Deb Fassnacht (she/her)
Deb camped, fished, and played with her big family along the Sun River while growing up in Great Falls, Montana. She has been gravitating to water and nature ever since. Deb holds a Master's in Education, Bachelor’s in Forestry, Natural Resource Conservation, and her Secondary Science teaching certification from the University of Montana. Deb is one of the founders of the organization, along with Wendy Berthold and Eric Ringelberg. What began as a volunteer stream monitoring effort in 1996 based in Deb’s home, has grown into a successful non-profit organization focusing on watersheds, groundwater, and wetlands education. Deb brings science teaching and education/outreach experience to WEN from previous agency and nonprofit work. When not at the river or neighborhood creek, Deb enjoys hiking, skiing, and sailing on Flathead Lake with her husband, Henry, family, and friends.
Grants & Programs Administrator
After completing her B.S. in biology in Tacoma, WA, Sara moved to Seattle where she met her husband, Josh- a recent transplant from Montana. Five years later they relocated to Missoula, where she completed her second degree in Resource Conservation at UM and completed a grant writing internship at WEN. A job opportunity for her husband returned them to Washington, but another five years later they were back in beautiful Missoula. Sara has enjoyed working with several conservation- and education-minded non-profits during her two tours in Missoula- including Montana Water Trust, Montana Trout Unlimited, and National Wildlife Federation. She has worked as WEN’s Grants and Program Administrator since 2014.
Stephie Novak (she/her)
Stream Team Coordinator
Stephie graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Wildlife Biology. She grew up in Rock creek, Mt. and has spent the majority of her life in the wilderness and around the local rivers and streams. She enjoys hiking, biking, and just being outside and loves that she can have fun working outside with WEN! Stephie started out as an amazing WEN intern, we are happy to have her on the team. Stephie is a certified first responder.
Kyle Wonders (he/him)
Citizen Science Field Technician
Kyle grew up in Southern California and is currently a student at University of Montana. He is pursuing a degree in Wildlife Biology with minors in Climate Change Studies, Nonprofit Administration, and Wilderness Studies. He brings a passion for environmental education. Through his studies he has become deeply engaged with how climate change is impacting local waterways. His favorite part about teaching in the field is not only to help students to learn about their watersheds, but also about all the wonderful aspects of the natural world that rely upon it. WEN is excited to have Kyle around this field season to help will with all of our citizen science programming.
Kyle is a certified Montana Master Naturalist.
Annie Caires (she/her)
Annie is an aquatic ecologist that loves stream and lake bugs and has studied macroinvertebrate assemblages in many aquatic systems, including Lake Tahoe and Zion National Park. Originally from Reno, Nevada, Annie got a B.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a M.S. in Ecology from Utah State University. She also has an interest in science education and engaging teaching practices, and has taught at UM. She loves sharing a fascination with the natural world, whether it's with students, citizen/fellow scientists, or her family.