Meet the Staff

respect-protect-enjoy-taglineLearn more about some of the department's biologists, information and education specialists, fish culturists, and support staff.

Commissioner's Office


Catherine Gjessing, General Counsel, Montpelier Office
Catherine has been with the department since 2013. She has a juris doctorate's degree from the Vermont Law School. Catherine's primary role is to provide legal support to the Fish and Wildlife Board, the department and the staff. She provides legal and policy advice and support to the Commissioner and department staff, drafts and coordinates rulemaking and statutory initiatives, testifies before the legislature, assists with Act 250 and Public Service Board 248 proceedings, and provides legal review with depart positions on Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation permitting and rulemaking processes, and provides legal assistance to the secretary relation to threatened and endangered species permitting and rulemaking. Catherine enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, kayaking, gardening, cooking, reading, and watching movies.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-595-3331,

Outreach Division

charlee drury

Charlee Drury, Information and Outreach, Montpelier Office
Charlee is a true Vermonter, having lived in the state her whole life. She started working for the department while she was still a teenager and is the lifeblood of the department. She maintains the headquarters office, dealing with everything from legal issues to licensing and permitting, along with answering the phone and greeting visitors. She supports the outreach and administrative staff, coordinates information with the district offices and is a self-described "Jack of all trades, master of none!" Charlee loves spending time outdoors, snowshoeing in the winter, kayaking in the summer, and spending as much time on the ocean as she can.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1000,

corey hart

Corey Hart, Education Specialist, Kehoe Conservtion Camp, Castleton
Corey is originally from Maine and earned a B.S. in Conservation Law Enforcement from Unity College. He began working for the department at the Green Mountain Conservation camps and now oversees the Let’s Go Fishing program and Kehoe Conservation Camp facility in Castleton. As an education specialist for the Let’s Go Fishing program, Corey organizes trainings, oversees volunteers, and conducts fishing clinics statewide. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and hiking with his dog.

Contact: Kehoe Conservation Camp, 802-505-5562,

niocle meier

Nicole Meier, Hunter Education and Outreach Specialist, Montpelier Office
Nicole has been working with the department since 2013. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Stony Brook University. Nicole is responsible for facilitating the hunter education instructor certification process, developing and implementing teaching standards for Hunter Education classes, coordinating special events, connecting the public to the hunter education program and maintaining the department Twitter feed. When she's not working, Nicole enjoys fishing, hiking, kayaking, birding, and hunting.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-318-1347,

josh morse

Joshua Morse, Fish and Wildlife Information Specialist, Montpelier Office
Josh joined the department in 2021. Originally from Massachusetts, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College, and a Master’s of Science in the human dimensions of wildlife conservation from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Josh is also working towards a PhD at the University of Vermont, where his research looks at how people value wildlife. Josh’s responsibilities center on communicating the department’s work with the Vermont public. He creates photo, video, audio, and written content for the department’s website and social media. Josh also helps connect the press with fish and wildlife staff who have important stories to share about the department’s conservation efforts. Outside of work, Josh enjoys cooking, writing, birding, building his skills as an adult-onset hunter, and exploring Vermont with his dog Pepper.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-261-0335,

lilla stutz-lumbra

Lilla Stutz-Lumbra, Outreach Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Lil joined the department in 1991, working in the fish culture section and assisting with department planning before moving to outreach. She holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont. Her primary job responsibilities include communications and graphic design for the department, website development and maintenance, fund development, and marketing and media placement. Lil enjoys riding her horses, alpine skiing, working her hunting dogs and gardening.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-272-4139,

ali thomas

Alison Thomas, Education Programs Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Alison has been with the department since 2011. She holds a master's degree in natural resource management, with a concentration in environmental education, from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. As education programs coordinator, Alison is responsible for supervising the department's two Green Mountain Conservation Camps (Buck Lake and Kehoe). She is also responsible for managing the let's go fishing program, serving as the statewide coordinator for the Project WILD program, leading the wildlife management for educators course, providing assistance at department outreach events, and helping to develop and support environmental education initiatives within the Agency. During her time off, Alison enjoys running, and doing outdoor activities with her family.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-371-9975,

Licensing, Business Office and Administration


Cheri Bessette-Waters, Licensing and P.O.S. Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Cheri has been with the department since 2005. She holds an associate's degree in court reporting from Champlain College. Cheri is responsible for maintaining the point of sale functionality for state license sales and the harvest report electronic system. She serves as an agent liaison for point of sale and troubleshooting with system issues, processes and maintains an updated and accurate moose lottery database, serves as an online sales liaison for customers purchasing online licenses. During her personal time, Cheri enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs, watching her kids' sporting events, gardening, sewing, fishing, traveling and camping. Additionally she is fascinated by the tranquility, complexity, and beauty of the ocean.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190,


Olivia Bussiere, Administrative Assistant, Montpelier Office
Olivia earned a BS in environmental science with a concentration in biology from Norwich University. After college Olivia spent time rearing salmon and exploring remote southeast Alaska. With her return to Vermont she interned with the department on the deer project, law enforcement and the access area program. In her current position Olivia will focused on providing customer service and administrative support for Licensing and Hunter Education. In her free time, she enjoys bass fishing, hiking, photography, playing volleyball and coaching youth sports.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190,


Melissa Currier, Administrative Assistant, Springfield Office
Melissa has been working with the Fish & Wildlife since 1985. She holds a diploma from Springfield High School. As an administrative assistant for the department, she helps the black bear program leader and furbearer program leader. She also provides customer service and sells licenses. During her down time, Melissa enjoys baking and reading.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-289-0613,

steve gomez

Steve Gomez, Financial Administrator, Montpelier Office
Steve started at the department in 2012. He received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Lyndon State College. Steve oversees the business office and is responsible for fiscal operations, federal grants, and accounts payable and receivable in addition to managing administrative policies, internal controls, and audits. He also develops and manages the department budget as well as coordinating administrative services related to contracting, sub-grants, and asset management. Steve also does research on hunting and fishing license sale trends and licensee demographics. When not in the office, he enjoys hiking, canoeing, hunting, skiing, and international travel.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-595-0797,

tammy gratton

Tammy Gratton, Secretary, Essex Junction Office
Tammy has been working with the department since 1987. She holds a high school diploma from Colchester, Vermont. As the secretary for the Essex Junction Office, Tammy is in charge of serving the public, selling licenses, issuing permits for fishing tournaments, and providing data entry assistance for various fisheries and wildlife programs. On her spare time, Tammy enjoys going on camping trips with her husband, spending time with her three young grandchildren and going on motorcycle rides.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-878-1564,

ryan leamy

Ryan Leamy, Federal Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Ryan has been working with the Department since 2014. He has a B.A. in History and English from University of Vermont and an M.S. from UVM in Community Development and Applied Economics. Ryan is responsible for federal grant management. He works with department staff and federal partners regarding the financial and programmatic aspects of federal grants. He also develops annual training plans for the Department related to these grants and implements federal training events. He oversees the audits of federal programs in addition to representing the Department at state and national meetings. During his time off, Ryan enjoys gardening, home brewing, beekeeping, hiking, traveling, hockey and music.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-498-8087,

Fonda Papineau-Rowell

Fonda Papineau-Rowell, Financial Services Technician, Montpelier Office
Fonda has been working with the department since 1992. As the department's financial services tech, Fonda is responsible for processing department grants and personal service contracts, working on assets and inventory, processing annual temporary staffing, processing invoices and conducting direct journal entry.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-498-7119,

Elizabeth Stratton

Elizabeth Stratton, Financial Manager, Montpelier Office
Elizabeth has been working for the department since late 2014. She holds a B.A. in business management from Johnson State College. As the department's financial manager, Elizabeth is responsible for preparing monthly financial reports, providing general maintenance for the ledger, developing processes and procedures in accordance with state and federal rules and serving as the team leader for the licensing unit. Elizabeth enjoys spending time outdoors, and with her family.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-377-5602,

Fisheries Division


Cooper Brochu, Fisheries Specialist, Roxbury Lab
Cooper grew up in Newbury, Vermont and graduated from UVM with a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Biology. Prior to this position, he spent his summers working as a seasonal technician for the Roxbury fisheries district, and his winters working as a snowboarding coach at Mount Mansfield. In his free time, Cooper enjoys fishing, hiking, hunting, snowboarding, and Nordic skiing. His work with the department will be split between aquatic habitat and fisheries management projects.

Contact: Roxbury Lab, 802-522-5626,


Courtney Buckley, Fisheries Biologist, Springfield Office
Courtney works in the southeast part of Vermont and the Batten Kill. She is originally from Long Island, and received her undergrad degree from SUNY ESF and her Master’s degree from University of South Alabama. Most recently Courtney had been working as a fisheries biologist for the state of North Carolina before moving back north and closer to “home.” She enjoys travelling, photography, and recently starting painting, as well as kayaking Vermont's waterways.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-595-0911,

will eldridge

Will Eldridge, Aquatic Habitat Biologist, Roxbury Lab
Will grew up exploring streams near Washington, DC and received an M.S. from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Washington. Prior to moving to Vermont, he worked at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in Olympia, WA and the Stroud Water Research Center near Philadelphia conducting field and laboratory studies to understand how land use and fish culture impact fish in the US and Costa Rica. He is in charge of improving habitat for fish and wildlife along lakes and streams throughout Vermont. He and his wife have two young boys, and in their spare time they hike, ski and catch up on sleep.

Contact: Roxbury Lab, 802-485-7566,

peter emerson

Peter Emerson, Fisheries Biologist, St. Johnsbury Office
Peter has been with the department since 2007. Pete received a B.S. in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and a second B.S. in Environmental Science at Lyndon State College before attending grad school at the University of New Brunswick in Canada studying Atlantic salmon and habitat restoration. He was born and raised in Vergennes, the last of 9 kids. Pete is responsible for managing fisheries and fisheries habitat in the Northeast Kingdom. He has two boys, aged 9 and 11, who help out on his hobby farm where he says he fails to grow vegetables but does pretty well with pigs, chickens and fruit trees. For fun they do a little bit of a lot of things outdoors with their dog; skiing, hiking, fishing, biking and trying to keep up with firewood demands.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-751-0485,

joel flewelling

Joel Flewelling, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, Rutland Office
Joel has been working for the department since 2008. He holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science from Unity College. Joel is responsible for management of all wildlife management areas in the Rutland District, and is active in environmental permit reviews. He also runs seasonal bat surveys, sea lamprey control on Lake Champlain and fishery surveys in his district. When he's not on the job, Joel enjoys running ultra-distance trail races, hunting and fishing. He is also nationally certified in Cave Rescue Operations and Management.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-786-3879,

dave gibson

Dave Gibson, Fish Specialist, Essex Junction Office
Dave has been working for the department since 1992. He holds two B.S. degrees in wildlife biology and forestry management from the University of Vermont. Dave operates the department's 31 foot research vessel (the Dore' ) to carry out various fisheries management projects on Lake Champlain, conducts boat electrofishing surveys of salmonids, walleyes and other species on Lake Champlain and tributaries as well as inland lakes and streams, including assistance with fish aging, computer data entry and report preparation, assisting in planning and implementation of the Lake Champlain sea lamprey control program with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Dave also represents the department in public outreach events including sportsmen shows and school programs and maintains all District fisheries' field equipment. During his time off, Dave enjoys fishing, hiking, biking and boating with family.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-5695,

shawn good

Shawn Good, Fisheries Biologist, Rutland Office
Shawn has been working for the department since 1997. He has an M.S. in fisheries science from Université Laval in Quebec City. Shawn leads the department's work on pike and muskellunge and on aquatic nuisance species. He also manages bass in southwestern Vermont and southern Lake Champlain. In addition to fisheries management responsibilities with the department, Shawn also enjoys outreach and education, such as speaking engagements, teaching kids at the Conservation Camps, and administering the Vermont Master Angler and Record Fish Programs. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, deer hunting and fishing for bass, pike, muskie, steelhead, and many of Vermont's unusual fish species like gar, bowfin, and drum. Shawn also plays hockey in a local men's league and coaches his son's hockey team.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-786-3863,


Hannah Harris, Flow Protection Biologist, Montpelier Office
Hannah came to Vermont for Pocatello, Idaho where she worked as a water quality scientist for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Hannah has a BA in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College and received her master's degree in Biology from Idaho State University where she studied Stream Ecology. Hannah is an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys kayaking and skiing.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-279-7913,

jud krazter

Jud Kratzer, Fisheries Biologist, St. Johnsbury Office
Jud has been working for the department since 2006. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fisheries Science from Michigan State University. Jud helps manage all Northeast Kingdom fisheries from brook trout to Northern pike. He is also responsible for organizing fisheries data storage and analysis, trout habitat restoration projects and public outreach on fisheries topics. During his down time, it's most likely that Jud will be fishing.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-751-0486,

bret ladago

Bret Ladago, Fisheries Biologist, Roxbury Lab
Bret's work is focused in Vermont's central fisheries district, which includes the White, Waits, Ompompanoosuc, and Ottauquechee River watersheds. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene had a devastating effect on many surrounding river corridors and much of Bret's work focuses on the response and restoration of fish populations after extreme weather events. Bret also works to promote fish passage and flood resiliency through the replacement and proper construction of stream crossing structures. Lentic (non-flowing) waters such as Lake Fairlee, Waterbury Reservoir, Lake Morey, Berlin Pond, and Peacham Pond are also included in the central district providing an area of diverse fisheries and water resources. Bret works to evaluate these waters in addition to many others to help maintain sustainable and healthy fish populations for the people of Vermont.

Contact: Roxbury Lab, 802-485-7566,


Maureen “Mo” Lynch, Fish Program Manager, Roxbury Lab
Mo oversees the fish biologists on the eastern side of Vermont and numerous fisheries projects statewide. She completing her PhD in Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, where she studied behavioral ecology of gentoo penguins with a focus on bioacoustics. Prior to this, she worked in both marine and freshwater systems. She received an MS in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment studying juvenile fish assemblages and worked on a multi-agency project evaluating the effectiveness of artificial spawning reefs in the Huron-Erie Corridor. She worked as a marine fisheries observer in the North Atlantic groundfish fishery and studied both phytoplankton and zooplankton ecology in the Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Through all of these projects Mo worked with a variety of partners and stakeholders including state and federal agencies, recreational and commercial fishers, zoo patrons and tourists in Antarctica, and she enjoys engaging these audiences on science, conservation, and policy.

Contact: Roxbury Lab, 802-498-4780,


Margaret Murphy, Fish Program Manager, Rutland Office
Margaret oversees the fish biologists on the western side of Vermont and numerous fisheries projects statewide, with a key focus on Lake Champlain. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Margaret lived in Lake Placid and ran her own consulting firm focused on water quality and fish habitat before coming to Vermont.  She spent the majority of her career in consulting working on some large superfund sites (Hudson River, Onondaga Lake, Newtown Creek) as well as working on habitat restoration projects. Margaret enjoys hiking and has climbed all forty-six of the traditionally recognized High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-595-2293,

bernie pientka

Bernie Pientka, Fisheries Biologist, Essex Junction Office
Bernie has been with the department since 2004. He holds a master's degree in fisheries biology from the University of Vermont. As one of the fisheries biologists for the department, Bernie is responsible for monitoring fish communities in Lake Champlain, permitting statewide fishing tournaments, managing trout fisheries in the lower Winooski and Missisquoi River, conducting rainbow smelt and alewife assessments in Lake Champlain and monitoring walleye populations in Northern Lake Champlain. During his down time, Bernie enjoys fishing, waterfowl hunting and using welding and metal fabrication to build a variety of projects.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-5698,

lee simard

Lee Simard, Fisheries Biologist, Essex Junction Office
Lee grew up in Swanton, Vermont and attended the University of Vermont where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Wildlife Biology in 2012. He completed his Master’s degree in Natural Resources from UVM in December, 2016 after studying the spawning behavior of invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park. As a fisheries biologist, Lee assesses, manages and protects fish populations and their habitats in lakes and streams throughout southern Vermont. He works on coldwater and warmwater sportfish populations as well as rare, endangered and threatened fish species. Lee is also in charge of the management and enhancement of the Batten Kill, which supports one of Vermont’s longstanding premier wild trout fisheries. Outside of work, Lee enjoys hiking, fishing, and cross-country skiing and is excited to explore the new opportunities in southern Vermont.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-5697,

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith, Access Area Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Dylan started working for the Department as a seasonal fisheries technician in 2011. He has a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries biology from UVM. Dylan oversees the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) and the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) for the access area program. His job is to develop and implement a plan to increase ADA accessibility of Vermont’s access areas. He also works with crew leaders from the Vermont Department of Corrections on maintenance of access areas, in addition to working with individuals, recreation groups, and commercial stakeholders to enhance the functionality of access areas. In his free time, Dylan is always on the water or in the woods hunting and fishing, including ice fishing, open water fishing, and deer hunting.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-622-4331,

Mike Wichrowski

Mike Wichrowski, Land and Facilities Manager, Montpelier Office
Mike has been working for Fish & Wildlife since 2007. He holds a master's degree in wildlife management from the University of Kentucky. As land and facilities manager, Mike is responsible for managing all aspects of the department's fishing access area program, managing the clean vessel act and boating infrastructure grant programs and working on land acquisition projects for the department. Mike also works with individuals, recreation groups and commercial stakeholders who wish to conduction activities on department land (special use permits or leases). On his time off, Mike enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, photography, hunting and fishing with his son, and coaching his son's baseball team.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-917-1347,

Lael Will

Lael Will, Fisheries Biologist, Springfield Office
Lael has been a fisheries biologist in Vermont since 2012 after working in fisheries in California, Arkansas, and Georgia. She has a B.S. in Marine Resource Development from University of Rhode Island and an M.S. in Fisheries Science from University of Arkansas. She works primarily on trout fisheries in rivers and streams and bass fisheries in lakes and ponds. Lael also works on improving habitat and fish passage for diadromous species such as American eel, sea lamprey and American shad. She also conducts environmental review of development project proposals for potential impacts to Vermont's fish populations. In her free time, Lael enjoys yoga, hiking, travelling and hanging out with her pooch Olivia.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-777-0827,

Fish Culture


Michelle Ayer, Fish Culture Specialist, Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Michelle has been working with Fish & Wildlife since 2001. She has a B.S. in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Her job duties include raising and stocking landlocked Atlantic salmon, brown trout, lake trout and steelhead. She also works with the Children's Fishing Program, assists with fish culture outreach, and provides tours of the facility to the public. During her free time, Michelle enjoys hiking and camping, along with coaching her son's soccer team and working as a PTO member at her son's school. She also spends her free time raising Dorper sheep, horseback riding and competing in team-penning events.

Contact: Ed Weed FCS, 802-372-3171,

brook bickings

Brook Bicking, Assistant Manager, Bennington Fish Culture Station
Brook started with Fish & Wildlife in 1987. He graduated from Mansfield State. He is the assistant manager at the Bennington Fish Culture Station, working to maintain operations on the culture and distribution of salmonid fish. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and boating.

Contact: Bennington FCS, 802-447-2844,


Paige Blaker, Fish Production Supervisor, Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Paige possesses a BS in marine biology and ecology with a minor in zoology and psychology from Unity College in Maine. Paige serves in a supervisory position at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station working to raise fish to restore fisheries and to increase recreational angling opportunities in Lake Champlain. She worked previously as an assistant superintendent at the Auburn Fish Hatchery with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Prior to her time at the Auburn Fish Hatchery she was a fish culturist at the Dan Speas Fish Rearing Station in Casper, Wyoming as well as an assistant manager and fish culturist working for a private, non-profit salmon enhancement organization in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Contact: Ed Weed FCS, 802-793-0650,


Matt Bodnar, Fish Health Biologist, VT Agriculture & Environmental Laboratory (VAEL)
Matt oversees Vermont’s fish health laboratory, investigating naturally occurring fish kills and performing fish health testing on wild fish populations as well as fish raised in Vermont’s hatcheries.

Contact: VAEL, Randolph Center, 802-272-0278,

gabe cameron

Gabe Cameron, Assistant Manager, Salisbury Fish Culture Station
Gabe started with Fish & Wildlife in 1994 after getting a B.S. in natural science and outdoor recreation with a minor in health from Plymouth State University. His primary job duties involve fish husbandry practices, resulting in above average living conditions for the fish at the hatchery. He works on the spawning of salmonids to support the future of trout fishing in Vermont and believes he has one of the best jobs ever, a notion supported frequently by members of the public! He schedules stocking runs for Vermont's waterbodies and for kid's events. When he's not at the hatchery, Gabe enjoys spending time with his kids, along with hunting, ice fishing, coaching everything from baseball to helping out with the field hockey and swim teams. He also enjoys hiking with his family and foraging for medicinal plants and wild mushrooms.

Contact: Salisbury FCS, 802 349-6882,

tom jones

Tom Jones, Fish Health Biologist, Montpelier Office
Tom has been working with the department since 1988. He holds a bachelor's degree in environmental conservation from California University of Pennsylvania. In his position as fish health biologist, Tom is charged with preventing and managing fish diseases in Vermont's fish culture facilities, investigation of naturally occurring fish kills and teaching the public about fish disease. Tom also administers several types of fish and wildlife permits, including: fish importation, fish breeding licenses, commercial bait dealers, fee fishing businesses and scientific collection of fish. When he's not at the office, Tom enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, and hiking around Vermont!

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-793-6781,

kevin kelsey

Kevin Kelsey, Fish Culture Specialist, Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Kevin has been with the department since 1997. He received his A.A.S in Natural Resources Conservation from SUNY Morrisville and his B.S. in Fisheries Management from Delaware State University. Kevin oversees all facility operations as well as broodstock and fish culture production activities at Ed Weed Fish Culture Station. He is passionate about outdoor activities and travel focused on fishing and hunting.

Contact: Ed Weed FCS, 802-372-3171,

todd lincoln

Todd Lincoln, Fish Culture Specialist, Bennington Fish Culture Station
Todd has been with Fish & Wildlife since 1988 and has an A.A.S. in fish culture from Mansfield University. He works to raise brook, brown, and rainbow trout and to stock the trout throughout Vermont. He also interacts with the public through hatchery visitation tours. When he's not working at the hatchery, Todd enjoys fishing for largemouth bass and whitetail deer hunting.

Contact: Bennington FCS, 802-447-2844,

alan moorhouse

Alan Moorhouse, Fish Culture Specialist, Salisbury Fish Culture Station
Alan has been working for the department since 1996. He holds a B.S. in aquaculture and fisheries technology from the University of Rhode Island. As fish culture specialist for the Salisbury Fish Culture Station, Alan is responsible for caring for all life stages of cultured trout, collecting eggs from trout brood stock, statewide trout stocking, giving hatchery tours to the public, organizing and analyzing fish culture data storage and report writing.

Contact: Salisbury FCS, 802-352-4371,


Nathan Olson, Fish Culture Specialist, Roxbury Fish Culture Station
Nathan started working for Fish & Wildlife in 2011 after getting his B.S. in fisheries biology and aquaculture from Unity College. He works on rearing, spawning and stocking of coldwater fish. During his free time, he enjoys bass fishing and playing basketball.

Contact: Roxbury FCS, 802-485-7568,

mark roche

Mark Roche, Fish Culture Technician, Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Mark started working with Fish & Wildlife in 2003 after graduating from Unity College with a B.S. in environmental science with emphasis in wildlife. At the fish culture station he works to raise lake, brown and steelhead trout, as well as landlocked Atlantic salmon and walleye. He is responsible for working on all aspects of fish culture, from spawning through stocking. He also performs regular maintenance of hatchery equipment such as stocking trucks and water processing equipment. He also does a lot of public outreach, between tours of the hatchery and talking to public while he's out on the road in the stocking truck. When Mark's not raising fish or out trying to catch them, he's busy raising a family and working on his home and property to "heat and eat." He also enjoys listening to and playing music.

Contact: Ed Weed FCS, 802-372-3171,


Ben Rooks, Fish Culture Engineer, Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
Ben has been working for the department since 2009. He holds a bachelor's degree in general science from Grantham University. As fish culture engineer for the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle, Ben is responsible for supervision of facility improvements, welding and fabricating, and maintaining hatchery equipment. During his personal time, Ben enjoys hunting, fishing, serving as a deputy game warden, and serving as a captain in the Army National Guard.

Contact: Ed Weed FCS, 802-372-3171,

monty walker

Monty Walker, Fish Culture Station Manager, Bennington Fish Culture Station
Monty has been with the Fish & Wildlife department since 1991. He manages the Bennington Fish Culture Station and is in charge of all aspects of producing, raising, and stocking fish out of the station. He as an A.S. in aquaculture. When he's not working at the station, he enjoys getting out hunting, fish and camping.

Contact: Bennington FCS, 802-447-2844,


Jeremy Whalen, Hatchery Supervisor, Roxbury Fish Culture Station
Jeremy has been working with the department since 2000. He holds a B.S. in fisheries and aquaculture from SUNY Cobleskill. At the hatchery, Jeremy works to manage the daily operations of the fish culture station, including rearing trout species to meet the management requests for stocking, compiling and writing Federal Aid reports. He also works on the daily feeding and cleaning of fish on station and data collection for tracking growth, and on the spawning of fall brook trout. Jeremy is an avid golfer and also loves to fish, camp and snowboard. He's also a die-hard sports fan, following professional baseball, hockey, football and NASCAR.

Contact: Roxbury FCS, 802-485-7568,

david yasharian

David Yasharian, Fish Culture Specialist, Bald Hill Fish Culture Station
David has been with Fish & Wildlife since 2006. He has a B.S. from State University of New York Cobleskill in fish and wildlife management and an M.S. from Kentucky State University in aquatic science. His duties include managing the annual stocking list, production inventory, and managing requests for cultured fish from the public. He also writes the fish distribution section of the Dingell-Johnson report in addition to authoring other station reports. He also handles contact with members of the public regarding stocking information. David enjoys fishing and hunting as well as golf, gardening, skiing and snowshoeing along with generally hanging out with his family.

Contact: Bald Hill FCS, 802-467-3660,


Kimberly Zeigler, Fish Culture Specialist, Salisbury Fish Culture Station
Kim has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont, majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology with a Fisheries Concentration. She has had the opportunity to gather a wide variety of fish culture experience working in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut including working as a seasonal employee at the Bennington and Ed Weed Fish Culture Stations. Her duties will include will focusing on producing high quality trout eggs and stockable fish for Vermont waters.

Contact: Salisbury FCS, 802-352-4371,

Wildlife Division

dave adams

Dave Adams, Habitat Specialist-Private Lands Habitat Management, Essex Junction Office
Dave has been working with Fish & Wildlife since 2004. He holds a B.S. from the University of Vermont. As one of the department's habitat specialists, Dave works to help educate private landowners about how to manage their land for wildlife, assists the USDA and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) with administration and technical assistance on their forestry and wildlife programs: WHIP and EQIP. Dave also provides on-site technical assistance to private landowners enrolled in NRCS habitat management programs and promotes private lands habitat management across Vermont. On his time off, Dave enjoys collecting vinyl records, playing and coaching lacrosse and celebrating life with good friends!

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-2330,


Mary Beth Adler, Wildlife Habitat Technician, Springfield Office
Mary Beth has been working the department since 2002. As a wildlife habitat technician for the department, Mary Beth is responsible for assisting the furbearer biologist with field work, data entry and responding to questions from the public. She also provides technical assistance to landowners enrolled in the USDA farm bill wildlife and forestry programs, works on Act 250 review and assists district biologists on various projects, including: biological check stations for moose and deer, Deerfield Wind project bear study and wildlife management (WMA) related tasks. During her personal time, Mary Beth enjoys kayaking, birding, turkey hunting, needlework and spending time with her grandkids.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-289-0629,

amy alfieri

Amy Alfieri, Wildlife Biologist, Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Amy has been working with the department since 2005, when she started coordinating the bald eagle reintroduction project. She got her B.A. in ornithology and natural resources from Hampshire College and her M.S. in biology from Antioch University. Amy manages many of the wetland-based wildlife management areas in the Essex district, conducting water level control and controlled burns, as well as managing the Dead Creek Visitor Center. She works with farmers and conservation partners on habitat management. Amy also enjoys gardening, wood carving, birdwatching, muzzleloader season, and football.

Contact: Dead Creek WMA, 802-759-2398,

tim appleton

Tim Appleton, Wildlife Biologist, Barre Office
Tim has been with the department since 1996. He got his A.S. and a A.A.S. in Natural Resource Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College and his B.S. in Environmental Forest Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. Tim works on project review and habitat impact assessment involving Act 250 & PSB Section 248 applications, wetland permits and chip harvest notifications. Tim is responsible for the management of Wildlife Management Area lands including maintenance of fields, boundaries, roads, trails, signage, and waterfowl nesting structures. He coordinates and manages the department’s winter severity index, checks wood duck nest boxes, and conducts waterfowl surveys. Tim enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, backpacking the Long Trail with his son, paddling, gardening, maple sugaring, beekeeping, making homemade beer and wine and striving to live sustainably in every way.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-476-0198,

john austin

John Austin, Lands and Habitat Program Manager, Barre District Office
John has been with fish and wildlife since 1994. He has a B.S. in wildlife biology from University of Vermont and an M.S.L. in natural resource law and policy from Vermont Law School. John oversees the management and administration of lands and habitat projects in Vermont, including land acquisition, management, and stewardship as well as private lands technical assistance, and land use planning and regulation. He also works cooperatively to establish a division budget, operational plans, and to address policy issues, and provides technical support to land conservation programs. When he's not conserving Vermont's lands, he's out enjoying them, engaging in hunting and fishing, in addition to fly tying, woodworking, running, writing and spending time with his family.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-476-0197,

alyssa bennett

Alyssa Bennett, Small Mammals Biologist, Essex Office
Alyssa has been working for the department since 2011. She holds a master's degree in behavioral neuroendocrinology from Smith College. As a small mammal biologist, Alyssa is in charge of the conservation and recovery of small mammal species, researching and conducting surveillance on white-nose syndrome, public outreach and education about Vermont's bat species, and working on habitat conservation and regulatory review. During her personal time, Alyssa enjoys playing outside and studying local natural and cultural history.

Contact: Essex Office, 802-353-4818,

ariel burgess

Ariel Burgess, Fish & Wildlife Specialist, Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Ariel started working for the department in 2016. She has a BA in environmental studies and studio art from University of Vermont, and a MA in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She helps develop displays and programs and helps manage volunteers at the Dead Creek Visitor Center. She creates educational and outreach materials about Vermont’s native species, their habitats, and the department’s work. And she assists with WMA management. In her free time, Ariel enjoys exploring the outdoors in many ways, reading, creating art, and playing hockey.

Contact: Dead Creek WMA, 802-759-2398,

noel dodge

Noel Dodge, Wildlife Biologist - Regulatory Review Biologist, Barre Office
Noel joined the department in 2015. He graduated from University of Vermont with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and a minor in forestry. Noel is the lead biologist on timber harvest notification reviews for Franklin, Lamoille, Washington, and Orange Counties. He is responsible for project reviews and habitat impact assessments for Act 250 in three districts as well as permit reviews for wildlife impacts on general and individual wetlands permits in four counties. He reviews fish and wildlife habitat impacts associated with new Renewable energy and telecommunication tower projects statewide. He has many interests including hunting, fishing, photography, skiing, camping, canoeing, birding, lacrosse, and database design.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-689-0000,


Mark Ferguson, Zoologist, Montpelier Office
Mark has been working with the department since 1996. He holds a master's degree in aquatic biology from the University of Alabama. As the department's zoologist, Mark is responsible for the protection and management of rare vertebrates and invertebrates, conducting inventory and monitoring studies for rare invertebrates, amphibians and fishes, running environmental reviews for wildlife impacts, and providing technical assistance to state agencies, the public and others. During his personal time, Mark enjoys hiking, wildlife watching, attending his kids' sporting events and gardening.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-279-3422,

nick fortin

Nick Fortin, WIldlife Biologist - Deer Project Leader, Rutland Office
Nick has been working with the department since 2015. He has a B.S. in wildlife ecology from University of Maine and an M.S. in Natural Resources/Wildlife from University of New Hampshire. Nick is the department's head deer biologist, and is responsible for all aspects of deer management in the state of Vermont. He is a member of the Big Game Team, providing input on the management of other hunted species. He also works on state lands, managing habitat for a wide variety of species. When he's not managing deer, he's out chasing them in the woods during hunting season, in addition to fishing and hiking.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-786-3860,

Katherine Gieder

Katy Gieder, Biometrician, Rutland Office
Katy has a PhD in Fish and Wildlife Conservation from Virginia Tech and a MS in Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University in Ontario. She works in cooperation with all fish and wildlife staff to oversee data analyses and study design for various projects related to big game and furbearer management. Katy provides technical assistance to other projects related to rare species and fish management. She is essentially the representative of sound statistical science and accountability for the department’s wildlife management, and serves as a liaison for cooperative research projects conducted by the department and universities. Katy has never lived anywhere for more than eight years, growing up between Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, and since 2010 has lived in Massachusetts, Virginia, Hawaii, and California. She enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and generally loves being surrounded by the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont!

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-786-0055,

John Gobeille

John Gobeille, Wildlife Biologist, Essex Junction Office
John has worked with Fish & Wildlife since 2000. He holds a M.S. in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University. As one of the department's wildlife biologists, John is responsible for overseeing general habitat management and reviewing permits. During his down time, John enjoys hunting and fishing.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-5696,

luke groff

Luke Groff, Herpetologist, Rutland Office
Luke has been with the department since 2019. He earned a master’s degree in biology from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine. As the department’s herpetologist, Luke designs and conducts amphibian and reptile population and disease surveillance surveys, implements amphibian and reptile habitat and population management activities, and works to conserve and recover endangered and threatened amphibians and reptiles. He also coordinates and implements habitat management activities in Wildlife Management Areas to benefit a broad range of species. In his free times, Luke enjoys hiking, backpacking, canoe camping, woodworking, gardening, and flipping logs with his kids.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-760-0089,

paul hamelin

Paul Hamelin, Wildlife Habitat Biologist, St. Johnsbury Office
Paul has been working for the department since 1996. He holds a master's degree in wildlife biology from Michigan State University. Throughout his career, Paul has coordinated department's wildlife management area (WMA) program activities throughout the state, including: budget and funding, accomplishment reporting, policies, archaeological and historical resource issues, and public access and information. He also is responsible administering management activities on several WMAs in northeast Vermont, collaborating with state federal and private organizations on wildlife habitat related issues, and presenting habitat related outreach and education materials to the public. During his down time, Paul enjoys fishing, bird hunting, gardening, and learning about Vermont's history and conservation in North America.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-751-0101,

jens hilke

Jens Hawkins-Hilke, Conservation Planner, Essex Office
Jens started at the department in 2006. He graduated from Connecticut College with a B.S. in Environmental Sociology and University of Vermont with a M.S. in the Field Naturalist program. Jens reviews projects with the Agency of Transportation as well as collaborating on wildlife crossing initiatives. He also provides technical assistance to municipalities and regional commissions related to land use planning for wildlife and wildlife habitat management. He enjoys hiking, kayaking on Lake Champlain, woodworking and travel.

Contact: Essex Office, 802-461-6791,

aaron marcus

Aaron Marcus (they/them pronouns), Assistant Botanist, Montpelier Office
Aaron has worked with the department since 2007. They have a bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Certificate in Native Plant Studies with Native Plant Trust. Aaron manages most endangered and rare plant data that comes to the state, making these data available in the ANR Natural Resources Atlas for conservation planning and science. While coordinating with Native Plant Trust and Green Mountain National Forest to help monitor the state’s most-at-risk plant species, Aaron has spearheaded the status review of hundreds of Vermont’s plant species. Aaron also serves on the agency’s newly created Diversity & Equity Committee. In summers, Aaron performs seasonal botany work for the Green Mountain National Forest, but when off-duty they can be found performing music and dance nationally for traditional community dances, facilitating community conversation and engagement, and traveling the state by bicycle, ski and foot.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-505-8099,

everett marshall

Everett Marshall, Natural Heritage Information Manager, Montpelier Office
Everett has been working for the department since 1989. He holds dual bachelor's degrees in botany and finance from the University of Vermont. As natural heritage information manager, Everett Marshall is trusted with overseeing the Natural Heritage database system, providing technical assistance and conservation planning information, developing the department's GIS system, providing regulatory and outreach support, and conducting rare species and natural community inventories. During his personal time, Everett enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, contra-dancing, chess, and learning about natural history.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-371-7333,

toni mikula

Toni Mikula, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, Essex Office
Toni started with Fish & Wildlife in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s from Penn State in wildlife and fisheries science and a master’s in natural resources ecology from UNH. Her primary responsibilities with the department include turtle conservation, waterfowl management, and turkey management. She helps with ACT 250 review, working to minimize the impacts that larger developments have on fish and wildlife habitat. In her free time, Toni can usually be found in the outdoors, hiking, camping and kayaking, or hunting and fishing. She enjoys spending time at home gardening and home cheese making.

Contact: Essex Office, 802-622-4525,

doug morin

Doug Morin, Wildlife Biologist - Nongame Bird Project Leader, St. Johnsbury Office
Doug started with the department in 2013. He has a master's degree in natural resources from the University of Vermont and a bachelor's degree in environmental science from Skidmore College. Doug is responsible for directing the recovery of threatened and endangered bird species and the management of bird species of special concern. He also is charged with monitoring post-recovery bird species, as well as habitat management and conservation of bird species of greatest conservation need. Doug is an avid outdoorsman, spending his free time hiking, canoeing, and backcountry skiing, as well as hunting for deer and turkey.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-751-0621,

bob popp

Robert Popp, Botanist, Barre Office
Robert has been working for the department since 1990. He holds a master's degree in plant ecology from Colorado State University. As the botanist for the department, Robert is responsible for tracking the status and distribution of Vermont's rare, threatened, and endangered plants. Robert monitors population levels, provides management and public outreach and education regarding rare, threatened, and endangered plants. He also assists in natural community inventories. During his down time, Robert enjoys running, cross country skiing, birding, hiking, gardening and playing piano.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-476-0127,

roz renfrew

Rosalind (Roz) Renfrew, Wildlife Diversity Program Manager, Montpelier Office
Roz began working for the department in 2021. She has a MS and PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Roz provides oversight and management for wildlife projects, including conservation planning, monitoring, management, and policy for plants, animals and natural communities throughout Vermont. She also oversees and provides support to species recovery efforts and Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan and collaborates with regional partners on broad-scale threats to wildlife. Roz acquired her love for the outdoors growing up fishing and hiking, and she thrives on mountain hikes, jogging, and many forms of biking and skiing

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-461-8387,

chris saundersChristopher Saunders, Fish & Wildlife Project Coordinator, Montpelier Office.
Chris has been working with the department since 2004. He holds a Master's degree in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Chris works on the human dimensions of wildlife, gathering public opinion, examining demographic changes, and filing legislative reports. He also administers the Watershed Grant Program. He works across divisions on a number of projects. Chris enjoys fly-fishing and fly-tying, hunting with his sons, birding, and measuring the height of his New Yorker magazine backlog.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-343-5487,

dave sausville

David Sausville, Wildlife Management Program Manager, Essex Junction Office
David has been working for the department since 2000. He holds a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology and a minor in forestry from the University of Vermont. Through his tenure with Fish & Wildlife, Dave has been especially instrumental in land acquisition efforts and wetland restoration projects in the Champlain valley.  Dave oversees the department’s work to manage Vermont’s game species, ensuring the biological health and responsible use of wildlife from ruffed grouse to white-tailed deer. During his free time, David enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping.

Contact: Essex Junction Office, 802-879-5699,


Jodi Shippee, Assistant Data Manager for the Vermont Natural Heritage Inventory (VNHI), Montpelier Office
Jodi has been working with the department since 2001. She holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont. As assistant data manager for the Vermont Natural Heritage Inventory, Jodi is responsible for populating the natural heritage database with rare and uncommon animal survey information and for providing natural heritage information to Fish & Wildlife staff , other Agency of Natural Resources staff, conservation partners, consultants, and others. She is also responsible for maintaining the taxonomy, nomenclature, distribution, and status of animal species in the natural heritage database.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-272-2855,

Andrea Shortsleeve

Andrea Shortsleeve, Private Lands Habitat Biologist, Barre Office
Andrea is a native Vermonter who received a B.Sc in wildlife biology from McGill University and an M.S. in human dimensions of natural resources from Colorado State University. She works on private lands habitat management, assisting landowners in habitat improvement through the federal EQIP program as part of the Farm Bill. She works with county foresters in Vermont’s Forests, Parks & Recreation Department to include wildlife habitat considerations in the development of forest management plans. And she works directly on habitat conservation outreach efforts. In her free time, Andrea enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing with her dog, hunting, fishing, gardening, and enjoying the water through rafting, paddleboarding, or swimming.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-479-4439,

ryan smith

Ryan Smith, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, Springfield Office
Ryan has been working with the department since 2006. He holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont. As a fish and wildlife specialist, Ryan works on furbearer and bear projects, conducts sampling of fish communities in southeast Vermont, monitors fish passage on the Connecticut River and conducts creel surveys. Ryan also is responsible for the wildlife regulatory review, and occasional equipment maintenance when needed. During his personal time, Ryan enjoys fly fishing, photography, hunting (deer, turkey, and snowshoe hare), and running his farm with his wife in southern Vermont.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-289-0627,

tony smith

Tony Smith, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, St. Johnsbury Office
Tony grew up in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and attended the University of Vermont where he earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, with a minor in forestry. Tony started working for the department in 2004. Tony is responsible for management areas in the St. Johnsbury district, as well as assisting the moose and furbearer programs. Tony also conducts creel surveys, electrofishing surveys on rivers and streams, and boat electrofishing surveys on Northeast Kingdom Lakes and Ponds. On his time off, Tony will be found hunting, fishing or photographing the Northeast Kingdom.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-661-8332,

andy wood

Andy Wood, Community Wildlife Program, Montpelier Office
Andy joined the department in 2020 to provide technical assistance to Vermont’s municipalities and Regional Planning Commissions. He will be focusing on outreach about the new BioFinder 3.0 and Vermont Conservation Design. Andy graduated from UVM’s Field Naturalist Program and has years of experience in the consulting world.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-461-5118,

bob zaino

Bob Zaino, State Lands Ecologist, Barre Office
Bob has been working with the department since 2008. He holds a master's degree from the field naturalist program at the University of Vermont. As the department's state lands ecologist, Bob is responsible for the inventory, assessment, and monitoring of natural communities and important ecological features. Bob also works statewide on lands owned and managed by the agency of natural resources including wildlife management areas (WMAs), State Forests, and State Parks. Bob is also charged with collaborating with other state lands managers to protect and enhance significant ecological features and work on the development of the state lands long-range management plan. During his time off, Bob enjoys fly-fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, and backcountry skiing.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-476-0128,

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Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
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Montpelier, VT 05620-3702

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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.