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Members and agencies

Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council

The GCC consists of the heads of all state agencies with some responsibility for groundwater management plus a Governor’s representative.

The state agencies include the Departments of Natural Resources (DNR); Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP); Health Services (DHS); Transportation (DOT); Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS); the University of Wisconsin System (UWS); and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS). The agency heads have appointed high–level administrators who have groundwater responsibilities to sit on the Council.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – James Zellmer (Chair)

Jim Zellmer oversees the Drinking Water & Groundwater, Office of Great Waters and Water Quality programs in the Department's Environmental Management Division.

Jim has over 30 years of experience working both in Central Office and the Green Bay field office. Before becoming Deputy Division Administrator in May 2016, Jim served in a temporary assignment as Deputy Director of the Waste & Materials Management Program. He worked for 20 years in the Green Bay office as a Plan Review Engineer, Field Supervisor and an Integrator. Prior to that, Jim worked in Central Office in the Drinking Water & Groundwater Program.

Jim's education includes a B.S. in Water Resources from UW-Stevens Point and a Master's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison.

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) [exit DNR] – Sara Walling

Sara Walling is the Administrator for the Agricultural Resource Management Division within the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Sara's division is responsible for the oversight of pesticide, fertilizer, animal feed and plant industry regulation, and environmental, soil and water conservation programs. Prior to this role, Sara served as the Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension's Institute of Agriculture and served the state for 12 years in several positions in DATCP, all of which involved working with agricultural producers, landowners and partner agencies on agricultural environmental management issues. Sara has a Master of Science in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University- Bozeman and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Water Quality from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Department of Health Services (DHS) [exit DNR] – Dr. Jonathan Meiman

Dr. Jonathan Meiman is the Chief Medical Officer/State Environmental and Occupational Disease Epidemiologist in the Department of Health Services' Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH). Dr. Meiman previously served as a CDC Career Epidemiology Field Officer with the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Healthcare (OPEHC), where he worked building healthcare coalitions and developing state emergency response plans. Before joining OPEHC, Dr. Meiman was a CDC Epidemiology Intelligence Service Officer with BEOH, pursuing a variety of investigations, including surveillance of weather-related mortality, occupational poisonings and analyses of heroin-related overdoses in Wisconsin. During his time as an EISO, he traveled to Saudi Arabia where he helped to implement a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) study. Dr. Meiman was also deployed to Sierra Leone where he led a local Ebola outbreak investigation.

Dr. Meiman completed his family medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Bachelor of Science at Tulane University. He developed a passion for public health early in his medical career and was actively involved during residency studying pediatric respiratory diseases. He continues to practice medicine at Wingra Clinic.

Department of Transportation (DOT) [exit DNR] – Pat Trainer

Pat Trainer is the Environmental Services Program Manager at Wisconsin Department of Transportation. She manages the Department's multidisciplinary team of technical experts who provide environmental guidance and assistance to transportation system design, construction and maintenance. The topical areas of the science and engineering team includes: water quality, aquatic resources, groundwater and soil contamination, hazardous materials management, wetlands and wetland mitigation, threatened and endangered species, erosion control and storm water management, air quality policy and environmental justice. Pat has a Bachelor of Science in Limnology from UW-Stevens Point, and is a graduate of UW-Madison, with a master's degree in Water Resources, a J.D. and Ph.D. in Natural Resource Policy, all from UW-Madison. Prior to working at DOT, Pat taught environmental policy at UW-Stevens Point.

University of Wisconsin System (UWS) [exit DNR] – Dr. James P. Hurley

Dr. James Hurley is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Director of the University of Wisconsin Aquatic Sciences Center (UW–ASC). The UW–ASC is the home of two federal–state partnership programs, the UW Sea Grant Institute and the UW Water Resources Institute. Each institute supports multidisciplinary research, education and outreach for the protection and sustainable use of Wisconsin’s water resources and operates as strong regional and national networks. Hurley holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Water Chemistry (1988) from UW–Madison and has conducted water resources research, with a focus on mercury cycling, through positions both at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and UW–Madison. He currently serves as co–chair of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Science Advisory Board, and was recently named president–elect of the national Sea Grant Association.

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) [exit DNR] – Dr. Ken Bradbury

Dr. Ken Bradbury is the Wisconsin State Geologist and Director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS). Ken joined the Survey in 1982 as a hydrogeologist after completing his Ph.D. in geology at UW-Madison. Prior to that, he earned a bachelor's degree at Ohio Wesleyan and a master's degree at Indiana University, both in geology. His research in Wisconsin has contributed to important insights into flow through fractured rocks, transport of viruses in the subsurface, wellhead protection, regional hydrogeology and recharge processes. Since 2013 he has served as the Survey's Assistant Director for Science.

Ken participates as a technical expert in a myriad of controversial issues across the state focusing on objective and applied scientific research. Ken has served on panels for the National Research Council and was awarded a Fulbright grant to work in South Africa in 2008. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Resources Association, the 2013 Chancellor's Award from UW-Extension, the 2013 Research Award from the Wisconsin Water Association and the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience. Ken has been sought after for teaching and research across Wisconsin as well as in Ireland, South Africa, Latvia and Australia.

Department of Safety and Professional Services [exit DNR] – Bradley Johnson

Bradley Johnson currently serves as a Section Chief with the Department of Safety and Professional Services where he is involved in evaluating, improving and implementing the business model and mission for all of its programs with specific emphasis in the POWTS Program. In addition to leading the POWTS program, he was previously involved in leading the Division's Fire Prevention and Storm Water programs. Prior to his current position with DSPS, Brad was employed by the Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

Bradley graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin.

Governor’s Representative [exit DNR] – Steve Diercks

Steve Diercks is a third generation Wisconsin potato and vegetable grower, born and raised in Antigo. He has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With son Andy, Steve owns and operates Coloma Farms, with over 2700 acres of potato and vegetable crops in central Wisconsin. Steve is an agricultural industry leader at the forefront of research on and development of sustainable agricultural practices. Coloma Farms has been at the center of numerous collaborative projects with UW scientists to evaluate sustainable farming practices. He is a member of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Board of Directors and serves on its Research Committee. Nationally, he has represented Wisconsin on the US Potato Board. “As the Governor’s Representative,” Diercks says, “I appreciate the opportunity to share examples of industry collaboration to achieve Wisconsin’s important groundwater management recommendations — and seek broad input from all concerned parties to determine potential solutions to groundwater issues.”