Meet the Environmental Services Program Staff
Environmental Services Manager
I was born in Petoskey, Michigan and grew up playing in and learning from the surrounding lakes, rivers and forests through skiing, hiking, and boating. After high school, I left Lake Michigan to attend college at Northern Michigan University. While enjoying the Lake Superior ecosystems, I earned a Bachelor’s of Science with Majors in Outdoor Recreation, Leadership and Management, and Psychology. I spent the next ten years working with and learning from various agencies and companies around the country in the Outdoor and Environmental Education field. During that time, I also earned a Master’s of Science from Antioch University New England in Environmental Studies with a secondary science teacher certification. Most recently, I taught Earth and Environmental Science at an alternative school in downtown Denver, Colorado. While I greatly appreciated the opportunity to see and learn about so many places, I always considered Northern Michigan to be my home, and I missed being around water.
I am excited to now apply everything I learned to help protect the lakes I grew to care so much about!
I am originally from Boyne Falls and grew up enjoying the outdoors of northern Michigan. An interest in the natural environment led me to Northern Michigan University where I received a B.S. degree in Environmental Conservation. I have worked as an environmental technician, a native plants coordinator for Otsego Conservation District, and with various conservation projects focusing on sockeye salmon for Cook Inlet Aquaculture in Alaska. In 2013 I started working with the LTBB Environmental Services Program. Now I work mainly with air quality and climate change adaptation projects. An interest in Native American culture and the importance placed on conservation by LTBB makes me happy to be working for the Tribe. In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, and generally enjoying the outdoors with my wife, Paula.
Water Quality Specialist
Bill Oeming graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife. After working various research jobs around the Mid-West, Bill joined LTBB NRD in August of 2012 as a Fisheries Research Technician. After working in fisheries research for 6 years, Bill switched gears and joined the Environmental Services Program as a Water Quality Specialist in September of 2018. Bill works as part of a team to collect information on various aspects of multiple surficial water bodies on the LTBB Reservation and the 1836 Ceded Territory. He enjoys Hunting, Golf, Swimming, Kayaking and Playing music at local venues on the weekends.
I was born and raised in Harbor Springs Michigan. I graduated from Lake Superior State University and completed my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. My hobbies include anything outdoors. I am currently the Environmental Assistant with LTBB. I started my journey with the Tribe back in 2004 serving on the on the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Child Welfare Commission for several years. I have a broad background which includes Social Work, Health and Public Relations.
Most importantly, working for the Tribe means coming back and hearing about our history, our language and our roots; because getting to know yourself means you start to discover new things; you realize who you really are. With that in mind, I look forward to enduring the next phase of my career and eager learn a new endeavor within LTBB.
Water Quality Coordinator
I am a native of Harbor Springs and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. I attended Lake Superior State University and graduated in 2012 with my bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology. I began working for LTBB in 2015 as the Youth Conservation Corps leader and have since moved into the position of Water Quality Coordinator. I am excited to be able to implement on the ground projects and continue to expand the work that we do. I enjoy all water activities, hiking, growing and braiding sweetgrass, making birch bark crafts, reading, and bird hunting with my two Brittanys. My husband and I have one son that loves being outside as much as we do! I am grateful to be able to work in an area I love and protect our environment.
Great Lakes Policy Specialist
I was born and raised in Petoskey. After earning an associate’s degree from North Central Michigan College and attending the University of Michigan Biological Station for summer field courses, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management with a minor in GIS (geographic information systems) from Lake Superior State University in 2018. I am planning to graduate with my master’s degree in Biology in May 2020 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. My research focused on the effects of man-made contaminants (PFAS) on fish in Northern Michigan. I started working for LTBB in 2017 as the Fish Hatchery Intern and joined the Tribe again in summer 2018 as the Water Quality Intern. I’m excited to be back at the Tribe now, working on Great Lakes management plans and policies. I enjoy kayaking, training and showing horses, farming, hunting, and hiking. I am grateful to be able to apply my education and to represent the Tribe by creating Great Lakes policies and conducting outreach.
Environmental Response Specialist
Aanii. Traven ndizhnikaaz. Waabizhiish ndodem. Baawating Ojibwe ndodabendaagwaz. My name is Traven Michaels, I am of the Marten clan, I am Ojibwe and I am from Petoskey. I graduated from Central Michigan University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science. My specific degree was a double major in Environmental Science and Land Use Planning. I am currently the Environmental Response Specialist with LTBB, which puts me in charge of the brownfields and environmental emergency response program. I have lived in this area for most of my life and have a deep connection to the land, water, wildlife and people of Northwestern Michigan. I am actively passionate about protecting our environment and unique natural resources both on and off the job. During my free time I enjoy disc golfing, backpacking, playing and writing music, camping, geocaching, kayaking, spending time with friends and family and anything outdoors. I am beyond grateful to be able to apply my education and my skills to ensure that our beautiful home is here for the next seven generations to enjoy.