Kristal enjoys spending time with her fellow PLJV board members, whom she describes as passionate and knowledgeable about conversation, and finds their conversations to be rejuvenating. While there is significant overlap in the missions of Audubon and the PLJV partnership, with both focused on bird conservation, mutual interest in the Platte River ecosystem — which crosses three states — has set the stage for even more collaboration.
As the Executive Director of Audubon Nebraska and Vice President of the National Audubon Society, Kristal oversees conservation strategies spanning the state’s prairies, rivers, working lands, and bird-friendly communities. In her current role, she is also responsible for two nature centers — Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center and Iain Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary — where education, bird conservation, and habitat enhancement are elevated.
Before Audubon, Kristal served as the Wildlife Diversity Program Manager at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, where she implemented Nebraska’s State Wildlife Action Plan to conserve at-risk species by developing and coordinating initiatives across multiple divisions and with partners. She also managed the Nebraska Natural Legacy Partnership Team, which provides guidance for Nebraska’s Wildlife Action Plan implementation, and initiated and led the Nebraska Conservation Roundtable, which serves to educate Senators about the most pressing threats to wildlife in Nebraska. She holds a master’s degree in ecology, evolution, and behavior from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
In her spare time, Kristal enjoys hiking, birding and kayaking with her two daughters, husband, and cocker spaniel. She also spends hours cheering for her girls in archery and volleyball tournaments and enjoying live music at local breweries and wineries.