For Morgan Bender-deMoll, the most recent addition to North Coast Land Conservancy’s team, transferring to the Oregon Coast in pursuit of conservation work is a long-anticipated homecoming.
“I’m excited to be taking a job that’s putting me out on the ground I know and love,” says Morgan, who grew up in the Manzanita and Nehalem area and has memories of NCLC linking all the way back to his childhood. Coming back to the coast, he adds, “has been a dream forever.”
Morgan will start May 10 as NCLC’s new stewardship assistant, which is currently intended as a 10-month position. In this role, he will assist the existing stewardship team with monitoring, managing and tending to the organization’s properties throughout Tillamook, Clatsop and Lincoln counties.
Morgan graduated with a degree in ecology in 2004 and pursued additional training and coursework in oceanography, marine and intertidal biology at Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and their Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Over the past several years, Morgan’s career has incorporated a wide variety of jobs, from working as a forestry research assistant and wilderness ranger to serving as a conservation specialist with Whatcom Land Trust and his current seasonal work as an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Inspector with the City of Bellingham’s Natural Resources Division.
Now, he looks forward to “coming full circle” and continuing his professional relationship with a land trust that is focused on a region with which he is already deeply familiar.
“If I’m able to be outside and/or playing with maps, I’m usually pretty happy,” he says, adding his past stewardship experience and the knowledge he’s collected over the years from a variety of sources will contribute to NCLC’s goal of informed conservation efforts. He also sees this as a continuation of his work in environmental education, but from a different angle.
“Through stewardship, we’re also influencing the next generation to do that work—making sure they both have lands to enjoy and an understanding of how to conserve them,” he says.
Additionally, Morgan is drawn to the culture fostered within NCLC that extends from staff to volunteers and the broader community.
“This is one of the happiest, most effective teams I’ve seen,” he says. “It’s a culture I’ve always hoped to be a part of and participate in.”