Our Staff

Get to know the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie CWMA co-chairs and strike team field crew working together to stop the spread and establishment of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Jessie Fletcher

Wildlife Biologist, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, USFWS

Jessie serves as the wildlife biologist at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and chair for the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area. She is a native Michigander with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Science in Fish & Wildlife Biology and Management from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Previously, Jessie was a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Directorate Fellow at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northern Minnesota and a biological technician at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in southern Indiana. 


Alexa Blankenship

Strike Team Lead Technician

Alexa came to work at DR-WLE CWMA as a strike team technician in 2018, after working in South Texas and Alaska as a restoration intern and trail crew member.  She was quite happy to return to metro Detroit, working where she grew up.  Alexa became interested in working with plants and wildlife after a lifetime of exploring the natural wonders Michigan had to offer.  She attended Central Michigan University to obtain a degree in Biology: Natural Resources, and is currently pursuing graduate education.

Alexa loves working in the forest and wetlands, and is most happy to see arrowhead, teal, and marsh wrens in ecosystems she helped restore.


Michala Burke

Strike Team Technician

Growing up, Michala always knew she had a love for wildlife and the great outdoors. Going into college, she had in mind that she wanted to pursue a career as a large animal veterinarian. However, while taking pre-requisites at Henry Ford College and looking into universities she wanted to transfer to, she discovered an Environmental Science program at the University of Toledo.

Once Michala transferred to Toledo, she began taking courses in ecology and environmental policy, along with regularly volunteering with the Environmental Science department. Some of her first volunteer experiences involved manually removing invasive buckthorn from Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve in Holland, Ohio, and participating in frog monitoring to assess the success of restoration activities on the Preserve. Knowing she could make a difference and improve the quality of the environment and life of wildlife made her degree change a very easy one. She was able to obtain a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science in May of 2019 and joined the DR-WLE CWMA in 2020.


Emma Delie

Strike Team Technician

Prior to joining DR-WLE CWMA in 2022, Emma spent the prior year in the Southwest working for American Conservation Experience, participating in projects such as fuels reduction, trail work, and invasive plant removal in multiple National Parks. Emma grew up in metro Detroit and attended Central Michigan University, graduating in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Biology.

She hopes to pursue a career that helps impact conservation projects around the Great Lakes and bring awareness to the public about environmental issues.


Contact Us

Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
5437 West Jefferson Ave
Trenton MI, 48183