Keynote Speaker

Dan Egan, Brico Fund Journalist in Residence – Center for Water Policy, UW-Milwaukee

Dan Egan is the Brico Fund Journalist in Residence at the Center for Water Policy at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Egan is an environmental journalist and author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. Egan was a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, covering the Great Lakes from 2002 until 2021. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has won the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, John B. Oakes Award, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award, and J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. Egan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Columbia School of Journalism.


Melissa K. Scanlan, Professor – School Of Freshwater Sciences, UW-Milwaukee

Melissa K. Scanlan is a Professor and Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair in Water Policy and the Director of the Center for Water Policy at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. She holds a J.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from UC-Berkeley, and a B.A. in World Politics. Prior to becoming a professor, Scanlan represented non-profit, community groups and tribal government clients in high impact lawsuits, and shaped public policy in areas ranging from the Great Lakes Compact and water supply issues to enforcement and implementation of the Clean Water Act and the public trust doctrine. She is the founder of a variety of enterprises in the social economy.

Ken Genskow, Professor – Environmental Planning & Policy, UW-Madison

Dr. Genskow is a UW-Extension Specialist and Professor of Environmental Planning & Policy at UW-Madison. He works in the areas of environmental planning and policy, watershed planning, and collaborative and participatory approaches to resource management. His research and project activities explore collaborative watershed management, watershed governance, and the effectiveness of policies/programs on land and water management. Dr. Genskow holds a B.S. in General Engineering, a Master’s in Urban Planning, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning.

Marissa Jablonski, Executive Director – Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee

Dr. Jablonski serves as Executive Director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, a partnership of Wisconsin’s 13 universities connected with industry, local communities, policymakers, and advocacy groups to establish Wisconsin as a world leader in freshwater science. Dr. Jablonski is an accomplished water engineer, environmental advisor, and plastics-reduction expert who has worked in more than 45 countries. After earning a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and serving as an instructor of Peacebuilding, Engineering, and Physics at numerous institutions in Milwaukee, WI, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work in policy.

Rebecca Klaper, Interim Dean and Professor – School of Freshwater Sciences, UW-Milwaukee

Dr. Klaper serves as the Interim Dean and is a Professor at the School of Freshwater Sciences at UW-Milwaukee. She is also the Director of the Great Lakes Genomics Center. Her research examines the impact of various emerging contaminants as well as natural stressors on freshwater organisms. The goal of her research is to inform the sustainable development and use of chemicals. Dr. Klaper holds a B.S. in Honors Biology, a M.S. in Entomology, and a Ph.D. in Ecology.

Matt Claucherty, Phosphorus Implementation Coordinator – Water Quality Bureau, WI-DNR

Matt Claucherty serves as Phosphorus Implementation Coordinator for the WI Department of Natural Resources’s Wastewater Program. In this role, he coordinates WPDES permitting elements related to Wisconsin’s numeric phosphorus criteria, which include water quality trading, adaptive management, and water quality standards variances. In prior roles, Matt worked as a monitoring and research coordinator for a nonprofit watershed group, fisheries technician for the US Forest Service, and GIS specialist for a municipal office. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science.

Cody Calkins, Conservation Specialist – Division of Agricultural Resource Management, DATCP

Cody Calkins has almost a decade of experience in soil and water conservation. In his current role with the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, he is a Conservation Specialist focusing on Nutrient Management policies and standards, partnerships, and innovation. He graduated from UW–Madison with a B.S. in Soil Science and holds a certification in Geographic Information Systems. Cody is working to show that through voluntary adoption of nutrient management and other conservation practices, farms in Wisconsin can maintain their bottom line while also protecting our state’s resources.

Steve Jann, Water Permits Branch Manager – U.S. EPA, Region 5

Steve Jann is the Manager of the Water Permits Branch at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. The Branch implements: (1) permit and pretreatment programs to protect surface water from wastewater discharges, as provided under the Clean Water Act, and (2) a permit program to protect ground water from fluid injection, as provided under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Jann supervises three Section Supervisors and 35 engineers, scientists, and other staff. He manages $1.7 million in additional annual resources. Jann has been with EPA for 31 years. Prior to joining EPA, he accumulated four years of experience in the private sector controlling hazardous waste releases into the environment, securing operating licenses for hydroelectric power projects, and evaluating effects of transportation projects on environmental and cultural resources. Jann has a M.S. in Water Resources Management from the UW-Madison and a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.

Sara Walling, Senior Policy Manager for Agriculture and Restoration – Alliance for the Great Lakes

Sara Walling serves as Senior Policy Manager for Alliance for the Great Lakes. She has over 15 years of technical and policy development experience in agricultural nutrient management, water quality, and bioenergy from her time as a division administrator and policy advisor at the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Sara previously served as Agriculture Institute Director at the UW-Madison Division of Extension where she oversaw county extension agents and agricultural education and outreach programs. She holds a B.S. in Natural Resources & Water Quality and a M.S. in Land Resources & Environmental Sciences.

J. Val Klump, Professor Emeritus – School Of Freshwater Sciences, UW-Milwaukee

Dr. Klump is the former Dean of and Professor Emeritus at the School of Freshwater Sciences at UW-Milwaukee. His research focuses on how nutrients and carbon are cycled in lakes. His recent research highlights the presence and dynamics of “dead zones” in Green Bay including the impact climate change has on their extent and duration. Dr. Klump has served as a board member on several regional and national organizations including the US EPA Great Lakes Advisory Board, the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System Federal Advisory Committee, the Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Council, and ​the International Joint Commission Science Advisory Board. Dr. Klump holds a B.S. in Zoology, a Juris Doctor, and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences.

Tihitina Andarge, Assistant Professor – Department of Resource Economics at UMass Amherst

Dr. Andarge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an environmental economist and her research focuses on various aspects of policy implementation: monitoring and enforcement, manipulable thresholds, water pollution, information, and environmental health. Her recent research examines the impact of incomplete enforcement information on compliance and ambient pollution levels within the context of water quality regulations. Additionally, she has studied the effectiveness of local manure management regulations on dairy farms in Wisconsin. Dr. Andarge holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a B.S. in Economics and Environmental Sciences.

Eric Booth, Research Scientist – Agronomy and Civil & Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

Dr. Booth is a Research Scientist at UW-Madison. He is broadly interested in the intersection between water, land, climate, and humans. His research approach is transdisciplinary and highly dependent on collaborating with colleagues and partners from a wide variety of disciplines both inside and outside of academia. His disciplinary background has water as a centerpiece and includes topics such as agricultural ecosystems, stream-floodplain restoration, and impacts of climate and land-use change on water quality and flooding. His methods include biophysical field monitoring (ground-, satellite-, and drone-based), biophysical modeling, decision-support tool development, and surveys/interviews. Dr. Booth holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, a M.S. in Hydrologic Science, and a Ph.D. in Limnology.

Randy Jackson, Professor – Department of Agronomy, UW-Madison

Dr. Jackson and his grassland ecology group study how carbon and nutrients flow into, within, and out of grassland ecosystems. Dr. Jackson earned a B.S. in Environmental Science, a M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science. He joined the Department of Agronomy at UW-Madison in 2003 and teaches Grassland Ecology and co-instructs Introduction to Agroecology. Dr. Jackson co-leads the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST), a 32-year-old experiment in Arlington, WI. He also co-leads Grassland 2.0, a USDA-funded project working to transform agriculture in the upper Midwest to a system that provides for our wants and needs while cleaning water, reducing flooding, and supporting biodiversity.

Katy Schultz, President – Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW)

Katy Schultz was elected President of the PDPW Board in 2017. She co-owns Tri-Fecta Farms Inc. with her two siblings. Katy graduated from UW-Platteville with a degree in agribusiness and, before returning to the home farm, was a marketing and communications professional. Now back at the farm full time, Katy serves as the on-farm manager for daily operations, including livestock and employees. The family’s farm has 500 cows and 2,000 acres of corn, alfalfa, wheat, soybeans and peas. Katy and her daughter live in Fox Lake, WI.

Zach Raff, Professor – Social Science Department, UW-Stout

Dr. Raff is a Professor of Economics at UW-Stout. His research examines the political economy, benefits, and costs of regulatory policy and the environmental impacts of land use decisions. Dr. Raff’s work consists of projects that examine the role that politics plays in the implementation of environmental policy and the welfare consequences of different environmental policy tools. Dr. Raff holds a Ph.D. in Economics, a Master of Public Policy, and a B.S. in Mathematics. Dr. Raff previously served as an Analyst at EPA HQ in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Adena Rissman, Professor – Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison

Dr. Rissman is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW–Madison. She directs the PIE lab: People, Institutions, and Ecosystems. Her research group investigates relationships between society and the environment in the sustainable management of farms, woodlands, and ecosystems for water quality, wildlife habitat, and other benefits. Dr. Rissman received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Before graduate school, she worked as a planner for the WI Department of Natural Resources. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cheryl Nenn, Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Cheryl Nenn serves as the Riverkeeper for Milwaukee Riverkeeper, a science-based advocacy organization working to protect water quality and wildlife habitat and advocate for sound land management throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. As Riverkeeper, Cheryl identifies sources of pollution in Milwaukee’s rivers, actively patrols the rivers, reviews permits affecting the rivers, responds to community concerns, and looks for collaborative solutions to these problems. Cheryl also manages the community-based water quality monitoring program, the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail, and various stream restoration and stormwater demonstration projects. Cheryl serves on the Board of the Waterkeeper Alliance and Preserve Our Parks, as a member of the Community Advisory Committee and several Technical Advisory Committees for the Milwaukee River Estuary Area of Concern, and on advisory committees for the UWM-School of Freshwater Sciences and MATC’s Environmental Health and Water Quality Program. Cheryl has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management.

Darrell Smith, Watershed Program Manager – Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program

Darrell Smith is the Watershed Program Manager for the City of Oconomowoc’s Watershed Protection Program. Darrell guides the City’s Adaptive Management program to reach compliance with water quality standards in the Oconomowoc River. The program, started in 2015, focuses on watershed-wide phosphorous reduction strategies, including land management practices, lake improvements, and stream restoration. Darrell also helps to coordinate the Farmers for Lake Country producer-led group, which fosters peer-to-peer learning in conservation farming strategies to improve soil health and preserve water quality. Darrell’s work ranges from scouting the pathways of water across farm fields, loading a helicopter hopper with cover crop seed, and pouring over maps for future projects.

John Koepke, Owner and Farmer – Koepke Farms, Inc., Oconomowoc, WI

John Koepke is a fifth-generation owner and farmer at Koepke Farms, Inc. Koepke is a founding member of Farmers for Lake Country, a farmer-led organization that advocates for economically viable, best management practices to improve soil health and help preserve and protect our lakes and streams. Koepke Farms has adopted a completely no-till system and utilize conservation practices such as contour strip cropping, diversified crop rotation, nutrient management, and cover crops.

Chris Murphy, Conservation Specialist – Rock County Land Conservation Department

Chris Murphy currently serves as a Conservation Specialist with Rock County Land Conservation Department where he has designed and implemented Water Quality Trading Plans for the Cities of Beloit and Janesville. In this role, he has also implemented the portion of the Yahara WINS Adaptive Management Plan located in Rock County. Chris has 26 years of land conservation and water quality improvement experience from past employment with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana and Land Conservation Departments in Wisconsin.

David Botts, Utility Director – Public Works Department, City of Janesville

Dave Botts is the Utility Director for the City of Janesville. Dave started working for the City in February 2012. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Southern Illinois University and a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin. Dave most recently served as the Director of Public Works for the City of Beloit for 13 years, during which time his responsibilities included management of the Beloit Water and Wastewater Utilities. Prior to serving as Beloit’s Public Works Director, Dave spent 7 years in the City’s Engineering Department. He also has 10 years experience as a practicing engineer in the private sector.

Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director – Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Margaret Krome is a Policy Program Director for the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, WI. For three decades, she has helped develop federal, state, and local programs and policies supporting environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible agriculture, including two decades coordinating the sustainable agriculture movement’s national grassroots appropriations campaign. In recent years, she has advanced several agricultural initiatives related to climate and market resilience, including coordinating a 5-year cover crops research and outreach collaboration, national initiatives on grazing, and Measuring Societal Benefits of Soil Health.