Nebraska Master Naturalist Executive Board Election for 2021 – 2022.
Candidates for the following positions:
Board Chair: Andrea Faas Pionners Park Nature Center
Vice Chair: Brice Krohn, Crane Trust
Treasurer: Heidi Swanson, Master Naturalist & Marcia Blome, Master Naturalist
Secretary: Tisha Johnson, Master Natrualist
Partner Representative: Austen Hill Papio Missouri River Natural Resource District
All Master Naturalists (including those in-training) and Program Partners are allowed to vote. The window for voting will be open for two weeks. 12/11/20-12/28/20. please view the candidates biographies and place your vote below.
If you have any questions please let Matt Jones know, firstname.lastname@example.org
2021-2022 Executive Board Candidates and Biographies
Chair: Andrea Fass, Coordinator at Pioneers Park Nature Center. Andrea is running for re-election and is serving as the current executive board chair. She has a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her career started at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue where she was a Naturalist. She later worked at Foothill Horizons Outdoor School and Yosemite Institute both in California. Andrea returned to Nebraska and worked for the Nebraska Game and Parks as an Outdoor Education Specialist. She is married, has two young children and enjoys gardening, hiking, birding and biking.
Vice Chair: Brice Krohn, President of the Crane Trust. Brice has served as a program partner representative on the Master Naturalist executive board. Brice obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with an emphasis in wildlife management. He worked as a land manager for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for 11 years and gained extensive knowledge and experience conducting prescribed burns, fighting wild land fires, and working risk management in 22 states, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brice is currently the President of the Crane Trust and oversees the daily operations of the complex. At the Crane Trust, the mission is to protect and maintain the physical, hydro-logical, and biological integrity of the Platte River. He has always been a strong proponent for partnerships to effectively collaborate the different creativeness, knowledge, skills, and abilities of all people, groups, and organizations to maintain, protect, and advocate for our resources. He believes the Crane Trust’s location allows a great opportunity to promote Nebraska’s resources, while allowing an opportunity to hold events and showcase partnership work being done throughout the state.
Overall, as a steward of the land, Brice enjoys restoring and preserving a functioning prairie landscape so that his four children, and others can experience the pure beauty and importance of Mother Nature’s role in our lives. He is very impressed with the Master Naturalist Program and foresees a very bright future for the program.
Secretary: Tisha Johnson, Master Naturalist. Tisha is the current executive board secretary and is running for a second term. Inspired by rangers who led us while vacationing at Colorado national parks and educators who taught about owls at Tablerock Lake campgrounds, I started guiding neighbor kids on a nature hike or two when I was 13. Today, I am a certified Interpretive Guide leading thousands of NE students every year through Fontenelle Forest.
I love the beauty and I love the surprises that I find when I’m outdoors. At heart I am a true preservationist, I understand the benefits of restoration but admit I have problems with change, especially when large trees are cut down. My favorite habitats involve water, I have a good understanding of wetlands in particular from my conservation science degree that I earned, but also from an environmental consultant role that I held. Birding is often done near water too, and I have lead several Audubon Youth Birding trips to area lakes. Other than birding I enjoy kayaking and biking around Wehrspann Lake, and scuba and snorkeling in the tropics.
Having sales and marketing experience, I hope to serve this Board by offering creative ideas for new outreach activities, to hunters and fishermen and new residents moving into the Walnut Creek watershed.
Marcia Bloome, Master Naturalist
My love of Nebraska was solidified with my time at Cedar Point Biological Field Station as I completed my degree in Life Science from The University of Nebraska- Lincoln back in the 80’s. Even when I taught high school biology for two years in Kenya with the United States Peace Corps, I often thought of western Nebraska as one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
Spending several years in Houston at a biotech company gave me a deeper understanding of DNA. During that time I began my volunteer work with the Girl Scouts and continued as a leader for seven years. I even worked for the Girl Scout Council for a few years.
As my career evolved, I became a middle school science teacher where I loved all topics to do with biology and especially ecology. Montana State University in Bozeman was able to lure me out state to pursue a Masters in Science Education with field classes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Since completing the Master Naturalist Program in 2018 I have volunteered with Spring Creek Prairie in Denton on the Monarch Monitoring program and helping to impart a love of our state with unsuspecting fourth graders. I also volunteered at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue and consistently with the Raptor Recovery program in Elmwood, NE. In 2019 I was a member of the River City Chapter of NMN as the Moderator.
My hobbies include extensive travel with my fabulous husband, learning French, hiking, yoga, and spending time with my six year old grandson.
Heidi Swanson, Master Naturalist
I got my Bachelor of Science in Biology at Wayne State College. I spent the next few summers doing fieldwork, intending to become a Biologist. During the winter off season, I started volunteering at DeSoto NWR near Blair. I found out talking to people wasn’t that bad, as long as it’s about nature! I helped out with school groups, filled in at the front desk, and for about 6 months was the Environmental Educator. Later I started volunteering at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary near Kearney (spring crane season) and Hitchcock Nature Center (fall hawk watch) across the river in Iowa. I became a Nebraska Master Naturalist in 2017, and met all kinds of interesting and enthusiastic people. Becoming a part of this group is one of the best decisions I’ve made.
My volunteer time caused me to change my career goals from Biologist to something like Park Naturalist or Environmental Educator. I still love learning new things about ecology, plants, and wildlife – but it is very fulfilling to share the discoveries with other people, and to deepen their connection to nature. My last two summers working as a Park Naturalist for Nebraska Game & Parks have been great, and I finally feel like I’ve found my purpose. Being a Nebraska MN helped me get here, and now I want to give back.
General Program Partner Member: Austen Hill, Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Austen has worked with the Nebraska Master Naturalist program in various events and conferences in the past and has seen the positive impacts that the Nebraska Master Naturalists program has on conservation and environmental education in this state. The Papio-Missouri River NRD has benefited from the hard work of Master Naturalists that volunteer their time at the Water Works, Heron Haven, regional conferences, and other events throughout the state. In return, Austen wants to contribute to its growth in the future. Austen is the Education Programs Supervisor for the Papio-Missouri River NRD