skip to content
Ducks fly over rough water on the Bay of Green Bay.

University of Wisconsin Green Bay
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI 54311

biodiversity@uwgb.edu
920.465.5032 (Office Manager)
920.465.2143 (FAX)

Faculty and Staff

Student Technicians

Tom Erdman
Erin Giese
Jay Horn
Robert Howe
Kim Mckeefry
Vicki Medland
Whitney Passint
Patrick Robinson
Mike Stiefvater
Bobbie Webster

Jason Brabant
Chelsea Gunther
Samantha Nellis
Jacob Pelegrin
Tom Prestby
Jeremiah Shrovnal
Nick Walton
Jesse Weinzinger

CCB Faculty Advisory Committee

  • Patrick Forsythe, Assistant Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Matt Dornbush, Asst. Vice Chancellor, Dir. of Graduate Studies, Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Kevin Fermanich, Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Lisa Grubisha, Assistant Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Laurel Phoenix, Associate Professor, Public ad Environmental Affairs
  • Paul Pinkston, Director of Facilities Planning and Management (Ex Officio) 
  • Amy Wolf, Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences

CCB Affiliates

Thhe Affiliate Program recognizes the unique partnering between the Center and other scientists and managers that are engaged in activities that embody the mission of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. Learn more about the program and the affiliate partners.

  • Matt Dornbush (Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • Mike Draney ( Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • Gary Fewless ( Emeritus Botanist, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • Kevin Fermanich (Professor of Geosciences, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • Patrick Forsythe (Assistant Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • John Luczaj (Professor of Geosciences, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)
  • Wil Niedzwiedz (Emeritus Professor, Public & Environmental Affairs, UW-Green Bay)
  • John Stoll (Professor, Public & Environmental Affairs, UW-Green Bay)
  • Lora Warner (Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Public Affairs, UW-Green Bay)
  • Amy Wolf (Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Staff Bios

Tom Erdman.

Tom Erdman, curator of Richter Museum

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 212
erdmant@uwgb.edu 920.465.2713

Tom Erdman is the curator of the Richter Museum of natural History. He is responsible for overseeing the care, maintenance, loans, and visitors to the collections. He gives several tours of the museum each year for school and other groups. Tom was responsible for working with Carl Richter to bring that important collection to UW Green Bay. He also does extensive work monitoring Goshawks, American Pelicans, and other bird in northern Wisconsin.

Gary Fewless.

Gary Fewless, Emeritus Botanist,

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Herbarium
fewlessg@uwgb.edu

Gary Fewless is a botanist with broad interests in the native flora of the western Great Lakes, and over 30 years experience with wetlands, rare species and invasive plants.  He conducts research involving local native plants and provides content to Cofrin Center for Biodiversity web pages including extensive web sites for Wisconsin Trees, Ferns and other plants and an on-going phenology website extending back to 2000.  He also provides photographs for biodiversity teaching, websites and other educational venues.

In his free time he enjoys photography, hiking, kayaking and camping.

Erin Gnass.

Erin Giese, Data Manager

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 124A 920.465.2545

giesee@uwgb.edu

I recently defended my graduate thesis and graduated in May 2012 with a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (Ecosystems Studies emphasis).  I earned my undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. My current job is Data Manager. I am primarily responsible for archiving, managing, and organizing the Biodiversity Center’s scientific data collections, including UWGB’s natural history collections from the Richter Museum and Herbarium, Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey, and other research projects. Through small training sessions, I assist students in learning how to enter and manage their own data collections, particularly for Cofrin Student Research Projects.  For the Biodiversity Center, I handle relationships between UWGB and other organizations involving data-sharing agreements and policies. I also work with other organizations in managing and updating the Birder Certification Online, which is a website designed to test visual and audio identification skills of birders.

I am also working through the summer of 2012 as a Field Crew Leader for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program (GLCWMP). I select survey sites, coordinate field crews, help field assistants, plan survey trips, conduct amphibian and bird surveys, and enter and manage collected data. I truly love organizing and managing data, working on conservation projects, working with others, and conducting field work, which is why I chose these jobs. I really enjoy attending and helping with the annual Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey by conducting bird surveys with birders from across the State of Wisconsin.

Gary Fewless.

James (Jay) Horn, Curator of Gary A. Fewless Herbarium,

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Herbarium
hornj@uwgb.edu 920.465.2243

Jay Horn is the curator of the Gary A. Fewless Herbarium and an instructor in UWGB’s Department of Natural and Applied Sciences. He grew up in the greater Chicago area, and on family vacations to northern Wisconsin he developed a strong interest in botanical diversity whilst exploring the forests and bogs of Vilas County. Having prevailed against being eaten alive by mosquitos in Wisconsin, Jay went on to earn a B.S. in Plant Science from Cornell University and an M.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation research at Duke University focused on the molecular systematics and evolution of the phylogenetically key flowering plant family Dilleniaceae. Jay’s interest in developing and using herbaria began at Duke, stemming from many collecting trips throughout the southeastern U.S. and fieldwork in Australia and New Caledonia. After life in North Carolina, Jay was a postdoctoral researcher at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where he worked on a project culminating with the publication of the book The Anatomy of Palms. Prior to his arrival in Green Bay, Jay was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His current research centers on molecular phylogenetics and evolution of flowering plants, particularly Euphorbia (containing spurges and poinsettia), Malvales (containing hibiscus, cacao, and meranti timber trees) and Dilleniaceae (obscure to most). Jay particularly likes using phylogenies to understand the tempo and processes of lineage diversification in these groups, along with discovering the evolutionary histories of structural and physiological traits. At UWGB, he will be teaching Field Botany and a yet-to-be-determined range of other plant and organismal biology courses.

Bob Howe

Robert Howe, Director

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 212B
hower@uwgb.edu 920.465.2272

Bob Howe is the founding Director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Professor of Natural Science at UW-Green Bay. He has been a faculty member in UWGB's Department of Natural and Applied Sciences since 1984, where he has taught courses ranging from introductory environmental science to advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in biology and ecology. In addition to administrative responsibilities with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, he maintains an active research program involving bird population dynamics, northern forest ecosystems, and the ecology and conservation of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Bob is author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications, including The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Wisconsin and papers in international journals like Ecology, Evolution, Biological Conservation, and Journal of Wildlife Management.    

A proud father of three boys, Bob enjoys biking, nature-watching, and traveling to parks and natural areas around the world with his family. He and his wife, Dr. Amy Wolf, lead international travel courses to Panama and (upcoming in 2013) Australia. Bob also is a youth soccer coach and an avid Green Bay Packer fan.

Kim Mckeefry.

Kim McKeefry, Office Manager

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 212
mckeefrk@uwgb.edu 920.465.5032

Kim splits her time providing support for the Biodiversity Center and Sea Grant. Kim's work includes managing student payroll and accounts payable, room reservations, equipment and library checkout and inventory. She also assists the data manager and the director in data archiving. She provides support for meetings registration & logistics. She greets guests, answers general questions, and assists the staff in getting their work done by keeping the office in shape and the resources present.

Vicki Medland.

Vicki Medland, Associate Director

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 218E
medlandv@uwgb.edu 920.465.2342

 

Dr. Medland works cooperatively with the Director to ensure that the center is achieving its mission of education and research. She works closely with staff and partners involved in various outreach projects including the web and social networking sites, K-12 and citizen science programs. Vicki leads the Panama research course with her husband Mike Draney in alternate years and teaches courses in environmental science. She is active with the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation and the Ridges Sanctuary where she serves on the board of directors. She is also the coordinator for the NAS Heirloom Plant sale.

Like so many kids, her dream of becoming a marine biologist was stymied by a midwestern life-style. Fortunately, guided by a dedicated professor at UW Madison, she eventually became an evolutionary biologist who focused on studying the life history and behavior of organisms living complex life-cycles in temporary pools. At home she dabbles in gardening, cuisine, writing, and scientific illustration.

Whitney Passint.

Whitney Passint, Coordinator Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Project

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 218F

watershed@uwgb.edu 920.465.5031

Whitney is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the school-based Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program.  This program is a collaborative watershed education and stream monitoring program focused on identifying nonpoint source pollution within the Fox River watershed.  Teams of local high school students and teachers assess stream ecosystems and collect water quality and habitat data which is accessible through the program website:  http://www.uwgb.edu/watershed/.

Mike Stievfater.

Patrick Robinson

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 218D

robinsop@uwgb.edu  920.465.2175

Patrick is an adjunct faculty member with the Environmental Science and Policy graduate program at UW--Green Bay and Cofrin Center for Biodiversity affiliate. He is also Co-Director and Environmental Studies Specialist for the University of Wisconsin Environmental Resources Center, which is a center jointly administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin-Extension. Patrick has worked as a natural resource scientist and educator across the Upper Great Lakes Region and has held positions within the private sector, state government, and academia.

Mike Stievfater.

Mike Stiefvater, GIS technician

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 238

stiefvam@uwgb.edu 920.465.5029

http://blog.uwgb.edu/stiefvaterm/

In his role as the Biodiversity Center's GIS Technician, Mike helps students and faculty to incorporate Geospatial Technology into their coursework and research projects and maintains the CCB geospatial data library and website. From 2007-2014 he developed and co-taught a course on Remote Sensing and GIS with Dr. Kevin Fermanich. See his blog for GIS coaching tips and resources.

Mike earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University in 1969 and worked as a process engineer for plant design and construction projects for many years, earning his Professional Engineer's license from the State of Wisconsin along the way. Mike was looking to change direction when he enrolled in UWGB's master's program in Environmental Science and Policy. He credits Gary Fewless' Field Botany class for turning him on to the natural world. Dr. Niedzwiedz' Introduction to GIS course with revealing what his brain is really wired for. When he is not glued to a computer, he can be found building or fixing stuff, walking in the woods or on the road to a concert or folk festival. Once in a while he gets to tag along on a really cool field expedition.

Bobbie Webster.

Bobbie Webster, Natural Areas Ecologist

Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 218A

Bobbie assists with the management of natural areas totaling over 1,200 acres, including the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, Point au Sable Nature Reserve, Toft Point Natural Area, Peninsula Sanctuary, Kingfisher Farm, and Lenfestey Courtyard. Working under the general supervision of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Director and in collaboration with the Department of Facilities Management's Supervisor of Grounds, she coordinates invasive species control, trail maintenance, ecological restoration, biological monitoring, signage, and other activities consistent with management plans.  She also works with students, faculty, and volunteers on research projects and/or field trips conducted on the UW-Green Bay natural areas. She supervises the efforts of volunteer groups that support the management goals of UW-Green Bay natural areas.

Bobbie has considerable experience working in land management with previous positions with The Door County Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and WI DNR. She received both her M.S. in Natural Resources and her B.S. in Public Administration and Policy Analysis, Political Science, and Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point.