AIS Advisory Committee Members
AIS Advisory Committee Members
- John Barten, Delano
- Jeff Forester, Minneapolis
- Jay Green, Mound
- Kenneth Grob, Park Rapids
- Tera Guetter, Detroit Lakes
- Barb Halbakken Fischburg, Detroit Lakes
- Gabriel Jabbour, Orono
- Robert Olsen, Canby
- James Stratton
- Paul Thiede
AIS Advisory Committee Ex-Officio Members
- Carol Altepeter, Brainerd
- Norman W. Deschampe, Grand Portage
- Michael Hoff, Eagan
- Douglas Jensen, Duluth
- Michael McCartney
Committee member bios
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John Barten is the natural resources director of Three Rivers Park District. He has been involved in AIS management activities for over 24 years, including inspecting watercraft, providing educational programs, monitoring the spread of aquatic invasive species in area lakes and wetlands, and implementing control programs for invasive plants. In addition, he participated in developing AIS management plans for numerous lakes and served on various DNR committees to assess AIS risk and review management options. Barten has an M.A. in Aquatic Biology from St. Cloud State University and has served on the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District AIS Task Force since 1989. He is a resident of Delano.
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Jeff Forester is executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, formerly the Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners Coalition (MSRPO). Under his leadership MSRPO-MN Lakes and Rivers has been a key advocate in AIS work, and has committed substantial resources to educating the public about invasive species and advancing AIS efforts with legislative action. Forester is also a writer and has participated in Minnesota Asian Carp Coalition activities, and attended many DNR-hosted AIS Stakeholder meetings. A resident of Minneapolis, Forester enjoys a variety of water-related activities including fishing, boating, sailing, water skiing, and waterfowl hunting.
Jay Green is a software engineer and systems architect working primarily in the healthcare sector. He is an active member of Anglers for Habitat, an organization dedicated to preserving and improving aquatic habitat, clean water, and fishing in Minnesota. Green has served as a board member on several outdoor organizations, including the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation and the Minnesota Sportfishing Congress. Since 2010, he has been an active participant in the AIS stakeholder meetings hosted by the DNR, as well as on a number of AIS committees and task forces sponsored by local government units. He currently serves on the board of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District. A resident of Mound, Green is an avid recreational and tournament angler, and also enjoys many other outdoor activities.
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Kenneth Grob is a retired engineer who currently serves as chair of the Hubbard County AIS Task Force. He has been actively engaged in AIS education, awareness, and prevention efforts for over eight years, both in Hubbard County and at the state level. Grob was president of the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) for five years and has served as chairman of the COLA AIS Prevention Committee since 2004. He has participated on several DNR stakeholder groups, including shoreland rules and standards, water structure rules, and aquatic invasive species. Grob is currently a member of the Hubbard County Board of Adjustment and chairs the University of Minnesota Extension Committee for Hubbard County. He has an M.S. Degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. During his career, Grob worked with General Motors, Xerox, and Medrad, mostly in upstate New York and Pittsburgh. He grew up in the Houston County area of southeastern Minnesota, and is currently a resident
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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.
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As a resident on Lake Minnetonka for over 40 years, and the owner of four marinas and a boat manufacturer, Gabriel Jabbour has always participated in and contributed to lake-related issues. He currently serves on the AIS committee for both the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Jabbour has worked with the DNR on public access issues and helped the agency facilitate four AIS training sessions for lake service providers. He also has extensive involvement in local government, including serving on the planning commission and as mayor for the city of Orono. In addition, Jabbour worked with Three River Parks and Hennepin County to acquire the Dakota Trail, and was involved in helping Orono wok with the State of Minnesota to acquire and preserve the Big Island Veteran Camp, where he presently serves as custodian. He has participated in a variety of AIS stakeholder meetings and committees sponsored by the DNR and local government organizations. Jabbour lives in Orono, where he pursues pleasure boating in his leisure time.
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Robert Olsen is the Environmental Administrator for Lincoln County in South Western Minnesota. He currently serves as Supervisor for the Lake Benton Improvement District where he helps establish policies for managing AIS, specifically curly-leaf pondweed. He has participated in several DNR-hosted AIS stakeholder meetings, as well as AIS committees sponsored by local government units. Olsen Is a lifelong resident of Lincoln County. He lives near Canby and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including fishing and boating.
Douglas County Commissioner
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.
AIS Advisory Committee Ex-Officio Members
Carol Altepeter is the northwest and central region manager for Explore Minnesota Tourism. She has a long history of communicating about AIS to Minnesota resorts and the tourism industry as a whole, and is committed to making sure visitors to our state know and understand our AIS regulations and why we have them. Altepeter previously served on the Shoreland Standards Advisory Committee, the DNR Invasive Species Terrestrial Advisory Marketing Committee, and the DNR Fishing Roundtable. A resident of Brainerd, she is an avid woman angler with a special interest in connecting children to fishing and the outdoors.
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.
Michael Hoff is the Invasive Species Program Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the Midwest Region. He began working on invasive species issues in 1975, and has focused primarily on invasive species activities since 2001. Hoff played a lead role in drafting Aquatic Invasive Species Action Plans for the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and for the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association. He currently works on coordinating invasive species program activities with representatives from the governments of Canada and Mexico, as well as NGOs, tribes, and industries in the Midwest region. Hoff is leading efforts to use risk assessment products for regulatory and non-regulatory decision-making, and is helping to lead early detection and response planning for the USFWS in the Great Lakes region. He received a B.S. Degree in Fisheries Management from U.W. Stevens Point, and an M.S. degree in Biology from Tennessee Technological University. A resident of Eagan, Hoff enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, skiing, and running.
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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.
Michael McCartney is a research assistant professor in the Minnesota AIS Research Center (MAISRC) and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at UMN. Dr. McCartney earned a Ph.D. at SUNY Stony Brook and did postdocs at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Florida State University. He came to MAISRC to study zebra mussels after 13 years on the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. His research program has featured a broad range of marine and freshwater invertebrates and fishes—with a focus on mollusks—and he often uses molecular biology to study problems in ecology, evolution and conservation. By using the most modern genetic and genomic tools available, Dr. McCartney aims to describe the pathways of zebra mussel spread in Minnesota and to develop early detection methods that target zebra mussel veliger larvae. The goal of his research is to help AIS managers around the state direct their efforts towards areas of the highest risk of invasion.