TEAM

 

The Landbridge Ecological restoration team represents a unique blend of educational backgrounds and ecological expertise. Our team carries qualifications, experience, and formal certifications necessary to complete almost any restoration project. In addition to the project team leaders our team of professionals behind the scenes will get the job done with expertise and attention to detail.

TORY CHRISTENSEN

CEO + CO-OWNER

Tory has worked for many of the leading restoration companies in the Twin Cities Metro area, and on some of the largest and most technologically advanced restoration projects in the region.  He has over 20 years of experience in installation, design and project management of river and small stream restoration, natural areas restoration including oak savanna, prairie, and wetland plant communities, and green roof installation and design.  Tory also brings an advanced knowledge of plant communities and specific species of greatest conservation need in the Midwest.  He has an undergraduate B.S. degree in Ecology and Water Resources Science from Minnesota State University and a Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) from the University of Minnesota.  

Away from work Tory gets recharged through family and relaxing on or near water, especially dock life on the lake, fly fishing, hiking, canoeing and camping.

CARRIE CHRISTENSEN

PRESIDENT + CO-OWNER

Carrie’s work in design, planning, education, and community engagement falls at the intersection of equity and the environment. With a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Stanford University, her cross-sector work combines facilitation, design thinking, community organizing, project management, data analysis, curation, planning and environmental design processes. Carrie is a published author, an adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota, a 2001 Fulbright Scholar, a 2010 Creative Community Leadership Institute Fellow, a 2019 Herberger Institute Practices for Change Fellow, and has consulted with communities across the country around strategic planning, creative community engagement, and resilient design.

In her free time, Carrie likes traveling the world with Tory and their two kids, especially anywhere that involves dramatic topography or big water.

JAKE VOIT

COO

Jake’s passion for healthy land and the environment began as a kid with his family when growing up on a sustainable subsistence farm, complete with a self-built solar home. Through his career, a passion for environmental and community impact has driven Jake to help build effective teams, learning culture, sustainable business opportunities, and operations that ideally resemble healthy ecosystems. Jake has a track record as a: Change Manager, Business Developer, Systems Designer, Author, Community Facilitator, and Permaculturalist.

Outside of Landbridge, Jake helps take care of a 90-acre organic farm, focusing on soil health management, diverse habitat for beneficial insects and birds, composting, and greenhouse management. He can be found fly fishing for trout in healthy streams throughout the Midwest. And sometimes, he loves riding his bike to those streams.

SEAN WICKHEM

FIELD OPERATIONS MANAGER

Besides the pure enjoyment of being outside in nature, for Sean it all comes down to connections. The natural world is highly complex, and he’s humbled when studying and managing a system where the smallest changes can have the largest impacts. He finds the most meaning and enjoyment in witnessing the impacts that restoring natural areas has on the people and communities that reside in and near those spaces.

Sean enjoys Muskie fishing. He someday wants to have his own elk herd, an oak savanna keystone species.

NATASHA PARRY

OFFICE MANAGER

Natasha is inspired by the work that Landbridge does to preserve the environment and engage the community around urban planning initiatives, as she values creating livable communities with access to green space within the urban environment. She has an array of business administration experience in the non-profit, public and private sector, and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Urban Studies and Art from the University of Minnesota.

When she’s not at work you can find Natasha gardening, doing DIY projects, crafting, and spending time with her family.

ELISSA THOMPSON

INSTALLATION SERVICES DIRECTOR

Elissa grew up enjoying the outdoors and didn’t realize how fortunate she was to be able to do so until college, where she studied wilderness therapy. While learning about the benefits nature has on the human psyche, she also discovered the lack of connection/access most folks have to nature. This inspired her interest in preserving and restoring our natural spaces and reconnecting people to nature.

Elissa enjoys Hiking (especially in Arizona and MN), foraging, canoeing, camping, and spending time with her husband, dog, and daughter in the great outdoors.

JEN MERTH

LAND MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR

Jen attained valuable knowledge in habitat management and restoration techniques while receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. With 7 years of crew leader experience, her extensive knowledge and detail-oriented character has led her into the roles of Land Management Coordinator and Project Manager starting in 2017. As such, she provides crew guidance and oversight performing a variety of environmental field projects including forestry management, shoreline restoration, watershed management, rain garden installation, reforestation, wildfire fighting, and prescribed burns. Her passion for restoration ecology has been vital when working with urban youth crews and in coordinating local volunteer events.

PATRICK KELLY

LAND MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR

While looking for a career path that he could find passion in, Patrick stumbled upon a Fisheries and Wildlife Major at the University of Minnesota which piqued his interest. Once enrolled, he found learning to be enjoyable rather than a chore. It was then that he knew natural resources work was what he wanted to do with his professional life. His love of native plants came later. He experienced the path of: Learn a thing, Know a thing, Love a thing

Patrick is a proud plant-nerd who enjoys exploring Minnesota’s natural areas searching for good examples of native habitat and new plant species to add to his life list.

ERIN O’LEARY

INSTALLATION SERVICES COORDINATOR

After 15 years working in Design, Erin wanted a different path for her creativity. She wanted to create and be a part of spaces that truly make healthier environments. After hearing Dr. Doug Tallamy at a gardening symposium, then reading his book, “Bringing Nature Home,” Erin was inspired to make a change. She returned to school to earn a Master’s in Horticulture. While working on projects ranging from National Wildlife Refuges, to riverbanks, to backyard residential habitat, she knows her experiences in life have brought her to this point.

Erin helps several teachers create spaces at their schools to bring natural areas to life, from pollinator gardens to whole prairies. The natural areas show children and communities how native grasses provide shelter, hold soil with deep root structures, or how flowers like Wild Lupine are crucial for the survival of a tiny butterfly like the Karner Blue.

JORDAN EMERSON

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

For seven years, Jordan has sat on the Board of Directors for the Nandale Foundation, which is a family-run organization that has a focus on preserving the web of life and protecting all living things. The past three years Jordan has been elected the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Directors. Jordan’s goal is to expand the Foundation’s reach in order to increase their impact. She would like to learn more about invasive species and how to better increase biodiversity in residential areas.

THERESA FRIENDSHUH

FIELD MANAGER

Theresa’s love for nature started at a young age. She grew up on a prairie restoration spending time playing in the flowers and grasses, catching leopard frogs and insects, and helping her dad spot invading bull thistles. As she grew up, she observed how the prairie was changing just like herself. She became increasingly interested in the plants of a prairie, along with what was causing these changes. Theresa continued exploring different landscapes around the world and became increasingly captivated by the natural world. She looks forward to going to work knowing she’s making a positive impact on landscapes.

Someday, Theresa hopes to have a large-scale prairie restoration of her own! Until then, she’ll keep converting her yard in St. Paul to native plantings and continue learning while working on restoring land throughout the state with Landbridge Ecological. 

CODY DOCK

FIELD MANAGER

Starting at a young age, Cody fell in love with the outdoors. He developed a passion for fishing and exploring woodland areas around his cabin. Cody gained an appreciation for ecological restoration through his work experience right after graduating college which included seed harvesting and land management, working with the Conservation Corps. of MN, and currently Landbridge Ecological. He loves knowing the work we do is leaving a positive impact on our communities, cities, state, and the world.

In his free time, Cody enjoys fishing and hunting, as well as hiking SNA’s and Regional Parks to observe all the different plants and wildlife in the area.

JESSE FAUE

FIELD MANAGER

Jesse grew up spending his free time in the outdoors. All his hobbies and passions involve wildlife and the environment. After a 10+ year career with Colorado parks and wildlife working in fisheries, environmental work in MN is all he’s wanted to do since moving back.

Jesse loves fishing, hunting, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, canoeing, making Maple syrup and gardening.

TRAVIS MOE

FIELD OPERATIONS

Travis initially became passionate about environmental work at an early age. It began through the exploration of wetlands in Michigan and finding different species of frogs, snakes, and birds. During his college years he gained an understanding of invasive species, restoration, and conservation. Through this understanding, he became more interested and passionate about the concept of restoration. Working at Landbridge has allowed his passion to continue as he is able to witness and be a part of creating beautiful natural landscapes growing from degraded habitat.

Travis is passionate about protecting our water resources, both for human use and natural habitat. He enjoys spending time outside in various capacities, one of which is golfing. He has a goal of pursuing the intersection of his interests and developing more sustainable management plans for golf course properties.

ALEX ODDEN

FIELD OPERATIONS

Alex has always had a passion for the outdoors. Seeing the degradation of the environment is what fuels his passion for the work he does every day.

In his free time, Alex has been getting into woodworking over the past few years, and he loves to repurpose felled trees by creating projects with the milled wood material.

CHRIS MUKINA

FIELD OPERATIONS

Chris took a yearlong working holiday in Australia in 2009 where he gained his first experience using a chainsaw to manage a stand of eucalyptus trees and using fire to manage a grassland. The experience was quite formative, and when he returned to the US he knew he wanted to work in the conservation and restoration field.

Chris is an avid woodworker, if it tiptoes across his mind he will try and make it out of wood. His most recent project was a Windsor comb back chair. He likes understanding trees and what the wood inside has to offer.

BRITTANY ALLEN

FIELD OPERATIONS

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LUKE NAGEL

FIELD OPERATIONS

Luke became passionate about the outdoors through exploring forests, lakes, and streams as a child. This includes learning to hunt and fish with his family, trips to Lake Superior as a child, learning to canoe in the Boundary Waters, and extensive backpacking in natural areas around the world. These experiences have shaped his commitment to ecological sustainability and conservation.

In his free time, Luke is outside fishing, hunting, foraging, canoeing, hiking and skiing.

MIKKEL McGOWAN

FIELD OPERATIONS

Growing up and learning to love the outdoors from a young age has taught Mikkel to appreciate ecosystems and their services. Studying the impact that humans have on ecosystems across the globe has motivated him to restore the region’s native landscapes.

A future goal of Mikkel’s is to restore native landscapes and maintain healthy ecosystems in order for them to provide ecosystem services for future generations.

BRUCE WAYNE

RECEPTIONIST

ADA

SECURITY

 

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