000 acres of native plant communities throughout four Midwest states.
- Developed restoration plans that included assessments of current biotic communities and edaphic attributes, and researched historic ecological documents from which I could establish viable project goals, objectives, and strategies for site preparation, species lists, installation, short and long term management procedures, and monitoring protocols.
- Prescribed scale-specific equipment to match site conditions including: bulldozers, large & small agriculture-tractors with tillage equipment, herbicide, mowing & biomass harvest equipment, utilized implement dealers for equipment rental for larger projects.
- Designed diverse seed mixes that included > 100 species suitable to a variety of site specific parameters.
- Taught classes on restoration through extension and community education, and also developed and implemented a K-12 school program that included presentations, restoration plans, and implementation that involved active student participation.
- Gained knowledge & experience in developing restoration plans and implementing restoration projects for wetland, fen, sedge meadow, upland prairie, savanna, and forest communities, and in Rx-burn planning, permitting, and implementation in savanna and grassland communities.
Cross Fox Farms: Zumbrota, MN 1987 – Present
- Manage the design, implementation, and maintenance of several hundred natural acres on our family farm, including the restoration of wetlands, savanna, grasslands, pollinator, and prairie hay field communities.
- Gain knowledge and experience in Rx-burn planning, permitting, and implementation in savanna, sedge meadow, and prairie communities, averaging approximately 35 acres per year over 15 seasons for a total of 525 acres.
- Grow local genotype native plants for harvestable seed.
- Gain knowledge and experience with a variety of farming procedures and associated equipment including tractors, tillage implements, mowers, biomass harvest equipment, and fencing techniques.
- Gain knowledge and experience with farm programs including: CRP, EQIP, GLCI, WHIP, and WRP.
- Gain contextual knowledge, insight, experience, and perspectives from participating within our current high-input, “traditional” agricultural community and paradigm.
- Gain knowledge and insight on the complex feedbacks between agricultural policy, markets, land management, and how these feedbacks impact the ecological integrity of our natural resources.
- Gain knowledge on how policy can create obstacles for the development of alternative agriculture markets that impose fewer negative and often times positive impacts on our natural resources.