President: Board member since 2012. Formerly Travel Lane County’s Director of Stakeholder Relations, Samara has been part of Nearby Nature’s family ever since the mid 1990s, when she first starting volunteering for us. Over the years, Samara has led nature walks, trained volunteers, helped direct school programs, and even dressed up as a Kinder Critter! Samara also worked as the Director of Education at the Science Factory and as the Director of Early Childhood Education at the Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum. She currently serves as a Willamalane representative on the advisory committee for the Whilamut Natural Area. Samara loves trail running, travel and exploring natural places nearby and faraway.
Treasurer: Board member since December 2003, Board President through April 2015. Holly volunteered as a nature guide and served on the Board in the early 1990s when Nearby Nature was just beginning. Prior to this, she served 12 years as a volunteer naturalist, guide, coordinator, and board member for the Waterloo Nature Center near Ann Arbor MI, and as a trainer for Michigan’s 4-H Challenge Program. Holly is Director of the Arid Lands Information Center at the University of Arizona where she leads research projects related to climate, hydrology, and development of decision support resources and tools (she prefers living in Eugene and going to Tucson when necessary). Holly also led our first year of weekend family Nature Quests in Alton Baker Park.
Board member since 2014. Salmon Norgaard-Stroich has committed his life to educating others about the outdoors, ecology, and our connection to wild places. He currently works for the City of Eugene Outdoor Program (River House) teaching kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, skiing and biking. Salmon came to Eugene in 1996, and has a strong connection to the great rivers coming together in our town, and the many wild places close by. He loves to garden and spend time with his family in the outdoors. He believes that it is the responsibility of a city to focus on positive and healthy youth development; engaging youth with nature becomes the foundation for healthy living. Salmon is an avid botanist, birder and lover of watching natural forces at work in the river.
Board member since 2015. Deb is a state licensed high school science teacher and works for the Eugene 4J and South Lane School Districts. She also serves as Group Fitness Director for In Shape Athletic Club. Deb is the founder and leader of River Spies, a field based environmental science program that focuses on monitoring Eugene’s freshwater habitats. Deb loves to foster curiosity about nature through explorations and observations outside the classroom walls. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, camping, birding, and reading.
Board Members since 2016. Ramiro is a wildlife biologist from Oaxaca, Mexico. Before moving to Eugene, Ramiro collaborated with non-profit organizations in Mexico as well as in the USA. In Mexico, he mainly worked with local communities of the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca. He studied the diversity of birds in shade grown coffee plantations and conifer forests under sustainable management. In the USA, he collaborated with The Institute for Bird Populations in the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program as field biologist supervisor. He is currently studying the white breasted nuthatch nesting habitat in the Willamette Valley using remote sensing techniques. In addition, he is currently co-leading a MAPS banding station in Eugene. Ramiro is also volunteering with The Lane County Audubon Society during the monthly third Saturday bird walks. He also enjoys hiking, camping, and reading.
Board member since 2016. Cynthia Waters has been a Nearby Nature volunteer since 2012 and has helped with everything from leading youth nature walks to working in our Learnscape Garden. She is a Master Gardener and has a Masters in Plant Biology from UC Berkley. Cynthia is also a mental health advocate and an active member of the non-profit Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) of Lane County.
Board member since 2017. Kirstin is a long-time educator with interests in nature-based learning, inclusive education, and free and low-cost curriculum. She works for Nature Explore, a non-profit that provides research-based outdoor classroom design services, educator workshops, and natural learning materials, and for the World Forum Foundation for Early Care and Education, providing networking and collaborative opportunities for early childhood professionals worldwide. Outside of work, Kirsten enjoys leading nature walks at Nearby Nature, kayaking, sailing, backpacking, gardening and traveling whenever possible, and especially loves spending time in Hendricks Park, on the Willamette River and anywhere on Puget Sound.
Non-voting Board Member Joseph Minato
Board member (non-voting) and co-founder (1992). Joseph teaches natural sciences, and is a former executive director, board member, and lead instructor for Nearby Nature. He served two terms on the Board of the Alton Baker Park Citizens Planning Committee. He holds a B.S. from M.I.T., has completed post-graduate work in astrophysics and geophysics, has an Oregon teaching certificate, and is currently teaching high school science in Portland, Oregon.
Advisory Council Members
Peg Boulay is a wildlife ecologist with a broad, applied background in environmental research, conservation, management, planning, policy, public participation, and communications. Peg currently co-directs the Environmental Leadership Program, a community-based learning initiative housed within the Environmental Studies Program at University of Oregon. She creates undergraduate courses and service-learning projects focused on habitat restoration, conservation planning, environmental monitoring and community engagement. Before joining UO, she spent 17 years as a wildlife ecologist working for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service. Though she has experience with a variety of taxa and issues, she has worked extensively with large carnivores and migratory birds. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, gardening, cooking, and studying natural history – especially amateur mycology and ornithology – with her husband, ecologist Bruce Newhouse.
Rebecca Daniels is currently the Executive Director at the Network Charter School and a volunteer at Sacred Heart Hospital. Mother of four kids, Rebecca also has a degree in classical piano and plays the cello. Rebecca served on Nearby Nature’s Board from 2009-2014.
Alan Dickman has undergraduate degrees in environmental studies and biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctoral degree in biology from the University of Oregon. He has been teaching at the college level since 1984 including short stints at Lane Community College and Pacific Lutheran University. He was director of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon until his retirement in 2015. Alan was active in undergraduate science curriculum development and reform and directed summer science outreach programs for middle school, high school, and community college faculty. He continues to work part-time, teaching a forest biology class and an introductory environmental science class.
Patricia Hasbach, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Eugene, and a faculty member at Lewis & Clark College and Antioch University Seattle. As a clinician, Patricia incorporates ecotherapeutic practices with traditional therapy. She consults with hospitals, schools, businesses, and community groups on various topics related to the human-nature relationship. She is the co-author of two books published by MIT Press: Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species (2012) and The Rediscovery of the Wild (2013). Patricia volunteers as a Master Gardener, and enjoys hiking, backpacking, kayaking, birding, and is a lover of all things wild. Pat served as as member of our Board in 2014-15.
Greg Hunt raised 13 kids/stepkids, much of the time outside. Now spends time outside and inside with grandkids. He has also worked as an attorney for 37 years, with an emphasis on adoptions, guardianships, wills, and probates.
Bruce Newhouse is a Willamette Valley native, and a field ecologist specializing in plants, butterflies, birds and fungi. As the owner/operator of Salix Associates, he does biodiversity inventory, community mapping and assessment, and focuses on native species and the invasive species that threaten them. He is active in the Native Plant Society of Oregon, the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah, the McKenzie River Trust and the Cascade Mycological Society. Bruce and his spouse Peg Boulay maintain their Eugene yard as a living experiment of a small, wild, urban habitat for native flora and fauna.
Alice Parman has worked in and around museums since 1971, as an educator, director, and––since 1989––as an exhibit planning consultant. She has created interpretive plans for Explore Oregon at the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and for Mt. Rainier National Park’s visitor center, several Alaskan wildlife refuges, and the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska. As a community volunteer, Alice facilitates board retreats and strategic planning sessions.
David Wagner, Ph.D., was the director of the University of Oregon Herbarium for 17 years before starting the Northwest Botanical Institute. He has been teaching field botany and bryology for over thirty years. He is currently Courtesy Associate Professor and Associate Member of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon. He is on the Board of Directors of Flora North America and serves as a Taxon Editor for FNA. He has been active in the Eugene Natural History Society, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, and Native Plant Society of Oregon, having served terms as president for each. He now writes a monthly nature column, “It’s About Time,” for the Eugene Weekly newspaper. His website is fernzenmosses.com.