Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

A National Estuary Project


Kristi Foster Executive Director


Kristi Foster received her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and spent 13 years working in the petrochemical industry.  She became an avid scuba diver, which changed her life.  Kristi returned to graduate school and received her PhD in Oceanography from Nova Southeastern University.  She has experience as an outdoor educator, scuba and CPR/first aid instructor, citizen science team leader, research scientist, and adjunct professor.  Kristi moved from the remote Caribbean island of Little Cayman to join the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership as the Education Coordinator in 2016.  She became the Executive Director in 2018 and looks forward to advancing the organization.  Kristi loves traveling the world with her husband and has visited 50 countries and counting.

Claudine Rehn Deputy Director


Claudine Rehn is the Deputy Director for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Originally, from California, Claudine has been fortunate to work for several successful non-profit organizations both managing and writing grants. She has two grown children ( three if you include her husband) -  two grandchildren, three cats and two dogs that provide her constant amusement and chagrin. In her free time, Claudine is on the beach volunteering for the Haystack Rock Awareness program as a tide pool interpreter (and in search of the ever elusive alabaster nudibranch).

York Johnson Water Quality Manager


York Johnson is the Water Quality Manager for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University. Originally from Michigan, he moved to Oregon in 1996 and worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality completing Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analysis for the Willamette River and other smaller watersheds throughout the State. Water quality is York's specialty and when not working on water quality issues he is out enjoying it whether surfing along the coast or kayaking the many estuaries.

Conrad Ely Habitat Restoration Project Manager


Conrad Ely is a Habitat Restoration Project Manager for Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Ecological Systems from Seattle University and his M.E.S. with a focus in Restoration Ecology from the Evergreen State College. He has worked for both the Sustainability in Prisons Project and the Integrated Training Area Management Program on Joint Base Lewis-McChord prior to joining TEP. He is dedicated to the ecological world in all aspects of his life. Outside of TEP his interests include outdoor recreation for all ecosystems, seasons, and climates. He loves to cook and see live music. He’s excited to explore the region with his rescue pup, Rosebud!

Colin Jones Habitat Assessment & Monitoring Coordinator


Colin Jones received his B.A. in Chemistry from Willamette University then combined his love of chemistry and the natural world and obtained his Ph.D. in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. His Ph.D research involved marine biogeochemistry and assessing how past climate conditions were recorded in marine microfossils. After completing his Ph.D., Colin moved back to the mountains and coast of his native Pacific Northwest with his fiancée and joined the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership as the Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Coordinator in 2021. When he’s not working, you can find Colin drinking tea, hiking, brewing beer, or reading a book on the beach. 

Maysa Miller Native Plant Nursery Coordinator


Maysa Miller is the Native Plant Nursery Coordinator with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.  Her work entails managing a 100,000+ native plant nursery and distributing over 50,000 plants to restoration projects all over NW Oregon.  Originally from Southern Maryland, she moved to Portland, Oregon in 2008 and graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in environmental science and Honor’s organismal biology in 2014.  She lived and worked as a science instructor at Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center until spring 2016.  Her love of botany landed her a seasonal internship with the Tillamook BLM as a native seed collector.  Little did she know she would find a home and purpose here with TEP.  When not stewarding our NW Oregon home, she enjoys being immersed in it.  You can find her in the undergrowth foraging for mushrooms, berries, hunting, fishing, or playing on a surf board in the waves.


Jesse R. Kane Community Education & Engagement Coordinator


Jesse Kane is our Community Education and Engagement Coordinator.  He received his B.S. in Fisheries Science with an emphasis on Human Dimension Impacts from Oregon State University.  Jesse has worked with state, tribal and federal agencies in fisheries research, passage and habitat.  Prior to accepting his position with the TEP he worked in the ODFW’s Information & Education department.  As an enrolled Klamath Tribal member and native Oregonian raised on the banks of the Rogue River, Jesse was indoctrinated into hunting and fishing as a way of life.  When not seeking wild foods you can likely find him testing new recipes or out with his dog Gus.

Alix Lee-Tigner Community Education and Engagement Coordinator


Alix Lee is the Community Education and Engagement Coordinator with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. Originally from Montana, she received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Marine Specialization from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Alix moved to Oregon in 2011 to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer for The Nature Conservancy’s Klamath Basin Field Office. After studying endangered sucker fish and monitoring water quality, she moved to the Oregon Coast managing volunteers and educating visitors about intertidal and bird life with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program. For the last four years, Alix has been the Coordinator for the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council implementing habitat restoration projects and conducting outreach. Alix is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to share that enthusiasm with anyone who will listen. She is excited to be shifting gears to focus on education and outreach with TEP.

Debra Grace Administrative Assistant


Debra Grace is the Administrative Assistant with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.  Debra has spent time working with several non-profit organizations and looks forward to bringing her experience to TEP. 

Debra and her husband moved to the Oregon Coast 13 years ago so they could be closer to the ocean and the land that they love.  In her off-time Debra enjoys spending time hiking and traveling with her husband and dogs as well as expressing herself through her painting, drawing, and photography.  Debra looks forward to being a valuable asset to not only TEP but also the environment they pledge to protect.

Asa Skinner Native Plant Specialist


In 2016 Asa Skinner received a B.S. in Organismal Biology from Christopher Newport University, where he specialized in botany and entomology.  After working with ornamental plants in the private sector he served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Northwestern Zambia.  For over two years he taught agriculture and aquaculture in his community within the Lunda Tribe.  He has since moved to Tillamook and is still passionate about connecting marginalized people groups with beneficial plants. When not perusing the forest for native seeds he spends time gardening, brewing mead, fishing, and is an enthusiastic, albeit clumsy, surfer. 

Gina Kennedy VetsWork Fellow (Restoration, Education, and Community Engagement Assistant)


Gina Kennedy is an AmeriCorps Volunteer at TEP through the VetsWork program at Mt. Adams Institute. She served in the U.S. Army for four years and spent one of those years deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Soon after her honorable discharge from military service Gina earned her Automotive Technology degree from Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa. After five years of working as a mechanic she went back to school once again this time earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Arizona State University.

Gina grew up in Shelton, WA but currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her boyfriend and three dogs. She loves to read, hike, and try new foods. Gina has a passion for protecting and preserving the environment and feels very grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from TEP staff, colleagues, and other volunteers.

Our Mission

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of Tillamook County's watersheds through active stewardship, scientific inquiry, community engagement, and education.