Jon AllanJon Allan became Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes in 2012, contributing his considerable aquatic sciences experience to the office’s mission to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes watershed.  With nearly three decades of experience in environmental and energy policy, he has professionally applied his understanding of ecological management in a variety of academic, corporate, and public occupations.

Jon advised during the Great Lakes Compact negotiations and co-chaired the State’s Water Resources Advisory Council tasked with formulating the state’s implementation of the Great Lakes Compact. He’s contributed his expertise in a range of roles with the State of Michigan, including those with Michigan’s Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council, the Michigan Climate Action Council, and the Environmental Advisory Council for Michigan DEQ.  He serves as Chair of the Great Lakes Commission and is a board member or an advisor to numerous other regional organizations. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Conference of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

Donald Carpenter with logoDonald D. Carpenter, PhD, PE, LEED AP is a Professor of Practice at Lawrence Technological University and Vice President of Drummond Carpenter, PLLC.  

As founding Director of the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute at Lawrence Tech, he conducts research on innovative stormwater BMPs and advises communities on how to implement green infrastructure (GI). He also serves as a Governor for Cranbrook Institute of Science, a Director for Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, and as a Director for the non-profit organization Pure Oakland Water. Finally, Dr. Carpenter is a member of numerous local and regional committees for water quality improvement including serving on the steering committee for the 2017 Great Lakes and St Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference in Detroit Michigan and as a leader in the Great Lakes GI Champions Network.

Carpenter will discuss why detention is not the answer to keeping our water resources pure, and will cover issues such as the impacts of conventional stormwater management, as well as the principles and benefits of low impact development.

Claire Schultz 2Claire E. Schwartz, PE is a senior civil engineer with Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH) located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She is a 1985 graduate of Michigan Technological University, and has specialized in storm water management during her 30 years with FTCH. Ms. Schwartz was a member of the steering committee for development of the state-wide Low Impact Development Manual published by SEMCOG and the Michigan DEQ. She has designed numerous projects using low impact development techniques, and assisted many communities in developing stormwater standards and ordinance language incorporating green infrastructure. She is presently serving as one of the Mentors for the Great Lakes Commission’s Green Infrastructure Champions program and is assisting the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and Berrien County Drain Commissioner’s office.

Elaine Sterrett IsleyElaine Sterrett Isely is Director of Water Programs for West Michigan Environmental Action Council.  Elaine Sterrett Isely joined WMEAC in 2012 to lead its Water Team. A veteran of the West Michigan legal and environmental communities, she has held a number of positions in the nonprofit and academic sectors. She’s served as Project Manager for West Michigan Strategic Alliance’s Green Infrastructure Initiative, Research Associate for the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University, Sea Grant Fellow with the Great Lakes Commission, and litigation attorney for Legal Aid of Western Michigan and the Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project, Inc.

Ms. Isely has more than 20 years of experience in law, environmental policy, research, outreach, and public speaking. She holds a BS in Finance from the University of Maryland, a JD from Wayne State University, and an MS in Biology/Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University. Her areas of expertise include water quality and stormwater management, community leadership, and regional collaboration; she has worked on green infrastructure valuation research and applications for over a decade. Ms. Isely currently serves as Chair of the City of Grand Rapids’ Stormwater Oversight Commission, and liaison to its Vital Streets Oversight Commission.

Sterrett Isely will discuss the rewards that come from rainwater and how it is being used in Grand Rapids, as well as financial incentives for low impact development.

ann_new.jpgAnn St. Amand, Ph.D., CLP,  is President of PhycoTech, Inc.  She holds a B.S. in Ecology, Evolutionary and Population Biology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame.  She has two years of post-doctoral experience at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences working on groundwater-surface water interactions in local industrial applications and in remote Montana alpine lakes. She also served as co-Principal Investigator on an artificial stream project investigating interactions of PCB contamination with periphyton including effects on diversity, energy flow and food web effects.

In addition to lake assessments and algal work conducted on Florida lakes prior to her undergraduate work, she has over 30 years of experience identifying and enumerating over 39,000 algal samples from all over North America, using a unique proprietary mounting method. Her company has completed programming on an extensive data management system containing information on nearly 34,000 different aquatic organisms.

She has been involved as an expert witness in Forensic and Ecological Impact investigations and also serves on two committees relating to public health issues surrounding toxic blue-green algae at the state level. She has been the President and owner of PhycoTech, Inc since 1990. She is an active reviewer and Associate Editor for the Journal of Lake and Reservoir Management. She has also received several business and technical awards. She belongs to numerous professional societies emphasizing algal ecology, taxonomy and lake management. She is also the Joint Task Group Chair for the Plankton Section and Part Coordinator for Part 10000, Biological Examination of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.

5a23b61fb04a9-image.jpgBen Baker leads the Landscape Architecture group at Wightman in Southwest Michigan.  He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with High Honors from Michigan State University.  As a Licensed Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional he has 15 years of experience in Landscape Architecture, sustainable design and green infrastructure across Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.  He is also currently the President-Elect of the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Ben worked on numerous green roof projects in the Chicago market, before returning to Michigan, ranging from thin layers of plantings to elaborate roof plazas with deeper soil depths to support trees. He has designed over 150,000 SF of plantings on structure.  In 2009 Ben organized and co-lead a tour of Chicago’s downtown green roofs and roof gardens for the American Society of Landscape Architect’s Annual Meeting and Expo.

Ben also is working on other green stormwater practices including rain gardens, vegetated swales permeable paving, and bio-infiltration.  These practices not only detain stormwater like their “grey infrastructure counterparts” but also utilize vegetation to clean the water. Ben recently worked on installing a large rain garden in Wightman’s Benton Harbor office parking lot to treat stormwater leaving their property before it flows into the Ox Creek.