Kristen Bouska – Board Chair
Kristen is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey ecology. Over the past ten years, she has worked for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, American Rivers, U.S. Forest Service, Lower Brule Community College, and South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin of La Crosse, a Master of Science degree in Biology from Kansas State University, and a Doctoral degree in Environmental Resources and Policy at Southern Illinois University.
After living in many places across the country, Kristen and her family are happy to settle in the beautiful La Crosse area. She and her husband spend most of their free time actively encouraging the development of a land ethic in their two young sons through gardening, hunting, fishing, and exploring the outdoors every chance we can.
Buzz Bocher – Treasurer
Buzz is a founding member of the Board of Directors of WisCorps. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from UW-La Crosse in Recreation Management, with an Outdoor Leadership emphasis. Buzz taught in UW-La Crosse’s Recreation Department for a few years and then was an instructor in UW-La Crosse’s Environmental Studies program for the last 16 years, and has very recently retired.
Buzz is also owner and president of the Institute for Experiential Education, a business specializing in using the environment and adventure programming for therapeutic, teambuilding, self esteem enhancing and related issues.
Buzz is married and has a 24 year old son, and participates in all sorts of outdoor activities, including bicycling, fishing, kayaking, camping, gardening, and skiing.
Brenda is a founding member of the Board of Directors of WisCorps. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from UW-La Crosse in Recreation Administration, and has spent most of her career with non-profit organizations in the La Crosse area. Along with 14 years with the La Crosse YWCA and 14 years as Executive Director at the Hixon Forest Nature Center in La Crosse, Brenda has served on many Boards and committees. She is currently a Realtor with Cindy Gerke & Associates and in her 21st year as an Ambassador for the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce.
Brenda has her children and grandchildren close by, so is able to spend time with them – putting them to work in her gardens and other DIY projects, which are endless, and also loves adventurous travel. She and her siblings are working together to keep the family farm sustainable for future generations.
Kate Evans is a faculty member in the Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation Department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Prior to moving into higher education, she worked for seven years in YMCA camping and conferencing with a focus on outdoor and experiential education and youth development. Kate’s research focuses on issues of social justice, youth development, outdoor adventure recreation, and women’s physically active leisure.
Kate earned both her Masters and PhD from Clemson University where she was involved in youth development through the creation and implementation of youth camps intended to create greater access to the outdoors for girls. In addition, Kate worked alongside Clemson Faculty members as a consultant for city and county parks and recreation departments interested in refining and improving operations and more effectively serving their constituents.
Kate moved with her family to La Crosse in 2014 to begin work at UWL. She and her husband are avid triathletes and water-sport enthusiasts and spend as much time as possible with their two children exploring the outdoors.
Roger Haro is a Professor of Biology at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (UWL). His responsibilities at UWL incudes being the Associate Dean of the College of Science and Health, director of the UWL McNair Scholars Program, the First Year Research Exposure Program, and directorship of the UWL River Studies Center. Roger specializes in studying freshwater ecosystems, the biology of freshwater invertebrates and fish, and landscape ecology. His primary research examines the behavioral ecology of aquatic insects. He is also interested in how landscape change affects the connectivity of freshwater ecosystems and the biological consequences of non-point source pollution, including mercury. He has over 28 years of experience working with and developing programs for under-represented students in the STEM fields.
Roger grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his family came to the Midwest in 1988 when he started his doctoral work at the University of Michigan in Natural Resources Ecology. Before arriving at UWL in 1996, he conducted post-doctoral research in landscape ecology at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
Roger is married and has two grown sons. He enjoys hiking and camping with his wife Lisa. He’s happiest when he is on “big water,” like the Mississippi.
Joan is a retired Physical Therapist who believes that preserving our natural resources, being connected to the earth and exercising contribute greatly to health and wellness. When she was a young adult, she participated in Outward Bound and Northern Outdoor Leadership School which introduced her to adventure canoeing and mountain climbing and changed her life. She also believes that staying connected to young people keeps life much more fun.
She has been married to Guy for 40 years and has a large family. She enjoys biking, organic gardening, camping, cross-country skiing, kayaking and feels lucky to have lived in our beautiful Driftless Region for the last 33 years.