Board ofDirectors

left-arc-blue-bg-220

Tom Jerow

President

EXPERIENCE: Tom Jerow served as board treasurer until December 2019. He is a member of the Environmental Rules and Water Resource Work Group and the Public Trust and Wetlands Work Group. Tom retired from the WDNR in 2013 after 34 years mostly in the water program. He was the Northern Regional Water Leader when he retired.

EDUCATION: Tom graduated in 1979 from the UW-Stevens Point with a degree in Soil Science. His graduate level work was in hydrogeology.

PERSONAL: In his retirement Tom is an avid volunteer at his local food pantry where he manages a large community garden. He has also been an active supporter of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. He lives in Rhinelander with his husband Steven.

tom-jerrow cropped for website

James W. Perry

Vice President

EXPERIENCE: Jim Perry spent 18 years in administration at UW-Fox Valley, while still teaching an undergraduate botany course. He served as the public face of his campus, interacting with government officials, lobbying for higher education and serving as a fund raiser for his campus. He was Professor of Biological Sciences. Retiring in 2011, he is Campus Executive Officer and Dean Emeritus. Previously he was Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, Wildlife and Fisheries at Frostburg State University in Maryland.

EDUCATION: B.S. – Zoology and Secondary Education, M.S. – Botany and Zoology, Ph.D. Botany and Plant Pathology, all from UW-Madison.

PERSONAL: Jim is a lifelong outdoors person, hunter, and conservationist. Reading A Sand County Almanac as an undergraduate shaped his outlook on the natural world, and he credits Aldo Leopold for serving as his ethical compass. As a WGF board member, he hopes to foster greater public understanding of the value of science-based decision-making, and enlist sporting organizations to support the work of WGF. He is past President of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, and serves on the board of Lake Superior’s Big Top Chautauqua. Jim lives in rural Winnebago County with his spouse Joy (also a WGF member), and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Sharpshooter’s Doppler Effect, but spends as much time as possible at their Iron County cabin.

James Perry

Bob Gurda

Treasurer

EXPERIENCE: Bob Gurda retired from the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office at UW-Madison, where he wrote/edited a quarterly newsletter, coordinated a variety of initiatives across public agencies, presented workshops, monitored advances in technology, served on interagency and interstate workgroups and task forces, and responded to a wide variety of inquiries from professionals, landowners, map seekers, and students. He was heavily involved in establishing the Wisconsin Land Information Association. As a cartographer, one of his particular interests is in effective communication of complex information, especially of the physical landscape. His earlier experience was varied, including as a naturalist, nature photographer, tax auditor, and piano technician. 

EDUCATION: B.S. in Zoology, M.S. Cartography, UW-Madison

PERSONAL: As a generalist student of the natural world, Bob’s interests are diverse. Outside of science, he enjoys urban vegetable gardening, fly fishing, playing trumpet in a big band, and spending time at a cottage near Rhinelander. He has served on the Board and as Treasurer of Dimensions in Sound and the Studio Orchestra, Inc, a non-profit organization. Bob lives in Madison with his wife Betty Craig.

Bob Gurda

Don Behm

Secretary

EXPERIENCE: Don Behm is retired from a four-decade career in Journalism, including 36 years at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Don was a charter member of The Society of Environmental Journalists. His reporting on pollution of waterways in Wisconsin earned a national Thomas L. Stokes Award from the Washington Journalism Center in 1989 for “best daily newspaper reporting on protection of the environment.” In 1991, the Southeast Area Association of Land Conservation Committees recognized Don for “increasing public awareness of water quality issues in southeastern Wisconsin.” He has received numerous local, state, and regional awards for enterprise and investigative reporting.

EDUCATION: While studying journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the wake of the first few Earth Days and Watergate, Don was introduced to the work of botanists, limnologists, soil scientists, and wildlife researchers from Wisconsin. Their legacy, and the instruction of scientists he met on the job, guided much of his reporting on the environment.

PERSONAL: A Wisconsin native, Don grew up along the Fox River in Omro where he became familiar with water quality problems caused by stormwater runoff from farms, livestock in streams, and factory and municipal wastes. Don and his brothers and sisters donated a conservation easement on a family property in Vilas County to the Northwoods Land Trust. Don now spends just enough time at that property, and on waterways and hiking trails across Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

don boehm photo

Mark Asplund

EXPERIENCE:  Mark Asplund has served on several international medical relief boards and the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Board. He served as an international volunteer surgeon in Malawi, Haiti, and Palestine. He is now retired from medicine and passionate about Wisconsin conservation.

EDUCATION:  B.S. in Biochemistry from UW Madison 1978, M.D. from UW Madison 1982, General and Vascular Surgery Iowa Methodist 1987, Multiorgan Transplant U Pennsylvania 1989
 
PERSONAL: Mark is from Wisconsin through and through. Born in Chippewa Falls and raised in Bloomer. He grew up fishing the many lakes and streams in northwestern Wisconsin, hiking, birding, and camping. Mark practiced medicine in Wausau most of his career, retiring in 2020.  He and his wife Carrie now split their time managing his prairie in Birnamwood, WI, in Madison, and in a family cabin on Long Lake in Chippewa County.  From these locations they keep track of their three sons and five grandchildren. Mark knows the ins and outs of Wisconsin with reading and most recently becoming a 1000 miler on the Ice Age Trail. 
Mark Asplund with a fish

Terry Daulton

EXPERIENCE: Terry Daulton is a consulting biologist and environmental educator. During her over 35 year career in natural resources she has worked for both agencies and non-profits including the National Park Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Bureau of Integrated Science Services, US Geological Survey, North Lakeland Discovery Center, and Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. She continues to work with UW – Madison Center for Limnology on projects which bring artists and scientists together to develop public information and exhibitions on topics such as climate change and limnology.

EDUCATION: Terry received her B.S. in Environmental Studies from Northland College and a M.S. in Environmental Education from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

PERSONAL: Terry has been involved in Wisconsin’s Green Fire from its inception. She is an artist as well as scientist/educator and her paintings reflect her deep ties to the Wisconsin landscape. In addition to her work with WGF, Terry volunteers her time with her local lake association and LoonWatch Advisory Council, Terry strives to live simply (in keeping with her world view) on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, near Mercer, WI with her husband Jeff Wilson.

Terry Daulton

Ashley Gries

EXPERIENCE: Ashley Gries is a Senior Program Coordinator at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals' (ITEP) Tribal Climate Change Program (TCCP), where she works to support Tribal climate change adaptation planning and implementation in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to her current role, she worked with the Tribal Exchange Network Group, supporting Tribal environmental data sovereignty through advocacy and technical support. She's also worked on water policy research, advocating for improvements in the formation of a durable WOTUS definition, for improvements in federal funding opportunities for native-led watershed restoration projects, and for improvements in co-management opportunities for Native Nations on current federal and state lands. Ashley is also a former LEED design professional and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Panamá 2008-2010). 
 
EDUCATION: Ashley received a dual bachelor's in Interior Design and Environmental Studies from Iowa State University, and her M.S. in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her work focused on Indigenous-led watershed restoration projects and funding. 
 
PERSONAL: Ashley is of Scotts-German and Scandinavian descent, and is based out of Monona, WI, on the homelands of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She serves on the City of Monona's Sustainability Committee as well as on the DEIJ Community Of Practice for Wisconsin Conservation team. She's an avid paddler and loves spending time on flatwater and whitewater and holds swiftwater rescue certification. Outside of water activities, Ashley enjoys photography, camping, travel, non-fiction reading, and native landscape design.
Ashley Gries headshot

Susan Hedman

EXPERIENCE: Susan Hedman has devoted her professional career to environmental protection – at the state, federal and international level. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead US EPA’s Great Lakes Regional Office and was head of the US delegation that negotiated the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. She served as Environmental Counsel to the Illinois Attorney General and as head of the UN legal team that handled environmental claims from the first Gulf War. Susan also has held numerous academic appointments and has extensive experience representing Great Lakes citizen groups in state and federal litigation.

EDUCATION: Susan has a Ph.D. from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, an M.A. from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and a J.D. from the Law School at the University of Wisconsin.

PERSONAL: Susan lives in Bayfield, where she serves on the Plan Commission and Architectural Review Board. She enjoys kayaking and wandering along the shore of Lake Superior.

Susan Hedman-min

Bob Martini

EXPERIENCE: Bob Martini is a member of the Water Resources and Environmental Rules Work Group. Bob served for 32 years with WDNR as Statewide River Protection Coordinator leading efforts to clean up the Wisconsin River and prevent acid rain damage in northern Wisconsin. He was also involved in groundwater quality and quantity work in the Central Sands, as well as dam removal and licensing for public benefit. Bob has received recognition for his efforts including WDNR’s Career Achievement Award, the Brogan Award, and a Career Achievement Award from the North American River Management Society.

EDUCATION: Bob earned his B.S. in Zoology from UW-Milwaukee, and did his graduate work in microbiology. He is a former Licensed Sanitarian and Registered Microbiologist with the American Registry of Microbiologists.

PERSONAL: Bob has served on a dozen educational and environmental protection boards with over 150 years of board service, including the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association. He has also served as member of the Oneida County Board.

Bob Martini

Bryan Pierce

EXPERIENCE: Bryan Pierce comes to Wisconsin's Green Fire after 18 years working with all aspects of non-profit management as the founder, first president, and first executive director of the Northwoods Land Trust. Prior to that he was a tenured faculty serving as the Vilas County UW-Extension Resource Agent (for 9 years plus 2 years in Oneida County). He worked on many lake issues including shoreland zoning, served as coordinator for the county’s recycling grants and hazardous waste collections, worked on county and town comprehensive land use planning and outdoor recreation planning, was the department head for the county advertising department, and also worked on economic and community development issues. Prior to UW-Extension, Bryan worked in environmental education at Trees For Tomorrow Natural Resource Education Center, Starrs Cave Nature Center in Burlington, IA, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Upham Woods Education Center and Central Wisconsin Environmental Station.

EDUCATION: Bryan has a B.S. in Zoology from UW-Madison and a M.S. in Natural Resource Management/Environmental Education Emphasis from UW-Stevens Point.

PERSONAL: Bryan and his wife, Gail Gilson-Pierce, have lived in the Eagle River area for over 30 years. Their home is adjacent to the Blackjack Springs Wilderness Area where they walk or snowshoe daily with their Brittany Cricket. Gail is a full-time artist with her paintings and fabric art represented in galleries in Door County. She worked for Trees For Tomorrow for 17 years as a naturalist educator, assistant director and executive director, and was a partner in the Wooly Lady hand dyed wool fabric business. Bryan spends a lot of time exploring wild lakes, scenic rivers, trout streams and other wild places canoeing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, camping, hunting and fishing. His goal is to make sure there will always be such places in the future.

Bryan Pierce

Karen Sands

EXPERIENCE: Karen Sands is a Senior Advisor for Greenprint Partners; Instructor for the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Continuing Education program; and Lifeguard for the Village of Shorewood. She has had the good fortune to work widely at the intersection of urban/regional planning and water, most notably as Director of Planning, Research & Sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

EDUCATION: Karen received a bachelor’s degree in Geography/Urban Affairs and a master’s degree in Regional/Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Albany. She is professionally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

PERSONAL: Karen has focused her career on environmental planning and sustainability in major infrastructure projects and programs. In addition to Wisconsin’s Green Fire, she serves on boards including the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. (also called Sweet Water) and Clark Square (Milwaukee) Neighborhood Initiative. Her love of water and the great outdoors extends to swimming and rainwater harvesting for her organic vegetable gardens. She also enjoys cycling with her husband, dog walking with her family, and being outside with just about anyone in Wisconsin’s great out-of-doors.

Karen Sands on a rocky lakeshore

Will Scheder

EXPERIENCE: Will has spent most of his life advocating for conservation. He has spent time working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as advocating for environmental policies at the state and local level. While at university, Will was heavily involved in the student government and served as Student Body President, Vice President, Speaker of the Senate, and a Senator from the College of Natural Resources. Will also serves on the Stevens Point Area Public School District Board of Education, the Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve Board, and works at UW-Stevens Point in the College of Natural Sciences Resources.

EDUCATION: B.S. Environmental Science and B.S. Political Science, UW-Stevens Point
 
PERSONAL: Will was born and raised in Wisconsin and grew up in Somerset in the St. Croix river valley. Will believes deeply in the Wisconsin Idea and the Land Ethic and spends much of his time advocating for these principles. He now lives in Stevens Point and enjoys the Wisconsin River alongside many of the trails the area has to offer, as well as visiting home to see his nephew and family.
Will Scheder smiling, in red and black flannel, leaning on tree