Water Quality Staff

NEIWPCC Headquarters (Lowell, Mass.)

Richard Friesner
Director of Water Quality Programs
Richard joined NEIWPCC in 2016 as Director of Water Quality Programs. As such, Richard works on a variety of projects including wetlands, monitoring, water quality standards, nutrients, TMDLs, mercury, harmful algal blooms, and aquatic nuisance species. He serves as the NEIWPCC representative on the Management Committee for the Long Island Sound’s TMDL and is working on technical nutrient related assessment work with the USGS. Richard joins NEIWPCC with 10 years of experience in the Environmental Science and Policy field and most recently worked at George Mason University as the Director of both the Washington Scholars Program and the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment through George Mason University’s Office of Admissions. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, an M.S. and B.S in Environmental Science from the University of Kansas. full bio

Jordan Bishop
Environmental Analyst
Jordan assists with a variety of projects in support of NEIWPCC’s Water Quality programs. He serves as the project manager for the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), working closely with LISS staff, CT DEEP and NYSDEC on research, monitoring, and public education and outreach initiatives. He organizes the wetlands and NEBAWWG workgroup meetings, and presents information to stakeholders and the general public. Jordan joined NEIWPCC in June 2021, and earned his doctorate in ecology from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. full bio

Maryann Dugan
Environmental Analyst
As an Environmental Analyst in the Water Quality Division, Maryann works on a variety of projects to include water quality and watersheds. She serves as the project manager for the Harmful Algal-Bloom (HAB) program, the Monitoring program, and the Northeast Aquatic Biologist conference.  She also serves as the project manager for the RI DEM monitoring staff and contract.  Maryann joined NEIWPCC in September 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs with a major in Environmental Management from Indiana University. full bio

Emma Gildesgame
Environmental Analyst
Joining NEIWPCC in September 2019, Emma serves as the project manager for regional and national Water Quality Standards (WQS), nutrient and numeric water quality standards, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and Mercury workgroups. In addition, she coordinates and manages the Clean Water Act 303(d) national listing and TMDL training workshops. Emma also serves as the project manager for the Peconic Estuary Partnership (PEP) and the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP). Emma earned her Master of Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. full bio


Long Island Sound Study

James Ammerman, NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst

James Ammerman
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
Long Island Sound Science Coordinator
Jim joined NEIWPCC in December of 2015 as an Environmental Analyst for the Long Island Sound Science Study (LISS), where he works with partners in both Connecticut and New York to adopt monitoring strategies that support the reporting of LISS’s environmental indicators. He analyzes existing data to provide guidance and consultation on estuarine environmental issues, prepares syntheses of scientific reports, and evaluates technical reports developed by others. Jim serves as staff lead for LISS’s Science and Technical Advisory Committee, participates in the review process of LISS technical and research project deliverables, and provides technical assistance to help implement environmental statutes. Jim previously directed New York Sea Grant, has conducted extensive water quality research in several estuarine and coastal ecosystems, and has worked with two different EPA Science Advisory Board panels on water quality issues. Jim holds a B.S in Biology, as well as a Ph. D. in Marine Biology.

Mary Arnold, NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst; Long Island Sound Regional CoordinatorMary Arnold
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
Long Island Sound Regional Coordinator
Mary works with the NYSDEC DOW and assists in the planning and execution of activities for the Long Island Sound Study. She partners with municipalities to assess local policies, identify water quality priorities, and implement improvement projects; she serves as coordinator for LISS EPA grants, managing project timelines and reporting; and she provides technical support and participates in LISS workgroups and committees. Mary joined NEIWPCC in 2021, and holds a M.A. in Marine Biology from Stony Brook University Graduate School.

Robert Burg, Information Officer

Robert Burg
NEIWPCC Information Officer;
LISS Communications Coordinator
A NEIWPCC employee since 2003, Robert assists the Long Island Sound Study in developing and disseminating educational materials and outreach products. His work includes coordinating publications and web-based products that inform the public about projects that are restoring and protecting the Sound and about indicators of the Sound’s health in the areas of water quality, coastal and animal populations, habitats, and land use. He holds an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College.

Kristin Kraseski, NEIWPCC Environmental AnalystKristin Kraseski
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
LISS Bioextraction Coordinator


Kristin provides overall program coordination, administration, and short and long-term planning for the bioextraction program of the Long Island Sound Study (LISS). She assesses potential challenges to, identifies solutions for, and supports the development and expansion of nitrogen bioextraction and related aquaculture activities in the Long Island Sound (LIS). Her responsibilities include ecological and cultivation research and reporting; development of a siting tool and collection of site identification data; permitting for new and expanding aquaculture operations; and environmental assessments of bioextraction and bioharvesting projects. Kristin joined NEIWPCC in January 2017 and holds a Ph.D. in Forest Resources (Hydrology) from the University of Georgia.

Victoria O'Neill, Environmental Analyst

Victoria O’Neill
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
LISS Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Coordinator
Victoria conducts activities associated with Long Island Sound Study funding, including preparing and evaluating project applications for habitat restoration, assessment, monitoring, and research funding. She develops partnerships to restore LIS habitats; works with regional staff to help partners prepare project workplans; and coordinates NYSDEC activities associated with the LISS Habitat Restoration and Stewardship workgroup. Victoria joined NEIWPCC in 2013. She has an M.S. in Biology from the College of William & Mary.

Narragansett Bay Estuary Program

Mike Gerel
NEIWPCC Program Director;
Narragansett Bay Estuary Program

Mike manages NBEP’s operations and leads the development and implementation of partnerships and to restore and maintain water quality and ecological health of the Narragansett Bay and its bi-state watershed. He helps advance community-driven, collaborative solutions by engaging state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities in science, planning, and management decisions. Mike has over 25 years’ experience leading complex, cutting edge water science and policy programs that advanced the study and recovery of imperiled aquatic systems across the U.S. Prior to joining NEIWPCC in January 2019, he served as the Columbia Basin Program Director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Portland, OR, as the Director of Programs for Sustainable Northwest in Portland, and as a Senior Scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Richmond, VA. Mike holds a Master’s in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Richmond, and is a graduate of the Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute. full bio

Julia Bancroft
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst
Julia supports the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program by assisting the Program Director with projects relating to the CCMP, by providing assistance to partners regarding habitat restoration related activities and by assisting with the development and creation of advanced GIS tools to share information across different audiences. Julia also manages office operations. She contributes to NBEP’s publications by writing, editing, and taking photos and videos. She provides administrative support, including meeting and conference planning. Julia joined NEIWPCC in 2015. She holds a B.S. in Marine Affairs and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing from the University of Rhode Island.

Courtney Schmidt, NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst

Courtney Schmidt
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
Staff Scientist, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program

As the staff scientist for NBEP, Courtney synthesizes and interprets existing research related to Narragansett Bay’s watershed. She also tracks activities and land use changes impacting the estuary and its watershed in both R.I. and Mass. In addition, she manages implementation of projects in NBEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and collaborates with scientists doing research in the estuary. She provides technical expertise to local and regional committees concerned with estuaries, and state and federal agencies working on habitat restoration. Courtney holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography from University of Rhode Island. She joined NEIWPCC in 2014.

Julia Twichell
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
Watershed and GIS Specialist, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program

Julia leads programs and projects related to the implementation of NBEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan through her work in data management, analysis, and GIS mapping. She leads the NBEP’s successful Geographic Information System (GIS) program and develops and manages existing and new technical projects that advance the health and resilience of the Narragansett Bay. Julia returned to NEIWPCC in July 2019; she had previously worked as a GIS Intern at NBEP. She holds a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.

Peconic Estuary Partnership

Elizabeth Hornstein, NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst

Elizabeth Hornstein
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
Peconic Estuary Partnership
Elizabeth conducts activities associated with the Peconic Estuary Partnership, including the preparation and management of the annual federal grant, tracking the implementation of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), Eelgrass Management Plan, and Habitat Restoration Plan. She coordinates with outside partners, manages contracts, and develops partnerships to protect and restore Peconic Estuary habitats and water quality. Elizabeth joined NEIWPCC in January 2017 and holds an M.S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University.

Sarah Schaefer, NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst

Sarah Schaefer
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst;
PEP Suffolk County Program Coordinator
As the Suffolk County Program Coordinator for the Peconic Estuary Partnership, Sarah prepares the annual National Estuary Program workplans and grant applications, seeking out and responding to funding opportunities; assists municipalities and not-for-profits in forming partnerships, secure funding, and implementing water quality improvement and habitat restoration projects. Sarah joined NEIWPCC in 2015. She holds an M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst

Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio,
NEIWPCC Environmental Analyst
401-222-4700 x7211
Katie assists RI DEM in multiple ways, with a particular focus on the design and execution of surface water monitoring programs in freshwaters. This work includes biological monitoring (macroinvertebrate sampling in wadeable and nonwadeable rivers; invasive species detection) and water quality monitoring in rivers (water chemistry sampling for conventional constituents, pathogens, metals, and nutrients). Katie joined NEIWPCC in 2006. She holds an M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University of Maine.