Watershed Conservation Corps Staff

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 in several states across the country. Joining the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in the spring of 2017, Caleb seeks to continue to enact his passion for restoration through hands-on service to the land.

Adam Barton, Watershed Conservation Corps Project Manager

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.

Hannah Stinnett, National Park Service Restoration Specialist-Leader

Hannah is from Gassville, Arkansas.  She grew up on Bull Shoals Lake and made frequent trips to the Buffalo River.  She discovered her love for the conservation field while serving with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa. Hannah graduated from Arkansas Tech with a degree in Recreation and Park Administration. She has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, Montana Conservation Corps and Roaring River State Park. She spends most of her time enjoying the natural beauty of the Ozarks while backpacking, floating and rock climbing.   Hannah is happiest when outside and her favorite part of the job is creating hiking trails.

Dillan Simmons, National Park Service Restoration Specialist

Dillan Grew up just east of Springfield in Rogersville, and has always enjoyed spending time in the natural beauty the Ozarks has to offer. In his spare time you might find him hiking, camping, or backpacking Near the Buffalo River. After high school he received training and worked with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa. During Dillan’s service term with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa he worked with the Exotic Plant Management team under the National Park Heartland Network out of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Traveling the Midwest to treat invasive plant species in order to restore and protect native habitat. After the end of his Americorps Term Dillan Joined the Watershed Conservation Corps in hopes to continue help combat invasive Plants so that the Native species of the Ozarks can flourish.

Trey Thompson, National Park Service Restoration Specialist

Trey began working with the Watershed Conservation Corps in June 2020 after graduating from Missouri State with a Bachelor’s in wildlife biology in May of the same year. Trey has resided in the Ozarks since 2009 after he moved from Illinois. He has always enjoyed being outdoors and likes to hike and trail run. Trey was first introduced to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in the Fall of 2019 when he began volunteering. It was during his time as a volunteer where he became familiar with numerous invasive plant species. Trey plans to continue working in the conservation field in the future. In his free time Trey enjoys reading and listening to music.

Jeremiah Cline, Conservation Specialist

Jerry grew up camping at Missouri State Parks and Army Corp Parks. Over time he began loving the outdoors and the importance of natural resources. In 2015 he began volunteering as camp hosts for the Army Corp of Engineers at Beaver Lake. After doing a couple rides-alongs with the park rangers he started to realize the importance of protecting plants and animals. It wasn’t until he worked as a seasonal at Roaring River State Park that he realized he wanted to do habitat restoration. Since then, he has worked with a total of 2 state parks in Missouri, and currently working with the WCC as well as Cardinal Valley Prairie Restoration project in Webb City MO. He has taken these skills and have started a riparian/marshland restoration project on his campus at Missouri Southern.

Evan Petrich, Conservation Specialist

Evan graduated from Missouri State University in Fall of 2019. He returned to Missouri State last year and is working towards obtaining a Certificate in geospatial science. He has lived in Springfield his entire life. Evan spent most of his time growing up outside, which cultivated a passion for national parks. His family often incorporate national parks into family vacations, allowing him to visit Glacier, Yellowstone, Great Smokey Mountains, Grand Canyon National Parks and more. A couple hobbies of his include hiking and nature photography, both in the Ozarks and around the country. Evan joined the Watershed Conservation Corp in January 2021 to broaden his knowledge of conservation and to make positive contributions to the community.

Brendan Brothers, Conservation Specialist

Brendan grew up in Jefferson County, Missouri, and graduated from Missouri State University in 2018. He has always been awed by nature, and after taking field trips in his science classes he realized that it was his passion. Brendan switched his major from education to biology halfway through college – it was then he was introduced to stewardship at the Watershed Center. After graduating, Brendan spent three years as a seasonal interpreter for Missouri State Parks. Brendan joined the Watershed Conservation Corps in April 2021. He is very excited to leave a positive impact on the environment through his hard work.