Travis Williams, Executive Director and Riverkeeper
Travis Williams has worked in river conservation since the 1990s and since 2000 has led Willamette Riverkeeper (WR). In addition to directing WR’s operations, he serves as Riverkeeper, making regular patrols of the river from Eugene to Portland and seeking to uphold the Clean Water Act through Advocacy and legal action. While supporting habitat restoration and implementing the Clean Water Act are his main priorities, Travis also enjoys getting people to experience the river in low impact craft such as canoes.
Earlier Travis worked for American Rivers and Conservation International in Washington DC. He is an avid canoeist who has traveled many western rivers and photographed their natural beauty. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from Portland State University and an M.S. in Environmental Science from The Johns Hopkins University. A fifth-generation Oregonian who grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon, Travis was on the Willamette River with friends at a young age. In March of 2009, his book The Willamette River Field Guide, was published by Timber Press. He has received the Skidmore Prize in 2004 for his leadership, and was awarded the Columbia River Hero Award by the Columbia Basin Toxics Reduction Workgroup for his work on reducing toxics in the Willamette.
Suzi Cloutier, Water Quality Program Coordinator
As someone who has spent 3–4 days a week for the the past 13 years on the Willamette River, Suzi has become a passionate advocate of this amazing gem of a waterway. She can be seen most nights and weekends around Ross Island training either on a Dragonboat or her Outrigger Canoe.
Suzi has seen the comings and goings of sea lions, salmon, eagles and otters, as well as the building of the Big Pipe and the transformation of part of the Holgate Channel into a No Wake Zone, so it’s only natural for her to strive to help ensure the Willamette River’s bright future though leading its Water Quality Monitoring Program.
Suzi received her BS Wildlife Biology from the University of Rhode Island and has spent the past 17 years involved in a ‘slough’ of environmental adventures from creating the first kayak based Eco Tours program for Southern New England to studying roadkill. She has scientifically sampled hundreds of miles of streams in Oregon and Washington looking for Salmonids and assessing their habitat for conservation efforts. She has taught hundreds of people about the joys of our local wildlife through her ‘Miss Roadkills Wildlife 101’ courses and has spent the past seven years as Northwest Service Academy’s Field Teams Coordinator helping scores of AmeriCorps members find their niche in the environmental world.
When she is not on the river, you can find Suzi busy working on her Equine Sanctuary in Sandy caring for and sharing her love for our elder horses and mules.
Kate Ross, Outreach & Education Coordinator
As Willamette Riverkeeper’s (WR) first Outreach & Education Coordinator, Kate pilots our River Discovery program, conducts outreach activities by organizing and/or participating in community events, and promotes education efforts. Originally hailing from Central New York State, she was first exposed to rivers from the seat of a canoe in the renowned Adirondack State Park region. Kate later earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Siena College in Loudonville, NY.
Whether working for the National Park Service, or guiding sea kayak excursions in southeast Alaska, Kate has continually pursued environmental and outdoor education. She served as an instructor and community liaison for Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, where she honed her river running skills. Kate is thankful for her experience as a pod leader on Paddle Oregon 2005 which first introduced her to WR, and gifted her with a hopeful outlook of the Willamette River watershed. Now the coordinator of Paddle Oregon, she continues to share her enthusiasm for paddling, and she strongly believes that engaging more people—of all ages and abilities—in paddling trips, creates a healthier river system and community.
So far Kate’s efforts have earned her recognition in the form of the First Ascent Award presented by the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition for “demonstrating a strong potential for leadership” (Jan 2011) and a River Angel appointment (July 2011) by the NW paddling community.
Marci Krass, Restoration Coordinator
Marci was raised on the banks of the Park River and the Green Mountains in New England, although she now considers Oregon her home. She brings a diverse background and over 7 years of experience in conservation and habitat restoration to Willamette Riverkeeper. She relishes the privilege of working in the field alongside dedicated conservation professionals, youth, and volunteers, getting her hands dirty making a positive difference.
Before moving to Oregon, Marci earned a graduate certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, and is now currently working toward an M.S in Educational Leadership and Policy with a concentration in Sustainability Education at Portland State University. Working in the outdoors, she has developed a keen awareness and knowledge of natural history and ecology of the Pacific Northwest. She has also cultivated a passion for working with native plants at all stages of the lifecycle.
An experienced organic gardener, environmental educator, and naturalist, Marci also loves playing in rivers, climbing mountains, hiking, skiing, and growing food in her front yard. She’s excited to have joined the Willamette Riverkeeper team as a Restoration Coordinator and looks forward to meeting some of you out on the river helping to enhance the quality of habitat along the Willamette.