Staff Members

Staff members for Audubon Missouri.

Vice President/Executive Director - Audubon Missouri; Executive Director - Audubon Center at Riverlands. This position is currently unfilled. 

Kerstin Landwer, Development and Volunteer Coordinator, Wildcat Glades Conservaton & Audubon Center. Kerstin has worked with nonprofit organizations throughout her career including Joplin Family Y and the American Red Cross. Kerstin is active in the arts in Joplin and serves on the board of directors for Spiva Center for the Arts. Kerstin also volunteers with the Cultural Affairs committee of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joplin Museum Complex and the American Red Cross.

Environmental Education Manager, Audubon Center at Riverlands. This position is currently unfilled.

Debra McStay, Interim Center Director/Operations Manager, Audubon Center at Riverlands and Audubon Missouri. Prior to joining Audubon, Debra spent four years as an independent project manager working primarily with museums. Clients included the Saint Louis Science Center where she produced the original exhibit “Medicine in the Time of the Civil War”, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  While living in Texas, she served as the Associate Director of the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Her primary duties at Audubon include the administrative duties of the office, produce original exhibitions for the Center and manage the events, volunteer and membership programs. Debra is an Illinois Master Naturalist intern and avid native plant gardner. 

Ken Middick, Buildings and Grounds Caretaker, Wildcat Glades Conervation & Audubon Center. Ken has been an Audubon Center Volunteer since 2007 before joining the team in 2011. He has volunteered on projects for the Neosho Fish Hatchery and special events for Children’s Miracle Network. He is a member of Leawood Village Church of Christ where he serves as Teacher and Music Instructor. Ken has taught CROAK (Creeks, Rivers, Oceans, And Kids) summer school classes for several years and has been a Master Naturalist since 2010.

Chris Pistole, Education Director, Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center. Chris, originally from Pittsburg, KS graduated with his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Pittsburg State University. After graduating he worked as the Program Director at Naturereach, a nature education outreach program in Pittsburg. During that time he coordinated Raptor Reach, a rehabilitation program for sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey. At the same time he worked for the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center (Greenbush) with the Abernathy Science Ed. Center. Most recently he worked as a park naturalist with the Johnson Co. (KS) Park and Recreation District at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe, KS. In Chris’s free time you may find him bird feeding, hiking, camping, scuba diving, photographing nature, gardening or mountain biking.

Lane Richter, Senior Ecologist, Audubon Center at Riverlands and Audubon Missouri. Lane graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a M.S. in Environmental Science and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and the Environment. His thesis research focused on atmospheric stormwater loss from green roof systems and he conducted a bird survey of bluff forest avifauna in southwest Illinois while in graduate school. Before joining Audubon he served as an AmeriCorps member for two years in conservation-oriented programs. During this time he developed an even greater appreciation for public natural areas in Missouri. At the Center, Lane is working with partners from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Cornell Ornithology Lab to develop and implement a citizen science bird monitoring project for bottomland forests in the Great Rivers IBA.  Lane is an avid birder and enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, and propagating native plants. 

Donna Whitehead, Center Director, Wildcat Glades Conervation & Audubon Center.
Donna served as Office Manager for the Center for seven years before assuming the position of Interim Director, then Center Director.  Donna has been a Master Gardener since 2000, engaging in community service through leading programs, working on community projects and advanced education.  She served on the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau Holiday Experience committee.  She has been a Master Naturalist since 2004, engaged in service through working on community projects, volunteering at the Audubon Center (even prior to employment at the center), and advanced education.  She is a member of Kiwanis Club of Joplin and an active member in her church.

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