The staff works towards our mission alongside Council members, regional partners, and our tremendous volunteer community.
Jake Jarecki , Habitat Restoration Educator - Americorps
Jake joined the Slough Crew in September 2017 as a Confluence Environmental Center AmeriCorps member. Jake is passionate about environmental education, science communication, social justice, and issues surrounding climate change. Jake received his BS in Oceanography from the University of Washington in 2013. He has since worked in research on oceanic carbon uptake, marine science education, and as an Americorps member for the StreamTeam in Vancouver, WA. Jake’s career aspirations are to work at the intersection of environmental education, communications and policy in a changing world. You can find Jake hiking, biking, cooking, eating, playing guitar, and seeing live music as often as possible.
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, 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.
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.
Andy Dam, Outreach and Events Assistant
I’m an international student from Vietnam who moved to the U.S 3 years ago. I just finished my associates degree at PCC and I will start my Bachelor degree at Portland State next year. I’m an outdoor person so you may find me somewhere under the sunshine. I love doing outdoor activities a lot. I also want to do a road trip around the U.S in the future.