They’ve been trained on every aspect of the complicated and multi-layered job of working the outdoor beat in Wisconsin as a conservation warden. They’ve learned how to be a valuable partner to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. They’ve learned how to protect the natural resources and serve the people of Wisconsin. Now they are there are out in the field doing the job.

And after several months of classroom and field experience, the 11 members of the Class of 2012 Recruit Wardens are ready to wear the badge of conservation warden and go to work on their own protecting the public and the natural resources.

“We’re very happy to be able to station these very competent and dedicated people in communities in Wisconsin. They will be filling some critical vacant stations in state” Chief Warden Randy Stark says.

Below are some quick introductions of the 11 new wardens who will be working in different areas around the state. While the new wardens are assigned to a specific station, it is not uncommon for wardens to travel to other areas to work on special assignments with colleagues and other law enforcement agencies.

Those assigned to stations in the southern Wisconsin are:

Racine – Isaac Kruse: Native of Ellsworth, Wis. Earned his bachelor degree in ecology and environmental biology at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Previously worked as an environmental intern at Xcel Energy in Minneapolis, Minn.

South Milwaukee – Kaitlin Kernosky: Native of Wausau, Wis. Graduate of St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn., with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice. Served as a state DNR deputy conservation warden – water guard out of the Wisconsin Rapids office.

Kenosha – John Sinclair: Raised in Kenosha, Wis. Studied journalism, communication arts and criminal justice at UW-Madison. Served as alumni relations director for the UW-Madison Wisconsin Union.

Monroe – Ryan Caputo: Native of McFarland, Wis. Graduate of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in forest management and environmental law enforcement. Worked as a deputy sheriff for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.

Delavan – Mike Katzenberg: Native of Lake Geneva, Wis. Completed degree in business marketing, communications and graphic design at Carroll College in Waukesha. Served last past years as a deputy conservation warden in the DNR Southeast Region in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.

Those assigned to stations in eastern Wisconsin are:

Green Bay East – Cara Kamke: From New London, Wis. Earned her bachelor of science degree in biology with a minor in environmental education at Northland College. Worked as a DNR wildlife technician at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg.

Marinette (Marine Unit) – Jeff Lautenslager: Native of Green Bay, Wis. Graduate of Northern Michigan University with a bachelor of science in environmental conservation and criminal justice. Previously worked as a conservation officer in South Dakota.

Port Washington – Tony Young: From Milwaukee. Graduated in December of 2009 from Northland College with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources. His previous work experience includes doing game promotions for the Milwaukee Brewers and working as a wilderness ranger in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota for the U.S. Forest Service.

Kewaunee – Kyle Lynch: Native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Earned his associate degree in parks and natural resources from the Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. He will receive his bachelor degree in resource management law enforcement from the UW-Stevens Point in May. Served as a limited-term employee park ranger at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo.

Those assigned to stations in the north and west are:

Crivitz – Tim Werner: Native of Monroe, Mich. Earned his degree in natural resources – fish and wildlife ecology from Northland College in Ashland. Served as a state deputy conservation warden – water guard.

Black River Falls – Kurt Haas: From Westboro, Wis. Completed his bachelor degree in general resource management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Worked as a recreation officer and sheriff’s deputy for five years for Jackson County.

Image courtesy Wisconsin DNR

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