Staff

Luke Westphal, Executive Director

Resident, At-large
Office: (503) 474-1047
Mobile: (971) 388-9200
Email Luke

Luke began working as the Executive Director in 2012. He grew up on his family’s century farm SW of McMinnville in the heart of our historic oak and prairie landscapes. Luke has a BA in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Willamette University in Salem, OR. During and after university, he worked with the City of Salem’s Stormwater Department as a natural resources specialist and environmental program aide.

He is excited to be working with a wonderful network of neighbors, friends, and colleagues to improve the local lands and waters where our community members live, work, and play. Luke provides leadership for the GYWC in developing and expanding our restoration, outreach, and monitoring programs.

When not working, you’ll find Luke with friends and family, volunteering at Miller Woods, riding motorcycles, or trying to figure out how to fly fish.

 

Theresa Crain, Community Engagement Specialist

Resident, Yamhill River Watershed
Office: (503) 474-1047
Mobile: (503) 857-7884

Email Theresa

Theresa joined the GYWC staff in March of 2015 as a Community Engagement Specialist. Theresa and Neyssa coordinate and manage our Watershed Education Adventures (WEA) program. Theresa’s love for the outdoors began during her childhood years exploring her family’s rural property in California. She holds a degree in Natural Resource Interpretation from Humboldt State University and has over 20 years of experience in environmental education as a State Parks interpreter and naturalist. She has taught in both formal classroom settings and outdoors and is passionate about sharing the magic and wonder in nature to excite and educate others. Theresa’s educational background, life experiences and passion to share her love of the outdoors have prepared her to be an incredible environmental educator.

In her spare time Theresa enjoys gardening, wildlife watching, spending time with family and friends, and learning more about the natural world around her.

 

Neyssa Hays, Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Project Manager, Community Engagement Specialist

Resident, North Yamhill River Watershed
Office: (503) 474-1047
Mobile: (503) 283-9660
Email Neyssa

Neyssa joined the GYWC staff in March of 2015 as a Community Engagement Specialist. Neyssa and Theresa coordinate and manage our Watershed Education Adventures (WEA) program. Neyssa also serves as project manager for the Yamhill Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP). She grew up on a small farm outside of Carlton and has watched many changes occur in our watershed. Neyssa holds a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University and a BA in Russian from Portland State University. Her focus at OSU was on salmon and communicating science to non-scientists. She has over ten years' experience in natural resources as a park ranger, naturalist, and fisheries biology assistant.

An avid supporter of education and the arts, Neyssa helped build Portland Public Schools' Russian Immersion Program; organized and chaired Vmestye, the immersion program's partner organization; and volunteered as an after-school teacher for the SUN program, teaching natural sciences, shadow puppetry, and stop-motion animation. Many years ago, Neyssa was actively involved in McMinnville's Gallery Theater.

In her "spare" time, Neyssa writes nature articles, gardens, hikes, camps, volunteers with Yamhill-Carlton schools, spends time with family and friends, and dabbles in making luminaries.