When Chris Mathison joined North Coast Land Conservancy’s team, it was a mission-driven choice influenced by a lifelong inclination to care for the natural world.
“I wanted to do something that was going to align with my own personal beliefs, something that I could feel good about doing,” Chris says.
Chris assumed the newly created position of office manager at the end of May. His role involves public communication, database management, and other administrative tasks that provide support to NCLC as the organization continues expanding.
Growing up in a rural village near the Norfolk coastline in England, much of his childhood was spent “wandering through fields and forests and farms,” he says. In grade school, he began taking part in environmentalism activism by protesting fox-hunting and badger-baiting—major issues in the UK in the 1990s. His family has a similar bent, he adds, describing them all as “nature people,” willing to “sacrifice themselves for the lives of animals.” Personally, he doesn’t feel capable of shutting himself off to what’s happening in the natural world, from climate change and habitat loss to human-wildlife interactions.
“It is all connected,” he says. “Our responsibilities are as much to the natural world as to ourselves.”
Professionally, Chris has worked in IT and the theater industry doing technical work and stagecraft. He eventually settled in Portland for several years before moving with his family to the Oregon Coast a year and a half ago.
A natural rambler, he enjoys taking time to traverse outdoor spaces, finding new spots to learn about and losing himself in the process. He’s still getting acquainted with the northern Oregon coastline, which he describes as dramatically different from the Northfolk coast where he spent his childhood.
“It is a unique ecosystem, and it’s shrinking,” he says.
He was drawn by NCLC’s efforts to conserve ecologically valuable and wild spaces on the coast, as well as its success in doing so.
“It’s an organization that’s pragmatic; it’s actually doing what it set out to do,” he says. “There’s a plan, there’s an objective, and things happen, things move forward. That’s inspiring to see.”
He looks forward to learning more about the conservation world and carrying out a job that involves opportunities for meaningful work. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing music, gardening, and spending time with his family and two Boston Terriers.