Our Team

Fighting everyday for clean water and healthy communities.

Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director & Riverkeeper

bv@columbiariverkeeper.org | (503) 348-2436

brett (1024x683)Brett approaches Columbia Riverkeeper’s work through the eyes of a scientist, educator, lawyer, and avid river user. Prior to joining Riverkeeper, he conducted research on climate change during field expeditions to Antarctica and Alaska. For four years, Brett worked for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as a naturalist and educator at field stations outside of Fossil and Bend, Oregon. He also started a solo law practice representing environmental groups in Oregon and Washington and then served as Columbia Riverkeeper’s staff attorney from 2006 to 2008. Brett has litigated and won cases challenging illegal pollution discharge, LNG terminal land use approvals, failure to disclose public information under the Freedom of Information Act, and destruction of salmon habitat. While leading nearly a dozen kayaking trips on the Hanford Reach, Brett has swum next to mothballed nuclear reactors more times than anyone he knows. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Hope College, an M.S. in Quaternary Science and Climate Change from University of Maine, and graduated with Honors from Lewis and Clark Law School. Brett lives in the Columbia River Gorge where he also enjoys swimming and boating on the Columbia, fruit from the Hood River Valley, salmon, cross-country skiing, and wildflowers. His work with Riverkeeper has been featured in numerous publications, including The Daily News, On Earth, and the Lewis & Clark Chronicle.



Dan Serres, Conservation Director

dan@columbiariverkeeper.org | (503) 890-2441

danDan works to engage diverse communities along the Columbia. Dan was the lead organizer in our successful campaign to protect forests and farmland from Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipelines. Dan is an expert on the impact of energy projects on water quality and communities, including LNG, coal export terminals, and power plants. He is also a member of the Hanford Advisory Board, where he speaks up as a public voice demanding faster and more robust cleanup. Dan is a fifth-generation Oregonian, born and raised outside of Oregon City. Dan’s background is in Earth Systems science, and he received a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University. When not traveling around the Columbia River watershed in his work for Riverkeeper, Dan can be found on the basketball court or hiking through the desert.



Lauren Goldberg, Staff Attorney

lauren@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 965-0985

laurenLauren focuses on Columbia Riverkeeper’s energy campaigns and toxics reduction work. This includes working with a diverse coalition of Columbia River tribes, farmers, and business owners to improve water quality and reduce toxics in Columbia River fish. Lauren’s practice areas focus on nuclear cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and protecting salmon habitat and river communities from energy projects, including liquefied natural gas, oil-by-rail, and coal export projects. She also works with Riverkeeper members to enforce the Clean Water Act and hold polluters accountable for violating the law. Lauren graduated with honors from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in Environmental Law and holds a B.A. in Conservation Biology and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time, she enjoys heading outside to hike in the Columbia Gorge and eastern Oregon.



Miles Johnson, Clean Water Attorney

miles@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 272-0027

milesMiles works to reduce water pollution and toxic contamination by enforcing the Clean Water Act and providing legal counsel for Riverkeeper’s campaign to stop dirty fossil fuel exports. Miles graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he specialized in environmental litigation and natural resources law. Prior to law school, Miles received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Whitman College, and worked as a fisheries researcher in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Miles grew up in Newport, Oregon, where fishing is a staple of the local economy and a crucial part of the community’s identity. An avid fisherman, Miles is dedicated to promoting and recovering sustainable commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries throughout the Columbia Basin. As an enthusiastic fish-eater, Miles is personally invested in ensuring that we can eat fish caught in the Columbia without endangering the health of our families.



Lorri Epstein, Water Quality Director

lorri@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 399-0769

lorri (1024x683)Lorri coordinates Riverkeeper’s volunteer Water Quality Monitoring and Adopt-a-River programs. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and a M.S. in Biology from the University of Montana. Her graduate research focused on juvenile salmon on a remote river on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. Prior to joining Riverkeeper, Lorri worked on river restoration issues on the Klamath, Yakima, and Umpqua Rivers. She also taught outdoor education in the California Redwoods. Lorri loves being on the river, especially in her whitewater kayak, and hopes to see you on the water.



Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Community Organizer

jasmine@columbiariverkeeper.org | (503) 929-5950

jasmineJasmine works to support community members all along the Columbia River. Her role is to inform and engage residents in Oregon and Washington on coal export and oil terminals that would transform the scenic Columbia River Gorge into a dirty energy corridor. She first worked with Columbia Riverkeeper in 2011 as the Water Quality Monitoring Intern where she collaborated with volunteers to collect water quality data informing state agencies on river and salmon health. Jasmine was raised in Salem and has a B.A. in General Science from the University of Oregon. Jasmine is a member of the Rising Tide North America Collective, a grassroots network dedicated to advancing the national conversation on climate change and environmental justice. Swimming, surfing, and whitewater rafting are the source of inspiration for her work at Columbia Riverkeeper.


Acasia Berry, Development Director

acasia@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 399.9119

Acasia works to share her passion for clean water and the wildlife that depends on it in the Columbia River Watershed while generating support for the our work. She brings over 25 years of experience working in conservation, community organizing and non-profit management and development. Acasia earned her BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she helped found the Student Environmental Action Coalition. While working with the Haw River Assembly in the southeastern United States, she led an environmental education program closely tied to the Hudson Clearwater. Prior to joining the Columbia Riverkeeper team Acasia was the Associate and Interim Director at the Sky Island Alliance in Tucson, AZ working to protect and restore the biodiversity of the southeastern AZ, southwestern NM and northern Sonora. She is very happy to be back to where the rivers have water and in her spare time you can find her exploring the tributaries of the Columbia.


Abigail Cermak, Hanford Coordinator

abigail@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 399-9162

Abigail encourages the public to speak out for a clean and safe Columbia River, working to provide transparency surrounding the complex and contentious cleanup efforts of the Hanford Nuclear site in Washington.  She believes that citizens should be at the forefront of decisions affecting the health and sustainability of their community.  Abigail decided to pursue her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University after she was involved in transforming an old gas station into a non-profit coffee house and community center in her neighborhood.  For the past three years she has worked for the City of Portland’s Brownfield Program helping people redevelop neglected and often contaminated properties into neighborhood assets.  Her passion for environmental planning and environmental justice has fueled her commitment to helping others realize their individual power in influencing planning efforts to improve the environment where they live.  When she is not working, you will most likely find her in the garden, on a tractor or searching for the perfect Northwest swimming hole.


Rob Cochran, Canvass Director

rob@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 399-7284

As the Canvass Director, Rob runs the door-to-door canvass program out of our Portland office.  Citizen Outreach is an important part of making sure Columbia Riverkeeper has the citizen support it needs to have an impact.  According to Rob, “Our job as canvassers is to identify citizens who are with us on the issues and invite them to be part of the solution.”  Rob has an extensive background as an activist and canvasser on a variety of campaigns ranging from environmental issues to social justice and consumer advocacy.   Recently, he was a canvass lead with Oregon United For Marriage, which won the freedom to marry for LGBT couples throughout Oregon.  Prior to making Portland his home, he spent several years in Mexico working on a documentary film about world citizenship and international human rights.  When he’s not out knocking on doors for Columbia Riverkeeper, Rob enjoys playing the piano, singing, and teaching Spanish.


Olivia Smith, Membership Assistant

give@columbiariverkeeper.org | (541) 387-3030

Olivia assists Columbia Riverkeeper and the Development Director with donation processing and donor relations, helping to build and retain membership for the organization. Making sure that donors feel appreciated for their generosity and support is important and rewarding to her. She was born and raised in Kansas, where she studied graphic design and photography at Wichita State University. She moved to Wyoming shortly after college, where she lived for a few years before relocating to the Mid-Columbia in 2011. She and her husband immediately fell in love with the area, and there is rarely a weekend when they cannot be found outside, exploring the beautiful Columbia River and Gorge, and other parts of the great Northwest. Music, singing, traveling, learning, and spending time with loved ones are among her favorite hobbies. She has served as a volunteer for animal shelters and the Nature Conservancy of Oregon, and is interested in all causes related to protecting animals and the environment.


Elizabeth Terhaar, Administrative Coordinator

liz@columbiariverkeeper.org | (503) 784-5324

Elizabeth supports the Riverkeeper operations by maintaining office systems and communications. Prior to the Riverkeeper, she has worked in various marketing and public relations functions in Austin, Texas. She is passionate about protecting the Columbia River watershed for future generations. Elizabeth holds a B.A. double major in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Oregon. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, fishing and hiking in the Columbia Gorge.


Meet Riverkeeper’s Citizen Outreach Team

Fighting everyday for clean water and healthy communities.

The Riverkeeper Citizen Outreach Team works to engage the public in Columbia River issues, shows them how to get involved, and helps raise funds.