2017 - 2018 YPAC Members


The Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) is a committee of the Board of Directors that supports our work. YPAC members provide perspective and input for Board discussions and decisions and lead specific outreach initiatives for the Friends. The committee is composed of members between the ages of 18 – 30 and provides opportunities for professional growth and development. Current members include:


Senior Copywriter, Fallon

Mike Behrends was born and raised here in Minnesota. He works as a copywriter at Fallon, an advertising/marketing agency here in Minneapolis, where he writes TV, print, digital and social communications for brands and organizations across the country. He has a great love for the BWCAW and the outdoors and enjoys spending time hiking, fly fishing and paddling the wilderness. He’s excited to join YPAC, and to use his skills and talents to help protect wild places like the Boundary Waters.


Program Coordinator & Instructor, Urban Boatbuilders

Martha lives in Minneapolis and works at Urban Boatbuilders in St. Paul where she coordinates a job-training program teaching youth to build boats and paddle on Minnesota waterways. As a hands-on learner herself, she enjoys teaching in an experiential way. Navigating muddy portages, cooking in the rain over a fire, and working closely with a group in the woods are her favorite kinds of classrooms.


Guide, White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures
Herpetology Keeper, Chicago Zoological Society Brookfield Zoo

Kahsha grew up deep in the woods. Once she mastered the basics of standing and holding on, the next logical step was to do both… on the back of a dogsled. She became an avid dogsledder. As a musher, she is fortunate enough to enjoy the Boundary Waters Wilderness in the winter months as well. Kahsha is a herpetologist by trade but studies the behaviors of all animalia. She has spent the past few years honing her “herping” skills working with everything from endangered frogs from panama, crocodilians, constrictors, and tortoises, but she would never be shy to admit her true passion: snakes. She looks forward to working with YPAC to help protect this wilderness and encourage others to get out and enjoy the Boundary Waters in whatever capacity they enjoy most.


Marketing & Communications Associate, Mississippi Park Connection

Alora is a marketing communications professional working in the nonprofit sector. After completing her undergrad at Metro State’s College of Management she took a position with local nonprofit Mississippi Park Connection, which deepened her affinity for public lands and particularly national parks. When she’s not working you can find her on the trail with her dog, volunteering with national nonprofit Outdoor Afro, and sometimes on Twitter.


Research Assistant, National Parks Service St. Anthony Lock and Dam Intern, Confluence Landscape Architecture & Urban Design

Originally from the White Mountains of New Hampshire, being outside has always been a large part of Aubrey’s life. This love of the outdoors culminated in a double major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art at St. Olaf College. After some career exploration and a term-of-service with Americorps, she decided to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture. Aubrey is now in her second year of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Minnesota where she spends time thinking about the intersection of environmental health, social considerations, and design. Aubrey is a big fan of dogs, Nutella, wool socks and joining the first YPAC Cohort with the Friends.


Program Manager, Longfellow Community Council

Ashleigh is eager to join the YPAC as a member of the 2017/2018 cohort. Having grown up on the northern plains of her home state of Montana, Ashleigh migrated to Minnesota to complete a B.A. in Environmental Studies at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, graduating in 2015. After graduation, Ashleigh pursued a 15-month internship in Minnesota city government administration before finding her way to Minneapolis, where she now lives and works as program manager at the Longfellow Community Council. Ashleigh’s passions include community organization, politics, and sustainability. In her spare time, she enjoys visits with friends and family, biking the Minneapolis trail system, drinking too much coffee, and dreaming about her next outdoor adventure.


Naturalist, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center

After growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Henry recently graduated from Macalester College with a degree in environmental studies. He currently works as a naturalist at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in SE Minnesota. In his free time, Henry enjoys reading, canoeing, Green Bay Packers football and pretty much anything outside.