Derek Anderson Anderson has been working with MBS as a botanist/plant ecologist since 2007. He is the lead for monitoring and survey activities related to the federally listed plant species found in Minnesota (dwarf trout lily, western prairie fringed orchid, prairie bush clover and Leedy's roseroot. He has led small white lady’s slipper surveying and monitoring activities across the state since 2012. Derek assists other program botanists and ecologists with rare plant surveys and vegetation monitoring across the state as needed. And, he also manages rare plant data submitted to the department from both internal and external sources
2021 Field Season: Rare plant surveys and monitoring, primarily in the prairie region.
Previous Field Seasons: Prairie Parkland Province and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands Province. Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Steele and Waseca Counties.
Melissa Boman has been working as an Animal Survey Specialist with MBS since 2016. During winter, she has focused on monitoring the spread of White-nose Syndrome in our state's hibernating bats. Summer bat work has included mist netting for the federally-threatened Northern Long-eared Bat and locating their maternity roosts. She also conducts other small mammal surveys and assists with amphibian and reptile surveys, specifically surveys for salamanders and wood turtles, when possible.
2018 Field Season: Goodhue, Scott, St. Louis, Pine, Carlson counties.
Previous Field Seasons: Lake of the Woods, Roseau, Winona, Fillmore, Houston counties.
Bruce Carlson has supervised MBS since 2015. He was a plant ecologist/botanist for MBS from 1997-2007 with fieldwork in north-central and northeast Minnesota. From 2007-2015 Bruce was the DNR NE Regional Plant Ecologist, a position in which he delivered and interpreted MBS data and analysis to land management and land-use decisions in northern and northeastern Minnesota.
Previous Field Seasons: Statewide.
Karen Cieminski has been the manager of the MN DNR rare species databases since 1997. She is responsible for administration of the Natural Heritage Information System’s Biotics and Native Species Observation databases, and management of the statewide data they contain. The Natural Heritage Information System Data Manager position was incorporated into MBS in 2020.
Nathan Dahlberg works on the new Ecological Monitoring Network project, assessing overall trends in native plant communities statewide. He has previously worked monitoring coastal wetlands along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior with the University of Wisconsin Superior. Additionally Nathan has worked as a freelance botanist, contracting with the DNR working in Pine County, surveying vegetation in the St. Louis River estuary (Duluth/Superior), and designing a database that compiles over 10 years of vegetation data from 16 projects in the St. Louis River estuary.
2018 Field Season: Statewide- Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Brown, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Crow Wing, Douglas, Fillmore, Hubbard, Itasca, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Meeker, Morrison, Olmsted, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Sherburne, St. Louis, Swift, Wilkin, Yellow Medicine.
Bob Dunlap has been working as a zoologist and data specialist with MBS since 2015 with an expertise in Minnesota birds. During the month of June, he’s usually out in western Minnesota’s prairies conducting bird surveys as part of a long-term grassland monitoring study. When he’s not afield, Bob is part of the Natural Heritage Information Systems team that manages data on rare species in the state.
2021 Field Season: The western MN prairie counties.
Previous Field Seasons: Beltrami and Lake of the Woods counties.
Nicole Gerjets MBS Bee Biologist, started working for MBS in 2017 for the statewide bee survey, taking inventory of Minnesota bees. Her work focuses on conducting field surveys and identifying bees statewide.
Jenn Gillen joined MBS in 2015 as part of the data management team. She is responsible for data entry, data management, and assists in animal field surveys as often as possible.
2018 Field Season: Herpetology surveys in SE Minnesota
Previous Field Seasons: Assisted in River Turtle surveys on the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, Mudpuppy surveys throughout the state, and acoustic bat monitoring in the Central Region.
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.
2018 Field Season: Ottertail, Wilkin, Grant and Douglas counties.
Previous Field Seasons: Minnesota's prairie region.
Carol Hall has been MBS' lead herpetologist since 1991.
2018 Field Season: Collaborating with Nongame, SNA, Parks &Trail staff and others on amphibian and reptile surveys in central and southern Minnesota. Efforts focus on turtles of forested rivers in the southeast; snakes of grasslands out west; and salamanders and seasonal wetlands in east central Minnesota.
Previous Field Seasons: 2017: MN River Valley and rivers of SE MN; 2014-2016: MN and Mississippi River Valleys; 2011-2013: Hennepin, Chisago, St. Louis counties and the St. Croix River; 2009-2010: Oak Savanna and Minnesota River Prairie Subsections; 2008: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province; 2006-2007: Northcentral Glaciated Plains Section; 2004-2005: Pine Moraines and Outwash Plains Subsection; 2000-2003: North Superior Uplands and Mille Lacs Uplands Subsections; 1998-1999: Minnesota River Prairie Subsection; 1997: Big Woods Subsection; 1995-96: Paleozoic Plateau and Rochester Plateau Subsections; 1994: Mille Lacs Uplands Subsection; 1993: Paleozoic Plateau Subsection; 1991-1992: Morrison County.
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.
2018 Field Season: Lac Qui Parle Prairie, Northwestern Minnesota.
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 has been working as a plant ecologist and botanist for MBS in the northeastern part of Minnesota since 2007.
2018 Field Season: Rare plant monitoring in the Littlefork-Vermilion Uplands Subsection.
Previous Field Seasons: St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Carlton, and Pine counties
Evan Host began his career with MBS as a volunteer in 2017, moving on to a student worker and soon after progressing to his current role as a plant ecologist. His work primarily focuses on completing NPC mapping in north-central Minnesota. Evan occasionally assists other plant ecologists with NPC ground-truthing and with Ecological Monitoring Network surveys.
Previous Field Seasons: Statewide, North-central Minnesota.
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.
2018 Field Season: Border Lakes Subsection.
Previous Field Seasons: Kanabec, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Clearwater counties.
Kyle Johnson has been surveying Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) since 1990— at the age of five— but didn't join MBS until 2009. His field work has focused on the Laurentian Mixed Forest and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands provinces, but he is currently working to expand surveys across the state.
2018 Field Season: Statewide.
Amy Kendig began as a biometrician and wetland research scientist with MBS in 2022. She helps MBS staff design and analyze studies, such as the Ecological Monitoring Network and rare plant population monitoring. She also contributes to the Wetland Status and Trends Monitoring Program, the Wetland Hydrology Network, and Minnesota’s National Wetland Inventory.
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, zoologist specializing in amphibians and reptiles, has worked full time for MBS since 2008, and worked as an MCBS contractor for 12 years prior to that. He spent several field seasons conducting surveys for all amphibian and reptiles species statewide. Recent field season projects have focused on western rat snakes, gopher snakes (bullsnakes), plains hog-nosed snakes, eastern hog-nosed snakes, North American racers, five-lined skinks, spotted salamanders, and four-toed salamanders, some involving radio-telemetry and drift fences. These projects took place in southeastern, northeastern, and west central Minnesota.
2018 Field Season: western, southeastern, and northeastern Minnesota.
Previous Field Seasons: Statewide with recent focus on Swift, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, Redwood, Renville, Pine, Carlton, Wabasha, Winona, Fillmore, and Houston counties.
Jeff Lee has been working as a MBS plant ecologist and botanist since 2012. He lives in Duluth and works primarily in northeastern Minnesota conducting rare plant and native plant community surveys. His current projects include plot sampling for the Ecological Monitoring Network and collaborating with USFS and NRCS to develop a vegetation-soil classification on the Superior National Forest. Previously, Jeff worked for Michigan’s natural heritage program.
2023 Field Season: Ecological Monitoring Network plots in northeast Minnesota. Relevé plot and soil sampling in the Superior National Forest, Lake and Cook counties.
Previous Field Seasons: Border Lakes and Littlefork Vermilion Uplands ECS Subsections of Koochiching County. Border Lakes, Laurentian Uplands, and North Shore Highlands ECS Subsections of St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties.
Michael Lee began his tenure with MBS on the small mammal crew at Camp Ripley in 1992. He evolved to an MBS botanist/plant ecologist in 1993 working in Dakota County. Since then he has conducted botanical and ecological surveys throughout much of the state though his efforts have been focused in the forested regions (Eastern Broadleaf Forest and Laurentian Mixed Forest ECS provinces).
2023 Field Season: botanical surveys and rare plant monitoring in southeast, central, and northeast Minnesota. Focal areas include High and Outstanding Biodiversity Sites and areas with very limited past survey in the Blufflands, jack pine woodlands on outwash plains of north-central Minnesota, Scientific & Natural Areas in the east-central, north-central, and northeast parts of the state, Kabetogama Lake and Kabetogama Peninsula in Voyageurs National Park, and sand and gravel bars and mud flats along major rivers.
Geographic Area of Expertise: Dakota, Fillmore, Wabasha, Winona, Houston, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Becker, Hubbard, Carlton, Pine, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, Benton, Morrison, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Cass, Kandiyohi counties.
Courtney Schirmers Millaway joined MBS as an aquatic botanist in 2017. Her work focuses on aquatic botanical surveys throughout the state and includes collaboration with the DNR’s Lake Ecology Program.
2021 Field Season: Chisago, Ramsey, and Washington counties.
Previous Field Seasons: Chisago, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Pope, Ramsey, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Washington and Wright counties.
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.
2021 Field Season: Koochiching County
Previous Field Seasons: Carlton, northern Cass, southern Koochiching, southern St. Louis, Itasca counties.
Jessica Petersen began working for MBS in the summer of 2018. She directs surveys for invertebrates.
2018 Field Season: Statewide.
Previous Field Seasons: Work involving bees, butterflies, and flies in native and agricultural ecosystems in Minnesota's Prairie Parkland Province.
Welby Smith has worked as the State Botanist in the DNR since 1979. His work encompasses all naturally occurring vascular plant species throughout the state. He specializes in field studies of rare and endangered species and has prepared field guides to the identification of trees and shrubs, sedges and rushes, and orchids. He is currently working on a guide to the ferns and lycophytes of Minnesota which is due out in 2023.
2021 Field Season: Statewide
Previous Field Seasons: Statewide
Steve Stucker has been leading MBS' bird surveys since 1990.
2018 Field Season: Border Lakes Subsection; Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, Steele, Waseca counties.
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' 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.
- Former MBS Staff
Norm Aaseng was a plant ecologist/botanist with MBS from 1990 to 2017. Norm had previously been the DNR's Peatland Ecologist from 1979-1989. Most recently, he managed the plant (MnTaxa) and vegetation plot (Relevé) databases. His field work was primarily in Roseau and Pine counties; but he also assisted with surveys throughout northern Minnesota.
Amy Arndorfer worked as a Bee Survey Specialist with MBS from 2016-2018, and worked primarily in the Minnesota's prairie regions. Her fieldwork contributed to the goal of creating a state species list for bees.
Laura Bosacker worked on the new Minnesota Ecological Monitoring project, assessing overall trends in native plant communities statewide. Previously she worked in consulting, performing wetland delineations, rare plant surveys, vegetation monitoring and other botanical surveys throughout northern Minnesota, as well as in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming.
Crystal Boyd joined MBS in 2013 after working with the Minnesota State Wildlife Action Plan. She initiated MBS’s native bee surveys and compiled the first comprehensive state species list of bees. She also served on the Interagency Pollinator Protection Team and contributed to the 2017 Minnesota State Agency Pollinator Report. Please visit this webpage to learn more about Crystal's grassland bee project. In 2018, Crystal transitioned to a new position as the Pollinator Programs Manager for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Her field season work was in the Prairie Parkland Province, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands Province, and Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province.
Carmen Converse was the survey's creator and face of the program from its beginning in 1987 through spring 2015. Carmen performed prairie survey work for MBS in western Minnesota in MBS's early years.
Robert Dana started working with MBS as a plant ecologist in 1987 and was the Prairie Ecologist for the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program between 1991 and 2007. Robert is an entomologist by training and conducted insect surveys for MBS, along with prairie vegetation monitoring work for the Landowner Incentive Program.
Margaret Edwards began work for MNDNR as a zoology data specialist in 2009, before joining MBS (2012-2021), where they were responsible for data management, MBS database design, and field work. They now lead the DNR's Community Science Program.
Lawson Gerdes was the MBS Northern Coordinator until her retirement in spring 2016. She was also a plant ecologist with MBS from 1999. Her work area was the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, which includes most of the northern forested part of the state.
Lynden Gerdes performed botanical surveys for MBS from 1999 until his retirement in 2016. His floristic fieldwork was focused in Lake, Cook, St. Louis, and Itasca counties of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province.
Andrew Herberg worked as an Animal Survey Specialist with MBS from 2015-2019. His work focused on monitoring the spread of White-nose Syndrome in our state's hibernating bats, conducting surveys for small mammals and rare non-game fish, and assisting with amphibian and reptile surveys.
Courtney Kerns joined MBS in May 2012 as a plant ecologist/botanist and worked in Aitkin, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties in northern Minnesota through 2016.
Adam Maleski joined MBS in 2015 after working on Camp Ripley animal surveys, ranging from bats to bears to hawks to turtles. He netted and radio-tracked Northern Long-eared Bat females, conducted small mammal surveys, and assisted with other MBS animal surveys in Beltrami, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties.
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 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.
Erika Rowe worked for MBS as a plant ecologist/botanist from 2002-2022. Up until 2017, her work was focused on counties in the north-central region of Minnesota, where the prairie, patterned peatlands, and Laurentian mixed forest convene. She has also worked in the Blufflands region of southeast Minnesota doing focused vegetation surveys. Beginning in 2017, she coordinated the Ecological Monitoring Network (EMN), a project that is establishing long-term vegetation plots statewide to achieve a broader understanding of potential changes taking place across all of our native plant communities as a result of habitat fragmentation, climate change and the spread of invasive species, to name a few.
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 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 surveyed Martin, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lyon, Murray (part), Nobles (part), Mahnomen, Polk (east), and Marshall counties for MBS.
Amanda Stoltzfus worked with MBS from 2006-2009 and from 2012-2015. She conducted moth surveys and assisted with fish, snake, turtle, dwarf trout lily, mudpuppy, mammal, and butterfly surveys.
Hannah Texler was the MBS Plant Survey Supervisor since 2015-2020. She oversaw the work of the plant ecologists and botanists for the program, and was the project manager for the statewide Minnesota Long-Term Ecological Monitoring. She also worked as a plant ecologist/botanist for MBS from 1990 to 1995, when she surveyed counties in the southeastern part of the state. Between 1995 and 2015, she served as the regional plant ecologist for southeastern and east-central Minnesota, and from 1985 to 1990, she worked for the Scientific and Natural Areas program.
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.