Dawn Buehler is the current Kansas Riverkeeper. She will monitor, respond and mediate suspected pollution incidents to Kansas River; schedule and facilitate our educational float trips; and manage our advocacy efforts to protect and preserve the Kansas River.
Growing up on a farm on the plains of Kansas, Dawn knew at young age how much she loved the land, water and nature. Dawn was born and raised in the Kaw River Valley in DeSoto on a 2,000 acre crop farm. The family farm ran along the Kansas River in DeSoto. She spent her childhood riding alongside her father learning about the importance of taking care of the soil, water and providing for the family. She also spent many hours on the beautiful Kansas River fishing, camping, canoeing and riding in her Dad’s airboat. Her love for the river began at this early age when she would sit and watch the sunset on the river at the end of each farm day.
Dawn continued to help on the farm and also went on to college after high school and earned both a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Conservation from Oregon State University and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Baker University. Dawn has spent her career working as a conservationist, accountant and farmer. Dawn’s passion is watershed management and finding ways we can all work together to improve our watershed and the quality of the Kansas River. As a Kansas native, Dawn has a vested interest and passion for the river.
Dawn is happiest when she is outdoors. You can often find her fishing, hiking, kayaking, reading and exploring. Dawn lives with her family, including two chocolate labrador retrievers, on their farm south of Eudora.
Laura Calwell served as the Kansas Riverkeeper from August of 2003 through February of 2015 and currently is the Executive Director of Friends of the Kaw. She also is a founding board member of FOK, served three years as secretary, and four years as president of the organization. Laura will focus on assisting the Riverkeeper, managing day-to-day activities outside of advocacy and working with Educational Specialist, Kate Delehunt, to fund and promote our educational efforts for schools in particular the Kids About Water Project. Laura grew up in Wichita, Kansas and has her degree in Education from Kansas State University. She has lived in Mission, Kansas for over forty years; is married to Mike Calwell, FOK Board Member in charge of building Kaw River access ramps; raised a daughter and son and enjoys her four grandchildren. She has recreated on or near water all her life and currently enjoys kayaking and back country camping on the Kaw and other rivers.
Kate Delehunt is the Education Specialist for Friends of the Kaw. She was born and raised in Kentucky where she earned a masters degree in Elementary Education and taught for 4 years before moving to Evansville, Indiana. Kate taught math and science in Evansville for 4 years and then she and her family moved to Kansas City where she taught in both parochial and public schools. Kate also spent 9 years developing and implementing water quality education programs to students all over the KC metro area before coming to Friends of the Kaw. Her husband, Joe, just recently retired from Rockhurst High School where he was a teacher and administrator for 28 years. Joe and Kate have two grown children who live in the KC area. Kate loves to hike, camp, and bike, but she especially loves to take students to creeks and streams to experience the wonders of nature and water!