We feel fortunate to have a passionate team with deep experience across many fields.
Jane is excited for the opportunity to serve as the first Executive Director for the Elakha Alliance. She comes with over 25 years of experience in natural resources management, most recently leading the Watershed Services and Integrated Planning groups at the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Her previous experience includes working with the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State and serving as a natural resources policy advisor for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, where she worked on watershed and water quality issues and Oregon’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Jane has also worked on coastal, river, and watershed management issues for the Oregon Coastal Management Program, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the National Park Service. She spent two years as an environment volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga. Jane holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Vermont. You can contact Jane at Jane@ElakhaAlliance.org.
Jane lives in Portland with her husband, Kip, and their dog, Bella, and spends her free time training for marathons, traveling and enjoying the outdoors in Oregon, and torturing her family as she learns to play the piano.
Director of Outreach & Community Relations
Chanel has a rich background in marine biology, animal husbandry, environmental education, non-profit management, social media and marketing. She is an otter alum from CSU Monterey Bay, and volunteered with sea and river otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She’s conducted marine science research on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and worked for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program at the Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. She moved to Oregon in 2016 to obtain her MS in Sustainability Education from Portland State University. She is an avid volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation in Portland. You can contact her directly at Chanel@ElakhaAlliance.org.
Fun fact: She is the former 2013 Miss Scuba USA, where she represented the United States in Malaysia at the Miss Scuba International Pageant.
Bob spent nearly 40 years in coastal and ocean planning and management for the State of Oregon. He also served as a City Commissioner for the City of Oregon City, a member of the City of Salem Budget Committee, and chair of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust.
Renee has worked on conservation issues in Oregon for nearly 25 years. Her career experience includes marine conservation science and policy issues, change impacts on natural systems, and ecosystem services. Until recently, Renee served as deputy director with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. She recently transitioned her focus to post-wildfire recovery and Klamath Basin issues. During her free time, Renee enjoys hiking, birding, paddling, and being immersed in Oregon’s wild places.
Cameron La Follette
Cameron is Executive Director of Oregon Coast Alliance, a coastal conservation organization. She has worked in coastal protection for fifteen years, including managing the Coastal Futures Project for 1000 Friends of Oregon. She also served on the Salem Planning Commission for three years, and has a law degree from Columbia University.
Jeff is currently the Director of the Port of Bandon since 2017, and serves as the treasurer for the Coquille Watershed Council. Previously, he was the Governor’s Office field representative in SW Oregon for 16 years, and a decade of experience in marine coastal planning in Washington State. His career experience also includes fisheries management in Alaska and commercial diving. Jeff earned his BA in Marine Biology from University of California Santa Cruz, and has been an avid surfer and sport diver since the 1970’s all along the west coast and Canada.
Peter is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and works in the tribe’s Cultural Resources office. He’s been fishing, clamming and crabbing in Lincoln County his entire life, and wants to ensure that his descendants can always do the same.
Jan is an emeritus faculty member of the University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology where she focused on studies of coastal biology and marine birds and mammals. A longtime resident on the southern Oregon coast, she lives on the shore of Coos Bay and is a keen natural historian. She serves on the Science and Technical Advisory Committee for the Ocean Policy Advisory Council and was a contributing author to the Elakha Alliance Feasibility Study.
Robert is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, of Shasta and Dakubetede descent. He’s always had a passion for protecting and restoring the species that make our region special. He has managed the tribe’s cultural resources program for more than twenty five years, and proudly serves on the elected member of the Tribal Council.
Claire Puchy had a long career in natural resources conservation. Arriving in Oregon from Ohio in 1978, she was a natural resources specialist with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. She was Executive Director of the Portland Audubon Society and the Columbia River Gorge Commission, and headed up the State’s Wildlife Diversity (formerly nongame) Program for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Before retiring, she worked in the City of Portland’s Science, Fish and Wildlife Program. Claire has served on boards of many non-profit organizations, including the Oregon Wildlife Foundation. She was also appointed to the Legislative Task Force on Fish, Wildlife & Outdoor Recreation Funding by Governor Brown.
Katie is the current Communications Coordinator for Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. In 2022, she graduated with a Masters of Environmental Studies, with a focus on education and nonprofit management, from University of Oregon. After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Natural Science from Loyola Marymount University in 2012, she has been working in the field of animal care and training in Hawaii. She is passionate about conservation and climate change education and currently serves as the board secretary for The National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpreters.
Paul lives on Cape Sebastian, where he enjoys taking in the wonders of Oregon’s incomparable South Coast. He is a professor emeritus of Biology at Cornell University, where he served from 1981 to 2013, producing defining research on animal behavior and behavioral ecology in birds, insects, and mammals.
Avalyn is an attorney and recognized expert in environmental policy and law in governmental, nonprofits, and private sectors. Avalyn acquired significant experience in environmental policy and federal government relations while serving as policy counsel in the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, later working in public policy and government relations for the Nature Conservancy. She also worked as a field representative for a U.S. congressional representative on natural resources and environmental issues.
Don “Doc” Slyter
Born in North Bend, Doc is a Hanis Coos Elder. Other than an overseas post in the U.S. Army, Doc has resided in Coos Bay, most of his life. Doc was elected Chief of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians in April of 2020.
His early involvement with the Tribes started when he was elected to the Tribal Council prior to restoration.
Doc is also a noted flute maker and player.
Jason is the Chief of the Coquille Indian Tribe. He is also the Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations at the University of Oregon. He received his PhD in Anthropology from UO (2004) and returned to Oregon after teaching a Rochester Institute of Technology for a decade. Younker received the prestigious Ely S. Parker Award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (2014) for his work with tribal governments and students in higher education. He is the Past-President of the Association of Indigenous Anthropologists and is originally from Charleston, Oregon.
Former Vice President
Don was a founding member of the Elakha Alliance. Sadly on July 19th 2021, Don passed away in Coos Bay. His leadership will be greatly missed by all. He was a lifelong Oregonian and member of the Coquille Indian Tribe (pronounced “ko-kwel”) of Coquille Athapaskan, Miluk Coos and Choctaw-Chickasaw ancestry.
Donations in Don’s memory can be sent to Elakha Alliance via check to: Elakha Alliance, PO Box 704, Siletz, OR 97380
Donations can also be made online.
Our Advisory Council
The Advisory Council is comprised of a diverse assemblage individuals with expertise and unique perspectives, who provide key guidance to the Elakha Alliance.
- James Bodkin, Biologist Emeritus, US Geological Survey
- Bill Bradbury, Former State Senator, Secretary of State
- Doug Deur, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Portland State University
- David Dreher, Legislative Consultant, Foresight LLC
- James Estes, Emeritus sea otter ecologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Jean Flemma, Former staff, US House Natural Resources Committee
- Kathleen Gobush, Northwest Director, Defenders of Wildlife
- Jane Hartline, Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund board member
- Paul Henson, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Marcus Hinz, Exec. Director Oregon Coast Visitor Association
- Harry Hoogesteger, Retired South Coast Watershed Council Coordinator
- Ryan Jones, Professor of History, University of Oregon
- Phillip Johnson, Exec. Director, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
- Dave Lacey, Owner, South Coast Tours, LLC.
- Mark Labhart, retired Tillamook Co. Commissioner, current ODFW Commissioner
- Shawn Larson, Curator of Conservation Research Seattle Aquarium
- Todd Mabee, Environmental Consultant
- Trish Mace, Director, Univ of Oregon Marine Life Center
- Deb Merchant, Consultant, Banner Non-Profits, LLC.
- Kerry Morgan, Education Director, Oregon Coast Aquarium
- Danielle Moser, Wildlife Program Coordinator, Oregon Wild
- Michael O’Casey, Oregon Chapter The Wildlife Society Board Member, and Oregon Representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
- Charlie Plybon, Oregon Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation
- Annie Pollard, Co-owner, 7 Devils Brewing
- Richard Ravalli, Professor of History, Jessup University
- Arnie Roblan, former State Senator, current Coos Bay School Board Member
- John Savage, Willamette Valley Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon
- Cathy Tortorici, Retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Keith Tymchuck, Port of Umpqua Commissioner, former Mayor, Reedsport
- Chris West, Biologist, Yurok Tribe
- Bree Yednock, Manager, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve