Rebecca Esselman, Executive Director
Rebecca started at HRWC as a watershed planner, leading HRWC’s work in climate adaptation and water conservation and began in her role as Executive Director in 2019. Prior to joining HRWC, Rebecca spent ten years with the Nature Conservancy working in conservation planning and knowledge sharing. Rebecca holds a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Georgia where she focused on watershed issues and a Bachelor of Science in Botany from Michigan State University. She joined HRWC in 2012 and lives near the Huron River in Dexter.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x611
Daniel Brown, Watershed Planner
Daniel coordinates the Huron River Water Trail and projects to revitalize the river corridor, and he is leading HRWC’s efforts to address PFAS contamination throughout the watershed. Daniel has worked on climate change and environmental issues across North America, previously as Mass Audubon’s climate change program coordinator and as a climatologist based at the University of Michigan. He enjoys empowering conservation based on sound science and getting people to enjoy Michigan’s natural resources. He joined HRWC in 2018 and lives in the Horseshoe Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x608
Anita Daley, Marketing Executive
Anita manages the outreach components of several projects. She is a nature lover who has been working in the environmental non-profit sector for over 20 years with an emphasis on marketing and communications to grow awareness and change behavior. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with a minor in Business Administration from Boston University. She joined HRWC in 2015 and lives in the Malletts Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x603
Jason Frenzel, Stewardship Coordinator
Jason facilitates current and potential watershed stewards. Previously, he worked with the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation program for 10 years as its Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University in “facilitating tree hugging.” He joined HRWC in 2011 and lives in the Traver Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x600
Jennifer Kangas, Operations Director
Jennifer manages HRWC financial affairs and operations. She brings more than 18 years of experience as a commercial lender. She also formed and spent seven years operating an organic vegetable farm. Jennifer has served on various boards in various capacities including Treasurer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Iowa State University. She lives in the Honey Creekshed (Washtenaw).
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x604
Pam Labadie, Marketing Director
Pam leads HRWC’s marketing and communications team, coordinating public relations and responding to media inquiries. She also manages public outreach for the Huron River Water Trail and three collaborative stormwater groups. A lifelong Michigan resident, her passion for protecting the Huron River grows from a childhood spent swimming, fishing, and boating on the Great Lakes. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctorate from the Michigan State University College of Law. Pam joined HRWC in 2007 and lives near the Huron River in Ann Arbor with her family.
Journalists or other media professionals can direct requests to Pam.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x602
Kate Laramie, Watershed Ecology Associate
Kate supports a number of HRWC programs including benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring, K-12 environmental education, and Natural Areas Assessment and Protection. She has over five years of experience working on environmental research and monitoring initiatives across the country, from southern Utah to northern Michigan. Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology. She joined HRWC in 2020 and lives near the Huron River in Ann Arbor.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x606
Ric Lawson, Watershed Planner
Ric is primarily responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of several watershed management plans in the upper, middle and lower sections of the watershed. He also runs the Chemistry and Flow Program, and is facilitating Green Infrastructure planning for stormwater. Ric earned joint Masters Degrees in Environmental Management and Public Policy at Duke University. He joined HRWC in 2006 and lives in the Allens Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x609
Kris Olsson, Watershed Ecologist
Kris specializes in GIS analysis, landscape ecology, and code and ordinance development. Kris earned two Masters of Science (resource ecology, natural resource policy) degrees at the University of Michigan. She joined HRWC in 1992 and lives in the Traver Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x607
Andrea Paine, Watershed Planning Associate
Andrea coordinates the Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program and assists with stormwater management coordination and many other watershed planning, management, and restoration projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. She joined HRWC in 2018, lives in the Allens Creekshed, and is a native of Manistee, MI.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x613
Wendy Palms, Development Director
Wendy is excited to join this awesome group of leaders in environmental protection, clean water, and river recreation. She has over 30 years of communications and fundraising experience and she will lead HRWC’s fundraising efforts with individuals, companies and foundations. Wendy grew up in Traverse City and cares deeply for the health of our water resources. She joined HRWC in 2020 and she lives in Chelsea with her husband and three boys in the Mill Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x605
Eric Robinson, Watershed Planning Fellow
Eric has a feature role in launching HRWC’s upcoming watershed-wide Green Stormwater Infrastructure program. He also supports other HRWC programs including watershed management plan mapping and coordinating our BANCS data collection program. He has several years of experience in field work within the watershed, including a HRWC internship in 2017 and as a HRWC volunteer since 2105. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration of Hydrology from Eastern Michigan University. He joined HRWC in 2020 and lives near the Huron River in Ypsilanti.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x612
Allison Schneider, Development Associate
Allison is responsible for stewardship of donors, membership and special events. Prior to joining HRWC, she spent five years fundraising and event planning for local nonprofits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on Policy and Resource Management from the University of Michigan Dearborn. She joined HRWC in 2019 and lives near the Huron River in Ann Arbor.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x610
Paul Steen, Watershed Ecologist
Paul analyzes and reports on the data collected by our Adopt-A-Stream volunteers and provides scientific and educational support to several HRWC programs. He is the program manager of the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps), a state-wide program focused on volunteer monitoring in lakes and streams. Paul earned his Master of Science and Ph. D. from the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, where he focused on landscape ecology, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and fish community ecology. He joined HRWC in 2008 and lives in the Horseshoe Creekshed.
Phone: (734) 769-5123 x601