Leaves in sunny marsh


Photo of Tracy Hames standing in front of a wetland.

Tracy Hames
Executive Director

Tracy became Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association in November 2011. From 1989 to 2011 he was employed as a Waterfowl Biologist with the Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program and was the lead biologist in the Yakama Nation’s Wetlands and Riparian Restoration Project in Washington state. He received a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN in 1984 and a MS in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 1990.

Katie Beilfuss
Outreach Programs Director

Katie joined our staff in 2003. She currently coordinates our outreach programs, working on our annual Wetland Science Conference, Private Landowner Outreach Program, and Ramsar initiative and overseeing the organization’s communications. Katie has a Master’s degree in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She has more than twenty years of nonprofit and environmental experience with organizations including the Gorongosa Restoration Project (Mozambique, Africa), the International Crane Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy.

Emily Buck
Communications and Events Manager

Emily joined our staff in 2017 as our Communications and Events Manager. Her work involves sharing the importance, benefits, beauty, and fun of wetlands with lots of audiences through WWA’s website and blog, print newsletter, social media, email, and other communications. She also helps plan and organize our annual Wetland Science Conference and assists with other special events. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from UW-Madison and experience in social media and digital marketing.

Ginny Carlton
Conference & Workshop Coordinator

Ginny joined our staff in September 2022 as our half-time Conference & Workshop Coordinator. She works on our annual Wetland Science Conference and other grant-supported initiatives related to training wetland professionals. A few of her previous positions include those with the UW-Madison Division of Extension, the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, national parks, and outdoor education centers. She received a BS in Forest Biology from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1984, an MS in Natural Resources from UW-Stevens Point in 1995, and a joint Ph.D. from UW-Madison’s Gaylord Nelson Institute and the School of Education in 2018. She also holds Wisconsin Teacher Certification.

Deb Cook
Office Manager


Samantha Foster
Member Services Assistant

Samantha Foster joined our staff in 2019 as our Member Services Assistant. Samantha has a Bachelor’s in Biology from UW-Whitewater and a Teacher Certification from Concordia University. While pursuing her biology degree and teacher education certifications, Samantha was fortunate to participate in telemetry studies for the Blanding’s turtle, as well as demographic surveys for various snakes and turtles including the endangered Ornate Box Turtle and the threatened Wood Turtle. She continues to do volunteer work for the WDNR and other conservation and habitat restoration projects. It is this lifelong love of turtles and other wildlife that rely on wetlands that led her to WWA, and when she isn’t in the office she spends her time kayaking and taking photographs of the natural world.

Kyle Magyera
Local Government Outreach Specialist

Kyle coordinates WWA’s Local Government Outreach Program and provides technical assistance to professional staff, local officials, citizens, and other groups with interest in or questions and concerns regarding wetland protection, restoration, and management. He is the co-author of WWA’s Land Use and Wetlands Publication Series, including a new Model Wetland Conservation Ordinance, and also plans and delivers wetland trainings for county, tribal, and municipal staff and other community members. He has a double Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and ten years of experience working on wetland conservation and water policy issues with WWA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Erin O’Brien
Policy Programs Director

Erin O’Brien joined the staff of Wisconsin Wetlands Association in 2004. Her current work focuses on strengthening state laws and regulations governing wetland management, building capacity to help integrate wetland conservation into state-sponsored programs, and providing support to communities interested in restoring wetlands to solve problems. Erin has a Master’s degree in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin-Madison and more than twenty-five years of experience managing projects for non-profit organizations.

Stephanie Rockwood
Geospatial Analyst

Stephanie joined our staff in 2022 as a Geospatial Analyst and works closely with WWA and Association of State Floodplain Managers staff, along with members of an interdisciplinary team, to support a community-based natural flood management (NFM) initiative in the Lake Superior Basin. She recently earned a Master of Science in Environmental Observation and Informatics through the UW Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from Northern Michigan University and a decade of plant ecology and botany work across many workforce sectors and wild landscapes, including about 7 years with the National Park Service Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network. In her free time, she enjoys hiking the Ice Age Trail, botanizing, reading, live music, and cooking.

Jennifer Western Hauser
Policy Liaison

As Policy Liaison, Jennifer supports the development and growth of WWA’s policy programs.  She serves as a resource for policy makers, partners, and agency staff. Jennifer has a combined fourteen years in state government, including five years working as Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Department of Revenue and nine years in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Her experience has given her broad-based knowledge of state and federal programs and legislative processes. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin Madison.