Staff & Board


The Great Lakes Observing System is a true network. Our members contribute and consume data, and guide our programming.


Kelli Paige, Executive Director


Kelli Paige is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), appointed in 2015. She has held several positions with GLOS since first joining the organization in 2009 including working with stakeholders, managing product development, and providing strategic direction for the data management and observing projects funded by GLOS.

Kelli came to GLOS from The Nature Conservancy where she served as a Program Coordinator with the Ohio Chapter. She has also worked for the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner and the Friends of the Chicago River. Kelli holds a BA in Public Policy from DePaul University and a MS in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Kelli can be contacted at or 734-741-2262

Becky Pearson, Programs Manager


Rebecca (Becky) Pearson joined the Great Lakes Observing System in April of 2016 as a Program Manager.  Becky brings with her 14 years project management experience, serving the Great Lakes Commission. At the Great Lakes Commission she led projects related to water use, water efficiency and conservation, sustainable planning of wind energy facilities, the value of Great Lakes water, among others. Becky was a California State Sea Grant Fellow working with the California Resources Agency’s Ocean Program in Sacramento. Becky received her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in French studies and her master’s from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in international environmental policy.

Becky can be contacted at or 734-741-2176

 Kristin Schrader, Communications Manager


Kristin Schrader joined the Great Lakes Observing System in March of 2015. Kristin comes with more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, from agency to her most recent position at Ducks Unlimited where she worked on natural resource issues including clean water protections, the farm bill and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Kristin specializes in outcome-based communications, strategically and economically deployed. A life-long Michigander, she holds a BS in Cultural Anthropology from Eastern Michigan University.

Kristin can be contacted at or 734-741-2294 


Dr. Jennifer Boehme – Chair


Dr. Boehme joined the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s Great Lakes Regional Office in Windsor, Ontario as an Environmental Scientist in 2012 and assists the IJC in advising governments of the United States and Canada on water quality issues affecting the Great Lakes. She serves as Secretariat to IJC’s Health Professionals Advisory Board, which provides guidance to the IJC on current and emergent clinical and public health issues in the area of Canada-US transboundary environmental health. Dr. Boehme spent 10 years as a research scientist for the University of Maine and the Smithsonian Institution and, before joining the IJC, delved into science policy and communication at the National Science Foundation via a fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She holds A Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida and a B.S. in Chemistry from Emory University.


Dr. Nancy Frank, Vice Chair


Dr. Frank is Associate Professor and past-Chair of the Department of Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.   Her research interests involve land use policies that preserve open space and reduce the development impacts on the environment, as well as local, regional and state policies regarding water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems.  She has substantial policy experience in relation to both water and brownfield cleanup, and redevelopment. Dr. Frank participates in a wide network of organizations related to her research interests, including the Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group (appointed), the Center for Resilient Cities, the Energy Center of Wisconsin, and also serves as editor of WAPA News, the newsletter of the Wisconsin Chapter of the APA. Through work funded by the Brico Fund, she facilitated a series of meetings that led to the creation of the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. (Sweet Water).  She now serves as Chair of Sweet Water.


Tracy Mehan, III


Mr. Mehan is Principal with The Cadmus Group, Inc., an environmental consulting firm. Presently, he is the Executive Director of Government Affairs for he American Water Works Association, and serves on the Water Science and Technology Board and the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act for the National Research Council of the National Academies. Mr. Mehan is an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Law at George Mason University School of Law. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Board of Directors of the Potomac Conservancy.

Over the past 20 years, Mehan has held numerous offices and appointments in public service. In 2006, he served as an independent expert judge for the Municipal Water Conservation Achievement Award Program sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its Urban Water Council. He served as Environmental Stewardship Counselor to the 2004 G-8 Summit Planning Organization (2004). From 2001-2003, he served as Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to that, Mr. Mehan served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes and member of then Governor John Engler’s Cabinet (1993-2001). He was also Michigan’s representative on the Great Lakes Commission and the Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the U.S. and Canada. In addition, he chaired the Michigan Mercury Pollution Prevention Task Force. Mr. Mehan briefly served as Associate Deputy Administrator of EPA in 1992. Prior to that, he served as director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and member of the Cabinet of then Governor John Ashcroft from 1989 to 1992.

Mehan is a graduate of Saint Louis University and its School of Law. He is the recipient of the 2004 Environment Award from the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the 2003 Elizabeth Jester Fellows Environmental Partnership Award from the Association of State & Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASWIPCA).

Pete Giencke

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Mr. Giencke has over ten years of experience in information technology and geographic information systems (GIS). At Google, he has contributed to various big data efforts in both an engineering and product manager capacity, including those on the Crisis Response, Google Earth, and Google Ocean teams. On Google’s Crisis Response team, Pete additionally serves as an “Incident Commander”, helping lead the company’s response to major disasters worldwide, including the Fort McMurray fires in Alberta, CA.


Randolph C. Helland


Randy Helland is the founder of R C Helland Consulting LLC, a consulting company providing maritime safety expertise and environmental planning and exercise services to the U.S. Government, the maritime industry and academia. Previous to his work in the private sector, he held senior executive positions over a 32 year U.S. Coast Guard career at the national, regional and local levels in the areas of marine/port safety, security, environmental protection and waterways management. Positions included Co-Chair, Regional Response Team for Region V (Great Lakes), Co-Chair of the U.S./Canadian Joint Response Team responsible for U.S. and Canadian oil/hazardous chemical spill response for the Great Lakes area, Co-chair of the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada Security Working Group, and Captain of the Port Detroit, MI. He formed the first bi-national Great Lakes Regional Waterways Management Forum comprised of 26 U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, environmental groups and the maritime industry.

Prior to forming R C Helland Consulting in 2011, he was Director of Maritime Services for Layered Security Solutions, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was responsible for business development and program management for all maritime initiatives. He was the program manager for a $1.2 million project that crafted a Port Vulnerability Assessment and Trade Resumption/Business Continuity plan for the Sabine-Neches, Texas area including the ports of Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange; the 4th largest port by volume in the U.S. He was also program manager for the Port Vulnerability Assessment and Trade Resumption/Business Continuity plans for Miami Florida, Buffalo New York, Erie Pennsylvania, and Cleveland Ohio. Mr. Helland graduated from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a BA in Criminal Justice. He also earned a MS in Environmental Management from the University of Michigan in 1987.


 Bob Lambe


Bob Lambe is currently the Executive Secretary for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), a binational organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The GLFC was established by the 1955 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the United States. The Commission’s primary functions include: coordination of fisheries management among eight U.S. Great Lakes states, Ontario, and U.S. Aboriginal organizations; development and coordination of research in support of Great Lakes fisheries; and formulation and implementation of a program to control sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes.

Prior to joining GLFC in 2013, Bob was the first Executive Director of the Canada-Ontario Invasive Species Centre (ISC) based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a position he held between January 2012 and June 2013. Prior to his work at the ISC, Bob was the Regional Director General (RDG) for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Central and Arctic Region, based in Sarnia, Ontario. He held the RDG position from June 2004 until his retirement from the Public Service of Canada in September 2011. Bob holds a masters degree in business (MBA) and a degree in electronics engineering technology.


Thomas Rayburn


Thomas Rayburn is the Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for the Lake Carriers’ Association.  Rayburn has over 25 years’ experience working for national environmental and engineering consulting firms, regional partnerships including the Great Lakes Commission, and the U.S. Coast Guard.  His project work has supported U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, other federal agency initiatives, private industry, and international cooperative efforts on the environment.   He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Geosciences from Purdue University.


Caitlin Gould


Ms. Gould is a Policy Analyst at the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in Silver Spring, Maryland. She serves as an expert on United States water quality policy, primarily on Harmful Algal Blooms and the Hypoxia Research and Control Act, overseeing the production and management of large, interagency reports to congress and working groups. She also contributes to the development and enactment of nationally- and regionally-based outreach and implementation strategies, with focuses on addressing the needs and knowledge gaps of a broad spectrum of stakeholders at the local, regional, and national levels serving as a social science and communications expert, providing ongoing insight into related methodologies and research needs. Ms. Gould is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Public Health, concentrating on Environmental Health and Engineering.


Jolena Presti


Ms. Presti is a Principal Planner in the Redevelopment Planning and Economic Positioning divisions of Vandewalle & Associates, and leads the Vandewalle & Associates’ Milwaukee office. Her professional practice focuses on redevelopment planning and implementation, project management, and economic development and positioning services for public and private sector clients in the greater Milwaukee region and Wisconsin’s coastal communities.

Currently the project manager for redevelopment planning and implementation projects in communities throughout Wisconsin, Presti oversees day-to-day client and consultant team communication, internal team management, and plan and implementation strategies development. Her work includes the preparation of land use plans, project feasibility analyses, developer and business recruitment, selection and project review, and facilitation of stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and public participation events.

Aaron Fisk

Dr. Fisk is a faculty member at the University of Windsor. Currently he is a Professor and Canada Research Chair (CRC Tier 2) at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) and the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Fisk is internationally recognized for research on aquatic ecology and has spent his career studying aspects of aquatic trophic relationships, including fish movement and contaminant dynamics, with a focus on the Great Lakes. 


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