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WEN staff

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Deb Fassnacht (she/her)

Executive Director

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.


Sara McComas

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.

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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.

©Watershed Education Network
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Brook Bauer (she/her)

Citizen Science Coordinator 

Brook found herself in Missoula after completing  a BA of Arts and Science at Quest University, Canada. With an academic background in geology, hydrology, climate sciences, and scientific communication, she focused on how climate impacts hydraulic systems. ​Whether it's on top of mountains or in the ocean, she loves to see the hydrologic cycle do its magic! Brook has many wonderings about how science can be made more accessible through citizen science and continues to explore this in her position at WEN.  Brook is a certified first responder and published author. You can find her book Exploring the Changing World at Shakespeare and Co. located in Missoula, Montana. 


Kat Leister (she/her)

Communications Coordinator 

This is Kat and she hail's from Philadelphia, PA. She is currently in a masters program focusing on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security at the University of Montana. Along with expanding her and other’s connection with the natural world we are a part of, she loves to draw, sew, and give people unsolicited trivial facts about life on Earth. As WEN's new Communication Coordinator, the WEN staff are looking forward to seeing how Kat builds stepping stones between herself, our community, and the great watersheds that sustain us. (Unsolicited Kat-fact: Did you know we can largely attribute the shapes of our watersheds to horse-sized beavers that lived before the ice age? Beaver-mimicry is an efficient [and fun!] way of restoring degraded watersheds to their full potential!) 

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