Meet Our Team

District Staff


Finance & Administration


Selena of the FieldsSelena Corwin, Acting Executive Director (Senior Finance and Administrative Director)

Selena is the Director of Finance and Administration for the District and coordinates grant administration as well. She enjoys supporting local farms  by purchasing local produce and shopping at Farmer’s Markets. She has  worked for the District since 1997. 


CynthiaCynthia Ross, Finance Manager

Cynthia joined Pierce Conservation District in  January, 2017 as the Finance  Coordinator.  Cynthia is responsible for assisting the  Finance &  Administration team with the day to  day financials of the District as well as  related  activities and future planning. Cynthia enjoys gardening, reading,  and volunteering in and around the community. Cynthia believes in  continuously doing her part to help reduce the dependency of natural resources by limiting her use of water, gas, and electricity and by recycling. 

Kristine SwannerKristine Lewis, Grant & Contract Coordinator

Kristine joined Pierce Conservation District in April 2017. Kristine coordinates grant and contract administration for the District. Kristine enjoys spending time with her family, paper crafts, and reading. 



Carly CanterCarly Canter, Administrative Assistant

Carly Canter joined Pierce Conservation District in July 2014. Carly is responsible for answering phones, directing calls, and providing additional administrative support for the team. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and enjoys a variety of outdoor and hands-on activities. In her spare time, she coaches Special Olympics Track and Field, and Golf.


Mehgan Nishiyama

Mehgan Nishiyama, Administrative Assistant

Mehgan joined Pierce Conservation District as an Administrative Assistant in August of 2019, after serving nine years in the Air Force Reserves. She will be responsible for providing general administrative support to our staff. She was born and raised in WA.


Harvest Pierce County


Kristen McIvorKristen McIvor, Harvest Pierce County Program Director

Kristen is the director of Harvest Pierce County, the urban agriculture program of the Pierce Conservation District – supporting over 70 active community gardens and orchards.  She has been working to develop sustainable food systems in Tacoma, WA since 2006 and received her PhD  in Forest Resources from the University of Washington in 2011. In addition  to her work with community gardens, her career has focused improving  urban soil for agriculture through recycling of organic residuals, and the social conditions that influence how people learn in community gardens.

Renee Meschi Renée Meschi, Program Manager

Renée joined the Harvest Pierce County team in August 2015. A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, her research centered on the human stories behind the different plants and  mushrooms that make up the landscape in our watershed. Renee is passionate about finding the intersection between ecological and social justice, and sees fresh, healthy, culturally appropriate food for our local community as a living example of this intersection. Her work at HPC includes communication and engagement strategy, multilingual programming, and Community Centered Design through the Cultural Ambassador Program. She is currently a Master's candidate in the University of Washington Communication Leadership program, specializing in Communities & Networks. 

Madeleine Madeleine Spencer, Harvest Pierce County Program Manager

 Madeleine joined the Harvest Pierce County team in March 2017 as a Program Specialist where she primarily supports the Veggie Co-op and Gleaning projects. A graduate of The Evergreen State College, her studies focused on the connections between social justice and the environment. Having grown up in Pierce County she is passionate about serving the community by expanding access to fresh and healthy food.


Chris Chris Madden, Harvest Pierce County Program Manager

Chris joined us as an AmeriCorps service member in 2018 and now as a Program Specialist will be heading up the Gleaning Project, our Annual Native Plant Sale, as well as helping us reach our goals around urban agriculture and equitable food access. Growing up in the beautiful PNW Chris enjoys the outdoors and loves exploring this amazingly biodiverse area of the world. He has a passion for fruit trees, and was recently the orchard manager of an organic orchard that produced: apples, pears, cherries, mulberries, Asian pears, kiwi, chestnuts, walnuts, blueberries, and much more. Chris is excited to help Pierce County residents enjoy a more beautiful and delicious place to live!

KaliciaKalicia Bean, Harvest Pierce County Urban Agriculture

Kay joined PCD and the Harvest Pierce County team back in 2018 as an intern. In addition to community gardens, and event coordination, her work assignment will focus on capacity building, community engagement, and strategic planning in making the urban agriculture program more accessible and helpful to low-income and low-English proficiency populations. Kalicia is a Oregon State University graduate with a B.S. in Agricultural Science. Kalicia is passionate about bridging the connection between people, food, and their environment and hopes to work toward a food system that is healthy, just, and sustainable for all of Pierce County. At home Kay loves being active, including running, yoga and practicing random hobbies such as archery, playing the harmonica, and DIY crafts!

saiyare

Saiyare Refaei, Harvest Pierce County Program Manager

Saiyare joined the Harvest Pierce County team in September of 2019 for capacity building and further community engagement and outreach. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Environmental Studies and intersections with Anthropology, Hispanic studies and Studio Arts. Saiyare is passionate about working towards more resilient and regenerative food systems with and for the community most impacted by systemic injustices.

erica bio picErica Hernandez, Program Coordinator

Erica joined us as an AmeriCorps service member in 2018 and now as a Program Coordinator will be supporting our community gardens and farm education programming. Born and raised in Tacoma, Erica has a strong connection to place here in Pierce County and is dedicated to serving her community. Erica is coming into this new position with four years of experience farming and has a personal farm project entering its second growing season in the spring of 2022. 


HPC Profile PictureDevon Kerr, Gleaning Specialist, AmeriCorps Service Member

Devon will be serving Harvest Pierce County by supporting our gleaning program and native plant sale as an AmeriCorps member for the 2021-2022 year. Devon is a graduate of the Evergreen State College’s Tacoma Program garnering a Liberal Arts degree with a focus on Social Justice and Political Economy. Having grown up on a small hobby farm in gorgeous central New Jersey coupled with an internship at Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) in Olympia, Washington in the spring of 2018, Devon realized the potential that forming a relationship to land through the act of collective food growing could have for individuals and community alike. Through these experiences a belief was borne in Devon that regenerative agriculture has the power to act as a conduit for the reparative work needed for racial, climate, and environmental justice and for the restoration of our individual human souls. With plans to reenter the academic world in the fall of 2022 to obtain a master's degree in social work, Devon hopes to find a way to offer therapeutic modalities through the application of agricultural supported community and horticultural therapy.


Water Quality Improvement


Melissa BuckinghamMelissa Buckingham, Water Quality Improvement & Monitoring Program Director

Melissa Buckingham joined Pierce Conservation District over 10 years ago and has experience in restoration ecology, environmental science, and project and program management. As the Water Quality Improvement and Monitoring Program Director you can find her in a stream, installing a rain garden, ripping up pavement, or planting a streamside. Her favorite part of her job is connecting community to the natural world around them through action projects.


Isabel RaglandIsabel Ragland, Water Quality Monitoring Senior Program Manager

Isabel joined Pierce Conservation District in 1999 and coordinates the water  quality monitoring programs. Her work focuses on providing education and  opportunities for residents to get involved with protecting water quality in our  streams and lakes. Her favorite part of the job is helping folks connect with  the natural environment. When not in the stream, she enjoys hiking and  spending time outdoors.


Belinda Belinda Paterno, Water Quality Program Coordinator

 Belinda grew up in Western Washington and spent weeks during the summer months traveling to different national parks with her parents. Experiencing firsthand the beauty of nature and wanting to learn more about the environment led Belinda to study environmental science at the University of Montana and Washington State University. Belinda has a background in both field research and environmental education. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, and running in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Caleb MottCaleb Mott, Water Quality Program Coordinator 

 Caleb has worked as a Water Quality Assistant at the District since 2015. He graduated from the University of Washington Tacoma with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies. Caleb helps coordinate the Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program and various water quality improvement projects as well. Raised in Washington State, Caleb is very passionate about the health of its natural resources and looks forward everyday to improving the environment around him.

IMG_7714Robb Krehbiel, Green Stormwater Program Manager

As the Green Stormwater Program Manager, Robb works with homeowners, community groups, and businesses in the most urban watersheds in Pierce County to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from reaching our creeks, rivers, and the Salish Sea. Robb is passionate about transforming our cities and urban communities by replacing concrete and lawns with rain gardens and native plants. Before joining PCD in 2021, Robb worked across the west with environmental nonprofits, including Defenders of Wildlife, National Parks Conservation Association, and Environment Washington. When he’s not spending time in a garden, Robb is either out on the trails with his dog Zorro or exploring the excellent microbreweries in the South Sound.

John Headshot.jpegJohn Haberlin, Stream Team Specialist, AmeriCorps Service Member

John Haberlin will be serving as an AmeriCorps Water Quality Specialist specifically supporting the efforts of Stream Team and Habitat Stewardship. He was born and raised in Tacoma until he moved to Spokane. There, he recently graduated from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis on environmental studies. Now back in Pierce County John looks forward to interacting with volunteers and helping to monitor streams. When he’s not out monitoring streams, you can find him hiking, traveling to local parks, or sitting down to play a board game.

Habitat Improvement


IMG_1547 (002).jpgHeather Green, Habitat Improvement Program Director

Heather joined Pierce Conservation District in September 2021 after having spent a decade working for the state of California on large-scale tidal wetland habitat restoration projects.  She grew up in western Washington and is excited to return home to lead the Habitat Improvement program as it expands to develop larger and more diverse habitat projects to benefit Pierce County.  In her spare time Heather enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and playing the violin.

Mary Krauszer_Bio Photo 2_Fall 2019Mary Krauszer, Shorelines Program Manager

Mary joined Pierce Conservation District as the Shorelines Program Manager in 2019 to launch the Shore Friendly Pierce program and expand PCD's scope to include marine shorelines. Mary works with landowners and managers on private and public properties to implement shoreline restoration and stewardship projects through technical assistance and project management. Mary grew up in Alaska and spent several years environmental education and public engagement in the Tacoma area after attending the University of Puget Sound. She is a roller derby player, jigsaw puzzler, and marine biology buff.

RyanBird_Rainier PhotoRyan Bird, Habitat Restoration Manager

Ryan assists in the planning, coordination and implementation of riparian restoration projects that are aimed at improving salmon and wildlife habitat. Ryan grew up in the PNW and has always had a strong affinity for nature, which primed him for a career in natural resources. He holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology and conservation sciences, and a master’s degree in ecology and environmental biology. In addition to his passion for the outdoors, Ryan is an avid reader and a multi-instrumentalist who is unlikely to ever turn down a jam sesh.

Lauryn_Lopez_Photo.jpgLauryn Lopez, Habitat Improvement Specialist, AmeriCorps Service Member

Lauryn will be serving Pierce Conservation District (PCD) by supporting the Habitat Improvement Program as an Americorps member for the 2021-2022 year. During her senior year at Western Washington University, Lauryn interned with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) as a Stream Steward leading groups of volunteers in restoration projects. While completing her internship, she realized how much she enjoys restoration as well as engaging with community members in the process. Since graduating, she has completed two full terms with the Washington Conservation Corps serving on a restoration crew in Pierce County. Now, serving as the Habitat Improvement Specialist with PCD, she can merge her two passions of restoration and community involvement to help better the environment in which we all live.

Farm Planning & Agricultural Assistance


Rene SkaggsRené Skaggs, Farm Planning and Agricultural Assistance Program Director  

Rene’ has been a farm resource specialist with the Pierce Conservation  District since 1997 educating livestock farm owners on   management  practices that both improve their farm productivity and protect   natural  resources. She and her family live on a 10 acre, 7 horse farm in   rural Pierce  County where she practices what she teaches.


Paul BornePaul Borne, Key Peninsula, Gig Harbor, and Islands Watershed Farm Resource Specialist

Paul, a long-time resident of Pierce County, joined Pierce Conservation District in March 2018 after working for many years at the King Conservation District. As the KGI Farm Resource Specialist, Paul will work with livestock owners in the Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands Watershed to help them address natural resource concerns on their farms and improve local water quality. He believes that we all have a part in protecting our environment and is excited to now be working in his neighborhood – Pierce County. When he is not promoting conservation at work, Paul enjoys enhancing the wildlife habitat in his backyard and observing nature around him.

Alison NicholsAlison Nichols, Crop Farm Manager

Ali is available to assist crop farm operators in planning and applying natural resource conservation practices and facilitate workshops and technical support around topics relevant to farmers in Pierce County. She will also be working collaboratively with government agencies and non-profit partners to support the needs of farmers contributing to a vibrant local food system. She is excited to connect farmers with each other and with the ideas and practices that will help them succeed in their farms while conserving their natural resources for the generations to come.

Photo 2aNicole Warren, Puyallup-White River Farm Resources Program Manager

Nicole Warren provides technical assistance, farm planning, and educational workshops to assist livestock farm owners in implementing conservation practices that support their farm operations. Nicole spent several years working on pasture-based livestock farms and farmstead creameries in New England and in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining PCD, Nicole worked as a farm planner at Thurston Conservation District for 4 years. Nicole is excited to help farmers in the Puyallup and White River watersheds and work with them to improve their farm operations. In her down time, Nicole enjoys backpacking, biking, hunting, and any adventure she can bring her dog along.   

Support Staff


Camila Matamala-OstCamila Matamala-Ost, Volunteer Coordinator & Outreach Specialist

Camila is excited to get more people involved with the District’s volunteer   opportunities and to help make our programs more accessible to the diverse  population of Pierce County. Camila cultivated her interest in the   environment by studying environmental science at Oregon State University   in Corvallis. Her favorite aspects of the job at PCD are interacting with   volunteers personally and getting them plugged into great opportunities, and  the creative process of capturing photos and designing outreach pieces that will get people excited about stewardship work. 

Nick CusickNicholas Cusick, Climate Resiliency Program Manager

A true measure of a community’s resilience is its collaborative spirit and the “togetherness" of its local people. Nick believes this to be especially true for our agricultural and rural economies, which, with sustainable and healthy practices, are critical pieces in developing a robust, local solution to climate change. Nick brings several years of experience in project management, GIS analysis, and stakeholder engagement to the District, as well as a deep-rooted belief in forging meaningful, reciprocal relationships with Pierce County’s local communities.

Chris ToweChris Towe, Environmental Education Program Manager

 Chris Towe joined the District in 2010 after graduating from Linfield College  in McMinnville, Oregon. Chris primarily works with volunteers on restoration  plantings and providing environmental education to students throughout  Pierce County. He actively participates in local networks that focus on  environmental education and outreach. One of his favorite parts about his  job is seeing how excited kids get when they explore their environment and see new, interesting things.

Connor Runyan - Edited.jpgConnor Runyan, Conservation Education Specialist, AmeriCorps Service Member

Connor is the new Conservation Education Specialist in the Environmental Education program. Originally from Colorado, he attended Colorado State University and graduated with a double major in Zoology and Conservation Biology. He then worked for an environmental consulting company in Colorado, completing projects that involved prairie dogs, migratory birds, and noxious weed management. During this time, he also volunteered at a raptor rehabilitation program, at which he helped care for the Educational Ambassador raptors and participated in educational programs and outreach exhibits. In his time away from the office, Connor enjoys hiking, birding, biking, rock climbing, and trying other outdoor activities. Connor is excited to participate in everything the Environmental Education program has to offer, and to explore the beautiful natural areas of Washington State.

Levi Love, Outreach, AmeriCorps Service Member