Staff

  • Joe McGovern

    Joe McGovern

    President

    Nature has always been a common thread throughout Joe’s life, from discovering the natural lakes and Boone River in Wright Co. as a boy to first date hikes with his wife Molly. Throughout his conservation career, first with Story County Conservation and then with INHF, Joe has admired Iowa’s subtle beauty and strived to bring a sense of wildness to the state. He’s enjoyed watching his three kids grow and find nature in their own ways, and hopes to create places for every Iowan to find their own outdoor connections. 

    (515) 288-1846, ext. 16
    Email

  • Sydney Algreen-Hunter

    Sydney Algreen-Hunter

    Communications Assistant

    Sydney has traveled the world visiting rainforests, mountains and oceans but always feels most at home in Iowa’s prairies. She credits her childhood and her internships with INHF and Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge for instilling in her a sense of wonder for the prairie landscape. After working in the county conservation system and with local nonprofits, Sydney found her way back to INHF. She holds a degree in Forestry and Spanish from Iowa State University. When not working, Sydney enjoys traveling, tending to her garden, and most of all seeing the natural world with renewed awe as she explores with her family. 

    Contact Sydney about: INHF publications, merchandise, photos and website inquiries

    515-288-1846, ext. 36
    Email

  • Ross Baxter

    Ross Baxter

    Land Projects Director

    Here’s what you do: Find Cold Water Creek WMA in your sportsman’s atlas. Go to the west parking lot up on the hill, not the one at the bottom by the bridge. Follow the two-track down to the stream at the base of the bluff. Hop the limestone boulders across the creek and follow the lane until it narrows into a footpath. On your right you’ll see a meadow of trout lilies and a 50-foot bluff face. Take off your shoes, wade through the cold water and limestone rocks until you reach the spring that bubbles from the base of the cliff. Sit. Enjoy it. Take it in.

    Contact Ross about: Protecting your land for conservation, INHF-owned property, Iowa’s secret spots

    515-288-1846, ext. 30
    Email

  • Andrea Boulton

    Andrea Boulton

    Trails and Greenways Director

    Andrea thinks of trails as the world’s best gateway drug: A connection to the outdoors that provides a path to nature for everyone. For every trail war story (literal burned bridges, heated negotiations), she also has an inspiring story of small Iowa communities working together to bring natural connections to their residents. When not dreaming of new Iowa trails, Andrea enjoys traveling the world — mostly for wine — and cheering on her husband Nate at marathons across the country.

    Contact Andrea about: Current trail projects happening across the state, how to start a trail project in your community

    515-288-1846, ext. 27
    Email

  • Jered Bourquin

    Jered Bourquin

    Blufflands Associate

    Jered grew up along the Apple River in northwest Illinois, traversing its canyon and nurturing his complicated relationship with the fish known as trout. After a stint at Luther College in Decorah, Jered worked across the Driftless, from fish hatcheries to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, conducting wolf howling surveys and IPA taste tests. Jered hopes to someday inherit his father’s mushroom hunting talents.

    Contact Jered about: The Blufflands land stewardship internship, land restoration techniques, emerging hoppy beverages

    563-382-2008
    Email

  • Jessica Riebkes Clough

    Jessica Riebkes Clough

    Land Conservation Specialist

    A native Iowan, Jessica grew up in Cedar Falls, which is still one of her favorite places to enjoy bike trails. Jessica has always appreciated the outdoors, but fell in love with Iowa’s prairies through a biology degree at Central College. After finishing a masters program at UNI studying prairies, Jessica came to INHF, first as a grant writing intern and later as lending a hand with stewardship and conservation easements. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys gardening, looking for new patches of Liatris, traveling to national parks and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

    Contact Jessica about: land protection options, easement monitoring, great public prairies

    515-288-1846, ext. 38
    Email

  • Stacie Couvillon

    Stacie Couvillon

    Planned Giving and Major Gifts Officer

    Stacie grew up in Lincoln, NE and spent time exploring state parks in central & eastern Nebraska with her family. In college Stacie pursued her interest in the natural world by majoring in Biology and spending several summers doing botanical field research in southwest Virginia. These research experiences led her to her graduate work in plant population genetics in Tennessee. Stacie and her husband relocated to Des Moines in 2007 and started their family. More recently Stacie has been working for several nonprofits in the Des Moines area. Stacie is excited to join the INHF team and merge her love for the natural world with her professional nonprofit experiences. In her free time Stacie enjoys teaching yoga, reading and hanging out with her husband, son and daughter.

    Contact Stacie about: Estate planning and creating your conservation legacy

    515-288-1846, ext. 45
    Email

  • Kevin Cutsforth

    Kevin Cutsforth

    System Administrator

    Raised in Cedar Rapids, Kevin fondly remembers family bikes rides along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail and Sac and Fox Trail. Camping trips, fishing, canoeing and just exploring nature eventually led Kevin to integrate his passion for the outdoors into his education and career. With a B.S. in environmental science, a certificate in sustainability, and years of data management experience, Kevin utilizes his knowledge to develop, manage and enhance INHF’s database and connect staff. When he isn’t riding his bike, Kevin enjoys wandering through Brenton Arboretum with his dog and exploring Des Moines' craft beer and music scene.

    Contact Kevin about: INHF's database and maps

    515-288-1846, ext. 21
    Email

  • Brian Fankhauser

    Brian Fankhauser

    Senior Land Stewardship and Blufflands Director

    Brian grew up in Williams, IA, pursuing catfish and smallmouth bass in the Boone River and wild turkeys and trout near Lansing with his dad. Readied with an Animal Ecology degree from Iowa State, Brian developed a passion for the prairie pothole landscape while with Hamilton County Conservation (along with an affinity for traditional archery), and later came to INHF. He now resides in Decorah with his wife and two children, and gets to work with passionate landowners and partners to help steward and permanently protect natural areas in northeast Iowa and around the state.

    Contact Brian about: Statewide natural area restoration and stewardship, and land protection in northeast Iowa.

    563-382-2008
    Email

  • Diane Graves

    Diane Graves

    Administrative Assistant

    Diane was born in Boonville, Mo., but has been an Iowan since she moved to Des Moines when she was 5 years old. She loves spring in Iowa for the return of the birds and smell of new life in the air, and she loves fall for the changing colors. Diane’s favorite thing to do outside is go for walks. She enjoys talking with long-time members and people new to INHF, and helping them find the people and information they need. 

    Contact Diane about: General INHF questions

    515-288-1846, ext. 10
    Email

  • Anna Gray

    Anna Gray

    Public Policy Director

    As a southern Iowa farm girl, Anna found her love for nature while picking wildflowers from the cow pastures, tromping through Shoal Creek and spotting wildlife in the timber. Using her education from Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Drake University Law School, she hopes to shape policy that promotes sustainable agriculture, preserves natural resources and connects people with the outdoors —providing all Iowans an opportunity to enjoy the state’s natural wonders.

    Contact Anna about: INHF public policy priorities and advocating for Iowa's natural resources

    515-288-1846, ext. 41
    Email

  • Erin Griffin

    Erin Griffin

    Donor Services Coordinator

    Erin enjoys bringing INHF supporters together to celebrate their shared passion for Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. As a life-long Iowan, Erin enjoys time around the water, our trails in Central Iowa and seeing the beauty of nature through her son and daughters' eyes.

    Contact Erin about: joining the INHF community, events and gifts of stock

    515-288-1846, ext. 11
    Email

  • Lisa Hein

    Lisa Hein

    Senior Director for Conservation Programs

    Lisa was born in California, grew up in Colorado and is frequently asked, “Why are you here?” She moved to Iowa to study Landscape Architecture at Iowa State and through that program learned about the beauty of the Iowa landscape. Since starting at INHF in 1988, she has grown to love Iowa even more through working with landowners, communities and individuals to protect land, establish greenways and secure trails. In her spare time, she coaches figure skating with the Ames Figure Skating Club, is active with the Story County Master Gardeners, is a founding board member of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and enjoys raising wild monarchs.

    Contact Lisa about: Land protection, Iowa trails and community projects

    515-288-1846, ext. 23
    Email

  • Joe Jayjack

    Joe Jayjack

    Communications Director

    Joe grew up in Council Bluffs, and some of his earliest memories of the outdoors include watching eagles migrate through Hitchcock Nature Area. With a background in journalism, Joe enjoys combining his love of storytelling and nature to share the great work of INHF and talk about the importance of protecting our land, water and wildlife. He manages INHF’s communications department, including Iowa Natural Heritage magazine. Joe loves connecting with Iowa’s beautiful natural areas by bike with his wife and two kids. 

    Contact Joe about: Media inquiries, Iowa Natural Heritage magazine, outreach events and sponsorship opportunities.

    515-288-1846, ext. 19
    Email

  • Heather Jobst

    Heather Jobst

    Senior Land Conservation Director

    Throughout her life, Heather has found a deep connection with nature, whether at her family's farm, in middle school science classes (taught by the famous Chris Adkins) or searching wooded trails for spring ephemerals. At INHF, Heather oversees the full gamut of INHF's land protection work — purchasing land for protection, restoring land through stewardship and working with private landowners on conservation easements. Working in conservation in her home state is meaningful to Heather, because she sees Iowa as a state that needs the work the most. When not in the office or traversing the state, you can find her in the garden.

    Contact Heather about: Potential land protection opportunities, current and former INHF projects

    515-288-1846, ext. 32
    Email

  • Susan Johnson

    Susan Johnson

    Chief Financial Officer

    Susan grew up in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River and has fond memories of time spent down by the river and exploring Shimek Forest. These days, she enjoys walking the trails with her husband near their home in Carlisle, one of which runs through their backyard. She has three daughters currently living in three different states and enjoys visiting them in Kansas City and Nashville. She holds a degree in accounting from Central College.

    Contact Susan about: Questions about INHF's finances

    515-809-5032, ext. 39
    Email

  • Bill Kohler

    Bill Kohler

    Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Director

    Bill grew up on a working horse farm in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where he developed a deep love of the outdoors and appreciation of natural history. Bill holds a degree in Psychology from James Madison University in Virginia. He later went back to school and earned a degree in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University, and has spent the better part of the past decade working for the Fort Collins Natural Areas Program. Bill looks forward to exploring eastern Iowa with his family (his wife is from Iowa City), and getting to know the area's prairies and other lands he'll be stewarding.

    Contact Bill about: Land stewardship in eastern Iowa

    (970)-980-6556
    Email

  • Emily Martin

    Emily Martin

    Conservation Programs Coordinator

    Throughout her childhood, you could usually find Emily in one of two places: on a trail or in a stream. As she explored the many creeks near her hometown of Fort Dodge, she developed an interest in water quality. This interest eventually led her to Iowa State University where she earned a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis on water quality. She now utilizes this knowledge to write conservation grants that protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife at INHF. In her spare time, you can still find Emily in, on or near a stream.

    Contact Emily about: Grants, water quality and the conservation programs internship

    515-288-1846, ext. 40
    Email

  • Patrick McNaughton

    Patrick McNaughton

    Blufflands Land Stewardship Assistant

    Growing up in eastern Iowa, Patrick became interested in wildlife while exploring parks along the Cedar River. This lifelong passion for nature led him to study at Kirkwood Community College and UW- Stevens Point. Being a traveler at heart, he went on to work in some faraway places such as the California Redwoods, the mountains of central Idaho, and the temperate rainforests of New Zealand, but the prairies and rolling hills of Iowa kept calling him back. Today you can find Patrick in the Driftless region, patrolling bluffs and pursuing trout.

    Contact Patrick about: The Blufflands land stewardship internship, habitat restoration, birds of prey

    563-382-2008
    Email

  • Derek Miner

    Derek Miner

    Land Stewardship Associate

    Derek found a passion for conservation at a young age after a naturalist told his school group to lay down in a tallgrass prairie and just listen. After establishing that special connection with the prairie landscape, he realized an inherent love for Iowa's native plants and animals. He expanded that interest by studying Biology and Environmental Studies at Central College in Pella, Ia. Derek and his dog, Leopold, often hang out on random tracts of public land pursuing wild game, identifying flora and fauna, hiking the hills and gaining a new perspective on what it means to be out-of-doors.

    Contact Derek about: The statewide land stewardship internship, land restoration, great public hunting spots

    515-288-1846, ext. 17
    Email

  • Erica Place

    Erica Place

    Communications Specialist

    Originally from a suburb of Houston, Texas, Erica has always sought out quiet, natural spaces. An Animal Ecology degree from ISU and many subsequent nature jobs have helped her foster an unwavering passion for protecting and improving the environment. Erica spends most of her free time with binoculars in hand (self-proclaimed bird nerd), loves to hike and garden, and strives to inspire others to make simple yet meaningful choices to better the earth. She's landed at INHF after working in outreach for many years at Story County Conservation and is excited to connect with nature lovers across the state. 

    Contact Erica about: Social media, outreach, and the communications internship

    515-288-1846, ext. 26
    Email

  • Taryn Samuels

    Taryn Samuels

    Data Entry Specialist

    Taryn has always had a deep connection to and appreciation for the outdoors. Growing up in Des Moines and St. Charles, she has fond memories of sleeping under the stars, wading in streams searching for cool rocks, driftwood and other treasures. Spending time in nature continues to be a huge part of Taryn’s life.  Teaching her daughters to be curious about nature and witnessing their love and connection with nature and animals has been her greatest accomplishment. Taryn holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minor in Native American Studies from the University of Iowa.

    Contact Taryn about: updating your contact info or your annual giving status

    515-288-1846, ext. 44
    Email

  • Tylar Samuels

    Tylar Samuels

    Conservation Easement Specialist

    Tylar was raised in Des Moines and St. Charles, and fondly remembers family picnics at the top of Clark’s Tower and splashing in Clanton Creek in Madison Co. After college, Tylar spent several years witnessing the tremendous natural beauty of California redwoods and Florida’s gulf coast while working in the conservation field. In 2008, Tylar returned to Iowa, thinking how wonderful it would be to do conservation work in a place where she had roots as deep as the prairie plants.

    Contact Tylar about: Private land protection, with emphasis on conservation easements, including existing conservation easements

    515-288-1846, ext. 34
    Email

  • Melanie Schmidt

    Melanie Schmidt

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Melanie’s journey with INHF first started as a Land Stewardship summer intern, where, as a biology student at Central College, she developed a deep passion for the protection of Iowa’s landscape. While working in INHF's land stewardship department, Melanie found her true passion to be working with people to get them outside and with a little help, getting their hands dirty. She loves combining her background in restoration with her passion for connecting people to nature. When she isn’t wandering through a prairie, she enjoys any opportunity to run outdoors and try local craft beers.

    Contact Melanie about: Volunteering! Also: Individual and group volunteer opportunities and partnering on volunteer events.

    515-288-1846, ext. 35
    Email

  • Ryan Schmidt

    Ryan Schmidt

    Central Iowa Land Stewardship Director

    Ryan grew up in the small southeast Iowa town of Keswick. He spent his early years hunting and fishing with his family on their family farms, all the while learning about and developing a keen interest in and passion for Iowa’s outdoors. This interest led Ryan to pursue a degree in Environmental Science at Central College in Pella. When not working to protect and restore Iowa’s precious natural areas, Ryan enjoys playing and watching sports, hunting, fishing and spending time with friends.

    Contact Ryan about: INHF land management activities and stewardship resources in central Iowa.

    515-288-1846, ext. 13
    Email

  • Abby Hade Terpstra

    Abby Hade Terpstra

    Director of Philanthropy

    Abby is a boomerang, returning to her home state of Iowa after journeying first east and then west for 12 years. She grew up in Ames ambling around Munn Woods, amassing elaborate collections of natural objects, and absorbed in field guides for birds, insects and plants. With a degree in Outdoor Education from Northland College and a penchant for nonprofits, Abby is happy to have found her way to INHF. When not diligently at her desk, Abby can be found delighting in her kids, experimenting in the kitchen, and dreaming of future hobbies.

    Contact Abby about: Creating your conservation legacy, considering a special gift or tribute, ways to protect the Iowa land you own, and how to support INHF's work and projects.

    515-288-1846, ext. 15
    Email

  • Erin Van Waus

    Erin Van Waus

    Conservation Easement Director

    Between walking beans, passing time at her favorite fishing hole and riding horses at Stone State Park, Erin got the full farm kid experience in her hometown of Remsen. Erin’s first introduction to INHF was as a land stewardship intern, where she fell in love with the prairie (and her husband, a fellow intern) and grew an appreciation for things greater than herself. She joined the staff in 2010. As a mother of two, Erin is in awe of the permanent impact landowners are making to protect Iowa’s wildlife habitat, beauty and open spaces for the wonder of future generations.

    Contact Erin about: Conservation easements, private land protection options

    515-288-1846, ext. 29
    Email

  • Kari Walker

    Kari Walker

    Administration Director

    If she’s being honest, most of the time Kari wishes she was somewhere in the woods, relaxing by a fire, zero charge to her cell phone, hanging out with her kids, husband and dog. When that’s not the reality, Kari’s happy helping the nature magic happen in the INHF office, surrounded by her passionate coworkers and love for Iowa’s natural spaces until the next camping trip arrives.

    Contact Kari about: Job openings, board and advisor information and general office inquiries

    515-288-1846, ext. 25
    Email

  • Kody Wohlers

    Kody Wohlers

    Loess Hills Land Stewardship Director

    Kody has always enjoyed the outdoors, working with his hands on his family's farm in western Iowa, and putting in a hard day’s work. Originally from Missouri Valley, IA, he attended Central College in Pella and graduated with a major in Environmental Science with a Biology minor. Kody's Loess Hills roots run deep. Prior to joining INHF he worked for Pottawattamie County Conservation and has long been an active member in the Loess Hills Fire Partners.

    Contact Kody about: Land stewardship and protection in the Loess Hills.

    402-578-1935
    Email