The Board of Directors leads the Boise River Enhancement Network in achieving its mission to serve as a network of watershed stakeholders and promote the ecological enhancement of the Boise River through public education and by providing coordination, planning, and scientific resources.

BREN Board Members

2019-2020 BREN Board members: Tamsen Binggeli, Sean Finn, Darryl Kuhrt, Maria Minicucci, Kathy Peter, Derek Risso, and William Whelan.

Tamsen Binggeli

Tamsen serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors and has been involved with BREN since its inception. She helped research and author the Boise River Enhancement Plan, and has worked to guide planning efforts, facilitate collaboration, perform outreach and identify opportunities for enhancement along the Boise River.

Tamsen works as an Environmental Planner for T-O Engineers in Meridian. She has a master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and has experience working in a variety of ecological systems, with a focus on riverine‐riparian and wetland ecology.

Sean Finn

Sean is a Founding Member of BREN and serves as Secretary on the Board. He works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Science Coordinator of the Region 6 Science Applications program. Sean’s background is in wildlife biology and landscape ecology; he primarily works to understand disturbance regime effects on at-risk wildlife populations and ecosystem function and to develop adaptive management strategies. Sean loves the Boise River and all it’s components, including Treasure Valley residents who use and cherish the River. The Boise River corridor is a designated Important Bird Area and the perfect place to bring together two passions, bird watching and native plant propagation and restoration. Sean co-leads the Treasure Valley Native Plant Network whose goal is to engage the community in growing and caring for native plants for strategic, durable restoration of ecological function along the river and throughout the valley.

Maria Minicucci

Having grown up in a small town on the banks of the Charles River, Maria understands what a river can mean to a town, a city, a region, and beyond. Maria has a background in the sciences (B.S. in biology), has earned a M.P.A., and has worked in government agencies during her time in Idaho. She is interested in influencing our systems- social, financial, governmental, scientific – to create positive impacts in our communities. Maria is passionate about the Boise River and believes BREN is the best organization in our community to provide leadership and coordination in the efforts to restore its ecological health.

Kathy Peter

Kathy currently serves as the President of the BREN Board of Directors. Kathy retired in 2009 from the U.S. Geological Survey after 34 years of service as a hydrologist and manager. Since her retirement Kathy has been a member of the board of the Idaho Section of the American Water Resources Association and volunteered with BREN and several non-profits in the Valley.

Kathy is married to Fred S. Peter, Jr. and they have two grown sons and daughter-in-laws (Keith, Kristen, Chris, and Jess) and three grandsons.

Derek Risso

Derek is the principal scientist at Ecosystem Sciences with diverse experience and a wide skill set suited for applications in aquatic and terrestrial ecology. Derek has managed and implemented several large-scale river restoration projects, and his work includes watershed assessments, aquatic and riparian habitat evaluations, habitat modeling, wetland science, restoration ecology, and wildlife studies. Derek was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Fellowship at Oregon State University where he received his master’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife.

As a member and participant in the BREN process from its initiation, Derek has a vested interest in the success of the Boise River Enhancement Network. He currently serves as the Vice President of the BREN Board of Directors.

William Whelan

Will is the executive director of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts. He joined the Coalition in January 2019 after a more than 30-year career as a conservationist and natural resources lawyer in Idaho. Before ICOLT, Will worked for nearly twenty years with The Nature Conservancy, where he led the Idaho Chapter’s public policy and advocacy work. Will started his career with the Idaho Attorney General s Office, specializing in salmon, energy and water issues. In his spare time, he also taught courses in environmental law and policy at Boise State University. Will has degrees from Yale University and University of Oregon School of Law. He likes to spend as much as time he can exploring Idaho’s backcountry and wild rivers. He is married to Mary Beth Whitaker and lives in Boise.