The Alabama Water Watch (AWW) Association is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that works to support the work of the AWW Program and its volunteers. It is led by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Hana Berres has spent the last 24 years implementing and facilitating a variety of community outreach programs that address stormwater polluted runoff. Her programs engage residents of all ages and encourage them to become involved in their communities to achieve cleaner waterways. She is a Master Gardener (2018) and received her Certificate in Native Plant Studies in 2019. She is an active AWW trainer and has been affiliated with AWW for over two decades.
She is an active gardener with a love native plants. She uses her yard to experiment with common stormwater practices to increase infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff. She is always trying new techniques to prevent the use of chemicals. She currently has over 70 varieties of native plants in her yard and expands her collection annually.
Brian S. Burnes has been studying microbial ecology and teaching biology for over 20 years. He began his academic career at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in Applied Biology. He served as the Senior Microbiologist in the effort to establish the first regional environmental impact statement for Atlanta, Georgia. Moving to the greener pastures of Alabama, he became a Professor of Biology, first at Judson College in Marion, AL, then at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. In these capacities, he has furthered infectious disease prevention by directing numerous water quality monitoring and microbial source-tracking projects throughout Alabama. He now teaches at the Mississippi School for Math and Science and lives in Livingston, Alabama in a 117 year-old house with his wife and History professor Valerie and a variety of rescued dogs.
Valerie Pope Burnes
A native of Talladega, Valerie Pope Burnes completed her undergraduate degree from Judson College, and a PhD in History from Auburn University. Burnes served as the 2019 president of the Alabama Historical Association, and is the author of “Visions of the Black Belt: A Cultural Survey of the Heart of Alabama”, published by the University of Alabama Press. While living in Marion, Burnes served as president of the Perry County Historical Society, and spent a lot of time on the Lower Cahaba River with her husband, Brian. Since 2008, the Burnes have lived in Livingston, AL, and have done several excursions up and down the Tombigbee. Valerie is currently president of the Sumter County Historical Society and the Epes BBQ Club. She was recently appointed Executive Secretary of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.
Mona is the Monitor Coordinator for the AWW Program. She has worked at AWW for nearly seven years and is thankful for the opportunity to work with citizens to improve the water quality of her beautiful home state, Alabama. She has a Master’s Degree in Community Planning from Auburn University and has several years’ experience working with environmental conservation and education with domestic and international projects.
Dana Herren is passionate about water resources, geology, and teaching kids through hands-on activities. She is a dedicated AWW Volunteer Trainer and Monitor, and an active member of the Logan Martin Lake Protection Association.
Dana first started monitoring with AWW in 2016 with the Jacksonville River Monitors and started the process to become a Volunteer Trainer in Spring 2018. She graduated from Jacksonville State University in Spring 2018 with a B.S. in Geography.
Patti earned a Masters in Secondary Education Ecology, Auburn University at Montgomery, and a B.S. Environmental Biology, Auburn University at Montgomery. She works in the Nonpoint Source Division (NPS). She has also helped to facilitate the organization of the Alabama Water Watch Program to educate citizens about water quality and NPS prevention.
Francine Hutchinson has served as an Environmental Educator and Biology Teacher since 1992, working at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, several local schools, and as one of the “old original” JSU Field School Instructors. A triple-graduate of JSU culminating in a Biology Masters’, Ms. Hutchinson is also a Nationally Board Certified Teacher/Biology, retired. She has served on Board of Directors of Alabama Water Watch Association and the Alabama Environmental Council. She has been active in community environmental issues such as nerve gas incineration, recycling, the Chief Ladiga Trail, and the Choccoloco Creek Watershed Alliance Board. She and her husband Bruce led the successful campaign for Alabama’s third wilderness area, the Dugger Mountain Wilderness, during the 1990’s. She is currently working part-time at the Jacksonville State University Herbarium as Assistant Curator and continues to teach JSU Field School classes. She and her husband share a blended family of 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They live near the borderlands of the Talladega National Forest on a 40-acre mostly-nature-preserve with 3 rescue dogs, a cat, and 8 chickens.
James is retired from an administrative position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and considers himself an “Amateur Scientist.” He is involved in environmental education and is a member of eight environmental and science-related Boards of Directors and Advisory Councils, serving as an officer on four of the Boards. He gives presentations concerning constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, creeks and streams he has walked, Antarctica, and the Netherlands. He conducts guided tours of the Wetumpka (Alabama) Impact Crater (Astrobleme). He enjoys paddling whitewater rivers as a member of the Birmingham Canoe Club. James has traveled to Antarctica three times and states that i
James Lowery is retired from an administrative position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and considers himself an “Amateur Scientist.”
He is involved in environmental education and is a member of twelve Boards of Directors, Advisory Councils, and Commissions including ones related to environmental education, water quality monitoring, river protection, science and science research, historic railroads, an impact crater, and a retiree association. He serves as an officer on five of the Boards.
He gives presentations concerning constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, creeks and streams he has walked, the Historic Birmingham Mineral Railroad, the Wetumpka (Alabama) Impact Crater, the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, Antarctica, and the Netherlands. He conducts guided tours of the Wetumpka (Alabama) Impact Crater (Astrobleme) as well as interpretive guided tours of Shades Creek and local historic railroad sites.
He enjoys being on local streams and rivers as a member of the Friends of Shades Creek, the Birmingham Canoe Club, and other river organizations; viewing the daytime and nighttime sky as a member of the Birmingham Astronomical Society; and hunting fossils as a member of the Alabama Paleontological Society.
James has traveled to Antarctica six times and states that it is his most favorite place on Earth. He also has traveled on the waters of southeast Alaska assisting with whale acoustics research.
Anne is a retired Clinical Laboratory Director who later worked as project manager and director of education and operations for a large consulting firm. She has been an active AWW Volunteer Monitor since 2017 with certifications in Chemistry, Bacteriology and Biomonitoring. As such, she performs monthly testing at Turkey Creek as it enters the Nature Preserve in Pinson, Alabama. In 2020 she completed the Alabama Watershed Steward program.
Anne spends as much time as possible in the outdoors hiking, biking and canoeing. She is actively involved in Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, leading her hiking club in building the Thompson Trace and Hanby Hollow hiking trails. She has also introduced orienteering to users by helping build a basic orienteering permanent course and offering a Beginner Orienteering Class each fall. She leads First Sunday Hikes and assists with clean-up days and other activities . She is currently Treasurer of the Friends group.
Tom received his BS in Environmental Health Science from the University of Georgia. He worked as an environmental specialist with the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources for 7 years before working at Auburn University for the past 20 years. He serves as the Environmental Health & Safety Program Manager for the AU Department of Risk Management & Safety. In this capacity, he serves as a lead administrator in the development and maintenance of programs designed to address AU’s environmental (land/air/water) compliance responsibilities as well as the lead for AU’s Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). The SWMP involves working with a broad stakeholder set including visitors to campus, students, faculty, staff, and local, state, and federal regulatory agencies. He is also a founding board member of the Alabama Stormwater Association (ASA). In recent years, his work on AU’s campus led him to working closely with the Alabama Water Watch Program.
Stephen Morros has been an active member of Smith Lake Environmental Preservation Committee (SLEPC) since 2005 and has been a water monitor for SLEPC since 2006. He has held the offices of Secretary and VP for SLEPC. He is the AWW-certified Trainer of Water Monitors for Smith Lake and north/central Alabama and trains both Bacteriological and Chemistry monitoring. He writes the bi-annual SLEPC newsletters, designed the new SLEPC brochure, designed and manages the SLEPC website, and conducts monthly water testing on Ryan Creek. He has served on various boards and committees throughout his collegiate and professional life and is very passionate about his work with SLEPC and protecting the quality and clarity of Smith Lake for generations to come.
Michael Mullen has been involved in environmental advocacy in Alabama since the early 1980’s when he was active in the Sierra Club working on wilderness expansion and on hazardous waste issues. While under contract with ADEM doing NPS education work including teacher workshops he worked with Patti Hurley and others in the effort to promote volunteer citizen monitoring. He was a founding member of the AWWA and is currently (2015) the AWWA VP. Michael has been an active monitor since just after the start of AWW and currently monitors 54 sites in the Choctawhatchee River basin every other month as part of his work as Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper. He and his wife Alice are committed supporters of Alabama Water Watch.
Dr. Bill Deutsch is an aquatic ecologist, and Research Fellow Emeritus in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences at Auburn University. He co-founded Alabama Water Watch in 1992 and directed the program for 21 years. In his retirement, Bill continues to work part-time with Alabama Water Watch and global Water Watch through the AU Water Resources Center, and with their nonprofit partner organizations, the AWW Association and GWW, Inc. Based on 30 years of traveling around Alabama, studying rivers, and interacting with river-loving folks, he recently published the