Board of Directors
MARS’ Board of Directors is a diverse team of highly-skilled and experienced professionals in the fields of economics, small business, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, fish and wildlife biology, wetlands science, accounting and law and policy.
Senior Project Manager|Confluence Consulting
As Confluence’s Senior Project Manager, Mike incorporates his background in wildlife, fisheries, hydrology, and watershed science in the design and construction of water quality and fisheries restoration projects. His project management experience includes channel design and construction, fish passage and screening, revegetation, habitat enhancement, and grant acquisition. Mike works with a wide variety of clientele ranging from industry to private landowners, conservation groups to developers. Mike joined the MARS board in 2015.
Communication Manager|Montana Conservation Corps
As the Communications Manager for Montana Conservation Corps, Kelly is always searching for new ways to mobilize the public to steward our lands and care for our planet. She approaches the communications field from a unique angle, having spent several years as a lab chemist and field scientist before dipping her toe into the “softer” world of communications. A storyteller at heart, Kelly appreciates quick wit and a well-crafted sentence, and firmly believes that when it comes to solving the world’s environmental problems, communication is key. She joined the MARS board in 2017.
PE, CFM|CDM Smith
Ted is a professional engineer and certified floodplain manager with 30 years of experience in water resources engineering. He has expertise in the design and construction of river channel and floodplain improvements, river channel bed and bank stabilization, flood storage, habitat enhancements and the development of recreational amenities. Ted also has expertise in regulatory coordination, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses; sediment transport and scour and deposition analyses; erosion control BMPs; and, habitat analyses. Ted joined the MARS board as a Director in 2015.
Director of Program Investments|Adventure Scientists
Marcus brings nearly a decade of land and water conservation experience to the board. He has guided private and public-interest clients through complex real estate and water rights transactions, and working extensively with state and federal environmental and land-use regulations. During his law career he has helped to develop market-driven ecosystem services banking models to promote groundwater mitigation, wetland mitigation, water quality trading, and natural resource damage assessment restoration projects. Marcus joined MARS as a Director in 2016.
Acquisitions|TOPOS & ANTHROS
Kelly works in real estate investing and conservation through her own firm, Topos & Anthros. Prior to starting the company, Kelly worked across Montana in her role as acquisitions associate at Beartooth Capital Partners. Kelly’s brings years of real estate transaction experience to the MARS board, which she joined in 2016.
Staff Attorney|Trout Unlimited Montana Water Project
Pat is the Director of Trout Unlimited’s Montana Water Project. An attorney and fisheries biologist with over 16 years’ experience as a special projects and regional fisheries biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks where he gained expertise in stream and fisheries restoration and in state and federal permitting authorities and procedures and led restoration efforts for Arctic grayling and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Pat was founding Chairman serving through 2015 and remains active on the Board as a representative of the Executive Committee.
President and Principle Ecologist|Geum Environmental Consulting
Tom is President and Principal Ecologist of Geum Environmental Consulting, based in Hamilton, Montana. He focuses on riparian and floodplain restoration as part of long term river restoration projects in Montana and Idaho. Tom was in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, and managed trails and wilderness education programs for the Adirondack Mountain Club in Lake Placid, New York and previously worked for Bitterroot Restoration and Herrera Environmental Consultants before starting Geum in 2003. He joined to MARS board in 2017.
Portfolio Analyst|Bitterroot Capital Advisors
Nathan brings nearly 15 years of banking and investment management experience to the Board. For the past four years, he’s worked with Bitterroot Capital Advisors serving a select group of US and international clients. With a special interest in using capital to make a positive environmental or social impact, Nathan was excited to join the MARS Board in 2017. Nathan moved to Montana in 1992 after spending his early childhood in Alaska.
Retired Natural Resource Manager|The Nature Conservancy
Burt is a cattle rancher with over 30 years experience in natural resources.He has previously worked for the Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy in Montana. He brings a wealth of knowledge in regional land management and conservation to the MARS board which he joined in 2017.
Ecosystem Restoration Engineer|SWCA
Crystal incorporates her background in hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and watershed science to bridge the gap between engineering and ecosystem restoration. She has managed both large and small scale projects that range from sensitive environments to urban riverfront revitalization. Crystal is detail oriented, and yet sees the big picture clearly. She has lead projects from concept development all the way to building steakholder support and construction implementation. Crystal is most passionate about water, whether it be fresh cold smoke, flooding rivers or designing creative solutions for complex water issues. Crystal looks forward to bringing her technical skills and insights to assist MARS with being even more impactful. Crystal joined the MARS board in 2018.
Assistant Director|Farm 51
Jenifer has spent 15 years leading watershed groups and non-profit organizations navigate challenges in water-related issues as diverse as open-space bonds, endangered species, floodplain regulations, and river conservation. She also owns and operates Farm 51, a goat farm in Bozeman. Jenifer joined MARS as Director in 2013.
Principal|Applied Geomorphology, Inc.
Owner of Applied Geomorphology, Inc. and a registered professional geologist with twenty-five years experience in river process assessment, restoration concept development, stream channel design, and permitting. Karin is a founding director of MARS.
Regional Biologist|Ducks Unlimited
Abby is a Biologist with Ducks Unlimited in partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Abby works closely with the NRCS and private landowners to help implement Farm Bill programs across the state. She specializes in the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program, which includes the Grassland and Wetland Reserve easements. Abby brings over 10 years of experience as a wetland scientist and watershed restoration professional specializing in protection and restoration of wetlands and streams. Abby joined MARS as a Director in 2013, and took over as Chair of the Board in 2015.
Managing Director|DMS Natural Resources LLC
Deb is the Managing Director of DMS Natural Resources LLC. With over ten years of experience in the water rights sector, Deborah is skilled in water valuation, water right management, and water investment analysis. Deborah brings a wide range of business and economic experience to MARS and is one of the country’s few experts in water appraisal and valuation. Deborah’s water business and economic experience spans the Western United States. Deborah joined the MARS board as a Director in 2013.
MSU Student|Leadership Institute
Hannah is a senior studying political science and history at Montana State University. She grew up farming in the Golden Triangle north of Great Falls, MT which inspired her interest in the relationship between the environment and the communities it supports. Her work piloting the Governor’s Fight Childhood Hunger initiative jump started programs in over 15 regions in Montana. Hannah was employed by Brown & Dinwiddie, PLLC for the first 3 years of her collegiate career as a legal assistant and plans to attend law school upon graduation.