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Daney Meads

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Operations Coordinator

Daney grew up in Ashland, Oregon. She has always had a love of wildflowers, and made pollinators a focus for her Associate’s degree in Sustainable Community development. She went on to attend the University of Oregon, where she studied the sociology of the global environment. She is excited to collaborate with all departments of CEC, and contribute to a more sustainable future. With a never-ending appreciation for all things Pacific Northwest, she
spends her free time hiking, foraging, and rockhounding.

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Devan Murfin 

Pronouns: he/him/his

Farm to School Educator

Devan graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor's degree in both Natural Resource Education and Sustainability. After interning at SAGE (doing sustainable agriculture) and in the schools (assisting with Farm to School education), he now joins the staff ready to teach students about the connection between our food and where it comes from. He has experience creating unique dishes and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for food with the students. He spends his free time working in his garden, going on road trips exploring the Pacific Northwest, and taking care of his many animals!

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Diane Converse 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Executive Director

Diane brings a passion for connecting people and place to her role as the 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.

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Elizabeth "Lizard" Hendzel 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nature Educator

Lizard found her calling at the CEC after relocating to Corvallis from her hometown near Chicago, IL. With degrees in Marine Science and Spanish (habla un poco de Español) from Eckerd College, she seamlessly blends her passions for environmental stewardship and cultural exchange. Her formative experiences include an internship with the Florida Aquarium's Education Department and a transformative year teaching English to primary school children in Spain. Infused with a child-like wonder, Lizard inspires both colleagues and community members alike. Her knack for connecting with people, coupled with her love for animals, has made her a cherished member of the CEC team since she started working there in June of 2021. Beyond her professional pursuits, Lizard can be found immersed in the great outdoors, channeling her creativity into art or jamming to her favorite tunes.

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 Evelia Verburg

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nature Programs - Camp Coordinator

Evelia joined the CEC in 2022 upon returning to Oregon from seasonal work in national parks. She combines the knowledge gained through her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Portland State University with her extensive experience working with children, including her role as an environmental education camp director in the Portland area. With a passion for merging art and science, she infuses creativity into curriculum development, inspiring children through interdisciplinary learning. Evelia is dedicated to fostering compassionate and inclusive learning environments and supporting children's self-confidence and mental health through environmental education programs. In her spare time, she enjoys creating art, hiking, and reading. Habla un poco de Español.

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Isabel Arreguin

Pronouns: (she/her)

Bilingual Educator

Isabel joined us in the summer of 2022 as an intern, she quickly became a part of our education team with her positive attitude and natural ability to work with kids. Isabel grew up in Woodburn and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in public health. She is a native Spanish speaker who thrives in her role at our Exploradores de la Naturaleza preschool. Outside of the CEC, she spends a lot of time with her family, and channels her passion for serving the community into her work as a caregiver and direct support professional.

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Giuliana “Juno” Benencio Casales

Pronouns: (she/they)

Bilingual Educator

Juno joined the CEC at the beginning of this year (2024), drawn to a position that infused their passion for creativity and sustainability. They are studying art at OSU, and loves sharing their love of art and nature with the kids. Being a South American native, food and music holds a special place in their heart and memories. Pastries, little coffee breaks, and Spanish music always makes them feel at home. In their spare time, they enjoy playing video games, exploring Corvallis, playing with their cats, and dancing. She is a native Spanish speaker (habla español).

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Jules Rosanelli

Pronouns: (He/They)

Nature Educator

Jules joined the CEC in Fall 2022, bringing prior experience working with children from preschool through 5th grade. They are now pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Human Services. Jules contributes a calm and steady demeanor in our NaturePlay preschool. Their attraction to the CEC stems from an interest in our nature-based curriculum and ample outdoor time for children, which fosters emotional self-regulation. Outside of work, they enjoy playing cello, swimming at the river, learning new art activities, and going to the beach with their dog Zola.

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Karen DeWolfe

Pronouns: she/her

Outreach Coordinator

Karen started working for the CEC in the fall of 2021. Karen holds a degree in Forest and Wildlife Management from the University of New Brunswick. This program strengthened Karen's love and understanding of the natural world. Karen has worked on several wildlife research projects, leading an education campaign to conserve the Acadian Forests of Eastern Canada, and developing the Forest Discovery Program for the OSU Research Forest. She enjoys biking, gardening, music, and working with youth. She loves that her role with the CEC allows her to incorporate all of these elements to engage, educate, and inspire people to build healthy and sustainable communities. 

karen@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

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Katelyn Anderson

Pronouns: (She/her)

Nature Educator

Katelyn joined the CEC as an intern at SAGE in the spring 2023, quickly becoming a valued member of our education team due to her infectious enthusiasm and positive attitude. She studied environmental science at Linn Benton Community College, driven by a passion for the outdoors and curiosity about the world’s interconnected systems. She has discovered a passion for nurturing children’s growth through nature-based learning and has enjoyed learning about sustainable agriculture and nutrition through working in our Farm to School programs. In her free time, she enjoys going on nature walks, thrifting, gardening, and learning new things.

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Karin Gardner-Brown

Pronouns: she/her/hers

NaturePlay Coordinator

Karin joined the CEC in 2022 with over 30 years of experience working with young children, families and staff in the field of early childhood education. She worked most of her career in a Head Start Program in a variety of roles including Center Director, Home Visitor, Education Specialist, and Director of Child Development. More recently, Karin worked in a nonprofit program as an Education Supervisor and Assistant Director. In her years of working in this field, she has developed a professional philosophy that centers around respectful care of children and child-led learning that begins with play and exploration. Her role as Preschool Coordinator has reinforced the idea that children need nature in their lives. She has seen firsthand how children develop skills and positive approaches to learning while spending time in nature each day. Outside of work, Karin loves to read, write, and explore the natural world around her.

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Liz Habley 

Pronouns: she/her/ella

Community Food Systems Manager

Linn-Benton Farm to School HUB Lead

Liz started with the CEC in 2019 as a Bilingual Educator and began her role managing SAGE shortly there after.  With a background in nature and garden education, natural resource collaborative management and food systems non-profit work, Liz thrives at SAGE and overseeing the Farm to School program.  She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Hanover College, IN and a Masters in Natural Resources from OSU with a graduate certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation.  She finds great value in getting local nutritious produce into the schools and to those in need in our community.  She brings to the CEC a passion for partnerships and collaboration and a deep desire to improve our community food system.  Se habla español; she learned Spanish as an Environmental Community Management Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru.  In her free time she enjoys tending her backyard flock of chickens, growing and preserving the garden bounty, and outdoor adventures (from skiing to biking to riverplay to hiking) with her kids.

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Michel Wiman

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Linn-Benton Farm to School Education Hub Coordinator

Michel (she/her) relishes helping kids learn how food is grown and empowering them to grow and prepare food for themselves. She has served as a community college instructor, science communicator, organic orchard researcher, farming education coordinator, USFS botany crew member and wolf educator. Highlights from her work experiences were engaging people of all ages to connect with the natural world with something we all need to do - eat! She enjoys exploring outside with her husband and two daughters; ask her about her favorite place to ski, hike, paddle, or eat in Oregon.

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Zoë Griffith

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Community Agricultural Technician

Zoë is the CEC’s first-ever Community Agricultural Technician.  She joined us just in time to spruce up SAGE this spring (2024). Zoë grew up in the Willamette Valley but was never introduced to the local agricultural landscape and community food systems until she joined Rogue Farm Corps in 2021. Drawn to the challenge of farming, this position equipped her with the necessary tools to shape and advance the practice. She is thrilled by the CEC’s commitment to more equitable and resilient futures and is excited to share the food we grow with our community. When she’s not farming or gardening, Zoë can be found cooking and creating art with her homegrown produce, imagining more equitable futures, or surfing. Come volunteer at SAGE!

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