Mary Barrick, Director
Mary was promoted to the Director position in April of 2014. She previously held the Administrative Assistant position working closely with the past Director, playing a major role in working with the budget and has been a key player in the growth of the Conservation Board programs. She has been very successful in grant writing, working with land acquisitions and trail projects. Mary has also been an integral part in public programming and assisting with educational programs. As a director, Mary is focused on enhancement of our properties and the addition of new programs. Mary lives near Ruthven, enjoys being outdoors, and spending time with family.
Kala Hoffman, Administrative Assistant
Kala Hoffman is the new Administrative Assistant as of July of 2017. She graduated from Dordt College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, with a Field of Specialization in Special Education. She has had years of Office experience as well. She enjoys sharing her desire to take care of the planet, promoting humane treatment of animals and adopting not buying pets. She has an interest in birding and paleontology. Kala, along with her husband and daughter live in Graettinger. They love camping and spending time with family.
Miriam Patton, Naturalist
Miriam Patton has been educating youth and adults with Palo Alto County Conservation for over 30 years. She has developed and provided regionally focused programs for thousands of individuals through groups and events including Junior Naturalists, Summer Camp, school visits, snowshoeing, canoeing, and other various educational programs. Miriam and her husband live in Spencer. Miriam likes to bike, kayak, cross country ski and snow shoe.
Rob Allen, Operations Supervisor
Rob joined the County Conservation Board in July of 2014. Rob Allen started in July as our new Operations Supervisor. Rob was previously the Wildlife Technician for the Hardin County Conservation Board where he had extensive experience with invasive species removal and native plant regeneration projects.
During high school, Rob started working with Webster County Conservation Board as a seasonal intern. After high school, he attended Ellsworth Community College majoring in Conservation Technology. He then graduated from Iowa State University where he earned his BA in Forestry.
He enjoys living in this part of the state where he can enjoy the great lakes and marshes we have to offer. Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman and says, “While I am outdoors hunting and fishing, it’s not about the harvest for me. I enjoy watching the dog work for birds, enjoy spending time with friends and family, and watching the wildlife. I am also an avid trapper; trapping is how I started learning about many conservation management practices.”
Jeremy Wickman, Park Ranger
Jeremy joined the County Conservation Board in January of 2012 as Park Ranger. Jeremy graduated first from ILCC in Environmental Studies, then continued on to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at Northwest Missouri State. Jeremy has held several positions including working two summers here at the Palo Alto County Conservation Board. He lives outside of the town of Ruthven and is native to the town of Emmetsburg. Jeremy enjoys anything to do with the outdoors as that was instilled in him early on in his life, and he continues to be very eager to promote the natural resources that the surrounding area has to offer.