May 19, 2018
Manager of the David T. Beals III Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative
The Nature Conservancy
Heidi Mehl, photo by Nick Krug
12:30 pm | Lunch with Heidi
Presentation at 2 pm
Free Admission | Refreshments
A conversation about creeks, rivers, the waters of our lands – and interdependence
Heidi heads The Nature Conservancy Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative where she works to recover the state’s streams and improve water quality. She has a strong interdisciplinary background spanning the fields of fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and human-environment interactions. She received her Ph.D from Kansas State University with a dissertation title “A cultural ecology of riparian systems on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation: understanding stream incision, riparian function, and Indigenous Knowledge to increase best management plan adoption.”
A native of south-central Kansas, Heidi’s passion for studying water resources began with a research trip as an undergraduate to the Altai Republic in Siberian Russia. There she observed the importance of informing the public about their drinking water resources. Since then she has continued to work with rural and indigenous communities both in Kansas and internationally to find solutions to water pollution and resource conflicts. Her work in Kansas has led to collaborations and partnerships with Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Kickapoo Nation in Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, the Upper Wakarusa WRAPS group, and the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams.
She is also a long-serving board member of Friends of the Kaw, acting as an advocate for the river as a float guide and a science advisor to the Kansas Riverkeeper. Her international work has taken her to Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, and Kenya to collaborate on local water and land use issues.
Heidi leads a collaboration with farmers bordering Rattlesnake Creek as they seek to increase stream flow in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. She is also collaborating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other stakeholder groups on the Sustainable Rivers Program for the Kansas River. This program explores opportunities to modernize reservoir operations and dam releases to support environmental flows in the river. Heidi is also a member of the Science Team for The Nature Conservancy’s Mississippi Basin Nutrient Program, which has set a goal to reduce nutrients entering the Mississippi River Basin by 20% by 2025.
is made possible with the support of
The Nature Conservancy of Kansas
Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission
National Endowment for the Arts
Volland Store Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit administered by
the Kansas Rural Communities Foundation
The Volland Store
24098 Volland Road, eight miles southwest of Alma, Kansas.
Open Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 pm and by appointment 785-499-3616.