Washtenaw County Conservation District staff
The Washtenaw County Conservation District staff has expertise to assist landowners with the conservation and management of their natural resources. The Conservation District is assisted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Want to join our team? Check for posted Career Opportunities, or sign-up for our newsletter for updates.
Want to join our team? Check for posted Career Opportunities, or sign-up for our newsletter for updates.
Jill Dohner, Interim Co-Executive Director, MiFarmLink Coordinator
Jill is working with a group of passionate agricultural advocates from across Michigan to grow the MiFarmLink program, an effort started in Ottawa County that helps preserve farmland and farming lifestyles by connecting agricultural landowners looking to sell/rent land with beginning farmers looking for land to farm.
After 8 years of service on WCCD's board, Jill stepped down to join us as a staff member! Jill owns Rustic Roots Farm where she tends honeybees, laying chickens, a fruit orchard and garden, and does woodworking. Jill has lived in the county for over 20 years and has worked with other conservation groups including tree planting organizations. She has experience in forestry, agriculture, and working with a diversity of farmers.
Contact Jill at 734 302 8715 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Shad, Interim Co-Executive Director, Finance Administrator
Deborah is responsible for the District’s finances from day-to-day activities to payroll, taxes, internal financial reporting, year-end processing and audit preparation. The Finance Administrator is the lead in developing the annual budget with other program staff and the Executive Director and financial projections.
Having served as Director of Administrative Services for the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner for 20 years, Deborah has a passion for public of service. She has a B.S. in Business with a dual concentration in finance and management. Born and raised in Michigan, Deborah developed a love of our amazing lakes and streams. During the summer months you are guaranteed to find her on our waterways every chance she gets.
Contact Deborah at (734)302-8715 or email@example.com
Nicholas Machinski, Conservation Specialist
Nick provides leadership technical expertise for all farmer programs, with a focus on accelerating the voluntary adoption of conservation practices in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) through new and existing approaches, tools, and programs. He provides technical assistance to producers interested in Farm Bill programs, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification, the Farmer Cost Share and Saline Easement Project.
Before coming to Washtenaw, Nick was a MAEAP Technician for Lenawee County, worked as a Forestry Technician and studied Sustainable Systems with a focus on agricultural systems at the University of Michigan. He is a Certified to write Nutrient Management Plans through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Contact Nick at (734) 302-8711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Reith, Resource Specialist (he/him)
Doug supervises and coordinates conservation Resources programs, sales, and distributions including the Tree & Shrub sales and Native Plant sales, , Rain Barrel Sales, Tool & Equipment Rental Program, and has coordinated other programs including the Native Plant Expo & Marketplace and School & Community Habitat Grant.
Doug is originally from suburban Macomb County and holds a degree in Computer Science degree from University of Michigan. Doug spent several years in Detroit involved in urban community gardening/farming and subsequently to rural Tuscola county where he worked as an organic vegetable farmer. Doug previously served as a Stewardship Technician and Volunteer Coordinator Assistant with Washtenaw County NAPP and is a 2019 graduate of the Conservation Stewards Program.
Doug is a dedicated dad, nature enthusiast, and lives with his family, dogs, goats, and chickens in Chelsea, MI.
Contact Doug at (734) 302-8713 or Doug@washtenawcd.org
Summer Roberts, Community Forester (Specialist) Summer provides technical expertise in forestry and native habitats for program development, program execution, and community outreach experience. She provides a forest ecologist’s perspective and background to all of the work that we do at the Conservation District. The Community Forester will pursue countywide efforts to increase tree planting, tree health as well as native habitat health and apply for grants to support this work. She coordinates the School & Community Habitat Grant.
While earning her master’s degree in Conservation Ecology and Environmental Informatics at the University of Michigan, she interned at the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum where she performed natural area management and restoration techniques and furthered her plant identification skills. Most recently, Summer worked as an environmental consultant. Using aerial photographs, soil maps, and available GIS data as well as conducting field verification surveys to collect GPS coordinates, photographs, species lists, and landform notes, she would advise clients on best land management practices to reach their desired goals.
Contact Summer at (734) 302-8716 or Summer@washtenawcd.org
Dru Mark-Wilson, Outreach Coordinator (Residential programs)
As our Outreach Coordinator, she connects the community of Washtenaw County to the programs and services we offer.
Born and raised in Buckley, Michigan, Dru went on to study at Northern Michigan University receiving her degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Marquette, Michigan. Previous to Washtenaw CD, Dru was the Education & Outreach Coordinator for a district in Ohio for 2 years. Plus, she served as an AmeriCorps member at Missaukee CD before that. You can catch Dru on her off time fishing, kayaking, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, and checking out the local eateries.
Contact Dru at (734) 302-8715 or email@example.com
Paul Buzzard, Conservation Technician (MAEAP)
Paul provides direct technical and administrative assistance to landowners primarily related to the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), directs technical assistance for Farm Bill Programs (specifically conservation planning),
other State and local programs and farmer-focused educational and outreach efforts.
Paul grew up on a family farm in Southern Illinois that raised hogs and cattle and grew corn and soybeans. He then attended the University of Illinois majoring in Ecology, Animal Behavior, and Evolution and went on to get a PhD in the behavioral ecology of 3 species of monkeys in west Africa. Paul then worked for several years in China and neighboring countries focusing on the conservation of wild yak, Tibetan antelope and other species on the Tibetan plateau as well as musk deer and snow leopards in alpine areas. After that, he worked as Director of Conservation at the Detroit Zoo and with The Nature Conservancy shifting my focus more to wildlife and habitat conservation in Michigan. With his wife, Kim Williams-Guillen, Paul also developed a regenerative farm several miles south of the Detroit airport (Detroit Flight Path Farm), which incorporates agro-forestry with free-ranging and pastured heritage breeds of livestock.
Through this work, he have become very passionate about the unique oak savannahs and other endangered habitats in Michigan, and Paul is eager to work with local farmers to see how changing farming practices can lead to improved habitat for wildlife and healthier soils.
Contact Paul at (734) 302-8714 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt DeJonge, Conservation Technician
Matt specializes in direct technical and administrative assistance to farmers primarily on USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm Bill Programs, specifically the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Matt grew up in Wyoming, MI and went to school at Grand Valley State University to study Natural Resource Management. While in school Matt fell in love with GVSU student farm where he was able to apply himself by participating in the production of seasonal produce and extension practices. Also, during college and after graduation he worked on a variety of farms, from a start-up permaculture farm in Iowa City to an organic dairy farm in Byron Center, MI. He left farming in 2016 to pursue a career with the US Forest Service. Initially he worked in timber sale preparation, but then shifted to reforestation and silviculture in more recent years. In his off time, Matt enjoys spending time outdoors, cycling, running, and disc golfing.
Contact Matt at 734 302 8711 or email@example.com
Molly Eassa, Executive Assistant
Molly is a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University, studying clinical psychology. Molly enjoys being in nature, hiking, and has traveled to many national parks. She can be found reading dorky books and spending time with her two cats named Zuko and Azula. As an apartment dweller, she is interested in creating systems for composting and recycling.
Molly will be assisting with administrative tasks and supporting staff and residents at our 705 Zeeb Road office.
Contact Molly at 734 302 8715 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Phillips Goldenberg, Michigan Climate Smart Farm Project Specialist
As MCSFP Specialist, Megan is responsible for overall project management of the Michigan Climate Smart Farm Project, funded through the USDA Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities.
Originally from Colorado, Megan grew up on a hobby farm in Saline, Michigan. After studying Chemistry and Biology at Northern Michigan University, Megan moved back to Colorado to study Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics and Public Policy at Colorado State University. She spent some time on the east coast consulting on food systems development projects and supporting her husband's military career before eventually returning to the family farm in Saline. With her family, Megan has been rehabilitating farmland by rotationally grazing small livestock for 10 years.
Contact Megan at 734 302 8715 or email@example.com
Kim Williams-Guillen, TOPP Specialist
As one of two TOPP conservation technicians, Kim provides direct technical support for Michigan farmers transitioning to Certified Organic growing practices and for the experienced organic farmers providing mentorship and training to those beginning the process. She is working via the Transition to Organic Partnership Program, funded by the USDA's Organic Transition Initiative. Kim grew up in northern California before moving to New York City to pursue a Ph.D. in primatology. During this period, she developed a passionate interest in sustainable agriculture and its role in biodiversity conservation, which led her to a postdoctoral position at the University of Michigan.
She has studied bats, primates, parrots, large predators, and sea turtles in Central America, always with a focus on how agriculture and food systems affect wildlife conservation. In 2017, she and her partner (WCCD's MEAP technician) purchased their own small hobby farm in Wayne County, where they raise livestock in a native species silvopastoral system inspired by the biodiverse tree-based agroecosystems she studied in Nicaragua and Mexico.
Contact Kim at 313.930.6301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Cacciari, TOPP Specialist
As a TOPP specialist, along with Kim Williams-Guillen, Alex is responsible for administering the Transition to Organic Partnership Program, funded by the USDA Organic Transition Initiative. Alex is connecting certified organic farmer mentors with farmer mentees who want to transition their crops and livestock to organic production.
Alex owns and operates Seeley Farm, a small, diversified market farm north of Ann Arbor. Her farm is preserved under the City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt program, and was certified organic for 9 years. Alex has been a vendor at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for 14 years, and formerly served on the Public Market Advisory Commission for the city of Ann Arbor. She currently serves on the Ann Arbor Township Farmland and Open Space Preservation Board, working to preserve farmland in conservation easements. Alex founded the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative, a farmer-owned marketing co-op for wholesale cut flowers.
Contact Alex at 734.302.8715 or email@example.com