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.
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.
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.
Dillan Simmons, Conservation 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.
Eric Ng. Conservation Specialist
I grew up in a city called Arnold just 30 minutes south of St. Louis. I was raised by a family who loves every bit of nature, and that appreciation was distilled in me at a young age. I started my college career at Missouri S&T in 2017 studying engineering, but soon found out it wasn’t my passion. In January 2018, I began my Wildlife Conservation and Management degree at Missouri State University. I first became involved with the WCO as a volunteer with the Wildlife Society Chapter of MSU where I’m now the current president. I now get to fulfill my passions in restoring native habitat as a proud member of the crew. I also get to educate others and see other people happy as they enjoy our beautiful Ozark landscape. In my free time you can find me spending time with my family, endlessly searching for reptiles, and playing the guitar.