EMSWCD Board and Staff

Get to know the EMSWCD staff! Use any of the links below to scroll down to a particular program or find out about current employment opportunities. We are currently hiring for a Headwaters Farm Operations Assistant and seeking contract workshop presenters.


Full staff list

Position Vacant : Executive Director

Position Vacant

Executive Director

This position is currently vacant. In the interim, Andrew Brown is serving as the Acting Executive Director.


Finance & Operations

Dan Mitten : Chief of Finance and Operations

Dan Mitten

Chief of Finance and Operations

Dan joined EMSWCD in August 2018 as our Chief of Finance and Operations. Dan is responsible for all budgeting, financial, and administrative oversight of EMSWCD as well as leadership and oversight of the Finance and Operations Program. Prior to joining EMSWCD, Dan served for over 20 years in senior executive roles, specializing in operations, finance, and organizational leadership in both non-profit and for-profit arenas. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Arizona State University. While originally a desert rat, Dan and his wife fell in love with all things Oregon over a decade ago and moved to Portland in 2012.

Lindsay Nelson : Office Manager

Lindsay Nelson

Office Manager

Lindsay took on the role of Office Manager for the District in August of 2017. She helps manage the day-to-day administrative operations of the EMSWCD by offering support in the organization and coordination of office operations, procedures and resources to ease effectiveness and efficiency. Lindsay has worked in the non-profit world for 20 years, primarily in youth development and management. While being a full-time mom, wife and employee, she managed to earn her B.S. in Business in hopes of broadening her involvement in non-profit or possibly opening her own one day. Although very new to Oregon, Lindsay is eager and excited to learn more of what this beautiful state has to offer.

Call me about: Questions, general District information, Board and other meetings.

Scot Wood : Facilities Manager

Scot Wood

Facilities Manager

Scot manages and maintains both our headquarters and our facilities at Headwaters Farm. Scot started with EMSWCD in August 2014. His upbringing was on a farm that specialized in producing peaches, crops of vegetables and livestock. He has worked over thirty years in construction and maintenance management. With Scot's farming background, attention to the health of our land and expertise in maintenance, he is excited to be a part of our team and contribute to our conservation efforts. Although he has been an Oregonian for over 26 years, his loyalty for football remains with his original roots in Texas as a True Blue Dallas Cowboys fan.

Alex Woolery : Marketing and Media Manager

Alex Woolery

Marketing and Media Manager

Alex has been with the District since 2013. He is the Marketing and Media Manager, and works with all staff to communicate our work at EMSWCD and what we offer to the public, using the website, print materials and any other available media (including sidewalk chalk). Before joining EMSWCD, his design clients and work ranged from large corporations to small businesses and non-profits, in web, print and mobile design. He has also worked a broad range of other kinds of jobs, but enjoys working in conservation the most. Alex has a degree in Russian language from Portland State University.

Call me about: questions about our programs, to give feedback, or if you have issues or questions regarding the EMSWCD website. Also about any media, news coverage, advertisements, and about venues where you think any of our programs might be a good fit! Speaks intermediate Russian, говорит по-русски (не плавно).


Rural Lands

Julie DiLeone : Rural Lands Program Supervisor

Julie DiLeone

Rural Lands Program Supervisor

Julie has been with the EMSWCD since 2001. Her work with the district includes providing agricultural landowners with information about conservation practices, with a focus on water quality. Julie has expertise in the use of native plants, erosion prevention, and weed control. Prior to joining the district she worked as a researcher with the USDA focusing on wine grapes, berries, hops, and nursery crops. Her work at Oregon State University focused on diagnostics, tree fruits, berries, and wheat. During college, she worked at a nursery, coordinating their integrated pest management program and assisting with propagation, plant maintenance, harvest, and sales.

Call me about: scheduling a site visit, cost share, noxious weed control, nutrient management, streamside areas, and erosion prevention and control

Jeremy Baker : Senior Rural Conservationist

Jeremy Baker

Senior Rural Conservationist

Jeremy comes to EMSWCD with 14 years of experience working with landowners and farm managers throughout the Lower Willamette Basin. With stops in Polk, Marion and Clackamas Counties, he has amassed a good deal of experience in identifying and treating a broad range of natural resource concerns ranging from mud and manure management, streambank stabilization, pasture management and cropping systems to irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting. He is a graduate of Oregon State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in International Natural Resources and a minor in Spanish. Like others here at EMSWCD, he also speaks Spanish.

Ver esta biografía en Español

Jeremy viene a East Multnomah Soil and Water Multnomah con 14 años de experiencia de trabajar con propietarios y administradores de fincas en el valle de Willamette. Con trabajos en los condados de Polk, Marion y Clackamas, él ha acumulado experiencia en la identificación y tratamiento de problemas en recursos naturales como el tratamiento del barro y gerencia del estiércol, la estabilización del márgenes del ríos y lagos, la gestión de los pastos, los sistemas de riego y captación de agua de lluvia para el campo. Él es un graduado de Oregon State University con una licenciatura en Ciencias de Recursos Naturales internacionales, y con una materia secundaria en español. Como otros aquí en EMSWCD, el también habla español.

Aaron Guffey : Senior Rural Conservationist

Aaron Guffey

Senior Rural Conservationist

Aaron has been with EMSWCD since 2006. He works with commercial nurseries to implement practices that control soil erosion. He has also designed irrigation systems to maximize efficiency and has managed stream crossing culvert replacements. Prior to joining EMSWCD he managed the construction of water systems in Central America. He has agricultural experience from working on small, family-owned farms. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa.

Call me about: Erosion control, irrigation efficiency, engineering practices. Speaks Spanish, habla español.

Lucas Nipp : Senior Rural Conservationist

Lucas Nipp

Senior Rural Conservationist

Lucas has been with EMSWCD since 2007. He works on large-scale noxious weed control projects in rural East Multnomah County, primarily focusing on control of garlic mustard in the Columbia River Gorge and watershed-based knotweed control. He also leads field efforts to restore native vegetation along Beaver Creek as a part of our StreamCare program. Another exciting program Lucas is involved in includes working with partnering groups on developing an Early Detection and Rapid Response program to prevent new weeds from gaining a foothold in the region. Lucas received a degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Oregon and prior to working for the district performed marine research on the Oregon coast.

Call me about: weed control and streamside areas

Jon Wagner : Rural Conservation Specialist

Jon Wagner

Rural Conservation Specialist

Jon came to EMSWCD in May 2012. Jon works to find and remove noxious and invasive weeds such as garlic mustard, knotweed, English ivy, and clematis. He loves being outdoors working to protect native plants and animals. In his spare time, Jon is a freelance artist and cartoonist. Jon has a BA in Biology and a Master's Certificate in Science Illustration.

Call me about: weeds

Chris Aldassy : Rural Conservation Specialist

Chris Aldassy

Rural Conservation Specialist

Chris grew up exploring Oregon's wild places where he developed a love and sense of stewardship for the natural world. He received a degree in Environmental Science in 2000 and promptly went to the tropics to study in the one of the worlds hotspots of biologic diversity in the equatorial Amazon. Upon returning stateside he began guiding wilderness river trips. Soon local natural resource issues began to burden the areas he cherished. It was his motivation to create positive change in the world that led him to The Nature Conservancy and then ultimately to EMSWCD in 2007. His sense of adventure and knowledge of native plant communities and noxious weeds fit him perfectly in his role working on invasive species and streamside restoration projects.

Call me about: Weeds, restoration

Chelsea White-Brainard : Rural Outreach & Education Specialist

Chelsea White-Brainard

Rural Outreach & Education Specialist

Chelsea joined EMSWCD in 2015 to connect rural residents to resources that help them care for their land and water. Her educational background is in Environmental Science, Spanish, and Geography. Prior to joining the district, she promoted programs and behaviors for improved water quality in the Clackamas watershed.

As a native of the Pacific Northwest, Chelsea is passionate about protecting the lands she grew up in. She believes that by working together, we will build a sustainable future for Oregon at the crossroads of environmental, social and economic interests. Speaks Spanish, habla español.

Call me about: Workshops, events, presentations


Urban Lands

Kathy Shearin : Urban Lands Program Supervisor

Kathy Shearin

Urban Lands Program Supervisor

Kathy has been with EMSWCD since 2002. She is the program supervisor for the Sustainable Urban Landscapes Program, best known for their Naturescaping and Rain garden workshops. Kathy has degrees in Sociology and in Plant, Soil and Insect Ecology.

Prior to her position with the Soil and Water Conservation District here in Oregon, she worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA/NRCS) and the Soil and Water Conservation District for Pima county in Tucson, Arizona where she managed a water conservation program.

Call me about: naturescaping workshops, presentations on native plants, naturescaping, and invasive plants

Whitney Bailey : Senior Urban Conservationist

Whitney Bailey

Senior Urban Conservationist

Whitney joined EMSWCD in April 2017 with 13 years of experience in land management, planning, and ecological restoration. She works with private landowners, schools, businesses, and other organizations to develop unique conservation solutions for their properties. Whether it’s through capturing stormwater, reducing erosion, planting native plants, or creating pollinator habitat, she believes conservation begins at home and that everyone can be part of the solution.

Whitney has a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology and an M.S. in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology. Prior to joining EMSWCD she worked for the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service on the Monongahela National Forest. She is an avid hiker and backpacker, and is thrilled to call the Pacific Northwest home.

Call me about: rain gardens, stormwater management, invasive plants, pollinator habitat, and naturescaping.

Katie Meckes : Urban Outreach & Education Specialist

Katie Meckes

Urban Outreach & Education Specialist

Katie is currently on sabbatical from her 10-year service at EMSWCD to reconnect with family and engage in volunteer work with watershed and conservation organizations in her Minnesota hometown. 

Brandi Boersma : Interim Urban Lands Outreach & Education Specialist

Brandi Boersma

Interim Urban Lands Outreach & Education Specialist

Brandi’s desire to protect our natural environment began as a kindergartener when she began to unabashedly called strangers “litter bugs” and spend all her seasons in Michigan outdoors. Her environmental activism and ability to increase others’ awareness on such issues were furthered through her ecological education, conservation-based volunteerism, and lobbying for more sustainable practices in her workplace and beyond. After acquiring her BA in Communications and Advertising, she moved West to pursue her dual love of sustainability and service.

Brandi manages the Urban Lands workshop program and coordinates special events such as the Annual Native Plant Sale. She is your go-to person if you are interested in touring EMSWCD's sustainable garden, having an educational presentation at your community meeting or event, or for collaborating to promote programs.

Coming to EMSWCD with now five years of experience in environmental restoration and three years of community outreach and education, Brandi aims to use her past experience and passion for conservation, community building, and equity to help people better care for our land and water as the Urban Lands Outreach and Education Intern.

Monica McAllister : Community Connections Liaison

Monica McAllister

Community Connections Liaison

Monica joined EMSWCD as the Community Connections Liaison in January 2019. Her background includes community organizing, environmental education, restoration projects, community gardens, and outreach and events. She is passionate about environmental conservation, community engagement, and racial equity.

Monica received her B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor and B.A. in Spanish from The University of Portland. After graduating, she worked as a wildlife field technician on research projects monitoring wildlife movement along rivers in the boreal forest of Canada, surveying wildlife biodiversity response to grassland restoration in New Mexico, and tracking the Greater Sage-Grouse in SE Oregon. Prior to working for EMSWCD, she was the Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator for Friends of Nadaka and Columbia Slough Watershed Council for 4 years. In her free time, Monica enjoys hiking, photography, Latin dancing, gardening, and exploring Portland’s coffee shops.

Conversationally fluent in Spanish, habla español.

Rhesa Napoli : Urban Outreach & Education Intern (503)

Rhesa Napoli

Urban Outreach & Education Intern

Rhesa has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with nature, growing up in the tropical island environment of Trinidad and Tobago. She then lived in the eastern U.S. as a teenager, and particularly enjoyed exploring the minimalist beauty of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Later, as she moved to the Pacific Northwest, she became enamored of the majestic rainforests and great variety of landscapes in Oregon.

Rhesa enjoys a simple life, taking great joy in gardening, nature walks, camping and most of all, playing with and being a cat, whenever possible. She has a sincere interest in urban gardens for their potential to increase access to nature, provide fresh food equity and mitigate climate change via regenerative practices. She is excited to work at EMSWCD to help people access the wealth of information available about sustainable gardening in the urban environment.

Call me about: Hosting or scheduling a workshop, workshop registration , or scheduling a speaker for your event or meeting.


Conservation Legacy

Andrew Brown : Conservation Program Supervisor

Andrew Brown

Conservation Program Supervisor

Acting Executive Director

Andrew joined EMSWCD as the Conservation Program Supervisor in August 2015. He oversees the Conservation Legacy Program and serves as the District-wide planner. Andrew’s planning and conservation experience is mainly in South Africa, where he worked in the public, non-profit and private sectors. He worked as a program manager in the Park Planning and Development Department of South African National Parks where he coordinated a regional landscape conservation initiative, and has managed various conservation planning, land consolidation, stewardship and restoration projects.

Andrew came to the EMSWCD most recently from the Multnomah County Drainage District where he was a Management Analyst. He holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in the UK, and a B.S. in Botany and Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Suzanne Easton : Grants Program Manager

Suzanne Easton

Grants Program Manager

Suzanne started with the EMSWCD in 2014. She earned her B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz and her M.S. in Wildland Resource Science at U.C. Berkeley. With a professional background in collaborative partnerships and environmental grant-making, her work has covered a wide-range of issues including watershed management, environmental education and stakeholder involvement. Prior to coming to the EMSWCD, Suzanne worked for the Blue Ridge Berryessa Conservation Partnership and the Bay Area Open Space Council, and also spent many years consulting with environmental foundations. Suzanne is committed to broadening participation in conservation efforts and helping to promote equitable and relevant community grant-making.

Call me about: Grant opportunities, questions about the grant application process, your project idea. Speaks conversational Spanish, habla español.

Matt Shipkey : Land Legacy Program Manager

Matt Shipkey

Land Legacy Program Manager

Matt joined EMSWCD in April 2017 with 13+ years of land conservation experience. He was thrilled to return to the Pacific Northwest, where he had previously completed his Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Matt’s prior positions – with The Scenic Hudson Land Trust and the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board – provided him with the opportunity to conserve a diversity of landscape and property types, such as farms, wetlands, trails, scenic ridgelines, river launches and urban parks. Conserving our finite and threatened resources and connecting people with the land fuels Matt’s passion for land conservation.

Call me about: Information about land conservation options for your property.

Rowan Steele : Headwaters Farm Program Manager

Rowan Steele

Headwaters Farm Program Manager

Rowan came to the District in 2012 with a background in community food planning, stewardship, and small-scale agriculture. Rowan has an undergraduate degree in Geography from Humboldt State University and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. He works directly with incubator farmers, program partners, and the surrounding community to leverage the resources at Headwaters Farm for District constituents. He is your primary contact for all questions related to the incubator program, Headwaters Farm, and new farm development.

Rowan accredits his own success as a farmer to his two years at the Arcata Educational Farm—a farm incubator program in northern California—as well as his past farm business growing mixed vegetables for direct market sales. Rowan’s passion for agriculture is now focused on regenerative practices which he views as a primary tool for addressing major environmental, social, and economic challenges.

Call me about: new farmer development and resources, program partnership opportunities, the Headwaters Incubator Program, Headwaters Farm

Security Staff

Nibbs : Conservation Site Sniff Detective


Conservation Site Sniff Detective

With a nose that knows, Nibbs is always ready to investigate natural areas and sniff out conservation concerns. He also has a keen sense of snacks, and appreciates any rewards for his good work!

Call me about: Treats, interesting smells, erosion concerns.

Milo : Security Manager and IT Security Specialist


Security Manager and IT Security Specialist

Although not usually at the office, Milo helps manage the security team remotely, and as IT Security Specialist vigilantly protects the website against hackers and other cyber-security threats.

Call me about: Security incidents, stylish scarf accessories, beach trips.

Duncan : Security Specialist and Grounds Inspector


Security Specialist and Grounds Inspector

Duncan is an active and always attentive member of the Finance and Operations team, often accompanying Scot around the office grounds or weighing in during staff and team meetings. Duncan enjoys pets, treats and touring the neighborhood on walks.

Call me about: going on walks, safety concerns, facilities questions.

Timber : Outdoor Excursion Specialist


Outdoor Excursion Specialist

Timber is an Alaskan Malamute who has been known to go by Tim, Timmy or Tim Butt. When he is not busy practicing his Leave No Trace skills on any stray crumb he finds, he can be found singing to a nearby ambulance or engaging with our community members who have snacks and/or a dog of their own.

Call me about: winter hiking, treat selection and how to generally be a very good boy.

Mochi : Security Trainee


Security Trainee

Mochi is the newest member of our security crew! You can often find him sliding around playfully on the front floor (guarding it). Mochi is part of our security training program and when not on duty enjoys naps, treats, and playing tug of war.

Penny : Security Specialist and Office Greeter


Security Specialist and Office Greeter

Known as Penny the Portland Pup, Penny is eager to greet new visitors at the office and is especially good with kids! A terrier chihuahua mix originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, Penny is very playful, loves to cuddle, and has been known to enjoy camping and nature walks with her mom Monica.

Call me about: nature walks, kid’s activities, and watching squirrels.


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