Meet our Tualatin Riverkeepers Staff

Our staff is made up of a dedicated group of individuals working to promote environmental stewardship through environmental advocacy and education for everyone throughout the whole Tualatin River watershed.


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.

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
River Experiences Coordinator
Bio

Mark Fitzsimons

River Experiences 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.

Brittany Leffel
Memberships and Administrative Assistant
Bio

Brittany Leffel

Memberships and Administrative Assistant

Brittany grew up along the Rocky Mountain foothills in Colorado, but didn’t really grow up exploring the outdoors. It wasn’t until after high school that kayaking or hiking near water left an impression that pushed her curiosity about how water carves a deep mark in all our lives. Her spark for advocacy began in 2017 when she moved to Bend, Oregon. From there, she became inspired to educate, encourage, and empower people to speak up for public lands. Brittany would go on to intern for organizations like the Oregon Natural Desert Association and Association of Northwest Steelheaders while earning her B.S in Urban and Public Affairs with a minor in Sustainability from Portland State University. Now, she looks forward to growing our community of Riverkeepers across the watershed.

Brittany lives in Washington County with her partner, Patrick, and their two dogs, Cherokee and Kenobi. You'll often find them hiking through the Oregon Coast, the Cascade Mountains, or local public lands like the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.