Board & Staff

Board of Directors:

There is space to serve on the Board! Two spaces, as a matter of fact.

Our Board of Directors is a “working board” that meets once a month and each director is generally on at least one committee that meets either ad-hoc or on a monthly basis. The board is a diverse group of folks of all ages and walks of life–from foresters to teachers, to lawyers and accountants and  caretakers–all skills and viewpoints are welcome and necessary to represent our community and keep UPLC on track with our mission. Board meetings occur monthly every second Tuesday, from 7-9 PM, and are held at various places in Marquette and occasionally in Munising as several of our board members are from Alger County.

If you would like to learn more about serving on the Board or joining a committee, the best way to learn more is to come to a board meeting and listen to what we’ve got going on. Call us at (906)225-8067 to talk more!


Bruce Ventura

Industrial Engineer with General Electric, briefly, and 21 years as Industrial Arts/Technology teacher. Bruce currently does woodworking and various types of construction, as well as part-time work as a home inspector. He has been a very active member of Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, MooseWood Nature Center, Laughing Whitefish Audubon, among others; and enjoys hiking, photography, and birding.

Vice President

Jean McLean

Jean grew up in Marquette and spent 36 years in California as a special education teacher. After retiring, Jean moved back to Marquette. She enjoys the outdoors while hiking, biking, kayaking and cross country skiing.

Secretary (acting)

John E. Yonkers III

Hiker, biker, nature liker! I was raised in rural northwestern lower Michigan. An opportunity to practice law in Marquette and a lifelong love affair with wild outdoors brought me to the Upper Peninsula. I joined the land conservancy help keep the wild places of the UP wild.


Adam Berger

Adam holds a PhD in social anthropology and an MA in educational psychology. He is interested in place-based education, and the connection between schools and environmental nonprofits in the Upper Peninsula. Professionally, he has worked in educational and the nonprofit sectors, including at a major foundation in NYC. Adam owns a cabin surrounded by the Ottawa National Forest, and has a lifelong interest in preserving the biological diversity of the Northwoods ecosystem.


Board Members

Jim Peck

Retired after 35 years as a DNR fisheries biologist conducting research mainly on the Great Lakes and tributaries, Jim currently does contract writing and editing for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. He earned BS and MS degrees in fisheries biology from U of M and enjoys the outdoors, especially gardening, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, and skiing.

Robb Ferguson

Robb became a permanent resident of the UP 34 years ago when he accepted the job of Munising City Attorney. He continues in that position, happily, but his practice focus is in land and real estate matters. The soft spot he has for wild land first began to develop when, as a boy, he hunted and fished with his father, uncles and cousins around his home town, Traverse City. But watching Traverse City develop and grow left him with the strong feeling that some land must be kept off the table, so far as development is concerned, so there will always be green places for trees to grow, wildlife to prosper, and people to recharge. He is a long-term believer in the goals and mission of the UPLC. He provides his rather deep experience with real estate law to the organization on a pro bono basis. He was very pleased to be asked to become a member of the Board of Directors and looks forward to also serving the UPLC in that capacity.

Grant Petersen

Lives in Munising and is a retired National Park Service (NPS) manager who served throughout the United States over the course of 36 years before retiring in 2001 following 19 years as the Superintendent of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. A native of northern Illinois he holds bachelors and masters degrees of science from Michigan State and Texas A&M respectively. His education and employment background is centered on park and natural resource planning and management with significant responsibility on property acquisition and land use monitoring. Grant is hopeful that his background will be useful in assisting the continued expansion of UPLC within the Upper Peninsula.

Andrew Rickauer

Andrew grew up in the mountains of Colorado where he enjoyed as much time as he could exploring and learning about the outdoors.  He left the mountains to attend school at Northern Michigan University where he studied Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management.  After graduating, Andrew returned to the mountains to manage a ski area and eventually got his MBA before returning to Marquette with his wife to start a family.  Andrew now lives and works in Marquette at Thrivent Financial and is raising three adventurous girls.  He still enjoys spending as much time as he can outdoors, exploring, learning, and teaching his girls about the great outdoors.


Chelsea Bromley

Uh-oh, Chelsea! Better get Andrea your bio…

Lora Loope

After growing up in Traverse City Lora studied biology at Alma College (B.S.) and NMU (M.S.).  Now retired from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore where Lora served as an aquatic ecologist, she values natural habitats and admires UPLC’s vision and efforts.  She participates in Alger Conservation District’s stream monitoring program and Michigan DNR’s frog-and-toad survey and enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, reading, and singing with the Marquette Choral Society.

Brock Robinson

I have been interested in the outdoor environment and in conservation since childhood spending summers wilderness canoeing.  I am now more than one year retired from nearly 30 years practicing medicine in Green Bay.  My specialty is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a diverse field that focuses on maximizing function.  In my earlier years, I worked as a hospital medical director and had lots of experiences working with groups.  However, I have had only minor experiences being on boards of directors.  In addition to outdoor activities, I enjoy woodworking, dancing and playing Irish drum, the bodhran.  Together with my wife, Jane Blameuser, and my two adult sons, I own property at AuTrain Bay which is under conservation easement with UPLC since 2007.


Executive Director

Chris Burnett, Ph.D.

Ecologist and educator with over 35 years of experience in forest management, wildlife research, limnology, restoration ecology, environmental education, and geographic information systems. Chris has worked for several universities, local, state, and federal agencies, forest industries, and non-profit environmental organizations. His primary professional expertise is the management of family owned woodlands.

Assistant Director

Andrea Denham 

A perennial outdoor adventurer, Andrea joined us in 2015 after years of traveling, environmental education, and guiding others in outdoor recreation.  She’s lived in Minnesota, Yosemite National Park, Alaska and has traveled many places in Europe-but keeps on feeling called back to Lake Superior and the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula.  With a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from Northern Michigan University, she brings her experience in outreach and education to join UPLC as we protect the land we all love for generations to come. Andrea also pursues painting and various forms of creative art when she’s not out exploring with her dog.

Summer Stewardship Intern

Jill Sekely

Jill has a nomadic past and is in the process of fostering a conservation-oriented career, which so far includes canoeing the Niobrara River in search of breeding Piping Plovers, frying under the Texan sun while monitoring breeding Wilson’s and Snowy Plovers, volunteering with baby flying foxes in Australia, and wrangling juvenile pelicans in Laguna Madre (where she also got bitten in the face!). She received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech in 2010, which is a baby step towards being an honorary Yooper, and just recently completed a dual Master’s degree in International Forestry by “diligently studying” as an expat in both Freiburg, Germany and Edmonton, Canada. A combination of her wandering feet and a deep appreciation for the Upper Peninsula’s wild charm have brought her back to Marquette, for a summer of experiencing the civilized wilds of UPLC’s non-profit world.