Staff

staff & trustees Chuck Cooper
Chuck Cooper
President and CEO

Chuck Cooper is a lifelong Nebraskan, growing up in Hartington, Nebraska, working on farms in his youth and graduating from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. These experiences created a passion for Nebraska and the prairie that the Crane Trust works to protect and maintain. Chuck joined the Crane Trust as President/CEO in September 2010 after more than 16 years of successfully managing non-profits in Nebraska. Chuck feels it is vitally important that the Platte River and the habitat that it supports are protected for generations to come and works in concert with the Trust staff and area conservation groups to make that happen.

sstaff & trustees Brice Krohn
Brice Krohn
VICE PRESIDENT

Originally from Treynor, Iowa, Brice now lives in Kearney, Nebraska, with his wife and four children. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis in wildlife management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Before joining the Crane Trust, Brice worked as a land manager in the Rainwater Basin for eleven years. He gained extensive knowledge and experience managing prescribed burns and wild land fires from working all risk management details in 22 states, including the B.P. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His field experience extends to heavy machinery used to improve and maintain a variety of habitats. As a steward of the land, Brice enjoys restoring and preserving a functioning prairie landscape so that his children and others can experience the pure beauty and importance of Mother Nature’s role in our lives.

staff & trustees Wendy Bailey
Wendy Bailey
OPERATIONS Manager

Wendy moved from Southwest England to Nebraska in 1999. She has worked in business administration since 1980, starting her career in the legal field in England. She has been a paralegal and legal advocate for people in need and diverse populations. She enjoyed working in the non-profit field for 5 years, advocating for people’s rights and working with at-risk youth. She has studied Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology and is obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Her hobbies include travel, photography, and wildlife.

staff & trustees Andy Caven
Andrew Caven, MNR
Lead Biologist

Originally, from Aberdeen, South Dakota, Andy has spent the last 10 years in the Western and Southeastern United States conducting ecological research and advocating for conservation. Andy’s areas of expertise include botany, avian ecology, and bat ecology. He also has experience with herpetology, including sea turtles. He has worked for the U.S. National Park Service, the National Science Foundation’s LTER program, and owned his own business, contracting and consulting for a variety of governmental and nongovernmental organizations including the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas. Andy has a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University and a Master of Natural Resources degree from the University of Georgia. He is enjoying settling back into life on the prairie and is very excited to be contributing to the important goals of the Crane Trust.

Nicole Arcilla, Phd
Lead Scientist

Nicole is a conservation biologist with 18 years’ experience studying wildlife community and population responses to human impacts in the Americas as well as in Africa and Madagascar, the Middle East, and the Pacific islands. Born in Minnesota, she earned her BA from Yale University, MS from Cornell University, and PhD from the University of Georgia. She held postdoctoral positions at the Smithsonian Institution and Drexel University, and has authored or coauthored nearly 30 scientific articles. In collaboration with the Institute for Bird Populations, federal agencies, and other partners, she is leading research on climate and habitat change impacts on Whooping and Sandhill Cranes, Neotropical migratory birds, and grassland birds, the latter of which are among the most rapidly declining birds in continental North America.

staff & trustees Timothy Smith
Timothy Smith
Land Manager

A native of Elm Creek, Nebraska, Tim spent 4 years in the Marine Corps before moving back home and pursuing a degree of Biology with an emphasis in wildlife management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Tim now lives in Grand Island, Nebraska, with his wife Casey and sons, Haydan and Sawyer. Before coming to the Crane Trust, Tim worked as a biological technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Funk, Nebraska, and most recently spent the last 4 years as the Habitat Specialist for the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture located in Grand Island. While with the Joint Venture, he dedicated his time to wetland restoration projects on private lands, worked with private landowners to secure easements and other private lands programs along with helping public land managers with land management activities throughout 21 counties in central and eastern Nebraska. He joined the Trust staff in 2014 and looks forward to working with others to preserve and maintain our critical habitat along the big bend reach of the Platte River. As an avid outdoorsman, Tim believes that this is a great opportunity to give back to future generations by preserving and managing our unique and critical habitat along the Platte River.

Adam Driver
Facility Manager

Adam Driver is a lifelong Nebraskan. He is very passionate about the outdoors and enjoys everything Mother Nature has to offer. Adam’s passion for the outdoors began from hunting expeditions with his father at a very young age, which has grown tremendously over the years. While growing up in Minden, Nebraska, with his parents and three siblings, he continued to grow in his appreciation of the Platte River Valley. Adam attended Hastings College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and pole vaulted for the Track & Field team. His athletic background, as well as his love for the outdoors, will help Adam with future endeavors at the Crane Trust including; maintenance and hosting events of the new trail system, roles throughout the Nature and Visitor Center and land and science collaborations to strengthen the Trust’s mission. Adam hopes that his hard work and dedication will encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.

staff & trustees Jacob Salter
Jacob Salter
Bison Coordinator

Jacob Salter grew up in Bismark, North Dakota, and later moved to Grand Island where he completed high school. Along with cattle and horses, his family had previously raised a handful of bison, which began his love for wildlife at an early age while exploring his grandparent’s ranch in North Dakota. Upon graduating high school, Jacob attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife. The start of Jacob’s tenure began as an intern at the Crane Trust, but his position has led him to pursue a love of bison as he helps research the historical bison herd at the Trust.

JOSH WIESE
Biological Science Technician

Josh, who is about as local as they come, grew up and graduated high school in Shelton, Nebraska, only 20 miles from the Crane Trust property. Flowers are Josh’s favorite thing in the world, next to his wife, Brittney, and his two children, Lillian and Judah. Josh majored in wildlife biology at the University of Nebraska, Kearney focusing his studies on plants, ecology, and phylogenetics. The summer after his junior year he took an internship at the Crane Trust focused around vegetation monitoring, later positioning himself as a herbarium scholar, working in both the university and the Crane Trust’s plant collections, through the length of his senior year. Upon graduating in spring 2016, he took over the role of science technician ready to help preserve and protect the lands where he grew up..

Charles Cooper
Director of Development

Charles is a Nebraska native and graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. With a deep love for the state, education, and the outdoors his past experience as an executive with Boy Scouts of America allowed him to become involved in outdoor education with young people and provides a base for allowing him to bring the work of the Crane Trust to the community. Charles has three children and joined the Trust in 2013 with responsibility for expanding and maintaining support for the Trust and its vital work in this part of the country.

staff & trustees Sandy Douglas
Sandy Douglas
Director of Community Development

Sandy came to the Crane Trust with over 25 years in advertising, marketing, banking and sales experience, and has served in board positions for non-profit organizations such as Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) and the American Marketing Association. Having moved to Omaha after graduation from the University of Michigan, she found a true home in Nebraska. The excitement of her first Crane experience years ago and her love of wild creatures and spaces has led her to the Crane Trust, where she employs her business and marketing experience to develop support for the Crane Trust and its vital mission.

staff & trustees Josie DeVault
Josie DeVault
DIRECTOR OF Marketing

A native Nebraskan and graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Josie’s passion for the outdoors and over 10-year career in marketing and communications brought her to the Crane Trust in 2011. Her past experience in graphic design, marketing and brand management with non-profits provides a well-rounded base allowing her to bring the message of the Crane Trust to thousands of more people. Josie is married and has a little girl and another baby on the way.

Ben Dumas
EXCURSION MANAGER

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Ben moved to Nebraska in 2009 to attend Hastings College where he received degrees in Peace, Justice, and Social Change, and Religion. After graduation, Ben spent three years developing and running a successful non-profit in Hastings. A love for outdoor activities and an enthusiasm for the mission of the Crane Trust brought Ben to join the staff in 2016. His hope is to use the Excursion program as an avenue to create more friends of the Crane Trust and to help people discover a passion for the outdoors. Ben lives in Hastings and can usually be found on a bike, or exploring with his wife and two dogs.

staff & trustees Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
Nature & Visitor Center Coordinator

Cheryl has lived in Nebraska all her life. She grew up in the Wood River area but moved west of Doniphan in 1981, where she continues to reside. She has over 20 years of experience in administration, customer service, and sales. Cheryl brings a variety of different skill sets from working in different fields. Before joining the staff at Crane Trust, she worked for the State of Nebraska as Tourism Counselor (within the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center). Cheryl appreciates the joy the crane migration brings to people and the economic boost they bring into the community.

Catherine Cargill
Bookkeeper

Catherine graduated from Aurora has made Grand Island her home since 1973. She has over 24 years of experience in accounting and customer service. Before the Crane Trust, Catherine worked for Southern Power and has been a volunteer CPR and First Aid instructor for the Red Cross for 35 years. She is married to a wildlife biologist and has two grandsons whom she loves spending time with. Catherine is a big Husker baseball fan and enjoys outdoor activities.

KELSEY KING
VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

Born in Tucson, Arizona, King moved to the Midwest in 2007 where she began to appreciate the unique and subtle beauty of the prairie. She graduated from Cornell College in Mt Vernon, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Environmental Studies where she chose to dedicate her life to conservation and the study of nature. During her time in college, as a representative of Admissions, she learned the details of non-profits and how to inform the public on the goals of the institution. Beginning as a science intern with the Crane Trust has given her the opportunity to intimately observe the wildlife on the property and with that an appreciate for the land. This is an experience she hopes to share with the many volunteers and visitors of the Crane Trust through all seasons.

Trustees

staff & trustees Doug Curry
Doug Curry

Doug Curry is a native of Holbrook, Nebraska, who has practiced law in Lincoln since his graduation from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1973. He represented many clients during his career, including the Lincoln Electric System which he served as General Counsel from 1978-2011. In addition to active participation with national and local energy and law related organizations, Mr. Curry has been, and continues to be, active as a community volunteer for a number of church, civic and charitable boards and organizations.

CRAIG THOMPSON

Craig Thompson has established himself as a leader in conservation. He has served in such capacities as a founder of the Wyoming League of Conservation Voters and the Wyoming Environmental Education Association; as president of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation; and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest conservation organization. As a researcher and writer, Mr. Thompson was named a National Science Foundation fellow in stressed stream analysis, and has been widely published on a variety of topics ranging from glacial melt-waters to arid-land streams. His work as Professor of Engineering and Earth Science at Western Wyoming Community College earned him the honor of Wyoming Professor of the Year (2015) from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Mr. Thompson graduated from Colorado College with a BA in chemistry and Stanford University with an MS in environmental engineering, and he is a licensed professional engineer.

 IMG_0746
Brad Korell

Brad Korell brings distinguished background in business and community service. He had a 27-year career at National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Nebraska, serving the last ten years as president and CEO. After Wells Fargo Bank purchased NBC, Mr. Korell became regional market president. At this time, he is employed by Olsson Associates in business development and community relations. In his community service career, Mr. Korell has served in board leadership positions for such organizations as the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and Nebraska Wesleyan University. Currently, he is active on the boards of Amfirst Bank, Nebraska Bank of Commerce, the University of Nebraska Foundation, NUtech Ventures LLC, CenterPointe and the Cooper Foundation. Having grown up in Culbertson, Nebraska, Mr. Korell received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration and he is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.