Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative Manager
Heidi Mehl Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative Manager © Nick Krug

Our People

Heidi Mehl

Director, Kansas Water & Agriculture Programs

Topeka, KS

  • Area of Expertise

    Fluvial geomorphology, Hydrology, Human-environment interactions

  • Contact

    Email

Biography

Heidi leads the Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative where she works to recover the state’s streams and improve water quality, as well as directing burgeoning soil health and regenerative agriculture projects in Kansas. She has a strong interdisciplinary background spanning the fields of fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and human-environment interactions.

Heidi received her Ph.D from Kansas State University with a dissertation title “A cultural ecology of riparian systems on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation: understanding stream incision, riparian function, and Indigenous Knowledge to increase best management plan adoption.”

A native of south-central Kansas, Heidi’s passion for studying water resources began with a research trip as an undergraduate to the Altai Republic in Siberian Russia. There she observed the importance of informing the public about their drinking water resources. Since then she has continued to work with rural and indigenous communities both in Kansas and internationally to find solutions to water pollution and resource conflicts. Her work in Kansas has led to collaborations and partnerships with Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Kickapoo Nation in Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, the Upper Wakarusa WRAPS group, and the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams.

She is also a long-serving board member of Friends of the Kaw, acting as an advocate for the river as a float guide and a science advisor to the Kansas Riverkeeper. Her international work has taken her to Ukraine, South Africa, and Kenya to collaborate on local water and land use 

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