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Watershed Management Group Staff

lisa@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x2
Lisa Shipek
Lisa Shipek
Executive Director
She/her

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, community engagement, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion activities for WMG. She co-directs the River Run Network program and manages the development of the Living Lab & Learning Center. Her specialized skills include developing experiential education programs; building community coalitions; and adapting technical information for public consumption. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. Lisa gives back to the community through serving on advisory boards, which has included: Tucson’s Environmental Services Advisory Committee, Tucson’s Transit Task Force, Tucson Conserve to Enhance, and the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative. Lisa was honored to be invited to join Women at the Top in 2020, a Tucson-based business networking group. She fills her free time with playing ultimate frisbee and dancing and enjoys gardening, bike touring, and camping with her husband Catlow.

calcorn@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x3
Charles Alcorn
Charles Alcorn
Program Manager and Educator
He/him/él

Charlie graduated from Dickinson College in 2012 with a B.S. in Physics and has worked in environmental education and non-profit communications. He ventured from Pennsylvania to Tucson in early 2016 and has become enchanted by the Sonoran Desert and Tucson community. Charlie is passionate about using community education to help drive sustainable decision-making on an individual basis and in city decision-making. In his role at WMG he designs and installs community green infrasturcture projects and oversees WMG's Phoenix Valley based programs. When he isn't talking about water harvesting Charlie likes playing soccer, cooking, and dancing with his two left feet.

mcooley@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x12
Melanie Cooley
Melanie Cooley
Admin & Operations Assistant
She/they

Melanie Cooley arrived in Tucson from the Midwest over 30 years ago and fell immediately in love with the Sonoran Desert. Their passions are desert-friendly gardening, habitat restoration, water harvesting, critters, and dance. When not at WMG, she can most likely be found with hands in dirt, tending plants, tracing the path of water across her yard, dancing, or hanging out with her three dogs, five chickens, and desert tortoise named Mr. T. Melanie has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan and is a certified 5Rhythms (movement/dance meditation) teacher. She is deeply interested in the connections between the body of earth and human bodies. She speaks English, basic French and Spanish--and just enough Arabic to have a conversation with a four-year-old. 

rfitzpatrick@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x7
Rebecca Fitzpatrick
Rebecca Fitzpatrick
Restoration Ecologist Project Manager
She/they

Becky fell in love with the landscapes and organisms of the western United States when she studied Natural History and Ecology at Prescott College in Arizona. After attaining her bachelors degree, Becky worked as a wildlife technician on a bear nutritional study in Yellowstone National Park, a trophic cascade study in Waterton Lakes Park, and a bison management study in Montana. She then began teaching wildlife science programs to high school students in the Yellowstone area, which grew into a love of teaching and place-based outdoor education. Becky returned to the southwest and worked for a conservation corps building trail and working on invasive species projects. Becky does her best to balance indoor and outdoor work and to include the use of both her brain and her body. This balance has led her to work as an outdoor educator with Outward Bound, a Wilderness Ranger in the southern Rockies, and in the classroom with the High Mountain Institute and the Alzar School. Having lived in an arid environment for over 15 years, she is inspired by and passionate about water and its use. From the Colorado River to the tops of the San Francisco Peaks, to the Santa Fe Mountains, to the Rio Grande, Becky has adventured, studied, and worked within watersheds of the southwest. She spent time at the United World College in New Mexico with her hands in the dirt at the school farm and her intellect advancing the school’s sustainability goals. Her love for wild places began young, and has continued to grow the more time she spends outdoors near water. She has found no better teacher.

vgaddy@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x18
Valerisa Gaddy
Valerisa (Val) Gaddy
Community Conservation Program Director
She/Her

Valerisa (Val) Gaddy, PhD., is originally from the Navajo Nation and is of the Navajo (Diné) people. Gaddy has a passion for water quality and uses her research interests to advocate for Tribal water resources in Arizona. Prior to her current position, Gaddy was a post-doctorate research associate at the University of Arizona – Water Resources Research Center. Gaddy received her PhD and MS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in microbiology and her BS from New Mexico State University in microbiology. Gaddy’s research and extension interests include developing and validating methods to assess microbial water quality and communicating modern water quality and produce safety methods to growers. Most recently, Gaddy’s program Irrigation Resources Reaching Indigenous Growers and Tribal Entities, IRRIGaTE was a winner of 2022 MIT Solve Finals. She is a senior fellow of Columbia University – Mailman School of Public Health from 2022-2023. When Gaddy is not working, she enjoys family time with her son and husband which includes, hiking, bouldering, and playing with Legos.

mhorner@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x16
Maya Horner
Maya Horner
Education & Engagement Coordinator
She/Her

Maya was born and raised in Catalina, Arizona and recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She is passionate about helping Tucson become a more sustainable and resilient community, while prioritizing environmental justice. Her time at NAU allowed her to visit places such as Lake Powell, and the drained end of the Colorado River in Mexico. These experiences motivated Maya to help protect and conserve Arizona's water. After spending the past three and a half years in Flagstaff, Maya enjoys connecting with the desert environment she grew up in by trail running, cycling, and hiking. When she's not outdoors, Maya can be found hanging out with her three cats, embroidering, or drumming. Her favorite Sonoran Desert critter is a horny toad.

sjacobs@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x8
Sky Jacobs
Sky Jacobs
Senior Administrator and IT Manager
He/him/él

Sky is a southwest native who loves our region's diverse biology, culture, and landscapes. He has worked primarily as a nonprofit administrator, naturalist/biologist, 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, Sonora and the greater Southwest, attempting photography, studying birds and plants, and growing native plants in his yard.

lknight@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x9
Lauren Knight (Monheim)
Lauren Knight
River Run Network Program Manager
She/her

Lauren has a B.S. in Watershed Hydrology and Management from the University of Arizona. As a Tucson native, Lauren has a passion for the environment and the community in this area and wants to continue spreading this excitement for nature, water and people through her work with the River Run Network. Lauren enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and reading in her spare time.

jmurrieta@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x13
Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar
Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar
Cultural Ecologist Director
He/Him

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.

jregalado@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x5
Julie Regalado
Julie Regalado
Education Program Director
She/they

Julie has over 30 years of experience teaching in experiential, place-based, embodied education both in the US and in Australia, where she lived for fifteen years. Julie made her way to Tucson in 2023, reconnecting to the Sonoran Desert near where she grew up (in San Bernardino, Ca), and the land of her father's family across the border in Sonora and Chihuahua. Early university studies in the sciences and work in a soils science lab evolved into a performing arts focus and Regalado was active in California in the modern dance world. Often working in non-formal settings, Julie brings a perspective encompassing a social-ecological and relational approach towards building more constructive relationships - human and more-than-human. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies from UC Riverside, a MFA in Dance from Mills College, and a MEd in Social Ecology from Western Sydney University, where she also recently completed a M.Res researching how a place-based embodied awareness practice might foster ecological consciousness. In her free time, she explores her new town of Tucson on foot and scrambles over boulders in the Dragoon Mountains. She loves cooking, eating, reading, gardening and speaks passable French and Spanish.

lsalgado@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x20
Luis Salgado
Luis Salgado
Green Infrastructure Project Manager
He/him

Born and raised in the Colorado River Delta region, Luis always wondered why his native hometown of San Luis Río Colorado was named after a river that seldom flowed through there. As a result, Luis completed a B.S. degree in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona in 2017. During his time at the university, Luis began to understand the complex relationship between rivers and their users, and decided to pursue a career that emphasizes community-centric, ecological approaches to educating the public about environmental issues of the Southwest and natural resource conservation. Luis is fluent in both Spanish and English, and you can find him reading, writing, cooking, or playing drums at home when he’s not digging through crates at record stores or looking for a good place to set up a hammock on top of a nearby mountain.

catlow@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x4
Catlow Shipek
Catlow Shipek
Sr. Program Director
He/him

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 15 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 Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, Tucson Water's residential rainwater rebate program, Tucson's residential greywater ordinance revision process, and through the Complete Streets Taskforce the adoption of Tucson's Complete Streets Policy. Catlow has served on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for Tucson Water including Chair of the Conservation & Education subcommittee, Tucson's Complete Streets Coordinating Council, and on the University of Arizona's School of Natural Resource and the Environment's advisory board. Catlow enjoys growing and foraging for food, long mountain trail runs, and finding swimming holes. 

jwashburne@watershedmg.org
James Washburne
James Washburne
Sr. Project Specialist
He/him

Jim currently teaches geography and physics at Pima Community college. He has also studied geology, geophysics and hydrology. Growing up in Colorado, he got his start as a ranch hand chasing cattle, repairing irrigation ditches and building fence. In 2007, he initiated and coordinated a successful 10 year effort to remove Arundo or Giant Cane from the Sabino Creek watershed. He is excited to help manage and lead WMG’s effort to remove Arundo from Tanque Verde Creek, a part of WMG’s River Run Initiative. Jim finds working outdoors extremely satisfying and takes great pleasure in working with others to restore our unique southwestern riparian corridors by removing these invasive and non-native plants. Jim has traveled widely and enjoys swimming, hiking and reading.

mwingert@watershedmg.org
520-396-3266 x22
Max Wingert
Max Wingert
Communication and Outreach Manager
He/Him

Max Wingert was born in Texas but grew up in Tokyo. He spent the formative years thereafter right here in Arizona, however, and graduated with a degree in Communication from the U of A. And that, ultimately, is his greatest strength – communication, in all of its myriad forms. Reading, writing, speaking, acting, interacting… ultimately it all comes down to storytelling. Max joined WMG in the hopes of shaping and sharing a better story – one of hope and triumph, of overcoming obstacles and surmounting odds, of connection and community. When not endeavoring to change the world for the better, Max also crafts cocktails, makes mocktails, plays music, practices yoga, and wanders the wilderness with his incorrigible pup Dani.

Watershed Management Group Interns

Jenny Aguilera
Environmental Education Community Outreach
Isabel Arreola
River Run Network Education and Outreach
Gracie Kayko
Gracie Kayko
She/her
Summer Environmental Journalism Intern

Gracie is a journalism major at the University of Arizona with the intent of going into environmental journalism after she graduates in December. Originally from Iowa, she has lived in Tucson for three years and wants to educate people through journalism on ways to live a sustainable lifestyle in the desert. She started practicing environmental journalism her junior year and since has published multiple stories on sustainable practices in the school paper, the Daily Wildcat. Outside of her internship, she is the photo editor of the Daily Wildcat and a teacher's assistant for the journalism school's photojournalism class.Gracie loves running, yoga, reading, and photography.

Hannah Nuest
Hannah Nuest
She/her
River Run Network Program Coordinator

Hannah recently completed a Professional Science Master's in Environmental Assessment at the University of Kansas, where she also got her B.S. in Environmental Studies and minor in Spanish. She is experiencing Tucson and the desert for the first time as a Mennonite Voluntary Service participant. While at KU, Hannah worked in ecology labs, enjoyed a wide variety of classes in everything from GIS to environmental law to marine mammal conservation, and was a graduate teaching assistant for field ecology and environmental ethics classes. During undergrad, she had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Costa Rica. Her master's capstone focused on prairies, and prior to arriving in Tucson she interned at an Episcopal cathedral where she tended a prairie garden and worked on diocesan conservation projects. Hannah loves running, knitting, language learning, and spending time with her cat Lulu.