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Program Manager

Maria Howe Headshot (2)

Maria grew up in St. Louis and has loved spending time outdoors since she was a child. In high school, she started canoeing with a field biology club and fell in love with water. For undergrad, she attended Regis University, a small liberal arts college in Denver, Colorado, where she studied history and political economy. In a class on the history of the American West, she became fascinated with water law issues, which she then focused on during law school at the University of Denver. She was the managing editor for DU’s Water Law Review, and then practiced water and environmental law in Colorado, where she helped represent clients as diverse as multi-national corporations, quasi-governmental entities, and non-profit organizations. Currently, she is finishing her Ph.D. in American history at Iowa State University. ISU’s program on Rural, Agricultural, Technological, and Environmental History drew her back to the Midwest. Her dissertation is a study of twentieth century federal water projects across the Missouri River basin. She resides in St. Louis City with her husband and two cats, and is happy to be “home.” In her free time, she loves canoeing Missouri streams, rafting western rivers, listening to live music, and road biking.

Operations Manager

Brooke Widmar IMG_0952

Brooke grew up just outside Ozark Missouri, where she liked to spend time exploring the outdoors. In 2013 she joined Missouri Stream Team #4762, which helped spark a deeper interest in nature. She loves the aquatic macroinvertebrates and her favorite critter to find is a Hellgrammite at her Finley River site.

She started with Stream Teams United as a volunteer intern for the Swimmin’ in Moonshine event, then was hired on as the executive assistant. She has been serving as the Operations Manager since July 2017.

Brooke is studying Wildlife Conservation at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and serves on the board for Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, is Vice President of the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Conservation Leadership Corps, and is the president of Missouri State University’s American Fisheries Society.

Brooke is a Level 2 trained stream team member and has been with Stream Teams United since 2015.



Danelle Haake

DanelleDanelle’s participation in the Missouri Stream Team program began at Missouri State University during her undergraduate years as part of the Natural and Applied Sciences Stream Team (NASSTy; Team 206).  This program inspired her to focus her studies on stream ecology; she worked with faculty to study water temperature effects on native and invasive Cladocerans (water fleas) and assisted others in work on freshwater mussels. She attended Iowa State University to study soil microbial communities under different riparian land uses, leading to a Masters degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management.  Her first professional position was with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources writing total maximum daily loads, also known as TMDLs. Upon returning to St. Louis in 2005, Danelle redoubled her efforts with the Stream Team. She has held leadership roles in the River des Peres Watershed Coalition (RdPWC; Team 3745) since 2006 and has been active in MSTWC as a representative of RdPWC since 2008, serving as Treasurer during 2009-13.  In these organizations, Danelle has worked to educate the community about the issues facing urban streams and management practices that can be employed to improve these streams, including rain barrels, rain gardens, habitat improvement, and pollution prevention.  In addition to education, her other passion is water quality monitoring.  She monitored invertebrates twice per year and chemistry twice a month at four sites for over two years to seek possible impacts of the reconstruction of I-64 on Deer Creek (Team 3189).  She led groups of trained volunteers in annual watershed-wide monitoring events in the River des Peres watershed.  She helped organize a five-year monitoring program in the neighboring Grand Glaize Creek watershed (Team 3491).  Even in her work at the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, she mentors other volunteers who have been monitoring water chemistry every month at seven sites for over six years (Team 2760). Her work with the Missouri Stream Team program has recently, once again, provided the inspiration for her professional endeavors.  Since 2012, she has organized a group of up to 40 water quality volunteers to sample chloride on a regular basis to evaluate the location and degree of stream pollution being caused by road salt.  The reports she generated from this data were well-received by the volunteers, the Missouri Stream Team program, the Missouri Departments of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD).  While discussing this project with volunteers and representatives of these organizations, she recognized that the State’s ability to use the data is limited by the methods and tools used by the Stream Team program.  This has provided the inspiration for her to begin a PhD program to research several aspects of the sources, fate, and effects of the chloride that is applied to our roadways.


Susan Wrasmann

Susan Wrasmann’s interest in water issues began along the Mendocino Coast of California where she protested clear cutting in the Noyo River watershed in the early 1970s while trolling for salmon off the coast. In between she caught crawdads in the creeks and picked mussels off the cliffs and abalone from the rocks at low tide. After a reluctant move to Missouri from Washington State in 1980, she found her peace floating the rivers of the Ozarks. With degrees in Education, Media, and Administration from Western Washington University, University of Missouri Columbia, and Missouri State University, she managed the instructional technology program for a local school district and taught MEd students for Drury University, retiring with the expectation that teaching wasn’t what she would do with her time. But after traveling with her husband to every state in the US and all the provinces of Canada and visiting as many National Parks as they could, she has found herself doing what she apparently knew best, educating and providing resources to those who can effect change in their communities. A member of two Stream Teams since 2007, Susan has advocated for watershed protection at the extremely local level of urban yards. Joining MU Extension specialists from around the State, she helped implement Healthy Yards for Clear Streams in Phelps and Pulaski Counties, utilizing funds from a Non-point Source Pollution grant written by Chris Starbuck. The program funding ended, but Susan, along with all the Stream Team friends she can muster, has continued to educate about watershed issues, setting up booths at Earth Day and Junior Ranger Day on macroinvertebrates and stream ecology, working with Venture Scouts to install over 5000 storm drain markers around Rolla, and giving workshops and demonstrations on stormwater and rain gardens to children and adults. She still floats the Ozark streams, with stops along the way to monitor water quality and count the fascinating creatures that call the rivers home.


Jeff Barrow

JBarrow-RR-2009Jeff is the executive director of Missouri River Relief, which is part of the Missouri River Stream Team Association. He has been involved in clean water issues for years, helping start Show-Me Clean Streams and Missouri River Relief to his work at Greenbelt Land Trust. Through the years, he has served as a coordinator and board member of MRR. He is co-author of “From the Bottom Up – One Man’s Crusade to Clean Up America’s Rivers”, the story of Chad Pregracke’s Living Lands & Waters barge clean-up crew. Jeff has a deep love of the Missouri River, and is a two-time veteran of the Missouri River 340 Paddle Race.


Diane Oerly

dianeoverviewGrowing up along the banks of the Missouri River in Boonville, Diane Oerly learned to love Missouri’s waters from her father, who had learned from his father while growing up on the banks of the Missouri in Overton, MO.  She is actively involved in three Stream Teams and tirelessly volunteers her time and talents to Missouri’s waterways.
Following the floods of 1993 and 1995, when the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was created, and the land between the two-house town of Overton and the Missouri became a unit of the refuge, Diane became involved with the Friends of Big Muddy.   She has contributed in a variety of ways to the organization and is currently serving as President.   Just as the waters merge and flow, Diane is a proponent of working collaboratively with like-minded organizations and individuals – Missouri River Relief is a perfect example.  With the help of several state and federal agency personnel, River Relief and the Friends of Big Muddy organize a Big Muddy Speaker series in Rocheport which recently grew a new branch in Kansas City.
When development threatened the intermittent stream that runs through Diane’s back yard in Columbia, and neighbors countered with a proposed conservation education areas, Diane turned to the Missouri Department of Conservations and Missouri Stream Teams.  While the conservation education idea did not become a reality, the neighbors were able to work with the City to acquire the first piece of land that has grown into the 4.8 mile Bear Creek Trail.   And Diane has been engaged in Stream Teams ever since.  She formed Stream Team #449 and “adopted” Little Bear Creek in her back yard.  And, when Joe Bachant suggested the need for Associations of Stream Teams, Diane contributed her organizational skills to help form Show Me Clean Streams.
Diane is working on her ‘next career’ after retirement from IT at the University of Missouri. She now combines her passion for Missouri streams and waterways with her awareness of technology and is applying her recently acquired graduate certificate in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) to increased awareness of the issues and options for keeping our streams healthy for future generations.  Through her involvement in Mid-Missouri’s Stream Team Association, Show Me Clean Streams, Diane was able to apply for funding through the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition and Diane helped organize the first GIS workshop for Stream Teams held on the University of Missouri campus.
Diane dedicates much of her time to water-related issues. When she’s not volunteering on the Big Muddy Refuge, or helping with a stream cleanup, Diane enjoys being outside at her Cabin.


Steve Johnson SteveJohnson3Steve has worked for the Missouri River Communities Network in Columbia, Missouri since 1998, and has been the Executive Director for the last 7 years. Mr. Johnson has a Masters Degree in Urban Affairs from the University of Texas-Arlington and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Central Methodist College. For the last thirty-two years he has worked in community development and non-profit housing related positions. This included six years as the Director of the Division of Housing for the City of Fort Worth, Texas. He moved to Kansas City, Missouri and spent five years as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, Missouri. Steve and his wife Megan Hannan live in Columbia and are working to help their two sons pay off their school loans.


Board Members

  • Melody Torrey, Green Hills Riverwatch – Unionville, MO
  • Larry Ruff, Greenway Network-St. Charles, MO
  • Larry O’Donnell, Little Blue River Watershed Coalition-Kansas City, MO
  • Bob Coffing, LaBarque Creek Watershed Association – Catawissa, MO
  • Vannessa Frazier, Missouri Bootheel Stream Team Association – Howardville, MO
  • Larry Cain, Northern Ozarks Rivers Partnership-St. Louis, MO
  • Danelle Haake, River Des Peres Watershed Coalition- St. Louis, MO
  • Steve Johnson, Missouri River Community Network – Columbia, MO
  • Angel Kruzen, Scenic River Stream Team Association - Mountain View, MO
  • Diane Oerly, Missouri River Stream Team Association – Columbia, MO
  • Jeff Barrow, Missouri River Relief- Columbia, MO
  • Doris Sherrik, South Grand River Watershed Alliance-Peculiar, MO
  • David Casaletto, Ozark Water Watchers- Kimberling City, MO
  • Jim Marstiller, Mill Creek Watershed Coalition-St. Louis, MO
  • Susan Wrasmann, Big Piney River Stream Team Watershed Association-Houston, MO
  • Rob Veihman, Yadkin Creek Watershed Coalition – Steelville, MO
  • Doug Geist, League of the Watershed Guardians – Arnold, MO
  • Donna Swall, Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance – Sunrise Beach, MO
  • Geoffrey Stillwell, Miramiguoa Stream Team Association
  • Cori Westcott, Stewards of Grand Glaize-St. Louis, MO

The Stream Teams United Board is comprised of representatives from Associations statewide. The Executive Director of the Stream Teams United is a paid staff member who ensures the daily operation of the Coalition is productive and meets the goals established by the Board.