Jeff Neel has been the Executive Director of KAWS since September 2013 and a partner and advisor of KAWS since 2004. From 2007 to 2013, Jeff was responsible for the development, growth, and management of the Assessments & GIS program for KAWS. His efforts contributed to over 50 watershed, riparian, and wetland assessments and significant development of many innovative, technological methods--all focused on identifying simple sources or solutions for core ecological problems. Assessments were delivered to various agencies and stakeholder groups and have resulted in implementation of miles of stream and riparian restoration projects and many non-point source BMP implementation projects, ranging from ephemeral gully treatment to livestock feeding site relocation to creation of wetland retention areas for cropland. Currently, he is developing KAWS Applied Science & Innovation services and resources with partners, including a Geospatial Data Commons and GoogleMapper Inventory-Citizen Science tools as well as the KAN-PIC Market & Auction site.
Jeff has a passion for Kansas, Kansans (humans and non-humans), streams, wetlands, prairies, vaquaponics and agroecosystems. A Kansan all his life having grown up in northwestern and northeastern Kansas, he makes his home on the western banks of Tuttle Creek Lake in the Big Blue River Watershed, where he enjoys hunting, fishing, gardening, canoeing, boating, painting, music and nature walks. His neighbors have often referred to him as "the Dude" (from the Big Lebowski) because he "abides" and he has a fondness for rugs that tie rooms together.