Our Staff

Mike Kromrey

Mike Kromrey

Executive Director

Mike grew up in Ozarks and for most of his life has spent as much time on the water as possible—especially Ozark streams. His lifelong passion for nature developed into a vocation at the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks (WCO), which at its core, involves teaching people of all ages about nature and fostering stewardship of the earth and, ultimately, each other.
Mike joined the WCO as a staff member in May 2006 and has served as the Executive Director since 2012. He previously worked with the James River Basin Partnership, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri State University (MSU) while earning his degree. At MSU, Mike earned a comprehensive biology degree with an emphasis in ecology, evolution, and systematics, and a Master of Science in biology, focusing on aquatic ecosystems. Mike currently serves on a variety of local and state committees related to water and sustainability. He is passionate about the mission of the WCO and leaving a positive mark on our community.
Mike and his family live in the Rountree neighborhood and are proud Springfield residents. They enjoy time on the water, traveling, and working to make the community better.

Stacey Armstrong Smith

Stacey Armstrong Smith

Projects Manager

Stacey joined the Watershed Committee staff in March 2007. Stacey earned her degrees from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Geography with minors in Cartographic Sciences and Community & Regional Planning and a Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences with an emphasis in Physical Geography. She is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 31 and was awarded a Group Study Exchange International Travel Grant to India by Rotary Foundation District 6080 in 2015. Stacey has served on the Springfield/Greene County Stormwater Management Task Force and Willard Source Water Protection Committee. During her career, Stacey has managed over 2 million dollars in grant funding to complete projects in the areas of wastewater, stormwater, source water protection, watershed planning, water quality monitoring and stream restoration. Stacey enjoys working with community partners to protect local drinking water supplies and connecting people to water information and resources.

Kelly Guenther

Kelly Guenther

Business Manager

Kelly joined the Watershed Committee in October of 2006. As Business Manager, Kelly oversees various aspects of the business including financials and financial reports, payroll and taxes, HR, social media and email communication, organizing events, website work, and donor management. Kelly graduated Magna Cum Laude from Drury University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. She completed Drury University’s Certificate in Social Media, and Master’s level courses in Communication Ethics and Strategic Issues Management. She received a Certificate of Achievement for completing MSU’s GO LEAD ‘Nonprofit Leadership in the 21st Century’ workshop and completed MSU’s Certificate in Non-Profit Management. Kelly is currently enrolled at OTC to complete an Associates in Accounting and Business degree. Kelly is a southwest Missouri native who loves the outdoors and the Ozarks. She and her husband live in Springfield and have one son, two grandchildren and three cats.

Jeff Birchler

Jeff Birchler

Watershed Center Coordinator

Jeff joined the Watershed Committee in May of 2016. Jeff graduated from Missouri State University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. He obtained his Masters from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in Educational Technology. As a public school teacher, Jeff strived to give students innovative firsthand experiences to foster a love of learning and a sense of environmental stewardship. He and his wife, Angela, are longtime residents of the Ozarks who enjoy their time outdoors pursuing a variety of interests.

Caleb Sanders

Caleb Sanders

Watershed Conservation Corps Director

After graduating with a bachelor’s in philosophy and religion from Drury University, Caleb pursued a graduate degree at the University of Chicago. While living in Chicago, Caleb worked for Friends of the Forest Preserves, managing teams of youth engaged in conservation projects within the inner-city. He has since worked with the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Student Conservation Association, Audubon California, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Southern Sierra Research Station leading trail and ecological restoration projects programs in several states across the country. Joining the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in the spring of 2017 to manage the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative grant, Caleb seeks to continue to enact his passion for restoration through hands-on service to the land.

Kelly Owens

Kelly Owens

Watershed Center Assistant Coordinator

Kelly joined the Watershed Committee in June of 2019. As a Southwest Missouri native, she’s grown up around our waterways and developed a love for the outdoors early on. Kelly studied at Missouri State University where she earned her degree in Global Studies with an emphasis in Politics, Society, and Environmental Issues. As a Watershed Committee Intern from 2016-2017, she was involved with several projects including habitat restoration, education programs, and training new volunteers. She is an avid hiker, even completing the Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2016. Kelly strives to connect others to the environment through civic engagement, and has worked throughout her career to increase environmental volunteerism and participation in conservation.

Seth Wheeler

Seth Wheeler

Watershed Conservation Corps Program Manager

Seth grew up on the banks of the Finley River and is a self-proclaimed “river rat” who enjoys all the amenities that Ozark streams have to offer. Seth studied at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science and was a four-year letter winner on the men’s baseball team. As a recent college graduate, Seth joined the Watershed Committee staff in June of 2018 as the Watershed Center Fellow. Here, he fell in love with teaching students and volunteers about land management and the importance of preserving and restoring some of the most beautiful places Missouri has to offer. With the corps, Seth continues to invest in teaching young people about hands-on watershed improvement; helping to ensure the native habitats that always were, will always be.

Rowan Castle

Rowan Castle

Development Coordinator, AmeriCorps Member

Rowan is a Springfield native and has loved spending time outdoors as much as possible. They started with the Watershed Committee as an AmeriCorps VISTA in January, 2020. They help with capacity building within the organization, but volunteer recruitment and training and Watershed Natives are the two largest areas they work in. Rowan has a passion for animals and currently lives with three dogs, several fish, and a 6-foot Boa Constrictor. Rowan also loves outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, and camping, just to name a few, and has spent many summers in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado. Springfield may be home, but the mountains are always beckoning.

Brooks Burrell

Brooks Burrell

Watershed Center Fellow Intern

Brooks is a Missouri State University graduate and has lived in Springfield most of his life with some time spent in the Pacific Northwest. He joined the Watershed Committee as a Fellow in 2020 and is looking forward to helping to restore the ecosystem and increase biodiversity through regenerative practices. He has studied ecology and Permaculture independently for the past three years and hopes to both apply and expand this knowledge in participation with others. When not working he enjoys kayaking, playing music, and reading at home with his cat.

Angelica Smith

Angelica Smith

Watershed Center Fellow Intern

Angelica grew up in Homer, Alaska before relocating to Kansas City and eventually attended Missouri State University where she graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Wildlife Biology. While spending time in Springfield, she developed a love for its community and parks. Now as a Watershed Fellow, she is directly involved in community education and improvement of Springfield’s natural beauty. Outside her fellowship she loves to hike, camp, and spend a lot of time with her pup, Zoey. Angelica plans on taking her education further, hoping in the future to study small mammals as a wildlife biologist or share her knowledge with others as a conservation educator.

Adam Barton

Adam Barton

Conservation Specialist

Adam grew up in north Springfield only minutes away from the Watershed Committee. He experienced the beauty of the Ozarks growing up through numerous hiking, hunting, and fishing expeditions. Adam joined the Watershed Committee in April 2019 as a technician for the Watershed Conservation Corps program to assist with ongoing projects. Adam currently manages the 70-acre native prairie restoration project at Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield. He is entering his final year of study at Missouri State University where he majors in wildlife management and conservation, while minoring in forestry and geospatial science. Adam loves working at the Watershed Committee because he gets to spend time outside, improve native habitat, and educate others about modern-day conservation practices. In his spare time, you can find Adam with a fiddle in his arms playing tune after tune. He competes in numerous fiddle contests around the state and is honored to carry on the tradition of bluegrass music in the Ozarks. Adam and his wife Brooke are lifelong Springfield residents and love being part of the community.

Kaitlin Marshall

Kaitlin Marshall

Development Coordiantor, AmeriCorps Member

Kaitlin grew up just north of Springfield in Bolivar. She spent most of her youth exploring her family’s land, camping at Stockton Lake, and enjoying swimming holes at various locations in the Polk County area. She has always had an immense curiosity with nature and engages in studying the natural world through every outlet possible. Whether it’s a fascinating fossil found at the creek, a bird’s belting song, or a mystifying mushroom spotted on the trail, Kaitlin pursues to identify and understand the object of interest. Her deep connection to nature led her to pursue education at Missouri State University. There, she studied Wildlife Conservation & Management with a minor study in Forestry. While at MSU, Kaitlin also took a special interest in Horticulture. She spent a year and a half working as a Farm Assistant at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center. There, she gained hands-on experience with greenhouses, high tunnels, and various native crop trees/shrubs.

After graduating MSU in winter of 2019, Kaitlin began her AmeriCorps service here at the Watershed Center. She has utilized her knowledge and skillset to assist with developing the Agriculture Pathways Program for local high school students. The program includes the development of Watershed Natives, a source of native plants grown by students, volunteers, and Kaitlin. Watershed Natives provides native plants to local customers, while funding the Agriculture Pathways Program for students indefinitely.

In Kaitlin’s free time, she enjoys gardening at home with her husband, Justin, and their three-year-old son, Jorah. As a family, they often go camping, hiking and foraging throughout the Ozarks. You may spot her on the Valley Water Mill trails practicing nature photography or looking for something tasty to eat!