Katie Ryan has spent her entire career working with environmentally focused non-profits throughout the Pacific Northwest. Preserving and stewarding our wild places is a key value for her, and she builds programs that work to engage people with our natural landscapes and support resilient communities. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and completed a Master of Business Administration at Oregon State University in June of 2020. Prior to joining The Wetlands Conservancy, Katie served as Executive Director of Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center for ten years, and as Program Director, overseeing coordination and instruction of all natural science programs for Opal Creek and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Megan has a lifetime love for natural areas in Oregon, especially for those places where land and water meet. She has worked in Oregon as a natural resource technician, an outdoor educator, and a land manager. Megan joined TWC in 2013 as our Stewardship Director for properties in the Portland metro area as well as on the north coast. In addition to wetland management, Megan manages our community science and education programs and loves to help build stronger connections between people and nature. Outside of work, she still seeks out cold and wet climates for hiking, cross country skiing, eating seafood, and kayaking.
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.
Shea has worked for years in Oregon as a master gardener and urban tree steward. Her background in environmental studies and outdoor education brought her to The Wetlands Conservancy as an intern in 2019, working with volunteers on wildlife surveys, cleanups, and fundraising events. Since then, she's caught the "beaver believer" bug and taken on some of TWC's community science and land management fieldwork. When not knee-deep in the mud, she spends her time cycling, reading, and working in gardens.
Kellyn is invested in the connection between nature and people. She has a deep appreciation for wetlands and our relationship to them, but holds a special place for the often misunderstood stinky stuff, like wetland soils and skunk cabbage. She has worked and volunteered in the Portland Metro area for a decade on a variety of watershed health projects and programs involving environmental education, riparian restoration, and community partnerships. Kellyn is driven by collaboration, learning, and listening to the vast range of perspectives folks have with water and land. She fostered her love of nature at a young age in orchards and irrigation ditches, catching insects and collecting plants, and now loves to connect with the land through hiking and backpacking. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Kellyn to say hello and learn about the variety of ways to support The Wetlands Conservancy's work. Or to talk skunk cabbage.
Camille Carbajal, Board President (she/her) is a corporate sustainability and communications professional with over 15 years of experience driving environmental, social & governance (ESG) strategy and engagement with large corporations. Camille graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and holds an MBA with a focus on sustainability from Portland State University. She has published research on corporate governance disclosures and global progress indicators, and has been named as a leader in the Greenbiz Corporate Sustainability Twitterati Index. Outside of work, she can be found rowing on the Willamette River, hiking Portland’s lovely trails and traveling with her family.
Scott Rich, Board Vice President, 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, Board Secretary, 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.
Chris Simmons, Board Treasurer began his life-long love for the outdoors by spending summers on the family farm in rural West Virginia. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. Upon graduation, he moved to Oregon and became deeply involved in the local climbing community. Chris currently resides in Boise, Idaho where he is part of the trail running community. He loves traveling cooking and exploring the outdoors with his wife, and occasionally relaxing at home with his cat, Samba. He finances his hobbies working as a portfolio manager for Columbia Bank.
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.
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.
John van Staveren is a Senior Professional Wetland Scientist and President of Pacific Habitat Services, Inc. For over 32 years he has worked on wetland projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. He has served on several state appointed Technical Advisory Committee 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.
Liz Miller-Philbrook is the Environmental Manager for Pacific Foods in Tualatin, Oregon. Environmental compliance and sustainability issues are included in her responsibilities. She’s spent over 25 years working with various industries (newspaper production, solar panel manufacturing, organic food company) to improve EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) programs and ensure environmental compliance. Outside of work she and her family enjoy winter sports (snowboarding and snowshoeing) and exploring the beautiful Oregon State Parks system. Liz is a native of central Virginia, where she spent her early years growing up on a small farm, raising hogs, crops to support the livestock and family, and playing in streams and creeks.
Kara Caselas spent most of her days as a young girl exploring and playing in the creek that flowed through her grandparents’ backyard in Santa Rosa, CA. These moments fostered a deep relationship with the natural world. After earning her Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Planning, she worked for Sonoma Land Trust and Peninsula Open Space Trust in California acquiring conservation easements, overseeing a complex wildlife corridor study, and managing sustainable timber harvest projects. She and her husband moved to Portland where she earned her Masters of Environmental Management from PSU and worked for a local watershed council and water utility. She now spends her time with her toddler, helping him build a deep curiosity and appreciation for our natural world, and also serves on the Board of her local neighborhood association.
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.