What is the Nebraska Invasive Species Council (NISC)?
The NISC was codified in law in 2012 and serves as an advisory council to Nebraska's Governor and Legislature. NISC focuses on invasive species of all taxa of concern to Nebraska's natural resources, NISC members and other stakeholders. You can contact the Council Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Recommend action to minimize the effects of harmful invasive species on Nebraska’s citizens in order to promote the economic and environmental well-being of the state;
- Develop and periodically update a statewide adaptive management plan for invasive species as described in section 15 of the legislation;
- Serve as a forum for discussion, identification, and understanding of invasive species issues;
- Facilitate the communication, cooperation, and coordination of local, state, federal, private, and nongovernmental entities for the prevention, control, and management of invasive species;
- Assist with public outreach and awareness of invasive species issues; and
- Provide information to the legislature for decision making, planning, and coordination of invasive species management and prevention.
VOTING MEMBERS (Appointed by the Governor)
- Craig Allen - University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Steven Jara - Nebraska Forest Service, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Trevor Johnson - Nebraska Department of Agriculture
- Justin King - Nebraska Public Power District
- Brent Meyer - Lancaster County Weed Control Authority, Nebraska Weed Control Association
- Jonathan Nikkila - Non-Agricultural Public Interest Member
- Kevin Pope - Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
- Devin Schroeder - Agricultural Public Interest Member
- Kristopher Stahr - Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
- Kimberly Stuhr - Agricultural Public Interest Member
- Arnie Stuthman - Agricultural Public Interest Member
- John Thorburn - Nebraska Association of Resources Districts
- Kim Todd - Non-Agricultural Public Interest Member
- Natalia Bjorklund - Nebraska Department of Agriculure
- Jeremy Gehle - Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
- Lorrie Grueber - City of Lincoln, Nebraska
- Chris Helzer - The Nature Conservancy
- Mike Koenig - Omaha Public Power District
- Justin Krahulik - Nebraska Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
- Ritch Nelson - Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- David Nielsen - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Jeff Runge - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bret Schoner - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Gary Stone - Nebraska Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- TJ Walker - Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
- Jennifer Weisbrod - Pesticide Safety Education Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In alphabetical order
Lancaster County Weed Control Superintendent
Brent serves as the Lancaster County Weed Superintendent based in Lincoln, NE. He’s spent 25 years working with invasive plants and has served on numerous State and national organizations including serving on the NAWMA (now NAISMA) Board of Director’s and as the organizations President, as well as the Nebraska Weed Control Association’s President. He currently serves as the Chair for the Governor’s Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force.
As superintendent in Lancaster County he is responsible for carrying out the State’s Noxious Weed Act as well as working with, and educating landowners on invasive plants, their control methods, and potential they have on our environment. The Nebraska Invasive Species Council (NISC) plays a critical role in education and outreach across all taxa. NISC is very important to the success of all invasive species control programs. It is, by far, more effective to prevent the spread of invasives, than it is to try and treat them after they become established.
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST, NEBRASKA PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT
Justin grew up on a farm in Nebraska, received his B.S. in biology from Midland Lutheran College, and received his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Then he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Grand Island with threatened and endangered species. Since 1993, he has worked in the Environmental Department for Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) in Columbus. Besides invasive species, he works with power plants, river and lake monitoring, fisheries, and bird – powerline interactions. Justin has worked with electric utilities on zebra mussel mitigation since he started at NPPD and was part of the group that worked with the Nebraska Legislature to create the Nebraska Invasive Species Council (NISC).
Justin and his wife, Chris live in Columbus, enjoy gardening, traveling throughout North America and visiting National Parks. In addition to being on the NISC board, he is on the board of directors for Keep Columbus Beautiful and is a certified Hunter Education instructor.
Unit Leader, Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Univ. of Nebraska & US Geological Survey
Kevin Pope is the Leader of the Nebraska Coooperarive Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. He received his Ph.D. from South Dakota State University in 1996, his M.S. from Auburn University in 1993, and his B.S. in Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University in 1991. Kevin grew up in Denver, Colorado, but was born in Abilene, Texas.
Before joining the Nebraska Coop Unit in 2005, Kevin was an Associate Professor of Fishery Science at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Program Manager, Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Kris is the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and is the AIS lead for the State of Nebraska. He received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University and his M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology at Oklahoma State University. Kris has worked with AIS since 2009. Before his position in Nebraska, Kris worked in Arizona on endangered Colorado and Gila River fishes using novel approaches to reduce the impacts from invasive species, and with the Iowa DNR’s AIS Program. Kris has also worked extensively with aquatic plants and began the State’s first AIS monitoring for aquatic vegetation in 2021. He serves as Nebraska’s representative for National AIS panels and organizations including the Western Regional Panel on ANS, and both the Missouri and Mississippi River Basin AIS Panels. Feel free to contact him for identification of aquatic plants or for AIS inquires at email@example.com.