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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

Commissioner Herrick

Christopher Herrick, Commissioner, Montpelier Office

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1454,




Abigail Connolly headshot

Abigail Connolly, Principal Assistant to the Commissioner, Montpelier Office
Abigail joined the department in 2022. She graduated from Simmons College in Boston, MA, with a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a minor in public policy. Abigail’s primary role is to provide administrative support to the Commissioner, General Counsel and the Fish and Wildlife Board. Abigail enjoys mountain biking, sailing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, cooking, and sewing.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1454,


headshot of Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith, General Counsel, Montpelier Office
Hannah joined the department in 2024. She is a native Michigander and graduate of Vermont Law School. Hannah's primary role is to provide legal support to the department and the Fish and Wildlife Board. 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 of department policies. She also provides legal assistance to the Commissioner related to threatened and endangered species permitting and rulemaking. Hannah is an enthusiastic hiker, skier and runner.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-461-8187,

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,

megan duni

Megan Duni, Outreach Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Megan joined the department in 2018. She grew up in Vermont and received a B.S. in environmental biology from the University of Vermont. Her primary job responsibilities include communications and marketing for the department, website development and maintenance, media placement, fund development, and graphic design. Outside of work, Megan enjoys exploring the outdoors on foot, skis, or bike, knitting, gardening, and getting crafty with repurposing projects. .

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-595-1890,

Maria Gigliello

Maria Gigliello , Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Montpelier Office
Maria joined the department in 2022. She is originally from Upstate New York and holds an M.S. in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. Maria is responsible for communicating the department’s work to the public through written, photo, video, and social media content. She also assists in graphic design work for the department’s publications. Outside of work, Maria enjoys hiking, running, paddling, fishing, reading, and baking.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-261-0995,

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 Program Coordinator, 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, Public Information Officer, 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,

hannah phelps

Hannah Phelps, Education Specialist, Montpelier Office
Hannah joined the department in 2022 but grew up in the Green Mountain Conservation Camp program, starting as a camper in 2009 and working through various volunteer, staff, and administrative positions. She grew up in Vermont and has a joint degree in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology from Middlebury College. Her primary job responsibilities will be Green Mountain Conservation Camp operations as well as several other education initiatives. Outside of work Hannah enjoys turkey hunting, hiking to waterfalls, hanging out with family, and participating in other outdoor activities.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-522-2925,

ali thomas

Alison Thomas, Director of Outreach and 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. Alison oversees the Outreach Division including information and marketing, hunter education and conservation education programs. She works with staff to develop and implement strategic communications initiatives and outreach plans. 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 the liaison for license agents and big game reporting stations statewide and customers purchasing online licenses. Cheri heads the moose lottery, updates and maintains an accurate moose lottery database as well as administers the antlerless muzzleloader lottery. During her personal time, Cheri enjoys spending time with family and grandkids, attending UKC events with their dogs, fishing and gardening.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190, cell phone (802) 595-2720,


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,


Kelly Doyle, Financial Manager, Montpelier Office
Kelly joined the department in 2023. She holds a BS in Accounting from Franklin Pierce University and an AS in Management from Champlain College. As Financial Manager, Kelly is responsible for reporting and financial tracking and serving as team leader for the Licensing Office. When not at work Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, reading, spending time outside, snowboarding and the ocean.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190,

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,

headshot of Shelby Lemieux

Shelby Lemieux, Administrative Assistant, Montpelier Office
Shelby joined the department in 2023. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in animal science. Prior to coming to the department, she worked as a veterinarian technician. In her current position Shelby will focus on providing customer service and administrative support for Licensing and Hunter Education. In her free time Shelby enjoys kayaking, fishing, gardening, and camping. When the weather turns colder, she can usually be found crafting and baking. 

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190,

image of woman next to lake shore with waves

Michelle Mowery-Mertens , Administrative Services Coordinator Services Technician, Montpelier Office
Michelle joined the department in 2022. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and is a long-time Vermont resident with a passion for all things environmental. As the department's financial services tech, Michelle 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. When not working, Michelle enjoys anything out-of-doors, cooking, music, and writing poetry alongside her feline buddy Longfellow.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-261-1066,

Elizabeth Stratton

Elizabeth Stratton, Director of Finance and Administration, Montpelier Office
Elizabeth has been working for the department since late 2014. She holds a B.A. in business management from Johnson State College. Elizabeth 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. Elizabeth enjoys spending time outdoors, and with her family.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-828-1190,

Fisheries Division


James Brady, Habitat Protection Scientist, Montpelier Office
James joined the department in 2022. He is responsible for coordinating statewide regulatory review for aquatic and riparian habitats. Prior to coming to the department, James worked at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development where he managed environmental reviews for most Housing and Urban Development funded projects throughout the state. Prior to that, he spent several years at VTrans focusing on ecological review of transportation projects, including Aquatic Organism Passage, stream alteration permitting, wetlands, threatened and endangered species, and terrestrial wildlife connectivity. James lives in Montpelier with his wife Leslie, daughter Anna, and dog Yuki. He spends time with his family hiking, snowshoeing, camping, canoeing, birding, and listening to records.

Contact: Montpelier Office,


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,

levi brown

Levi Brown, Fisheries Specialist, St. Johnsbury Office
Levi joined the department in 2022. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Biology, Levi worked as a seasonal fisheries technician for the department for several years before pursuing a master's degree in Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University. There, Levi helped to describe the population characteristics of black bass species in West Virginia's large river systems. In his current position with the department, Levi assists the regional fisheries biologists with their projects including stream electrofishing surveys, nighttime boat electrofishing on lakes and ponds, and aquatic habitat improvement. When not working, Levi enjoys exploring the outdoors, fishing and spending time with his family.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-461-7501,


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,

austin galinat

Austin Galinat, Fisheries Biologist, Rutland Office
Austin joined the department in 2022. He grew up in Rapid City, SD and developed an interest in fisheries biology through backpacking and fishing. He attended South Dakota State University where he earned a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences while studying the influence of mink predation on brown trout in the Black Hills National Forest. Prior to moving to Vermont, Austin worked for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in Sacramento, CA leading escapement surveys and juvenile emigration surveys for chinook salmon. His work with the Fish & Wildlife Department focuses on surveying and managing cold-water streams in the southwestern Vermont region. He also assists with projects promoting fish passage and in-stream habitat improvements. In his spare time, Austin enjoys backpacking, fishing and winter sports.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-261-0429,

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,

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,

dylan sickles

Dylan Sickles, Fish Culture Operations Manager, Montpelier Office
Dylan joined the department in 2021. He has a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and aquaculture from SUNY Cobleskill. He oversees the administration, coordination, operation and supervision for Vermont’s state-operated fish culture and fish health programs. Dylan comes to the department after spending several years in Indiana, where he served as the hatchery manager of the East Fork State Fish Hatchery rearing warm, cool, and cold-water fish, and statewide hatcheries supervisor where he oversaw the administration and operations of eight Indiana state-operated fish culture facilities. Prior to working with Indiana, Dylan worked in Massachusetts rearing hybrid striped bass for a private aquaculture company. When he’s not talking or thinking about fish, he enjoys spending time with his family camping, fishing, boating, and doing other outdoor activities.

Contact: Montpelier Office, 802-522-7132,

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 - Public Lands Section Chief, St. Johnsbury Office
Tim has been with the department since 1996. He received his A.S. and a A.A.S. in Natural Resource Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College and a B.S. in Environmental Forest Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. Tim is responsible for statewide coordination of the department’s wildlife management area (WMA) program activities including budgeting, reporting, management and policy issues. He is also responsible for the administrative oversight and management of several Wildlife Management Areas in northeast Vermont including West Mountain, Wenlock, Bill Sladyk, among others. Tim also works on project review and habitat impact assessment involving Act 250 applications, wetland permits and chip harvest notifications for Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties. Tim enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, paddling and running a small hobby farm.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office, 802-751-0105,

john austin

John Austin, Wildlife Division Director, Barre 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 the department's wildlife division. He works cooperatively to establish a division budget, operational plans, and to address policy issues, and provides technical support to the wildlife division's programs. When he's not conserving Vermont's wildlife resources, 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 Junction 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,

josh blouin

Josh Blouin, Wildlife Biologist, Barre Office
Josh started working as a seasonal on the department’s moose research project in 2017 and was hired full-time in 2021. He has BS and MS in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont. His master’s research focused on moose habitat use in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Josh assists with managing Wildlife Management Areas in central Vermont, reviewing Act 250 applications to assess potential effects of proposed development projects on fish and wildlife habitat, and supporting the deer and moose projects, including collecting and managing biological data and assisting with moose research. In his free time, Josh enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, and photographing wildlife and landscapes across the state.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-793-7954,

andrew bouton portrait holding two ducks

Andrew Bouton, Wildlife Biologist - Migratory Game Bird Project Leader, Essex Junction Office
Andrew joined the department in 2023. He holds a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana and earned a master’s degree from Western Illinois University studying canvasbacks as a bioindicator of wetland quality in the upper Midwest. Andrew grew up in the New Haven, Vermont area and has worked all over the country on a variety of waterfowl projects. As a scientist/migratory game bird project leader with the department, Andrew is responsible for conducting data analysis and season recommendations on migratory game birds, running waterfowl banding operations, wildlife and wetlands outreach and education, and state lands management within the Essex District.

Contact: Essex Jct. Office, 802-622-4823,

tyler brown

Tyler Brown, Wildlife Specialist, Springfield Office
Tyler started working as a seasonal with the department in 2012 and was hired full-time in 2022. He has BS in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont. Tyler is responsible for the department's Beaver Baffle Program as well as assisting with the furbearer program. He also provides technical assistance to private landowners in Windham and Windsor Counties as part of the EQIP program. Tyler is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying time spent hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging, and beekeeping. He can often been found exploring the beautiful public lands of Vermont.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-522-9714,

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, 802-786-0040,

bree furfey

Bree Furfey, Wildlife Biologist - Furbearer Project Leader, Springfield Office
Bree joined the department in 2023. She has a B.A in Ecology and Conservation from Evergreen State College and a M.S in Biology from Arkansas State University. Bree came to Vermont from Oregon with a variety of experiences in wildlife management including dealing with wildlife conflicts with livestock, human/wolf conflicts, public engagement, big game management, and land management. As the department’s furbearer project leader, she focuses on conserving Vermont’s 17 furbearer species and their habitats, working with department staff, our partners and constituents to ensure the long-term sustainability of all furbearer populations in Vermont. When not working, Bree enjoys adventuring in the Northeast with her Irish Setter, running, backpacking, hunting, or fishing, as well as cooking, painting, traveling, and spending time with family.

Contact: Springfield Office, 802-952-8543,

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, 802-279-0335,

Grace Glynn

Grace Glynn, Botanist, Barre Office
Grace joined the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in 2023. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Connecticut College and a master’s degree from the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont. Grace is responsible for planning and implementing management and conservation of rare, threatened and endangered plants throughout Vermont. She also reviews development project permits under Act 250 and Section 248 to determine potential impacts to threatened and endangered plant species. In her free time, Grace enjoys trail running, growing native plants, and exploring the swamps of Vermont

Contact: Barre Office, 802-505-3439,

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 Biologist - Private Lands Section Chief, 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. Paul spent his early career as a Fish & Wildlife Specialist, then 14 years as a Wildlife Habitat Biologist, coordinating the department's wildlife management area (WMA) program activities throughout the state. Since 2019 Paul has been the Private Lands Section Chief. In this role he coordinates the work of several department biologists who provide habitat technical assistance and conservation planning services to private landowners, municipalities, and conservation organizations statewide. Paul is also responsible administering management activities on several WMAs in northeast Vermont, collaborating with state, federal and private organizations on wildlife habitat related issues. During his down time, Paul enjoys fishing, hunting, paddling, and learning about Vermont's history and conservation in North America.

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

moose graphic

Travis Hart, State and Private Lands Biologist, Rutland Office
Travis began working with fish and wildlife as a seasonal in 2016 and joined the department full time in 2021. He has a B.S. in natural resources from University of Vermont. Travis provides technical assistance to private landowners in southern Vermont. He assists with planning and implementation of NRCS Wildlife and Forestry programs on private lands in Rutland, Bennington and Addison counties. He also manages various WMAs in the Rutland District including all WMAs in Bennington county and select WMAs in Rutland county. In his free time Travis enjoys hiking, spending time with family, studying history, gaming and watching Formula One racing.

Contact: Rutland Office, 802-786-3816,

jens hilke

Jens Hawkins-Hilke, Conservation Planner, Essex Junction 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,

jillian kilborn

Jillian Kilborn, Nongame Bird Project Leader, St. Johnsbury Office
Jill has BS in Wildlife Management from University of New Hampshire, and MS in Wildlife Biology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Jill started with the department in 2023 after a 23-year career in New Hampshire. She coordinates the nongame bird program working closely with a variety of cooperators to conserve, monitor and manage birds throughout Vermont. She also assists in state lands management in the St. Johnsbury District. Jill lives in the Northeast Kingdom and enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits including hunting, hiking, canoe camping, and birding.

Contact: St. Johnsbury Office,

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, Wildlife Biologist, Essex Junction 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 spiny softshell turtle conservation, upland game bird management, WMA management, wetland restoration, and assisting with waterfowl management. 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 tending her bees.

Contact: Essex Office, 802-622-4525,

danielle owczarski

Danielle Owczarski, State Lands Ecologist, Barre Office
Danielle started working with the department in 2022, after four years with Forest, Parks, and Recreation as a park attendant, and 13 years with the Department of Environmental Conservation as a Wetland Ecologist and Watershed Planner. Danielle earned her B.A. in biology at Vermont State University in Johnson, and M.S. in the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont. As the department's state lands ecologist, Danielle is responsible for the inventory, assessment, and monitoring of natural communities and important ecological features. Danielle works statewide on lands owned and managed by the Agency of Natural Resources including wildlife management areas (WMAs), state forests and state parks, to protect and enhance significant ecological features. She also works on developing long-range management plans for state lands. When she isn’t identifying plants and exploring Vermont’s finest natural communities, she spends her time sewing, reading, running, mountain biking, and backcountry snowboarding.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-661-8052,

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 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, 802-245-4112,

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,

rose watts

Rose Watts, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Rose joined the department in 2022. She coordinates the Dead Creek Visitor Center and Interpretive Trail at the Dead Creek WMA. Rose has her B.A. in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology and earned her M.S. in Biology from Clark University. She has worked as a Fisheries Observer and Fisheries Biologist collecting data for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Gloucester, MA, and then moved into a role as a Naturalist in Wyoming working to engage visitors with Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Rose enjoys backpacking, running, kayaking and hiking around New England, exploring natural landscapes, and baking in her down time.

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

andy wood

Andy Wood, Habitat Protection Scientist, Barre Office
Andy has been with fish and wildlife since 2020. He has a B.A. from Bates College and an M.S. from the University of Vermont. He is responsible for project review and habitat impact assessments of projects funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), in addition to other regulatory program needs. Andy also works on the development and application of conservation science. In his free time, Andy enjoys canoeing, fly-fishing, birdwatching, and skiing. 

Contact: Barre Office, 802-461-5118,

bob zaino

Bob Zaino, Natural Community 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. Bob is responsible for describing and classifying Vermont's natural communities, working with landowners and the general public to conserve important natural communities, reviewing and providing recommendations on how to minimize environmental impacts of development projects, and providing presentations and field trips based on ecology, wetlands, natural communities, and biological diversity. Additionally, Bob is also responsible for conducting state-wide inventories of natural communities as well as identifying opportunities to protect biological diversity and landscape-scale features (such as large habitat blocks and wildlife corridors). During his time off, Bob enjoys fly-fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, and backcountry skiing.

Contact: Barre Office, 802-476-0128,