Photo Credit: Eric Preston

Debra Behrens Executive Director

Debra brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and development experience to her role. She is a passionate advocate for our cause and for the important role of donors and volunteers in advancing our mission. To learn more about Debra’s background and connection to our work, check out her introductory blog post and video.

Dan Carter Ecologist

Dan joined The Prairie Enthusiasts’ Chapter Support staff in 2020. He has experience in fire-dependent community assessment, restoration, reconstruction, management, and protection as an educator, researcher, planner, consultant, and volunteer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Grinnell College and PhD in biology from Kansas State. Dan is available to make visits to properties to discuss and assess potential or ongoing efforts related to fire-dependent communities. He lives between Madison and Milwaukee, but his personal project is a pine barrens restoration on property in Bayfield County. Dan volunteers with the Glacial Prairie Chapter. Feel free to contact him with property visit requests or other technical questions. 

Khris Miller Operations Coordinator

Khris joined The Prairie Enthusiasts to make a difference for “our beautiful planet Earth” after spending much of her career in the for-profit sector. Trained as an educator, her love of learning and teaching has allowed her to grow and help others succeed as well. She is a creative problem solver and resourceful support for our chapters, members and friends. Khris and her husband re-located to the Driftless region in 2018, where they are learning to be stewards of the land. She enjoys hiking, snowshoeing and horseback riding.

Nate Lee Operations Assistant

Nate moved to the Driftless Area in 2020 to get away from city life and be closer to nature. After discovering The Prairie Enthusiasts, he quickly recognized his values closely aligned with their mission and was eager to join the team. His background includes wildland firefighting, operations management, permaculture, and anthropology. When he’s not in the office you can find him working on his own farm, where he practices regenerative agriculture.

Kelly Billig Operations: Special Projects

I’m excited to join the wonderful staff of The Prairie Enthusiasts. I have 20+ years of nonprofit experience in fundraising, operational management, and event coordination. I’ve spent the past few years as a stay-at-home parent, but I look forward to returning to mission-driven nonprofit work. I look forward to helping The Prairie Enthusiasts preserve and restore the biodiversity of the upper Midwest. I reside in West St. Paul, MN with my husband and two sons where we enjoy hiking, playing Dungeons & Dragons and generally nerding-out. I also spend my free-time snuggling our elderly cat and walking our not-so-elderly, very active beagle-mix dog.

Duncan Schultz Outreach & Fundraising Coordinator

Duncan moved to the Midwest from Orange County, California in 2007. Time spent outside with the land has always been important to him, but it mostly came through long trips to “get to nature.” Once he started at the UW-Madison Arboretum in 2009, the prairie rooted itself in his everyday life. Duncan considers himself extremely fortunate to spend his working hours supporting the prairie and other fire-dependent ecosystems and hopes his passion and excitement shine through all he does. Married with two kids, you’ll find his happiest places are in a good chair with a good book, or in wide open spaces having good conversation. 

Sarah Barron Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Sarah has had a love of native plant ecosystems and their inhabitants since childhood. She and her husband collect native plants along roadsides and grow native plants to harvest seed. Sarah’s often out on a prairie or savanna, toting a pack with a camera, binoculars, and perhaps a parsnip predator. She is passionate to share “prairie enthusiasm” with others and continue to grow her knowledge of natural ecosystems. She started at The Prairie Enthusiasts in 2023, where she processes donations, and coordinates marketing materials like social media, emails, the website and the Prairie Promoter newsletter. She’s always excited to hear about ways to engage others and share knowledge, so please feel free to contact her at any time.