Core Team and Committees

The GLPC has a governance structure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of our work. A Core Team of staff are involved in administration and day-to-day operations of the GLPC. An Advisory Committee meets bi-annually to share program updates and connect on ongoing GLPC work. Finally, Observers are an arms-length group that are informed of GLPC progress and assist or provide feedback when necessary.

Click the buttons below to learn more about each of these groups and their members. Please contact us if you would like to participate.

Core Team

A core team of staff at the Great Lakes Commission and US Geological Survey are responsible for administrative duties, communication, and leadership in development of tools for the GLPC. The core team meets monthly.

Kurt Kowalski
Research Wetland Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center
[email protected]

Erika Jensen
Program Manager
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Samantha Tank
Program Specialist
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Patrick Canniff
Program Specialist
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Advisory Committee

Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative Advisory Committee includes representation from federal, state and provincial governments and the broad group of stakeholders engaged in invasive Phragmites management, research, restoration, education, and outreach throughout the Great Lakes Basin. The Committee provides guidance and leadership to the Collaborative as it works to develop products, facilitate communication, and foster collaboration across the region.

Federal Government Agencies

Joshua Booker
Great Lakes Zone Biologist
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region
Stationed at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
[email protected]

Heather Braun
Habitat Biologist – Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
[email protected]

Brian Smith
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
[email protected]

Joshua Unghire
Biologist – Buffalo District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
[email protected]

Gia Wagner
Natural Resource Branch Chief – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
National Park Service
[email protected]

State/Province Government Agencies

Natalie Boyd
Habitat Biologist
Environment and Climate Change Canada
[email protected]

Francine MacDonald
Biodiversity Policy Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
[email protected]

Rich Rezanka
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
[email protected]

Kevin Walters
Aquatic Biologist – Aquatic Invasive Species
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
[email protected]

Mark Witt
Private Lands Biologist
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
[email protected]

Brock Woods
Purple Loosetrife Biocontrol Coordinator and Wetland Invasive Plant Programs
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
[email protected]

Tribal Communities

Travis Bartnick
Wildlife Biologist
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
[email protected] 

Alex Wieten
Water Resources Specialist
Gun Lake Tribe
[email protected]

Gabrielle VanBergen
Project Coordinator – Treaty Natural Resources Specialist
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
[email protected]

Local and Non-profit Organizations

Jason Hill
Manager of Conservation Programs
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
[email protected]

Chris May
Director of Stewardship
The Nature Conservancy, Michigan
[email protected]

Janice Gilbert
Wetland Ecologist and Co-Chair
Ontario Phragmites Working Group
[email protected]


Bernd Blossey
Associate Professor
Cornell University
[email protected]

Meaghan Gass
Sea Grant Extension Educator
Michigan State University Extension Sea Grant
[email protected] 

Andrea Locke
Coordinator – Western New York PRISM
Buffalo State University
[email protected]

Rochelle Sturtevant
GLANSIS Program Manager
Michigan Sea Grant / NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
[email protected]