24 Jun Meet the family! Introducing Isle Royale natural resource managEment staff of 2021
Featured photo: The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
This week I was suppose to write about an influential person. I found this topic to be extremely difficult as this island has large number of influential people living here, that I have had the opportunity of getting to know. For weeks I sat around thinking “who should I write about? Who would want to be written about?” and for the life of me I couldn’t settle on just one person. So I decided to do a whole department! I would like to introduce you to Isle Royale’s Natural Resources Management staff. Over the course of my time here I have worked with all these people closely in the field. They all have been extremely open, helpful, and patient with me while I learn the ropes here on Isle Royale.
~Kassandra Klein (left) is a second year biology technician, graduating from Northern Arizona University with a bachelors degree in Environmental Science. Her current projects on the island are bat acoustic monitoring and water quality. She always looks forward to the fall, when she gets to do beaver assessment and habitat impact. Kassandra is an extremely fast hiker in the field. Working along side her has motivated me to become a better hiker in hopes to one day beat her in hike off. Fun fact about her is that she has skied in four different countries (I personally didn’t know she even skied!).
~Scott Trevethan (Center) is one of our veteran biology technicians going on his fifth year. He is graduating from the University Of Wisconsin Steven’s Point where he earned a bachelors in Wildlife Ecology and Management. He is currently working on the breeding raptors survey here on Isle Royale. His favorite project is the common loon survey, as this bird holds a special place in his heart. Scott knows this island like the back of his hand, any day out in the field with Scott always means you are going to be learning something new. When asked a fun or interesting fact he told me that he competed in the broomball all-star game at Michigan Tech.
~Myles Walimaa (Right) is another one of our senior biology technicians going on his third year. Myles earned his bachelors degree of Environmental science from Northern Michigan University. His current project on the island is invasive aquatics, specifically looking at the zebra mussels here in Lake Superior. Every season he looks forward to his favorite project which is the peregrine falcon chick banding. Appreciating the small things in life, allows you to see beauty in everything. Myles is man who lives by this, always making sure to stop and pick the berries. A interesting thing about Myles is that he actually surfs in Lake Superior.
~ Maddie Barrie (bottom left) is a natural resource’s contractor from Barrie Good Contracting. She graduated from Michigan Technological University, where she obtained a bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering. Her main focus on the island is invasive plant removal, but she is eager to start her cyanobacteria monitoring. Being able to laugh at yourself in the field is a key element to surviving this career path. Maddie has taught me that a positive attitude can help you conquer even the largest of challenges. When I asked her to tell me a fun fact, she shared with me that she actually lost all four of her front teeth during a curling event (she did get them replaced as shown in the picture below),
~Jacob Bonessi (bottom center) is another intern here at Isle Royale. He is currently working on his masters degree from Michigan Technological University in Volcanology. He is currently managing all the data here on Isle Royale and assists us with data analysis. His favorite project that he has worked on is the moose location by GPS collaring. Jacob is the person I go to for any of my questions evolving data. He makes working ArcGIS Pro look like second nature for him, which is a skill I hope to gain one day. Interesting things about Jacob is that he actually has experience working with pack animals as a wilderness guide.
~Lynette Potvin (bottom right) I saved the best for last, let me introduce you to our fearless leader of natural resource’s Lynette Potvin. If you asked anyone within natural resources who inspires them the most on Isle Royale their answer will always be Lynette. She manages all projects that happen within Natural Resources making sure to be included every step of the way. From field work to office work, she always ensures the job will get done one way or another. Her favorite project that’s she’s worked on while on the island is the moose necropsy. I am thankful that I am able to call Lynette my supervisor and mentor. She really has taken a hands on approach in making sure I understand techniques and theories while also giving me the room to learn on my own. A interesting fact about her is that she loves all snow related sport and activities because she loves snow.
I hope you enjoyed my brief introduction to my natural resources family. Even though I only have one short month left here on Isle Royale, I have made everlasting memories with this team. I am excited to see what the next month has in store for me and what new things I will learn.