IRWP Staff

Nicole Hardiman, Executive Director

Nicole joined IRWP in September 2016, following retirement of Dr. Delia Haak. Nicole is a Northwest Arkansas native and a 4th generation University of Arkansas graduate. She holds a Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for conservation or sustainability-related organizations for nearly ten years. Nicole's first experience in the water quality world was as a data analyst for Arkansas Water Resources Center, where she worked on the Upper Illinois River Watershed Management Plan. Following that, she worked as a community outreach consultant for the Northwest Arkansas Council, with the goal of building local support for the Beaver Lake Watershed Management Plan and formation of the Beaver Watershed Alliance. Most recently, Nicole worked for The Sustainability Consortium at the University of Arkansas, researching consumer product sustainability in the agriculture and forestry industries. Nicole lives in Bentonville with her husband, two crazy kids, and two lazy dogs. Nicole enjoys good food, hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with family. She can be reached at or by phone at 479-422-1014. 


Stephanie Burchfield, Project Manager

Stephanie joined IRWP in February 2017. She grew up on Springdale, Arkansas and attended the University of Centeral Arkansas in Conway. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science. In college, Stephanie was a Biological Technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with endangered species permitting. After college, she moved to Little Rock and worked for the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in the Engineering Section under the Source Water Protection Program for four years. At ADH, she worked with drinking water operators around the state to improve their Source Water and Wellhead Protection Programs. She was also a major planning contributor to the first Arkansas Forests and Drinking Water Forum. Stephanie is happy to be back in Northwest Arkansas and lives in Springdale. She enjoys hiking, paddle sports, travelling, and going to the theater. Stephanie can be reached at or by phone at 479-215-6623. 









Casey Rector, Program Manager

Casey joined IRWP in January 2018. He grew up on the banks of Lake Cumberland near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. He holds a B.S. in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science, and a M.S. in Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science, both from the University of Arkansas. While obtaining his M.S. degree, he led several Environmental Science labs each semester. He and his spouse, with their two beagle mixes, live in Fayetteville. Casey is thrilled to be working with IRWP, and looks forward to helping maintain and improve the water quality of our beautiful Northwest Arkansas home for future generations. Casey can be reached at or by phone at 479-616-3299. 


Desiree Main, Facility Administrator

Desiree joined IRWP in January 2017 as the Facility Administrator. Before joining IRWP, Desiree worked for 8 years for a diverse range of organizations, including retail customer service, co-director of Caterpillar Clubhouse, Coleman's Childrens Academy, and office manager for Lowell Electric. Excited about IRWP and its possibilities, Desiree provides educational services for children, solicits and coordinates donations, and assists with day-to-day operations of IRWP. As a nature enthusiast, Desiree also supports positive economic growth in our community. Desiree lives in Lowell, AR and enjoys hiking, kayaking, live music, and spending valued time with her daughter. To contact Desiree, please email or she can be reached by phone at 479-531-7211.