Meet Our Staff

Licia Johnson

Education Director/Naturalist

Licia joined the Discovery Center team in spring 2007 as a seasonal Environmental Educator. In December 2007 she was appointed permanent staff. Licia graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha, WI in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation and Geography. In addition to teaching, Licia is the coordinator for the Center's outreach programs.

Contact Licia at for questions on School Programs, Drop-in Activities, and Acoustic Bat Monitoring.

Ryan Wahlgren

Facilities Manager

Ryan grew up in Boulder Junction, and has spent the last six summers building docks and decks in the Northwoods. He enjoys the outdoors as much or more than any man up here, and is an avid musky and walleye fisherman, and tournament angler. Ryan took the job here because he loves being part of a great place for kids to expand their outdoor experiences and education.

Contact Ryan at for questions on Trails, Buildings, and Grounds Maintenance.


Finance Manager

Lisa is originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and relocated to the area in 2006. Her family has been part of the Northwood’s of Wisconsin since 1954. Her broad education and professional background include accounting, finance, and software project management. She is a recreational single-engine pilot, which allows her to have a birds-eye view of the extraordinary Northwoods. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to live in this beautiful land and to contribute her experience to the continued success of the NLDC.

Contact Lisa at for questions on accounts receivable/payable, and general bookkeeping questions.


Administrative Assistant

Colette joined the Discovery Center team in December 2020. Colette worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in Madison serving our most vulnerable citizens in assisted living and retired in 2017 after 38 years of public service.

She has been married for 30+ years and has two children. She and her husband, Dale, spent many years enjoying the resources and beauty of the Northwoods and made their permanent home here in 2017.

Colette enjoys fishing, gardening, reading, pontooning, and spending time with her family and friends. “I am inspired to work for an organization whose mission connects people to nature and to be part of a community that cares for our Northwoods environment.”

Contact Colette at for questions on Program Registrations, General Information, and Donations.

Jamie Vandenlangenberg

Woods & Water Program Director

Jamie received her B.S. in Biology and Natural Resource Sciences from Northland College in Ashland and spent two college summers 'salamanderin' in the Appalachian Mountains. Then developed her skills at positions with the Illinois Natural History Survey and working as a Restoration Ecologist & Operations Manager in Milwaukee. Jamie came to the Discovery Center in 2022 and looks forward expanding the Water Program’s reach to property owners and business to increase shoreline restoration efforts and protection of native plant communities here in the Northwoods.

Contact Jamie at for questions about the Woods & Water Program.

Hannah Gargrave

Naturalist and Residential Programs Liaison

Hannah received her B.S. from UW-Stevens Point in Wildlife Ecology and Management in 2019. She worked for the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department and Forestry Department performing a variety of ecological surveys and field work in Iron County. Her education and experience is rooted in Wisconsin, and she enjoys any outdoor activity: hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, disc golfing, snowshoeing, you name it! She joined the NLDC team in 2022, and hopes to help expand educational programs, outreach, and opportunities for the northwoods community.

Contact Hannah at for questions about residential education programming. 

Megan Graffius

Facilities and Volunteer Coordinator

Megan joined the discovery center in May of 2022 and moved to the Northwoods from Madison, WI. She was a middle school teacher for 14 years in Janesville, WI and completed her Masters of Curriculum and Education during that time. She worked for several years at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in the Community Relations department. While there, she had the opportunity to work with volunteers and help produce community events, organize tours, as well as facilitate student programs. After moving to this beautiful area, Megan is excited to share this great facility with the many visitors and nature lovers of the Northwoods community.
Contact Megan at for questions about volunteer opportunities, facility rentals, and weddings.

Jenna Richardson


Jenna Richardson grew up in the Ohio River Valley where she spent her childhood walking creek beds in search of salamanders and crayfish. She was often found in the woods with leaves in her hair. In 2013 she received her BS in Science in Communication and Anthropology and then began traveling the contiguous United States. During that time, she spent 2 winters working as a Naturalist Guide/Ski Instructor based out of the Snow Lodge Ski Shop. It was in that position that she found fulfillment in sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world. In 2019 she found her way back to the Midwest and worked as a Naturalist Guide at Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters outside of the Boundary Waters. There Jenna facilitated programming for people of all ages, but she found she most enjoyed working with children. Jenna began working at the Discovery Center as a Seasonal Naturalist in May of 2023 facilitating many on-site programs including the Eco Series for children and Discover the Discovery Center Series. Her hope is to increase our children’s program offerings, and to continue to inspire people, of all ages, to make meaningful connections to the natural world around them.

Contact Jenna at 

Richard Dollhopf

Lead Conservation Technician

I received my Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability with a concentration in GIS from Loyola University Chicago in 2023. I’m excited to be returning to NLDC as the Lead Conservation Technician. Last summer I was an intern and had a fulfilling time working hard on the lakes. My favorite activity was rearing the Neogalerucella beetles for the biocontrol of purple loosestrife. I’m looking forward to diving deep into the world of Wisconsin’s aquatic plants with our new team!

Contact Richard at 

Aidan Witthoff

Conservation Technician and Naturalist

I’m from Dekalb Illinois, my favorite part of working with plants is their incredible diversity and their amazing adaptations to live be able to live where they do. I have my degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in Wildlife ecology and I was a former staff member for Treehaven assisting in the plant ID course. I love to go fishing and swimming in my free time.

Contact Aidan at 

Our Location

14006 Discovery Lane in Manitowish Waters, about one mile north of the intersection of Highway 51 and County W, across from Rest Lake Park.

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