The staff works towards our mission alongside Council members, regional partners, and our tremendous volunteer community.
Corrina Chase, Executive Director
Corrina Chase joined Columbia Slough as Executive Director in February 2016. She brings nine years of watershed council leadership to this position, having served as Coordinator for both the Tryon Creek Watershed Council and prior to that, the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council on the Oregon coast. Her past work also includes organic biogeochemistry for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and for MIT/WHOI in support of paleoclimate research, marine invasive species research, and restoration charrette planning. She is a passionate social justice advocate. She has a BS in geobiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a master’s in marine affairs from the University of Washington. She enjoys playing music, hiking, sailing, kayaking, chanterelle hunting, and gardening.
Amira El-Cherbini, Slough School Educator
Amira first joined CSWC in 2013 as a volunteer at special events like Explorando and assisting on field trips with Slough School. She is a passionate advocate for protecting and improving the environment with our local community, and is excited to bring this sense of stewardship to our youth. Amira taught science programs after school through SUN and Impact NW, and as a graduate of Metro’s Nature University continues to help lead field trips to local natural areas. She has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from PSU. In her free time Amira loves to kayak and go hiking around Portland.
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.
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, Education Intern & Interim Volunteer Coordinator
Kirk Fatland began volunteering with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council as a member of the paddle team for events such as Explorando and Aquifer Adventure. With the council 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. Since joining the Slough School team in the Fall he continues to be inspired by the youth of the watershed. 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. As an advocate for the houseless in our city Kirk continues to work closely with houseless communities in the Columbia Slough Watershed in particular. When away from the Slough Kirk enjoys creating obnoxious music and reading books set in tropical locations.
Karen Carrillo, Outreach & Events Director
Karen first joined the Slough team in the summer of 2015 as the Bilingual Outreach and Events Intern and as of fall 2015 took on the role of Outreach and Events Director. She has a background in event planning, non-profit work, and education, most recently from her work with Self Enhancement Inc. and Mercy Corps. She is currently a member of the E42 Cohort with the Center for Diversity and the Environment and is working to advance the racial equity work of the Council. Karen received her degree in International and Sustainable Urban Development from Portland State University, and a certificate of French language proficiency from CIEP for France’s Ministry of Education; she is fluent in French and Spanish. In her free time she enjoys reading fiction, listening to Dan Carlin’s hardcore history podcasts, volunteering and traveling many miles to spend time with her abuelo.
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.
Geoffrey Miller, Outreach and Events Program Assistant
Geoffrey Miller was very excited to join the Columbia Slough as Marketing and Outreach Assistant in May of 2017. Geoffrey received a B.S in International Business and a Minor in Spanish from the University of Denver. After graduating, he spent time as an outdoor educator for an Adventure Kid’s Camp and a Tour Director on 2-week trekking/backpacking trips all over the western USA. Geoffrey currently is a Spanish & English language instructor at another local nonprofit in Portland. He enjoys international travel, riding his bike, staying active, and being outside.