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Meet Our Staff

UWEX Lakes Staff (Back row L to R): Sandy Wickman, Erin McFarlane, Eric Olson, Paul Skawinski, Patrick Goggin (Front row L to R): Amy Kowalski, Maud LaMarche, Kim Becken​

General contact: 715-346-2116 or

We are the University of Wisconsin - Extension Lakes, a team of education professionals dedicated to preserving our Wisconsin legacy of lakes through education, communication, and bringing people together.

We work closely with the 766 lake organizations in Wisconsin and coordinate a number of programs and projects to assist those concerned with the future of our lakes. We are one part of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, a collection of both private and public citizens and experts who speak for our beloved Wisconsin Lakes. (read more...)

Eric Olson, Director and Lake Specialist

(715) 346 -2192

Eric works with lake professionals and citizens across the state. He can help lake organizations foster communication and collaboration in the name of healthy lakes. Contact Eric to:
  • Start a new lake association or district
  • Work through organizational issues
  • Develop educational materials on lake issues
  • Understand Wisconsin DNR lake grants

Patrick Goggin, Lake Specialist / Outreach Program Manager I

(715) 365-8943 / Work address: WDNR Rhinelander Service Center / 107 Sutliff Avenue / Rhinelander, WI / 54501 / Fax - 715-365-8977 /
Patrick works with lake citizens and organizations, assorted staff from tribal, state and county agencies, and other partners from across Wisconsin; he can help with:

  • Starting a new lake organization or tactics for bolstering existing lake group efforts;
  • Understanding lakeshore habitat restoration conservation practices and bmp's, resources, and support materials like native plant lists, restoration consultants, and native plant nursery contacts;
  • Information on the flora, fauna, and natural history of lakeshores, and shoreland development challenges;
  • Native plant ideas and landscaping options for enhancing water quality and wildlife;
  • Finding lake management planning resources and contacts to support Wisconsin communities;
  • Backing for lake citizens interested in utilizing Wisconsin DNR lake grants;
  • Locating details on our parthernship's Lakeshore Habitat Restoration Training for Professionals
  • Ideas on working effectively with our Wisconsin tribal communities through our Cooperative Extension Native American Task Force (NATF);
  • Connecting you to the appropriate lake professional that can assist you in a project; and
  • Data and articles on the Wisconsin Lakeshore Restoration Project 10-year study and it's findings.
Patrick received a Master of Science in Natural Resources degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point following undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Before joining the UW-Extension Lakes team in 2008, Patrick was a county conservationist for the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department in the lake-rich country of NE Wisconsin for 6 years.  He resides in Phelps, Wisconsin with his wife, Quita Sheehan and their three dogs.  Patrick spends his free time growing and planting native plants, native plant seed collecting, vegetable gardening, and homecooking. 

Kim Becken, Office Manager & Outreach Education Specialist

(715) 346-3212

Kim assists UWEX and DNR personnel as well as the general public. She helps coordinate the Wisconsin Lakes PartnershipConvention, Lake Leaders Institute, and other Wisconsin Lakes Partnership events. Contact Kim if you are interested in these events or with any lake-related questions. She can also help you find the publications you need.

Kim has a Master of Science degree in Community & Human Resources and over 15 years of program management experience. She and her husband Todd farm in Custer, WI where they practice managed intensive grazing and use an original wind mill water system for raising beef cattle and naturally grazed chickens. They enjoy camping, hiking, and kayaking with their two grown sons. She is a 4-H Leader in Portage County, charter member of Sustainable Stockton and active with her church. In her spare time she loves to sew and garden (and plant trees). Her family has planted over 75,000 trees over the past three decades on the land that they care for!

Maud LaMarche, Database​/Website Specialist

(715) 346-3366

Maud supports the UW-Extension Lakes Program through technical assistance with the Lakes database and website. Contact Maud if you have issues using the Lake List (a directory of Wisconsin lake organizations), convention registration or our online book store.

Maud graduated from UW-Stevens Point with degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy and is a proud member of Wisconsin Lake Leaders Crew 8. A Jill-of-all-trades, master of few, Maud has a soft spot for relational databases, naturally eutrophic lakes, spinning wheels, geriatric cats, and squish-a-penny machines.

Erin McFarlane, Clean Boats, Clean Waters Educator

(715) 346-4978
Erin coordinates the Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspection program that assists Wisconsin residents in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species. Click here for more information or contact Erin if you are interested in becoming involved with aquatic invasive species prevention.

Erin McFarlane has been the statewide CBCW Educator with UW-Extension Lakes since May 2007. She grew up in East Tennessee, where her adventures in the Smoky Mountains lead to a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a passion for environmental protection. Erin supports the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Watercraft Inspection program and helps coordinate watercraft inspectors across the state. By working with lake groups and the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership on watercraft inspection efforts, Erin hopes to engage Wisconsin's citizens in aquatic invasive species prevention and help preserve Wisconsin's waterbodies for future generations. 

Paul Skawinski, Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Educator

(715) 346-4853

Paul recently joined the UWEX Lakes team in November of 2014 as the new CLMN Educator. He helps develop protocols used by volunteers when assessing lake water quality and their lake environment, and conducts trainings for volunteers and local trainers. Paul works with a wonderful group of passionate volunteers who monitor some or all of the following on their lakes:

  • Water clarity
  • Phosphorus concentrations
  • Chlorophyll concentrations (a measure of algae concentrations)
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Native aquatic plant communities
  • Ice on/ice off dates
  • Lake level fluctuation

Contact Paul for information about the volunteer programs available through the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network.

Paul holds a B.S. in Soil Science and Waste Management, and an M.S. in Watershed Management. He is the author and photographer of the popular field guide Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest, now in its second edition. In addition to his position at UW-Extension Lakes, Paul also teaches Aquatic Plant Biology at UW-Stevens Point, and serves as Vice President of the Botanical Club of Wisconsin. Paul previously held positions as a Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Eurasian Watermilfoil Biocontrol Technician, and Watercraft Inspector. In his free time, Paul enjoys kayaking, snorkeling, photography, and spending time on lakes and streams with his family.

Read about and purchase Paul’s field guide to aquatic plants here.
Watch Paul and his colleague Chris Hamerla in a video tutorial on Manual Removal of Eurasian Watermilfoil here. (exit UWEX Lakes)
View or download 20 fact sheets on aquatic invasive species of Wisconsin that Paul developed here. (exit UWEX Lakes)


Amy Kowalski, Communications Specialist

(715) 346-4744

Amy joined the UWEX Lakes team in 2003 and is the production manager for many UWEX Lakes publications (printed and digital). She edits and designs the quarterly newsletter (Lake Tides​), fact sheets, posters, brochures and multi-media presentations, as well as helping to maintain the UWEX Lakes website and Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Facebook page. She assists with the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention, Lake Leaders Institute, Citizen Lake Monitoring Network and Clean Boats, Clean Waters Watercraft Inspection Program through editing, design, marketing, photography and videography.
Contact Amy with Lake Tides or website ideas!

Amy holds a B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Services from UW-Stevens Point. Even though her degree did not bring her into a natural resources position, she is very connected with nature. She grew up in rural central Wisconsin on a family farm and was involved in 4-H. Her 15 years of design experience has been mostly self-taught. She enjoys telling and listening to stories, biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing, volleyball, softball, board/card games and playing/singing music with her family.

Sandra Wickman, CLMN Regional Coordinator

(715) 365-8951

Sandy has been the CLMN Regional Coordinator for Price, Taylor, Vilas, Oneida, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Iron and Florence County since 1997 and is responsible for training and support of volunteers in those counties. CLMN volunteers throughout Wisconsin are trained to collect water quality data to look at long term trends. Monitoring opportunities available are:

  • Water clarity
  • Phosphorus concentrations
  • Chlorophyll concentrations (a measure of algae concentrations)
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Native aquatic plant communities
  • Ice on/ice off dates
  • Lake level fluctuation

Sandy coordinates the purchase and distribution of CLMN equipment throughout the state and edits the manuals used in CLMN and was the author of the CLMN quality assurance project plan.

She organizes CLMN workshops and trainings in her region and assists with Clean Boats, Clean Waters programming. If you have questions about CLMN in any of the nine counties listed above, please contact Sandy at 715-365-8951.             
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