friends-staff_fall-2016_reducedcroppedMeet the people leading the fight to preserve and protect the most heavily visited and most popular wilderness in the national wilderness system.

Paul Danicic – Executive Director – Email Paul

Paul DanicicPaul came to the Friends after nearly 10 years as Director of YMCA Camp Menogyn, a wilderness canoe camp on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. At Menogyn, Danicic worked closely with the Friends on the Thomas Flint Canoe Trips program, organizing wilderness canoe trips for inner-city youth. Danicic brings tremendous experience and skills in leadership and capacity-building. He also has a great love for the BWCAW and a passion for introducing youth to the canoe country, which directly relates to a core value of the Friends’ mission: developing the next generation of wilderness stewards.

Betsy Daub – Science and Conservation Program Director – Email Betsy

Betsy DaubBetsy has extensive experience in conservation policy, including six years at Audubon Minnesota, where she served as Forest Program Director, Acting State Director, and Senior Director for Conservation Programs. Her work at Audubon included substantial efforts regarding management of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Most recently, Daub taught science in St. Paul schools. As Science and Conservation Director, Betsy brings strong experience in science and stakeholder collaboration to the organization and helps fulfill the Friends mission to protect, preserve and restore the wilderness character of the BWCAW and the entire Quetico-Superior Ecosystem.

Tonia Kittelson – Northern Communities DirectorEmail Tonia

Tonia KittelsonTonia has spent her life protecting waters, woods, wildlife and prairies through education, collaborative projects, and community engagement. She knows the BWCAW well from leading month-long wilderness expeditions for five years with Voyageur Outward Bound School, which is based at the edge of the wilderness and has been for 50 years. Tonia received her BS from the University of Minnesota, focusing on natural resource management and conflict resolution, environmental education, and outdoor recreation. Her Master’s in Community Building and Leadership Skills is from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. With over 900 days afield (over half of these in the BWCA), Tonia brings a broad perspective to effectively managing natural resources and human demands.

Cori Mattke – Membership and Operations Director - Email Cori

484800_10102771804897700_74951862_n-223x300Cori earned a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Community Outreach from Northland College in Ashland, WI. While at Northland, Cori developed In My Place, a community writing project and self-published book that focused on sense of place and individuals’ relationships to landscapes across the country. Prior to joining the Friends, Cori worked as an intern with Northwest Connections, a community-based conservation organization in Condon, Montana, and Voyageurs National Park Association, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her professional interests lie in the intersection between ecology, communities, and conservation initiatives. At home she is an avid printmaker, knitter, and vegetable gardener who enjoys paddling, backpacking, and snowshoeing throughout Minnesota.

Rachel Wagner – Membership and Administrative Coordinator – Email Rachel

rachelw-croppedRachel enjoyed her first trip to the Boundary Waters on her honeymoon and is excited to work with the Friends to protect and preserve its wilderness character. Rachel earned her Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Women’s Studies at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Her interest in ecological justice was fueled after studying abroad in India where she witnessed the effects of corporate interests on small farmers and the impact of climate change on marginalized communities. After graduation, she interned on an organic community supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Washington State to learn more about sustainable living. Prior to joining the Friends, Rachel worked at Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Portland, Oregon as a program and communications assistant and then at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis. At home, Rachel enjoys gardening with her husband, knitting/crocheting, and hiking.

Kate is currently a graduate student at Indiana University’s School of
Public & Environmental Affairs and received her undergraduate degree
in geology from Whitman College. Outside of school, she loves
exploring new landscapes and teaching young people the joys of
canoeing, hiking, and geology. This summer Kate is spending most of
her time investigating possible sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters