Board & Staff

Board Members

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

Bio coming, new board member!

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.

Mark Flynn is a Realtor with Century 21 JC Jones American Dream in Grants Pass, Oregon.  He holds a B.S. degree in business administration from Kent State University. Mark has an extensive background in sales and marketing. Prior to working in real estate, he was the internet marketing director 12 years for the North Bay Saturn Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to that, he was the CEO of the Momentum Computer Company. Mark moved to Southern Oregon in 2002 with his wife, Judy.

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.

Dan is publisher of the Illinois Valley News.

New board member, bio to come!

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. 


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 MA in natural resources and graduate certificate in environmental education both from the University of Idaho.

During her undergraduate studies in anthropology at Northern Arizona University, Angie worked as a hiking guide at Grand Canyon National Park and discovered her passion for sharing the outdoors with others. This passion grew throughout her graduate studies at Colorado State University, where she looked at the human dimensions of natural resources and collaborative environmental conservation. Angie spent the following 8 years guiding white-water rafting trips in the Northwest and sea kayaking trips in Baja, teaching anthropology, and leading outdoor adventure trips abroad for youth and young adults. Angie moved full time to the Applegate Valley in 2016. She has a passion for outdoor education, sparking curiosity about nature in others, and eating gourmet mushrooms. 


Bio Coming Soon!

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!

Kathleen joined Siskiyou Field Institute’s staff in 2012. She designs our adult education natural history classes in partnership with instructors. She writes and designs advertising, produces the SFI catalog, puts together our marketing emails, and edits the Darlingtonia, our e-newsletter. Kathleen has an M.A. in English from UCLA, earned her Master Gardener’s certification through Iowa State University and has enjoyed careers in horticulture, magazine journalism and marketing.