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. A Steering Committee meets more frequently to advance specific tasks and projects that do not require participation of the entire Advisory Committee. 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.

Erika Jensen – Program Manager

Great Lakes Commission



Kurt Kowalski – Research Ecologist

US Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center



Elaine Ferrier – Senior Program Specialist

Great Lakes Commission



Samantha Stanton

Program Specialist

Great Lakes Commission


Dan Engel

Biologist – Fire River Services Contractor

 US Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center



Wes Bickford

Wetland Research Analyst

US Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center




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

Nathan Helms
Invasive Species Specialist & Project Manager
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Linda Nelson
Assistant Technical Director for
Environmental Engineering and Sciences
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Norman Melvin
Botanist and Wetland Team Leader
USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service

Brian Smith
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

State/Province Government Agencies

Heather Braun
Habitat Biologist
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Colin Cassin
Ontario Invasive Plant Council

Jennifer Dunn
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Meaghan Gass
Extension Educator
Michigan Sea Grant 

Francine MacDonald
Biodiversity Policy Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Dave Sherman
Wetland Habitat Coordinator
Ohio Division of Wildlife

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

Tribal Communities

Seeking representatives – please contact if interested.

Local and Non-profit Organizations

Jason Hill
Manager of Conservation Programs
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Chris May
Director of Stewardship
The Nature Conservancy, Michigan

Janice Gilbert
Wetland Ecologist and Co-Chair
Ontario Phragmites Working Group


Bernd Blossey
Associate Professor
Cornell University

Eric Hazelton
Research Ecologist
Utah State University

Andrea Locke
Coordinator – Western New York PRISM
Buffalo State University

Doug Wilcox
Empire Innovation Professor of Wetland Science
State University of New York, Brockport

Steering Committee

In 2016 a Steering Committee was established which is a smaller group that meets more frequently. The first key tasks of the Steering Committee were to develop a GLPC Charter to be approved by the Advisory Committee, and to assist in planning a winter 2017 workshop.

The Steering Committee includes the GLPC Core Team and the following members:

Brian Smith
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

Chris May
Director of Stewardship
The Nature Conservancy, Michigan

Janice Gilbert
Wetland Ecologist and Co-Chair
Ontario Phragmites Working Group


Observers are partners who are interested in keeping track of the work of the GLPC and providing assistance and feedback as necessary, but are not involved in regular meetings.

Rochelle Sturtevant
Regional Sea Grant Extension Educator
Michigan Sea Grant

Julie Sims
Regional Coordinator
Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Amos Ziegler
MISIN Coordinator
Midwest Invasive Species Information Network
Michigan State University

Don UzarskiDirector, Institute for Great Lakes ResearchCentral Michigan University

Phyllis Higman
Senior Conservation Scientist
Conservation Education Lead
Michigan Natural Features Inventory