Meet the WAFWA Team

Meet the people who are working together to help WAFWA and their Member Agencies and Partners deliver conservation through information exchange and working partnerships.

  • Dr. Zach Lowe

    Executive Director
    Zachary Lowe’s, primary career responsibilities have been to develop partnerships, identify key conservation needs, and deliver results-based programing. Dr. Lowe has a diverse professional background within the disciplines of land management, wildlife science, conservation education, and program administration. His early career started as an Extension Habitat Specialist, and he was the Director of the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Program at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation for over a decade prior to joining the team at WAFWA. He holds B.S. degrees in Wildlife Science and in Fisheries and Aquatic Science and a Ph.D. in restoration ecology from Purdue University. Zach and his family enjoy a life of hunting, self-sufficiency, and outdoor pursuits as they balance a busy 2 career, 3 kid household.
  • Jenna Baxter

    Administrative Assistant
    Jenna is a dedicated administrative assistant with a passion for adventure and love for the great outdoors. Raised and residing in the beautiful state of Wyoming, she has a deep appreciation for the mission-based work WAFWA accomplishes. When she is not assisting in the office, she finds solace and joy making memories in the breathtaking mountains with her three adventurous sons and loving husband. They enjoy all the seasons Wyoming has to offer; camping, fly fishing, and paddle boarding in the summer, and ice fishing and skiing in the winter.
  • Stacie Brew

    Stacie Brew

    Director of Finance
    WAFWA welcomed Stacie Brew as Director of Finance in mid-2022. Stacie started By the Book Consulting in 2001 after having worked in the accounting sector for the past 10 years.

    During her 30-year career, she has become an expert in accounting systems and developing financial reporting systems to both improve existing procedures and to explore ways new technology can streamline day to day tasks. She currently holds certifications in many accounting & business operation related software programs.

    Stacie has worked with 20 non-profit organizations with budgets that range from $250k-$5M annually. Work for these organizations has included everything from day-to-day operations to managing the annual audits as well as everything in between. This work afforded her the unique experience of understanding a 365 view of accounting and business operations systems from inside an organization.

    Stacie lives with her husband and 2 dogs in south central Idaho, is an avid craft abuser (no craft left behind!) as well as a lifelong lover of the outdoors.
  • Catherine Campbell

    Grants, Contracts Manager
    Cathy joined the WAFWA team in June 2015 as the Grants and Contracts Manager for WAFWA and its affiliates. In this role, she works closely with WAFWA Initiative Coordinators, federal and state partners and affiliates and federal aid coordinators. Cathy studied at Boise State University and is a business professional with over 25 years of management and accounting experience; developing and mentoring agency staff; developing and administering budgets; financial management of state and federal grants; 2 CFR 200 compliance regulations and contract management. She project lead the implementation of accounting systems, expense tracking and reporting through Commercial Card Services program, Grant Management Reporting and assisted with budget software implementation. When she is not working, Cathy enjoys traveling, white water rafting, scuba, camping, music and spending time with friends and family. Cathy is also an amateur back-yard beekeeper.
  • JD Davis

    Western Native Trout Initiative Coordinator
    JD Davis is the new coordinator for the Western Native Trout Initiative. He joins WNTI after over 30 years working in higher education and conservation.

    His most recent position was Chief Development Officer for Yellowstone Forever (YF), the official non-profit for Yellowstone National Park. During this time, YF raised funds to support wildlife conservation and priority Park projects. This included raising over $9 million to support Yellowstone Cutthroat trout populations in Yellowstone Lake and the Park’s northern range and projects to restore Westslope and Arctic Grayling in the Park’s central region. JD also served on the Park’s Yellowstone Cutthroat Science Committee which oversaw the Park’s native fish recovery efforts. Prior to joining YF, he worked for the Nature Conservancy’s Montana chapter as the Development Director where he

    JD is looking forward to working with WAFWA and the other initiatives to promote our missions to protect and restore native fish through strong partnerships.

    He is based in Bozeman, Montana where he enjoys fly fishing throughout Montana and the west.
  • Daryl Lutz

    Wild Sheep Working Group Coordinator
    Daryl became the Wild Sheep Working Group (WSWG) Chair in December 2022. He went to the University of Wyoming and Humboldt State University. Daryl has been a biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for a bit over 3 decades as a Habitat Biologist, Wildlife Biologist, and now a Wildlife Management Coordinator – and continues to serve in that capacity as he chairs the WSWG. He has been heavily involved in mule deer and bighorn sheep management throughout his career. Daryl led Wyoming’s Mule Deer Working Group and represented Wyoming on the WAFWA's Mule Deer Working Group for over 20 years since their inception in 1998/99. He has also co-chaired Wyoming’s Bighorn Sheep Working Group the past several years. Daryl was raised as a hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman in Colorado and Wyoming. He and his wife raised their two kids the same way and are now working on their 5 grandkids.
  • Chris Moore

    Executive Support Services
    Chris Moore is the Executive Support Services for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Chris served as WAFWA's Acting Executive Director from April 2019 to August 2021 in a pro bono capacity as part of a professional development opportunity. Chris has also been the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council since July 2010. Before he became the Executive Director, he was the Chief of the Partnerships and Communications Division in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA Fisheries Headquarters. Chris also served as the Acting Director of the Northeast Cooperative Research Partners Program and has worked for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Chris has been the Council representative to the National Fish Habitat Board since 2013 and was their Vice-Chair from 2017 to 2020. Chris received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, a Master's degree from the University of Florida, and has over 30 years of experience related to natural resource management and science issues.
  • Cortney Mycroft

    Director of Operations
    Cortney joined WAFWA team in 2021. As Director of Operations, she works directly with the Board and other agency staff to meet strategic goals. Her efforts focus on administrative management, logistical planning, and communications. Cortney spends a great portion of her time planning the next (and the next, next) WAFWA meeting. Her skill sets include project management, natural resources education, human dimensions research, and making colorful spreadsheets to organize thoughts. Cortney loves spending time with her family and their pets, and she enjoys meeting the native herbaceous flora of the places she visits.
  • Chanda Pettie

    LPC Program Director, Geospatial Analyst
    Chanda joined the WAFWA team in 2019 as the coordinator for WAFWA’s Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) and now manages the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LPC) Program. Her key role is to promote the efforts of state fish and wildlife agencies in delivering science based, data driven solutions for landscape-scale, conservation across the West. As a wildlife ecologist with 20 years of experience on interagency project management for landscape-scale conservation efforts, she brings a biological background to program coordination.
  • Bill Van Pelt

    Bill Van Pelt

    Grassland Coordinator
    After graduating Iowa State University in 1991, he was contracted as a bald eagle nest watcher by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and was assigned to Alamo Lake.  Upon completing his assignment, he was hired by the Department to conduct the biological evaluation of the Aubrey Valley for a black-footed ferret reintroduction. Bill was promoted to Nongame Birds and Mammals Program Manager in 1996 and was able to not only release black-footed ferrets, but Mexican wolves, California condors, and black-tailed prairie dogs too.  In 2008, with a sudden departure of the Western Association’s Grassland Coordinator, Bill was asked to step into the role, which is the position he still holds today. As Coordinator, Bill continues conservation efforts for grassland species such as prairie dogs, ferrets, swift fox and lesser prairie chickens. Outside of work, Bill stays busy with his wife Lola taking their four children to various school and sporting events. To escape the Phoenix heat, the family heads to the mountains to fish and camp.
  • Noelle Thompson

    Interagency Wildlife Health Specialist
    Noelle Thompson joined WAFWA in 2024 as WAFWA’s Interagency Wildlife Health Specialist. She earned her PhD at Michigan State University with a concentration in Fish and Wildlife Health and Conservation Medicine. She has experience working in both academia and state government. Noelle was the Wildlife Disease Biologist and the Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Program Coordinator for Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. She also worked for Colorado State University as a postdoctoral research fellow. During her postdoc, she assisted western state agencies enhance their CWD surveillance programs through structured decision-making. Noelle enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and 5 rescue dogs, particularly spending summers in their remote cabin outside of Gunnison National Forest.

IWJV & WAFWA: A Collaborative Partnership for the Future

The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) share a strong commitment to delivering conservation through partnerships, working across jurisdictional boundaries, sharing information, and strengthening the work of their partners. The two organizations subscribe to a simple tenet: The partnership is stronger than the sum of the parts.

In 2016, the IWJV and WAFWA strengthened this commitment by formalizing the partnership to build capacity, strengthen the work of partners, and deliver on-the-ground outcomes for wildlife and human communities by having WAFWA become a hosting entity for ten of the IWJV’s 14 staff positions.