Staff and Advisory Board

Audubon Staff

Ken Buchholz, Center Director, Audubon Center at Riverlands

Ken took over the helm of the Audubon Center at Riverlands in 2016. As Center Director, he is leading a team of talented staff members, dedicated Advisory Board, committed group of volunteers, and valued collaborators to protect birds and the places they need today and tomorrow. When we create conditions for birds to thrive, we create conditions for people and the planet to thrive, too.

He has over 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector including senior level development positions with the Missouri offices of The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society. 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 led to significant campus expansion and endowment growth. He is an enthusiastic birder and enjoys the outdoors, especially at Riverlands. Ken and his wife Dale have two grown children, and four adopted indoor cats and reside in St. Louis County.

Emily Connor, Education Manager, 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 in 2018 and now serves as our Education Manager. 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 Manager, 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.

Ashley Lockwood, Educator, Audubon Center at Riverlands:

Ashley grew up in Michigan where she developed a love of the natural world and science thanks to informal education from museums, nature centers, and even Animal Planet! Ashley went on to complete her Bachelors and Masters of Science in natural history, gaining hands-on experience by traveling the country and volunteering with community-based non-profits while earning her degrees online at Oregon State University.  Her love for environmental education stemmed from working directly with Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, both in central Florida, where teaching became a natural fit and passion.  In her spare time, Ashley loves to do yoga, explore local parks, bake, and watch her favorite TV shows with her two cats, Rumple and Rhaegar!

Jonah Eckels, Education Coordinator, Audubon Center at Riverlands & Little Creek Nature Area:

Jonah Eckels, a Hoosier, graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a B.A. degree in Secondary Education and History. As a kid, he grew up digging for dinosaur bones, watching Zoboomafoo and the Crocodile Hunter, and playing in the mud. His fourth birthday party was in fact “mud” themed and his fifth was “zoo” themed. His time spent working as a summer camp counselor and middle school teacher led him to pursue a career in outdoor education. His favorite part about his job is getting people out into nature and showing them all the cool adventures they can have in their own backyard. His favorite bird is a Purple Martin. In his free time, he loves to go birding, explore new places, and play with his dog, Louie.  

Anna Adams, Senior Center Assistant, Audubon Center at Riverlands

Anna is a Missouri native and proud of her Ozark heritage. She grew up exploring springs, floating our crystal-clear streams, and star gazing most nights along the riverbanks. Some of her favorite birds include osprey, pelicans, and king fishers.

At University of Missouri - Columbia, Anna attended the Trulaske College of Business program and graduated with a BS in Business Administration and a BA in International Relations. Her background in hospitality includes working reservations for Yellowstone National Park's lodging, campgrounds, and tours. She also spent over a decade in condo hotel management, making travel arrangements for guests domestically and internationally.

In 2020, she left her career to care for her family. The past three years have included a lot of time outdoors with her husband and two children; camping, fishing, and paddling. They enjoy life along the Great River Road with their two dogs, Poncho and Lefty, their cat named Cash, and a backyard flock of chickens. Anna accepted the position of Center Assistant in November 2023 and is grateful to connect with community at the Riverlands! 

Ivan Bossert, Urban Community Engagement Fellow, Audubon Center at Riverlands & Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge

Ivan's love for the outdoors started in the marshes and swamps of southeast Texas. He earned bachelor's degrees in Biology and Spanish from Truman State University. He has worked at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas and Golden Gate National Recreation area in California carrying out natural resource management and habitat restoration. He is interested in the value that conservation has for nearby communities and sharing that value with others. Ivan enjoys grasslands, throwing his boomerang, and working with his hands

Ivan's fellowship represents a strong partnership between the Audubon Center at Riverlands and Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge.  These two organizations are pillars of ecological conservation and community engagement.  The purpose of Ivan's fellowship is to develop and engage the counties of Northern St. Louis in meaningful, accessible, and relevant community conservation and education.

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.



Advisory Board Members

Charlie Deutsch, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge

Susan Flader, Professor emerita University of Missouri-Columbia

Board Chair, Tom Feiner, Retired, Senior Counsel, May Department Stores and Vice President, Law, Macy’s

Warren Lammert, Retired Chief Financial Officer, Community Volunteer, Director Emeritus Missouri Prairie Foundation

Dr. Charlie Nilon, Professor, Urban Wildlife Management University of Missouri-Columbia

Elizabeth Noonan, Owner & President of Elizabeth Noonan Consulting LLC

Dr. Patrick Osborne, Retired, Executive Director, Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL

Elizabeth Petersen, Institute for School Partnerships/STEM Facilitator, Washington University

Paul Rohde, Vice President Midwest Region of Waterways Council, Inc

Melissa Sauter, Outdoor Education Facilitator

Penny Schmidt, Developer and Community Volunteer

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