STAFF DIRECTORY

Hannah Butkiewicz is the Executive Director of Golden Sands RC&D. She graduated from UW- Madison in 2016 with a degree in Forest and Wildlife Ecology and is now working towards a M.S. from UW-Stevens Point in Wildlife. Hannah loves hiking with her hounds, camping, studying wildlife, banding birds and working with trail cameras.  More about Hannah.

Email Phone Ext. 701 

Amy Thorstenson is Golden Sands RC&D's Advising Director.  After 17 years full-time with Golden Sands (11 as E.D.), she continues to help coordinate operations in a part-time capacity.  She holds a B.S. in Water Resources and an M.S. in Natural Resources from UW-Stevens Point.  Her thesis work on native milfoil weevils can be found in the Journal of Aquatic Plant Management. 

Email Phone Ext. 702 

Joshua Beneš is the Director of Operations. He originally started work with Golden Sands RC&D as a Project Coordinator in 2017 and stepped into the role of Executive Director in January 2019. He passed the torch on to Hannah in January 2021 because he moved back to his home state of Vermont. He will continue working remotely for Golden Sands RC&D for the next few months. 

Email Phone Ext. 711 

Denise Hilgart is the Admin Mgr and Sustainable Ag Coord. She owns a beef grazing business with her husband that implements grazing, nutrient mgmt, and conservation stewardship plans. She is a member/producer of Farmshed and active member/Financial Officer of Auburndale Food Coop. She enjoys working with small businesses and is passionate about caring for farm animals, land and water. 

Email Phone Ext. 703 

Anna Cisar is the Regional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator for Waushara, Waupaca, Marquette and Green Lake Counties. Anna has a B.S. in Environ Sci and minor in Chemistry from Carroll University. She has worked with regional planning commissions assisting in lake and stream surveys, managing AIS, assessing watershed data, and writing lake management plans. 

Email Phone Ext. 705 

Rachel Bouressa is a Grazing Planner. She grew up on a dairy farm in central WI, went to UW-Madison focusing on grass-based systems and sustainable ag, received degrees in Agronomy and Envir Sci, and worked in the Agroecology Masters program. Rachel returned to her family’s farm and has a grass-fed beef operation.  She is a leading advocate for regenerative ag. More about Rachel

Email Phone Ext. 706 

Amanda Burzynski is the Environmental Ed and Outreach Coordinator and Admin Assist.  Amanda graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a degree in Environ Education and Interpretation.  Her passion for the outdoors comes from her childhood experiences of fishing, camping, hiking, and gardening.  She wants to use that passion to inspire others through her work at Golden Sands. 

Email Phone Ext. 710 

Asa Plonsky is the Terrestrial Invasive Species Coordinator and Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA) Coordinator. Asa graduated from UW-Stevens Point with degrees in Biology and Water Resources. They worked on invasive species management with the WI DNR State Natural Areas Program and assisted in planning the Little Plover River restoration project.  More about Asa.

Email Phone Ext. 707 

Chris Hamerla is the Regional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator for Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Taylor, Wood Co's. Chris received his B.S. in English from UW-Stevens Pt. He has been working with AIS since 2008 and was one of the first Water Guard Deputy Conserv Wardens, a law enforcement position that focused on public outreach, educ, and enforcement regarding WI AIS laws. 

Email Phone Ext. 704 

John Zinn is a Soil Conservationist working through a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in their Viroqua Office.  In 2017, John retired as the Minnesota State Grazing Specialist for NRCS after a 13 year career in that capacity. Prior to that he worked for Vernon Land Conservation Department and operated a grazing based dairy.  He now grazes beef. 

Email Phone Ext. 218 

Cherrie Nolden is a Grazing Planner. She has been managing multispecies pastured livestock since 1991, has a BS in Wildlife Ecology, a MS in Agroecology and is finishing a PhD in Animal and Dairy Sciences from UW-Madison. Her research has involved grazing and browsing systems. She farms 130 ac in southwest WI where she applies research and experiments with less common livestock. 

Email Phone Ext. 708 

Lindsi Hagen is a Soil Conservationist working through a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Juneau County.  She has been working as a contractor with NRCS since October 2017.  She started out in the Mauston Field Office and then worked in Public Affairs and Management and Strategy at the Wisconsin NRCS State Office.

Email Phone Ext. 114 

Robert Bauer is in the Prairie du Chien NRCS Service Center as our full-time Grazing Specialist/Soil Conservationist. He graduated with a Master's degree in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Tech.  Robert worked at Southwest Badger RC&D and the Tennessee NRCS.  He loves livestock grazing management, gardening, biking, and traveling abroad in Latin America. 

Email Phone Ext. 103 

Tristyn Forget is a Soil Conservationist working through a partnership with the NRCS in their Wisconsin Rapids Office. She has a B.S in Chemistry from Viterbo University and a M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she worked to develop a blueprint for the University to reduce its annual winter and water softener salt use by 25%. 

Email Phone Ext. 108 

Kevin Munkwitz is an Administrative Assistant at Golden Sands RC&D.  Kevin graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 2020 with a degree in Communication, and is working on his Master's degree in Healthcare Administration at UW-Stevens Point. In addition to working for Golden Sands RC&D, he helps conserve wildlife and land resources through hunting, fishing, camping, and exploring nature. 

Email Phone Ext. 712 

Kyle Kettner is a Soil Conservationist working through a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in their Westfield office. He has a B.S. in biology from UW Oshkosh and is finishing his M.S. in soil science from UW Madison. Kyle's focus is to find ways to connect science and land stewardship in our everyday lives. In his free time he enjoys camping, and woodworking. 

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715-343-6215

info@goldensandsrcd.org

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