Esther has always followed the water. Born in Cleveland, off the shores of Lake Erie, she went west and studied ecology and biology at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. She then took off around the world. In Baja, Calif., she worked as a sea kayak guide and did bird research. In Thailand, she led ecotourism activities.
In Nepal, she led elder-hostel programs, worked on bird wetlands projects and volunteered with Bird Conservation Nepal. For more than 20 years Esther has worked in different capacities at The Wetlands Conservancy to restore and preserve Oregon’s wetlands – marshy areas that provide vital wildlife habitat and the potential to forestall climate change. In her free time Esther can be found sea kayaking, gardening, hiking or traveling.
Joining TWC in the spring 2014 Kendra was excited to combine her love of stories and conservation. Kendra manages all channels of communication for The Wetlands Conservancy. In collaboration with TWC’s great field staff stories are told via the website, e-newsletter, social media and print materials. Kendra spent the last five years managing Mercy Corps local education program. Through interactive workshops students gained a deeper understanding of global issues and social change. Prior to this, Kendra spent five years teaching experiential environmental education in the front and backcountry of California and many other countries. You can find Kendra in her garden, in the mountains or lounging by a river when it’s warm!
Kacy Woodley is an enthusiastic naturalist and eccentric amphibian biologist. She has worked with island ecosystems, sensitive species conservation, invasive species impacts, and amphibian disease research. If you asked her where she is most at peace, she would tell you it’s knee deep in a marsh, on a calm, cloudy day. Kacy is an avid photographer and strives to use her photography to show the beauty and wonders of marshes, from tiny spiders, to goofy bitterns. She is excited to bring her various skills to TWC and work to conserve Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands. .
Patty has 20 years of experience in nonprofits including a stint in Peace Corps. Her most recent experience has been as Associate Director and Operations Manager at organizations who serve vulnerable populations. She is glad to be back in the environmental field and assist those who have their boots on the ground/water. Outside of TWC, you can find her designing a pesticide free garden, cooking an exotic dish, or looking for her next travel adventure.
Paul joined TWC in 2006 bringing his vast knowledge of the central coast eco-region. Paul’s deep understanding of landscape conservation has been key in building the health of our properties on the central coast and evaluating how they can help steward conservation in the surrounding areas. Paul manages all of TWC’s properties in the Alsea Bay, Beaver Creek and Yaquina basin. With his strong voice and keen understanding for partnership Paul has represented TWC on watershed councils and in partnering with state and federal agencies and private landowners. Paul has been working in conservation for many years and his love for the forests, streams, fish and birds is part of every aspect of his life. When he is not creating partners or managing TWC’s preserves you will still find him out in this amazing area hiking, birding and getting to know the critical habitats that species depend on.
Megan has a lifetime love for restoration projects in the Portland metro area. Beginning in high school, Megan started working with organizations to design and implement water quality and restoration projects. In September 2013, Megan joined TWC as our Urban Land Steward for properties in Washington, Multnomah, Tillamook and Clatsop counties. In collaboration with contractors and volunteers, Megan works to evaluate and implement innovative techniques to best manage these properties. When Megan is not in TWC wetlands you can find her cooking, watching her friends play music and on solo adventures in the mountains with her canine sidekick!
John van Staveren is a Professional Wetland Scientist and President of Pacific Habitat Services, Inc. For over 20 years he has worked on wetland projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. He has served on several state appointed Technical Advisory Committees concerning wetland policy in Oregon, has authored a chapter on freshwater wetland restoration, and has assisted numerous cities throughout Oregon with natural resource planning. He joined TWC as a natural outlet for his passion for wetlands.
Scott Rich is the Membership Development Director for Practice Greenhealth, where he work with hospitals and health care systems on sustainable innovation. Originally from Utah, Scott grew up with wetlands, water, mountains, and farming as part of his DNA. He holds an MBA with an emphasis in sustainable business from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management and a B.S. in political science and philosophy from Utah State University.
Amy van Saun is a staff attorney at the Center for Food Safety’s Portland, Oregon office where she works to protect the environment from harmful food production technologies and to promote safe, healthful, and ecologically restorative food. A 2011 graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School, Amy focused on public interest environmental and food law. After temporarily returning to her home state of New York after law school, Amy is extremely happy to be back in Oregon, where she spends her spare time enjoying the Portland food culture and the great Oregon outdoors. Amy is also a painter and guitar player.
Michael Menzies was born in Maryland and spent most of his childhood playing in the creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. Michael moved to Oregon in 1992 to work in environmental planning and consulting. His background is in Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. In 2010, Michael founded a financial consulting firm which is now Pembroke Asset Advisors, LLC. Pembroke is an independent financial planning firm which focuses on small business, not-for-profit and individual financial planning needs. The firm is located not far from where Michael and his wife, Arika, live on their 20+ acre organic farm in Clackamas County.
Mark Jockers is the Government & Public Affairs Manager for Clean Water Services in Washington County, Oregon. Mark joined The Wetlands Conservancy Board in 1996 and served as president from 1998-2000. A native of Montana’s Yellowstone Valley, Mark has lived in Oregon for more than 25 years where he enjoys exploring the Northwest’s rivers, streams, wetlands, and wild places with his wife and three children.
Kate Gowell is a lawyer specializing in community building, legal services, and strategic advising for profit and non-profit entities in every stage of their life cycle. Outside her professional life, Kate is involved in the outdoor world through her activities and volunteer efforts. She wholeheartedly believes that thriving and balanced environments are fundamental for strong economic communities.She strives to connect businesses to social and environmental issues, forging partnerships and investment for sustainable businesses and ecosystems alike.
Kimberlee Chambers is a Supply Chain and Sustainability Program Manager, at Organically Grown Company. Her roots in agriculture and conservation run deep—growing up on a family farm in Ontario, Canada, she has conducted multiple applied research projects with farmers and First Nations communities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico while earning her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in agroecology and ethnobiology from UC Davis and the University of Victoria, BC. Currently Kimberlee works with coworkers, as well as growers, customers, and industry partners on projects that advance progress towards OGCs long term sustainability goals—reducing carbon footprint, fossil fuels use, solid waste, toxic substances, and working towards a healthier ecologically sound and socially just food system.
Althea Pratt Broome’s interests in culture, arts and environment led her to start the country’s first alternative school in Canby, Oregon and the Willowbrook summer arts camp for children. Her dedication and vision to Central Hedges Creek Marsh resulted in protection of the 57-acre marsh and the creation of The Wetlands Conservancy.
Carol Murdock is a Water Resource Program Manager at Clean Water Services in Washington County, OR. She is currently working on several strategic initiatives that are focused on creating resilient ecological systems that support the long-term health and well-being of both wildlife and human populations. A childhood spent wandering through the oak-hickory forests of Tennessee inspired Carol to seek out a career in the environmental sciences and she has since had the good fortune of working with natural systems throughout her 25 year professional career. She is an avid birder and Audubon member and spends most of her non-working life in the mountains, forests, and deserts of the great northwest.
Morgan Rider has a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from Cornell University, and for over 25 years she worked with government, non-profit and private companies including LSI Logic, Nike, Ball Aerospace and BMW North America, on a variety of environmental and natural resource related issues. Morgan currently works for Grady Britton, a creative branding agency putting thoughtful, informed advertising, PR, digital, media, and planning capabilities to work for companies in the modern marketplace. Morgan believes that the best way to affect long term behavior change is through amazing creative visuals, simple messaging, and great storytelling. Morgan is also currently a member of the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and is on the steering committee for the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition and the Corporate Advisory Council for the Oregon Humane Society.
Giovanni Salimena is an entrepreneur and designer who strives to create good things with great people. He is passionate about finding unobtrusive ways to explore our world, which led him to co-found Nearstory, a platform that connects immersive audio stories with the listeners’ location. Nearstory was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch in 2016. Native to Portland, he spent his summers working as a dairy farmer in Tillamook County. Prior to founding Nearstory, Giovanni spent 10 years working between Chicago and the Bay Area. He honed his craft working at creative agencies, digital startups, socially responsible companies and nonprofits, and his own design company, Salimena Studios. Giovanni is an avid outdoorsman; he loves hiking in Oregon and has also conquered the Inca Trail in Peru.