The staff works towards our mission alongside Council members, regional partners, and our tremendous volunteer community.
Grace Graham, Americorps Events and Outreach Specialist
Grace recently began serving as the Events & Outreach Specialist for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Nadaka Nature Park through Confluence AmeriCorps in Portland. She was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to Oregon in 2014 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Willamette University. In school, Grace divided her time and passion between her environmental degree program, serving as the student leader of Willamette’s award-winning vocal jazz ensemble—the Willamette Singers—and working as the Coordinator of the university’s student-run Outdoor Program. She has also worked with Trailside Discovery Camp in Alaska, the School for Field Studies in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and collaborated on ocean deoxygenation research with her former academic advisor. After graduating, Grace managed the farm stand at an organic produce farm in Salem before moving to Portland to begin pursuing her vocational interests in sustainability and environmental justice. In her free time, Grace enjoys supporting the live music scene in Portland, taking long walks with her roommate’s puppy, and camping on the Oregon coast. She is passionate about making environmental discourse and policy more inclusive of all stakeholders, and is thrilled to be starting her AmeriCorps adventure with Columbia Slough!
Jennifer Starkey, Education Director
Jennifer Starkey joined the Columbia Slough as Education Director in April of 2016. A sincere enthusiast about the natural and cultural history of our region, Jennifer has been an educator in Portland since 2007 and is passionate about making change to help all students access the outdoors. Jennifer gained her proclivity for outdoor learning and teaching from MESD Outdoor School, where she participated as a 6th grade student, high school student leader, and staff member. She has also taught with Caldera Arts, David Douglas High School, and most recently with the Portland Water Bureau’s Education Program. Jennifer is a licensed teacher in the State of Oregon, holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark, and a BA from Wellesley College. In her spare time, Jennifer bakes, picks up garbage in the street, and eats lunch with her grandma at the Village Inn.
Tiffany Barber, Americorps Habitat Restoration Educator
Tiffany is an AmeriCorps Member serving as a Habitat Restoration Educator 2018-2019. She hopes to inspire others to achieve their dreams and for kids to see people like them doing cool stuff! She is a Marine Science Extraordinaire. In 2015, she graduated as a first generation student from Cal State, Monterey Bay with a B.S. in Marine Science. Her background includes doing research with NOAA and working in Conservation Education with camps, zoos and aquariums. Her career goal is to engage, educate, and motivate the stewards of the future about the natural environment and our impact on it. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, CA, she has been to 14 states and 2 other countries. Her ultimate dream is to travel and eat food from all parts of the world! She enjoys doing Kung Fu, knitting hats, being outdoors and shoveling MULCH! She has received a nickname from every position she has held: Count Olaf, Peduncle, Perry the Platypus, The Fish Dutchess. Wonder what name she will have here. She looks forward to learning from and serving the communities of Portland.
Monica Mcallister, Nadaka Park Coordinator
Monica joined the Columbia Slough Watershed Council in the fall 2014 as the Slough School Education Intern and became the Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator for Friends of Nadaka/ CSWC in February 2015. Monica received her B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor & B.A. in Spanish from The University of Portland. After graduating, she worked as a wildlife field technician on research projects tracking the Greater Sage-Grouse in SE Oregon, monitoring wildlife movement along rivers in the boreal forest of Canada, and surveying wildlife biodiversity response to grassland restoration in New Mexico. Her background includes organizing community events, leading youth recreation camps, and being conversationally fluent in Spanish. Monica is passionate about environmental conservation, sustainability, and racial equity. In her free time, Monica enjoys hiking, photography, Latin dancing, gardening, and exploring Portland’s coffee shops.
Kirk Fatland, Volunteer Coordinator
Kirk Fatland began volunteering with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council as a member of the paddle team in 2016. Since joining the Slough School team in the fall of 2017 he continues to be inspired by the youth of the watershed. As Volunteer Coordinator he is able to support the connection of community members to each other and their local natural areas while also spending as much time as possible canoeing the Slough. Kirk holds a degree in Community Development from Portland State University and has interned and worked for The City Repair Project, building community capacity through art and building projects. When away from the Slough Kirk enjoys creating obnoxious music and reading books set in tropical locations.
Susanne Raymond, Outreach & Events Director
Susanne Raymond began working with CSWC in eclipse season, August, 2017. Susanne lived and worked internationally for a decade (Germany, Spain, India) and returned to the Northwest in 2014 with a MA in World Heritage Studies in hand. Susanne works at the intersection of Indigenous rights issues and conservation praxis in order to protect and preserve cultural, natural, and intangible heritage. She has experience working on UNESCO World Heritage initiatives and was invited to Florence to present at the 18th General Assembly of ICOMOS. Before joining CSWC, Susanne worked next door at Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) as the Donor Relations and Communications Coordinator. Her long-term professional aspiration is to continue to assist in improving the interpretation of cultural and natural sites in the Pacific Northwest to better include Indigenous voice and perspectives. Her biggest joy in life is to travel internationally!
Matthew Lee, Stewardship Director
Matthew Lee joined the Columbia Slough Watershed Council in March of 2017. Matthew’s background is as a field botanist, working throughout this region for the National Park Service mapping native plant communities in Washington State and for the Institute for Natural Resources mapping juniper woodlands and sagebrush. Matthew received his B.S. in Horticulture from Virginia Tech inspired by his love of food and plants. After working many years in vegetation management, he decided to complete his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State. This gave him the opportunity to expand his impact and to work with communities within an urban context. In his free time Matthew enjoys hiking, lifting, reading science fiction, cooking and juggling.
Cathy Kellon, Executive Director
After decades of conservation work at the regional scale, Cathy is excited to join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council where she can make stronger connections to a place close to home.
Cathy P. Kellon has over 18 years of experience developing and applying strategic approaches to improve habitat for native fish and wildlife, expand public awareness about the value of nature’s services, and increase community access to clean water. Most recently, Cathy was the Working Waters Director at the nonprofit organization, The Geos Institute, where she co-founded the Drinking Water Providers Partnership and led efforts to restore streams in the Pacific Northwest to benefit native fish habitat and drinking water supplies. Previously, she led the Water and Watersheds Program and the State of the Salmon Program at Ecotrust. She has served on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council and Carpe Diem West’s Healthy Headwaters Leadership Team. Cathy earned her Masters degree in Geography, with a minor in Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies, from Oregon State University.
Cathy enjoys exploring the Slough by bike and canoe with her children and looks forward to helping more people discover its beauty and diversity.
Max Samuelson, Stewardship Assistant
Max Samuelson joined the Columbia Slough Watershed Council as a Stewardship Assistant in 2019. He obtained his B.S in Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin Stout, where he focused on aquatic biology. After spending a couple years restoring native landscapes of the Midwest, Max moved onto monitoring plant communities. As a field botanist he monitored wetlands in the Twin Cities, and most recently Sage Grouse habitat with the Institute of Natural Resources in SE Oregon. He also has experience leading volunteers in restoration projects, and loves to connect communities with natural world around them. In his spare time, Max can be found wading in a river fly fishing or on the slopes of Mount Hood.