My name is Lisa Havel and I am the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership coordinator, employed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. I have a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of Texas at Austin. My favorite part about the National Fish Habitat Partnership is the flexibility it provides to each individual Partnership, and even each partner, when conserving the natural environment. Each Partnership can tailor their conservation goals and actions to best address the challenges facing their region, resulting in a greater impact on fish habitat and all those who benefit from healthy waterways.
My name is Alicia Marrs and I am the new coordinator for the California Fish Passage Forum. I recently moved into the consulting world after spending most of my career in the federal government (with EPA’s WaterSense program and NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)). My background is in building and facilitating diverse collaborative partner/stakeholder networks focused on water conservation and infrastructure, drought, and climate. I have a BA in Environmental Policy and Planning from Western Washington University and an MA in Global Environmental Policy from American University. I’ve had the good fortune to work on a variety of innovative partnership programs, and firmly believe in their ability to make positive change. I’m excited to support NFHP and focus on fisheries and habitat conservation - things I care about personally and professionally.
My name is Stephanie L. Vail-Muse and I am the coordinator for the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership. I work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and have a Bachelors in Biology with an emphasis in Fisheries and Wildlife. Prior to joining the Fish and Wildlife Service, I worked for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism as a Fisheries Biologist and Teacher/Naturalist. My focus at the time was on providing sports-fishing opportunities to the public and increasing awareness about native species conservation. I absolutely love the NFHP program. It’s provided me the opportunity to work in collaboration with so many different agencies across the western U.S. I firmly believe that collaboration is the greatest way to achieve mission success and the only way we can expect to move forward. Bringing different groups to the table, listening to their views, and working together to achieve our goals in a collaborative manner is what inspires Partners and myself to continuously advocate for the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the numerous FHP’s, and the Board.
My name is Jeff Hastings and I have 11 years as Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, managing the Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort and co-managing Driftless Fish Habitat Partnership. Prior to working with Trout Unlimited, I spent 25 years managing county land and water conservation departments. I attended the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point majored in Wildlife Management and Biology. Our role as part of the National Fish Habitat Partnership is to be the catalyst (providing funding, technical assistance, training, etc.) in accelerating stream restoration and partnering with groups on upland conservation initiatives.
My name is Steve Perry and I serve as the Coordinator for the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV); while I’ve held this position since 2013, my involvement with this Fish Habitat Partnership began in 2004 when it was first formed, functioning as its Steering Committee Chair for 6 years (2005-2010). My involvement with the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) also entailed being a member of the NFHP Board for 3 years (2010-2012), performing the duties of the Board’s Vice Chair. Previous to my taking on the responsibilities of the EBTJV’s Coordinator position, I worked for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department for 35 years. My steadfast support for the NFHP stems from its guiding principles of taking science-based approaches to resolving root causes of fish habitat degradation using voluntary, non-regulatory actions.
My name is Heidi Keuler and I am the coordinator and sometimes outreach lead for the Fishers and Farmers Partnership. I am an employee of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I have a BS from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and an MS from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse. I have previously worked for the WI DNR in Law Enforcement. I am inspired to use what we learn locally from farmers and conservationists to make a difference across a vast landscape with diverse partners. I enjoy working as a team and catalyst with my partners on building partnerships. I love challenges and finding common ground.
My name is Rick Westerhof and I am the coordinator for the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership. I’ve worked for Idaho Fish and Game, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and am now employed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I am based in Michigan and coordinate the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act.
My name is Steven Krentz and I am employed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and help support the Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership as their coordinator. What jazzes me about the National Fish Habitat Partnership is the potential exists to make a difference on the conservation of aquatic habitats. The Partnership is a collaborative approach to reverse recent trends of declining aquatic species. With the expansion of data sets to improve modeling that inform decisions, a regional and local-scaled approach to implementation of conservation; along with utilizing a strategic and collaborative approach to delivering conservation of habitats; improvements are happening in the effectiveness of delivering conservation for improving aquatic habitats for the benefit of fish, people, and communities.
My name is Gordon Smith and I am the coordinator for the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership. I am employed by the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office in Honolulu. I graduated from Oregon State University and went on to University of Hawaii for graduate school. I’ve worked on conservation of streams, estuaries, and coral reefs in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands for most of my career. The National Fish Habitat Partnership inspires me because it exists slightly on the outside of “normal” federal government work… my day-to-day activities are mostly with landowners, non-profits, and non-federal agencies. I enjoy working with a new group of cooperators each grant cycle. My favorite part of the Partnership is seeing on-the-ground conservation projects implemented!
My name is Branden Bornemann and I am the coordinator for the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership. I am the Executive Director for the Kenai Watershed Forum. I am from North Dakota originally and my background is in interdisciplinary research – geomorphology, hydrology, remote sensing and non-profit management. I enjoy supporting NFHP because of the shared goals with the Forum and the work is stronger and more effective when we work together.
My name is Jessica Speed, I’m employed by the Nature Conservancy, and coordinate the Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership in Southcentral Alaska. I have a Bachelors of Science in Geography with a focus on Natural Resources Management. I grew up in British Columbia and have spent most of my adult life living and working in the north - Yukon Territory and Alaska. A favorite part of working with the Fish Habitat Partnerships is the ability to be connected to both people and place. Additionally, I love the broad range of activities I’m able to engage in - one day penning a letter to the Mayor of Anchorage, the next sharing the story of Timmy Salmon to Kindergarten and 1st graders!
My name is Joe Nohner and I coordinate the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership as an employee of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. I completed my M.S. at the University of Michigan and my Ph.D. at Michigan State University. I worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Silver Spring, MD for two years conducting an estuarine habitat assessment for NFHP and working on a number of other habitat initiatives. I’ve focused my research and management efforts on conserving natural lake ecosystems, using fish habitat as a motivation for action. I find that working toward better fish populations and fishing opportunities for future generations can unite otherwise disjoint interests in a goal toward the common good.
My name is Donovan Henry and I am the coordinator for the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership and I work for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I have owned and operated an environmental consulting firm for a decade, worked for US Army Corps of Engineers, and then the US Fish and Wildlife Service. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job with the National Fish Habitat Partnership is finding solutions for restoration and conservation that work with our growing infrastructure and the people in our region.
My name is Christina Wang and I am the coordinator of the Pacific Lamprey Fish Habitat Partnership. I work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Vancouver, WA. I have a BA in Biology from Drake University and an MS in Marine Biology from California State University, Long Beach. I have worked with the USFWS for 15 years on the biology and conservation of lamprey species. I am inspired every day by the dedication and hard work within each of the Fish Habitat Partnerships. Together we are making a real difference for fish and their habitats.
My name is Joan Drinkwin and I am the new coordinator of the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership. I work for Natural Resources Consultants, who is under contract with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to support the Partnership. I previously worked to develop and manage a comprehensive nearshore restoration program in northern Puget Sound. I’m inspired to support the National Fish Habitat Partnership because of the meaningful work being done on-the-ground to restore fish habitats. So far, my favorite part about the supporting the program is the amazing, passionate people involved.
My name is Jeff Boxrucker and I have been the coordinator for the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership since 2010. I received an MS in Zoology from University of Wisconsin Madison in 1977 and have 30 years of experience as a reservoir fisheries research scientist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, concluding my career with the state as the Assistant Chief of Fisheries. I believe that habitat is key to healthy sportfish populations and my current work allows me to support this cause and make a difference. Habitat restoration is too large a job of a single agency (whether federal or state) to tackle. Partnerships, like the National Fish Habitat Partnership, are the key both at a funding and political level to get the job done.
My name is Deborah Hart and I am the coordinator for the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (SEAKFHP). I am a private contractor and currently serve in this capacity through a mixture of contracts to Trout Unlimited and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission who serve as fiscal sponsors to SEAKFHP. I am inspired by the foundational principals in the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. I believe in the vision of bringing together partners at the local level to reach across jurisdictional boundaries and leverage untapped resources to provide for greater protection and stewardship of our aquatic resources. I have lots of skin in the game as well, Alaska fishery resources support my family directly; we are a commercial fishing family and rely on healthy resilient fisheries for our livelihood, to support our kids through college, and sustain our bodies on a daily level (smoked sockeye is my favorite). My favorite part of supporting the National Fish Habitat Partnership is working collectively with others to share the Patnership vision and produce tangible positive outcomes for Alaska’s aquatic habitats.
My name is Jessica Graham and I joined the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) in 2015 after serving as a Regional Biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative. I’m currently contracted by the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to coordinate SARP. I have a B.S. in Marine Biology and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, both from the Florida Institute of Technology. The National Fish Habitat Partnership has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than a watershed, or a state, or even a 14 state region. The Partnership allows me to continue to learn from colleagues across the nation and gain a more complete understanding of the many perspectives (from local dynamics to policy level requirements) associated with implementing conservation practices.
My name is Therese Thompson and I have worked for the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) since February of 2014 - first as the part time Director of Strategic Partnerships and since October 2014 as the Coordinator. WNTI is an initiative of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and I work for WAFWA. I have a MS in Fishery and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado - Denver. I love working for WNTI - it allows me to combine my conservation background and passion for fish and wildlife with my management/administration skills plus outreach, marketing, and fundraising so I get my creativity fix too. We could not be successful at what we do without the cooperation and collaboration of so many partnering agencies and individuals, and growing that community is what I enjoy most about my job.