Board of Directors

Michael Freeman

2019 AWWA President 

Michael has served as an Environmental Health and Safety Professional for Auburn University since 2006 where he deals with environmental compliance, response and mitigation. He grew up playing in the creeks, rivers, and lakes of upstate South Carolina before serving in the US Army. Michael went back to South Carolina to work in parks and recreation, public safety, and human health after finishing college at Auburn University, receiving a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration. In 2008 Michael entered into the US Coast Guard Auxiliary as an environmental specialist working on projects related to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and later responding to issues related to Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Michael. He began to monitor waterways as an AWW Citizen Monitor in 2009 and late helped implement the Mill Creek and Parkerson Mill Creek Watershed Management plans as a stakeholder, monitor, and volunteer organizer. He currently serves on the Alabama Rivers Alliance Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for the Coosa Riverkeeper.

Michael Mullen

2019 AWWA Vice President

Holmes Creek 2013

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.

Patti Hurley


PattiPatti 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.

Mona Dominguez

AWW Program Liaison 


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.

James Lowery 

Board Member 

James Lowery photo by Beth Young

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 it is his most favorite place on Earth.

Bill Deutsch

Board Member

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 book, Alabama Rivers, A Celebration and Challenge that blends the human and natural history of our aquatic heritage.


Francine Hutchinson

Board Member

Francine%2c BOD

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.

Mike Shelton

Board Member