Born in Brookings, South Dakota, Susanne lived in a number of different places as a child including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama before moving to Omaha, Nebraska with her parents and sisters. Susanne’s love for the plains came from living in Nebraska, visiting her grandma in South Dakota, and going pheasant hunting with her dad.
Susanne received her BS and MA degrees from the University of Nebraska in Omaha. The Nature Conservancy supported Susanne’s Master research in fire ecology of Tallgrass prairies through the RJ Kose Grant program.
In 1992, shortly after receiving her Master’s degree, Susanne started working seasonally for the Conservancy in Iowa by mapping the prairies in Loess Hills. By 1998, Susanne worked full-time for the Conservancy as a Loess Hills Protection Specialist. Today, Susanne works on expanding, protecting, and restoring Iowa’s natural habitats as the Director of Conservation Programs. Susanne focuses much of her work on building partnership for conservation in the Loess Hills, protecting lands with conservation easements and more recently is working with staff on freshwater protection programs in the Boone and Cedar River watersheds. In 2012, Susanne led a conservation easement effort to protect more than 1,065 acres in Loess Hills!
Susanne loves the creativity of The Nature Conservancy’s workers and volunteers, especially their commitment to always look for new solutions.
When asked what her favorite Nature Conservancy place is, Susanne said, “There are many wonderful Conservancy places across the world, but my heart always comes back to the Great Plains and in particular the Loess Hills landscape.”