Board of Directors

Michael Mullen

2017 AWWA 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.


Michael Freeman

2017 AWWA Vice Present

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 BS 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. He began to monitor waterways as an AWW Citizen Monitor in 2009 and later helped to implement the Mill Creek and Parkerson Mill Creek Watershed Management Plans as a stakeholder, monitor and volunteer organizer. Since then Michael has become very active in water quality initiatives with the Alabama Water Watch, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Mobile Baykeeper, Coosa and Apalachicola Riverkeepers along with various other water related and public service organizations. In 2014 Michael reentered into the world of competitive bass angling where he uses his talents to promote organizations that protect Alabama waterways. Michael received an award from the Auburn University Office of Sustainability in 2016 for his work in areas related to waterways and the environment. His love for the Gulf of Mexico is well known and you can find him on a beach from Dauphin Island to St. Georges Island on any given weekend when he’s not on the water trying to haul in a winning sack of bass or monitoring a waterbody. He has a wife Amy and two daughters Rebecca and Julie.


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


Bill has been on the faculty of the AU Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures since 1988. He is the co-founder of Alabama Water Watch.





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.

Whitney Henson

Board Member

Whitney first started monitoring with Alabama Water Watch in 2014 and became a dedicated citizen volunteer trainer just a year later. She graduated summa cum laude from Jacksonville State University with a B.S. in Geography in 2015 and a M.S. in Emergency Management in 2017. She helped establish the AWW monitoring group the Jacksonville River Monitors and currently works as a Program Specialist at the NOAA National Water Center. As a specialist in emergency management, Whitney leads the Service Innovation and Partnership Division (SIPD)’s efforts to identify, develop, and test datasets and water resources intelligence provided from the National Water Center to regional outlets, such as River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices, to support their provision of impact-based decision support services to core partners. Whitney also enjoys studying meteorology in her spare time. She has been a certified storm spotter since 2011.


Stephen Tsikalas 

Board Member

Dr. Stephen Tsikalas is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Jacksonville State University where he teaches classes in physical and environmental geography, focusing on atmospheric patterns and processes. Working with his students and colleagues, he has helped establish the Jacksonville River Monitors and conducts monthly monitoring. Stephen has been an active volunteer monitors since 2014 and an AWW Trainer for Water Chemistry and Bacteriological sampling since 2015.