FOIA2

Covid Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Brown

MAEAP Technician

Tel: 231-757-3707 ext. 109

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Returning to Northern Michigan has been on Justin Brown’s radar. Thanks to a recent job opening with the MAEAP program, that became a reality. Growing up in Bear Lake, Justin comes from an agriculture background where his grandparents, Merl and Betty Brown, started Browns Orchards. Having a passion for natural resources, Justin attended Northern Michigan University and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management in 2016.

After college, Justin started as a seasonal employee with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. There he was a fisheries technician and worked a variety of different projects. Once summer season was ending, a new opportunity had arisen. Moving to Wisconsin, Justin started a full-time position with the United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services. He provided wildlife damage management activities and technical assistance to a wide range of cooperators including airports, large corporations, and private landowners. After nearly three years in Wisconsin, Justin then transferred with wildlife services to Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee where he assisted in creating a wildlife hazard management plan for the newly renovated airfield.

Justin is excited to be back in his home counties where he can assist his neighboring producers. During his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hunting with his friends and family.

Seth Hopkins

Conservation Technician

Tel: 231-757-3707 ext. 112

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Seth Hopkins grew up in the Eastern part of Mason County and attended College at Northland College in Northern Wisconsin where he received an Environmental Science degree.  He has worked with Conservation Districts across Michigan as an Americorps Member,  Watershed Manager, and Natural Resource Specialist.  Seth has international experience as an Environmental Consultant in Bolivia, South America and has received a Master of Science in Community Development from Iowa State.  Seth worked in education for a number of years before returning to work for the District as the Conservation Technician.  He will be working with landowners to help protect and conserve our natural resources as well as promoting water quality in the Big Sable and Lincoln River Watersheds.

Abbey Hull

Water Quality Intern 



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Abbey will be assisting in the monitoring of activities of the Little Manistee River in Lake, Mason and Manistee Counties. This work is being accomplished through a partnership with the Little Manistee Watershed Conservation County. Abbey will coordinate macro-invertebrate samplings, identify aquatic macro-invertebrates, collect physical data and assist in data analysis among other various duties. As you can see, Abbey loves to play in the water!

Bri Jasinski

Project Manager - Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

231-757-3707 ext. 111

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Bri grew up in Holland, MI, skiing and hiking in the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. She went to Michigan State University where she graduated with a degree in Environmental Geosciences, and spent her undergrad years working for a hydrogeology lab visiting streams and rivers around Michigan measuring nutrient loading and flow rate. She worked in Lansing for an environmental consulting agency after graduating, and then moved west where she worked in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nevada for public lands agencies including the USFS, NPS, and USGS. She got an MS in Biology at Northern Arizona University in 2018. Since then, she's been looking for a chance to move back home to Michigan to be closer to family (and be near water and snow once again). She is excited to be working with landowners in the area protecting hemlock along the dunes and streams. She enjoys skiing, hiking, working on her travel trailer, and social dancing.

Dani McGarry

District Manager

Tel: (231) 757-3707 ext. 102

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Dani joined the Mason-Lake Conservation District at the end of 2015 and transitioned to the District Manager position in 2017. In her capacity as Manager, she collaborates with partner organizations and local landowners to complete conservation activities in our community. This may happen through collaboration on grant applications, linking landowners with the appropriate technical experts (on staff or elsewhere) and promoting existing programs for funding conservation projects. Dani came to the District with experience in habitat restoration and invasive species management. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Michigan Tech University and a Master's of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.

Zach Seguin

Hemlock Crew

Tel: 231-757-3707 ext. 111

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Zach recently graduated from the University of Michigan - Flint in 2021 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Sustainability. Before joining the Hemlock Field Crew at Mason-Lake, Zach worked a season with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network as a Survey Technician, and twice as an intern with the National Park Service at Sleeping Bear Dunes doing invasive plant treatments and hemlock woolly adelgid surveys.

In his spare time, Zach enjoys hikes, going on road trips, hanging out with friends, and petting other people’s dogs when they walk by on trails.

Ryleigh Wehler

Hemlock Crew



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Ryleigh will be joining our HWA crew this summer. She and the rest of the team will continue surveying and treatment of the invasive insect Hemlock Wooly Adelgid this year. Ryleigh is from Muskegon and grew up fishing on Lake Michigan, as well as hunting and hiking around Baldwin. 

Ryleigh is no stranger to getting her hands dirty as she did an internship last year with USFS in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. This May, she will be graduating from Aquinas College with a BS in environmental studies, with an Earth science concentration. During her studies, she worked on a tree committee helping to develop an urban forest at the college.

Cathy Young

Officer Manager

Tel: 231-757-3707 ext. 109

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Cathy joined the Conservation office in November 2021 as a part time Office Manager, working with the business aspect of the District Office.  Born and raised in Mason County and the daughter of dairy farmers, she recently moved back to the area after spending many years in the Pacific Northwest working in the K-12 educational business field.  Her background includes payroll, retirement and benefit management, policy and compliance management and various other tasks related to employee benefits and online instruction.  When she is not at work, Cathy enjoys spending time with her husband, family and extended family and paper crafting.

Josh Shields

Forester
Forestry Assistance Program

Tel: (231) 889-9666

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Jerry Kass

Resource Management Specialist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Tel: 231- 757-3707 ext. 110

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Jerry Kass grew up on a dairy farm in Muskegon Michigan where he developed a love for the great outdoors. After High school he joined the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman where he had the opportunity to travel the world and develop his passion for assisting others. Jerry came home and enrolled in Grand Valley State University where he graduated with a major in wildlife biology and minor in chemistry. He spent three summers working with the DNR as a wildlife assistant working with local producers in Mason, Lake, Wexford, Osceola, and Missaukee counties helping them mitigate crop damage. He also banded waterfowl and conducted wildlife surveys. Jerry spent 6 months working as the Conservation Coordinator for the Kent Conservation District where he ran the invasive species strike team. Now he works as the Mason-Lake Conservation District’s Conservation Technician, helping landowners to utilize federal conservation programs.

Seth Earl

District Conservationist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Tel: (231) 757-3707 ext. 3

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Seth Earl is farm boy who is passionate about conservation and helping people pursue their dreams. Hailing originally from southern Michigan, Seth spent time working in conservation across seven states before moving back to Michigan and marrying the farmer’s daughter. Serving as a District Conservationist in the Scottville field office since September 2007, Seth works closely with farmers to evaluate conservation alternatives. Along with his wife Lyndsay, Seth assists in the agronomy and fertility management of her family’s 99-year-old, 1,600-acre, 500-cow dairy farm; Stakenas Farms in Free Soil. Active in 4-H, FFA and Farm Bureau, Seth and Lyndsay were named the 2017 National Runner-ups in the Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture contest. As young parents they fuel their passion for the agricultural industry, community minded approach and willingness to serve others as they try to instill the rural way of life for their daughters McKenzie and Madisyn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Costantino

Outreach Coordinator 

Tel: (313) 570-6853

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Born and raised in Michigan, Emma has always loved being outdoors. This led her to graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife in 2019. After graduation, Emma served with the Antrim Conservation District as their Stewardship Coordinator through the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program. Emma joined the NCCISMA team in 2020. When not working, she appreciates any excuse to get outside, including hiking and camping. 

Zach Peklo

Invasive Species Technician

Tel: (248) 210-6047

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Vicki Sawicki

Program Coordinator

Tel: (231) 429-5072

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