Corvallis Environmental Center Team

 

Diane Converse

Executive Director
diane@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Diane brings a passion for connecting people and place to her role as the new Executive Director of CEC. She has spent her career working in nonprofits with educational missions primarily in Western Washington and most recently in Alaska. She grew up in Oregon and Washington and is excited to return to the area to be part of such a vibrant and caring community. Diane has a degree in Wildlife Science and completed mid-career graduate work gaining a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is also a fiber artist and enjoys spending time outside exploring and gaining inspiration for her work.

 

Josie Blakeney

Administrative Coordinator & Direct Install Coordinator
office@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

As the organizational core of our central office, Josie is likely the voice you hear on the other end of the phone and the face that greets you in the office. She recently moved to Oregon from Mississippi with her husband in June, 2018.  With a love for traveling and people, she is enjoying the scenery in landscape and individuals that the Pacific Northwest provides. In her spare time, Josie loves to bake her famous chocolate chip cookies and sourdough bread and explore new waterfalls every chance she gets.

 

Kyler Grandkoski

Community Food & Agriculture Program Manager
kyler@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Kyler comes to the Corvallis Environmental Center with 10 years of small-mid scale sustainable agriculture experience in Oregon.  Hailing from Montana, he is our go-to agricultural guru, with a green thumb and great vision for our SAGE garden. Kyler has done everything under the sun on farms, ranging from 1 acre to 60 acres focusing on organic and biodynamic methods along with community education. He is passionate about growing, eating and generally sharing food, flowers, and herbs in a multitude of setting and manners.

 

Liz Habley

Bilingual Nature Programs Educator
liz@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Liz received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Hanover College, IN and has be doing environmental education ever since. She truly learned Spanish as an Environmental Community Management Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, where there was no choice but to immerse herself in the language and culture. She is passionate about helping young minds absorb the wonders of the natural world and Spanish. She has received her graduate certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, and is completing a Masters in Natural Resources at OSU. In her free time, she enjoys kicking back in her hammock or tending the garden with her kids.

 

Deb K.

Bookkeeper
bookkeeper@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

After being away from Oregon for more years than she cares to admit, Deb returned with her family and landed in the Willamette Valley in the summer of 2016. She will tell you that bookkeeping is tailor-made for her because she is a natural investigator, and doesn’t give up on new challenges. Her drive for order, balance, consistency, and completed check-off lists make her happy on a daily basis. In her spare time, she is a maker; crafting, sewing, painting, building, landscaping, gardening, decorating, and coming up with even more ideas to be creative, but she always makes time to enjoy Oregon’s beautiful outdoors!

 

Faren Leader

Community Produce Stands Manager

faren@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Faren has a passion for fresh local produce, community building, and lifetime learning! With previous experience in teaching, social work, and farming, Faren joined our team in 2018 for the pilot year of our Veggie Rx produce stands program in partnership with the Community Health Centers of Linn & Benton Counties. She has returned in 2019 to continue this program, as well as produce stands in partnership with Samaritan Health Services. In her spare time Faren is a mom and loves to hike, camp, knit, read, tend her garden, and preserve produce through canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing, and drying.

 

Nicholle Leeming

FoodCorps Service Member
foodcorps@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Nicholle moved to Oregon in 2012 to earn her degree in Exercise Science at Pacific University. While there she discovered her true passion for nutrition education and food policy. She is excited to have the opportunity to explore more of Oregon and share her love of healthy foods by working with the Corvallis Environmental Center as the FoodCorps service member. Before serving with FoodCorps, Nicholle worked as an educational assistant and athletic coach. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing/coaching soccer and lacrosse.

 

Teagan Lochner

Outreach and Events Coordinator
teagan@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Teagan is the one behind the event curtains. She brings over ten years of cumulative professional experience in public relations, multimedia design, event planning, and cat herding to the CEC, along with her love of the outdoors and a passion for protecting the environment. In her free time, she loves to ski, surf, rock climb, and go hiking with her dog Isabelle. Her favorite things are coffee and high fives.

 

Serene Mellenthin

Nature Program Coordinator
serene@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Serene worked for 7 years for Greater Albany Public Schools as a 6th and 8th grade science teacher and was a live raptor handler and educator at Chintimini Wildlife Center for 10 years. She truly feels that her purpose on this earth is to foster the connection between children and the environment through place-based, inquiry driven hands-on experiences. She is the mother of two children; Lilly is 5 and Penelope (Penny) is almost 3.

 

Marin Oschmann

Community Food Systems Program Assistant
marin@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Marin has recently moved to Corvallis after three years of working all around the United States and Central America. She studied Conservation Biology and Latin American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which also happens to be where she grew up. After graduation she continued her passion for conservation while working in ecological field work and education, but at this time she also discovered an interest in sustainable farming and accessibility to healthy, local food. Her experience with small-scale organic farms in Wisconsin, Montana, and Washington has allowed her to realize the beauty and importance of feeding a community healthy foods. She is very excited to learn with and work alongside all the amazing staff, interns and volunteers from SAGE and CEC as a whole.

 

Cassidy Radloff

Program Director
cassidy@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Prior to coming to the Corvallis Environmental Center, Cassidy spent four years working in the Corvallis community as a Nutrition & Garden Educator for youth and families while pursuing degrees in Public Health and Sustainability from Oregon State University. Cassidy is passionate about connecting students in the Corvallis School District to healthy, local food.

 

McKenzie Tritt Rakes

Farm to School Coordinator
mckenzie@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

McKenzie moved to Corvallis to study Environmental Sciences at Oregon State University. Since graduating in 2015, she has worked as an event planner and lived overseas while volunteering as a youth educator. She is passionate about connecting people to the outdoors and is excited to get kids thinking about their food and local environment through unique, hands-on learning.

 

Anna Secreast

Nature Educator
instructor@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

Anna received degrees in anthropology and environmental studies from University of Michigan in 2008 and has been chasing student- and youth-centric outdoor adventures ever since.  She has worked as an outdoor educator, adventure camp counselor, and mentored students at educational gardens and organic farming projects.  Now back in school studying Natural Resources Education at OSU, Anna is excited to continue the adventure with Avery House students as they explore the natural world in their own backyard.