About Us

Did you know the Tualatin River is 79.3 miles long? Or that the headwaters of the river is located in the east slope of the northwestern portion of the Coast Range of Oregon? Ever wonder why the water looks brownish-green? Check out our fact sheet for some fasts facts about the Tualatin River, its history, and the wildlife you can find in our watershed! You can also watch our video on what makes the Tualatin River so special.

Interested in applying to work with us? Any open positions with Tualatin Riverkeepers, including seasonal positions can be found on our Careers & Internships page. We're also always looking for Committee Members and Board Members to volunteer on our Board of Directors. Check out our Resources page for more information on joining our Board.

We are always looking for volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering your time and energy with Tualatin Riverkeepers please contact us at (503) 218-2580, info@tualatinriverkeepers.org, or by filling out this form.

Our Staff

Our staff is made up of people dedicated to the Tualatin River watershed. Put together we have a variety of backgrounds, experiences, education, and perspectives that make us the strong team of Tualatin Riverkeepers.

Jan Wilson
Executive Director
Bio

Jan Wilson

Executive Director

Jan has been connected to nature and water since her earliest memories, growing up in Michigan, where she would poke around in the creeks and ponds, looking for tadpoles and turtles, on her walk to school. She learned to canoe at summer camp when she was eight, spent summers boating with her family, and swimming in and skating on the many lakes "up north." She spent much of her teens and early adulthood riding horses, running, and cross-country skiing through "the woods," and then finally found her way to the Pacific Northwest, where she felt immediately at home among the big old trees and cold clear water of the temperate rainforests.

As a young environmental lawyer, Jan inherently grasped the connection between land uses and practices and the health of the watershed. For two decades, she helped Oregon communities and neighborhoods protect the urban and rural landscapes that their lives (and the lives of many non-human inhabitants) literally depend on. Then she spent the next decade helping conservation nonprofits make connections to people at their workplaces. Jan is as passionate about strategic planning and effective leadership as she is about the natural world.

Jan lives in Southwest Portland, near Fanno Creek, with her partner Paul, who shares her love of the natural world, and their dog Cami, who is often along for the adventure.

Margot Fervia-Neamtzu
Office Manager
Bio

Margot Fervia-Neamtzu

Office Manager

Margot solidified her desire to protect our last remaining natural places while living near majestic coastal redwoods. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, she discovered that combining her organizational skills with a love of nature could set her on a career path she could wholly embrace. After graduating, she headed north to start a career and a family.

Margot started working for Tualatin Riverkeepers in 2001, and feels fortunate to be engaged with the mission of the organization and honored to be part of an environmental movement that connects people to nature. While exploring the river with volunteer paddle trip leaders, connecting with members, or strategizing with outreach committees on key projects, she is reminded that she definitely traveled down the right career path. Margot holds a BA Political Science, Environmental Ethics minor, Humboldt State University

Ashley Short
Riverkeeper & In-House Counsel
Bio

Ashley Short

Riverkeeper & In-House Counsel

Ashley Short grew up in a small town in Kentucky where she formed a deep love of the environment exploring the woods on her grandparents’ overgrown 52-acre farm. Ashley took that love of the environment and pursued how to protect it in her studies. She received a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech in 2011 and a J.D. from The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University with a Certificate in Environmental Law in 2014.

During the course of her career, Ashley has worked with several environmental nonprofits across the country doing work such as reaching out to legislators encouraging them to support or oppose certain legislation, helping citizens get involved in environmental permitting processes, and generally working to protect important environmental resources.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and large rescue dogs.

​Mark Fitzsimons
Trips & Tours Coordinator
Bio

​Mark Fitzsimons

Trips & Tours Coordinator

Mark grew up paddling Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and rivers and has been a teacher, guide, and educational program developer/coordinator since then. He has most recently been dividing his time between coordinating the Audubon Society of Portland’s annual Birdathon fundraiser, guiding hiking and paddling trips for NW Discoveries, and teaching classes for the Backyard Bird Shop.

Mark also volunteers for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and is a North Clackamas Urban Watershed Council board member. His other interests include nordic skiing, traditional archery, and paleo-archaeology.

Dana Schot
Community Engagement Coordinator
Bio

Dana Schot

Community Engagement Coordinator

Dana grew up locally, spending a lot of time exploring and running around outside. Her love of outdoor recreation and nature documentaries turned into studying wildlife biology, graduating from Pacific University in 2015. Since then, she has been traveling and working to advance conservation in multiple capacities. Her past work includes stints studying birds in the middle of the ocean, instructing rock climbing and marine ecology at Outdoor School, and developing equitable educational programs with AmeriCorps. She’s excited both to return to the part of Oregon where she grew up, and to work with the watershed community to evolve how we engage with the river.

In her free time, Dana likes soccer, searching for good restaurants, and spending as much time as possible at the Oregon Coast.

Our Board

Our board of directors consists of a group of volunteers that want to ensure the protection and restoration of the Tualatin River watershed for generations to come. The board guides and supports the work of the Tualatin Riverkeepers staff.

Dave Waffle
Board President
Bio

Dave Waffle

Board President

Dave Waffle has represented the cities of Washington County on the Clean Water Advisory Commission and formerly on the Tualatin Watershed Council for more than a decade. He is a long-time city manager in Oregon and Wisconsin. Managing in smaller cities brought many opportunities for involvement in water, wastewater, open space, public finance and community development issues. Presently he serves as chair of the Cornelius Planning Commission. He and his wife live along Council Creek and enjoy birding. Waffle has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Community Policy Problems from Michigan State University and an MPA from the University of Oregon in Public Affairs.

Brett Laney
Board Vice President
Bio

Brett Laney

Board Vice President

Brett’s path to TRK began as he was mentored by one of our founding members, Rob Bauer. Brett attributes his passion and commitment to the Tualatin River from his time working alongside Rob at Clean Water Services. He is an avid paddler, naturalist and deeply committed member of the Tualatin watershed community, living and working in the basin.

His volunteer commitment to TRK has grown over the years, as a trip leader, safety boat captain, and event helper. We feel honored to now extend Brett’s place with us to include our board. Please join me in welcoming him aboard!

Rod Fragiao
Board Treasurer
Bio

Rod Fragiao

Board Treasurer

Rod Fragiao is a graduate of the University of Washington where he earned a degree in Business Administration. He has been a commercial banker for almost 20 years and joined Premier Community Bank in 2013 as Vice President Commercial Loan Officer in the Durham branch. Rod is a long-time volunteer for Tualatin youth sports having coached in various sports over the past 12 years.

He and his family live on 4.5 acres in Tualatin which includes a large pond that is home to otters, beavers and numerous species of waterfowl. This location has given him a curiosity for nature and a passion for river protection.

Val Brenneis
Board Secretary
Bio

Val Brenneis

Board Secretary

Val Brenneis teaches environmental studies and biology at Portland Community College Rock Creek. She is committed to getting her students outside, doing science in the natural areas of the Tualatin River watershed. Val is originally from Southern California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a biology degree. She moved to the East Coast to teach middle school science in the Bronx and later high school science in Washington, DC, where she also earned a M.Ed. in Science Education from the George Washington University. After five years of teaching secondary science, Val moved back to the West Coast to complete a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from UC Davis. Val has lived in Oregon since 2006, doing research, working on policy, and teaching at the college level. She loves getting outside with her family, especially anywhere near water.

Ed Casuga
Board Member
Bio

Ed Casuga

Board Member

Ed is a graduate of San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting. He is a Payroll Accountant for Frontier Management, LLC a company that owns and manages senior assisted living communities. He has over 20 years of experience in the finance and human resources field. Ed chairs TRK’s Fundraising and Events Committee. He has a strong passion for river protection and restoration. Ed also serves on the board of Imagine Possibilities, Inc. as Treasurer, an organization that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In his free time, he enjoys kayaking, camping, hiking, biking and any leisure activities where he can include his wife and their son with Down Syndrome can participate.

Cathy Filgas
Board Member
Bio

Cathy Filgas

Board Member

Cathy Filgas grew up in Eureka, CA, in the heart of Humboldt County and the redwoods, which primed her passion for nature and conservation. Cathy and her husband founded Anthro Corporation in 1984, and after selling the company in 2015, they co-founded the Tareen Filgas Foundation, whose mission is to save birds and their environments.

They live in Portland along Vermont Creek and have restored their six acre parcel to its native habitat. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in marketing, and serves on TRK’s Marketing and Membership Committee.

Robert Gray
Board Member
Bio

Robert Gray

Board Member

Rob Gray lives in Gaston with his wife and two sons, both eagle scouts and TRK volunteers. He has over 35 years of management and engineering experience in the manufacturing industry. An avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys hiking, boating and cycling activities though out the Pacific Northwest, Rob has been an active TRK member for 25 years. He is currently a member of the Trips and Tours Committee and the Safety Boat Coordinator for Discovery Day. Rob's other volunteer passions include the Boy Scouts as the Eagle Mentor and High Adventure Coordinator for his home troop in Hillsboro as well as a weekly volunteer at the Forest Grove Library. Rob’s long-time passion for the river will play a vital role as he continues his extended volunteer history as a board member, assisting the Riverkeepers to grow in new and exciting directions.

Alfred Dinsdale
Board Member
Bio

Alfred Dinsdale

Board Member

Alfred Dinsdale has lived just outside Sherwood with his wife Julie and three boys for the past sixteen years. He owns and operates McKay Creek Farm, Dinsdale Landscape Contractors Inc, and Dinsdale Nursery. He has been a landscape contractor for over twenty-five years and specializes in private gardens with an emphasis on native and woodland plants as well as installing rain gardens on residential properties under the city of Portland rain garden program. He also operates Dinsdale Nursery which supplies a wide range of plant material to retailers, landscape contractors and designers, as well as regional bio swale and wetland mitigation projects.

In addition Alfred owns and operates a 70 acre blueberry farm and was awarded the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District 2014 Conservation Farmer of the Year. As someone who makes his living from the land, he is acutely aware of the importance of water quality and availability going into the future. He is very excited to be participating in the activities of TRK and hopes to add value to their ongoing mission.

Volunteer With Us

Our organization wouldn’t be successful without the wonderful volunteers that help out. From hauling boats to joining committees and task forces to help guide our future work. If you are interested in joining us please fill out our volunteer interest form and join a passionate team of folks dedicated to protecting the Tualatin River watershed.

Get Involved