Rebecca Esselman, Executive Director

Rebecca Esselman, Watershed PlannerRebecca 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.

Email: resselman@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Daniel Brown, Watershed Planner

Dan 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.

Email: dbrown@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Anita Daley, Marketing Executive

Anita Dailey, Marketing ExecutiveAnita leads the outreach components of several projects. She is a nature lover who has been working in the environmental nonprofit 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.

Email: adaley@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Jason Frenzel, Stewardship Coordinator

Jason Frenzel, Stewardship CoordinatorJason 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.

Email: jfrenzel@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Heather Hammond, Finance and Operations Associate

Heather HammondHeather supports HRWC in Finance and Operations. She brings 10 years of experience in law firm financial management. She has BA in English and International Studies from Kalamazoo College, and she holds a Masters in Professional Studies for Law Firm Administration from The George Washington University. Heather lives in the Huron River watershed.

Email: hhammond@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Jennifer Kangas, Operations Director

Jennifer Kangas, Operations DirectorJennifer 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).

Email: jkangas@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Pam Labadie, Marketing Director

Pam Labadie, Marketing DirectorPam 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.

Email: plabadie@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Kate Laramie, Program Coordinator

Kate Laramie, Associate Watershed EcologistKate supports a number of HRWC programs including benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring, K-12 environmental education, and the Natural Areas Assessment Program. She has experience working on ecological research and monitoring initiatives across the country, from southern Utah to northern Michigan. Kate earned her Master of Science in Ecosystem Science and Management from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in the cycling of nutrients in river systems and general watershed health. She joined HRWC in 2020 and lives near the Huron River in Ann Arbor.

Email: klaramie@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Ric Lawson, Watershed Planner

Ric Lawson, Watershed PlannerRic 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.

Email: rlawson@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

David Lossing, Government Relations Director

David Lossing, Government Relations DirectorDavid joined HRWC in 2023, where he is responsible for managing and expanding the organization’s policy initiatives. His role involves overseeing HRWC’s efforts to advocate for water and climate-related issues at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, David is committed to providing assistance and resources to local governments in their efforts to protect forests, wetlands, and riparian habitats. David spent 16 years working at the University of Michigan, where he held various positions, including adjunct lecturer in the School of Education, associate director of State Outreach, and director of Government Relations. He has also served as a public official for 18 years, 12 of which he spent as the mayor of his community. David holds degrees in Political Science, Education, and Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Linden, Michigan, and are proud dog parents to Fritz, Sander, and Sammy.

Email: dlossing@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Kelly McCabe, Watershed Programs Associate

Kelly McCabe, Watershed Programs AssociateKelly coordinates the Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program and supports other stormwater management and watershed planning activities at HRWC. She has worked on water quality issues, especially eutrophication or excess nutrient inputs to waters, in a variety of aquatic systems including the coastal oceans, Great Lakes, rivers, and stormwater systems. Kelly holds a Master of Science in Chemical Oceanography focusing on the role of stormwater runoff in impairing coastal waters and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. She joined the HRWC in 2023 and lives in the Honey Creekshed.

Email: kmccabe@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Kris Olsson, Watershed Ecologist

Kris Olsson, Watershed EcologistKris 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.

Email: kolsson@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Andrea Paine, Program Coordinator

Andrea Paine, Watershed Planning AssociateAndrea coordinates HRWC’s stormwater management, fee-for-service stormwater services, and community engagement work. She also supports local policy and other watershed planning and management projects. She holds Bachelor and Masters degrees in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan. She joined HRWC in 2018, lives in the Allens Creekshed, and is originally from Manistee, MI.

Email: apaine@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Melina Pakey-Rodriguez, Environmental Fellow

Melina Pakey RodriguezMelina contributes to HRWC’s community engagement program, watershed mapping, and various other projects. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environment & Sustainability from Cornell University, concentrating her studies on environmental justice and natural resource management. Melina joined HRWC in 2022 and lives in the Allens Creekshed.

Email: mpakey-rodriguez@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Wendy Palms, Development Director

Wendy Palms Development DirectorWendy 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.

Email: wpalms@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Allie Schneider, Development Associate

Allie Schneider

Allie 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.

Email: aschneider@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Paul Steen, Watershed Ecologist

Paul Steen, Watershed EcologistPaul 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.

Email: psteen@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Maaike Wielenga, Marketing Associate

Maaike Wielenga, Marketing AssociateMaaike supports HRWC’s marketing and communications work. She is passionate about sustainable behavior change, and has experience with watershed environmental education and water quality monitoring. Maaike earned her Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Michigan, specializing in Behavior, Education, and Communication. She joined HRWC in 2023 and lives in the Traver Creekshed.

Email: mwielenga@hrwc.org

Phone: (734) 769-5123

Field Interns

Onboarding Field Interns at the creek
Eric teaches 2022 field interns how to monitor the river and creeks. Photo by: HRWC

Each year, HRWC recruits aquatic field interns for the summer season. HRWC’s summer aquatic field internship program allows undergraduates, recent graduates, and new professionals the opportunity to experience field-based water quality monitoring and public education in the context of a well-rounded internship experience. Interns visit numerous local tributaries to the Huron River, collecting data about benthic macroinvertebrates, in-stream and near-stream habitat, and water quality parameters such as flow and conductivity. They also work on HRWC education program, teaching area residents and students about water quality and water quality testing, including our summer youth snorkeling program, stormdrain awareness campaign, and door-to-door education. Check our Jobs page for internship openings in the early spring.