Board & Staff
Regina Castellon splits her time living in the Illinois Valley and the Rogue Valley. The Klamath Siskiyous is one of her favorite places to spend time, and she was introduced to SFI as a college freshman. Access to environmental education for all is something Regina is highly passionate about while creating creative opportunities. She has worked with a variety of Human Relations teams in Southern Oregon and California and teaches English. She is an alum from Southern Oregon University, University of Southern California, and the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine.
Forest Ecologist Lyndia Hammer fell in love with the Klamath Siskiyou Ecoregion in the mid 90’s while surveying for martens, fishers, and Marbled Murrelets in the northern Siskiyou Mountains. Since then she has both taught and attended classes at the Siskiyou Field Institute, and has completed degrees in Biology and Forestry from Southern Oregon University and the University of Missouri – Columbia, respectively. Lyndia feels honored to work with the talented and committed Staff and Board of Directors at SFI to make outdoor school and natural history programming available for all.
Maelagh, who loves her name despite its challenging spelling (it is pronounced Mayla) briefly left the Illinois Valley to attain her B.S. in environmental sciences in Corvallis. Since returning in 2017 she has joined three nonprofit boards, worked for many great community projects, and delights in her jobs that involve fieldwork. An avid communicator, she finds board involvement challenging and exciting, with a strong interest in process and inclusion. She looks forward to being a part of SFI as it continues to introduce people of all ages to this incredible area and continues to deepen the knowledge and understanding of those who are familiar with the rocky and wild terrain.
Kathy Mechling, M.D. has lived in the Illinois Valley since 1992 and has an ideal medical office in Selma. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Gonzaga, her Masters degree in Zoology from UC Davis and her medical degree from The George Washington University. She is also the medical director for the Oregon Caves National Monument. Her interests include medical ecology, human evolution in medicine, knitting, hiking and taking SFI classes. She and her husband Jim Gurley enjoy racing sailboats and following their dogs on long walks.
Bio Coming Soon
Karen has resided in the Illinois Valley since 2003, living on land that has been in her family since 1930, and helping her partner tend the always-organic grapes and fruit trees planted by her grandmother several decades ago.
Her more than 25 years with State and Federal government agencies includes work with USFS, USGS, OSHA, Oregon Dept. of Energy, and Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services. Her private sector experience includes work with a large international corporation and a high-tech small business start-up. She was a Josephine County Planning Commissioner from 2004-2006.
Currently, she is a regional manager for Oregon Housing & Community Services, and serves on several inter-agency Regional Solutions Teams, coordinated by the Governor’s Office.
She has also taught a variety of topics in a wide range of settings, and was Adjunct Faculty in Public Health at Oregon State University for 18 years. These days she is a multi-state instructor in sustainability and building operators certification courses.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Geology from Northern Arizona University, and Masters degrees in Business Administration and in Public Health from the University of Utah. She is a 2008 graduate of the State’s Leadership Oregon program.
Nathan was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He has lived in suburbs, ranches, and farms. Growing up in Central Texas, his family was always outdoors, whether it was camping, hiking, swimming in the lake, or working on a ranch. In 2007, he moved with his life partner Stacy to Cave Junction to be near family. They have two amazing children that have attended multiple summer camps at SFI. Nathan has volunteered at SFI for several years, mainly with The Birds and Brews events. He has also volunteered on other boards in the Illinois Valley and looks forward to helping shape the future for this amazing institution.
Dan is publisher of the Illinois Valley News.
Julie holds degrees from the University of Texas in Mathematics (B.A. 1970) and Computer Science & Educational Psychology (M.A. 1974). In 1976, after a brief stint as a systems programmer at IBM, Julie moved to Josephine County to work as a river guide on the Wild Rogue River. In 1983 she began a 30-year career in forest and river conservation, working for three Rogue Valley nonprofits: Headwaters, Siskiyou Regional Education Project, and Geos Institute. Her roles included public outreach, media relations, event coordination, and fundraising. She was awarded the Conservationist of the Year Award from Oregon Wild (1992) and the Environmental Hero Award from the Wilderness Society (1998). Julie is now retired in Ashland and still running rivers for fun. We are lucky to welcome her to our team.
Sarah Worthington joins our team from Boise, Idaho. She has served in various natural resource roles including outdoor education instructor with the McCall Outdoor Science School and as a park ranger on the Rogue River. Sarah has a passion for outdoor education and community engagement. She has been involved in all aspects of designing, structuring, and running our youth education program. Sarah holds a BA in environmental studies from Boise State University, along with an MS in Natural Resources and graduate certificate in Environmental Education both from the University of Idaho.
Morgan hails from the tiny town of Remsen in Upstate New York. She is passionate about inclusion, accessibility, and the power of play! Morgan loves exploring the outdoors by biking, hiking, or kayaking. She wants to learn more about gardening, coffee, and outerspace. Morgan is excited to be serving her RARE AmeriCorps term with SFI in the lovely Siskiyous.
Forrest’s heart belongs to the Siskiyous, and particularly the Illinois Valley, where he grew up exploring the forests, rivers and mountains and hanging out at the Oregon Caves with his park ranger dad. Forrest is excited to be coordinating the adult education program and building SFI’s first ever online remote course offerings. He has worked as a newspaper copy editor at the Medford Mail Tribune and Grants Pass Daily Courier, and holds a journalism degree from the University of Oregon.
Our beloved Caretaker of over a decade, Lillie retired and moved from Virginia in 2009 to fill the position of Security Caretaker at Siskiyou Field Institute. She has a diverse background in hospitality and customer service, psychology and criminal law, and motivational training and education. She is devoted to providing an exciting welcoming experience to lovers of our natural world here at SFI.
Brandi Patterson is a locally grown Oregonian, she loves to get out and experience the outdoors and ride her quad. She is often found in the far reaches of the backcountry taking beautiful photographs. She is a mother and an organizer of all things SFI.
We are so thrilled to have Brandi on our dream team!