NOWC Leadership

President & Region 6- Mid Columbia: Kristen Walz (2023)

Executive Director, North Fork John Day Watershed Council

Kristen was born and raised in Iowa. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Portland State University. Kristen moved to Eastern Oregon after working in the Bering Sea as a marine fisheries biologist. She joined the North Fork John Day Watershed Council in 2017 as a Restoration Project Coordinator. Since then she has filled the roles of Restoration Program Coordinator and John Day Basin Partnership (JDBP) Coordinator, and she moved into the Executive Director position in July 2021. Kristen has a passion for conservation. She values creating partnerships with a variety of stakeholders as the Council works to implement programs that restore and protect the North Fork and Middle Fork John Day River watersheds. Kristen is an active member of the John Day Basin Partnership Steering Committee, where she guides the direction of a unique collection of 30 different organizations all focused on protecting the resources of the John Day Basin. Kristen represents Oregon’s Region 6 Watershed Councils on NOWC’s Board. In her free time, Kristen can be found exploring the beautiful, rugged Eastern Oregon landscape with her husband, Erik, and their dogs, Darwin and Daisy Mae.

Vice President & At-Large Director: Rich Margerum (2023)

Professor, Director of the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management; University of Oregon College of Design

Dr. Richard D. Margerum is a Professor at the University of Oregon and Associate Dean in the College of Design. He teaches and does research related to natural resources management, regional problem-solving, and collaboration. He has published over forty publications, including two books: Beyond Consensus (MIT Press, 2011) and The Challenges of Collaborative Governance (Edward Elgar, 2016). He was a board member and chair of the Long Tom Watershed Council and serves on the southern Willamette groundwater management committee. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, backpacking, and biking, and has visited every county in Oregon.

Secretary & Region 3-Willamette Basin: Alexis Barton (2023)

Coordinator; Tryon Creek Watershed Council 

As Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Coordinator, Alexis enjoys wearing multiple hats on any given day, whether they be in coordinating restoration projects, implementing workshops, planning volunteer events, or facilitating coordination and collaboration across organizations. After finishing her B.S. in Environmental Studies, Alexis she gained experience at Johnson Creek Watershed Council in riparian restoration and volunteer management, including managing their Community Science program, leading environmental education, and the development of equity-driven planning processes. Alexis seeks to consider and incorporate equity and justice lenses into all the work she is a part of. She’s engaged with the North Clackamas Watersheds Council, Johnson Creek WC’s Community Inclusion Committee, City of Milwaukie Tree Board, and Friends of Elk Rock Island & Spring Park. Alexis spends time away from her desk with her partner and their dog and cat, experimenting both in the kitchen and on various crafts.

Treasurer & Region 5- Eastern Oregon: Jesse Steele (2023)

Executive Director; Grande Ronde Model Watershed Council 

Jesse has lived in Eastern Oregon for most of his life.  He was raised in Wallowa and attended Eastern Oregon University (EOU) where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree with minors in Biology and Geology.  After graduating from EOU he began his career with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, spending the first year as a technician at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area and the next five years working for the East Region Fish Research and Monitoring Program studying the early life histories of Spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead.  In 2010, he transitioned to the Grande Ronde Model Watershed, where he started as a field biologist and project coordinator.  During this time he completed Portland State University’s Environmental Professionals Program. As of 2019, Jesse now serves as the executive director.  Jesse runs a small farm in his spare time, raising heritage breed chickens and hogs on pasture. Jesse also enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and hiking with Summer, his wife of 22 years, Fenley, their 13-year-old son, and Manu, their 10-year-old daughter.

Region 1- North Coast: Andy Maggi (2023-2024)

Board Member; Scappoose Bay Watershed Council 

Andy Maggi works to safeguard and reconnect rivers and wetlands throughout the West. He has more than 15 years of experience in leading political and conservation advocacy campaigns and nonprofit organizations. Andy currently works at Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to his current role, Andy led the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, coordinating restoration efforts to improve stream function and habitat and currently serves on its board as Secretary. He served as executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, director of the Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club, and political director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. Maggi holds a degree in environmental ethics and policy from the University of Portland.

Region 2- Southwest Oregon: Miranda Gray (2022-2023)

Council Coordinator; South Coast Watershed Council

Miranda grew up in New Mexico and credits the wild and remote deserts of the southwest for her call to conservation. After leaving New Mexico and arriving in Gold Beach, she received a BA from Macalester College in Minnesota, and an MSc in Environmental Science and Policy at Northern Arizona University. She has worked as a contractor with the US Forest Service and the EPA, and as a GIS/spatial analyst for two different conservation non-profits. As the South Coast Watershed Council Coordinator, Miranda is most excited to be working closely with both the land and the landowners, working towards restoring watersheds. She enjoys exploring this beautiful part of the world with her husband and daughter through fishing, foraging, biking, and hiking.

Region 3- Willamette Basin: Dov Weinman (2023-2024)

Executive Director; Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council 

Born and raised in Eugene, Dov Weinman has a deep connection to the Willamette watershed in his role as Executive Director of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council. He’s passionate in supporting the work of staff, partners, and community members toward habitat restoration and accessible outdoor education. He holds a M.S in Environmental Justice from the University of Montana and a graduate certificate in natural resources conflict resolution from the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy. Previously, Dov spent three years in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer and then coordinated natural resource collaboratives in the northern Sierra Nevada of California. When he’s not working toward more resilient landscapes and communities, Dov enjoys creative writing, trail running, and gardening with his partner and their hound mix.

Government Relations Committee Chair & Region 4- Central Oregon: Chris Gannon (2022-2023)

Coordinator; Crooked River Watershed Council

Meet Chris, a dedicated conservationist who has spent his career making a positive impact on natural resources in the Pacific Northwest. Chris grew up in the Pacific on the island of American Samoa and pursued his college education at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. There, he earned both his Bachelor of Science degree in Range Science and his Master of Science degree in Soil Science. Chris’s passion for the outdoors and nature led him to work for the U.S. Forest Service at Mount St. Helens before accepting a permanent position with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Central Oregon. During his 13 years at Warm Springs, Chris helped to build their environmental program in coordination with the EPA, and even served on the EPA Tribal Operations Committee and the EPA’s National Tribal Science Council. Chris was nominated by tribal representatives to serve as the Science Council’s first tribal co-chair. In addition to his work at Warm Springs, Chris also served as the Director of the Community Development Department for Jefferson County, where he led the completion of the county’s first transportation system plan and the first update of the comprehensive plan. He later managed the Senate Bill 737 project for the Oregon DEQ in Portland before assuming his current role as the Director of the Crooked River Watershed Council. In this role, Chris sets the overall strategic direction for the council, maintains close contact and coordination with 16 board members, and works closely with diverse community interests to achieve watershed goals and execute the council’s mission.

Region 4- Central Oregon: Autumn Muir (2023-2024)

Uplands Coordinator; Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council 

Autumn Muir received  her B.S from Michigan State University in Fisheries and Wildlife Management. In 2019 she changed careers after nearly 20 years with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife where she worked in research and management primarily focusing on big game species. She now works for the Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council as the Uplands Coordinator. She strives to integrate her wildlife knowledge into valuable habitat improvements by working with private landowners and federal and state agencies across jurisdictional  boundaries to effect change on a landscape level. She currently participates in a variety of collaboratives, such as, but not limited to: The Klamath Lake Forest Health Partnership, The Chewaucan Watershed Collaborative, The Harney County Wildfire Collaborative, The Oregon Desert Land Trust Board, and the Lake County Cooperative Weed Management Area Board. While not working, Autumn and her family are backpacking, hiking, and hunting.

Region 6- Mid Columbia: Hannah Latzo (2023-2024)

Project Manager, South Fork John Day Watershed Council

Hannah is the Project Manager for the South Fork John Day Watershed Council. She is originally from Western Pennsylvania and got her B.S. in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. After college, she became a Fisheries Observer contracted through NOAA to work on commercial fishing vessels all throughout Alaska. On a whim, she made her way to Oregon in the winter of 2017 and began working at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hannah made community connections that led her to the South Fork John Day Watershed Council. Since being with the council, she has worked on multiple restoration projects with various partners. Her time in the John Day Basin has now guided her to also becoming the John Day Basin Partnership Coordinator. Hannah, in both these roles and now with NOWC, is interested in making connections with partners from many different disciplines and finding new innovative ways to protect and restore the watersheds we live in.

At-Large Director: Guy Sievert (2022-2023)

Director of the Board, Nestucca-Neskowin-Sand Lake Watershed Council

Guy Sievert is a resident of the coastal community of Neskowin and a board member for the Nestucca, Neskowin, Sand Lake Watersheds Council. For the last seventeen years he has worked to protect the ecosystem services that watersheds provide and more recently, focused on source water protection for water districts. He has been a member of the Watershed Council board for fifteen years having served as its president for ten years. Originally from upstate New York, Guy spent thirty five years as an administrator and faculty member at colleges and universities in New York, West Virginia and Oregon. Guy and his wife Donna have three adult children and four grandchildren, all living in the greater Portland metro area. 

Business Development Committee Chair: Heather King (2023)

Executive Director, Columbia Slough Watershed Council

Heather is a passionate lifelong social justice advocate, educator, and leader who has dedicated her life to promoting JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) principles and practices. With a Master’s in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MBA in Nonprofit Management and Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, Heather has an in-depth understanding of how to create positive social change. Through her work, Heather has had the pleasure of connecting and educating volunteers, partners, and donors on the importance, vitality, and joy of Oregon’s natural resources, especially its waterways. 

She has over 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, and an additional 10 years in the private sector as an accounts manager in the mutual fund and Medicaid health insurance industry. Five years ago, Heather returned to mission-driven work, and relocated to Portland.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.  She started that position just a year ago and prior to that helped reset and rebuild the fundraising program for 350PDX and was the as Deputy Director at Willamette Riverkeeper for 4 years, where she was responsible for all fundraising, staff development, supervision, and worked on several committees to educate people about the importance of the Willamette River. In addition to her professional achievements, Heather is the founder of two nonprofits, including Pride Zone, a center for GLBTQA+ young people in Northampton, MA, and Brandywine Roller Derby in Downingtown, PA. 

Heather is a true nomad at heart and loves exploring new cultures, meeting people, and experiencing all that the world has to offer. When she’s not exploring, Heather enjoys cooking, baking, Legos, Dungeons and Dragons, and a good book. 

Membership Services Committee Chair: Shannon Richardson (2022)

South Santiam Watershed Council 

Shannon is the Executive Director of the South Santiam Watershed Council. With a background in fisheries and public administration, she brings more than 15 years’ experience in the public sector to her current work. Shannon is drawn to service leadership and collaborative governance, leading her to seek creative ways to match needs and opportunities. Outside of work, she is part of a beautiful family that consists of more animals than people. She enjoys bestowing baked goods on people randomly, and pursuing unreasonable feats of endurance.


NOWC Representatives to State Groups