President Michael Miller
Dr. Michael A. Miller joined Northland College in July 2010 as the College’s 13th president. In his six years, Dr. Miller has strengthened Northland’s traditions of strong community, trust, faith, and determination. He has provided leadership in promoting scholarship that addresses regional and global challenges, and collaboration that supports the resiliency of the surrounding communities, preserves natural resources, and strengthens the region’s intellectual, cultural, and economic assets.
He spearheaded the 2015 creation of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, focused on scientific research, communication, and thought leadership on water issues in the Great Lakes region and beyond.
Dr. Miller serves on the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment Steering Committee, the National Parks Conservation Association’s Upper Midwest Advisory Council, and the North Lakes Discovery Center board of directors. He has served on the Council of Independent Colleges President’s Vocation and Institutional Mission Program. Regional involvements include being named to the Forest Lodge Advisory Council, St. Croix River Association Advisory Board, Ashland Ore Dock Charitable Trust, and taking part in various community initiatives.
Prior to joining Northland College, he served as dean of the College of Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He’s also held faculty appointments at Gustavus Adolphus College and Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Miller is a 1977 cum laude graduate of Hanover College. He pursued his graduate studies at Ball State University, where he earned his MA in educational psychology, his EdS in school and education psychology, and his PhD in school psychology.
A veteran conflict and environmental journalist, Peter spent more than a decade reporting on a wide variety of issues for Newsweek. For many years he specialized in coverage of domestic terrorism and the radical right, including the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the Branch Davidian standoff outside Waco, Texas. He has also spent many years writing about the environment, including droughts in the Southwest, hurricanes in the Southeast, wind power on the Great Plains, forest fires in the mountain West, recovery efforts on the Great Lakes, and the causes and consequences of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.
After his time at Newsweek, Annin became associate director of the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources, a nonpartisan national nonprofit that organizes educational fellowships for mid-career environmental journalists. In September 2006 he published his first book, The Great Lakes Water Wars, which has been called the definitive work on the Great Lakes water diversion controversy. In 2007 the book received the Great Lakes Book Award for nonfiction. From 2010 to 2015 Annin served as managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative, which targets the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources.
Since 2004 Annin has served as the volunteer executive director of Gull Rock Lightkeepers, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring Gull Rock Lighthouse, a storied Lake Superior light two and a half miles off Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University in New York.
In August of 2015, Annin joined Northland College as co-director of the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation.
Randy is the Mary Griggs Burke distinguished professor of environmental science and management. In this role, he teaches a series of courses that focus on integrated ecosystem management, ecological restoration and natural resource policy and oversees an applied research program. His current research addresses two primary issues—characterization of nearshore ecosystems and climate change impacts in Lake Superior, and integrated ecosystem assessment and management planning for inland lake and watershed ecosystems. In previous roles, his research has focused on: 1) watershed assessment to support water quality and Pacific salmon restoration; 2) watershed and aquatic response modeling to support the federal Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program; and, 3) development of ecological condition indicators for Great Lakes coastal wetlands, as part of the Great Lakes Ecological Indicators (GLEI) project.
In addition to his teaching and research, he has also been actively involved with the coordination, implementation, and assessment of a number of large-scale watershed and ecosystem restoration efforts throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. In Wisconsin, he has worked with a regional natural resource management coalition on the south shore of Lake Superior, the Chequamegon Bay Area Partnership (CBAP), to prioritize, implement, and assess a range of watershed restoration projects as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). In Washington State, he worked with the Chehalis Basin Partnership (CBP) to prioritize and implement watershed-scale restoration efforts to support water quality management and Pacific salmon recovery.
Todd is the director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. For more than thirty-five years, Todd has worked in the environmental policy field. From 2010 until becoming director of Healing Our Waters in July, 2013, Ambs was president of the national conservation group River Network. Prior to that, he ran the Water Division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for nearly a decade (2003-2010).
His extensive experience in both state government and nonprofit organizations includes serving as executive director of two statewide river organizations, policy director for the Ohio Attorney General and senior policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice .
Todd was the lead negotiator for the State of Wisconsin during the development of the Great Lakes Compact. Todd has served on a number of water-related boards and commissions including the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Protection Fund, and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association. He currently serves on the Regional Administrative Council for the North Central Region Water Network, advisory board for the Great Lakes Clean Communities Network, and on the board of the Southeast Wisconsin Watershed Trust.
Jon joined the state of Michigan as director of the Office of the Great Lakes in 2012, contributing his considerable experience in aquatic ecology, fisheries and wildlife, and environmental policy and governance to the office’s mission to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes.
With three decades of experience in environmental and energy policy, he has professionally applied his understanding of ecological management in a variety of academic, corporate, and public occupations. Jon’s research on wetlands, stream ecology, and water policy has been published in journals in the US and Canada.
Jon held executive positions in the private sector in environmental, government and regulatory affairs, and strategic planning. He has taught courses in biology, ecology, impact assessment, and island ecology.
He was an advisor on the Great Lakes Compact negotiations and co-chaired the council tasked with developing the state’s implementation of the Compact. He’s contributed his leadership in a range of roles with the state, including with Michigan’s Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council, the state’s Climate Action Council, and the Environmental Advisory Council for Michigan DEQ.
Jon is Chairman of the Great Lakes Commission and serves on other organizations including the executive committee for the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, the International Joint Commission’s Water Quality Board, the Great Lakes Executive Committee, the Great Ships Initiative, and Michigan Sea Grant. He is on the White House’s Governance Coordinating Committee (GCC) for the National Oceans Council and on the Board of Governors for the Cranbrook Institute of Science.
Kathryn is the president of the Council of Great Lakes Industries. She is an experienced environmental attorney who helps clients navigate complex regulatory environments and understand and manage environmental risks and opportunities. As the president of the Council of Great Lakes Industries, she develops and implements strategies for engaging industry in Great Lakes policy and in pursuing regional sustainable development.
In addition to serving as president of the Council of Great Lakes Industries, Kathryn practices environmental law as the owner and president of Buckner Law Group in Birmingham, Michigan. Kathryn earned a bachelor of science in organizational behavior with highest honors from the University of Illinois College of Business Administration; a JD cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law; a MBA with highest honors from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan; and a master of science in sustainable systems from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Cameron is senior advisor to the US Environmental Protection Agency administrator. In that capacity he provides counsel to the EPA administrator on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. His job includes coordinating Great Lakes policy and funding initiatives valued at more than $1 billion since FY10 with more than a dozen federal agencies and with state, municipal, tribal, business, and civic stakeholders. He also served as a lead negotiator on the US negotiating team for the 2012 US-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
For more than two decades, Cameron has worked to develop and implement water quality and quantity policy. Starting as a volunteer, he served as a litigating attorney and law teacher at the University of Michigan Law School before serving for eleven years as president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Under his leadership, the organization won the American Bar Association’s Distinguished Award in Environmental Law and Policy, the first time for a public interest organization in the honor’s history. He earned his law degree, including certification in environmental and energy law, from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and a BA from Boston University in international relations. He is the author of Confluence (BookSurge 2009).
Tony has been the director of planning and landscape-scale conservation for the USDA Forest Service in the Eastern Region since November 2010. He had led the Forest Service’s contribution to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative since early 2011, developing a collaborative restoration approach between the agency’s three mission areas: national forest system, northeastern area (state and private forestry), and the northern research station.
He was previously the deputy forest supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest—a job he occupied since September 2007. He was a land management planning specialist with the Ecosystem Management Coordination staff in Washington, D.C. where he strived to help people believe in the 2005/2008 planning rules. He was the forest planner on the Dixie National Forest (UT) (2000-2004), where he helped lead a cutting-edge collaborative forest plan revision process.
He has twenty-six years of environmental planning, exploring more effective ways to engage people with land management decisions. Previous planning experiences include: NEPA coordinator/primary ID team leader on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands (ND) (1998-2000), the Sandpoint Ranger District on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests (ID) (1993-1998), and the Eureka Ranger District on the Kootenai National Forest (MT) (1990-1993).
He has worked for the USDA Forest Service since 1984 and has a BS in forest management from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA.
Kris has been the principal ecologist, principal technical author, and project manager for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) projects throughout Western New York, and in locations in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio. His work on GLRI projects has involved coordinating and collaborating with the USEPA, USACE, USFWS, state agencies Areas of Concern (AOCs) Remedial Action Plan coordinators, Remedial Advisory Committees, Technical Advisory Committees, and Citizens Advisory Committees. Roles and responsibilities for GLRI related work include project determination, scoping, and costing; adaptive project management; client coordination; agency coordination; stakeholder engagement; field data collection; development of conceptual and final design; report preparation; and monitoring and adaptive implementation. Most of the GLRI-related work has focused directly on contributing to the delisting of AOCs and their Beneficial Use Impairments.
With over twenty-eight years of private consulting experience, Kris specializes in ecological restoration planning and design, including wetlands, coastal wetlands, shrublands and grasslands, streams, and riparian corridors; habitat restoration implementation, monitoring, and adaptive management such as invasive species management planning and implementation; remedial action plan (RAP) coordination and implementation; watershed analysis and planning; NEPA-related investigations and documentation; siting design implementation; and wetland investigations (Section 404/401 permitting, determination/delineation, functional assessment, conceptual mitigation planning, creation/enhancement planning, and design).
He is Ecology and Environment, Inc.’s regional restoration sector lead and co-program manager for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (GLRI) program, and has led restoration projects in a variety of locations across the Great Lakes Basin, the Midwest, and across the Western New York region
Rebecca joined the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in October 2008 as the assistant commissioner for water policy matters. In this role, she oversees the agency’s programs and activities to maintain and improve the quality of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams.
Rebecca serves as Minnesota’s representative on the US EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force and with the Association of Clean Water Administrators, which is the national voice for state and interstate clean water programs. In addition to being the liaison to the agricultural sector, she serves as the agency’s technical representative to the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program Advisory Committee. This committee is advising the commissioner of agriculture on the development of a voluntary program designed to expedite adoption of agricultural best management practices specifically designed to protect water quality.
Prior to joining the MPCA, Rebecca was employed by the Metropolitan Council for thirty years in a variety of clean-water programs, most recently serving as the environmental compliance manager for the Council’s eight municipal wastewater treatment facilities in the seven-county St. Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area. In this role, she also represented the council on a wide variety of statewide water policy committees, and led the development of both the council’s phosphorus and mercury reduction strategies.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from Michigan State University.
Steve is the director of the Office of Great Lakes for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). His responsibilities include implementing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Great Lakes policy in Wisconsin. Steve has been appointed one of the commissioners for the Great Lakes Commission, serves as a council member for the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and represents WDNR as a board member for the Fund for Lake Michigan. Steve is co-chair of the Great Lakes Dredging Team and is responsible for sediment management in Wisconsin. He has also been appointed one of Wisconsin’s representatives for the National Ocean Council Regional Planning Body, is on the steering committee for the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and has been appointed to the Great Lakes Advisory Board.
Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1985 with a master’s degree in biological sciences. His master’s thesis focused on primary production in Lake Michigan. Steve has worked with WDNR for twenty-four years and has spent over thirty years working on water quality, sediment quality, and Great Lakes issues.
Michael “Mic” Isham
Mic is chairman of the the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, located in northwest Wisconsin. He has served on the Tribe’s Governing Board since 1995. He also has served on the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission’s Board of Commissioners since 1995, currently serving as the board’s chair, and on the Commission’s Voigt Intertribal Task Force for twenty years, currently serving as the Task Force’s vice-chair.
Chairman Isham is a graduate of Northland College. He has thirty years of experience in natural resources management, starting as an intern with the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, and moving on to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the USEPA, and the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Conservation Department where he served as the department’s director for a number of years.
Josh is the state director of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, where he leads a team of experts dedicated to conserving Ohio’s landscapes for people and nature. Under his direction, the Conservancy led the ballot campaign to renew the Clean Ohio Fund, secured the remaining financing needed for the state’s acquisition of the 16,000-acre Vinton Furnace Experimental State Forest, and launched an effort to create the largest unbroken protected forest in Ohio by connecting its Edge of Appalachia preserve to Shawnee State Forest.
Josh was appointed by the president of the Ohio Senate to serve on the Great Lakes Compact Advisory Board and by the governor to serve on the Ohio Recreation and Resources Commission. He received the 2013 Green Leader award from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Council for his team’s work with the General Assembly to secure $100 million for the Clean Ohio Fund. Prior to returning to his home state, Josh headed corporate partnerships at the Conservancy’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. He previously worked on policy issues in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the law firm of White & Case.
Bob has been the National Park Service (NPS) superintendent of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, in Wisconsin, since 2002. He has been with the NPS for more than thirty-three years, including six years as the biologist at Isle Royale National Park, also on Lake Superior. Other assignments have included Valley Forge National Historical Park (PA), Shenandoah National Park (VA), Big Thicket National Preserve (TX), regional offices in Santa Fe (NM) and Philadelphia (PA), the national office in Washington DC, and seasonal jobs in five parks on the Colorado plateau. In 2014, he also served for five months as the acting superintendent at Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks in Florida.
Bob has a BS from Brown and a masters from Yale, both in environmental science, a somewhat unconventional academic background for a park ranger.
Lynn is the senior director for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Lynn was hired in 2007 to launch NPCA’s Midwest Regional office in Chicago and establish goals and national park protection campaigns for the parks in this eleven-state-region. She subsequently opened a field office in Minnesota in 2012 and has co-chaired the organization’s Urban Agenda for several years.
For the past nine years Lynn has co-chaired the Healing our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, a group of more than 140 conservation, environmental, and business organizations that has successfully advocated for the establishment of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2008, resulting in more than $2 billion of federal funding for the region. A portion of the GLRI each year funds toxic clean-up, wetlands restoration, and a host of projects and programs in the eight national parks of the Great Lakes region.
For nearly a decade prior to joining NPCA, Lynn owned an award-winning strategic consulting practice specializing in public policy. She is an alum of Washington University in St. Louis and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Robert received a BS in biology with field of concentration in ecology, ethology, and evolution from the University of Illinois. He moved to the University of Minnesota then began work on his graduate studies with David Tilman, receiving his PhD. Robert’s thesis topic was the interactions among zooplankton, algae, and nutrients. He then took a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Limnology in Germany where he worked with Ullrich Sommer and Winfried Lampert.
Robert’s PhD and postodctoral work helped lay the groundwork for an ecological approach now called Ecological Stoichiometry. “ES” examines how the nutrient content of organisms shapes their ecology and evolution. He worked on various aspects of ES first as an assistant then associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Robert then accepted a faculty position at the University of Minnesota, serving as head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and in 2002 co-authored a major book on Ecological Stoichiometry. Between 2007-9, he served as the director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the US National Science Foundation. In that post, he was responsible for a $110 million budget, which made up roughly a quarter to a third of the federal investment in environmental research. His research since then has included studies of Lake Superior, examining different aspects of carbon and nutrient cycles and over the years having amassed a great deal of information about these basic ecosystem properties.
Heather serves as the Great Lakes Regional Lead for NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM). She is working to better integrate OCM programs and enhance programmatic connections with partners in the Great Lakes region. Currently she is focusing on Great Lakes place-based restoration and conservation, community resilience, and strategic partnership development. Heather serves on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Annex 2 (LAMP) and Annex 9 (Climate Impacts) Subcommittees, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Executive Steering Committee, USGS Climate Science Center Advisory Board, Lake Superior Lakewide Management and Action Working Group, and NOAA’s St. Louis River Habitat Blueprint Implementation Team (chair). Previously Heather chaired NOAA’s Great Lakes Climate Working Group and served for over eight years as the National Ocean Service’s (NOS) representative to NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Team.
Heather has a broad portfolio of non-governmental, county, state, and federal work experience. Having worked previously as the policy analyst for NOS’ assistant administrator, responsible for daily operational support, building professional relationships among NOS’ executive leadership, and fostering collaborative partnerships on projects of national interest. In total, Heather has served for over ten years as a fisheries management specialist focusing on some of America’s most valuable state and federal fisheries. Her contributions to US management of highly migratory species have been nationally recognized by the Department of Commerce and NOAA’s General Counsel.
She holds a masters degree in marine affairs, with specialties in fisheries management as well as ocean and coastal law, from the University of Rhode Island and a BA in marine affairs from the University of Miami.
Dave worked from 1973 to 2003 for US EPA’s Great Lakes Region in Chicago in a variety of positions across all programs from staff attorney to deputy regional administrator and acting regional administrator for two-and-a-half years. From 2003 to the present, he has served as executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Dave worked on an executive exchange program for the West German Interior Ministry in 1985 and has traveled on business in the Baltic countries, Western Europe, the African Great Lakes, Taiwan, and attended the Paris Conference on Climate Change in December 2015.
James E. Zorn
James is executive administrator of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, an agency of eleven Ojibwe tribes located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. GLIFWC assists its Tribal Nations to secure their reserved hunting, fishing, and gathering rights guaranteed in land cession treaties with the United States. He started with GLFWC in 1987, serving as lead attorney/policy analyst for eighteen years before becoming chief executive officer in 2006.
Prior to joining GLIFWC, he was tribal attorney for the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin, and was an attorney with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New York City. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. Zorn has been extensively involved in legal proceedings and intergovernmental agreements that recognize Ojibwe treaty-reserved rights and establish mechanisms to implement those rights. His expertise extends to tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction, tribal self-regulation and intertribal co-management, tribal co-management with other jurisdictions, administrative law, legislative and appropriations matters, and the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act.
He has served on coordinating bodies of many interagency partnerships, including: the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council; the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaption Strategy; the Bi-National Program to Restore and Protect Lake Superior; the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; and the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries.
Lynn launched Broadview Collaborative, Inc., an independent consulting practice focused on accelerating sustainable and resilient water practices in the United States, in 2014. This practice builds on her work with The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, where she led a ground-breaking, six-year effort to address a wide range of topics on the forefront of water sustainability and resiliency. Lynn’s earlier career includes nearly twenty years in water and biodiversity management with organizations including Milwaukee Riverkeeper®, The Nature Conservancy, and NatureServe. Other work experiences include energy conservation and teaching.
She earned her PhD in botany and genetics from Duke University, an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia. Lynn is a trustee for the Water Environment Federation and serves as a non-resident fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. She also chairs the boards of the national organization River Network and the Board of Visitors for the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Ron is a freelance writer who specializes in covering science and environmental issues in the Great Lakes region. He is also a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he has taught science and environmental writing for twenty years.
Until he retired in 2013, Ron was an award-winning reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison where he worked for thirty-five years. For twenty years, he covered science and environment. During his career with the newspaper, Seely won numerous state and national awards for his journalism. He is a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Press Association’s award for environmental reporting, most recently in 2009. In 2010, he was the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s national science writing award, the prestigious James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award.
After retiring from the Wisconsin State Journal, Ron worked for three years for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism where he specialized in covering Great Lakes environmental issues, focusing especially on water quality.
While working for the investigative center Seely was awarded the Sierra Club’s David Brower Award for excellence in environmental reporting. His work at the center also earned recognition from the Milwaukee Press Club.
Seely retired from the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in 2016 but remains a contributing writer for the center. He now focuses on freelance science and environmental writing and teaching.
Northland College would like the thank the following individuals and organizations for generously supporting the 2016 Water Summit:
- George and Jean Shinners
- The Joyce Foundation
- The Brico Fund
- The Fund for Lake Michigan