The purposes of the Illinois Native Plant Society are: 1) to promote the study, appreciation, and conservation of the native flora and natural communities of Illinois; 2) to provide education to the general public as to the value of the native flora and its habitat; and 3) to produce publications that provide an outlet for such information, including but not limited to, the peer-reviewed journal of the INPS (Erigenia) and the quarterly newsletter (The Harbinger).
Our vision for Illinois is a thriving native flora, a public that values native habitats and advocates for native plants, and a robust array of scientific and popular publications that educate and inform about these issues.
Activities include field trips, lectures, workshops, and gatherings. Please refer to each chapter page to learn about activities in your area.
The Illinois Native Plant Society was organized as the Southern Illinois Native Plant Society by Dr. Robert Mohlenbrock at Southern Illinois University and his son, Mark W. Mohlenbrock, in 1982. In 1986 it expanded to become the statewide organization we know today. The Society is a 501(c)(c) nonprofit and currently consists of approximately 500 members that participate at two levels, state and chapter. There are currently 7 active chapters of INPS located across the state. Members include professionals and amateurs who share an interest in all aspects of the flora native to the state of Illinois. To view the complete INPS by-laws in pdf format, click here.
President: Floyd Catchpole
Floyd Catchpole, a representative from the Kankakee Torrent Chapter, has served on the INPS state board since 2017, and has been a member of INPS since 1988. Floyd helped found the Central Chapter when he lived in Springfield and the Kankakee Torrent Chapter now that he is in Joliet. He is currently President of the Kankakee Torrent Chapter. Floyd is Land Management Program Coordinator for the Forest Preserve District of Will County. In this capacity he: determines land management activities for natural lands in the Forest Preserve; writes management plans, grants and contracts; oversees contracts and staff, including Forest Preserve crews and volunteers, and; implements the burn program.
Floyd received a M.S. in Biology, specializing in prairie ecology, from Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) in 1997, where he studied bison grazing patches at Konza Prairie, the National Science Foundation’s tallgrass prairie research site. He received a B.S. in botany from Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, IL) in 1993, and an A.D from the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Wooster, OH), where he specialized in greenhouse management.
Vice-President: Susanne Masi
Susanne Masi served as a botanist at the Chicago Botanic Garden from 1991-2013, where she co-founded and managed Plants of Concern (a citizen science-based rare plant monitoring program, now focused in NE Illinois and NW Indiana). Since retirement, in addition to volunteering for Plants of Concern, Susanne worked with the Garden’s Seeds of Success program to collect seed of Regional Forester Sensitive Species at sites in the Shawnee National Forest. She has been on the Illinois Native Plant Society Board as a member at large since 2016. Susanne served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board for 12 years and in 2018 is a member of the Board’s Endangered Species Technical Advisory Committee for the review of the Illinois endangered species list.
Susanne co-authored The Sunflower Family in the Upper Midwest with Thomas M. Antonio and led the team that wrote the “Status of Endangered and Threatened Species” for the 1999 Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan. Susanne received Masters degrees from Northwestern University and Northeastern Illinois Universities and a B.S. from Loyola University. She lives in Algonquin, IL, with her husband Domenico D’Alessandro, an urban regenerative designer, and delights in five grandchildren.
Past-President: Paul Marcum
Paul Marcum, a representative from the Forest Glen Chapter, has served on the INPS state board since 2008. He is a life member and currently President-Elect of INPS. Professionally, Paul is the Assistant Project Leader for Botany with the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) Wetland Science Program. In this capacity he co-coordinates activities within the group and conducts environmental surveys for potential Illinois Department of Transportation projects.
Paul has been fortunate to research and publish numerous manuscripts and technical reports on Illinois natural areas and rare species. Paul received a M.S. in Biological Sciences from Marshall University (Huntington, WV) in 1999 and a B.S. in Natural Science from Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH) in 1996. His masters thesis was titled: Clarification of the hybrid origin of Carex x deamii Herm. (Cyperaceae), based on macro- and micro- morphological characters.
Secretary: Angela Kerber
Angela Kerber has a B.S. degree in Botany from Eastern Illinois University and a M.S. degree from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Before going to college, Angela was going to study veterinary medicine until she worked for a local vet office and learned surgery made her faint! Thank goodness, soon after she learned the interesting world of plant taxonomy. In 2004, she moved to Chicagoland and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Currently she works as a wetland ecologist
Treasurer: Courtney Cartney
Courtney Cartney has 19 years of corporate finance experience and is currently a Finance Manager at IBM.
She graduated from St Cloud State University in St Cloud, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance in 1999.
Courtney currently lives in Mesa, Arizona.
Membership: Amanda Pankau
Amanda has a B.S. in ecology, ethology, and evolution from the University of Illinois. In 2004 she moved to Carbondale and completed a M.S. in wildlife ecology, conducting research on wetlands in the Cache River watershed.
From 2007-2014 she worked as a biologist for an engineering firm in southern Illinois, specializing on wetland and stream delineation and mitigation, as well as threatened and endangered species consultations. She is currently taking a short break from that to focus on the all too important work of raising two little boys into future naturalists.
At-Large Board Members
Anna Braum is an ecologist at the Chicago-based nonprofit the Wetlands Initiative, where her work focuses on restoring diverse plant communities at a landscape scale. Before moving to the Wetlands Initiative, she monitored rare and listed plant species as a research assistant with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern program. Anna has an M.S. in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University, and has been an INPS member since 2015.
Janine Catchpole is a Montana native and studied Agronomy on Montana State University, learning about native plants in Range Science course work. She moved to Illinois and completed a BA in Communication from University of Illinois Springfield (SSU). She grew up caring for plants, first transplanting seedlings in grade school and working in greenhouses as she went to university. In Springfield, she was the Assistant Director/Grower at the Washington Park Botanical Garden for almost 14 years. She worked seasonally at Midewin starting in 2006 and still volunteers there. An active member of about twenty years in the Illinois Native Plant Society in Central, Northeast, and Kankakee Torrent Chapters, she has served as chapter and state president.
Jean Sellar grew up with the knowledge that she wanted to be a biologist and a conservationist. She has a Master’s degree in Ecology and worked at the Field Museum and as a consultant to zoos, museums, and environmental planning firms before a career as a gadfly at the US Army Corps of Engineers. While there she established several programs to fund and implement large ecosystem restoration projects and managed several litigation cases with the US Attorney’s Office against violators of the Clean Water Act. She helped with the start-up of Chicago Wilderness, and, after her retirement from the Corps, worked to establish an ecosystem restoration program at Friends of the Forest Preserves in Cook County. Now she inhabits and admires a 64-acre parcel west of Cobden.
Emily Dangremond is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Roosevelt University, where she teaches classes on ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. Her research experience is in population and community ecology, especially of rare plants and species range limits. She is currently doing research on population genetics and phenology of starflower in the Midwest, while continuing previous work on mangrove expansion in Florida. Emily worked as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center from 2013-2016, when she began her current position. Emily received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She began research on rare plant population ecology as an undergraduate, working on sand dune plants in California. However, Emily is a Chicago-area native and wants to help increase conservation efforts in the Midwest.
Gretel Kiefer, an Illinois native plant enthusiast, currently manages Plants of Concern, a citizen science rare plant monitoring program at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Gretel has a background in research on native plant species, having worked with the Echinacea Project based at the Chicago Botanic Garden and with The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota studying the effects of management practices on the threatened western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara). Gretel has a B.A. in Art and Biology from Grinnell College and an M.S. in Plant Conservation and Restoration from the University of Wisconsin.
cassi saari – Northeast
Floyd Catchpole – Kankakee Torrent
Bohdan Dziadyk – Quad Cities
Joe Armstrong – Grand Prairie
Connie Carroll-Cunningham – Forest Glen
Trish Quintenz – Central
Chris Evans – Southern
Editor: Chris Benda
Layout: Martha Witt
Connie Cunningham & Susanne Masi
ILLINOIS NATIVE PLANT AND SEED GROWERS STEERING COMMITTEE
Members: Janine Catchpole, Caron Wenzel, Blazing Star, Inc., Juli Crane, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, Kathy Hale-Johnson, Simply Native Plant Nursery, Corrine Daniels, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, Roger Anderson, Illinois State University, Jack Kaskel, Red Buffalo Nursery, Kyle Banas, Pizzo Native Plant Nursery, Bill Carter, Prairie Moon Nursery, Jack Pizzo, The Pizzo Group, Rob Walker, Agrecol, Grace Koehler, Pizzo Native Plant Nursery, Ellen Starr, USDA NRCS, Sandy Ascot, Muddy Paws Garden Nursery, John Wilker, IDNR, Chris Evans, IDNR, Trish Beckjord, Midwest Groundcovers, Larry Creekmur, Country Road Greenhouses, Inc., Todd Polacek, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, Carl Linman, Restoration Landscaping, Terra Ozenkoski, Fromm-Huff Farm Inc., Kelsay Shaw, Possibility Place, Terry Rohwedder, Possibility Place
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (IDOT) ADVISORY GROUP