Kirk Acharya | Program Coordinator
Kirk is originally from Charlevoix, now part of the area he serves with CAKE CISMA. Before joining as Coordinator in 2020, Kirk worked as a research fellow for Rocky Mountain National Park looking at visitor impacts on natural areas. He graduated from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability with a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology, focused on the interactions between trees in Michigan forests. Kirk is very passionate about ecosystem restoration and public engagement through community science.
When not thinking about ecology, Kirk enjoys any human-powered adventure from biking, to running, climbing, paddling, and cross-country skiing. He also loves cooking and dabbling in watercolors or pottery.
Ed DeRosha | Field Crew Leader
Ed is life-long resident of northern Michigan, a devoted dad and an environmental advocate. He earned degrees in advertising and social science/education at MSU and, after many years, resumed his formal education in preparation to work for environmental concerns by earning a bachelors in freshwater science at Western Michigan University’s remote program at the Northwestern Michigan College campus in Traverse City. A rewarding summer internship with the Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association further stimulated his passion for protecting the unique watershed of this area. Ed lives on Skegemog Point, where he enjoys cooking, writing bad poetry, and viewing wildlife from his house and kayak.
Cindy Mom | Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Technician
Cindy is from southeast Michigan, but knows this part of the mitten from her nine years on the stewardship staff at Little Traverse Conservancy. Since 2013, she’s lived in a tiny coastal Alaskan town called Seldovia, and has worked a variety of seasonal jobs, using them as an opportunity to explore remote areas of Alaska. Her favorite places include seabirds, shorebirds, tundra and ocean environments, and islands (basically anyplace hard to get to and with really bad weather). One of her more recent gigs was as an Invasive Plants Technician for Kenai Peninsula CISMA, so working for CAKE CISMA seems pretty natural. Cindy enjoys birding, botanizing, vegetable gardening, backcountry skiing, reading and writing, and messing around in boats.