Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Peer Support Workers of the Midcontinent Region

The Peer Support Worker Program was created to promote awareness and provide outreach and education on topics and policies related to anti-harassment, discrimination, biases, and scientific integrity, and is led by the USGS Civility and Inclusion Council. For more information, please contact the Civility and Inclusion Council Chair (Tina Roberts-Ashby).

USGS Midcontinent Region

Indiana  |  North Dakota  |  Ohio  |  South Dakota  |  Wisconsin



     Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center—Indianapolis, IN

          Madelyn "Maddie" Messner, Hydrologic Technician,, 317-697-0009
Maddie became a Peer Support Worker in January 2020 for the Indianapolis office of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana WSC. She received her B.S. in Biology from John Carroll University and then spent some time as an Environmental Educator with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In order to pursue her passion of aquatic ecology she joined the lab of Dr. Tom Raffel at Oakland University and completed a Master’s degree in biology exploring the environmental drivers of freshwater parasites in Northern Michigan inland lakes. Maddie worked as a seasonal Hydrologic Technician for the BLM in Grants Pass, OR and as a seasonal Wildlife Technician for the US Forest Service in the Black Hills of Wyoming as she pursued a career in federal service. She found her permanent federal home with the USGS and is very excited to bring her diverse background and positive outlook to her peers!


North Dakota

     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center – Jamestown, ND

          Nancy Pranke, Budget Analyst,, 701-253-5554
I have been with the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center as their Budget Analyst since January of 2017. Before I came to USGS I worked for and was a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard. I joined when I was 17 years old, when there were very few women in the military. This gave me many opportunities to grow, learn, and serve in many roles. During my military service I have been the first female in every Full-time Technician Position that I’ve held as well as the first female in every Leadership position that I’ve held. The position that I am the proudest of was being selected as the First Sargeant (1SG) of the Camp Grafton Training Center. There had been no other 1SGs prior to me, male or female. 

Even though I am no longer in the military, people still come to me for help because of my experience as a Victim Advocate for Sexual Assault or as a Suicide Intervention Officer. I’m always available for these individuals. Currently I am a Board Member for the Safe Shelter in Jamestown, ND. I chose to be a PSW because I’ve had experience helping people through very difficult situations, both men and women. I listen without judgement and I’m confidential to a fault. 



     Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center—Columbus, OH

          Dayle Hoefling, Physical Scientist,, 502-791-3247
If you have found yourself here, you might be checking out profiles to select a PSW to contact. Here is a bit more about me other than my Physical Scientist side. I grew up in Florida and Tennessee. After college I lived in Kentucky and currently reside in Columbus, Ohio. I have one brother that is 5.5 years younger than me. Growing up I played softball starting at the age of 5. My mom is a teacher, and my dad works in IT. If you are a fan of personality tests, I am an ISTJ-T. While in college I volunteered and interned with the Tennessee Aquarium for six years. My favorite animal is the Giant Pacific Octopus. Various positions I have include being a Resident Assistant in campus housing, a Graduate Assistant in charge of 27 undergraduates, a grocery store worker, an IT worker, and a daycare teacher. This feels a little all over the place, but if something resonates with you, I hope you feel comfortable enough to contact me! 


South Dakota

     Dakota Water Science Center—Rapid City, SD

          Kammy Durham, Hydrologic Technician,, 605-394-3228
I spend most of my time at work running and maintaining stream gages in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. I definitely enjoy serving as our center's Peer Support Worker and doing fun outreach activities, these things allow me to show my extrovert side while also benefitting my center and bureau. I believe Peer Support Workers are a huge benefit to the USGS, helping with employee retention and happiness by promoting and establishing a positive, safe, and inclusive workplace environment.



     Upper Midwest Water Science Center—Middleton, WI  

          Laura DeCicco, Civil Engineer,, (608) 821-3857 

          Will Rivard, Budget Analyst,, 256-714-0006
Will became a Peer Support Worker in April 2021 for the Middleton, WI office of the Upper Midwest Water Science Center. He obtained a Secondary Education degree and Exercise minor from Auburn University. Prior to joining USGS, he spent time as a high school teacher and a personal trainer. He sees the Peer Supporter role as a vital element in promoting a safe, positive, and healthy work environment for all employees. Will enjoys working in Administration as he gets to help play a support role with all of the exciting projects that are going on at the Center. In addition to his administrative duties, Will also serves on the Upper Midwest Water Science Center Diversity and Inclusion Council. Outside of work he loves spending as much time as he can outdoors with his family.


     Integrated Information Dissemination Division—Middleton, WI

          Jake Zwart, Data Scientist,, 608-821-3897
Jake Zwart is a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow in the Data Science Branch of the Integrated Information Dissemination Division. Jake's research is aimed at describing aquatic biogeochemical processes and predicting how these processes may respond to future global change. Currently, Jake's research focuses on producing short-term forecasts of lake and stream temperature at regional scales. Outside of his work at USGS, Jake helps lead a Wikipedia editing group that aims to iKmprove the quality and quantity of free aquatic information.