The Board of Advisors uses the expertise and resources of its members to benefit the students, staff, and faculty of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (CEOAS).

Rhea Graham '77, Chair

Transdisciplinary Geologist

Oceanography, Geology

Rhea Graham on LinkedIn

Rhea’s passion is making room for future leaders, by supporting opportunities for them to thrive and grow.

Rhea’s career in geology leveraged her multidisciplinary education to transcend many disciplines, emphasizing collaboration and community. When she retired in 2016 from federal service, she had devoted similar years in public service to both tribal and state governments. She was registered in Oregon as a geologist and engineering geologist until retirement.

Rhea initially worked in the private sector, including as an engineering geologist in the Portland office of CH2M Hill. Her first federal appointment was in Corvallis with the Forestry Sciences Research Laboratory, assisting a research team examining the geomorphology of streams in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. At the midpoint of her career, she served political appointments to mining agencies. Rhea was agency director for the State of New Mexico, when the state passed its first hardrock reclamation law. In 1994, Rhea was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 19th Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Returning to New Mexico, she specialized in water resources management with a federally-recognized Indian tribe—the Pueblo of Sandia. While employed with the State of New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, she designed and coordinated outreach and collaboration for completion of the first State Water Plan. She returned to federal service with the US Bureau of Reclamation in California, where she coordinated diverse technical studies, outreach and collaboration for the Department of the Interior on the proposed settlement agreement removing four dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California. Once again returning to New Mexico, her final water resources management project was to complete environmental compliance documents for a voluntary operating agreement for New Mexico’s largest storage reservoir. Rhea’s retirement passion is making room for future leaders, by supporting opportunities for them to thrive and grow.

Krystyna Wolniakowski '00, Vice-Chair

Executive Director, Columbia River Gorge Commission

Oceanography, Marine Studies

Krystyna Wolniakowski on LinkedIn

As Executive Director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, Krystyna helps protect and enhance the scenic, natural, recreational and cultural resources of the area.

Krystyna U. Wolniakowski was appointed as Executive Director of the bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission in 2015. Before joining the Commission, Krystyna led the Western Regional Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in Portland for more than 14 years as Regional Director, managing conservation grant-making programs in seven Western states. Krystyna was recently appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Oregon Ocean Science Trust Board and has also served as science advisor for development of the statewide Focused Investment Partnerships Program for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB). From 1991-2000, she worked for the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. as Director for Central and Eastern Europe, developing programs for conservation, economic, and democratic reforms in seven countries after the fall of the Berlin wall. From 1983-1991, Krystyna led the coastal protection efforts for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Division. Krystyna earned her B.S. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Biology/Chemistry in 1977 and her M.S. degree at Oregon State University in oceanographic sciences in 1980.

Erica Fruh '99, Secretary

Program Specialist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Marine Resource Management

Erica Fruh on LinkedIn

Erica's current research explores fish and habitats in areas that are inaccessible to conventional survey methods.

Erica is a Program Specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Newport, OR, working with advanced technologies and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). After graduating from the Marine Resource Management Master's Degree program at Oregon State University, she worked as a fisheries observer, quantifying discard in west coast commercial fisheries. This led to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s at-sea research program and a then a position with NOAA’s West Coast Groundfish Trawl Survey, where she served as a biologist and field party chief monitoring fish populations. Her current research involves using alternative sampling gears (e.g., the AUV) to explore fish and habitats in areas that are inaccessible to conventional survey methods.

Julie Doumbia '10

Energy Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration

Marine Resource Management

Julie Doumbia on LinkedIn

Julie enjoys traveling, especially internationally, and is an avid Portland Thorns fan.

Julie Doumbia works in environmental compliance for the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, OR, where she leads two large multi-agency technical teams engaged in developing the environmental impact statement for continuing operations of 14 federal dams on the Columbia and Lower Snake Rivers. She has held a number of positions in various units of BPA, including Fish & Wildlife Policy and Planning and the Power Business Line, where she learned hydrosystem operations and the business side of managing fish operations.

During her MRM degree program at OSU she had an internship with U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science) in Washington D.C. and a summer fellowship in China with the National Science Foundation. Doumbia holds undergraduate degrees in environmental science, Spanish, and philosophy from the University of Scranton, and is working towards a Master’s degree in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law at Lewis and Clark Law School. She enjoys traveling, especially internationally, and is an avid Portland Thorns fan.

Will Ernst '79

Owner, Tahoma Environmental Consulting LLC

Oceanography, Marine Resource Management

Will Ernst on LinkedIn

Will’s interest in the earth sciences continues now with a focus on climate impact adaptation measures and promoting licensure of geologists to help maintain strength in the profession.

Will was raised in Rhode Island, The Ocean State, with an appreciation for all things outdoors. A B.S. in Geology from the University of Rhode Island featured Field Camp beginning in the Grand Canyon and a job in a sedimentation lab at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography. A desire to move on led Will to set aside more formal education for a position with the Corps of Engineers during construction of the Bonneville Dam Second Powerhouse. A full-time permanent position offered by the Corps seemed too quick and predictable and Will instead did mud logging for a year at petroleum drill sites in Utah and New Mexico. The petroleum industry didn’t seem quite right either and Will applied and was admitted to OSU’s MRM program, which was of interest for its applied mix of the core oceanography disciplines. An internship helping to set up NOAA’s Hazardous Materials Response Branch Alaska Office really resonated for its pragmatic focus on the environment, and an MRM M.S in 1979 was followed by a position with NOAA’s HazMat team. Assignments included serving as Scientific Support Coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico, helping to establish the Nation’s preparedness for responding to chemical releases, supporting the drafting of rules and legislation, and responding to many spills. The need for new challenges led Will to apply and be admitted to the University of Washington’s Executive MBA program. This experience furthered exposure to a range of perspectives and management tools, leading to an MBA in 1986. Will transitioned to the private sector in 1987 by joining Boeing’s fledgling Corporate Environmental Affairs office. He retired from Boeing in 2019 after many enterprise-level and program assignments both within the company and as its representative working on initiatives with international, tribal, federal, state and local agencies, industry associations, and non-profits. Retirement has provided time to pursue a long-standing concern with our climate and an integrated, data-focused approach to managing its impacts with workable solutions.

Volunteer work has included serving on the UW MBA Alumni Association Board, eight years on the Washington State Geologist Licensing Board, five years on the Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®) Executive Committee, an on-going role with ASBOG® as Coordinator for Non-Licensure State and University Outreach, and as a Humane Society Dog Walker.

Kendra Callahan '95

Education Assistant, Corvallis School District, Environmental & Outdoor Education, Program Coordination

Environmental Science

Kendra Callahan on LinkedIn

Kendra is passionate about sharing her love of the sciences and the outdoors with others.

Since first arriving in Oregon 28 years ago, she has experienced a consistent and deepening love affair with its greenspaces, forests, farmlands and streams, and the community of people who live here.

After graduating with an Environmental Science degree from OSU, she has enjoyed a wide range of work experience. This includes educating visitors about the marine ecosystem as an interpreter at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area on the Oregon coast, conducting field research on Band-tailed pigeons, and writing articles for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) quarterly magazine. She coordinated an ODFW program designed to teach outdoor skills to women and encourage their interest and support for our state’s fish and wildlife. In this role she managed hundreds of volunteers as well as being in charge of fundraising, marketing and outreach to help the program expand each year. She then served as ODFW’s Regional Manager of Volunteers – supervising and communicating with volunteers and advocates, updating policies, and training biologists and technicians how to effectively plan and manage volunteer projects. In addition to her work at fish and wildlife, she also helped design and deliver a boater safety training program for the Oregon State Marine Board.

Kendra is no stranger to being a volunteer herself – she has had an active role in the Eco-School Network, the 4-H Wildlife Steward Program, Oregon’s Outdoor School, and spent hundreds of hours implementing a Junior Naturalist Education Program at her children’s school in which students grades K - 8 learn more about the natural areas just outside the classroom door.

Kendra currently lives in Corvallis and works as an Educational Assistant, teaching students to become better readers, writers, mathematicians, and whenever she gets the chance – scientists! She has also completed the OSU Master Naturalist certification program and continues to share her love of the natural world through volunteering at educational or outreach events in the community. Her happiest moments are those spent outdoors with her family, friends, or her dog – running trails, biking, hiking, kayaking or just exploring our astonishing natural world.

Jeremy Childress '10

CEO and owner, The Sexton Corporation

Jeremy Childress on LinkedIn

Marine Resource Management

Jeremy is the resident vision expert with experience in camera technologies, underwater optical systems, networking, and sensor integrations.

Jeremy is the CEO and owner of The Sexton Corporation, a small design and manufacturing company specializing in the development of new and innovative products for use in challenging environments. Services provided include 3D design and drafting, simulated stress analysis, CNC machining and additive manufacturing, electronics assembly, and hydrostatic testing. Jeremy is the resident vision expert with experience in camera technologies, underwater optical systems, networking, and sensor integrations, and also holds a graduate degree from Oregon State University in Marine Sciences.

The Sexton Corporation’s client list includes The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, SpaceX, US Department of Defense, NASA, US EPA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, WHOI, MBARI, ABC Good Morning America, and dozens of universities and private companies worldwide. Notable achievements include: numerous 180-VR and 360-VR underwater enclosures for the film industry; designing and manufacturing enclosures for use up to 6000m depth; supplying custom enclosures for Deadliest Catch and Discovery Shark Week filming; development of an underwater x-ray system for the energy industry and defense department; and providing an underwater high-speed camera system used by Fabien Cousteau during Mission 31.

Jeremy also serves as Director of Engineering for Blue Ring Imaging and leverages his experience in prototype design and manufacturing to create quality commercial products for the film and scientific communities.

Andy Lanier '06

Marine Affairs Coordinator, Oregon Coastal Management Program, Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation & Development

Marine Resource Management

Andy Lanier on LinkedIn

Andy created an ocean GIS database for the state of Oregon.

Andy is the Marine Affairs Coordinator with the Oregon Coastal Management Program in the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. He is a graduate from the Marine Resource Management Master's Degree program at Oregon State University. Andy joined the OCMP after completing a 2 year NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship to create of an ocean GIS database for the state. Andy is also currently serving as a co-chair of the West Coast Ocean Data Portal, which is focused on the effective networking of both people and data along the US West Coast.

Claudia Mengelt '00

Program Manager, Land Management Research Program in the Ecosystem Mission Area,
U.S. Geological Survey

Biological Oceanography

Claudia Mengelt on LinkedIn

I'm passionate about finding opportunities to apply science in decision-making be that in resource management, science policy, or education.

Claudia Mengelt's developed expertise in project and program management, collaborative conservation and science coordination. In those roles, she applies the latest research in stakeholder engagement, program management, or co-production to informing new science or conservation initiatives. She has also conducted numerous program evaluations, which can be used to inform future federal research funding allocations to advance the research and resource management enterprise. When not at her desk, Claudia loves hiking, SUPing, kayaking, or creating new habitat for birds and pollinators in any backyard or schoolyard that welcomes her help. She shares a passion for scuba-diving with her son and husband and for backpacking with her son and dog.

Claudia is currently working as a Program Manager with the U.S. Geological Survey in the Land Management Research Program. Prior to her current position, she was the California Science Coordinator for Science Applications and the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative with USFWS’ regional office in Sacramento, CA. She continues to work closely with resource managers in California to apply research to decision-making. Claudia developed her expertise in performance evaluation of federal programs, elicitation and facilitation, and climate change adaptation during her eleven years as Senior Program Officer with the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. In this position, she led studies related to ocean policy, marine science, natural hazards, program performance and strategic planning, climate change and climate change adaptation. Claudia completed a M.S. in biological oceanography from Oregon State University and obtained her Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The mission of the Board of Advisors (Board or BOA) is to use the expertise and resources of its members to benefit the students, staff, and faculty of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (CEOAS). The areas of contribution of the BOA will include at least the following and may be expanded, based on the needs of the Dean, faculty and the students:

  • Listen to and advise the Dean, faculty, staff, and students regarding their interests and needs.
  • Provide outside-the-University points of view regarding professional expectations for graduates and curricula development.
  • Support CEOAS initiatives through communications to University administration.
  • Assist the CEOAS with the development and review of future plans and priorities.
  • Contribute to relationship development in support of CEOAS/OSU Foundation programs.
  • Support relationships and activities with CEOAS alumni.
  1. Board Capabilities and Engagement
    The members of the BOA are professionals who offer the Dean, faculty and students of CEOAS an outside-the-University point of view, leadership expertise, employment perspective and strategic support. The Board provides a sounding board and source of mentoring for students and faculty. The BOA contributes to efforts that sustain CEOAS as a top tier national education and research program which attracts exceptional faculty and offers compelling learning and research experiences to students. Through its activities, the Board assists with alumni communications and relationships and offers support and assistance to the faculty, staff, and the student body. Although the BOA can be engaged in all aspects of CEOAS activities, the Board reports directly to the Dean of CEOAS. Consequently, Board members serve at the discretion of the CEOAS Dean.
  2. Membership
    The BOA will consist of up to fifteen (15) volunteer members appointed by the Dean of CEOAS. Members should be alumni of CEOAS or its predecessor schools at OSU, although the Dean may also appoint non-alumni members at his/her discretion. Once appointed, a member is expected to serve a four (4) year term, which term may be renewed by the Dean for additional four (4) year terms by mutual consent. Board members are expected to participate in all scheduled meetings to the extent practicable, and to devote time to pre- and post-meeting actions. BOA membership may be revoked, without prejudice, by the Dean for non-participation or other reason at his/her discretion.

    The BOA expects that the Dean will seek to ensure that the membership is reasonably balanced among alumni of the various disciplines within CEOAS. In addition, the BOA expects that the Dean will seek to ensure that the membership of the BOA is reasonably balanced by gender and ethnic representation. Membership on the BOA does not provide any financial benefit or compensation by CEOAS or OSU. Board members are not expected to provide financial contributions to OSU in addition to their participation expenses, and Board membership is not determined based on a member's potential for future donations.

  3. Officers
    Every three (3) years during a regularly scheduled meeting, the membership will elect its officers. The Board will elect a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary who will each serve a 3 year term. Officers may be re-elected to another term by the Board. The Chair will plan and conduct the meetings of the Board and serve as the primary Board liaison with the Dean and other CEOAS faculty. In case of the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair will assume the duties of the Chair. In case of the absence of both the Chair and Vice-Chair, the Secretary will assume those duties. The Secretary will also be responsible for preparing the minutes of each BOA meeting, which the Chair will review, approve, and circulate, to the Dean and other Board members.
  4. Voting
    A quorum of the membership is required before a vote can be performed. A majority of the membership present on the date of the meeting will represent a quorum. A vote will be considered approved if it has the support of a majority of the quorum present at a meeting. Members participating in a meeting via phone may be considered part of the quorum and may vote at the discretion of the meeting Chair. Matters placed before the BOA for vote shall follow an orderly process of a member's proposal, seconding, and voice vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote.
  5. Meetings
    The BOA will meet at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. Meetings will include opportunities for the BOA to listen to and interact with students and faculty. Meetings will occur at the CEOAS facility in Corvallis, Oregon unless designated elsewhere at the discretion of the Chair. Members are expected to attend BOA meetings in person unless they are approved in advance to participate via phone or other remote means by the Chair. Members do not receive reimbursement for their participation at BOA meetings, and will be expected to help defray the costs for incidental meeting expenses such as snacks, meals and beverage services.

For questions about the CEOAS Board of Advisors, please contact

Last updated 7/18/2022