Kamchatka© Igor Shpilenok
Who We Are

Who We Are

Who We Are

Who We Are

Wild Salmon Center is an international organization with programmatic activities in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and the Western Pacific. The home office is located in Portland, Oregon with satellite offices in Alaska and Washington state. See our employment page for job opportunities.

Our talented staff labor behind the scenes on behalf of coalitions and local communities, always putting fish first. And their origin stories, as well as those of thousands of others across this vast salmon region, serve as inspiration for our daily conservation work. Get to know our people and their motivations with our Life History Project video series and other videos featuring our work.


Guido RahrPresident & CEO

Under Mr. Rahr’s leadership, Wild Salmon Center has developed scientific research, habitat protection and fisheries improvement projects in dozens of rivers in Japan, the Russian Far East, Alaska, British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest, raising over $100 million in grants, establishing fourteen new conservation organizations, and protecting 7.7 million acres of habitat including public lands management designations and ten new large scale habitat reserves on key salmon rivers across the Pacific Rim.

Mr. Rahr earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Environmental Studies from Yale University. Before coming to the Wild Salmon Center, he developed conservation programs for Oregon Trout, the United Nations Development Programme, the Rainforest Alliance and Conservation International. Mr. Rahr is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Salmon Specialist Group, and is a passionate fly fisherman and fly tyer. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Lee, and their three sons. | Email Guido Rahr

Emily Anderson | Alaska Program Director

Emily joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2012 and is based in Anchorage. She brings over fourteen years of experience in the fields of environmental education and environmental law and policy. A Minnesota native, Emily grew up exploring the many lakes, streams and wetlands in and around the state and developed a keen interest in issues affecting fish populations and water quality. After working for several years as an environmental educator and canoe guide in the Midwest and Washington, she attended Vermont Law School where she received a J.D. and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law. Since moving to Alaska in 2006, Emily has worked as an environmental attorney and legal consultant specializing in water law and fish habitat protection. She has experience representing the diverse interests of Alaska Native communities, NGOs, concerned citizens and commercial fishing groups. In her spare time, Emily enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, canoeing and exploring the Alaska backcountry with her faithful dog, Chance. | Email Emily Anderson

Will Atlas. Ph.D. | Senior Salmon Watershed Scientist

Will Atlas joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2020. Salmon and trout are a lifelong passion for Will, and during the course of his career he has spent time living and working on the Olympic Peninsula, in Bristol Bay, in Northern California, and on the Central Coast of British Columbia. Prior to joining our team, he spent ten years in British Columbia, working with First Nations to build community-based salmon science initiatives. This research has focused on population monitoring and assessment tools for remote watersheds on the Central Coast of BC, and understanding how fisheries and climate act synergistically to drive salmon population trajectories. He holds an MSc and PhD in Biological Sciences from Simon Fraser University, and a BSc in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from the University of Washington. In his free time Will enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, on foot or by boat with his wife Olivia. | Email Will Atlas

Jessica Baker |  Events and Donor Engagement Coordinator

Jessica joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022. A Pacific Northwest native, her fascination with conservation began with a salmon unit in her 4th grade classroom, and led to earning her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University. Prior to joining WSC her career spanned animal husbandry, library management, education, and nonprofit development and communications.

Outside of work Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering weekly at a therapeutic riding center, reading, and searching for the perfect cheeseless pizza. | Email Jessica Baker

Caylin Barter | Water Policy Director

Caylin Barter joined Wild Salmon Center in 2020, championing legislative and administrative reforms to protect and restore streamflow in Oregon’s salmon-bearing streams and rivers. She works with a broad coalition of water stakeholders, including conservation groups, industry trade associations, special districts, legislators, Tribes, and agencies, and she brings experience gained in private practice, environmental NGOs, and the public sector.

Before joining WSC, Caylin was an associate at a northwest law firm, advising clients throughout Oregon on water and environmental matters. She previously led the streamflow restoration program at the nation’s oldest water trust, facilitating water rights transfers with farmers and ranchers to improve instream habitat for ESA-listed salmonids. Caylin has also worked in applied conservation and spent several summers as a seasonal employee of the U.S. Forest Service, including fighting wildfires as a member of the Prineville Interagency Hotshot Crew and surveying streams on the Tahoe National Forest. She holds a J.D. with Certificate in Water & Environmental Law from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring Oregon’s rivers, forests, mountains, deserts, and coastline with her family. | Email Caylin Barter   

Luke Brockman | Alaska Community Outreach Coordinator

Luke initially joined Wild Salmon Center as a science intern working on fish passage with Dr. Will Atlas. He now works in our Alaska Program to further WSC’s strategic conservation efforts through community engagement and grassroots organizing.

Born in Kodiak, Alaska, Luke spent his upbringing moving between the island and a tributary of Oregon’s Siuslaw River in a town called Triangle Lake. Fascinated by the contrasting conditions and history of salmon populations in Oregon and Alaska, cultural anthropology, and humans’ impact on environmental issues, he received his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State with a double major in sustainability studies. He also worked as a deckhand on a salmon seiner and did commercial salmon fishing for five summers in Kodiak.

In his free time, Luke can be found in the kitchen, working with seasonal foods and cooking for his friends and family, or somewhere out in the field practicing photography with his trusty TLR.

Oakley Brooks | Communications Director

Oakley Brooks joined Wild Salmon Center in 2015 as an editorial content developer and communications strategist. With Ecotrust, between 2012-2015, he led media outreach and built a new organizational blog and a digital magazine, Commonplace. Previously, he served as contributing editor at Nature Conservancy magazine. He’s a former journalist whose work has appeared in news outlets around the world, including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. Oakley earned a B.A. in history from Princeton University, with a focus on African and environmental history. He was writer-in-residence at the Earth Observatory of Singapore in 2009-2010. Oakley lives in Portland with his wife and daughter; they like to dig in the dirt, paddle rivers and bays, seek out new birds in the city, and play and watch soccer. | Email Oakley Brooks

Michelle Cramer | Habitat Restoration Engineer

Michelle joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022 bringing with her 25 years+ of engineering experience in reviewing, designing, and managing stream habitat restoration projects throughout Washington State. She currently serves on Washington State’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board’s Statewide Technical Review Panel to ensure salmon restoration project proposals and designs are technically sound. She was the managing editor of Washington State’s Stream Habitat Restoration Guidelines and the Integrated Streambank Protection Guidelines. 

Michelle grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California and moved to Washington after graduating from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. She enjoys boating the Puget Sound and being in, near or on Pacific Northwest rivers. In her spare time, she volunteers at a dog shelter walking and playing with dogs while they wait for their “furever” home. Michelle lives in Olympia, Washington with her husband, two sons and dog. | Email Michelle Cramer

Jody Creasman | Media Design Coordinator

Jody joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2019. Bringing over 20 years of design and communications experience, she has a diverse background working for agencies, higher education, and non-profit organizations. Jody earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Art History from Montana State University in Bozeman. As a native Montanan, Jody’s love of the outdoors and her respect for the natural world was imprinted at a young age. This passion for the outdoors involves volunteering with Harper’s Playground, a local non-profit advocating for outdoor equity and inclusion through innovative and accessible playgrounds. In her spare time Jody enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling, backpacking, and exploring the beautiful Northwest with her family and friends. | Email Jody Creasman

Cyndi Curtis | North Coast Manager

Cyndi became the North Coast Manager in 2022 after spending five years working with private landowners to restore salmon habitat on the southern Oregon coast. Cyndi is dedicated to supporting local organizations to prioritize and implement restoration projects that will provide ecological, social, cultural, and economic benefits to coastal communities and for future generations.

Cyndi originally hails from Oklahoma where she received a B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management and M.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State University. She has spent over a decade working on science and restoration projects across the U.S., from vegetation surveys in sagebrush steppe to using radio telemetry to track turtles in east coast estuaries. Cyndi finally made Oregon her home in 2017 and has dedicated her career to restoring watershed ecological processes, in particular her interests are in estuaries, riverine floodplains, and stream systems. Cyndi lives in Nehalem with her husband, whose family has resided in the Nehalem Valley for five generations. When it comes to hobbies, Cyndi is a jack of all trades and a master of none. You can usually find her in the ocean, on a river, doing endless house projects, or sneaking away for weekend trips to the mountains. | Email Cyndi Curtis

Ramona DeNies | Senior Writer

Ramona joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2019 to help tell its stories. Previously, she was the News and Travel Editor at Portland Monthly, where she also led the fact-checking department and wrote features on subjects including wildlife smuggling and the seafood industry. Prior to Portland Monthly, Ramona ran communications for several nonprofits and directed a Latin American trade association. Her journalism has appeared in Outside, the Believer, and the Seattle Met. She has a B.A. in English and Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University. In Portland since 2001, find her running trails, writing-about-town, and enjoying pints with friends and family. | Email Ramona DeNies

Stacey Detwiler | Oregon Policy Director

Stacey Detwiler joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022. She brings more than twelve years of experience in clean water policy and river protection, from Washington, DC to southwestern Oregon. Stacey is a part of the team working to conserve and restore streamflow and advance climate-smart forestry reforms to better protect wild salmon streams. Prior to taking this position, she worked as the Conservation Director for Rogue Riverkeeper in southern Oregon where she led multiple campaigns to protect and restore clean water in the Rogue watershed. Stacey earned her M.S. in Water Resources Policy and Management from Oregon State University where she researched the management of forest roads on private industrial forest lands to reduce chronic sediment pollution to streams. She also served on the Board of the Marys River Watershed Council. Before moving west, Stacey spent five years working for American Rivers in Washington, DC, on federal clean water policies that promote green infrastructure and reduce polluted runoff. In DC, she also served on the Executive Board of DC EcoWomen, a nonprofit organization that works to empower women in the environmental field. In her spare time, you can find Stacey hiking, paddling a local river, taking a dance class, fly fishing, or playing her guitar. | Email Stacey Detwiler

Melaney Dunne | Salmon Watershed Scientist

Melaney joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022. At WSC, Melaney is eager to work at the nexus of science and conservation, contributing to research and supporting the Science Team through program management and coordination activities. Melaney’s career has focused on conservation science & strategy both at local and global scales. Prior to joining WSC, Melaney worked at The Nature Conservancy and served as the Executive Director of the Coquille Watershed Association, where she advanced salmon conservation projects, research and outreach on Oregon’s South Coast. She holds a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Environmental Studies from Loyola University Chicago and an M.S. in Conservation Biology (Fisheries and Aquatic Biology) from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, you’ll often find Mel on the river, hiking, gardening or baking up a new recipe! She lives with her partner and pets in Portland.| Email Melaney Dunne

Tim Elder, Ph.D. | Senior Habitat Restoration Manager

Tim Elder joined Wild Salmon Center in 2018. Tim is a native Southern Oregonian and recent graduate from the Environmental Science and Management Department at Portland State University. Tim’s doctoral work focused on human impacts to salmon populations in the Columbia River, with a focus on juvenile survival, life history diversity and morphometrics. Tim holds a B.S. in Biology from Southern Oregon University. Prior to joining WSC, Tim worked as a fisheries biologist for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, botany technician for the Bureau of Land Management and wilderness backpacking guide. Be it rivers, lakes or mountains, Tim has a deep connection to the wild places of Southern Oregon. | Email Tim Elder

Erin Ellis | Manager, People & Culture

Erin Ellis joined Wild Salmon Center in 2021. She came to the organization following a long career developing and leading programs in the victim rights movement advocating for a wide range of marginalized communities. She brings with her a deep understanding of the intersection between environmental advocacy and social justice where solutions  come from working to build whole and healthy communities with equal access to resources and a shared responsibility in restoration. She holds a bachelors in Public Health Studies and a graduate certificate in Human Resources Management from Portland State University. 

Erin lives in Portland and in her free time can be found with her family traveling along the west coast in their vintage Volkswagen Vanagon affectionately named Endeavour. Of course there is always a bucket of knitting and a book somewhere nearby. | Email Erin Ellis

David Finkel | Executive Director of The Stronghold Fund and VP of Development & Communications

For twenty years David has worked in conservation, focused primarily on the preservation of watersheds, fisheries, and public lands. Since joining WSC in 2007 David has played a central leadership role at the organization: he’s built an outstanding team, grown and diversified WSC’s revenue base, helped establish the Alaska and British Columbia programs, and co-founded The Stronghold Fund which he leads as its Executive Director.

David holds a BA from Colgate University and a MES from The Evergreen State College. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Coast Salmon Foundation in Washington and is an advisor to the Coastal Rivers Conservancy in British Columbia. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, David is an avid fly fisherman and lives in Seattle with his wife and children. | Email David Finkel

Sheila Hanson | Grants Coordinator

Sheila Hanson joined Wild Salmon Center in 2023 with a passion for the outdoors and a history of working with non-for-profit organizations.  Sheila’s professional life has spanned many backgrounds including: research, writing, and mindfulness based therapy. Outside of work, Sheila enjoys camping with her family, sewing, skiing, and searching for more snacks. | Email Sheila Hanson

Jon Hart | GIS Spatial Analyst

Jon joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022, bringing with him diverse experience in environmental data science and conservation planning. Prior to joining WSC, Jon worked in environmental consulting as a GIS professional supporting land use planning in several national monuments managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. During his multidisciplinary master’s work, Jon worked alongside a group of his peers and their client American Rivers to develop fuels reduction prioritization methodologies that maximize benefits to river ecosystems in the face of increasing wildfire risk across the West.

Jon holds a GIS Certificate with a Concentration in Environmental Analysis from San Francisco State, a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara, and a Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the Bren School at the University of California Santa Barbara where he also served as a Forest Sustainability Fellow. A California native, Jon enjoys spending his free time exploring his new Pacific Northwest home on a mountain bike, tied into a climbing rope, or paddling down a river. | Email John Hart

Jessica HelsleyWatershed Restoration Director

Jess joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2018. Prior to taking this position, Jess served as the Executive Director of the Coast Salmon Foundation on Washington State’s beautiful wild coast. Jess earned a B.S. in Conservation Social Science and a M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. When not working to protect and restore salmon and steelhead populations, Jess can be found with her family foraging for Pacific Northwest delicacies, honing her fly fishing skills, whitewater rafting, or climbing steep canyon walls with her pudelpointer chasing the elusive chukar partridge. | Email Jessica Helsley

Kathy Holler | Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

After growing up in the scorching desert of Arizona, Kathy relocated to Washington in 2012 to get closer to the forests and beaches that she loves. She joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2014 and leads the finance, human resources, and admin functions of the organization. She received a B.S. in Accountancy and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University, and earned her CPA License in 2001 and CGMA designation in 2015. She has over 20 years of experience working in various industries as the lead accountant. Prior to WSC, Kathy served as the Chief Financial Officer for a behavioral health company based in Yuma, AZ. Throughout her career, she has found that her passion lies in finding ways to give back to the community and working somewhere that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys exploring all aspects of the Pacific Northwest’s beauty through hiking, camping, kayaking, wine tasting, gardening and playing outdoors with her husband and their three daughters. | Email Kathy Holler

Lori Howk | Senior Media Design Manager

Lori joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2008 and brings a diverse range of communications experience from working at agencies, corporations and non-profits. From web and media to marketing strategy and design, she has all aspects of communication covered to best tell the Wild Salmon Center story. Consistently striving to find a balance between her two passions – science and art – Lori has both a B.S. from the University of Virginia and an A.A. in Visual Communications Technology. The northwest has been her home since 1995 and she enjoys exploring all of its wonders with her family. | Email Lori Howk

Kim Kosa | Development Director

Kim joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2011 and oversees its fundraising programs, including the Annual Fund, donor relationships, corporate partnerships, and planned giving. She brings 15 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, previously with the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society in Washington, DC. A New England native, Kim’s passion for conservation is rooted in her lifelong love for wildlife and the outdoors, prompting her to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. She holds a B.A. from Bucknell University and a Master’s in Environmental Law from Lewis & Clark Law School, and currently resides in Bellingham, WA. In her spare time you can find Kim wading through beautiful rivers, hunting for chanterelles, or exploring new trails with her family. | Email Kim Kosa

Betsy Krier | Senior Habitat Restoration Manager, WA

Betsy joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2019 to advance our Cold Water Connection work on the Olympic Coast. Growing up in a small Wisconsin town, Betsy spent time planting trees in the family yard, and fishing for bluegill and bass in a local lake. She earned a dual B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Geography from the University of Wisconsin Madison; following her graduation, she directed her early enjoyment of fish, trees, and the outdoors into a 15-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, in national forests on the Olympic Peninsula and the Tongass in SE Alaska. At WSC, Betsy is looking forward to working across land ownerships to reconnect and restore salmon and steelhead habitat on the Olympic Coast. Her home base in Forks includes her boyfriend and a supportive cast of cats, dogs, goats, and chickens. | Email Betsy Krier

Michael Lang | Oregon Policy Senior Program Manager

Michael joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2022 after decades of work protecting and preserving scenic landscapes, fish habitat and wildlife in the Columbia River Gorge area. Previously, he worked to elect environmental candidates in Oregon and Washington, and also worked for a session in the Oregon Legislature. He studied political science at the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from Oregon State University. While his educational background is in political science and physics, his life’s work is to protect iconic places in the Pacific Northwest. Michael enjoys hiking, trout and steelhead fishing and traveling with his family. His favorite waters include the Deschutes, Metolius, and Nehalem rivers and the Tillamook Bay tributaries. | Email Michael Lang

Hollye Maxwell | Executive Assistant

Hollye joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2016. Native to the Southeastern United States, at ten, Hollye announced to her family she would move west as soon as she could. In 1995, her dream became a reality. Along the way, she achieved several degrees in art and architectural history, and interior design. She enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family, and in her spare time, paints oil on canvas and watercolor renderings of the PNW landscape, flora, and fauna. She is also an avid cook, gardener, and food preservationist. She lives in Portland with her family. | Email Hollye Maxwell

Jordan McCauley | Government Grants Manager

Jordan joined the Wild Salmon Center team in 2023 to help manage the organization’s growing pool of government funding. Her past work has focused on the nexus between local economic impact and environmental conservation and she’s thrilled to support WSC’s meaningful work in this space. She holds a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis on sustainability and her graduate studies focused on environmental and resource economics. Prior to joining WSC, she worked in destination stewardship at Travel Oregon, the state tourism office.

Jordan grew up in Southern Oregon and has been a PNW-enthusiast her whole life. Her favorite weekend activities include biking around Portland, hiking in the Cascades and experimenting in the kitchen with local food. | Email Jordan McCauley

Noel O’Donnell | Administrative Assistant

Noel joined Wild Salmon Center in 2022. After completing an M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University in 2016, she set her sights on moving to the Northwest. Her lifelong respect for wildlife and nature has propelled her to seek a career that follows the rule: “leave it better than you found it.” She brings to WSC over a decade of experience in administrative work, as well as five years of volunteer grant writing for wildlife conservation groups.

Outside of work, she enjoys foraging for wild mushrooms, seeing live music, and savoring the Portland food scene. | Email Noel O’Donnell

Amee Pacheco | Grants Director

Amee joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2010. She has a B.A. in journalism and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, both from the University of Oregon. Amee has worked and volunteered in a variety of fields including animal advocacy, local food systems, child abuse prevention, international aid, and education in the both the U.S. and Cambodia. When not writing grants she enjoys knitting, reading, gardening, and exploring the great Northwest with her husband and sons. | Email Amee Pacheco

Audie Paulus | Development Senior Manager, Corporate & Donor Relations

Audie joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2015 and has helped jump start its Stronghold Guardian program and grow its Annual Fund. She has her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Oregon and holds a certification in Permaculture Design. Her passion for conservation has led her to work for Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and conduct research for the University of Oregon’s Environmental Leadership Program. She currently lives in Portland and in her free time enjoys live music and exploring the rivers and forests of the PNW with a fly rod in hand and her pup Frankie by her side. Email Audie Paulus

Nicole Rasmussen | Fish Habitat Specialist

Nicole joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2023 to assist with funded fish restoration and future work on the Olympic Coast. Nicole spent the past 16 years working on the Olympic Peninsula for the Port Gamble S’klallam Tribe, Quinault Tribe, and Quileute Tribe conducting water quality monitoring and habitat projects for salmon. Nicole played a role from the beginning stages of the Quillayute River Assessment and Restoration Action Plan, which paved the way for the first ever restoration project in the mainstem river and a pathway for multiple projects. 

She grew up in the foothills of Enumclaw chasing cutthroat in Newaukum Creek and volunteering with Mid Sound Fisheries. Pursuing her education at Washington State University and University of Idaho and internships with Weyerhaeuser and USFWS, she knew that salmon and the Pacific Northwest were where she wanted to focus her career. Nicole has lived in the town of Forks, Washington for the past 14 years with her husband and their two daughters, where they enjoy fishing, hiking, surfing, backpacking, sledding, hunting and getting firewood. Email Nicole Rasmussen

Matthew Sloat, Ph.D. | Director of Science

Matt is a fish ecologist who joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2015, bringing with him 20 years of research experience in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and California. His recent research interests encompass all things that influence salmon ecosystem resiliency, including cultural and economic incentives for salmon conservation; biophysical processes that create and maintain salmon streams; and the environmental, physiological, and genetic basis for salmonid life history diversity. He holds B.A.s in Wildlife Biology and in English from the University of Montana, a Master’s in Fish Management from Montana State University, and a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University. Matt enjoys messing around in and on rivers with his family and occasionally catches a fish or two on the fly. | Email Matthew Sloat

Julia Smith | Senior Communications Manager

Julia joined Wild Salmon Center in 2024, bringing more than a decade of strategic marketing, communications, and digital storytelling experience in Oregon’s fruit and wine industries. In each of her roles, Julia’s community building and grassroots outreach helped small agricultural companies create big impacts while creating meaningful connections for people, the culture around food and agriculture, and sustainability for the land itself.

As a Montana native, her passion for the outdoors sprung from wild places and tight knit communities. In her spare time, you’ll find her roaming rushing rivers, climbing craggy mountains, and wandering faraway canyons. Julia currently lives Portland Oregon, the perfect jumping off point for all kinds of adventures. | Email Julia Smith

Ellie Stair | Development Associate

Ellie joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2019. She has lived across the United States and developed a love for many different types of environments, preferring the Pacific Northwest to call home. While working for a small non-profit in San Francisco she developed a passion for native ecosystems and habitat restoration and still enjoys gardening for wildlife (and food) at her house in Portland. She has a BA in Geography from San Francisco State University, with a focus on GIS. In her free time she enjoys working on any number of house projects, hiking and camping, and dancing to kindie rock with her husband, kids and animals. | Email Ellie Stair

Tasha Thompson, Ph. D. | Conservation Geneticist

Tasha joined Wild Salmon Center in 2022. She is a conservation geneticist and molecular ecologist interested in the genetic and evolutionary basis of adaptive diversity in Pacific salmon to inform conservation. Born and raised in Utah, Tasha completed her undergraduate studies at University of Utah. She spent three summers on a Hotshot crew fighting fires in the west, including rivers where she later conducted field work sampling juvenile salmonids. Tasha earned her Ph.D. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics at the University of California, Davis, where she helped discover the genetic and evolutionary basis of spring run-timing in Chinook salmon.

Tasha is the inaugural Polsky Conservation Research Fellow at the Wild Salmon Center where she is developing a public database of whole genomes collected from hundreds of Chinook salmon and steelhead across the species’ range. Tasha lives in Oregon on the beautiful North Umpqua River with her husband, toddler twins, and a dog. | Email Tasha Thompson

Mark Trenholm | VP of Conservation

Mark Trenholm joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2008. Prior to taking this position, Mark worked for seven years as the Executive Director of the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project. Serving a diverse, multi-stakeholder Board and managing an eight person staff, Mark oversaw the implementation of almost 200 salmonid habitat enhancement, monitoring and education projects. Prior to his work with the National Estuary Project, Mark managed a range of resource planning and community development projects as a planning consultant. He has a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and a Masters of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. Mark enjoys steelheading, Red Sox baseball and exploring the places that salmon swim. | Email Mark Trenholm

Morgan Urquia | Alaska Campaign and Outreach Manager

Morgan joined Wild Salmon Center in 2023 and is based in Southcentral Alaska on Ahtna and Dena’ina homelands. Since coming to Alaska in 2020, Morgan has worked with Alaska Native communities across the state to conduct research on subsistence traditions. Her research included documenting Traditional Knowledge of salmon on the Lower Kuskowim River amid the salmon crisis and assessing the impact on subsistence ahead of a potential development project on Alaska’s North Slope. Morgan’s family comes from Mid-coast Maine where she grew up surrounded by relatives exploring the oceans, lakes, and rocky coastal mountains. She worked several years as an expedition leader for wilderness education programs in New England before completing a Master of Science in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, with a focus in planning for climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience. She is an avid adventurer and can be found mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and, as the Alaskan days get shorter in December, sailing in Baja California Sur. | Email Morgan Urquia

Mariah Williams | Staff Accountant

Mariah joined Wild Salmon Center in 2023. After studying Mass Communications and serving six years in the U.S. Air Force as a Broadcast Journalist, she returned to Northwest. She earned her Bachelor Degree at Washington State University, majoring in Accounting, and brings four years of experience in private & public accounting. Mariah was raised camping & hiking all over the Northwest and enjoys fishing for Winter Steelhead. When she’s not crunching numbers, she spends her free time rock climbing, trail running, and spending time with her chocolate lab. | Email Mariah Williams

Mariusz Wroblewski | Western Pacific Program Director

From 1994-2002, Mariusz managed the Ponoi and Yokanga river fly fishing operations in the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia, where he oversaw conservation programs with the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Knipovich Polar Institute in Murmansk. From 2006-2011, Mariusz was the Skeena River Program Director at Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon. In this capacity, he helped to form the Skeena Wild Conservation Trust and now serves as a Trustee. In 2010, Mariusz worked for WSC on contract, when he traveled to Moscow, Khabarovsk, and Kamchatka to advise our partners on promoting best practices in sport fishing, and officially joined WSC in 2011. Mariusz speaks fluent Russian, Polish, and English, and is a Ph.D. degree candidate in Slavic Languages and Literature at University of California – Berkeley. Mariusz is also a professional fly fishing guide and instructor. He was a member of the US tournament casting team in 1993, and in 2006 won the World Spey (two-handed) Casting Championship at the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco. | Email Mariusz Wroblewski


Continue The Story