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Staff Directory

Brian Watson, WDC
District Manager
BS Natural Resource Management, Mankato State University

Brian is responsible for the overall management of the Dakota SWCD. As the District Manager, Brian is responsible for developing and administrating the District's budget, hiring staff, employee development, and building partnerships to further programs and activities. Brian also administers the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act and is a Certified Wetland Delineator in the State of Minnesota. He has been involved in a number of wetland restoration projects. Brian is responsible for ensuring policies and directives of the Board of Supervisors are carried out.

Brian joined the SWCD in 1994 and has served as the District Manager since 1998. He grew up in Goodhue, Minnesota.

Curt Coudron, CPESC
Project Management Supervisor
BA in Biology and Environmental Studies, St. Johns University

Curt is responsible for overseeing field staff involved with the planning and installation of conservation projects ranging from urban stormwater retrofits, native plantings, streambank stabilizations to agricultural practices. He is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control. Curt is also responsible for implementing the Dakota SWCD financial incentive and cost share programs including the development of measurable outcomes for projects being planned for installation. Curt has past experience in construction management, ecological restoration, management of native vegetation, biological research, and construction site erosion and sediment control.

Curt joined Dakota County SWCD in 2007 and grew up near Marshall, Minnesota.

Todd Matzke
Resource Conservationist
BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Minnesota

Todd is responsible for surveys, designs and installing structural practices on agricultural lands. He provides technical assistance to landowners and helps them through the various cost share opportunities. He also provides technical assistance with streambank stabilization projects. Todd serves as the Dakota County Agricultural Inspector which provides local support to the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law. Todd is the point of contact for landowners looking to participate in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Best Management Loan Program.

Todd joined the SWCD in 1997 and grew up in Caledonia, Minnesota. Todd retired from the Navy Reserve In 2009 after returning from a one year deployment to Southwest Asia.

David Holmen, GISP
GIS Specialist/Resource Conservationist
MS in Natural Resource GIS, St. Mary's University
BA in Environmental Biology, St. Mary's University

Dave coordinates the Geographic Information System (GIS) and Information Technology (IT) activities of the Dakota SWCD. He earned his GIS Professional Certification in 2014. Dave develops and maintains the District's GIS databases, web applications, and electronic data for staff. Dave provides GIS maps for programs, provides updates to land cover data, serves as County IT Liason, and assists with implementing the Minnesota Wetland Conservation.

Dave joined the SWCD in 1999 and grew up in West. St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lindsey Albright
Water Resource Specialist
MS in Environmental Science, University of Sydney Australia
BS in Marine Biology, Boston University

Lindsey leads surface and groundwater monitoring programs to evaluate the chemical and biological integrity of our water. She also assists with education and outreach activities including Landscaping for Clean Water workshops. Lindsey is active with coordinating citizen stream and lake monitoring activities and assists with implementing Dakota County's Aquatic Invasive Species program.

Lindsey joined the Dakota SWCD in 2015 after coordinating volunteer stream monitoring programs for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Joe Barten
Resource Conservationist
BS in Environmental Design and Urban Planning, University of Minnesota

Joe provides planning, design and implementation of urban stormwater management practices for homeowners, townhome associations, churches and school districts. He also serves as the Administrator of the Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Organization to support and facilitate implementation of their Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. Joe has experience with project management, construction oversight, erosion and sediment control compliance. He leads the Landscaping for Clean Water program that includes educational workshops and project installations.

Joe joined the Dakota SWCD in 2014 and is a native of New Prague, Minnesota where he grew up on a farm. He still spends much of his free time working on the family farm.

Ashley Gallagher
Resource Conservationist
BS in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of Minnesota

Ashley is responsible for a variety of agricultural programs including the planning, design and installation of conservation practices, developing conservation plans, groundwater protection efforts and soil health initiatives. She provides assistance to the Landscaping for Clean Water Program. She also serves as the Administrator for the North Cannon River Watershed Management Organization and the Eagan-Inver Grove Heights Watershed Management Organization and is currently providing a lead administrative role for developing the Cannon River One Watershed, One Plan.

Ashley joined the Dakota SWCD in 2015 after working at various local and state governments as well as non-profit organizations. She is from Rosemount, Minnesota.

John Stelzner, MCTI
Resource Conservationist
BS Environmental Studies, University of Minnesota

John is responsible for ecological restorations including native plantings and native plant management. He is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector. John coordinates the Dakota SWCD native drill program and provides landowner assistance with establishing and maintaining native plants. He assists with field evaluations needed to implement a variety of federal, state and county easements programs. John also assists with the Landscaping for Clean Water workshops and project installations.

John joined the Dakota SWCD in 2016 and grew up in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Lana Rotty
Finance and Grants Coordinator
AAS in Accounting, Dakota County Technical College

Lana is responsible for maintaining financial records, accounting, grant reporting and maintaining budget schedules. She provides billing and develops financial reports for the Board of Supervisors and staff. Lana is responsible for maintaining records in accordance with State grant administration standards and provides administrative support to staff and Board of Supervisors.

Lana jointed the Dakota SWCD in 1993 and grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota.

Diane Schmidtke
Administrative Specialist

Diane provides administrative support to program staff, the Finance and Accounting Specialist and the District Manager and is responsible for assisting with day to day operations of the SWCD includ-ing customer service, organizing and distributing meeting materials, file management and financial record keeping and assisting with development of work plans or reporting documents. She also provides assistance at education and outreach events including the Landscaping for Clean Water Workshops.

Diane joined the Dakota SWCD in 2019 and grew up locally in Farmington, Minnesota.

United States Department of Agriculture

Natural Resource Conservation Service Staff

Michelle Wohlers

District Conservationist

Matthew Schaar

Soil Conservation Technician

Lucas Altwegg

Soil Conservation Technician