kateKate Simmons is a western Iowa native, originally from Onawa but now from Logan. Kate has a widely varied background. She earned an Associate’s degree in Biology from Cottey College in Nevada, MO but then changed her mind and pursued the arts, eventually earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Voice and Theater Performance from Creighton University. She started her post graduate career as a sales representative for a local theatrical supplies vendor but has changed gears again, returning to her roots in biology and conservation.

Kate currently works as the Community Relations Coordinator for Pottawattamie County Conservation. She is responsible for the overall promotional and communications support, including coordination of membership and volunteer programs and contributing monthly to the conservation blog. 

Outside of work Kate is an active performer in local community theater, a member of the Omaha Mastersingers jazz choir & the Bellevue Choral Society, and a full-time mommy to her ever charming son, Aiden. 

Rene Crop

Rene Stroud received a Bachelor of Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. Rene has a wide variety of prior experience including providing environmental education to the citizens of Sac County, Iowa from 2006-2014. During this time she enjoyed writing the quarterly newsletter and sharing nature information on the county’s Facebook page. Some of her other experiences include banding birds in Texas, providing environmental education at Custer State Park, and interning at Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge.

Rene and her husband, Marty spend their time watching their daughter, June grow and rediscovering the joys of the outdoors together.