Board of Directors

FOLW Board of Directors (2019-2020)

Roger Bannerman joined the board in 2011.  Roger’s first experience with Lake Wingra was as a graduate student in the Water Chemistry Program (1969-1973). His master thesis title was “Interstitial Inorganic Phosphorus in Lake Wingra Sediment.”Before leaving the program, Roger did one more study on Lake Wingra entitled “Effects of Urban Runoff on Lake Wingra Marsh.”  Employment with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) provided sufficient funds to buy a home in the Lake Wingra Watershed.  The Bannerman’s bought their home in 1975 and after 36 years they would never think of leaving their home so close to Lake Wingra. Roger visits the lake almost every day by biking to work, walking along the shore, or exploring the shoreline by canoe. He tries to share this experience with others at every opportunity, so they too can discover the sometimes hidden treasures of the lake. Living in the watershed has also made it an easy choice for many of Roger’s research projects he has conducted for the WDNR.Working with the USGS and University, much data has been collected on the sources of pollutants in urban runoff and the efficiency of different treatment methods. These results are not only useful in the Lake Wingra Watershed, but to all the cities in Wisconsin. Roger hopes to continue his long-term relationship with the lake by staying involved in efforts to protect and improve it.

Hannah Buscemi (secretary) joined the board in 2018. She is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her major specializes in environmental engineering and natural resources, and she hopes to work as an environmental or conservation engineer. Hannah works as a student research assistant with the soybean extension program in the UW Agronomy Department. She is very passionate about protecting the environment and Lake Wingra. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, drawing, hiking, kayaking or any other activity that involves the outdoors.

Matthew Byars (treasurer) joined the board in 2019. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. While attending MSU, he also played baseball for the Spartans and in 2016 was selected in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Players Draft, by the Minnesota Twins. Matthew made the decision to forgo the opportunity to play professional baseball, returning to MSU to finish out his final year of school. He is originally from Lodi, WI and graduated from Lodi High School in 2013. Growing up, Matt’s father would take him to the shores of Lake Wingra in hopes that the ever illusive musky might get hungry. Those special memories are what brought Matthew to join Friends of Lake Wingra, as a way to help give back to the watershed community. Matthew works for State Bank of Cross Plains as a Investment Portfolio Manager and currently lives in Madison with his red Labrador Archie. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys hiking, fly- fishing, golfing, and spending time with friends/family.

Ian Krauss (Vice-chair) joined the board in 2016. Ian graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 with a B.S. in Community and Environmental Sociology and Environmental Studies and in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Environmental Conservation, where he focused on the water quality issues in relation to agricultural practices. He spent 3 years working for the U.S. EPA studying denitrification in sea-grass and mapping human well-being, and a year with the Wisconsin DNR coordinating a volunteer monitoring program and supporting TMDL development. He currently works with the USDA Farm Service Agency to promote agricultural conservation practices. He lives in Monona with his wife, dog, and two cats. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, camping, hiking, and playing with his dog!

Tim Kuhman joined the board in 2017.  He is an associate professor of Biological Sciences at Edgewood College.  Tim completed his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009; his research focused on the role of land-use history in shaping patterns of plant invasion in the southern Appalachains.  Since joining the faculty at Edgewood in 2009, Tim has continued conducting research on invasive plants at the UW Arboretum and around the Madison area.  He has also expanded his research interests to study oak savannah restoration and fire ecology.  Tim teaches a variety of botany and ecology classes, and especially enjoys bringing his students into the field and out on Lake Wingra.  When Tim is not in class or in his office overlooking the lake, he enjoys biking, canoeing, fly fishing, gardening and spending time with his wife and three children.

David Thompson joined the board in 2010 and was elected Secretary in 2011.  David did his undergraduate work at Stanford University where he majored in Biology and graduated with honors.  He then obtained his Ph.D. in Zoology in 1974 from the UW-Madison where he specialized in Animal Behavior and Ornithology.  He did his thesis on penguins in the Antarctic.  From 1974-1979, David taught Zoology, Anatomy & Physiology, Ornithology, and Conservation at the UW Center System in Washington County.  During much of this time, he was also a consultant in Wildlife Biology to the U.S. Corps of Engineers.  From 1990-1995, David served as Education Director at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin. His interests include gardening with native plants, travel, taking photos that illustrate environmental issues, and serving as a volunteer for a lake similar to Lake Wingra, located in Hawksnest State Park, Massachusetts.

Ben Yahr (Chair) joined the board in 2012.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies programs in 2005, and completed internships with the UW-Limnology Department and the Sauk County Land and Water Conservation Department.  Ben is a landscape architect with a background in coastal engineering and ecological restoration and recently started his own site design and drone aerial mapping and photography company, Resolution Studio, LLC.   He has worked on waterfront design projects throughout the world including marinas, ports, river restorations, beach enhancements, public access, stormwater management, and tourism development.  Ben and his family frequently visit Lake Wingra  in all seasons canoeing, fishing, hiking, skating, skiing, and snowshoeing.  Ben also enjoys listening to music, camping, biking, kayaking, homebrewing beer, building and flying radio-controlled airplanes, woodworking, and gardening.

 FOLW Program Manager

Casey Hanson joined Friends of Lake Wingra in 2017. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2010 with  a bachelor degree in civil and environmental engineering and later received her master of community and regional planning at the University of Oregon in 2014. For her graduate work, Casey researched how different groups overcome barriers to innovative water projects and policies. Casey’s coordinated and managed several projects previous to joining Friends of Lake Wingra. In her previous role, she was a coordinator for a local government, business, and nonprofit partnership that focused on climate change initiatives in Cambridge, MA. She’s also developed surface water management programs for rural communities, conducted a quinquennial statewide Oregon survey about water rates, and coordinated project implementations outside of the world of water . In her free time, you can find her hiking different parts of the country with her family and enjoying all water activities. She also enjoys making homemade ice cream, playing soccer.


Denny Caneff

Matt Diebel

Anne Forbes

Tyler Leeper

Jim Lorman

John Magnuson

John Nicol

Rebecca Power