AIS Advisory Committee Members
- Mary Alverson, Minneapolis
- Norman Baer, Maplewood
- Jim Boettcher, Chanhassen
- Justine Dauphinais, Maple Grove
- John P. Deurr, Wyoming
- Tera Guetter, Detroit Lakes
- Barb Halbakken Fischburg, Detroit Lakes
- Paul Hamilton
- Eric Johnson, Rainy Lake
- James A. Johnson, Dayton
- Jaime Jost, Alexandria
- James Stratton
- Donovan Strong, Tower
- Paul Thiede
- Kelsey Wenner, Duluth
AIS Advisory Committee Ex-Officio Members
Committee member bios
Mary Alverson is a native Minnesotan, born in Duluth, Minnesota. She is truly an adventurer, traveling around the world both personally and professionally, serving as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. Mary has gone on to distinguish herself flying professionally as a flight instructor and Captain for New Mexico Airlines. She has earned her CFI, CFII, MEI ratings along with a single and multiengine sea class ratings. Mary is the CEO/Operator of Wings Over Water Seaplane Training in South St Paul and Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, MN.
- FAA Designated Examiner
- FAA FAAST Representative
- Secretary, Minnesota Pilots Association
- Field Director, Seaplane Pilots Association
- President, Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association
- ACE Camp Planning Committee Member
- MN Aviation Hall of Fame Planning Committee Member
- Vice President, Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association
651-271-9311 - cell
Norman Baer currently works for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). As the Vice President and President of the North Browns Lake Association he has been actively engaged in AIS education, awareness, and prevention efforts for over eight years as the association has sought to manage the presence of Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus). Baer also has experience in the problems caused by presence of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) at Newman Lake, in Washington State. Baer received his B.S degree from Washington State University in Natural Resources and has a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University. Baer has taught at two mid-west universities, South Dakota State University and Bemidji State University. He has taught Ecology, Methods of Water Analysis, Soils, Plant Anatomy and Morphology, and General Chemistry.
I spent 32 years in the automotive industry, from driveline engineering positions with GM to transmission engineering and sales management roles with Ford Motor Company, retiring from Ford's Twin Cities regional office several years ago. I lived in several locations during my career, including St. Louis, Detroit, Orlando, Memphis and Minneapolis. I became involved with AIS and water management issues in the mid-80's, fighting the introduction of grass carp into Missouri lakes and ponds. While living in Detroit in 1991, I joined in the effort to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to inland lakes, working in conjunction with the Michigan DNR and BASS Federation. This included some of the first monitoring and detection efforts in the nation to track and slow the spread of zebra mussels. While living in Orlando, I was part of a group dedicated to the removal of grass carp from the Harris Chain of Lakes, resulting in marked improvements in water clarity and fish populations. I am currently a member of the Chanhassen Parks and Recreation Commission, the Carver County Park Commission, the Carver County Water Management Organization Advisory Committee and the Riley/Purgatory/Bluff Creek Watershed District Advisory Committee. I volunteer regularly in carp electrofishing surveys and invasive plant monitoring studies on the lakes in the Watershed District. I enjoy spending time on the lakes of Minnesota doing my 3 favorite things: bass fishing, bass fishing and bass fishing. Looking forward to being able to add my past experiences to the knowledge base of the SAISAC.
Justine Dauphinais, Water Quality Coordinator for the Coon Creek Watershed District, has spent the last decade working on AIS-related issues. Her introduction to the field was a summer job as a commercial aquatic herbicide applicator while studying environmental science at Gustavus Adolphus College. This experience led her to pursue a Master's of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she studied invasive carp under Dr. Peter Sorensen. After earning her M. Sc. degree in 2014, Justine was hired as a research fellow at the newly formed MN Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center where she worked on applied common carp research and management. Justine recently took a position as a water resources manager for a metro watershed district and also serves as the AIS committee chair for her local lake association, the Fish Lake Area Residents Association of Maple Grove. In her spare time, Justine enjoys spending time on the water with her husband boating and fishing around the metro and in the Grand Rapids area. Given her variety of experiences as a lake service provider, AIS researcher, lake association volunteer, and local government staff member, Justine is excited to work towards finding solutions to AIS issues at the state level.
John P. Deurr
651-462-7406 - work
John Deurr is an Engineer who has been in the Marine Industry for over 40 years. Deurr graduated from Bemidji State University in 1972 with a BS in Industrial Technology. He currently works for Premier Marine, Inc., which builds Pontoon Boats from 16ft through 33ft, and is considered to be a very innovative and progressive company. Deurr first recognized the need to get involved in AIS prevention in 2004, when he discovered a boat in their repair shop that had traveled back to Minnesota from Michigan that was infested with Zebra Mussels. He started looking for ways to prevent the spread of AIS on their products. This lead to his current involvement in the attempt to get all manufacturers to use some of his company's techniques in production. He has presented design suggestions at the AIS Summit in 2015 and at both the NMMA Engineering Conference and the International Boatbuilders Expo and Conference in 2016. Deurr is hopeful that he can contribute more in the future and also hopes to be able to pass information on to our government agencies on construction, design, testing, and prevention through this committee.
218-846-0436 – work
Tera Guetter is the administrator for the Pelican River Watershed District, an organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of waters in approximately 160 square miles of Becker and Ottertail counties. As a water resource manager, Guetter has a broad range of professional and personal experience with AIS issues, including research, public awareness, prevention, and education. She has served on a variety of committees for local governments units and lake associations, as well as the DNR’s AIS management committee. Guetter, who has a degree in Geology from the University of Minnesota-Morris, is currently serving on the Becker County AIS task force. She is a Detroit Lakes resident and seasonal cabin owner who enjoys boating, skiing, and many other water-related activities with her family.
Barb Halbakken Fischburg is a committed advocate who cares deeply about protecting Minnesota’s public waters. She is currently president of the Lake Detroiters Lake Association, serves on the executive board of Becker County COLA, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLR). Fischburg has participated in numerous AIS stakeholder activities sponsored by the DNR, local government units, and lake associations, and regularly attends of AIS forums, conferences, and roundtables. She has served on the Minnesota Asian Carp Coalition from its inception and advocated in Washington, D.C. to advocate for increased federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
612-269-4580 - cell
Paul Hamilton is a Curriculum and Development Leader in the Orono Public School District and President of the Norway Lake Association of Cass County (NLACC). His education background includes 30 years of experience teaching secondary science including biology, chemistry and physics. Throughout his career his instruction has focused on engaging students with the environment and environmental issues, working with organizations such as the Freshwater Foundation, Lake Minnetonka Watershed District, and Minnesota Tree Trust to accomplish his goals. He was named the 2003 Forestry Educator of the Year by Minnesota Forest Industries in recognition of his work with students in the analysis of the present and future impacts of Buckthorn on local forest ecosystems. As President of NLACC, Paul coordinates efforts to control Curly-leaf pondweed in Norway Lake. He has a degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota, an Education Specialist degree from St. Thomas University and holds a license in K-12 Administration. An avid pheasant hunter, he is a long time member of Pheasant forever and spends many fall days afield with his Brittany Spaniels in Southwestern Minnesota.
Eric is an outdoor enthusiast, advocate for conservation of public waters, the owner of multiple water-based businesses, and a life-long resident of Northern Minnesota. As owner and operator of Voyageurs Outfitters, Inc. (a full-service outfitter in and around Voyageurs National Park), Eric has been providing lake services for over 10 years. Eric holds a U.S. Coast Guard issued 50-ton Captain's License and Tankerman's Credential which are required to operate the vessel that delivers fuels to cabins and resorts on both sides of the US-Canadian border on the Coast Guard governed waters of Rainy Lake. Also employed by the National Park Service, Eric occasionally captains the "Voyageur", a 49-passenger tour boat in Voyageurs National Park. He is involved with several non-profit organizations across the state, so Eric devotes significant time to community development and land and water conservation efforts. In his spare time Eric enjoys spending time on the water fishing, boating, socializing, and taking part in the splendor of Voyageurs National Park and Rainy Lake.
James A. Johnson
651-336-8696 - cell
Over the past 25 years, James has worked as a lakes researcher and manager with the Wisconsin DNR, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Three Rivers Park District, and University of Minnesota. In the mid 2000's, he started his own consulting company, Freshwater Scientific Services, where he continues to work with cities, watershed organizations, and citizen lake groups to protect and improve their waters. His past work has included evaluating lake-wide control strategies for curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil, researching the effects of invasive carp on wild rice and other aquatic plants, evaluating and improving methods for monitoring aquatic plant communities, and testing methods for promoting the reestablishment of native plants in lakes after disturbance.
320-852-7575 - Marina
Jaime Jost owns and operates Lake Carlos Marina and HanglooseMN in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Douglas County Commissioner
218-248-0277 - cell
Donovan Strong is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe residing on the shores of the Lake Vermilion Reservation, located near Tower, Minnesota. He is an avid fisherman and harvester of natural lake Minnesota grown wild rice. Working as a Lake Service Provider in the Ely, Tower and Virginia areas, AIS has definitely been thrust in the forefront of his daily open water activities, with installation and removal of water related equipment, docks, boat lifts, rafts, rail systems, attention to what is on the equipment is a task not taken lightly. With the introduction of spiny water-flea into the waters of Lake Vermilion, unfortunately this has made him more aware and vigilant of what needs to be done. Also owning a wild rice company that relies on "natural lake" Minnesota wild rice as it's only source, protection of natural wild rice lakes is vital to license and sell with the MN Grown Label. He may not be an avid waterfowl hunter, but plenty of waterfowl rely on wild rice lakes to feed on. He would like to provide two different perspectives to the AIS Advisory Committee.
Paul Thiede was just re-elected to his fourth term on the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners. During his tenure Crow Wing County has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for its Land Services reorganization, zoning ordinance rewrite and water planning efforts. He is a member of the Mississippi Headwaters Board and has served on numerous other boards and commissions. During four terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives he served as vice-chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and was on the national board of a state legislative conference. He is an avid hunter and fisherman. Raised in Motley, Minnesota, he is a graduate of the University of Dayton and a former editor/owner of a weekly newspaper. Paul and his wife, Dee, spent the last nearly forty years raising a family of eight children on the shores of Upper Hay Lake near Pequot Lakes.
Kelsey Wenner, Duluth
Kelsey Wenner is currently the Invasive Species Coordinator for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Kelsey covers both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species and focuses on prevention efforts, early detection and surveillance, control, monitoring, and education. Kelsey is also a part of several other AIS awareness efforts including being involved in an invasive Phragmites workgroup in the Duluth area, participating in a boat decontaminations at tournaments and public landings, participating in educational efforts with Minnesota Sea Grant, and hosting the travelling "We are Water MN" exhibit in spring of 2019. Before starting with Fond du Lac, Kelsey worked with the 1854 Treaty Authority as an invasive species technician, focusing mainly on the early detection of new aquatic invasive species such as rusty crayfish, spiny water flea, zebra mussels, invasive vegetation, Chinese mystery snail, invasive fishes and others in the 1854 Ceded Territory. She also collaborated with other 1854 staff and partnering organizations to study the effects of rusty crayfish on wild rice. Kelsey received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of MN-Twin Cities in Biology. During college Kelsey worked for the Sea Life MN aquarium caretaking for animals and in Shepherd laboratories where she studies the growth of the deep sea bacteria Thiomargarita namibiensis. She then worked for the Conservation Corps and Three Rivers Park District aiding the forestry department with projects ranging from forestry thinning, to invasive species control, to mapping, to planting. Given her variety of experiences with both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, Kelsey is excited to be a part of innovation invasive species management and coordination at a state wide level.
AIS Advisory Committee Ex-Officio Members
Norman Deschampe is an enrolled member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and currently the Tribal Chairman of the Band, a position he has been elected to for the last 21 years. During Norman's career as Chairman he has served on many committees related to preserving the environment and protecting the rights of tribal members under the 1854 Treaty Authority to hunt and fish. As an avid outdoorsman Norman is committed to protecting our natural resources.
218-726-8712 - work
Doug Jensen is the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator for the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program in Duluth. He has over 20 years of experience working on AIS issues, and is considered a national expert on the biology, ecology, and impacts of aquatic invasive species. With specialized experience in public communications, human behavioral science, environmental education and program evaluation, Jensen brings an outcomes-based approach to AIS outreach. He played an integral role in establishing the national campaigns for Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!, a behavior intervention campaign aimed at preventing AIS spread by boaters and anglers, and Habitattitude, designed to educate aquarists and water gardeners to prevent the release of aquarium fish and plants into waters of the state. He has participated in numerous DNR-hosted AIS stakeholder meetings, and holds leadership positions for many national and local AIS organizations including: the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council, the National Invasive Species Council, the Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, and the Great Lakes Panel on ANS. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Aquarium. Jensen has an M.S. in Education and a B.S. in biology and from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in Duluth where he enjoys boating and year-round fishing.
218-316-3330 - office
218-232-0883 - mobile
Nicole Lalum is the northwest and central region manager for Explore Minnesota Tourism. As part of the state tourism agency, she is dedicated to making sure visitors to our state understand our regulations and the ways they contribute to the conservation of our outdoor recreational heritage. Serving as a resource to tourism industry partners, she communicates regularly with resorts, guides and other service providers. Lalum enjoys exploring Minnesota with her family and spending time on the many lakes near her home in New York Mills.
Dr. Nick Phelps is the Director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC). MAISRC is a collaborative and innovative program that brings together researchers, managers and stakeholders to identify research priorities, conduct research and inform decision-making and management for AIS in the Great Lakes region. In addition, Nick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. His research group focuses on emerging threats to the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems, which lie at the intersection of humans, animals and the environment. This has included discovery and diagnostic development for emerging pathogens, environmental suitability and network modeling to predict invasions, risk assessment to prioritize management efforts, provided workshops and evaluation of AIS-HACCP strategies for aquaculture producers, etc. Nick has earned a BS in Aquatic Biology, an MS in Aquaculture/Fisheries and a PhD in Veterinary Medicine.