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Staff and Board of Directors

Meet the team behind North Coast Land Conservancy!

Morgan deMoll was born and raised in the Nehalem area. He grew up exploring the mountains and waters of the North Coast. After studying ecology, Morgan led a range of outdoor environmental education, conservation and therapy trips with youth throughout the west. He has been working in the land trust world since 2012. Returning home in 2021 to serve as NCLC’s stewardship assistant allowed Morgan to be closer to family and the ocean again, as well as providing a chance for him to come full circle by working to protect and care for the lands he has always called home. He then assumed the role of NCLC’s conservation manager in March 2022.

Katherine Lacaze grew up in a small town in Arizona before heading to a university in Virginia to study journalism. After graduating in 2010, she worked as a copy editor and reporter for numerous print publications in Virginia and Oregon, as well as writing magazine and newspaper articles, blog posts, web content and educational material. In the summer of 2020, she was hired by NCLC to manage its social media, which led to overseeing all of NCLC’s communication efforts. She has a deep passion for the natural world and coastal conservation. When not working, Katherine enjoys participating in theater productions as an actor and director, reading books, writing and spending time with her daughter, Juliette.

As a child in rainy Warrenton, Oregon, Erica dreamed of being a “paleontologist-oceanographer-mermaid” when she grew up. Years spent camping, hiking, and fishing with family fueled this desire, and her love for the Oregon coast and its forests turned into a passion for conservation. She graduated from Southern Oregon University with a B.S. in Biology, focusing her time on animal physiology and aquatic ecology. Her past work experience includes a rewarding role as a wildlife rehabilitator at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast, favoring common murres and western grebes for their energetic demeanors. She also gained experience doing seasonal biotechnician roles across the conservation realm, such as working on a Columbia River salmon survivorship study; marine mammal monitoring; and conducting salmon stream surveys for Washington Fish and Wildlife. She volunteered whenever possible with various groups, which led her to North Coast Land Conservancy in December 2022. After hand-stuffing newsletters and participating in Weed Warrior Wednesdays, she accepted the seasonal Land Stewardship Assistant role in May 2024. When not at NCLC, she’s probably enjoying afternoon naps with a furry entourage (a dog and two cats), restarting an unfinished crochet project, or dancing around to vinyl records with her family.

Chris Mathison spent his childhood in a rural village near the Norfolk Coast in England. He spent several years working in the IT and theater industries. Since 2020, he’s lived in Astoria with his family. He brought his technical and administrative knowledge—as well as his love for the natural world—to NCLC in May 2022, when he took on the role of office manager. When not working with coastal conservation, he enjoys playing music, reading, gardening, and spending time with his family and Boston Terriers.

Colin Meston became a Land Steward for NCLC in January 2023. Born in raised in Eugene, Oregon, Colin obtained a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and master’s degree in natural resources from Oregon State University. Colin worked for a variety of federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, doing research, surveying, plant monitoring, and data processing. After moving to Astoria, Colin got involved with NCLC as a volunteer, helping with stewardship projects, serving on the Conservation Committee, and being a Site Steward. He transitioned to a Stewardship Manager with NCLC in late 2023.

Mylasia Miklas received her bachelor of science degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. After graduation, she made the move to the Oregon Coast where she began working as a fisheries observer for Alaskan Observer Inc. with the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program. During a tidepool adventure at Haystack Rock, she discovered the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) and knew she needed to play a part in this program’s mission. Through her time with HRAP, she discovered her love for environmental education and science communication. She joined the North Coast Land Conservancy team in May of 2024 as a seasonal Land and Sea Stewardship Assistant. She is looking forward to restoring and protecting important habitats, learning more about the land and sea connection, and inspiring more people to become environmental stewards. When she isn’t working you can find her exploring tidepools, practicing her wildlife photography skills, crocheting, and hanging out with her cat.

Kassia Nye joined NCLC in December 2021. An Oregon native, Kassia considers herself a born mountain goat, with an inherent passion for climbing and exploring the outdoors. Some of her favorite things about the coast are ferns on trees and moss on rocks. Prior to joining NCLC, she worked as the executive director of United Way of Clatsop County and for the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation. She is driven by a love for matching people and their values to meaningful causes that make a difference for future generations.

Eric Owen completed his bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University in 2014, where he majored in environmental science with a minor in writing. In addition to his passion for conservation ecology, his interests include mycology and mushroom hunting, soccer, surfing, playing music, and brewing beer. Eric was born in Grand Junction, Colorado. He grew up in San Diego and lived in northern California for several years before moving to Oregon in 2010 to be nearer to his immediate family, who all live in the state. He resides in Warrenton. After working with NCLC for several years as a Land Steward, he transitioned to Stewardship Manager in late 2023.

As Stewardship Director, Melissa Reich oversees stewardship of the properties that NCLC owns or holds conservation easements on, to ensure that the land’s natural values are protected or enhanced. Melissa grew up on Shelter Island, at the east end of Long Island, New York, near the site of The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve, where she volunteered during high school and worked during summers off from college. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Lewis & Clark College, where she studied invertebrate conservation and ecology and assisted with field research of the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly. After college Melissa served three years of AmeriCorps service with the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center and The Nature Conservancy, and then went to work for TNC on the Oregon Coast doing field surveys and working with coastal land owners to improve native butterfly habitat. She joined NCLC as Stewardship Director in February 2013. Melissa lives in Astoria, where she enjoys foraging for wild food, playing her mandolin, and getting her feet wet.

Lynette Villagomez grew up in the Coachella Valley of southern California and went to college at Humboldt State University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental policy with a minor in environmental and natural resources planning in 2012. After graduation, she went to work for the Mono Lake Committee, a nonprofit conservation organization in California, as an intern and project specialist before moving to Cannon Beach in fall 2013. Shortly after arriving to Clatsop County, Lynette began working for NCLC, coordinating the organization’s volunteer and outreach program, as well as leading the organization through its work on diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of conservation. In 2022, Lynette transitioned to her current position as Community Programs Director. Lynette also enjoys hiking, backpacking, traveling, spending time with family and being involved in her community.

Katie Voelke was raised in a home under oak trees where she spent many hours collecting bugs, making mud pies with her sister, and camping and hiking with her parents in the summers. She is sure that this life-long exposure to the natural world is what led her on a path to study biology in school. Katie settled on Oregon’s north coast with her husband Scott in 2003 and spent time doing field work with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before she finally found her calling: working in land conservation with NCLC. In 2005, Katie started as NCLC’s first Stewardship Director, working under founding Executive Director, Neal Maine. After three years of learning the ropes alongside Neal, she took the helm in 2008 as Executive Director. Although her job at NCLC keeps her inside more than she would like, she manages to get her fix of the outdoors by following in her parent’s footsteps: bug collecting with her three sons and spending the summers hiking and camping with family.

Raised in Portland, Angela Whitlock spent ample time on the coast with her family hiking, camping, biking, crabbing, fishing, and exploring the beaches. She worked as a professional goldsmith for 25 years—a career that enabled her to move to the northern Oregon Coast in 2000. While attending Clatsop Community College, she became the first recipient of the Environmental Steward Certificate through the college, in partnership with Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. She also became involved in volunteer conservation efforts, including marine debris surveys, salmon stream surveys, and CoastWatch’s Adopt a Mile program. In 2020, she joined Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) as a lead environmental interpreter and became immersed in the world of rocky intertidal habitat, satisfying the longing she felt as a child to be a marine biologist. She joined the Tidepool Ambassador Program (TAP) at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in 2021 and served two seasons. In March 2023, she started as NCLC’s Marine Program Coordinator, giving her an opportunity to further her passion for coastal conservation. In her leisure time, she enjoys nature journaling; walking outdoors with her dog Cricket; bird watching; and exploring tide pools (she’s still holding out hope to find evidence of the existence of mermaids).

Jon Wickersham was born in Sitka, Alaska, but spent most of his life growing up in Gearhart, Oregon. After completing a degree in Planning from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Jon worked in rural Montana as a county planner, running an open-space bond program to protect ranches, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. He returned to Oregon’s north coast in 2010 to join the NCLC staff as Conservation Director, building a strong rapport with local landowners, county officials, and state and federal wildlife departments. When not working to conserve coastal wildlife habitat, Jon enjoys hiking, sports, running and anything that takes him outdoors!

Callista Martin is a recent college graduate from Whitman College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in May of 2023. Her studies focused on plant ecology, plant genetics, and science writing, and she worked for the college as a writing tutor. Soon after graduating, she started at NCLC as the Stewardship Intern before transitioning to the role of Stewardship Assistant later in the year. Callista spent most of her childhood in Coos Bay, Oregon, running around the sand dunes with her dogs and building forts in the forest. She now lives in Astoria and loves to read, knit, ski, and put together puzzles when she’s got the time.

Betsy is a long-time Cannon Beach resident well known for her community activism. She was already a member of NCLC’s Fundraising and Outreach Committee when she joined the board in 2010. Betsy is a retired Head Start center manager and has served on the Cannon Beach City Council, the Cannon Beach Planning Commission, the board of Coast Rehabilitation Services, and the City of Cannon Beach Budget Committee and Emergency Preparedness Committee. She began serving her first term as Board President in November 2023.

Kevin retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where he served as regional instream flow coordinator and as a habitat restoration specialist. He holds a master’s degree in fisheries from the University of Alaska. He served as president of the board of Juneau Youth Services, a nonprofit agency. When they’re not spending time at their cabin in Alaska, Kevin and his wife, Marla, are at home on the North Fork Nehalem River, where they enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle managing their small horse farm, hunting, fishing and hiking.

Ron has been the treasurer for NCLC since he joined the board in 2005. He works as chief financial officer for Martin Hospitality in Cannon Beach. He served on the Cannon Beach Planning Commission for 12 years and has served on several city committees related to the city’s environmental efforts. His interests include traveling and fishing. He lives in Cannon Beach.

Tom Horning grew up in Seaside and joined the board of NCLC not long after returning to Seaside in 1994. He has been actively involved with the land trust ever since and is a past president of the board. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology at Oregon State University and currently runs his own geological consulting service, Horning Geosciences. Tom also serves on the Seaside City Council. He and his wife, Kirsten, live in the house at the mouth of Neawanna Creek where Tom was raised.

Tammi grew up in Tillamook County and lives on a farm near Garibaldi with her husband and daughter. She has a background in wildlife habitat management and has worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Northern Arizona University, and most recently The Nature Conservancy as a land steward in central Oregon and in Clatsop County. She has served on the NCLC board since 2007.

John is a native Oregonian and a 40-year North Coast resident. For thirty of those years he worked as a general contractor. He has been involved with county land use planning, he served on the Arch Cape Design Review Board for 20 years, and he has been a member of the Ecola Creek Watershed Council. He has always felt a deep connection to the environment of the North Coast, whether he’s working in his vegetable garden, wandering in the woods, surfing, fishing, or volunteering for NCLC. He joined the board in 2010, becoming NCLC’s first second-generation board member (after his father, Rol Mersereau). He became president of the board in 2017 and served through 2023.

Randall spent his childhood vacations backpacking in the Cascades and Rockies and tidepooling at Cannon Beach. After he met and married Jeanne Braun of Seaside, Jeanne introduced him to NCLC’s founding executive director Neal Maine, and the rest is history. He chairs the Seaside Airport Advisory Committee and serves on several aviation-related committees and boards. After retiring from a career as a software engineer, Randall can typically be found working on or flying his homemade RV-6 plane, hiking on a nearby trail, or exploring the lakes and rivers of the North Coast with his wife, Jeanne, in their homemade kayaks.

Vianne Patterson grew up in Oswego, Oregon, and spent family vacations on the Oregon Coast. In 1964, she moved to Vancouver, B.C., with her young family, where she earned a master’s degree in communications and media studies (Simon Fraser University), became a communications company executive, and spent much of her free time scuba diving and sailing. She moved to Gearhart in 2004. She served as chair of NCLC’s Outreach Committee for two years before joining the board in February 2013. She enjoys breeding and raising Siberian huskies.

Layton Borkan divides her time between her home in Portland and a second home in Arch Cape, which she shares with her husband, Gene. During her long career as a clinical social worker at Portland State University, she had summers off, which allowed her to spend summers at the coast with their four children; as she puts it, “I’ve been looking up at the Rainforest Reserve for a very long time.” Layton has been involved in a number of community coalitions addressing social justice issues in Portland. All four children—adults now—still live in the Pacific Northwest.