The All-American Advantages of the Great River Road

Session 1: Uncovering the All-American Advantages of the Great River Road (9:10-10:25AM)

Janet Kennedy
Janet Kennedy has a broad range of experience in site planning and recreation management, as well as transportation and regional planning. Since 1996, she has focused on planning and the economic revitalization for New York communities through the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byway program. The state’s Lakes and Locks Passage received All-American Road designation in 2002. Since then, she has been involved in the development of a cross-border tourism partnership with communities in Quebec. Her latest work effort is a collaboration with National Geographic to promote tourism “guided by locals” to national and international audiences.
Sharon Strouse
Sharon Strouse has been involved with the National Scenic Byway program since 1997 as a local byway leader of the Amish Country Byway in Ohio. As the executive director of the National Scenic Byway Foundation, she leads the group’s member-driven nonprofit organization to be the “national voice of Scenic Byways and Roads,” along with national partners. Supporting byway leaders to protect and enhance their byway resources has been her aspiration. Through planning, fundraising and education, she has gained experience at the local, state and national levels working with byways and byway leaders. After 30 years, Sharon is an Emeritus Professor with Ohio State University Extension, Community Development, and owns a small business, Design Impressions, in Millersburg, Ohio. She enjoys working with youth as leader of a local 4H club, belonging to a monthly book club and participating in volunteer naturalist activities, church missions and choir.

Session 2: The Mississippi Flyway and its All-American Significance (10:30-11:45AM)

Aaron Yetter
Aaron Yetter is a waterfowl ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) at the Forbes Biological Station & Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center in Havana, Ill. The INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Aaron received a BS (1989) and MS (1993) degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Aaron’s research interests include various aspects of waterfowl and waterbird migration ecology, specifically stopover duration, food habits, habitat use, survival, use of refugia, true metabolizable energy, estimated carrying capacity, and aerial surveys. Aaron is the Forbes Station’s “flying biologist” and spends over 225 hours in the center’s airplane each year.
Hallie Rasmussen
Hallie Rasmussen has been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 18 years at several refuge field stations in the visitor services profession. She is currently the Visitor Services Manager at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. She is native to Wisconsin but has worked at refuges in Iowa, California, Oregon, and Minnesota through her career. She is passionate about connecting visitors with the resource and is happy to share what recreational opportunities are available on the Upper Mississippi River.