2015 MBS Field Staff

Complete contact information for MBS staff


Norm Aaseng

Norm Aaseng has been a plant ecologist/botanist with MBS since 1990. Norm had previously been the DNR's Peatland Ecologist from 1979-1989. Currently he is managing the plant (MnTaxa) and vegetation plot (Relevé) databases.

Previous Field Seasons: Roseau and Pine counties; assisted in surveys throughout northern Minnesota.



Chel Anderson

Chel Anderson has worked as an ecologist and botanist in Minnesota since 1986, joining MBS in 1997 to work in the northeast.

2015 Field Season: St. Louis County portion of the Border Lakes Subsection.

Previous Field Seasons: Her MBS work has been throughout the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province in St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties.


Derek Anderson

Derek Anderson has been working with MBS as a plant ecologist/botanist in the Oak Savanna region of south-central Minnesota since 2007. He has also been assisting with the coordination of federal rare plant species (dwarf trout lily [Erythronium propullans], prairie bush clover [Lespedeza leptostachya], and western prairie fringed orchid [Platanthera praeclara]) surveying and monitoring since 2005. Most recently he was a lead botanist in small white lady's-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) monitoring.

2015 Field Season: Primarily Minnesota's Prairie Parkland Province.

Previous Field Seasons: Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Steele and Waseca counties.


Carmen Converse

Crystal Boyd joined MBS in 2013 after working with the Minnesota State Wildlife Action Plan. She focuses her fieldwork on prairies and is compiling the first comprehensive statewide list of bees. Please visit these DNR websites to learn more about Minnesota's native pollinators, pollinator resources, and Crystal's grassland bee project.

2015 Field Season: Prairie Parkland Province and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands Province.


Derek Anderson

Carmen Converse has supervised MBS since its beginning in 1987. Carmen has also done prairie survey work for MBS in western Minnesota. She maintains her connection to Minnesota's plant communities and native species by travelling across the state each year to join MBS staff engaged in field survey work.

Previous Field Seasons: Lac Qui Parle County.


Robert Dana

Robert Dana has worked with MBS as a plant ecologist since 1987 and concurrently was the Prairie Ecologist for the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program between 1991 and 2007. Robert is an entomologist by training and over the past two field seasons has conducted insect surveys for MBS, along with prairie vegetation monitoring work for the Landowner Incentive Program. This season he will be surveying rare moths and butterflies for MCBS in the Prairie region. Robert is also one of the writers for MBS's current book publication project on the native habitats of northwestern Minnesota's Red River Valley and Aspen Parkland region.

2015 Field Season: Prairie region in Minnesota

Previous Field Seasons: Clay, Norman, Wilkin, Traverse, Kittson Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, Steele, Waseca counties; Border Lakes Subsection in Cook County.


Margaret Edwards

Margaret Edwards has worked for MNDNR as a zoology data specialist since 2009, joining MBS in 2012. She is responsible for data management, MBS database design, and field work.

2015 Field Season: Statewide

Previous Field Seasons: Statewide



Lawson Gerdes

Lawson Gerdes is MBS's Northern Coordinator and has also been a plant ecologist with MBS since 1999. Her work area is the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, which includes most of the northern forested part of the state. In addition to planning for MBS northern surveys, and conducting her own MBS field work in the northeast, Lawson's job involves the delivery and interpretation of MBS data to assist large landowners in conserving remaining areas of biodiversity significance in the north.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes ECS Subsection in St. Louis County.

Previous Field Seasons: North Shore Highlands, Laurentian Uplands and Border Lakes ECS Subsections of Lake and Cook Counties.


Lynden Gerdes

Lynden Gerdes began working full time with MBS in 1999. Prior to that he had several different botanical contracts with MBS including fieldwork in Pine County, Botrychium surveys in Aitkin County, and two field seasons conducting a botanical inventory of the Rove Slate Bedrock Complex Landtype Association in northern Cook County (Master's Thesis—Michigan Technological University 2001). Since 1999, his floristic fieldwork has focused in Lake, Cook, St. Louis, and Itasca counties of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province. Lynden continues to contribute to our understanding of Minnesota's flora by documenting and vouchering both the common and rare plants of northeastern Minnesota.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes subsection of northern Lake County.

Previous Field Seasons: North Shore Highlands, Laurentian Uplands subsection, and Border Lakes subsection in Cook and Lake counties.


Dustin Graham

Dustin Graham has been a plant ecologist with MBS since 2014. His work focuses on updating NPC mapping in the prairie region. His field work consists of visiting areas not captured in a county's baseline surveys.

2015 Field Season: Blue Earth, Red Lake, Pennington, and Marshall counties.

Previous Field Seasons: The Lake Christina area and Northern Kandiyohi, Southern Pope, and Clay counties.


Carol Hall

Carol Hall has been MBS's lead herpetologist since 1991.

2015 Field Season: Statewide.

Previous Field Seasons: 2011—Hennepin, Chisago, St. Louis counties; 2009/2010—Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, Steele, Waseca counties; 2008—Itasca County; 2007—Cottonwood, Jackson, Watonwan, Martin counties; 2006—Lincoln, Lyon, Pipestone, Murray, Rock, Nobles counties.


Fred Harris

Fred Harris has been a plant ecologist/botanist for MBS since 1992, working in counties concentrated mainly in northwestern Minnesota, the Minnesota River valley, and the Prairie Coteau.

2015 Field Season: Prairie monitoring at Lac qui Parle WMA/Chippewa Prairie Reserve and Caribou WMA.

Previous Field Seasons: Pennington, Red Lake, Polk (part), Olmsted, Hennepin, Scott, Carver, Sibley, Le Sueur, Nicollet, Blue Earth, Brown, Renville, Redwood, Yellow Medicine, McLeod, Meeker, Otter Tail (part), Pope (part), Rock, Pipestone, Murray (part), Nobles (part), Lincoln, Watonwan (part), Faribault (part), Norman (part) counties.


Rebecca Holmstrom

Rebecca Holmstrom has been working as an MBS plant ecologist/botanist in the northeastern part of Minnesota since 2007.

2015 Field Season: St. Louis County portions of Littlefork-Vermilion Uplands and Borderlakes Subsections


Previous Field Seasons: Nashwauk Uplands subsection in St. Louis County, Border Lakes subsection in Cook County, Carlton County, Laurentian Uplands subsection, and McCarthy Beach State Park (central St. Louis County).


Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson has worked with MBS as a plant ecologist/botanist since 2007. His work has been focused in central and west-central Minnesota. Before joining the Survey, Jason worked for the DNR Division of Forestry's Ecological Land Classification Program.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes subsection.

Previous Field Seasons: Kanabec, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Clearwater counties.


Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson has done fieldwork for MBS since 2009, conducting surveys for rare butterflies and moths. He recently obtained his Master's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focused on the distribution, habitat, and natural history of several species of fritillaries (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, genus Boloria), with emphasis on peatlands in the Great Lakes Region.

2015 Field Season: Agassiz Lowlands subsection.


Courtney Kerns

Courtney Kerns joined MBS in May 2012 as a plant ecologist/botanist and is currently working in various counties in northern Minnesota.

2015 Field Season: Northern Minnesota.




Tom Klein

Tom Klein, information officer/graphic artist, has worked for MBS since 1989. He designs publications and materials related to MBS activities. He also manages the MBS web pages within the MN DNR's website.




Jeff LeClere

Jeff LeClere, zoologist, has worked full time for MBS since 2008, and worked as an MCBS contractor for 12 years prior to that.

2015 Field Season: Statewide.

Previous Field Seasons: south-central counties.



Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee joined MBS June 2012 as a plant ecologist/botanist and will be working primarily in the Border Lakes Subsection. Jeff previously worked for Michigan's natural heritage program conducting vegetation surveys. He now lives in Duluth.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes ECS Subsection in St. Louis County.



Michael Lee

Michael Lee began his tenure with MBS on the small mammal crew at Camp Ripley in 1992. He began as a plant ecologist/botanist with MBS in Dakota County in 1993. He has spent significant amounts of time in much of the forested part of the state, namely the Blufflands, Rochester Plateau, Hardwood Hills, Anoka Sand Plain, Mille Lacs Uplands, Pine Moraines & Outwash Plains, Glacial Lake Superior Plain, North Shore Highlands, and Border Lakes Subsections. Like most MBS staff, Mike continues to be involved in numerous interdisciplinary efforts, including the Department's Forest Certification Internal Audit Team since 2006.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes Subsection in Lake County.

Previous Field Seasons: Dakota, Fillmore, Wabasha, Winona, Houston, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Becker, Hubbard, Carlton, Pine, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Benton, Morrison, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Cass, Kandiyohi counties.


Adam Maleski

Adam Maleski joined MBS in 2015 after working on Camp Ripley animal surveys, ranging from bats to bears to hawks to turtles. This season he is netting and radio-tracking Northern Long-eared Bat females, conducting small mammal surveys, and assisting with other MBS animal surveys.

2015 Field Season: Beltrami, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties.



Brett Nagle

Brett Nagle Worked for MBS as a zoologist/ichthyologist from 2008-2014 conducting non-game fish surveys as well as assisting with small mammal surveys in Cook, Dodge, Itasca, Lake, Mower, and Steele counties.





Stacey Olszlewski

Stacey Olszewski worked as an MBS plant ecologist from 2008–2010 doing field surveys in Cass County and assisting with follow-up surveys in Roseau and Pine counties.





Ethan Perry

Ethan Perry lives in Duluth and has been a plant ecologist for MBS in northeast and northcentral Minnesota since 2004. In 2003 he also conducted MBS bird surveys.

2015 Field Season: Tamarack Lowlands subsection.

Previous Field Seasons: Cass, southern St. Louis, Carlton, Itasca counties.



Erika Rowe

Erika Rowe has worked for MBS since 2002, first as a botanical assistant and then as a plant ecologist/botanist. Her work has been focused on the counties in northwestern Minnesota, where the prairie gives way to the deciduous and coniferous forests of the northeast.

2015 Field Season: Beltrami and Lake of the Woods counties.

Previous Field Seasons: Beltrami, Becker, Hubbard, counties.


Janeen Ruby

Janeen Ruby worked as a plant ecologist with MBS from 2009-2014 during which she conducted surveys for selected rare plants in southwestern Minnesota, native plant community inventory in Martin, Murray, and Nobles counties, as well as prairie monitoring in southern Minnesota. In addition to plant community survey work, Janeen entered data for various MBS projects, including the relevé database. She was the project manager for the MNTaxa project (MNDNR's list of the vascular plant species that have been documented in Minnesota). Janeen previously has worked for the Wisconsin DNR and the Missouri Conservation Department.


Nancy Sather

Nancy Sather has worked as a MBS ecologist since 1991, and concurrently as a Botanist/Ecologist with the Minnesota Natural Heritage Program from 1987-2008. She has served on federal Recovery Teams for three federally listed species: the dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans), the prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya), and as the team leader for the western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) Recovery Team. She is one of the writers for MBS's current publication project on the native habitats of northwestern Minnesota's Red River Valley and Aspen Parkland region.

2015 Field Season: Selected federal rare plant monitoring projects.

Previous Field Seasons: Martin, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lyon, Murray (part), Nobles (part), Mahnomen, Polk (east), and Marshall counties.


Nancy Sather

Amanda Stoltzfus worked with MBS from 2006-2009 and rejoined fulltime in 2012. She conducts moth surveys and has assisted with fish, snake, turtle, dwarf trout lily, mudpuppy, mammal, and butterfly surveys.

2015 Field Season: Minnesota River and the Prairie Region

Previous Field Seasons: Portions of the Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands, and Eastern Broadleaf Forest provinces.


Steve Stucker

Steve Stucker has been leading MBS's bird surveys since 1990.

2015 Field Season: Border Lakes Subsection; Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, Steele, Waseca counties.

Previous Field Seasons: Most recently Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, Steele, Waseca counties, the southeastern Blufflands, Minnesota River Valley counties, Mille Lacs Uplands, Itasca County.


Amy Westmark

Amy Westmark worked for MBS as a zoology data assistant from 2013-2015. She was responsible for data entry, data management and animal field surveys.





Daniel Wovcha

Daniel Wovcha has been a plant ecologist with MBS since 1991. In addition to plant community survey work, Daniel has worked on several MBS publication projects, including Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain: A guide to native habitats and the three-volume series Field guides to the native plant communities of Minnesota. He also has a role with MBS's current publication project: a book on the native habitats of northwestern Minnesota’s Red River Valley and Aspen Parkland region.
Previous Field Seasons: assistance with Border Lakes subsection surveys; assistance with prairie monitoring in west-central Minnesota; MBS plant community surveys in Carver, Hennepin, Scott, Wright counties.