Board of Directors

Montana Freshwater Partners’ Board of Directors is a diverse team of highly-skilled and experienced professionals in the fields of economics, small business, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, fish and wildlife biology, wetland science, accounting and law and policy.

Marcus Pearson

Marcus brings nearly two decades of global conservation and climate justice experience to the Board, as well as his knowledge of organizational governance and compliance. He has guided private and public-interest clients through complex real estate and water rights transactions, and worked extensively with state and federal environmental and land-use regulations. During his law career, he has supported the development of market-driven ecosystem services banking models to promote nature-based solutions like groundwater mitigation, carbon markets, wetland mitigation, water quality trading, and natural resource damage assessment restoration projects. Marcus joined Montana Freshwater Partners as a Director in 2016.

Sarah Zuzulock

Sarah has over nineteen years of experience providing technical consulting services related to hardrock mining environmental management and community impacts to public interest groups, indigenous communities, county governments, and federal agencies. Her areas of expertise include work related to mine permitting and environmental characterization, environmental monitoring plan design and implementation, wastewater treatment and management, water quality monitoring and reporting, internal audit implementation related to environmental program requirements, mine operation and closure activities, adaptive management planning, reclamation cost estimation, and financial assurance review.

Amir Darabi

Amir is a PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Montana State University.  He moved to Bozeman, MT after he obtained his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University. Studying a range of materials, from coating of pipelines to bio-inspired structures, he plans to use his extensive background in material characterization to improve the performance of engineering structures. As a nature enthusiast, Amir loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and river floating in Montana. Amir hopes to add a new perspective to an already insightful roster of board members that aim to preserve water resources of the state of Montana.

Kascie Herron

Kascie Herron has spent the last decade working in the world of river conservation, advocacy, restoration, and communications management around river issues. Originally from the Chesapeake Bay, Kascie moved to Montana a decade ago to complete her MS in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. She managed outreach and communications for the Northern Rockies office of American Rivers for the last seven years before enrolling in the MSU Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program at Montana State University in the fall of 2020. Kascie loves all things rivers, and can be found floating or fishing a Montana river most warm and sunny days throughout the year.

Tom Parker

Tom is President and Principal Ecologist of Geum Environmental Consulting, based in Hamilton, Montana. As a project manager, he focuses on riparian and floodplain restoration as part of long-term river restoration projects in Montana and Idaho. Tom provides technical input for stream and wetland mitigation projects as a member of Montana Freshwater Partners’ Technical Advisory Committee. He joined the Montana Freshwater Partners Board in 2017.

Halle Nienhaus

Hailing from the Great Lakes state of Michigan, Halle brought her strong passion for
water resources and conservation to Montana. She spent the last two years working for the
Bozeman U.S. Geological Survey’s fisheries unit working on a variety of projects aimed at
cutthroat trout conservation, stream habitat surveys, and habitat restoration across the Mountain
West. Previously, she received her MS in Aquatic Biology from Western Michigan University
where she worked on aquatic ecology and genetic-focused projects. Throughout her years, she
has also worked in aquatic-focused non-profit and public outreach capacities. Halle hopes to
bring a “mixed-bag” skillset of aquatic resource management, technical biological knowledge,
and more to the Montana Freshwater Partners table. In her free time, Halle can most likely be
found backcountry skiing, mountain biking, spending time on the river, or enjoying live music.

Liz Fairbank

As a Road Ecologist at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Liz focuses on improving habitat connectivity and reducing the negative impacts of linear infrastructure on wildlife and ecosystems. She has contributed to numerous road ecology research projects in the western United States, including on animal-vehicle collisions on the Flathead and Blackfeet Reservations in Montana, ungulate migration routes in Wyoming, and effects of roads on desert tortoises in the Southwest. Liz is interested in exploring the intersection of road ecology and riparian ecology in habitat connectivity planning, biodiversity conservation, and climate resilience.