Office Location 7831 East Bush Lake Road, Suite 302 | Bloomington, MN 55439 Phone: 651-224-2880
Kirsten Wallace was appointed executive director of UMRBA in 2017, following over 10 years focusing on the Association's ecosystem, navigation, and flood initiatives. Kirsten works with UMRBA's member states to develop regional positions, advocate the states' collective interests before Congress and the federal agencies, and facilitate and foster interagency coordination, cooperation, and communication.
Kirsten serves on the Board of the Interstate Council on Water Policy, America's Watershed Initiative, and the National Waterways Foundation.
Kirsten's favorite spot on the river is from the view of the pilot house, especially passing by tributary confluences.
Mapping and Spills Program Director
Mark Ellis took on the role of Mapping and Spills Program Director in 2017 after 10 years as the Inland Sensitivity Atlas Project Coordinator. Mark directs the UMR Hazardous Spills Coordination Group and works with state, federal, tribal, local, and private sector partners to increase prevention of and preparedness for spills of hazardous materials in the region. He also leads mapping work to support USEPA Region 5’s Inland Sensitivity Atlas.
Mark enjoys sightseeing and hiking the trails along the Mississippi River bluffs at Effigy Mounds National Monument, near Harper’s Ferry, Iowa.
Policy and Programs Director
Lauren Salvato has been with the Association since 2018 and focuses on clean water and ecosystem restoration initiatives. She convenes the Water Quality Executive Committee and Task Force, Interstate WQ Monitoring Program efforts, including coordinating the Reaches 8-9 pilot, and WLM initiatives. Lauren serves on the Board of the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District.
Her favorite place in the Upper Mississippi River Basin is along the St. Croix River.
Policy and Programs Director
Andrew Stephenson joined the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association as Policy and Programs Director in fall 2018. He focuses on UMRBA’s ecosystem-related work as well as flood risk and sediment management planning, aquatic nuisance species, external communications, and advocacy on behalf of the five states’ shared interests. Andrew has predominantly been working to facilitate state-federal collaboration on the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program.
Andrew enjoys exploring the trails through the hardwood forests, steep bluffs, and flat bottomlands of the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park.
Mapping and Planning Specialist
Tyler Leske joined UMRBA in 2016 as a GIS and Planning Assistant. Tyler works on the Inland Sensitivity Atlas for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois and assists with the creation of site-specific spill response plans on the Mississippi River.
Tyler is an avid fisherman, chasing walleye in Pool 2 and Pool 4 all year long.
Junior Mapping and Planning Specialist
Lauren Holmes joined UMRBA in May 2021 as a GIS Intern focusing on an analysis of ecosystem benefits from water level management. In July 2021, Holmes joined the Inland Sensitivity Atlas team as a Junior Mapping and Planning Specialist and assists with map creation for reports.
Lauren enjoys gardening, biking, and kayaking. She plans to visit the Upper Mississippi River in the future.
Margie has been an integral UMRBA staff member since its inception, ensuring the smooth operation of the Association. Margie works on all things administrative, assists in external communications, and arranges our meetings and workshops. Margie supports all UMRBA staff members in advancing the states’ priorities and regional programs and projects.
One of her many favorite Mississippi River activities is driving down along the river to see all the bald eagles.