KWEN Leadership

The Kansas Women’s Environmental Network Leadership Team is open to any member of the network seeking to be more involved with the organization of the group.  The Leadership team meets quarterly to plan and evaluate activities–and Committees meet as needed!  Members all pitch in to make sure things go smoothly for KWEN.  Our Leadership Team Committees are Communications, Events, and Membership. Come and join the fun! Email KWENLeadership at google dot com.

Leadership Team

Kim Mahanna-Bellemere

Kim Mahanna-Bellemere

Kim Mahanna-Bellemere is the Membership and Education Coordinator for the Grassland Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network.  She was also one of the first co-chairs of the KWEN Leadership Team (through April 2015) and she is a co-founder and a current co-chair of the Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition.  Kim came to GHF after a career in health education and non-profit management. Although always concerned about environmental issues, she made the move to environmental education after starting a family and realizing she wanted to do more to protect Kansas’ natural resources. She has been involved in several volunteer projects in Lawrence, including founding an environmental education group for parents, co-founding and chairing the Monarch Waystation program at an area school, and serving as a board member for the Kansas Natural Resource Council.  In 2016 she received the award for Excellence in Environmental Education for Community and Non-profit work from the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE).  A lifelong Kansan, Kim truly understands the crucial role the native environment plays in our cultural and environmental heritage and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

RM Accordion headshot

Rachel Mysilvy

Rachel Myslivy  is the co-founder and current co-chair of the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network. She’s the Assistant Director for the Climate + Energy Project, a Kansas-based nonprofit focusing community resilience and a clean energy future. A climate advocate, systems thinker, community organizer and leadership coach, Rachel is committed to building the capacity for diverse leadership to create a better world for all. Rachel and her family steward a small, diversified, organic farm, where she spins yarn from her sheep, communes with all the creatures, and is teaching herself to play the melodeon. It’s never too late to learn something new!


Cynthia Annett

Dr. Cynthia Annett is a member of the Google Earth Outreach Network and a research scientist with a lifelong commitment to conserving and restoring aquatic habitats. Combining her passion for maps and water, she works to empower Indigenous and local communities to use counter-mapping, community knowledge sources and Citizen Science to democratize water management. After receiving her doctorate in Zoology from U.C. Berkeley, she helped establish the Arkansas Cooperative Research Unit, acting as the Assistant Fisheries Leader managing the White and Buffalo Rivers. She then began a twenty-five year fascination with the Kansas River. Her interest in prairie rivers led her to join with scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences in the 1990s to survey the upper reaches of the Ob River in the mountains along the Mongolian, Kazakh and Chinese borders. There she was able to experience an unaltered sandy river that was a “mile wide and an inch deep” and dream of the time when our rivers will be reconnected to their wetlands and riparian habitats. Her work includes coordinating multi-campus teaching and research initiatives, including a ten year exchange program for Native American and Indigenous Siberian students; helping local NGOs increase their capacity to use technology and science to further their conservation missions; conducting research on the Kansas River (most notably ); and conducting Indigenous mapping workshops for North American Tribes, South African communities, and Indigenous Peoples worldwide. She is excited about joining the KWEN leadership team, and is very impressed by the many, impressive and energetic women working to improve the Kansas environment.



Renée Whaley

Renée Whaley is an Operational Technician Specialist with the City of Lawrence Municipal Services and Operations Department and is certified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as both a Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator. She is passionate about educating the public about water treatment and has given several public presentations on wastewater treatment along with tours of Lawrence’s treatment plants. Even though she graduated with her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas, Renée has been interested in water quality and microbiology since she was in middle school thanks to a very enthusiastic biology teacher. In her spare time, she can be found gathering water samples for microphotography, making new fermented food stuffs, and painting scenes from rural Kansas. Renée enjoys the opportunities and connections that KWEN provides and thankful for all the friendships she’s made through KWEN.


Courtney Masterson

Courtney Masterson studied at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, and later studied at the University of Kansas, where she earned her Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Courtney is the Owner-operator and Ecologist of Native Lands LLC, an ecological restoration and native landscaping company. She also teaches Field Botany at KU. She sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Grassland Heritage Foundation, Friends of Konza Prairie, and the Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition. An important focus of Courtney’s work is community education and outreach, providing connections to native plants, field sciences, and outdoor experiences to groups throughout the region.


Advisory Team

Jenny O’Brien

Jenica Nelson

Durand Reiber

Julia Nehring

Megan Rush

Sofía Galarza Liu

Chavis Lickvar-Armstrong

Sue Kidd 

Julie Coleman

Ann Root 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s