Who We Are


Stephen J. Hjort – Senior Biologist, Director of Ecological Services

Mr. Hjort is the principal owner and a Senior Biologist with over 22 years of experience in terrestrial and aquatic ecology, lake and stream studies and management.  He has prepared Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), and conducted Endangered and Threatened Species Surveys for new facilities and expansions.  Mr. Hjort consults to lake associations and the largest Lake District in the State of Wisconsin with projects ranging from water quality monitoring to petitions for modifying dam Operating Orders.  His work includes the preparation of permit applications for wetland dredge/fill projects, as well as CWA 404 and state water quality certifications for a wide range of development projects.  Mr. Hjort has delineated over 200 wetlands in Wisconsin and other states and provided litigation support for various waterway violations.  His greatest passion is for wetland restoration projects and he has conducted many of these gratifying projects in his career.


Clayton M. Frazer – Senior Ecologist

Mr. Frazer has over 20 years of experience in professional natural resource management, ecological restoration, and ecological consulting. He has worked as an ecologist for Federal and State agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, and private sector consulting firms. Mr. Frazer’s areas of specialization include: prescribed fire ecology, wildlife management, invasive species management, native prairie restoration installation and maintenance, forestry and woodland management, and comprehensive land stewardship planning.   Mr. Frazer has drafted specifications for hundreds of public, corporate, non-profit, municipal, and private land restoration/enhancement projects. These projects have occurred on a wide range of land and habitat types ranging from upland prairie and woodland sites to various wetland habitats.  Mr. Frazer has also managed site prep, installation, and maintenance on numerous Federal Farm Bill program projects in Wisconsin. An avid hunter and conservationist, Mr. Frazer resides in Deerfield Wisconsin with his wife and two sons.

Stanely A. Nichols. Ph.D. – Senior Biologist

Dr. Nichols has 35 years of experience as a researcher and educator with the University of Wisconsin-Extension with appointments in the Environmental Resources Center and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.  During that time he worked on the Inland Lake Renewal and Development Project, the Lower Wisconsin River Wild and Scenic River Assessment, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission re-licensing projects, Outstanding Resource Waters Designation Projects, the International Biological Program - Lake Wingra Project.  He also participated in a variety of research projects dealing with the management and control of aquatic plants and aquatic plant ecology.  Dr Nichols has published widely in the areas of aquatic plant management, lake protection and management, pond management, ecological sampling, and prairie ecology and management.  Dr. Nichols retired from the University of Wisconsin-Extension in 2003 with a title of Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences and joined the ERC staff in 2005.


Daniel L. Fuhs – Senior Biologist, Director of Field Operations

Mr. Fuhs has 6 years of experience in biology and restoration.  Mr. Fuhs earned a double major in Biology and Wildlife, and a minor degree in GIS and Spatial Analysis at UW-Stevens Point.  He has completed ecological restoration work in the field such as planting, seeding, erosion control methods, and equipment operation.  Mr. Fuhs provides spatial analysis using GIS, remote sensing and aerial photograph interpretations skills.  He has conducted vegetation sampling and ornithological surveys.   He has been trained in prescribed fire methods and prairie restoration adaptive management.  Mr. Fuhs has assisted in numerous wetland delineations since joining ERC.  Mr. Fuhs has managed projects for private landowners, municipalities and counties, and Farm Bill programs.  

Thomas M. Luehring – Restoration Technician

Mr. Luehring has 5 years of experience in restoration ecology, land management, and wildlife management; and had previously worked for the Department of Natural Resources as a Wildlife and Forestry Technician.  He earned his B.S. Degree at UW-Oshkosh.  Mr. Luehring has experience in forest and prairie restorations and maintenance involving native plantings, seedings, and prescribed fires.  He specializes in terrestrial invasive species and has a passion for restoring woods and prairies back to what they once were.  Mr. Luehring is an avid fisherman and spends most of his time on the water.


Megan Padrutt – Restoration Technician

Ms. Padrutt has 3 years of experience in restoration ecology.  She earned an Environmental Biology and Ecology degree from UW-Eau Claire.  After graduating she worked for the Department of Natural Resources as a Wildlife Technician at Sandhill Wildlife Area.  There she gained experience in invasive species management and wildlife ecology.  She is very excited to further her career and help protect and persevere the natural landscape.  Ms. Padrutt enjoys playing volleyball, spending time with her family, and being outdoors.

Kyle Duquaine – Restoration Technician

Mr. Duquaine is just beginning his career in restoration ecology.  Kyle earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before making the decision to pursue ecological restoration. He then received an Ecological Restoration Certificate from the University of Minnesota. Kyle started out as a Restoration Technician at ERC and continues to gain experience and knowledge about the ecological field.  Kyle is passionate about working to conserve the environment and looks forward to working on native restorations across the state. Mr. Duquaine enjoys coaching soccer and basketball, attending music shows, being outdoors, and traveling the world.



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