Central Chapter serves professionals, academics, and students interested in wetlands in Missouri and Kansas. For information regarding how our Chapter is run, please read the Central Chapter Bylaws.
- Operate solely and exclusively as a charitable and educational organization to foster conservation and understanding of wetlands.
- Provide an independent forum for interchange of ideas and data developed within wetland science in the Central Region.
- Develop and promote wetland science as a distinct discipline within the region.
- Promote and evaluate the education, scientific, and technological development and advancement of all branches of wetland science and practice within the region.
- Further the knowledge of wetland resources and encourage wetland protection, restoration, and stewardship within the region.
Jodie M. Burns, PWS
Jodie Murray Burns, PWS, began working as an environmental consultant in wetlands & stream related work in 1993, and is the Senior Scientist & Principal at Cattails Environmental located in northwest Arkansas. Ms. Burns is the current SWS SCC President (2021-2023) and SWS Webinar Series Committee Co-Chair (2021-present), along with being an active member in the SWS Central Chapter and a member of the Women in Wetlands and Public Policy & Regulation Sections. Burns' LinkedIn profile
Ms. Crane is a Principal Wetland Specialist with the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) in Lake County, Illinois, where she reviews permit applications for wetland impacts, helps administers Lake County’s Wetland Restoration Fund, and manages various SMC grants. Before joining the SMC, she worked as a consultant primarily in the Intermountain West and Midwest. With a B.S. in Wildlife and Range Resources and an M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, Juli has over 30 years (yikes!) of experience playing with water, dirt (soil, for you purists), and plants… and forging paper trails. She has an alphabet soup of professional creds that get trotted out as needed, including Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), and Certified Ecological Restoration Professional (CERP).
Luke F. Eggering (SPWS) has extensive experience preparing and managing National Environmental Policy Act documents for small and large transportation and military projects, including environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, categorical exclusions, biological assessments, and other technical documents, including ecological studies, ecosystem restoration plans, wetland studies, natural resource geographic information system projects, and integrated natural resource management plans. His environmental experience includes wetland and moist soil management for waterfowl; wetland delineation, enhancement, and mitigation; and flood control, wildlife and fisheries, and endangered species management.
Eric Fuselier has been working as an environmental consultant for 8 years and is currently working for Olsson as a project scientist at their office in Fayetteville, AR.
Eric has conducted wetland delineations and stream assessments for a variety of agencies, such as the Arkansas DOT, Oklahoma DOT, Mississippi DOT, and Missouri DOT; for municipalities across Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; and for a wide variety of industries that include transportation, oil and gas, water and sewer utilities, and residential and commercial development.
Eric is the current SWS SCC Secretary and serves on the SWS Membership Committee.
Frank Norman has over 31 years of experience as a plant ecologist, professional wetland scientist, and botanist. Currently, he is president of his own firm, Norman Ecological Consulting, LLC, which offers a full suite of services for the company or individual that wants an experienced, conscientious, and science-based firm to do their environmental work. The firm strives to exceed its Clients’ expectations, while meeting agency requirements and industry standards
Norman has developed a reputation for being detail-oriented, producing high quality products, his native flora expertise, and experience involving vegetation monitoring, native restoration design and oversight, rare plant surveys, natural resource inventories, habitat management and implementation, and wetland assessments. Over the years, he has worked on a myriad of projects for municipalities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, private industries, and individual landowners.
If you have any information or articles that you would like to share in the Central Chapter's newsletter, please email the Central Chapter President.
2019 Central Chapter Annual Meeting
The SWS Central Chapter hosted its annual meeting on October 15-17, 2019 at the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Boonville, Missouri. The annual meeting included a 2-day hydric soils training taught by Charlie Newling, PWS, CWB, CWD, with the Wetland Training Institute, Inc. Prior to the 2-day hydric soils training, the SWS Central Chapter had the honor of listening to a variety of wetland related presentations:
- Dr. Michael Aide & Dr. Indi Braden, Southeast Missouri State University, “A Large-scale Wetland Conversion Project in Southeastern Missouri: Sustainability of Water and Soil” in Wetlands Management – Assessing Risk and Sustainable Solutions
- Frank Nelson & Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri’s Wetland Planning Initiative and the Bottomland Functional Assessment
- Matt Shively & Chad Lamontagne, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Current Events
- Dr. Jeffrey Catalano, Washington University in St. Louis, Connection between Heavy Metals and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Wetlands
- Jason Farmer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Grand River Basin Project
- Dr. Lisa Webb, University of Missouri, Assessing the relationship between neonicotinoid insecticides and aquatic invertebrates in Missouri wetlands
- Lucas Goldschmidt and Darren Mitchell, PWS, Farnsworth Group, Inc., The use of ESRI's Collector Application for Field Data Collection and Data Processing
- Jason Wilson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge
The SWS Central Chapter also held its annual business meeting. During the business meeting, the Central Chapter:
- Listened to a financial report prepared by the Central Chapter Treasurer
- Discussed future goals/objectives of the Central Chapter
- Discussed the potential for hosting a joint meeting with the SWS South Central Chapter
The meeting gained the attention of approximately 30 attendees, including wetland professionals, government scientists, environmentalists, and students. The SWS Central Chapter looks forward to planning their next meeting. Stay up-to-date on the SWS Central Chapter by following the SWS Central Chapter on Facebook and/or LinkedIn.
2019 Hydric Soils Training at the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
2018 Central Chapter Annual Fall Meeting
This year, the SWS Central Chapter hosted their annual meeting, along with a 1.5-day Stream Investigation, Stabilization, & Design Workshop, at the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center in Lawrence, Kansas. During the workshop, led by potomologist, Dave Derrick, attendees learned about innovative bank protection methods and designing long-term sustainable stream stabilization and restoration projects. In addition to stream stabilization methodologies, innovative, environmentally sensitive, and cost-effective approaches to restoration were discussed. After the workshop, the SWS Central Chapter held its annual business meeting. During the business meeting, the Central Chapter:
- Elected new officials:
- President: Katie Astroth, Civil & Environmental Consultants
- Vice President: Tim Fobes, HDR Engineering, Inc.
- Secretary: Lindsey Postaski, Parsons
- Treasurer: Darren Mitchell, Farnworth Group
- Past President: Chris Thomas, Thomas Native Sciences, LLC
- Listened to a financial report prepared by the Central Chapter Treasurer.
- Donated $150 in support of the SWS Multicultural Mentoring Program (SWaMMP), a program aimed to increase diversity in wetland science fields.
- Viewed a presentation regarding the Missouri Natural Resources Conference (prepared by Jodi Burns, Cattails Environmental) and discussed future attendance at this conference.
- Discussed future goals/objectives of the Central Chapter.
Following the business meeting, attendees listened to a presentation about the history and future of the Baker Wetlands (prepared by staff of the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center). Attendees were also invited on a walking tour of the Baker Wetlands, a 927-acre wetland habitat, home to 278 species of birds and 492 species of plants.
This year, the meeting gained the attention of approximately 30 attendees coming from a broad background of experience (professional wetland scientists, environmentalists, and students). Overall, the meeting was a success and the Central Chapter looks forward to planning their 2019 annual meeting. If you’re interested in becoming an SWS Central Chapter member, we’d love to see you at our next meeting!
The Central Chapter would like to thank Dave Derrick and the staff of the Baker Wetland Discovery Center for providing a fun educational experience.
2017 Central Chapter Annual Fall Meeting
The 2017 Annual meeting was held on October 11th through October 13th at Pershing State Park. The meeting was centered on the Grand River Basin Project. The basin is experiencing a significant loss of aquatic habitat, wetlands, and bottomland hardwoods to extreme floodplain sediment deposition in response to wetter weather cycles, watershed-wide stream channelization and related bank erosion.
On Wednesday the 11th, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) represented by Jason Farmer and Mike Snyder presented background information on the Grand River Basin Project including detailed discussions about the ecological issues that Fountain Grove Conservation Area, Pershing State Park, and Yellow Creek/Swan Lake are facing.
A tour of various sites was conducted on Thursday October 12th with Tom Woodward, Pershing State Park Superintendant, hosting the tour. In all, approximately ten sites were toured showing examples of various habitat degradation, sedimentation, logjams, and areas of avulsion formation. During lunch on Thursday, the Central Chapter held its annual business meeting (meeting notes provided below).
On the final day of the meeting, the wetland scientist attendees discussed what they had seen the day before and broke into small groups to develop solutions for the basin. The USACE then presented their solutions for the problems in the basin.
The SWS Central Chapter would like to thank Jason Farmer (USACE) and Tom Woodward (MDNR-Pershing State Park) for providing a wonderful learning experience.
The following are the minutes from the annual meeting held on October 12, 2017:
SWS Central Chapter Annual Meeting
- By voice vote, Tim Fobes was elected chapter secretary.
- SWS Multicultural Program – By voice vote, a $100 dollar donation was made from chapter funds to support SWS Multicultural Program at the national level for students to help pay travel expenses for the SWS national meeting.
- 2018 Central Chapter Meeting Location – Discussion was had regarding possibly holding a joint meeting with the south-central chapter next year and/or hosting the chapter meeting in Kansas next year.
- Training – Discussed hosting a Rosgen based stream training in 2018 as the topic for the chapter meeting.
- Treasurer’s Report.
- SWS National Meeting – Denver, Colorado May 29-June 1
- Wetland of Distinction Nomination – The Chapter would like to see one wetland from Kansas and one from Missouri nominated. This is a national initiative to raise public awareness for wetlands. Accepted nominations will become reference standards for future applications. Pershing State Park wetlands and possibly the Lower Grand River COA will be considered.
- Open Floor – Jodi Burns mentioned SWS is not represented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. Will investigate getting a booth and costs. Officers to vote if costs exceed $500. Auction or raffle items needed. Tim Fobes will donate a turkey tail fan plaque. Jodi will get more information out. SWS National can provide booth set up, banners, etc at no cost.
2016 Central Chapter Annual Fall Meeting
The 2016 Fall Meeting was held on September 29 and 30 at the Adlyne Freund and Dana Brown Center at the Shaw Nature Reserve in Villa Ridge, Missouri. Members and guests in attendance include: Justin Hughes (USACE), Luke Eggering (Parsons), Jodie Burns (Cattails Environmental), Jeff DePew (Webster University/Earth Designs), Robin Ledford (Geotechnology), Stephanie Graham (MoDOT), Caleb Knerr (MoDOT), Shane Staten (Terra Technologies), Adrianna Krzywicka (Terra Technologies), Shelbi Hollem (Terra Technologies), Mat Rogers (Terra Technologies), Jennifer Schwent (AECOM), Kevin Pulley (AECOM), Chris Thomas (Thomas Native Sciences), Pam Tennison-Rindt (Westar Energy), Katie Astroth (CEC), Lindsey Postaski (Parsons), Darren Mitchell (Louis Berger), Devin Wilson (Black and Veatch), Bill Iseminger (Cahokia Mounds), Meg Karrick (AECOM), Kayla Nienhaus (AECOM), Mark Felton (AECOM), James Reenan (USACE), and Jason Farmer (USACE). On Thursday afternoon, Mr. James Trager, an entomologist and naturalist with the Shaw Nature Reserve, gave members a tour of the 85-acre Shaw Nature Reserve Wetland Mitigation Bank. Mr. Trager also provided plant identification of various wetland and prairie species. The bank was seeded with seed mixes collected and prepared by staff and volunteers of the Shaw Nature Reserve. Following the mitigation bank tour, Chapter President Luke Eggering fried up fish for the chapter’s social event.
On Friday, members and guests held the annual business meeting and enjoyed the following presentations: William R. Iseminger, Assistant Site Manager/Public Relations, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site – Cahokia Mounds, America’s First City: A Product of Wetlands, Waterways, Grasses, and Soil, James Reenan, Regulatory Specialist, Kansas City USACE – Corps of Engineers, Missouri Wetland Mitigation Method – Section 10/404 Permitting, Jodie Murray Burns, Environmental Consultant, Cattails Environmental, LLC – Case Study on the Clean Water Crisis Occurring in Flint, Michigan, Jason Farmer, Kansas City USACE – Update on Section 408 Permitting Process, Jeff DePew, PWS, Professor Emeritus, Webster University – The Role of Bioretention Ponds as Natural Areas, and Jason Farmer – The Grand River Basin Study.
The business meeting was conducted over lunch. Chris Thomas was initiated as President and the following new officers elected: Vice President, Katie Astroth; Treasurer, Lindsey Postaski; and Secretary, Robin Ledford. As in 2015, the Chapter agreed to give $100 to SWS Multicultural Mentoring Program (SWaMMP), as requested by Dr. Vanessa Lougheed.
For next year’s meeting, Past President, Devin Wilson, suggested that in lieu of the typical 2-day meeting with presentations and a plant id class, the Chapter have a 2-day stream restoration workshop with Dave Derrick, USACE and River Research and Design. Dave is a nationally-known fluvial geomorphologist and several members have attended his seminars previously. A committee (Devin Wilson, Chris Thomas, Pam Tennison-Rindt, and Robin Ledford) was established to coordinate the planned stream restoration training. While a specific site has not yet been chosen, it will likely be in the Kansas City area.
2015 Central Chapter Fall Meeting and Training
The Central Chapter Annual Fall Meeting was held on October 1-2, 2015 at the Grand Pass Conservation Area, north of Marshall, Missouri. Grand Pass Conservation Area is in Saline County. The Conservation Department purchased 2,100 acres in 1980, 2,611 acres in 1984 and 385 acres in 1994. The Conservation Department also leased 205 acres in 1986 to form Grand Pass Conservation Area. The area consists of Missouri River bottomlands, including wetlands, adjacent river islands, agricultural units, and timber tracts.
2014 Annual Meeting
The 2014 annual fall meeting was held at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jerry Litton Visitor Center in Smithville, Mo. on October 10, 2014. Following the meeting, there was a tour of mitigation sites within the vicinity along with a discussion on the challenges faced during the development of mitigation sites.
2013 Annual Meeting
The 2013 annual fall meeting was held at the Fountain Grove Conservation Area in north-central Missouri near the town of Meadville. This excellent meeting location is a 7,154-acre property managed primarily for migratory bird habitat that contains a vast amount of wetland habitats located in close proximity to many other large public wetland areas. Speakers included representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the URS Corporation, the Kansas Biological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Norman Ecological Consulting.
- Kansas City District Corps of Engineers
- Tulsa District Corps of Engineers
- St. Louis District Corps of Engineers
- Little Rock District Corps of Engineers
- Memphis District Corps of Engineers
- Rock Island District Corps of Engineers
- USACE Regulatory Program
- EPA Region 7
- EPA - Wetlands
State & Local Government
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources
(State of Missouri water quality certifications)
- Missouri Department of Conservation
- Missouri Department of Transportation
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
(State of Kansas water quality certifications)
- Kansas Department of Transportation
- Kansas Division of Water Resources
- Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
- Kansas Biological Survey
- Kansas Water Office
- Mid-America Regional Council (Kansas City area)
- Regional Chamber and Growth Association (St. Louis area)
Private & Non-Profit Organizations
- Missouri Audubon Society
- Kansas Audubon Society
- Missouri Department of Transportation
- Missouri Native Plant Society
- Missouri Botanical Garden
- Powell Gardens
- Sierra Club - Kansas
- Sierra Club - Missouri
- Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams
- Kansas City Wildlands Coalition (Kansas City area)
- League of Conservation Voters (St. Louis area)
- The Nature Conservancy - Missouri
- The Nature Conservancy - Kansas
- Missouri Flora
- The Prairie & Wetland Center
- Forrest Keeling Nursery
- Missouri Wildflower Nursery