Midwest Region


July 21, 2014

Tina Shaw, 612-713-5331

New Complex Manager Announced for Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Sabrina Chandler joins Midwest leadership as the new complex manager for Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.
Sabrina Chandler joins Midwest leadership as the new complex manager for Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.

The Midwest Region is proud to announce the selection of Sabrina Chandler as the new complex manager for Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Chandler brings a wealth of experience from her last position as Chief of Staff to Director Dan Ashe and Special Assistant to Deputy Directors Rowan Gould and Steve Guertin.

Chandler understands the challenges and opportunities inherent in representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on complex issues and interacting with other agencies and partners. With more than a decade working for the refuge system in the southeast region, Chandler has experience stepping down national priorities as well. Even in the face of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi River backwater flooding and oil spill response, she kept healthy fish and wildlife her chief concern.

“I am excited to welcome Sabrina and know that her dedication to the resource will serve us well here in the Midwest,” said Midwest Region Chief of Refuges Charlie Blair. “Her expertise with flooding issues and contaminants will be a real asset in our mission to protect our river systems,” continued Blair.

Chandler built her biological foundation at Mississippi State University, focusing on wildlife science for her Bachelor’s and wildlife and fisheries for her Master’s. Through the course of her career, Chandler has developed and applied biological protocols and long-term monitoring projects for a diverse cross-section of threatened and endangered species.

"I am very excited to have this opportunity to work on the Upper Miss,” said Chandler. “Having spent a large portion of my Service career working in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, I look forward to the opportunity to explore and work on the upper reaches of this amazing ecosystem."

Chandler’s deep experience in refuge operations comes from multiple refuge management positions across the Southeast, most recently as a deputy project leader in Mississippi, where she managed employees from across seven national wildlife refuges along the Mississippi River. This, coupled with her time with the Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, informs Chandler’s understanding of on-the-ground endangered species and contaminants work.

As complex manager, Chandler will serve as an advisor to the regional office on Upper Mississippi River issues, coordinate with partners and oversee long-term planning for the complex, as well as lead a dedicated team of project leaders. Chandler will be reporting to her new position on August 11, 2014 and will be stationed in Winona, Minnesota.

The complex is comprised of 16 national wildlife refuges associated with 1,000-miles of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers. These refuges are located in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

For more information on the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

Last updated: June 15, 2016