Freshwater Staff

Michelle Stockness

Michelle Stockness, Executive Director, she/her/hers
Michelle has 20 years of local, regional and national leadership experience solving complex problems in water quality and water supply. Prior to joining Freshwater, she was a vice president at Barr Engineering where she guided public and private clients through regulatory and environmental water issues across sectors including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. As a civil engineer, Michelle has a deep understanding of water systems, and leads cross-sector initiatives including the Minnesota Infrastructure Alliance and the Minnesota Water Workforce pilot. She is also board vice president of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a world-wide professional organization dedicated to safe drinking water. And as a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion, she is head of the Minnesota AWWA’s DEI committee. Michelle lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three daughters.
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Chyann Erickson, Program Coordinator, she/her/hers
Chyann joined the Freshwater team in July 2021, beginning as an administrative assistant and soon playing a key role in multiple program, events and communications initiatives. With a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and several years of experience in water quality, she was thrilled to continue her career at Freshwater. Chyann recently earned a master’s degree in natural science and environmental education at Hamline University, and she has become an effective educator on environmental issues. When she isn’t in the office, Chyann can be found adventuring in local natural areas, playing with her two cats or reading a good book.
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Alyssa Fabia

Alyssa Fabia, Tribal Outreach and Research Associate
Alyssa grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to the Twin Cities where she completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Hamline University. During that time, Alyssa studied abroad in both England and Turkey, and developed a keen interest in organizational structures, labor force movements, and the power of recognized authority. Alyssa's past work in publishing, event organizing, and nonprofits has covered logistics, customer and client relations, human resources, operations, finances, and other creative problem solving. As part of Freshwater's Groundwater Governance team, Alyssa will help develop strategies to engage tribal governments in sustainable management of groundwater resources.
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Carrie Jennings, Research and Policy Director, she/her/hers
Carrie joined Freshwater in 2016. She has been a field geologist for 24 years, 22 of those with the Minnesota Geological Survey and two with the DNR, Division of Lands and Minerals. Carrie is Adjunct Graduate Faculty at the U of M and was the science reports lead for the County Geologic Atlas program at the DNR. She applies her understanding of glacial geology and landscape evolution to shape policy and technical approaches for managing surface water and groundwater, avoiding hazards, and  using resources wisely. Carrie and her husband live on a 120-acre farm which is primarily in a permanent conservation easement through the Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas Program. Livestock is limited to a dozen chickens, a dog and a couple of cats. She has twice been elected town board supervisor and served on the planning commission for Eureka Township.
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Sinthya Juviani

Sinthya Juviani, Marketing and Development Associate, she/her/hers
Sinthya joined Freshwater in August 2023. She grew up in Indonesia for 17 years before going to Wales to attend United World College. She then relocated to Minnesota, where she graduated from St. Olaf College with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2023. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Copenhagen and became interested in the relationship between psychology and marketing. She gained experience in marketing, teaching and research from her international opportunities. She enjoys cooking and going for walks in her spare time.
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Eileen Kirby

Eileen Kirby, Policy and Research Coordinator
A recent Humphrey School graduate, Eileen joined Freshwater in January of 2021 as a part-time contractor after working on the Banking Groundwater policy subgroup in her former position with the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center. Now as full-time staff, Eileen's work focuses on Freshwater's comparative study of groundwater governance in the Great Lakes. She also helps Freshwater continue considering policy approaches that address the climate-water nexus and looking for grant opportunities.
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Kris Meyer, Senior Programs Manager, she/her/hers
Kris joined the team in January 2018, bringing a communications and education perspective to Freshwater’s work. A trained and practiced facilitator as well as a skilled science communicator, Kris enjoys distilling complex technical information into plain language. Educated as an environmental journalist, Kris has experience as a freelance writer, classroom teacher, and tutor. Her favorite fieldwork experience was flying around the state in a float plane, gathering lake water samples for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A family cabin in Ottertail County, a sailboat on Lake Superior, and frequent canoe treks into the Boundary Waters keep her well immersed in Minnesota’s waters.
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Chris O'Brien

Chris O'Brien, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, he/him/his
Chris joined the Freshwater team in 2023, bringing a strong background in conservation, environmental advocacy and water communications. Through previous positions at the Minnesota DNR, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, and Emmons & Olivier Resources, he has collaborated with a wide range of scientists and engineers to help tell the stories of their work. An avid fly fisherman, Chris serves on the board of Twin Cities Trout Unlimited where he advocates for clean, healthy streams in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Chris lives in Saint Paul with his wife and two sons.
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John Roterman

John Roterman, Tribal State Liaison, he/him/his
John is an Ojibwe-Anishinaabe of the Fond du Lac reservation in Minnesota. He graduated from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College with an associate degree in American Indian Studies in 2020, a bachelor’s degree in Tribal Administration and Governance from the University Minnesota-Duluth in 2022, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Tribal Resources Environmental Stewardship. As part of Freshwater's Groundwater Governance team, John will help to amplify the Native perspective and voice as we collaboratively seek solutions to our many pressing groundwater access and protection concerns.
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Cathy Rucci

Cathy Rucci, Finance Director, she/her/hers
Cathy joined Freshwater in March 2024 and brings to the team two-and-a-half decades of dedicated service in Minnesota’s nonprofit sector. She is deeply passionate about nonprofit management, with a rich background ranging from managing an East St. Paul food shelf, to advocating for best practices among food shelves statewide, to almost 13 years of executive leadership at an organization serving refugees and immigrants. She is renowned for creating environments where staff well-being and the organization’s financial health are paramount to bolstering the collective goals of the organization. She is committed to a team-based work environment where employees are valued, nurtured and prioritized. Cathy excels at making nonprofit financial management comprehensible and approachable, and she is looking forward to contributing to Freshwater’s mission. Cathy lives in Saint Paul with her husband and pets where she enjoys playing pickleball and spending time with family and friends. Even better – playing pickleball with family and friends!
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Rosie Russell

Rosie Russell, Equity and Engagement Specialist, she/her/hers
Rosie is a social sustainability professional and owner of Community Kinetics LLC residing in the Twin Cities metro area. She holds a B.S. in Sustainable Development from Buena Vista University, and a M.S. in Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering from the University of Minnesota, where her research used co-design methodologies to build a social organizational life cycle assessment framework for a social justice-oriented food hub in Minnesota. In addition to having over six years of experience in watershed management planning, she has co-founded and co-facilitated two diversity, equity and inclusion committees. She routinely presents about her work and research at conferences, universities and schools. Her expertise is centered around empowering connections through social network mapping, co-designing equitable stakeholder engagement methodologies, and building shared language across multi-disciplinary networks. In her free time, Rosie loves to cook meals over the fire, romp around in her vegetable garden, and gather with friends and community over food and drink.
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Tera Scovill, Office Manager, she/her/hers
Tera joined Freshwater in April 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and worked as an interpretive naturalist. She has a background in project coordination, administrative support, sales, program development, and customer service in a variety of industries. Tera has now circled back to her passion around environmental stewardship. As a Minnesota Master Naturalist and a Minnesota Water Steward, she enjoys sharing experiences with others that inspire a sense of wonder, enthusiasm, and respect for nature, nurturing a desire to care for our earth and its inhabitants. You may also find her bird watching, gardening or dancing.
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Natalie Stange

Natalie Stange, Development Manager, she/her/hers
A passionate advocate for conservation, Natalie brings over a decade of cross-industry experience to Freshwater. A native Minnesotan, Natalie's upbringing around local wetlands fostered a deep appreciation for conservation. Her career journey encompasses diverse fields, from investor relations and sales operations to her recent focus on project management and community building. Natalie has made collaborative efforts with private landowners across the country to create sustainable carbon offset projects, including remote indigenous communities like the Chugach people of Alaska. She also serves as the Director of Membership for her local Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association chapter. Her multifaceted expertise reflects a passion for nurturing environmental stewardship and community engagement. Outside the office, she can be found hiking local trails, thrifting around the metro, or planning her next litter clean up event with friends and family.
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Alex Van Loh, Programs Manager, he/him/his
Alex joined Freshwater in September 2015 as a Minnesota GreenCorps member working with the Minnesota Water Stewards Program. In fall 2016 he became staff and expanded his work to include supporting all programs, with a specific focus on education and engagement. He has a degree in biology from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Before coming to Freshwater, he lived in Germany, teaching English through the Fulbright Program. Outside the office Alex enjoys making music, running, sampling craft brews, and all things comedy.
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