Cheryl Laatsch has worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for over 15 years. Currently, she is the Statewide Federal Energy Resources Council (FERC) Coordinator for the WDNR– a position she has held since August 2011. She is responsible for coordinating the agency’s environmental and regulatory oversight of 130+ hydroelectric dams in Wisconsin. Her collaborative approach brings new ideas to how WDNR is addressing workload, resource management, and customer relations.
Prior to working with hydropower, Laatsch was one of the WDNR project managers for large wind, transmission, distribution, and pipeline projects. She has extensive knowledge and permitting expertise in waterway and wetlands, project management, technical oversight, and regulatory compliance for complex utility projects.
She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the UW-River Falls. Laatsch lives in Beaver Dam where she and her husband own a coffee shop and an agricultural consulting business.
Ismael Martinez has over 34 years of experience in water resources engineering and has managed multi-disciplinary projects including storm water and water resources planning; hydraulic design; and stream and wetland restoration planning. During his career, he has designed nine dams, and removed two. He has also built hydraulic physical models of large dams in Mexico and Peru. Since 1989, he has been involved in the implementation and design of much of the water resources infrastructure in Chaska, Eagan, and Rochester, MN, and Hudson, WI. Martinez was named “Water Guru” by City of Woodbury, MN, staff to recognize his dedication to water resources planning and design within the City.
In 2005, he was principal in charge of the Lake George Area Stormwater Treatment Concept Plan, which developed an overall management strategy for the immediate watershed areas impacting Lake George in River Falls.
He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Queretaro in Mexico and his Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Marty Melchior is regional director with Inter-Fluve Inc., a consulting firm specializing in stream restoration and engineering. He is an accomplished stream ecologist, having completed over 200 assessment and restoration projects across the country. His specialties include dams, trout stream restoration, natural channel design, forensic fluvial geomorphology, construction management and large woody debris dynamics. Melchior has authored numerous articles on geomorphology and the ecological effects of small dams. Prior to joining Inter-Fluve in 2000, he worked as a fisheries biologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
In 2016, he led the River Falls’ investigation of accumulated sediments in Lake George and Lake Louise and the impact of sediment on the Kinnickinnic River. Recently, he was a principal contributor to the dam removal report prepared for Friends of the Kinni.
Melchior received his undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University in 1989 and his master’s in fisheries from the University of Minnesota in 1998.