Staff

Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper

Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper

Dawn Buehler is the Kansas Riverkeeper.  She monitors, responds and mediates suspected pollution incidents to Kansas River; schedules and facilitates our educational float trips; and manages 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 three chocolate labrador retrievers, on their farm south of Eudora.

Laura Calwell, Education Director

Laura Calwell, Education Director

Laura Calwell served as the  Kansas Riverkeeper from August of 2003 through February of 2015 and currently is the Education Director of Friends of the Kaw and can be reached at friendsofthekaw@gmail.com or 913 963 3460.  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 obtaining and managing educational grants 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.

Denise Kidder, Education Specialist

Denise Kidder, Education Specialist

Denise Kidder is the Educational Specialist for Friends of the Kaw and can be reached at dkidder.fok@gmail.com. She was born in Iowa, but moved to Kansas City when she was twelve.  She attended Truman State University and received a degree in Elementary Education, and later a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at UMKC.  Her teaching career began in the inner city of Kansas City, Kansas but she moved to the Blue Valley School District and taught both at the elementary and middle school. As well as teaching public school for twenty years she also worked as a consultant for the University of Hawaii, training teachers in during the summer.  Recently, Denise has developed and implemented water quality educational programs  for students in the KC Metro.  Her husband, Paul is currently teaching science in the Shawnee Mission School District.  They have a daughter who attends Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.  Denise loves to cook, travel and spend time exploring nature. She really enjoys interacting with students and teachers, while providing valuable life learning experience through the educational programs offered by Friends of the Kaw.