Each year at the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting held in October, members elect directors to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors.  This year the Annual Meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, October 14 at Dr. Wayne Morton’s prairie outside Cole Camp. The Nominations Committee is submitting these nominees for directors to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors: Robert (Bob) Lee, Rick Thom, Madison (Maddie) Johnson, David Young, and Christine Chiu. Read more about the nominees below:


Robert (Bob) Lee

Bob received a JD from the University of Missouri and is a Missouri Master Naturalist and a Master Gardener. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Missourians for Monarchs-Naturalists & Gardeners. His interest is in all things nature and he believes for the most part that all problems human activities cause in nature can be corrected.

Rick Thom
Rick has been an active member of MPF for 35 years and was a board member in the 1980s.  He spent 28 years working for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Natural History and Wildlife Divisions.   After retiring from MDC, Rick worked as executive director of the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation for six years.  He has been MPF’s representative on the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Steering Committee for the past several years.  Rick has degrees in biology, forestry and public administration.

Madison (Maddie) Johnston
Maddie received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Denison University in 2014 and her J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law this past May. While at SLU law, Maddie served as President of the Environmental Law Society, Lead Editor of the Journal of Health Law & Policy, and writer for the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. She has previously worked and researched for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation in Florida, the Department of Natural Resources and MPF in Missouri, People Endorsing Agricultural Sustainability in Ohio, and the School for Field Studies in Turks & Caicos. She is currently an attorney at Brown & James, P.C. in St. Louis, focusing on health care liability defense.

Christine Chiu
With a life long history of gardening with a particular interest in edible plants, Christine is a relative newcomer to prairie ecology. Upon accepting an invitation to an MPF Bioblitz from multiple friends, she learned the language of the prairie through return visits, with experts revealing the unique relationships among the multitude of elements that comprise a prairie.

Her appreciation for prairie grew rapidly upon the constant discovery of the symbiotic relationships which are not obvious from a distance. She believes that to understand prairie is to experience it.

Especially with knowledgeable experts who share their passion for everything from the bacteria in the soil, to the plants, animals, insects, birds, polinators—their life cycles—and the intracacies of their interactions with eachother.

Understanding that while prairie may seem to be separate from daily human activity, it is actually something each of us benefit from each day, most commonly though the food we eat. Not only does she serve as a board member for MPF, she also serves on the boards of the Mid-America Organic Association and local Master Naturalist chapter.

Thanks the pursuit of her idea, the Missouri Prairie Foundation has officially founded “National Prairie Day,” to be recognized and celebrated in perpetuity the first Saturday of every June.

David Young
David B. Young is retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation where he was a wildlife regional supervisor responsible for more than 100,000 acres of public lands, developing and supervising wildlife management programs in West Central Missouri. As a retiree, he is self-employed as a part-time landscape maintenance technician and is a Master Gardener Emeritus in Johnson County. His hobbies are hunting, fishing, family activities, and traveling. He holds membership in MPF (life member); CFM (life member); and NWTF.