Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

A National Estuary Project


Kristi Foster Executive Director


Kristi Foster received her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University.  She spent 13 years working in the petrochemical industry in TX and NJ, during which time she earned a Masters in Engineering Management from Lamar University.  She became an avid scuba diver and started her own scuba training and eco-travel side business, which changed her life.  She decided to switch careers and returned to graduate school.  Kristi received a joint MS in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Managment, followed by a PhD in Oceanography from Nova Southeastern University (NSU).  She worked as an adjunct professor at NSU and Broward Community College. She also started Coastal & Marine Environmental Consultants, Inc. which provided underwater reef and sea turtle nest monitoring services in Florida.  From there, Kristi moved to the remote Caribbean island of Little Cayman to work as the Assistant Director of Research and Education at a marine field station.  Ready to return to the US, Kristi joined Tillamook Estuaries Partnership in 2016 and became the Executive Director in 2018.  Kristi loves traveling the world with her husband and has visited over 50 countries with more planned.

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.

Colin Jones Habitat Assessment & Monitoring Program Manager


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 part of the Habitat Assessment and Monitoring team in 2021. When he’s not working, you can find Colin drinking tea, hiking, brewing beer, or reading a book on the beach. 

Flynn DeLany Habitat Monitoring Specialist


Flynn earned his B.S. in Marine Sciences from Stony Brook University, followed by his Master of Science degree in Marine Sciences from the same institution. During his graduate studies, Flynn focused his research on the restoration potentials of eelgrass and oysters, investigating their local impacts on inhabitant community structures. As a graduate researcher, he collaborated with multiple local partners around the estuaries of Long Island, New York to monitor and restore crucial species and habitats, including hard clams, oysters, and eelgrasses. In 2023, Flynn embarked on a new chapter in his career by relocating to the Oregon Coast to join the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. Here, he continues his work in monitoring efforts, contributing to the conservation and preservation of the region's ecosystems. He looks forward to exploring the region in his free time as an avid rock climber and backpacker.

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!

Christer LaBrecque Habitat Restoration Project Manager


Christer has lived in western Oregon for 25 years after growing up in New England; both on the beach and in the mountains. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the U of O (’02). He’s been working on habitat restoration in the Willamette Valley for 20+ years in habitats such as floodplains, upland prairie, oak savanna, wet prairie, wetlands, as well as multiple forest habitat types. Christer has more than ten years of trail design, layout, construction, and maintenance and he’s been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2006. His professional experience includes almost ten years with the City of Eugene’s Natural Resources Section, around one year with the Long Tom and McKenzie Watershed Councils, and seven years with the McKenzie River Trust. He loves to recreate outdoors and is into hiking, camping, beachcombing, and kayaking. He’s a big Boston fan and also likes to play volleyball and softball. Christer can’t wait to get a new puppy and start the next phase of life with TEP on the north coast. 

Race Stryker Habitat Restoration Project Coordinator 


Race is originally from Montana, but has lived many places, both near and far. Race has a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the New College of Florida. He worked in forest ecology and agriculture before earning is M.S. in Marine Biology at the University of the Virgin Islands. Race has been focused on restoring coastal ecosystems and supporting the communities that rely on them in many different places. He is excited to lend his skills to working in the Tillamook area. Race likes to spend his time hiking, diving, and kayaking. Race is most content when he is working to help people protect the lands and waters they rely on, or when he sees a snake.

Diana DiMarco Communication & Engagement Coordinator


Diana DiMarco grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon and spent many weekends visiting Rockaway Beach.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Conservation Biology from Seattle University and has worked as a biologist for the United States Geological Service and a fish counter for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  In her various roles and research projects, she has always looked for the intersections between communities and science, an interest she was able to explore more closely in an internship with The Kelp Forest Foundation.  In the off seasons of those positions, she lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she learned Spanish and spent time with the Argentine side of her family.  She is excited to be moving full time to the Oregon Coast with her partner and their adopted Siberian Husky, Bowie.  In her free time, you can find her playing in the ocean with a boogie board or surfboard, walking Bowie on the beach, cooking Argentine empanadas, or enjoying the old growth forest in Tillamook County.

Rachel Freeman Environmental Education Coordinator


The Environmental Education Coordinator position is shared between TEP and Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS and is focused on expanding environmetnal eduation programs to all students in Tillamook County. 

Born and raised in Astoria, Oregon, Rachel grew up with an interest in fisheries and passion for teaching. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2019 with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences and a Minor in Spanish. Her favorite college experiences were studying Spanish in Queretaro, Mexico and later Conservation Biology and Coral Reef Ecology in Townsville, Australia. After graduating, Rachel spent seven seasons working as a Biological Science Assistant for multiple ODFW projects on the North Oregon Coast.

When she isn’t beach combing in Oceanside, Rachel is investing in her business, Saddle Mountain Beadwork. Using just a needle and thread, she weaves hundreds of tiny glass seed beads into earrings shaped like sea stars, patterned like cutthroat trout, and inspired by the ocean.

Asa Skinner Native Plant Scientist


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. 

Steve Sprague Nursery Crew Lead


Steve Sprague is the Nursery Crew Lead at the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership Native Plant Nursery. He spent the first 20 years of his career working as a chef. During that time, he developed a passion for teaching and leading diverse groups of people as well as an appreciation of our connection with the natural world. He moved to Oregon in 2009 and settled on the coast with his wife, two cats, and an ever-changing number of chickens. His pursued his love of teaching by instructing students at the Lincoln City Culinary Center and Oregon Coast Community College . He is an avid gardener, hiker, beekeeper, rockhound, and traveler.

Liz Campbell Bookkeeper


Liz Campbell, a PNW native, recently moved to the coast with her partner to fulfill their dream of living closer to nature where they are looking forward to starting a small flock of chickens and a big garden in the spring. Before moving to Tillamook and coming onboard with Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Liz taught middle school science and engineering, both on the Oregon coast and in Southern Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. She returned home to Oregon in 2017 and began working with non-profit organizations in program management, Quality Assurance, and in training and compliance. Liz is most excited to be able to meld together her love of science and the natural world with her technical skills while supporting the health of our watersheds and communities.

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 15 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 three 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.

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.