Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Meet the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, located in northwest Missouri, was established on August 23, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was established through the Migratory Bird Conservation Act as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 7,440 acres along the eastern edge of the Missouri River floodplain and is flanked to the east by steep Loess Hills. The refuge conserves, restores, and manages a variety of habitats, including wetlands, bottomlands, uplands and native grasslands. It is recognized as one of America’s top 500 Globally Important Bird Areas by the American Bird Conservancy and as a “Site of Regional Importance” by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The refuge is strategically located between two major migratory bird corridors, the Mississippi and Central Flyways, which causes a bottleneck effect attracting high numbers of birds, especially snow geese and bald eagles, during peak migration.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is also managed for the benefit of a diverse complex of fauna and flora, with emphasis on threatened and endangered species; and wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, including environmental education and public outreach. The staff at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge works together as a team to contribute to natural resource conservation and public outreach.

Lindsey Landowski

Lindsey Landowski

Lindsey Landowski has been the Refuge Manager for Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge since June 2015. Lindsey is from Wisconsin and started her federal career as a Student Career Experience Program student at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District. Lindsey graduated with a B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and an M.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her experience with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed her to work with the Biological Monitoring Team for the Midwest and Northeast Regions in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, in southwest Indiana, and Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Missouri, before arriving at her current station. She enjoys collaborating on partnerships with her staff, partners and volunteers at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, conducting research, and seeing the benefits of habitat management for wildlife, particularly for waterfowl and shorebirds in the wetland units. Lindsey loves spending time with her family, chasing down her two young daughters, being with friends, traveling, hunting and fishing, wild game cooking, playing various sports, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers!

Darrin Welchert

Darrin Welchert

Darrin Welchert joined Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge as the Wildlife Biologist in November 2010. He holds a B.S. degree in Natural Resources with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and an M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University. His career started as a volunteer intern and seasonal biological technician at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Wyoming in 1998. Darrin did a 10-year stint at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast as a forestry technician, bio tech and wildlife biologist from 2001 to 2010. At Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Darrin is responsible for coordination and implementation of the refuge's biological program which includes habitat management planning, research and monitoring (Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring, bat acoustic, Blanding's turtle spatial ecology, prairie massasauga spring emergence, bird movement behavior utilizing marine radar, marsh bird nesting and deer population surveys). Darrin enjoys spending time with family, hunting, fishing, camping and tying flies.

Joannie Jordan

Joannie Jordan

Joannie Jordan serves as the Administrative Technician at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge and has been there for 24 years. She manages the budget, purchasing, property, human resources and all of the other day-to-day administrative details of the office. Prior to joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service she worked for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of the Army and has 29 years of Federal service. She most enjoys working for the Service and with the people who do so, because of their dedication to the resource. She especially enjoys the snow goose and bald eagle migration at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. She appreciates learning all about wildlife and habitat management in her everyday work. Away from work, Joannie enjoys spending time with family, fishing with her husband, and college sports, especially softball and basketball. She is also a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs and Royals fan.

Veronica Kelly

Veronica Kelly

Veronica Kelly is the Visitor Services Specialist at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. She has been with the Service for nearly six years, previously working at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa/Nebraska and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois. Veronica began her career in Visitor Services through the Student Temporary Employment Program and was accepted into the Career Pathways Program in 2013. She earned her B.S. degree in Forest Recreation and Park Management in May 2012 and an M.S. degree in Wildlife Habitat Management from Southern Illinois University in December 2014. Outside of work Veronica enjoys hiking, birding, camping, wildlife photography and doing just about anything outdoors.

Sam Vanourney

Sam Vanourney

Sam Vanourney is the Fire Management Specialist at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. He also coordinates the prescribed fire operations at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge while in this position. Originally from Nebraska, he completed his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Nebraska - Kearney. Prior to his present position, Sam served as a range technician from 2005-2007 for the Midwest Region South Zone stationed in Milford, Iowa. He also served as a range technician from 2003-2005 at Windom Wetland Management District, Minnesota. Sam started his career as a Conservation Technician in southern Nebraska for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, serving a year before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a range technician at Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District, Nebraska. In his spare time, Sam enjoys hunting, outdoors activities and sports.

Daryl Walker

Daryl Walker

Daryl Walker is a 27-year veteran at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge and serves as a Tractor Operator. Daryl’s duties range from maintaining roads and levees, maintaining facilities, spraying invasives, restoring and maintaining prairie habitat and assisting with wetland habitat management activities. Daryl really enjoys his job and loves working outside and seeing the wildlife benefit from the hard work. Away from the refuge, Daryl enjoys numerous sports, loves to golf, enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

Jordan Meyer

Jordan Meyer

Jordan Meyer has contributed to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge since May of 2013 as a student volunteer, then as an Americorps intern and currently as a Biological Science Technician. Jordan assists Darrin with various biological surveys on the refuge, including bat acoustic monitoring, bathymetry surveys utilizing real-time Kinematic Global Positioning System, Blanding's turtle radio telemetry, bird migration behavior utilizing marine radar systems, frog call surveys, marsh bird nest surveys and prairie massasauga rattlesnake spring emergence surveys. Jordan aids in the coordination and outreach for student volunteers and public events that happen at the refuge. When he has free time, Jordan enjoys backpacking, boxing, camping, fishing, geocaching and working on computers.

 

 

Last updated: February 4, 2016