Staff and Volunteers


Ryan Collay,

Volunteer Director

Ryan Collay has over thirty years as a STEM educator, including three years as an Elementary Science Specialist in the North Bend School district and 21 years at Oregon State University’s Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) Program. He served first as the elementary program coordinator, then as lead for programming and evaluation, where he led the program team and partners. Finally, serving as the SMILE program director where his team developed an award-winning “STEM Ecosystem”; while fostering a professional educator’s “Community of Practice.” During his tenure the program served over 7000 underserved/underrepresented youth, and more than 400 teachers in seventeen rural communities. He retired and is consulting in program design through his program frameworks and evaluation based on programs, practices and outcomes. Ryan is the Board President for WREN, an executive team-member of the Rivers to Ridges Partnership, part of the Environmental Education Network through the Lane STEM Hub, and is the Owner of “Education by Design.”

John Garrett,

Volunteer Board of Directors

John has been volunteering as an educator for WREN since Spring of 2016 and also serves on WREN’s board of directors, but his passion for and commitment to educating youth began long before that. After graduating from Park College in Missouri with a double major in Chemistry and Math, he went on to Harvard University to earn his Master of Arts in Teaching and then to University of Oregon for post-graduate work. After teaching kids for 46 years, it’s no surprise that John has sharp eye for finding things in nature that kids enjoy, like raccoon bones and hummingbirds, and the insight to tie those things into the larger picture of why wetlands are important. In his free time, John enjoys sharing outdoor activities with his wife like flat-water kayaking, bird-watching, cooking, bicycling, photography, and music.

Bob Petit,

Volunteer Board of Directors

Bob is a retired hospital administrator and native Oregonian. After spending close to 4-years in the Air Force, he attended school for Sociology and Hospital Administration. He then proceeded to work 12-years in Hospital Administration in the states of Virginia and Maine before bringing his skills abroad to Brazil through Project Hope, a global health and humanitarian relief organization. After living and working abroad for five years, he moved to the northwestern United States to continue his administrative career. Bob now enjoys spending his time capturing wildlife through photography. He is actively involved with the Emerald Photographic Society in Eugene, where he has served in numerous roles and position, including Club President. Bob is excited to join us as WREN’s newest board-member

Nancy Porter,

Volunteer Board of Directors

Nancy Porter is currently working as the budget analyst for the Bethel School District.  She has worked in grant accounting and in non-profit and corporate accounting over the last fourteen years.  Nancy completed her Bachelors of Science in Forestry at Humboldt State University and a post-bac certificate in Accounting from Linfield College.  She enjoys exploring the Willamette Valley with her husband and dog.

Tierra Watkins,

Volunteer Board of Directors

Tierra grew up in Roanoke, Alabama (pop. under 6,000). Her grandmother helped foster her love for the environment by growing so many varieties of fruits and vegetables! Tierra has a background in nature-based experiences leading programs with the Girl Scouts, FFA, 4-H, and other programs. After high school, she attended Augustana College as a triple major in Computer Science, Political Science, and Environmental Studies. Although she did not complete her Bachelor’s degree, she spent the next year as a solo traveler in over 15 states. She then accepted a term of service with AmeriCorps as a Health and Safety Coordinator. Tierra is now earning her Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies from Ashworth College! She hopes to be an asset to WREN through her meaningful contributions by providing Spanish translation, working with WREN’s Program Coordinator on grant and program projects and by recruiting volunteers.

Laura Maloney,

Program Coordinator

Laura grew up in northern Illinois where she spent her time exploring the wetlands and oak savannahs of her backyard. She graduated from Augustana College with a B.A. in World Religion and Art and from George Williams College with a M.S. in Environmental Education and Parks Administration. From there she moved around the country leading environmental education programs for youth in the states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. She has worked as a professional Interpretive Naturalist for over 15 years and moved to Oregon after living in Amsterdam, one of the greenest cities in Europe and, coincidently, an urban wetland! Laura is passionate about using nature as a tool for learning and enthusiastic about sharing her love of the outdoors with people of all ages. When she is not working, she spends her time practicing kundalini yoga and Ayurveda, painting, dancing, hiking, and gardening.