Staff and Board


Drew Eastman (aka “Steelhead”)
Executive Director drew(at)gorgeecology(dot)org

Drew has been committed to natural resources conservation and engaged with youth development since 2001. Drew deepened his passion for environmental sciences and education while completing a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School in 2002. After receiving a Bachelors of Science in outdoor education Drew served a one year term with an Americorps team conducting outdoor experiential education programs at the Cispus Learning Center in Randle, WA where he was also recognized and awarded by the Washington Service Corps for excellence in service. In 2008 Drew moved to the Columbia Gorge following his dream to pursue daily outdoor recreation. Drew was hired as a conservation educator with the Ecology Institute at the end of 2011. In the spring of 2013 Drew became CGEI’s executive director and led the organization through a strategic planning process. Drew’s passion for outdoor education is contagious and his personality is inviting. While not kayaking down rivers you can find Drew coaching Hood River’s Wrestling Club as well as skiing on Mt. Hood or windsurfing in the Columbia. Drew is also a member of several organizations working to protect natural resources.  

Elizabeth Tobey (aka “Pika”)
Conservation Educator

Libby is a relative newcomer to the Columbia Gorge, drawn by the spectacular Cascades and the abundant local whitewater. She graduated from Willamette University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science, and has since followed her love of adventure, the outdoors, and environmental outreach around the West. When she’s not on the water, Libby can often be found hiking, climbing rocks, and getting to know the awesome backyard that is the Gorge!

Makenna Jordan (aka “Red Cedar”)
Conservation Educator/JVCNorthwest/Americorps Volunteer

Makenna is originally from Spokane, WA,  and comes to the Columbia River Gorge for a second year of service after completing an 11 month term at a middle school on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in rural MT. This year she seeks to understand how change can take root in foundations that empower children to see their value and worth as an integral part of the systems and communities they take part in–including the social, political, and biotic. As a Conservation Educator with the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, she looks forward to engaging with students through SECRETS, and other programs that travel to schools throughout the area. She feels that every child should have access to the wonders of the natural world– regardless of socioeconomic background– and hopes her work will cultivate an environment of love, empowerment, belonging, and mutual inspiration.


Board of Directors

William Weiler, aka “Grizzly” President (Lyle, WA) works for the Hood River County Parks and Recreation Department. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force and prior to that as a Habitat Biologist and as the Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Specialist for the Lower Klickitat River Sub-basin, the Yakima Basin, and the Jewett Creek sub-basin. Weiler led the initial curriculum development for the SECRETS science education program in 1996-97 and has served on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Earth Education for more than ten years.

Dan Harkenrider Treasurer (Underwood, WA) last served as the Manager of the US Forest Service’s Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  Dan has worked for the State of Indiana and the Bureau of Land Management doing soil surveys, and as a soil scientist/watershed specialist, forester and forest manager in the States of Oregon and Washington. Dan was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, attended Purdue University and earned a degree in Forestry and Soil Science. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1978 and has been a National Scenic Area resident since 2000.

Beth Flake Secretary (Hood River, Oregon) obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas and enjoyed a 25 year career at 3M in manufacturing and new product development.  Since college, she has volunteered with organizations focusing on  science and environmental education.  Currently a SECRETS classroom volunteer, she is having fun studying the natural world with the smartest 5th graders in the Gorge.

Dan Richardson, aka “Coyote” (The Dalles, OR) first learned of CGEI’s work with students by happy chance, through a partnership at a stream restoration project. He recognized the value and promise of bringing kids outside for part of their education. Later, his own daughter had the privilege of participating in the SECRETS program. During this time Dan volunteered, loved the connections he saw children making, and was very pleased to join the board upon invitation. He is thankful to be involved with CGEI as a partner, a parent, and a volunteer. He hopes to provide even a small amount of help in bringing SECRETS and other CGEI programs to new generations of Columbia Gorge Kids.

Kelly Beard, aka “Packrat” (Hood River, OR) attended Outdoor Science School as a sixth-grade student in the 1970s. Later on, he volunteered as an Outdoor School Counselor during each of his high school years. Eventually, he became an ODS Resource Instructor, which led him toward a career in public education. Kelly is the current principal at May Street Elementary School in Hood River.

Joanne Gallagher (White Salmon, WA)

Jessica Gehrig (Hood River, OR)