Meet Our Staff

John Heusinkveld

Executive Director

John came to NLDC in September, 2017 having served as the Assistant Director at the UWSP Treehaven outdoor education center since 2001.  He holds a Bachelors degree from The University of Iowa and a Masters from The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.  John enjoys camping, fishing and flyfishing, canoeing, hunting, skiing, cooking and most outdoor pursuits.  He has a grown daughter who is a school teacher, and a yellow lab.

Contact John with questions on Charitable Contributions, Volunteer and Partnership Opportunities, Community Outreach, and Programs.


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


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.


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 Water Program.


Marketing, Membership, & Development Coordinator

Sam received her B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After graduation she moved into university services focusing on developing international education opportunities and partnerships at UW-Stout and California State University, Long Beach. After arriving at the discovery center in 2022 she hopes to elevate the organizational reach and bring nature based educational experiences to every corner of the community.

Contact Sam at for questions about marketing or membership opportunities. 


Buildings & Grounds Coordinator


Contact Cliff at for questions about trail, building and grounds maintenance.


Naturalist and Residential Programs Liaison

Hannah received her B.S. from UW-Stevens Point in Wildlife Ecology and Management in 2019 and has since lived in Mercer, working as a technician for Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department and Forestry Department performing a variety of ecological surveys. Her education and experience is rooted in Wisconsin, and she has strong ties to the area because she’s been coming to the Turtle Flambeau Flowage on vacation since she was a kid. 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. 


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.

Make a donation

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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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