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 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.
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.
Chuck Cooper | President & 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.
Brice Krohn | 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.
Wendy Bailey | Director of Finance and Human Resources
Wendy Bailey lived in Southwest England for 36 years prior to moving to the US in 1999. She has worked in Business Administration since 1980, starting her career in the legal field in England. Wendy was educated in Great Britain and attended Secretarial College there. She majored in Psychology for her Associates Degree and Administration at University for her Bachelor’s Degree. She has been a Paralegal and legal advocate for people in need and diverse populations. Wendy joined the Crane Trust in 2011 and has worked in a financial, administration and operations management role since that time. She was appointed as a General Notary Public for the State of Nebraska in 2013. Her hobbies include travel, photography, and wildlife.
Andrew Caven, MNR | Director of Conservation Research
Andy’s work in the Central Platte River Valley has focused on understanding the response of ecosystems to managed and natural disturbances as well as the habitat ecology and natural history of species of conservation concern. He has authored scientific articles regarding a wide range of species including the Regal Fritillary, the Sandhill Crane, and native herpetofauna. Previous to coming to the CPRV, Andy worked in the Western and Southeastern United States conducting ecological research and advocating for conservation. He has worked for the U.S. National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program as well as the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research program. Andy has a BS degree from North Dakota State University and Master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and Washington State University.
Timothy Smith | Director of 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.
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.
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.
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 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 preserved 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, restore, and protect the lands where he grew up.
Nikki Chavez | Relationship Coordinator
Nikki grew up in Alamosa, Colorado where she watched her dad help restore wetland habitats through Ducks Unlimited. She then moved to Nebraska to study English and did competitive cheerleading at Hastings College. Having worked with members at a country club for 5 years she learned how to provide excellent customer service. Following her father's footsteps, Nikki decided to pursue her passion of protecting critical habitat by joining the Crane Trust team. She looks forward to building relationships with the Friends of the Trust and helping make their experience at the Trust memorable. Nikki currently lives in Hastings with her cat.
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.
Alyx Vogel | Administrative Assistant
Alyx Vogel has lived in Nebraska most of her life. She now resides in Grand Island with her husband and daughter. A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Alyx majored in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Environmental Sciences. She has held various positions throughout Nebraska and South Dakota in the wildlife field, including internships during and after college at the Crane Trust. Alyx joined the Crane Trust in 2017 and enjoys sharing her knowledge with the numerous visitors at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center.