Right Person, Right Job

Over our history as an organization, we have been fortunate to attract highly capable individuals to lead the MRWA, which largely explains our reputation for positive environmental impact. Quality leadership has made it possible to achieve tangible results. Our new executive director continues that trend and has already had a positive impact on the organization.

Marty Holtgren received his PHD in Biology from Michigan Technological University in Houghton Michigan in 2014. It is safe to assume he spent a considerable portion of the winter months in Houghton so you know he was serious about his education and willing to sacrifice creature comfort in the name of higher learning.

In addition to outstanding academic credentials, Dr. Holtgren brings real world skills and knowledge gained in a productive career as a fisheries biologist for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Michigan DNR. Marty is one of those individuals fortunate and clever enough to merge a personal passion with the ways and means to support his family.

His life work has focused largely on aquatic species within the Great Lakes basin. He has shown a special concern for Lake Sturgeon, one of the most fascinating residents of the watershed. The high-level goal of much of his research is to ensure a thriving population for generations to come.

A review of the scientific articles Marty has authored or contributed to will serve as testimony to his dedication. A complete list can be found at www.mrwa.org but among the highlights:

1. North American Journal of Fisheries Management – Arctic Grayling in the Manistee River
2. Fisheries Magazine – State and Tribal collaboration in fishery restoration
3. North American Journal of Aquaculture – Streamside-rearing for Lake Sturgeon

Although academic achievement and work experience are obviously important factors, many would say you can most accurately determine the measure of a man by the relationships he has developed along the way. This is what his colleagues have to say:

Robert F Elliott, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
“I’ve known Marty Holtgren for over 15 years and have thoroughly enjoyed working with him on research and restoration projects in the Lake Michigan basin, most involving Lake Sturgeon.
Marty has always shown strong interest and great skill in connecting people and communities with the natural resources we enjoy; providing people with a tangible experience that helps enhance their understanding and commitment to the protection and restoration of aquatic habitats and the species they support. He has a deep commitment to improving the health of our natural resources and to involving people in the process so they too can enjoy the reward of making a meaningful improvement in our natural environment. Marty’s a wonderfully passionate biologist that I look forward to continuing to work with in the years ahead.”

Stephanie Ogren, PhD, Director of Science, Grand Rapids Public Museum | Be curious. 272 Pearl Street NW. Grand Rapids, MI 49504:: grpm.org

Dr. Marty Holtgren is a respected colleague and friend. He will bring a strong work ethic, attention to detail and enthusiasm for working with communities on Natural Resources issues. Marty has always worked to ensure that all perspectives and values are integrated in the projects he focuses on. I was excited to learn that he will be leading the MRWA.

Pat Jarrett, Office Manager, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly.
Marty has been very supportive to all of the staff in the office during this transition period. He is a kind and patient individual with the ability to engage and excite people on natural resource issues. He encourages those around him to reach for new heights and is always there to help if needed.

Feel free to offer our leader your personal best wishes. You can reach him by email at mrwa@ferris.edu.