Speaker Biographies for NE Air Trainings

Speaker Biographies

Dave Christensen is the Section Supervisor for the Air Quality Operating Permit (OP) Section. Mr. Christensen has worked in the environmental field since 1983, working in the private sector until September 2009 when he joined the Agency.  Mr. Christensen is currently the Air Program Section Supervisor for the OP Section. Since Mr. Christensen joined NDEE, he was also part of the Air Quality Compliance Team for 5 years before his current position as the Section Supervisor for OP Section. Mr. Christensen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Kearney State College.

Ryan Green is an Environmental Specialist within the Permitting and Engineering Division at the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.  Mr. Green has a background in chemical engineering, and has worked for NDEE for 11 years – the first seven years as the Department’s Small Business Compliance Assistance Coordinator, and the last four in the Air Operating Permit program.  His work also includes the regulatory reform efforts for Nebraska’s air quality regulations.

Phillip Halsted – Graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Environmental Science in 2014. He then worked for six years in environmental consulting in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas before starting at NDEE in October 2020. Phillip is the in Air Compliance Section. He inspects facilities with air quality permits, investigates air-related complaints, and assists with surface water sampling. His territory is the western half of the state as he his based out of the North Platte Field Office. Phillip became a father in May and is relishing his role as a “girl-dad”.

Sam Hansen – Construction Permit Engineer for the air quality program for the past 3 years.  Sam graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biosystems Engineering, and again from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2019 with a master’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering.  Sam has been a licensed Professional Environmental Engineer in the State of Nebraska earlier this year.  In his free time, Sam likes going on hikes and playing golf, volleyball, ping pong, tennis, pickleball, and frisbee golf.

Kyle Morton has worked at the Department in various roles since 2014, from performance testing to Title V compliance inspections. He has been a permit writer with the Air Operating Permit Section since last year.

Ambrosia Nissen – Graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. After graduation Ambrosia worked as a Corrections Officer for the Nebraska Department of Corrections and the Crete Police Department as a Community Service Officer. She joined the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy in November of 2020 in the Air Compliance Section as an inspector. Mrs. Nissen grew up in Chicago and moved to Nebraska in 2016 to attend college. Ambrosia is an avid animal lover. She lives on a few acres with her husband, daughter, multiple chickens, dogs, and cats. As a family they love spending evenings sitting on the deck playing fetch with their dogs and reading with their daughter.

Matt TurcoGraduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Science. He has been with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy since 2013 and first worked in the air program in the Operating Permits program from 2015 to 2021. Since April of 2021, he has served as the Air Compliance Section Supervisor. He lives in Omaha with his wife Diana and their two children, Leo (3) and Emilia (18 mo). Matt enjoys outdoor activities, Husker sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Dylan Webbert – Construction Permit engineer for the air quality program for the past 3 years.  Webbert holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Dylan has worked in the air quality construction permit program since his graduation in 2018.

Pati West is the Section Supervisor for the  Air Quality Construction Permit (CP) Section. Mrs. West has experience in both public and private sectors in multi media within the Environmental field. Ms. West has been the Section Supervisor for the CP Section since March 2021. Mrs. West graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Tracy Wharton is an Environmental Specialist in NDEE’s Legal Division, and has been with the agency since 2016.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and has over 20 years of experience in environmental and public health.  Tracy maintains Nebraska’s State Implementation Plans for National Ambient Air Quality Standards and air quality regulations in Title 129.