Biographies

Jennifer Kovecses, Executive Director.  Jen grew up playing in lakes and streams in Canada building a life-long interest in aquatic ecosystems and conservation. She pursued this interest in university, completing a Bachelor's of Science in biology and a Master's of Science in aquatic ecology at McGill University. For her Master's thesis, Jen researched the impacts of mining pollution on lakes in northern Quebec. After completing her graduate degree, she continued to pursue her passion for aquatic ecosystems, working on a variety of watershed conservation projects on the shores of Lake Ontario and the coast of British Columbia. While living in California, Jen had the opportunity to work for local non-profits, offering science and policy analysis to help protect water quality and habitat in California's beautiful coastal watersheds. After moving to Colorado in 2011, she began volunteering with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers as a way to get to know some of the amazing places in Colorado. This led to an opportunity to work with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, managing its post-fire restoration program. When not working, Jen can be found hiking in the mountains or along Colorado's many beautiful rivers.

Hally Strevey, Program Assistant.  Hally is a Colorado native, with a great love of the West. Her family has a cabin on the Poudre River, and she spent much of her childhood fishing, hiking, and cross country skiing in the watershed. These experiences helped to fuel her passion for a career path in restoration ecology.  Hally has a diverse background in both wildlife and ecology. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in wildlife biology from Colorado State University and a Master’s of Science in land rehabilitation from Montana State University. Her Master’s thesis research was focused on measuring the impact of an invasive buttercup on the plant community, and testing various integrated management strategies to control the plant while maintaining plant diversity. Hally has also worked for the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, the Restoration Ecology lab at Colorado State University, and an ecological consulting firm. When she’s not working, Hally enjoys spending time in wild beautiful places with her husband and dog, practicing and teaching yoga, identifying plants, and hanging out in downtown Fort Collins. 

Weston Toll, Watershed Coordinator.  Weston grew up on the Front Range of Colorado, where he gained an appreciation of all things outdoors.  Because of this he became interested in forestry and wildland fire management.  Weston attended the University of Wyoming, where he majored in Geography, with a concentration in Natural Resource Management. During the summer he worked for the US Forest Service in forest and fire management. Upon graduation, Weston continued to work for the Forest Service with the Wyoming Interagency Hotshot Crew and on a type 6 engine on the Medicine Bow NF. He then made the move back to Colorado where he took a position with The Nature Conservancy.  In his 5 years with TNC, Weston helped the forest and fire program to recognize the importance of prescribed fire, forest health projects and wildfire mitigation, especially in the watersheds of the Front Range.  In his free time, Weston enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and outdoor activities.

Dick Jefferies, Board Chair and President of the Rocky Mountain Flycasters (TU).  A native Coloradoan, Dick moved to Fort Collins from the eastern plains in 1978.  He is the owner of Jefferies Construction Solutions, a residential custom building company in Fort Collins.  An outdoor enthusiast, he is active with Trout Unlimited and currently serves as the Board President of the local chapter.  Previous involvement with non-profit organizations includes multiple terms, including two as  president, on the Board of Directors of Campfire USA (CO/ WY Council); the National Center for Craftsmanship and Associated Contractors of Northern Colorado.  He has served on numerous community, church and business committees.  A life-long learner, he continues to enroll in continuing education programs and seminars that provide business and extended learning opportunities.   

Maelly Oropeza, Board Vice-Chair and Corps Manager for the Larimer County Conservation Corp.  As a non-Colorado native, Maelly got here as quickly as he could. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, he headed to the Pacific Northwest to Olympia, Washington. As an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Washington Conservation Corps, he found his calling in the corps experience and youth development. Since 2004, Maelly has overseen the sustainability of the LCCC and its overall direction. As a father of two boys, he still finds time to enjoy his other passions which include anything bicycle related, traveling the country seeing live music, camping with his family, and all things Kansas Basketball.

Erik Reckentine, Board Treasurer/Reserved Seat Member and Deputy Director of Water Resources for the City of Greeley.  In his current position, he is responsible for Greeley’s raw water management and resource planning; the City’s water rights portfolio; federal permitting projects; and is currently managing the fire mitigation efforts for the High Park and Hewlett Gulch fires on behalf of the City of Greeley.  Prior to working for Greeley, Eric was a Resource and General Manager for an international mining company responsible for the operational management of several business units, development of acquisition and reclamation strategies, and resource permitting.  Originally from New York, Eric came to Colorado in 1994 as a geologist to continue work for a geotechnical and environmental engineering firm and worked on environmental assessment, remediation, and regulatory compliance projects throughout North America.  He obtained a B.S. in Geology from the State University of New York and obtained an MBA from Colorado State University, has USGBC accreditation, and is an Army veteran.   He enjoys cycling, bow hunting, fly fishing, upland bird hunting, and reading about history.

Jill Oropeza, Secretary/Reserved Seat Member and Watershed Specialist for the City of Fort Collins Utilities.  Jill has worked as the Watershed Specialist for the Fort Collins Utilities Source Watershed Program since 2007. The City’s Watershed Program monitors water quality of the Upper Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir in collaboration with the City of Greeley and the Tri-Districts in effort to identify and address issues that affect drinking water treatment operations and watershed health. Jill holds a Master’s degree from CSU in Ecology and has over 12 years of experience working on natural resource issues in the state of Colorado. 

Kimberly Skyelander PhD, Board Member and Assoc. Director for the Center for Collaborative Conservation.  Kim has a B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University, a M.S. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. She worked professionally for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildlife biologist, public affairs specialist, assistant district ranger, tribal government liaison, and wilderness ranger. She left the USFS to pursue a career in teaching and taught natural resources classes for eight years at the Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, and also taught at the University of Idaho. Before coming to the CCC, Kim was the executive director of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a large residential outdoor school in northeastern MN. Her interests are understanding how conventional science and local/place-based/traditional knowledge link together to support conservation actions; human emotional and spiritual connections to land, and environmental education.

Bob Sturtevant, Board Member and Chair of the Longs Peak Chapter CO/WY Society of American Foresters.  Bob is a retired Colorado State Forest Service Forester.  Starting his career in 1977, Bob was the CSFS crew leader for the Big Thompson flood recovery project. In late 1978 he moved to the Woodland Park District to work on the Front Range mountain pine beetle epidemic. From 1985-1993 he was the forester at the Colorado State Forest during which time he completed a one-year exchange with an Australian Forester, working for the Victorian Department of Conservation and Environment. Returning to the US, Bob became the Division Supervisor for the CSFS Conservation Education Division from 1993-2003. He finished his tenure with CSFS serving in a joint appointment with CSFS and Colorado State University Extension as the State Extension Forestry Specialist. After retiring, Bob served two years as a Peace Corps forester in Ethiopia. He now stays active in forestry through the Society of American Foresters.  

Nathan Boschmann.  Nate currently works as the Stewardship coordinator in WRV's Fort Collins office where he has been employed for over 4 years. His projects in our watershed have included erosion control and riparian restoration on the Roberts Ranch and the city of Fort Collins, trail construction at Hewlett Gulch and Phantom Canyon, Fire risk reduction in the National Forest, and post-fire restoration above Seaman Reservoir.  His first foray into the restoration world was his participation in a tall grass prairie restoration in his hometown in Kansas when he was 14.  After completing a number of completely unrelated undergraduate degrees, some time overseas, and a few misguided attempts at profitable careers, he returned to his true place in the world of experiential education, ecology, and restoration.   Since moving to Colorado in 2001 Nate’s been a ski bum, worked with at-risk youth, facilitated wilderness therapy, lead Youth Conservation Corps crews, and studied Rangeland Ecology and Restoration at CSU.  Nate is currently serving on the Pawnee Pioneer trails and Scenic Byways Committee and has served on other boards including the Ault Town Board of Trustees and the City of Fort Collins Floodplain Management Public Information Committee.  A growing family occupies much of Nate’s free time, but he still finds time to indulge his other interests including sustainable local food production, wilderness medicine, and zombie movies.

Jeremy Sueltenfuss, Board Member and Ecologist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.  With a background in wetland ecology and restoration, Jeremy utilizes GIS to map wetlands, analyze landscapes, and create restoration plans. Previous research has focused on impacts of forest management to small animals and birds, hydrologic interactions between agricultural irrigation practices and wetlands, and mapping wetland locations across Colorado for the US EPA.  Jeremy has provided field support for NASA research projects in South American high alpine wetlands, and consulted with the National Park Service to deliver restoration plans used to restore wetlands in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Dinosaur National Monument.   Jeremy completed his BA in biology at Colorado College and his Masters in Ecology at Colorado State University.  

Joel Max is a Fort Collins native, graduate of Colorado State University, and the Emergency Management Coordinator for Larimer County, Colorado. He  plays a key role in the planning and administration of the Emergency Management Program, the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and is responsible for coordinating activities with volunteers, staff, and County Emergency personnel when the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated. Joel also acts as a liaison with other municipalities, county, state, federal and other emergency management organizations as well as all local agencies and media in impending or actual disasters, and in exercises to coordinate emergency response and recovery.  Joel is the County liaison to the watersheds in Larimer County and is excited to be a member of CPRW's Board of Directors.

Contact Us

Jennifer Kovecses

320 E. Vine Drive, Suite 213

Fort Collins, CO 80524

jenk@poudrewatershed.org

970-222-5754

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