Watershed Management Group Staff
Lisa Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group and has served as the Executive Director since 2006. Lisa directs fundraising, strategic development, financial planning, and outreach activities for WMG. She manages several of WMG’s programs including the Living Lab & Learning Center and the 50 Year Program to restore flow to Tucson’s rivers. Her specialized skills include developing experiential education programs; building community coalitions; teaching natural resource management for desert cities; and creating new financial models for community conservation. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. Lisa gives back to the community through serving as Treasurer of the Community Water Coalition, sitting on Tucson’s Transit Task Force, and directing Tucson’s adult Ultimate Frisbee league. She fills her free time with playing ultimate Frisbee and dancing and enjoys gardening, bike touring, and camping with her husband Catlow.
A native Tucsonan and graduate of the University of Arizona, Nathan is acutely aware of the pressing need to reverse desertification culture. When not out in the field installing beautiful and functional systems, he can be found urban fruit harvesting and practicing permaculture-based agroforestry at his Menlo Park abode. Nathan also enjoys dirt biking, speaking Spanish and making sourdough pancakes. He feels fortunate to be part of a team of dedicated individuals making real change.
Rose is native to the Southwest and is a graduate of NAU. She harbors a deep appreciation and respect for the Sonoran desert and its resilient and beautiful wildlife and vegetation. She enjoys making a home wherever her work leads her, whether it’s in a tent in the rainforest of Southeast Alaska while working on a trail crew, or a cob house in Northern California while apprenticing on an organic, bio-intensive farm. Rose is excited to bring her enthusiasm for biodiversity, conservation, and the responsible use of resources to her work at WMG as part of a talented and passionate team. Outside of work, Rose enjoys rock climbing, camping, photography, and gardening.
Jen is a native New Yorker who has found her true home-away-from-home in the Southwest. She comes to WMG with a background in education, writing, and editing, and she currently also works as an instructor and tutor at U of A and at the Pima County Public Library. Jen holds a B.A. in German Studies and an M.A. in Linguistics. She enjoys travel, learning languages, hiking, cycling, and Zumba. She is thrilled to be part of a team that is passionate about conserving precious resources, fostering sustainability, and improving the quality of life for all living things.
Trevor graduated from the University of Arizona in 1991 with a degree in Ecology. For ten years he studied the impacts of suburban development on rattlesnakes and Gila monsters. Trevor worked as the Sky Island Alliance Restoration Program manager for the last 11 years and developed a robust methodology for the assessment, planning and design of riparian and upland restoration projects, which resulted in over $800,000 of restoration work. Trevor serves as the Science Advisor for the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, and sits on the Pima County Conservation Acquisition Commission, and as a board member of the Ciénega Watershed Partnership.
Dusty has lived in the southwest all his life and is glad to have the opportunity to restore and enhance local habitats, while reducing our collective impact on our local environment. In the past he has primarily worked as a teacher for the developmentally disabled, solar system installer, and handyman. His passions include sustainable architecture, gardening, exploring nature, and working for the betterment of life for all living things. In his free time Dusty can be found tending to his garden, helping neighbors realize healthy gardens, working on random projects, sitting outside watching nature go about its business... while fantasizing about building a completely self sustaining home and growing all his own food. He also loves to take an occasional hike or play a game of frisbee golf or scrabble.
Sky is a southwest native who loves our region's diverse biology, culture, and landscapes. He has worked primarily as a naturalist/biologist, nonprofit administrator, IT specialist, and website developer for organizations including Sky Island Alliance, The University of Arizona, SWCA Biological Consultants, National Park Service, among others. Sky is dedicated to protecting the region’s biodiversity through conservation action and lifestyle choices. In his free time, Sky enjoys exploring remote and wild parts of Arizona and Sonora, attempting photography, studying birds and plants, brewing beer, and playing with regionally native vegetation in his yard.
Russell has a background in energy economics, including nuclear, fossil, solar, energy efficiency, and more. In addition he has experience in managerial accounting, wilderness advocacy, and non-profit financial management. He serves as the Energy Chair for the Sierra Club Rincon Group and gives presentations on energy and wilderness. Russell has also worked with more than a dozen accounting systems, and ran a business services company for six years. He has provided accounting and financial management services with non-profits and for-profits, including behavioral health, community radio, natural food cooperatives, a day care and an elementary school, print shops, nursing, computer companies, and more. What sustains and refreshes Russell are his weekly hikes and backpacking trips with friends, where he also enjoys working with nature photography.
Jamie received a B.A. in Journalism, with a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, from the UA in 1997. Jamie’s professional background includes communications, public relations and community events. She has worked with the Downtown Tucson Partnership, KXCI Community Radio, and UA’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry. She was the co-founder and editor of Zócalo Magazine and was the inaugural Program Director for 2nd Saturdays Downtown from May 2010-November 2015. Jamie has a passion for water conservation, environmentalism, music, arts, science, culture, and community. She is honored to work with an organization making a positive difference in the world.
Ryan Mores is a native of northern California who has lived in Arizona for more than seven years. He graduated from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business with a BS in Supply Chain Management, a BA in Business Sustainability, and an International Business Certificate. His passions include gardening, water conservation, food systems innovation, sustainability education, and overall creating a more resilient society where all living things thrive. Ryan is co-founder of the GreenLight Solutions Foundation and is a member of the Maricopa County Food Systems Coalition. When he is not working, Ryan enjoys bike rides, long boarding, yoga, reading, hiking, camping, exploring nature, writing poetry, drinking/making tea, and cooking for friends and family.
Joaquin specializes in building resilience in diverse communities by enhancing the connections between people, culture, and natural resources. Joaquin brings vast experience on the multicultural border region between the US and Mexico, where he has implemented community-based approaches to watershed management, river restoration, geo-tourism, conservation of native peoples, and best practices for the ranching community. His past work has been with the Sonoran Institute and as a consultant for National Geographic Society and other organizations. Joaquin is a graduate of the University of Arizona with MSc in Natural Resources and Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Renewable Natural Resources Studies with an emphasis on management, policy and economics of natural resources. A native of Sonora, Mexico and resident of Arizona, Joaquin is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Iylea is a Tucson native with a BS in Plant Sciences and a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona. She believes strongly in the interconnection between environmental and human health. Through a holistic and collaborative design approach, she strives to help people create livable landscapes that offer opportunities for enriching social and environmental interactions. When she’s not in the office, you might find Iylea kicking it on the soccer field, digging in the garden, practicing Chinese medicine and martial arts, strolling down a trail with a camera in her hands, or volunteering in her neighborhood.
Deborah hails from the Northeast US, but considers herself an Arizonan after 11 years of living under desert skies. She has worked in the field of outdoor education since 2003 and has a BA degree in adventure education. She comes to Watershed Management Group with a passion for spreading the word about water conservation, particularly as part of the bigger message of what it means to be a steward of this planet. Deborah loves to fill her time drinking tea, staring longingly into her dog’s eyes, and connecting with the nature.
Lincoln got his start in rainwater harvesting in 2007 while attending the University of Arizona where he earned a BS in Environmental Sciences. He has been installing and teaching about rainwater harvesting systems since his first introduction to the practice. In addition to WMG, Lincoln also teaches water harvesting through the U of A Cooperative Extension and Tucson Clean and Beautiful. He dreams of seeing Tucson become a more verdant community while embracing the wonderful diversity of the Sonoran Desert.
Catlow Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group. He received a MSc in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona. Catlow has over ten years of experience in applied watershed management, planning and policy specializing in urban applications like water harvesting, green infrastructure, stream restoration, and eco-sanitation. Catlow has worked on several successful local policy initiatives including Tucson's residential greywater ordinance revision process, Tucson's Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, and Tucson Water's residential rainwater rebate program. Catlow serves on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for Tucson Water including the Finance and Conservation & Education subcommittees and on the University of Arizona's School of Natural Resource and the Environment's advisory board. Catlow's passion is to link people to their local environment for improved stewardship and prosperity.
Kieran is passionate about creating prosperous communities by celebrating water in our abundant desert landscape. Kieran combines his experience as a Civil Engineer (MS), Certified Floodplain Manager, and Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner with over 10 years of experience in cost benefit analysis, green infrastructure/low impact development design, watershed restoration, and permaculture design. Kieran's goal is to implement water harvesting practices on a broad scale as critical flood mitigation and stormwater infrastructure to shade and beautify our communities while repairing our urban watersheds. Kieran serves as the Tucson Mayor’s representative for the Pima County Flood Control District Advisory Committee. He also serves as WMG's alternative transportation champion to promote healthy lifestyles through bike and public transportation use. When not biking around town showing off his diverse custom tutu collection, Kieran can be found exploring Tucson's creeks and streams, enjoying yoga and playing in the rain.
Emma's passion for creating healthy urban ecosystems and love for the Sonoran Desert inspire her work at WMG. She splits her time between managing projects in the Green Living Co-op, coordinating Monsoon Squad Volunteers, tending to public demonstration rain gardens as well as WMG's food forest, and organizing property projects around the Living Lab and Learning Center. Emma holds a BA in Environmental Sustainability from Eastern Mennonite University and came to Tucson shortly after graduating for a 2-year term with Mennonite Voluntary Service. She is also an ISA Certified Arborist (WE-11400A), specializing in training, remedial, and structural pruning. Prior to WMG, Emma worked as a Garden Program Coordinator with the Primavera Foundation, assisting families and individuals in need.
Dan is a computer engineer by training, with a BS from the University of Arizona, MS from the University of New Mexico, and the Electrical Engineer degree from Utah State University. He manages the Green Living Co-op program and assists with the Flow 365 citizen science program at WMG. Previously he was a Program Instructor with Pima County Public Library, teaching tech programs for teens and adults. When he's not coordinating co-op workshops he is active in the community as a member of Sustainable Tucson, the co-captain of Code for Tucson (the local brigade of Code for America), and organizing the Google Developer Group in Tucson. Dan is also a member of WMG’s Monsoon Squad and the River Run Network. Dan and his wife, Jana, write about their adventures in becoming more sustainable on their blog, Sustainable Living Tucson, and work on harvesting rainwater at home when they have free time!
Anna is a native of the southwest, an ecologist, and outdoor enthusiast. After a stint as a custom woodworker, she decided to go to graduate school in ecology. She has been a research ecologist in all three of the SW warm deserts. Research for her MS, and towards her PhD, focused on measuring plant, soil, and ecosystem function in both riparian and desert systems, across the seasons. She is happy to be actively applying her inner eco-nerd while converting conventional urban yards into ecologically vibrant, water harvesting, biologically diverse landscapes, and assisting with WMG's ecological restoration work.
Charlie studied architecture (University of Kentucky, ’03) and permaculture (Ecosa Institute, ’04), and worked as a designer and gardener in Kentucky, Arizona, and Louisiana, most recently managing a school garden program in soggy New Orleans. He is excited to now be working at the opposite end of the rainfall spectrum and to support opportunities for rain harvesting here, there, and everywhere in between. Charlie loves growing, making, and eating food as well as building with salvaged and natural materials.
Ryan is a Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner, Permaculture Designer, and a Master Watershed Steward. With an Associates of Applied Technology degree from ITT, Ryan has a background in architecture and landscape design and also works as a graphic/web designer. He co-teaches water harvesting during permaculture design courses and has served as a Project Manager for Arizona Homegrown Solutions. Ryan enjoys gardening, composting, herding chickens, and sharing the surplus.
Watershed Management Group Interns
Julia is a student at the U of A working on an MS in Environmental Sciences. As an intern for WMG, Julia is working on river restoration advocacy. As a native Tucsonan growing up among the dry rivers, she longs for the day when she can walk among the Cottonwood along the Santa Cruz. She appreciates a good cup of tea and the smell of soil and creosote after a desert rain. She enjoys the little things in life like listening to music and singing along (loudly), lounging around with her cats, and working in her garden.
Robbie is a student at The University of Arizona studying Urban and Regional Development with a GIS minor. As a hobby, he is a member or the Marching Band (The Pride of Arizona) on alto sax as well as playing tenor sax in the pep band. Robbie is participating in this internship under the geospatial technologies career track and was interested in taking part in this particular internship because he believes that water conservation and river restoration in the Sonoran Desert is vital as Tucson continues to grow.