2023-24 Chapter Board of Directors

President

Christian Lenhart has served on the SER Board since 2010 and has been President since 2020. He has contributed to many different chapter activities including co-authoring the book Ecological Restoration in the Midwest: Past, Present and Future and helped to promote indigenous engagement and learning activities through a chapter grant from SER Global. He also helped run SER’s Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) for one year. Originally from Defiance, Ohio He has degrees from Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota. Chris has been a research professor with the Biproduct & Biosystems Engineering (BBE) Department at the University of Minnesota since 2010. He also works with The Nature Conservancy’s Minnesota-ND-SD chapter as a restoration  scientist. Chris’s work has focused on treatment wetlands, stream restoration and water quality management, ranging from implementation of projects to research. He co-teaches two classes at the University of Minnesota in BBE and has over 25 academic publications. He has co-authored several widely-used management guides including the 2019 Aquatic Organism Passage Handbook for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Chris lives with his family in Roseville, Minnesota and enjoys cross-country skiing and native landscaping.
Contact: lenh0010@umn.edu

Vice President

Mary Damm holds a PhD in Biology from Indiana University for research comparing reconstructed and native prairies in the black-soil tallgrass prairie in Iowa for plant diversity and soil characteristics. She researched plant diversity in alpine grasslands for her MS degree at the University of Colorado. Mary currently owns Prairie Quest Farm, a 120-acre farm in the Driftless Region of Northeast Iowa, and manages the land for the production of cool-season pasture for grass-fed beef cattle as well as habitat for rare, breeding grassland birds (Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark). She researches plant diversity and productivity of the pasture-grassland as well as documents bird diversity and bird behavior in the pastures and woodlands of the farm. Mary has been a member of the SER Midwest-Great Lakes chapter since its inception and has attended all but one of the chapter’s annual meetings.
Contact: marydamm@gmail.com

Secretary

Peter C. Smiley Jr. (Rocky) is currently a Research Ecologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Columbus, Ohio. His research program involves obtaining scientific information to guide the restoration of agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States. Rocky has authored/coauthored more than 40 peer review manuscripts, seven book chapters, and 45 technical articles. Additionally, he is the co-editor of the book “Ecological Restoration in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future”. Rocky was the Co-Chairperson of the Organizing Committee that launched the SER MWGL Chapter in 2008 and has served on the Chapter Board of Directors since its inception as President, Newsletter Editor, At-Large Representative, Annual Meeting Chair, and Secretary. Additionally, he is a lifetime member of SER and serves on SER Global’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. In 2011 he was awarded the John Rieger Award by SER for his contributions in establishing the SER MWGL Chapter. Rocky has a BA in Art and Biology from Hiram College, a MS in Biological Science from the University of Mississippi, and a PhD in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University.
Contact: smiley.54@osu.edu

Treasurer

Jeremy Weber is a senior restoration specialist for Davey Resource Group (DRG). Jeremy has more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors around the Midwest and Northern Rockies. He has worked in industry, universities, and state and county agencies on projects in arboriculture and landscaping, many ecological restoration projects,  prescribed burns, vegetation assessments, management of nature parks, community and resource planning, and adult education and youth development.
Contact: jeremy.weber@davey.com

State Representatives

State Representative (Illinois)

Dave Coulter has been the owner of Osage Inc. (Oak Park, IL) since 1997. In all, he has forty years of experience working in the full range of landscape and urban forestry contracting and consultation in both the public and private sectors in the Chicago area and the Midwest.   Dave has been a member of SER for many years  and has been engaged with the local arboriculture community and various environmental organizations and continues to collaborate on matters of mutual interest (urban forestry, ecological restoration, agroforestry, etc.) with practitioners across the United States.

State Representative (Minnesota)

Nikki McDermond-Spies is an Environmental Specialist with Hakanson Anderson Associates. Nikki has over eight years of experience working on and managing ecological restoration projects in Minnesota and Iowa. She holds a BA in Biology from Luther College. Nikki currently works with a focus on wetland conservation and restoration. She has led a variety of projects that prioritize protecting and enhancing resilient natural landscapes in many different ecosystem types. She has a diverse background working with invasive species management, habitat restoration, water quality, and biological monitoring. Before focusing on ecological restoration Nikki did multiple internships in marine biology and has worked with the Conservations Corps of MN & IA and the IA DNR before moving to the private sector. She holds many certifications in her field including being a MN Wetland Professional in Training.
Contact: nikkimcspies@gmail.com

State Representative (Iowa)
Dr. Keith Summerville received his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Westminster College, PA in 1995.  Keith spent over a year working as a field ecologist for the Nature Conservancy, Michigan Chapter before attending Miami University (Ohio) to complete his Ph.D. Keith has since been on the faculty and involved in various administrative and leadership roles at Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) since 2002.  Keith is currently Levitt Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Jay N. Darling Institute for Rural Sustainability.  His teaching interests include restoration ecology, conservation biology, field zoology, and quantitative ecology.  His research focuses on developing sustainable management frameworks for forests and prairie systems in North America and western Rwanda.  He serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society and has been on the Board of the SER Midwest and Great Lakes Chapter since 2016.  He currently chairs the Board’s Development Committee.
Contact: keith.summerville@gmail.com

State Representative (Michigan)

Brian Majka is a Senior Restoration Ecologist with GEI Consultants in Allendale, Michigan. Brian has worked for over 20 years with the planning, design, and implementation of ecological restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes. He specializes in the integration of ecology and engineering, leading to the restoration of freshwater aquatic systems including streams, Great Lakes coastal wetlands, and inland lakes. He has helped develop and teach nature-based shoreline restoration programs, decision tools,  and technical resources for the states of Michigan, Ohio, and New York.  Brian has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from Purdue University.
Contact: bmajka@geiconsultants.com

State Representative (Indiana)

Jeremy Weber is a senior restoration specialist for Davey Resource Group (DRG). Jeremy has more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors around the Midwest and Northern Rockies. He has worked in industry, universities, and state and county agencies on projects in arboriculture and landscaping, many ecological restoration projects,  prescribed burns, vegetation assessments, management of nature parks, community and resource planning, and adult education and youth development.
Contact: jeremy.weber@davey.com

State Representative (Ohio)

Kevin Ptacek is a project manager for the ecological consulting services offered by Davey Resource Group’s Southern Ohio office. Kevin is experienced in creating site-specific integrated vegetation management (IVM) plans to ensure long-term control of invasive species and develops restoration planting plans primarily for stream and wetland restoration projects.
Contact: kevin.ptacek@davey.com

State Representative (Wisconsin)

Brad Herrick is the Ecologist and Research Program Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. He holds a BA in Biology from Luther College, MS in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and is currently a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. He has over 17 years of experience conducting and monitoring restoration projects. His favorite project has been collaborating with colleagues to maintain the biodiversity of the oldest restored prairie in the world, the Arboretum’s Curtis Prairie. Recently he has been studying the population dynamics and ecological impacts of a new group of non-native, invasive earthworms called “jumping worms”.
Contact: bradley.herrick@wisc.edu

At Large Representatives


At Large Representative
Currently Mark is leading volunteer stewardship efforts at the Broughton Nature Preserve in Marietta, Ohio and The Friends of the Ohio River Islands at the Ohio River Islands Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Williamstown WV.  Prior to his move to SE Ohio, Mark was a steward at the Deer Grove Forest Preserve in Cook County, IL.  He has led watershed groups, Land Trusts and restoration activities in various volunteer leadership roles over the past twenty years.
Contact: mark.krivchenia@gmail.com

At Large Representative
Martha Holzheuer is the owner of Nature Niche, a nature-focused gift and supply store in Midland, MI.  She spent ~15 years working as a landscape ecologist and environmental consultant, specializing in threatened and endangered species protection, native plant design, invasive species management, wildlife habitat enhancement, and ecological restoration.  Before that, she taught woody plants field labs while securing dual Masters Degrees in Terrestrial Ecology and Landscape Architecture at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She’s a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner, Professional Landscape Architect registered in Michigan, Certified Ecologist, and Certified Arborist. She loves botanizing and gardening with native plants, nature photography and art, helping people connect with nature, strategizing to protect rare species, gift giving, and making people happy.
Contact: naturenichemi@gmail.com

At Large Representative
Trevor Edmonson is Site Manager for The Nature Conservancy at the 8,000 acre Kankakee Sands Preserve In Indiana.  Before that he worked in the Chicago area for 7 years as Project Manager for The Wetlands Initiative.  He enjoys nature writing, macro photography, sheet lighting, and spending time with his wife and 2 kids.
Contact: trevor.edmonson@tnc.org.

At Large Representative
Greg Snowden is a senior biologist with Stream + Wetlands Foundation. He has over 15 years of experience working in the ecological restoration and natural resources field and has been involved in the design, establishment, monitoring, and management of numerous wetland and stream mitigation banks and habitat restoration projects throughout Ohio. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist, Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner, and is a Part 107 sUAS pilot.
Contact: gsnowden@streamandwetlands.org

Student Representatives

Student Representative
Sophie VanZee
Student Representative
Alexis Lipstein is a senior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, majoring in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering with an Environmental and Ecological Engineering emphasis. She is also minoring in Insect Science. She is passionate about wetland research and restoration, issues surrounding water quality in surface water bodies, and the study of ecological responses to environmental changes like climate change. She hopes to make a career in the field of wetland, stream, and lake restoration and conservation.
Special Mention(s)

Volunteer – Chris May

Staff – Lucy Gregersen

See Past Board of Directors (2008-2020)