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.

An image of Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge biologist Jessie Fletcher.

Jessie Fletcher

Wildlife Biologist at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Jessie serves as the wildlife biologist at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and a co-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. 

Image of The Nature Conservancy's Director of Protect Land and Water, Chris May

Chris May

Director, Protect Land and Water at The Nature Conservancy in Michigan

Chris directs state-wide natural resource management and restoration efforts at a range of geographic scales. He has been involved in research and management of natural resources for over 30 years. He received his B.S. in Biology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and his M.S. in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. His past work experience includes restoration of aquatic, wetland, and upland habitats; invasive species management; prescribed fire and wildland firefighting; and use of GIS for natural resource management. As co-chair of Detroit River-Western Lake Erie CWMA Chris works with partners to secure funding, prioritize work, and direct contractor tasks.

An image of Strike Team Lead Technician Tyler Dolin

Tyler Dolin

Strike Team Lead Technician

Tyler Dolin is the strike team leader for the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area. He graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Science-Biology and started on the strike team in 2015, working his way up to lead in 2018. He specializes in botany of invasive and native plants, and management of the GIS database for the CWMA. When he’s not studying plants, he’s either out looking at birds, or exploring around wetlands!

An image of Strike Team Technician Alexa Blankenship

Alexa Blankenship

Strike Team 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.

An image of Strike Team Technician Michala Burke

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.


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