2021 Board Members

Rex Hanson, President

Mary Jo Shumacher, Vice President

Kathleen McCarter, Secretary

Becky Hanson, Treasurer

Bob Christensen, Board Member

Tricia Matthews, Board Member

Mike Ferdinand, Board Member

Leigh Wiemann, Board Member

Noreen Tripp, Board Member

 The Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge support the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and its programs in cooperation with the USFWS, dvocating for the lands under Refuge management and for educational and restoration programs. The Friends envision the Refuge as a destination for visitors from around the Treasure Valley as well as from across the country and the world.

     The Friends Board is dedicated to upholding the Friends Mission which is:

To promote, protect and provide resources to preserve and enhance Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge

for the enjoyment of present and future generations.


Kathleen attended the University of Idaho and graduated with a BA in literature from the University of Oregon. She also has an MA in secondary education and taught in the Meridian School District. She has been a member of Friends for several years and is passionate about protecting wildlife.

Vice President

Mary Jo is a native of the State of Washington. She served 3 years in the US Navy and received her BSN from BSU. She retired from the VA hospital, but still works as a contract nurse. She enjoys volunteering at the refuge, and has completed the educational phase of the Master Naturalist program.

Board Member

Bob has a BS & MS degree in Zoology. He is a retired biologist but continues to enjoy his interests by volunteering at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. He has been a member of the Friends of Deer Flat group since its beginning and was the treasurer for 7 years and president for 4 years.


Becky is a 3rd generation Idahoan and graduated from the College of Idaho with a BA in Music (Piano). She was an oil industry "trailing spouse" and music teacher in Sudan, the UK, Nigeria, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Pittsburgh. Becky is also a Master Naturalist.

Board Member

Mike Ferdinand is a longtime visitor and volunteer at the Refuge and member of the Friends. He is a master handyman. Mike served as interim board member during 2020.

Board Member

Tricia Matthews is also a longtime Friends member, past president, vice president and treasurer, and has overseen the pollinator garden, memberships and nature store. She is also active in the Master Naturalist Chapter at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge

Board Member

Noreen Tripp is a charter member of the Friends, a past president, and has helped coordinate many public outreach programs.

Board Member

Leigh Wiemann is a graduate of the Master Naturalist Chapter at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, grant writer, conservationist, avid gardener, and formerly served on the board of the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History at the College of Idaho.


Rex grew up in Ohio. He graduated from Stanford University (BS - Physics / MS - Geophysics) and worked for Chevron as a geophysicist. He and his family lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Rex is a Master Naturalist and volunteers at Deer Flat NWR & the Orma J. Smith Museum (College of Idaho).