Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors advises and assists the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in accomplishing the Institute's mission and vision. The board helps build relationships between the Nelson Institute, individuals and organizations; counsels on strategies and opportunities; and aids in obtaining financial, physical and human resources.
Matt Dannenberg (Milwaukee, WI) is Field Director at Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) and a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. WLCV helps elect pro-conservation candidates to state offices and promotes public policy that benefits public health and our natural resources. In this role, Matt manages a team of community organizers that build relationships and environmental leadership all across Wisconsin. In 2012, Matt developed the WI Native Vote program which encourages civic engagement and tribal members to vote and run for office. Matt graduated UW-Madison in 2010 with a BA in Political Science and a certificate in Environmental Studies. During his time at UW, Matt was member of the UW Spirit Squad and he brings that enthusiasm to his work each day fighting to keep Wisconsin's environment the envy of the nation.
(Manila, The Philippines) is Senior Social Development Specialist in the Environment and Safeguards Division, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of the Asian Development Bank. Haidy provides guidance, technical support and training to bank staff on labor issues.
Haidy has spent over 20 years working in development, spanning both social and environmental topics such as open government, anti-corruption and transparency, citizens participation, anti-trafficking, child protection, food security, wildlife and wetland conservation, and community resource management. She has worked with non-profit organizations such as World Vision International, Oxfam America, Wetlands International, and the US Department of Interior-North American Waterfowl and Wetlands Office.
A graduate of the UW-Madison’s M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the Nelson’s Institute for Environmental Studies, Haidy also holds an M.A. in Agricultural and Applied Economics. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Government- International Development from the College of William and Mary.
(Chicago, IL) is a Managing Partner at Enigami Partners, LLC in Chicago, which she co-founded in 2016. Enigami Partners supports institutional clients with debt finance activities in the energy, renewables, and infrastructure sectors. They have developed an expertise in large scale project finance investments: waste-to-energy, waste-to-fuels, tire recycling, and sustainable farming.
Martha spent over 20 years in investment management, corporate venture capital, angel investing, and management consulting before attending the University of Wisconsin. At UW-Madison, she received her Master of Science degree in Environment and Resources with a Certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy from the Nelson Institute. She was driven to bridge the gap between climate science and the investors capable of financing the clean energy economy.
In addition to her M.S. from UW-Madison, she has an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental Design, and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Illinois. In addition to her role with institutional investors, Martha also advises start-ups on the angel and venture funding process and is an active angel investor.
Lynn Hobbie (Madison, WI) is a Senior Vice President at Madison Gas and Electric Company. MGE is an investor-owned utility in Wisconsin that serves the Madison and Dane County communities. Her responsibilities include marketing, energy products and services, corporate communications, economic development, residential, business and community services and web services. Lynn has worked at MGE for 30 years. She has an undergraduate degree in History and a Master of Science degree in Land Resources/Energy Policy and Analysis, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lynn was the recipient of the 2014 Nelson Institute Distinguished Alumni Award.
Her current board service includes the Board of Directors for 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Statewide Energy Efficiency and Renewables Administration, and she is a member of the City of Madison's Sustainable Transportation Master Plan Committee. She has served previously on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute and the Energy Center of Wisconsin.
Carl Korfmacher (Evansville, WI) is the Chair of the Nelson Board of Visitors. He is the owner of Midwest Prairies, LLC, an ecological restoration contracting and consulting company. He is former President and CEO of Applied Ecological Services, and served on the board of directors of The Earth Partners, LP. Carl has been involved in natural resources on a professional level since 1995 and has participated in some truly ground breaking projects including the first commercial wetland bank, sustainability planning in Romania as that nation joined the EU, and earthquake recovery planning in Chile. Most recently, his company has completed the first Water Quality Trading project under the State of Wisconsin's new rules.
Linda Mearns is Director of the Regional Climate Uncertainty Program (RCUP) and previously served as Director of the Weather and Climate Impacts Assessment Science Program (WCIASP) for 15 years. She is also Head of the Regional Integrated Sciences Collective (RISC) within the Information Systems Division (ISD) of the Computational and Information Systems Lab, and Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. She served as Director of the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) for three years ending in April 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography/Climatology from UCLA. She has performed research and published mainly in the areas of climate change scenario formation, quantifying uncertainties, and climate change impacts on agro-ecosystems. She has particularly worked extensively with regional climate models. She has been an author in the IPCC Climate Change 1995, 2001, 2007, and 2013/14 Assessments regarding climate variability, impacts of climate change on agriculture, regional projections of climate change, climate scenarios, and uncertainty in future projections of climate change. She has also participated in all of the US National Climate Assessments either as an author or review editor. She led the multi-agency supported North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP), and is co-Chair of the North American CORDEX Program. She has been a member of the National Research Council Climate Research Committee (CRC), the NAS Human Dimensions of Global Change (HDGC) Committee, the NAS Panel on Adaptation of the America’s Climate Choices Program, and the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Advancing Climate Modeling. She has worked extensively with resource managers (e.g., water resource managers and ecologists) to form climate change scenarios for use in adaptation planning. She was made a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in January 2006. She received the American Association of Geographers Life Time Achievement Award in 2015 and the Excellence in Research Award in 2016. She currently is on the Advisory Panel of the USGCRP and member of the Board on Environmental Health (BEH) of the AMS.
David Morell, PhD (Sonoma, CA), a specialist in global environmental and energy policy, retired in 2007 as co-founder and CEO of an environmental consulting firm Specialty Technical Consultants.
Dr. Morell previously served as a senior official of the US Environmental Protection Agency in both Washington, DC and in San Francisco; in California state government; and as Special Assistant for Toxics Management for Santa Clara County, California.
He has had consulting assignments for the World Bank and USAID (in Mexico, Russia and Thailand).
He is President of the Board of the Sonoma Ecology Center; Commissioner on the City of Sonoma's Environmental Commission; co-founder and Board member of the Sonoma Biochar Initiative; and an Advisory Board member of Gardens for Health International.
Dr. Morell has many years of experience in university teaching and research, including at Princeton University, Stanford University, Claremont Graduate School, Mae Fah Luang University (Thailand), and the University of California-Berkeley and Santa Cruz. His PhD is from Princeton.
(Washington, DC), is the Director of WRI's Global Water Program. Over the past several years at WRI, she has led development of Aqueduct™, a global water risk assessment and mapping tool to inform private and public sector investment and water management decisions. Betsy works with the Water Program team to develop and apply tools and information, and to engage business, NGOs and governments for positive change in managing water resources worldwide. Betsy also works with staff across WRI to incorporate water considerations and sustainable solutions for cities, energy, governance, finance, and climate adaptation purposes.
Betsy has more than 20 years of experience working on water resource management, ecosystem protection, and urban water systems. Over the past two decades, she has worked to promote sound land and water planning and urban water infrastructure systems that incorporate upstream ecosystem services, green infrastructure designs in cities, and integrate drinking water, stormwater and wastewater management. Prior to joining WRI, Betsy developed successful clean water and water supply programs for American Rivers in Washington, DC, where she worked closely with mayors, utilities, federal agencies and Congress to promote smart water policies and drive public and private investment toward more sustainable water infrastructure solutions.
Betsy earned a Masters in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin's Nelson Institute, a MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School, and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois. From 2006-2007, she was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where she studied international water management, urban infrastructure, and water and sanitation issues.
Watch an interview of Betsy on E&E TV: WRI's Otto assesses China's water risk
George Reistad (Madison, WI) is an alumnus of the Nelson Institute and joined the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in late 2013 as the Associate Policy Director. He has helped empower and educate stakeholders on numerous sustainable agriculture and food system policies on the State and Federal level, including the USDA FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the WI DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Program, and the USDA NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program. George is a Wisconsin Local Food Network Board Member and also currently co-chairs the Diversity Committee of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, where he is working closely with other NSAC members and staff to build a racial equity lens into the Coalition's strategic planning, policy-setting process, and policy issue committees.
Jeff Rudd (Madison, WI) began serving on the Board of Visitors in December 2014. He has a PhD from the Nelson Institute's Environment & Resources Program. He also has a JD, and undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy. He currently makes and manages long- and short-term investments in equity and commodity markets. He enjoys hiking, hunting, and other activities that give him the opportunity to be outdoors, preferably with his wife and step-son.
Anne Sayers (Cross Plains, WI) is the Deputy Secretary of Tourism for the state of Wisconsin. Prior to this role, Anne led conservation efforts at the local, state, national, and international level for nearly two decades with a variety of nonprofit organizations including Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, International Crane Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy. She currently chairs the Development Committee of Groundswell Conservancy. Anne is also the Owner and Operator of Oh, Hello LLC, a marketing, communications, and nonprofit management consultancy.
Mike Strigel (Monona, WI) is President and Executive Director at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, Wisconsin. Since joining the staff in early 2016, he leads efforts to instill Leopold's conservation legacy in more than 50,000 visitors per year. A Wisconsin native, Mike is a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master's degree in Land Resources from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His previous field experience with The Prairie Enthusiasts, the International Crane Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other organizations has taken him through the prairies, savannas, forests, and wetlands of Wisconsin and the Midwest as well as stints in the forests of southern Oregon and northern California. Mike most recently served as executive director of Gathering Waters: Wisconsin's Alliance for Land Trusts. Prior to coming to Gathering Waters in 2007, Mike spent eight years at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters where he was Executive Director since 2003. At the Academy, Mike directed a national conference in 1999 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, one of the personal highlights of his career.
Tisha Schuller (Boulder, CO) consults private clients from fortune-500 energy companies to non-profit environmental organizations energy policy, business strategy, politics, and community engagement. She also serves as the Strategic Advisor for Stanford University's Natural Gas Initiative. In this role, she works with companies and stakeholders to interface with Stanford's diverse faculty conducting research in the areas of sustainable development, technology innovation, climate policy, and geopolitics. She conducts public speaking and consulting focused on deescalating the energy wars, helping companies and organizations understand the polarized landscape and navigate successful strategies. Tisha most recently worked as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association in one of the most dramatic and contentious times for energy development in Colorado's history. Prior to COGA, Ms. Schuller served as a Principal and Vice President with Tetra Tech, a national environmental consulting and engineering firm for 15 years. She has a B.S. in Earth Systems with an emphasis in Geology from Stanford University.
Rebecca Wodder (Fairfax, VA) is a nationally known environmental leader whose career in conservation began with the first Earth Day. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. As president of the national river advocacy organization, American Rivers, from 1995 to 2011, she led the development of community-based solutions to freshwater challenges. From 2011 to 2013, she served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Previously, Rebecca was a Vice President at The Wilderness Society, and a Legislative Assistant to Senator Gaylord Nelson for environmental and energy issues. In 2010, she was named a Top 25 Outstanding Conservationists by Outdoor Life Magazine. In 2014, she received the James Compton Award from River Network. As a Fellow with the Center for Humans and Nature, Rebecca explores how communities enhance their resilience to climate impacts via sustainable approaches to rivers and freshwater resources. She serves on the boards of River Network, the Potomac Conservancy, and is a member of the Advisory Council of Marstel-Day. She is currently chairing the River Network board. Wodder earned a B.A. in biology and in environmental studies from the University of Kansas, and an M.S. in Landscape Architecture and in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Emeritus Board Members
Lynn Broaddus (Minneapolis, MN) is the Past Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. Since the 2014 launch of her firm Broadview Collaborative, Inc., Lynn has focused her professional attention on sustainability in the water sector, emphasizing the opportunities to achieve both climate and water goals through innovation with water utilities, municipalities, and soils. She is also the Vice Chair of the board of the River Network in Boulder, Colorado, and is a trustee for the Water Environment Federation. Prior to launching Broadview Collaborative, Lynn was Director of the Environment Program for The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin. In that role, she was responsible for shaping the Johnson Foundation's environmental programming, which placed an emphasis on the freshwater crisis facing the United States. Lynn has also held leadership roles with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, and NatureServe, and previously served as a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institute. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia, her Ph.D. from Duke University, and an M.B.A. from UW-Milwaukee. Both of Lynn’s sons are alumni of UW-Madison.
Jay Carlson (Madison, WI) is a long-time friend and supporter of Gaylord Nelson and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 and his JD, with honors, from the George Washington University in 1970. Jay recently retired from a long legal career in Washington, DC where he served in a number of capacities, including that of Assistant General Counsel for Litigation with the Federal Energy Administration and most recently, Senior Counsel at Miller & Chevalier Chartered. Jay served several terms as a regular member of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. In April 2013, to thank him for his years of dedicated service to and on behalf of the Nelson Institute, Jay was awarded the title of Emeritus Board Member by Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins. Jay is the first person to hold this honorific title.
Sonnet Edmonds (Atlanta, GA) is Associate General Counsel at Southern Power Company, practicing in the field of energy law. From 1998 until early 2011, Edmonds was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Mirant Corporation (which was renamed GenOn Energy, Inc. as of December 2010). In that role, she was responsible for providing transactional, environmental, and other legal support to the company's electric generating assets across the United States. Prior to Mirant, she was an Attorney at law firms in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. Sonnet received her B.A. (1989) and J.D. (1993) from UW-Madison and is involved with several energy and legal professional associations. She is the past Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors.
John Francis (Cape May, NJ) is known the world over as the Planetwalker. In 1971, Francis witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The effects of the spill compelled him to stop using motorized vehicles. Several months later, to end the arguments he found himself getting into about the power of one person's actions, he took a vow of silence. His non-motorized lifestyle lasted 22 years and his silence 17. During that time, Francis walked across the United States, earning a B.A at Southern Oregon State College, an M.S. in environmental studies at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in the Nelson Institute Land Resources program. After graduation Francis wrote oil spill regulations for the U.S. Coast Guard for a year, but was then drawn back to travel, sailing and walking through the Caribbean and the length of South America as a goodwill ambassador to the World's Grassroots Communities for the United Nations Environment Program. He is currently back on the UW-Madison campus, serving as a visiting associate professor of environmental studies. He is also an education fellow at the National Geographic Society and the author of Planetwalker and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World.
James Knight (Madison, WI) is the President of Bradshaw-Knight Foundation, which supports organizations that unite the advancement of sustainable means of life on the planet with the maintenance of communities of human scale, social and economic justice, and ethical treatment of animals. He received his M.S. in Quaternary Studies at the University of Maine, Orono. Knight is involved in urban agriculture and films about environmental justice. In summer 2015, to thank him for his years of dedicated service to and on behalf of the Nelson Institute, Jay was awarded the title of Emeritus Board Member by Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins. Jay is the third person to hold this honorific title in the Institute.
John Nelson (Madison, WI) is an adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He also serves as Chairman of MEP Associates, LLC, a US based engineering consulting firm, and as Chief Technology Officer for Global Infrastructure Advisors, an infrastructure asset manager based in Chicago Illinois. John is past chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors, and currently serves on the UW Foundation Board. John is an alum of the College of Engineering, receiving an MSME in 1976.
Tia Nelson (Madison, WI) is Managing Director of the Outrider Foundation's Climate Change Program. Previously, she served as director of the Climate Change Initiative at The Nature Conservancy and received the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Protection Award in 2000. Nelson is a graduate of UW-Madison, a conservationist and an environmental education advocate. She is the daughter of the late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. In Summer 2015, to thank her for her years of dedicated service to and on behalf of the Nelson Institute, Tia was awarded the title of Emeritus Board Member by Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins. Tia is the fourth person to hold this honorific title in the Institute.
Sal Troia (Madison, WI) is the past Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. He has always enjoyed being outdoors in nature and is an avid cyclist and bicycle racer. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with honors in accounting from UW-Madison and was a bank executive in the banking business for 28 years. Troia has been on many professional and business boards during his banking career and has served as president for a number of them. Since his retirement, his interests have turned to the environment and the lakes. Troia is a member of the Bascom Hill Society and a past member of the Board of Directors of Friends of the UW Arboretum. He has been an active member of the Yahara Lakes Association Board, having served as its President in the past and currently as its Treasurer. Sal has also been a strong supporter of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes Board for 11 years, where he has served as its treasurer and as a member of its executive committee. Troia is also a member of the Porchlight Inc. Board of Directors where he sits on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Finance Committee. Porchlight provides solutions to homelessness in the Dane County area.
Elizabeth C. Treacy (Chicago, IL) is president and chief strategist of Treacy Marketing Group. Her company, headquartered in Chicago, specializes in transformational business and brand strategies for companies at an inflection point. Industries served include manufacturing, health care, education, foodservice, hospitality/design, technology, financial and professional services and real estate. Treacy's community outreach efforts include pro bono marketing and consulting for numerous local and national not for profits. In addition, Treacy is a former trustee and marketing committee member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a member of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and Commercial Real Estate Women. She also sits on the Board of Visitors of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Treacy earned an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor of arts in history from Colorado College. She is an avid traveler and has lived, worked and studied abroad.