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.  John enjoys camping, fishing and flyfishing, canoeing, hunting, skiing, cooking and most outdoor pursuits.  He has a daughter who is graduating college, and a yellow lab, Rosie.

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.


Grounds / Trail Coordinator

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 for questions on Trails, Buildings, and Grounds Maintenance.



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 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 for questions on Program Registrations, General Information, and Donations.


Naturalist and Residential Programs Coordinator

Rachel joins the Discovery Center after exploring the world of environmental education on the eastern shore of the United States. Before working in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, Rachel graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater with a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology: Evolution and Behavior. She is excited to join the NLDC team as a Naturalist and Residential Programs Coordinator to share her passion for all things natural, wild, and scenic.

Contact Rachel for questions on residential programs.

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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