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 not currently hiring for any positions.

 

Full staff list

Nancy Hamilton : Executive Director 503-935-5352Nancy@emswcd.org

Nancy Hamilton

Executive Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nancy joined EMSWCD in November, 2020, after eight years running a successful consulting practice in Portland. Her clients and work there included: The Resources Legacy Fund, helping them to tell stories about how water scarcity impacts farmers and other landowners around Oregon; Sustainable Northwest, helping to launch the Western Juniper Alliance; working as the de facto Executive Director of Oregon Business for Climate to pass responsible climate legislation; providing marketing and communications expertise to sustainable energy efforts; as well as facilitating public process for countless other clients. She also served as a senior policy advisor for Governor Kulongoski and before that was Chief of Staff to former Portland Mayor Tom Potter. Nancy has lived in Portland for over 20 years, raised her two kids here, and enjoys taking off for Central Oregon with her two rescue mutts whenever she can.

Nancy is excited to be part of a team again and continues to be amazed by all the important work being done by the team at EMSWCD.

Call me about: Anything!

 

Finance & Operations

Dan Mitten : Chief of Finance and Operations 503-935-5353Dan@emswcd.org

Dan Mitten

Chief of Finance and Operations

Pronouns: he/him/his

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.

Scot Wood : Facilities and Fleet Manager 503-935-5351Scot@emswcd.org

Scot Wood

Facilities and Fleet Manager

Pronouns: he/him

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.

Sasha Schwenk : Operations Administrative Assistant 503-935-5350Sasha@emswcd.org

Sasha Schwenk

Operations Administrative Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sasha apprenticed on two small organic farms in the coastal hills outside of Eugene and in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon before following her love of all things fermented, becoming a baker, cheese monger, and wine steward. Having worked for many progressive food organizations over the past twenty-plus years, she has an appreciation for our local food economy, as seen through a lens of equitable production and distribution, with a focus on the health of the communities and landscape where our food is grown.

She has braided together her love of microbes, soil health, and farming, and plans to add viticulture in the future.

When not managing spreadsheets for EMSWCD, you can find Sasha bird-watching, mushroom hunting, or hiking in the Gorge.

Alex Woolery : IT and Analytic Specialist 503-935-5367Alex@emswcd.org

Alex Woolery

IT and Analytic Specialist

Pronouns: he/him

Alex has been with the District since 2013. He is the IT and Analytic Specialist, and works to ensure EMSWCD’s technology and network are secure and working well. He also assists staff as needed with design, print and related outreach needs. Before joining EMSWCD, Alex had worked for eight years doing creative design and technical work for large corporations, small businesses and non-profits in web, print and mobile outputs. His other experience includes everything from green building material design to construction to translation, but he has enjoyed working in conservation the most. Alex has a degree in Russian language from Portland State University.

Alex serves on EMSWCD’s staff-led Equity Team, which works to elevate EMSWCD’s awareness, sensitivity, and response to the equity concerns of our communities related to natural resource management and environmental justice. Reach out to Alex with questions or concerns about our equity work.

Call me about: questions about our programs, or if you have any technical issues or questions regarding the EMSWCD website. Also about any general media inquiries or about advertisements! Speaks intermediate Russian (говорит по-русски на среднем уровне) and basic Spanish (habla español básico).

Asianna Fernandez : Executive Assistant 971-246-4531Asianna@emswcd.org

Asianna Fernandez

Executive Assistant

Pronouns: she/her

Asianna joined EMSWCD in October 2021 as the executive assistant to the executive director. She manages the Executive Director’s schedule and helps keep her organized, while also serving as Clerk of the Board of Directors and extending help to all EMSWCD staff and board. She recently graduated from Portland State University, two months before joining our team, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Leadership and a minor in Environmental Sustainability. Throughout her college career, she has been a part of multiple environmental sustainability clubs and student organizations which planted her roots in conservation and environmentally conscious business models. Asianna is originally from the Bay Area in California, but the autumn leaves, great public transportation system, and the rain (yes, the rain!) brought her to Portland!

Call me about: Scheduling, note taking, and organization!

 

Rural Lands

Julie DiLeone : Rural Lands Program Supervisor 503-935-5360Julie@emswcd.org

Julie DiLeone

Rural Lands Program Supervisor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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 503-935-5361Jeremy@emswcd.org

Jeremy Baker

Senior Rural Conservationist

Pronouns: he/him

Jeremy has 21 years of experience in natural resources management and farm planning throughout the Lower Willamette Basin. Having stops in Polk, Marion and Clackamas Counties throughout his career, he has amassed a great deal of experience in assessing and treating a broad range of natural resource concerns including:

  • mud and manure management
  • pasture and grazing management
  • cropping systems and soil health
  • irrigation water management
  • erosion control
  • weed management
  • streambank stabilization
  • 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.

Jeremy serves on EMSWCD’s staff-led Equity Team, which works to elevate EMSWCD’s awareness, sensitivity, and response to the equity concerns of our communities related to natural resource management and environmental justice. Reach out to Jeremy with questions or concerns about our equity work.

Como otros aquí en EMSWCD, el también habla español.

Lucas Nipp : Senior Rural Conservationist 503-935-5363Lucas@emswcd.org

Lucas Nipp

Senior Rural Conservationist

Lucas has been with EMSWCD since 2007. He currently manages the StreamCare Program. This program works with landowners to control weeds and restore vegetation in streamside areas in the rural parts of the District with the goal of improving water quality. Lucas also plans for and manages the natural areas that EMSWCD owns or maintains through easements. He is also skilled in pollinator habitat creation, forestry, and weed control. 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: Streams, streamside areas, pollinator habitat, forestry

Jon Wagner : Senior Rural Conservationist 503-935-5369Jon@emswcd.org

Jon Wagner

Senior Rural Conservationist

Pronouns: he/him

Jon joined EMSWCD in 2012 and works on a variety of projects to protect and create healthy habitats and waterways. Jon has background in wildlife biology, with 15 years of experience in the field, and he loves being outdoors working to protect native plants and animals. Jon has a BA in biology from Earlham College and a Master’s Certificate in Science Illustration from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Jon works with partner organizations and landowners throughout the region to plan, coordinate and implement large-scale control efforts for invasive weeds such as garlic mustard, knotweed, English ivy, and clematis. Jon manages water quality monitoring projects for rural streams to ensure that they are healthy and free of sediment and pollution. He gives educational presentations on rural weeds, native plants, and creating wildlife habitat. He is also an in-house illustrator for EMSWCD, and he works with staff and partners to create engaging outreach materials that tell the story of conservation in new and exciting ways.

Jon serves on EMSWCD’s staff-led Equity Team, which works to elevate EMSWCD’s awareness, sensitivity, and response to the equity concerns of our communities related to natural resource management and environmental justice. Reach out to Jon with questions or concerns about our equity work.

Call me about: Weeds, wildlife and water quality.

Chris Aldassy : Senior Rural Conservationist 503-935-5372Chris@emswcd.org

Chris Aldassy

Senior Rural Conservationist

Pronouns: he/him

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 : Senior Rural Outreach & Education Specialist 503-935-5376Chelsea@emswcd.org

Chelsea White-Brainard

Senior Rural Outreach & Education Specialist

Pronouns: she/her

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.

Being from 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 503-935-5365Kathy@emswcd.org

Kathy Shearin

Urban Lands Program Supervisor

Pronouns: she/her

Kathy has been with EMSWCD since 2002. She is the program supervisor for the Urban Lands Program, best known for EMSWCD’s urban workshops, the annual native plant sale and the Naturescaped Yards Tour.

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: native plants, naturescaping, stormwater, invasive plants, urban conservation projects and EMSWCD’s equity initiative.

Whitney Bailey : Senior Urban Conservationist 971-712-3065Whitney@emswcd.org

Whitney Bailey

Senior Urban Conservationist

Pronouns: she/her

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 Lands Planner 503-935-5377katie@emswcd.org

Katie Meckes

Urban Lands Planner

Pronouns: she/her

Katie came to the District in September 2008 with a 10-year background in natural area restoration, leading youth work crews, and managing education and outreach programs for local parks and recreation districts, and watershed councils. Her primary responsibilities at EMSWCD were originally workshop coordination and events management. Throughout her tenure, she has moved into areas of program evaluation and planning. Her key areas of focus with the Urban Lands program include:

  • Program planning, evaluation and implementation
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Project management
  • Managing the adult conservation workshop program
  • Overseeing the Annual Native Plant Sale

Katie is our go-to person in the “way” we work, especially in areas of program and project planning, tracking and reporting. She also provides guidance and insight to other organizations, offering her expertise in developing and refining education and outreach plans. Her work at the District allows her to combine her love for program planning and logistics with community outreach and education. In her free time Katie enjoys running, biking, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Call me about: Workshops, Plant Sale, Presentations, Program Evaluation

Monica McAllister : Community Connections Liaison 503-935-5371Monica@emswcd.org

Monica McAllister

Community Connections Liaison

Pronouns: she/her

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.

Tiffany Mancillas : Urban Lands Education & Outreach Coordinator 503-935-5368Tiffany@emswcd.org

Tiffany Mancillas

Urban Lands Education & Outreach Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Tiffany joined EMSWCD in November 2021. She manages Education and Outreach as part of the Urban Lands team. She coordinates eco webinars, workshops, media marketing, additional education, and outreach events. She is an intersectional environmentalist with over 8+ years in the outreach and education sector. Her passion is to break down barriers to enjoyment of all outdoor spaces + creating a sustainable future for people, wildlife, and the planet.

She most recently worked for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council as their Education and Outreach Coordinator managing community science, volunteer, webinars, and their bilingual nature program. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Southern Oregon University in Environmental Studies and has continued her education learning Geospatial technology, website design and management as well as content creation. She enjoys nature time, family adventures, travel, live music, and roller skating.

Tiffany serves on EMSWCD’s staff-led Equity Team, which works to elevate EMSWCD’s awareness, sensitivity, and response to the equity concerns of our communities related to natural resource management and environmental justice. Reach out to Tiffany with questions or concerns about our equity work.

Call me aboutWorkshops, Community Events and Outreach, Promotion

Habla Español

 

Conservation Legacy

Andrew Brown : Conservation Program Supervisor 503-935-5354Andrew@emswcd.org

Andrew Brown

Conservation Program Supervisor

Pronouns: he/him

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.

Heather Nelson Kent : Grants Program Manager 503-935-5370Heather@emswcd.org

Heather Nelson Kent

Grants Program Manager

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Heather joined EMSWCD in 2021. She brings her deep experience and community connections to the district’s grantmaking. For the past two years, Heather worked at the Regional Arts & Culture Council leading strategic communications and community engagement efforts that strengthened the organization’s brand, increased trust, and raised visibility through creative and inclusive storytelling. Previously Heather worked for Metro Parks and Nature where she established a track record of effectively engaging with community, government, business, and nonprofits in land conservation, habitat restoration, and access to nature initiatives. She works to transform organizations through equitable program and project management, inclusive practices, and public accountability.

Heather serves on EMSWCD’s staff-led Equity Team, which works to elevate EMSWCD’s awareness, sensitivity, and response to the equity concerns of our communities related to natural resource management and environmental justice. Reach out to Heather with questions or concerns about our equity work.

Call me about: Grant opportunities, questions about the grant application process and to brainstorm your ideas and find potential partners.

Matt Shipkey : Land Legacy Program Manager 503-935-5374Matt@emswcd.org

Matt Shipkey

Land Legacy Program Manager

Pronouns: he/him

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 503-935-5355Rowan@emswcd.org

Rowan Steele

Headwaters Farm Program Manager

Pronouns: he/him

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

Nick Pfeil : Headwaters Farm Operations Assistant 971-347-6654Nick@emswcd.org

Nick Pfeil

Headwaters Farm Operations Assistant

Pronouns: he/him

Nick joined the District in 2020 as the Operations Assistant at Headwaters Farm. He grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and left the desert southwest for the mountains of Montana where he studied anthropology and archaeology at the University of Montana in Missoula. After graduating, Nick moved to Seattle and studied food systems, which led to an interest in small-scale farming and local food production. He starting working at a small farm outside of Seattle and fell in love with farming and growing food, finding it to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding endeavor.

For the better part of a decade, Nick has worked on organic farms of varying size and scale around the Pacific Northwest. At Headwaters, he helps support the farmers in the program with a variety of things like tractor work, irrigation systems, building infrastructure and machine maintenance, as well as helping to manage the Headwaters property and natural areas in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Security Staff

Duncan : Security Specialist and Grounds Inspector

Duncan

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.

Missy : Executive security assistant

Missy

Executive security assistant

Missy is a high energy, German Shepherd/Husky mix with a fear of nothing but the rain. She was the runt of the pack but that doesn’t hold her back! She loves squirrels, swimming, digging, coffee (unfortunately), and her stuffed toy turtle!

Call me about: Long runs on the beach and high fives (only if asked for in Spanish).

Milo : Security Manager and IT Security Specialist

Milo

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.

Penny : Security Specialist and Office Greeter

Penny

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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