Ken Buchholz, Center Director, Audubon Center at Riverlands
Ken was appointed Center Director in May 2016. He graduated from Park University with a B.A. in Political Science. He has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector including senior level development positions with the Missouri offices of The Nature Conservancy and Audubon. Ken was instrumental in the early development of the Audubon Center at Riverlands and Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center. Prior to his return to Audubon, he served as Director of Development at the Forsyth School in St. Louis for eight years where his efforts lead to significant campus expansion and endowment growth. He is an avid gardener and enthusiastic birder. He also enjoys basketball, running, biking and exercising. Ken and his wife Dale, their two children Sam and Caroline, and several pets reside in University City.
Emily Connor, Educator, Audubon Center at Riverlands:
Emily earned her BS from the University of Tampa and studied Environmental Science and Marine Science-Biology where she performed ecological and inorganic chemistry research. Growing up, Emily always seemed to find her way to water, fishing in Oklahoma streams and rivers with family, swimming and turning over rocks on the coast, and noticing all the wildlife that was tied to it. Fast forward several years, she spent much time in STL as a teen where she discovered her love for environmental education while volunteering as a student educator at the Saint Louis Zoo as well as interning at the World Aquarium. Her experiences in nature during her youth is what contributed to her passion for working in the natural world. She enjoys facilitating nature-based experiential learning with diverse groups in our region. She also hopes to contribute to environmental justice in urban areas through environmental education. Emily began at the Audubon Center at Riverlands as an Education Intern and now serves as a full time Educator focusing on the Flight Crew Summer Job Corps, RiverVision and Education/Tour experiences for the past 3 years. Her hobbies include pottery, camping, fly fishing, and birding. She also enjoys spending time exploring with her two dogs, Chance and Callie; one of their favorite hiking trails is on Ellis Island, of course!
Tara Hohman, Conservation Science Associate, Audubon Upper Mississippi Flyway:
Tara Hohman, a native Texan, earned her MS in environmental science and policy at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and her BS in wildlife biology at Texas State University – San Marcos. Her passion for birds and conservation began with a field technician job surveying Black rails off the Texas coast. Throughout her academic career she’s gained experience doing point count surveys, mist netting as well as other avian monitoring techniques for a suite of different species, including Golden-cheeked warblers, Black-capped Vireos, Piping Plovers, and Black-crested Titmouse to name a few. Tara was a co-founder of the first Audubon campus chapter in the nation and enjoys sharing birds with others. Her favorite group of birds to study are wetland species, but she highly enjoys all water-based ecosystems. In her spare time, Tara enjoys being outdoors, birding, art, and searching around thrift and vintage stores.
John McGrath, Weekend Visitor Assistant, Audubon Center at Riverlands:
John graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Biology; he is currently working on his dissertation for an EdD in Science Education also from UMSL. John has worked as a field biologist for the Universities of Missouri Columbia & St. Louis and the Missouri Department of Conservation. John has also worked as a burn crew member for the Nature Conservancy and as a high school science instructor for the St. Louis Public Schools. Currently John is an adjunct professor at both the University of Missouri – St. Louis and Harris Stowe State University. When not working, John can often be found canoeing the numerous rivers of Missouri.
Rachael Heaton, Weekend Visitor Assistant, Audubon Center at Riverlands:
Rachael graduated from Southern Illinois Univerity Edwardsville with a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environment with a specialization in wildlife. She became interested in wildlife and the outdoors at a young age by observing animals in her backyard in Collinsville, IL. Growing up she had many experiences including volunteering and interning at different wildlife organizations such as the Wildlife Rescue Center in Ballwin, MO; Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, MO; and TreeHouse Wildlife Center in Dow, IL. She also has interned abroad in South Africa where she studied the behavior of large African wildlife and helped treat sick animals under the guidance of a wildlife veterinarian. Rachael's professional background includes seven years of full time work in wildlife rehabilitation at TreeHouse Wildlife Center and avian survey work for Audubon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At the Audubon center, Rachael can be seen on weekends greeting and assisting visitors. She enjoys many activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, biking, and martial arts.