Jim Elleson, Owner. I got my start in restoration at the feet of my grandfather, who worked out of the Wisconsin Conservation Department’s Forest Protection Headquarters in Tomahawk, and my uncles who farmed in western Wisconsin’s Coulee region. I took a detour for a 20-year career as a mechanical engineer, helping people use less energy in homes, offices, and factories. Working on my own land in the town of Vermont led me to a deeper understanding of what it means to take care of the land, and I started taking classes and educating myself to broaden my ecological knowledge. I started Quercus Land Stewardship Services in 2003, and since then we’ve been steadily increasing our land management capabilities. I love seeing the impact that we have on our customers’ properties, and I’m proud of our dedicated, professional crew who make it happen. I especially enjoy getting my grandkids out on the river or primitive camping.
Brittany Pierpont, Project Manager. I received my Bachelor’s in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Conservation and Resource Management from Carroll University. I have been with Quercus since 2012 and have advanced training in Wildland Fire management. I enjoy working outside restoring Wisconsin’s native ecosystems and seeing the transformation each site goes through and communicating with landowners to discuss their goals and the potential their land has. One of my favorite things is discovering hidden gems like uncommon plants, birds, and incredible rock outcroppings. When I am not in the field or office working, you can find me on the landscape enjoying the Driftless area. Whether it is canoeing, growing veggies, or trail riding my horse Smokey, I am on the landscape looking at what should be burned next.
Nate Humphreys-Loving I started with Quercus in 2013. I graduated with a Bachelor’s from Carroll University in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Conservation and Resource Management. I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician and have advanced training in Wildland Fire management. I enjoy being outdoors and in nature and am glad to have a job that puts me out there. I really appreciate the way the ecosystems involve many factors and functions and would like to see the world based on such symbyosis and collaboration. At Quercus, I find it very satisfying to help maintain these ecosystems so that each part may flourish. In my free time I enjoy canoeing, bird watching, hunting, gardening, and checking chores off the never-ending list.
Jaya Elleson I have been with Quercus since 2004. I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician and first aid trainer, and have a Bachelor’s in Biology and Environmental Studies and have extensive training in Wildland Fire management. I like to canoe, kayak, hike and ski, and want to keep working to preserve natural areas so there are more places to canoe, kayak, hike and ski!
Jake Michaels I joined the Quercus crew in 2013. I graduated from Carroll University with Nate and Brittany where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Working with Quercus has afforded me some invaluable experiences and advanced training in Wildland Fire management. I’m grateful to be employed in a field that allows me to direct my passion for Nature into a productive purpose. When I’m not working I spend time outside enjoying the fruits of our daily labor at a slower pace. I also enjoy a variety of water and snow sports, and I’m especially fond of wind-driven activities.
Jake Pulfer I started with Quercus in 2016 and received my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science from UW-Stout. I have experience working in the conservation field in many locations including Guantanamo Bay, the Florida Keys, and Wisconsin. Ecological restoration speaks to me, because we are helping to reverse the impact that humans as a species have had on our planet. It also allows me to protect the places where I recreate in my free time. I feel as if life would be lesser if I could not enjoy fishing, kayaking, botanizing, hiking, and camping in Wisconsin’s gorgeous landscapes.
Bill Ishmael I joined Quercus in 2016 following my retirement from the WI-DNR where I worked for 30 years as a Wildlife Biologist, primarily in SW Wisconsin. I received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology (1979) and Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology (1984) from UW-Madison and am a Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society. I have extensive experience in wildlife population ecology, wildlife damage abatement, public lands management, invasive species control, and habitat restoration. I enjoy working in the outdoors with people who share the common goal of restoring and enhancing native vegetation communities that support a diversity of wildlife. When not working with Quercus, you can find me fishing or kayaking (or both) on the waters of southern Wisconsin.
Yasi Rezai I started with the Quercus crew in late 2016. I received a Master’s degree in Environmental Conservation from UW-Madison. I love working outside everyday and watching how the restoration projects help increase biodiversity and help native flora flourish. In my free time I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking, running, yoga, and reading.
Jenevieve Hartung I joined the crew in late 2016. I graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology Research & Management and Biology. My passion for the great outdoors started with my farming background and has continued throughout my journey in life. Working for Quercus has allowed me to indulge in diverse activities that promote habitat restoration. In return, I hope to create a sustainable environment for future generations and wildlife to coexist peacefully with the evolving landscape. In my spare time I enjoy fishing, kayaking, gardening, and painting.
Rob Schubert I joined the crew in late 2017. Originally from southeastern Michigan I have worked throughout the Great Lakes and upper Midwest region including Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. This work allows me to apply my interests in botany and the art of sawyery at a professional level. I have always had a love of nature and the outdoors and often spend my free time hiking, canoeing, and botanizing along the Wisconsin River and throughout the Baraboo Range. When not working or otherwise spending time in nature I enjoy cooking a nice meal, local stout, a good book, and catching up on my sleep.
Alex Wenthe I started at Quercus after graduating from UW-Madison with a degree in Conservation Biology. As a technician, I gained valuable “on the job” training and found my passion for ecological restoration. In 2013 I made a very tough decision to leave Quercus and work for the WDNR State Natural Areas Program as a Conservation Biologist. Along with a dedicated team of biologists, I helped preserve and restore some of the highest-quality, remnant, natural communities in the state. A few years later I was tasked with coordinating a new program within the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation, called the “Landowner Lottery”, where I provided ecological restoration recommendations to private landowners throughout Wisconsin. In these different roles I worked with countless dedicated colleagues and private landowners, and saw the positive change our actions had on the land and waters of Wisconsin. Inspired, I returned to UW-Madison to receive a MS degree in Ecological Restoration from the Botany Department, while continuing my full-time work at the DNR. In 2018, I returned to Quercus as an Ecologist and felt like I never left (except for finding tools in the new shop). Fortunate enough to do Ecological Restoration work in many different settings, public, private, and academic, I could see that Quercus is a unique company and I am proud to be a part of it again.
Ecological Restoration has even transcended into my personal life. It has taught me that we live together on a beautiful planet, full of unbelievable things, and we are more connected to these things than we may think. So when I’m not working, I enjoy traveling to new places and experiencing what the world has to offer with my lovely wife Tori.
Brent Johnson – I began working with Quercus in the summer of 2018. I hold B.S and M.S degrees in Conservation Biology, which I earned at the State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry in Upstate New York. I love living and working in the Great Lakes region and am excited to be contributing to the restoration and enhancement of many Wisconsin landscapes. I am also particularly interested in the conservation of rare and endangered species and have experience in wildlife population management. In my free time, I can usually be found exploring various natural and cultural attractions in the Madison area, fishing, reading, or playing board games.