Staff & Board
Holly ChristiansenMembership Associate, holly at kswild.org
Holly first moved to Ashland in 2000, after earning a degree in Biology with an emphasis in ecology from San Diego State University and has worked in a variety of plant geek fields: plant ecology studies, native plant and also rose nurseries, organic agriculture, and yard care. Doing fun science projects as a kid gave her a deep appreciation for nature, conservation, and critters at an early age. She loves riding her bike, crafting, learning about local flora and fauna, and the beautiful clear rivers in southern Oregon. In her role as Membership Associate, Holly helps KS Wild keep in touch with our 3,000 members, and keep our database up-to-date.
Development Director, michael at kswild.org
Born and raised a Hoosier among the corn and soy bean fields of Indiana, Michael graduated from Ball State University in 2004 with a BS in Telecommunications and History. After finishing school, Michael spent a couple of years working seasonally with the National Park Service as an Interpreter and Educator at national historic sites in Kansas and Iowa. He moved west to southern California and worked at an outdoor science school for a couple of years, before landing in the Sierra Foothills in 2007. There, Michael worked for a river conservation organization along the South Fork American River which sparked his passion for preserving rivers and wildlands. Now home in southern Oregon, he enjoys exploring the rivers and mountains of the Siskiyou. His hobbies include all things outdoors, including hiking, backpacking, whitewater rafting and mountain biking.
Rogue Riverkeeper Program Director, forrest at rogueriverkeeper.org
Forrest is a lifelong resident of Southern Oregon and has spent most of his professional life working around water. In addition to years of grassroots environmental organizing around the country, he has been a commercial fisherman, canoe guide, wetlands technician, heavy equipment operator, and a foreman in charge of stream and wetland restoration crews. Forrest has run equipment or crews on dam removals, reconnecting diverted creeks, cleaning up miles of silted-in spawning beds and worked on numerous wetland delineation and mitigation projects. Most recently Forrest was Rogue Riverkeeper's Water Quality Coordinator for 2 years before becoming the Program Director.
Rogue Riverkeeper Clean Water Campaigner, robyn at rogueriverkeeper.org
Robyn was born and raised in Southern Oregon and has spent most of her life working on the water. As a teenager, Robyn discovered her love of the water as a professional river guide and has been introducing people to the rivers of southern Oregon, northern California and beyond ever since. Robyn feels most at home on the river and has an intimate relationship with the Rogue and its watershed. She has been a volunteer with KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper for the last 6 years and has worked diligently on the Save the Wild Rogue campaign. Robyn is a magna cum laude graduate from Southern Oregon University where she studied art and geology.
Conservation Associate, Adopt-a-Botanical Area Coordinator, jeanine at kswild.org
Jeanine graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Applied Ecology and holds an M.S. in Environmental Education at Southern Oregon University. Most recently, Jeanine was the Education Program Manager for the Klamath Bird Observatory. She continues to teach at Ashland School District’s Willow Wind Learning Center, and is the founder of Ashland Trail Trekkers summer camp. Always making time for things she loves, she can be found biking with her dog, alpine rock climbing, cooking Chinese food, or making landscape paintings.
Staff Ecologist, rich at kswild.org
Prior to joining KS Wild in 2011, Rich was staff ecologist at the Siskiyou Project for 18 years. Rich is a salmon and stream expert. He provides our conservation programs with aquatic science support and works to reign in mining that often damages stream ecosystems. Rich enjoys leading salmon hikes and teaching Salmon Snorkeling at the Siskiyou Field Institute. He has a bachelors and masters degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University and assisted with salmon research on the southern Oregon coast as a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University. Rich began his career as a wildlife biologist with BLM in Nevada.
Canvass Director, gary at kswild.org
Gary has a degree in Broadcast Communications from Southern Oregon University. He lived in Mexico and Central America for three and a half years where he studied at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, taught English, and worked as an Occupational Therapist in a TB hospital. Gary works as a teachers assistant subbing with the Talent Phoenix School District. He also volunteers in the SMART (Start making a reader today) program at Talent Elementary School. His passions are organic gardening and love for nature.
Communications Director, amy at kswild.org
Born and raised in New Mexico, Amy spent the early part of her life in the canyon lands of the Southwest. It was here that she first discovered her sense of place and its deep intrinsic connection with wild and untamed places. Attracted to its biodiversity, tall trees, and lush abundant rivers Amy moved out to the Klamath Siskiyou 6 years ago. Landing at a wilderness education center in the Applegate she quickly became enmeshed in the lands of our bioregion and the issues facing their protection. Amy brings to KS Wild over a decade of communications study and practice. Spending many years creating films as a way to raise awareness she is dedicated to building off her formal education in Business & Marketing to include modern media communication vehicles and strategies. In the Rogue Valley you will likely find Amy climbing, backpacking, skiing, running, rafting and enjoying the great outdoors!
Conservation Director, gs at kswild.org
George has a JD, with a certificate in natural resources and environmental law, from Lewis and Clark Law School. He holds a BA in political science from Reed College. George has worked to protect forests and watersheds in the Pacific Northwest for the last fifteen years. His efforts have ended the old-growth logging program on several National Forests, established 9th Circuit case law protecting Late-Successional Reserves from salvage logging, and facilitated small-diameter fuels projects and prescribed burning on hundreds of thousands of acres.
Executive Director, joseph at kswild.org
Joseph has been with KS Wild since 1999 and has served on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations, including the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative. In addition to duties as Executive Director, Joseph oversees KS Wild’s campaigns, our restoration and collaborative programs, and advocates for protection of the special places of the Klamath-Siskiyou region. Joseph is a cum laude graduate of Edgewood College and has done graduate coursework at Southern Oregon University. Joseph previously worked at the Medford District BLM as a Wildlife Biologist and he enjoys hiking, running, rafting and exploring the wildest corners of the Klamath-Siskiyou.
No LNG Campaign Coordinator
KS Wild’s Rogue Riverkeeper program is working with Rogue Climate to boost the No LNG Exports Campaign and widen the reach and impact of the Coalition's actions. Appolonia (who goes by Apple), has volunteered with the No LNG campaign for two years, and will take over from where former organizer Sarah Westover left off -expanding the statewide organizing aspects of the project. Apple has a law degree from the University of Oregon and is excited to join the Stand up for Oregon, No LNG team and work with many local communities to say NO to the pipeline and gas export.
Volunteer Coordinator, Rogue River Keeper, Frances at RogueRiverKeeper.org
Frances is originally from central California and has a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She has been in the Rogue Basin since the early 1990’s, attracted by the region’s natural areas and outdoor activities. Frances’ work experience has been diverse and includes jobs as a river guide, field biologist, and non-profit program administrator for local watershed councils.
Board of Directors
Shannon Clery, Board Secretary
Teacher, Ashland, OR
Shannon is a botanist, naturalist and educator who has lived in the Klamath-Siskiyous since 1998 and served on the KS Wild Board of Directors for nearly as long. Her graduate work at Southern Oregon University involved a botanical and conservation study in the threatened Condrey Mountain Roadless Area on the Siskiyou Crest, which contributed to advocacy work being done by KS Wild. Her current focus is raising her two young boys and running a small preschool, inspiring reverence for nature in the the youngest generation. She is grateful for the opportunity to support the work of KS Wild by continuing to serve on the board.
Community activist, Ashland, OR
Shelley, her partner and their two children have made Ashland their home since 2000. The Klamath Siskiyous are the family's unschooling "classroom," and they enjoy birding and backpacking. Shelley is an organic gardener, sometime writer and avid crafter. She is an active community member who enjoys including her kids in creative, grass-roots organizing that models justice, compassion, and a love of wild places. Locally, she has been instrumental in forest protection campaigns, starting a new community garden, stopping the Mt. Ashland Ski Expansion, and ACLU litigation defending free speech. Her current paid work projects include researching and preparing courses on a variety of agronomic and farm management topics and participating in the design of a new farm incubator program for new and limited resource farmers and farm workers.
Elementary school teacher, O'Brien, OR
An avid snowboarder, Joseph Flaherty got involved in the work of KS Wild in 2000 in support of the campaign to protect the Mount Ashland watershed. He also spent part of a summer sitting in an old Douglas Fir hoping to stop the Peak Timber Sale in the upper Rogue basin. Joseph worked for KS Wild for a while as a door-to-door canvasser raising awareness of local forest issues. While a college student at Southern Oregon University, he edited and published the campus paper known as "The Soapbox". Recently, he moved to the Illinois Valley where he works as a primary school teacher. He continues to ride his snowboard, but now he has to hike for his turns in the wild western Siskiyou.
Executive Director, Rogue Valley Farm to School, Ashland, OR
Tracy has started new farmers markets, provided marketing consultation for farms and CSAs, managed growers markets, and worked for farm & food nonprofits on various levels for 20 years. Tracy is currently on the OSU Extension Small Farms Advisory Committee. She was formerly a member of the OSU Small Farms team where she worked with commercial producers, lending her knowledge on marketing, food safety protocols and certifications. Tracy also serves on the Rogue Farm Corps Curriculum Advisory Committee. Tracy and her family have lived in Ashland since 2001. She is a skilled community organizer and active civic participant.
Attorney, Eagle Point, OR
Bob has over 30 years of board experience from serving on several non-profit environmental organization boards, and was a founding board member of WaterWatch of Oregon and the Oregon Water Trust. After 20 years as a partner in a private law practice, he served as a senior staff attorney for WaterWatch, a river conservation organization, for 13 years. He co-drafted Oregon's landmark instream water rights bill, and was WaterWatch's lead staff person on the removal of Savage Rapids and Gold Ray Dams. He has a B.S. degree in Zoology and a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan, and is an avid flyfisher, birder, backpacker, backcountry skier, and rafter.
David Johns has been involved in large-scale, science-based conservation work for over three decades. He is a co-founder The Wildlands Network and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and as long had a special love for the wildlands and waters of the Klamath-Siskiyou region. David is involved in other large-scale, science-based conservation projects and has advised conservation NGOs and governments in the Russian Far East, Australia, and elsewhere. David has written and spoken widely on the integration of science and advocacy and science and policy. He is author of A New Conservation Politics (2009), a guide on how conservationists can become more effective at ensuring that science and conservation values influence policy. He has published in Conservation Biology, Environmental Ethics, Wild Earth, in other journals, in edited volumes and has authored op-ed pieces and news analysis. He teaches politics and law at Portland State University’s School of Government. He is trained in Political Science, Anthropology, and Law with degrees from Portland State University and Columbia University, where he was also an International Fellow. He is recipient of the first Denver Zoological Foundation’s Conservation Award (2007).
Stuart O’Neill, Board President
Executive Director, Rogue Farm Corps, Ashland, OR
Stuart has lived in the Klamath-Siskiyou region for 15 years. His studies in geology at Southern Oregon University, along with a brief stint doing riparian surveys with the Medford BLM, introduced him to the wildlands of this region. Stuart is the Executive Director of Rogue Farm Corps, a non-profit providing entry-level training in sustainable agriculture. He is a founding member of the Oxygen Collective and has worked as a community organizer on behalf of peace, social, economic, and environmental justice for the past decade.
Attorney, Brooklyn, NY
Gene is a corporate and intellectual property attorney. He primarily advises technology companies while also working with non-profits, including previous work with Rainforest Action Network, the San Francisco Design Museum, and the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Association.
Laurel Samson, Board Treasurer
Grants Pass, OR
Laurel has over twenty years in municipal government serving as Community Development Director, Assistant City Manager and City Manager. She is currently retired from municipal government. Her experience includes managing people, developing public policy, working with community organizations, creating and presenting budgets, managing capital projects and visioning and goals development and implementation. She received her Bachelors degree in Biology from California State University, Sonoma, and her Masters degree in Business from Northeastern University, Boston. In addition to working with KS Wild (and previously the Siskiyou Project) for nearly ten years, she is working with the American Association of University Women and the annual Frog O'Faire and is serving as a counselor with the Aspire Program in a local high school. She currently serves as Treasurer for KS Wild Board.
Communications Director, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco, CA
Laurel has more than a decade’s experience mobilizing communities, coordinating campaigns and building the movement for forest advocacy. He is a trained naturalist and environmental educator who specializes in inspiring people to protect the biodiversity surrounding them. Laurel was KS Wild’s Grassroots Organizer from 2008-2011 and spent two years on the KS Wild Board of Directors prior to his employment. He currently is the International Forests Communications Director for the Rainforest Action Network. He has a BA in ecology, natural history and environmental education from Prescott College.