Jean Unmuth (Chair)
Water Resources Specialist | WDNR Retired
Jean Unmuth monitors water quality, habitat, mussels and fish in rivers, streams and lakes. A retired Wisconsin DNR employee after 30 years, she worked in water quality, fisheries management and research, and water regulations. A UW-Stevens Point Alumni, she holds a Bachelors in Forestry Management and a Masters in Fisheries Science. Jean is active on the Lowery Creek Watershed Initiative Team and coordinates a team of Water Action Volunteers in the watershed. She is a member of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association during which she chaired the team responsible for the designation of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Ramsar Wetlands of International Significance. She also assists the FLOW science team in investigating slough, river and lake water quality and reintroduction and monitoring of rare fishes in Wisconsin River sloughs. In her spare time she teaches Spanish to English, makes shell art and paintings, paddles and fishes, and is happy as clam just poking around wetlands and waters.
Dave W. Marshall
Aquatic Ecologist | Underwater Habitat Investigations LLC | WDNR Retired
Dave worked for WDNR from 1976 to 2006. During his early years at WDNR, Dave investigated water pollution of the Wisconsin River before the implementation of the Clean Water Act. Most of the river was extremely polluted. Describing the river condition at that time as “dystopian” is not an exaggeration. Impoundments from Rhinelander to Nekoosa appeared to boil from the release of hydrogen sulfide and methane gases. Flowing parts of the river were choked with filamentous bacteria and fungi, collectively known as “slime growths”, which thrived in the nutrient soup. Many sections of the river were fishless. The Lower Wisconsin River was spared the worst of the pollution, in part due to the relatively remote distance from pulp and paper mill sources and also the existence of numerous connected oxbow lakes. The groundwater fed oxbows served as refuges during severe periods of water pollution while the massive Driftless Area aquifer diluted some of the pollution. Nonetheless, few people consumed fish in the Lower Wisconsin River given the sulfide – “rotten egg” odors permeated the flesh. All that eventually changed for the better after full implementation of the Clean Water Act in the early 1980s.
Dave started studying the oxbows along the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway by the late 1990’s. In general WDNR did not support this effort even though most of the floodplain lakes had never been studied. When Dave retired from WDNR in 2006, he was able to study oxbow lakes in much greater detail, thanks to the support of FLOW, River Alliance, State Riverway county governments and WDNR Lakes and Rivers Planning Grant Programs. In 2009 Dave and Timm Zumm began working together to establish FLOW as a 501c3 nonprofit conservation organization. Dave served as a board member until 2016 but remained on the Science Committee and continued oxbow lakes studies.
When Dave first started studying the oxbows lakes (1998-2004) most were in near pristine condition. Most oxbow lakes are now highly degraded due to groundwater nitrate contamination across the sand terrace. Ironically, the problem continues to degrade this important water resources feature which likely sustained much of the Lower Wisconsin River biodiversity before implementation of the Clean Water Act.
Civil Environmental Engineer | Hydrogeologist | WDNR Retired
Ken Wade is a member of the FLOW Science Committee. He worked as a Wisconsin DNR and DOT civil
environmental engineer and hydrogeologist until retirement. Areas of expertise include geology,
hydrogeology, soil and groundwater contamination investigation and remediation, and wetland
hydrology. He partnered with Dave Marshall and Jean Unmuth in conducting and publishing the results
of a study of nitrate impacts to oxbow lakes in the Wisconsin Riverway. He lives near Blue Mounds with
Pat Trochlell where they are stewards for The Prairie Enthusiast’s efforts restoring over 300 acres of
prairie, savanna, oak woodland and wetland communities.
Ecologist | WDNR Retired
Curator of Fishes | University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum, Madison | WDNR Retired
Environmental Analysis and Review Specialist (EA) WDNR retired
My career at DNR began in 1989, and I held four positions with the agency until I retired in 2010. Before joining DNR, I acquired a B.S. Degree in Education from Butler University and worked in Parks and Recreation, Child Welfare, and Education. I changed my career path to Natural Resources when as an adult learner I completed an Undergraduate program (a certificate/second major) at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW Madison I went on to complete additional post graduate coursework in the Natural Resource field. I also completed a certificate program in Public Administration and UW Milwaukee. In addition I am a member on the State Land and Water Conservation Board (LWCB) and active with Wisconsin's Green Fire Voices for Conservation.
My areas of Expertise are as follows:
Wetland Ecology, Wetland Mitigation, and Waterway Permitting,
Drinking and groundwater,
Endangered Resources regulatory compliance,
Environmental Impact Analysis,
Water quality and Land and Water Conservation.
Fish Health Specialist | WDNR Retired
While an undergrad at the University of Illinois-Urbana, Sue discovered the fascinating ecology of parasites.
She pursued this learning adventure at UW-Stevens Point where she studied the Wisconsin distribution and
prevalence of a parasite of ruffed grouse which was partially funded by the WI DNR. Opportunities to work
with the fish and wildlife health specialists at DNR opened up, and several years later, Sue was offered the fish health specialist position in Fisheries Management. This was a dream job where she learned a “metric ton” from colleagues in Wisconsin, the USA and beyond, and was able to contribute new knowledge to the field of aquatic animal health before retiring after 30+ years of service. In retirement, Sue still holds service as a high priority and continues to assist fish farmers with health inspections, improving rearing conditions that promote fish health and finding solutions to fish farming challenges. She is honored to be part of FLOW’s Science Team, which keeps her in contact with the Riverway, its people and challenges, and offers the chance to influence the River’s future through science.
Ecologist | WDNR Retired
Pat Trochlell is an ecologist working in wetland, prairie and oak ecosystems. She retired
from WDNR after 35+ years working on wetland regulation, restoration, monitoring and
training issues. She currently does plant community inventories and assessments, teaches
natural resource courses and is on the local chapter board of The Prairie Enthusiasts. She
is a state licensed hydrologist and soil scientist.
Superior Bio-Conservancy President | Still Meadows, LLC Owner
Serves as founding President of the Superior Bio-Conservancy and is President and owner of Still Meadows, LLC. Bob lives in Wisconsin but spends time at a family cabin situated between old growth forests and Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His interest include protecting and restoring keystone species in ecosystems and bioregional landscape linkages for protection on a global scale. He has an MS in Water Resource Management from the UW Madison with an emphasis in ecosystem management of watersheds. He became a "Beaver Believer" when he realized the role this keystone species plays in the health of our river's hydrology and their significance to biodiversity. He serves as an advisor to the Beaver Institute. He founded Milwaukee Riverkeeper and served as Executive Director of Wisconsin’s oldest land trust (The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation). Bob has traveled to over 60 countries exploring wild and tame places. He has worked in Alaska as a fishing, kayak and naturalist guide and led wilderness trips for Camp Manito-Wish. He is a member of the Birch Leggings club and has summited Denali in Alaska. Bob and his wife Mary, share a love of nature, wildlife, hiking, biking, skiing, and their dogs.