Ben has a varied background which includes 12 years as an attorney, 16 years as a teacher of middle and high-school students, and over a decade as a volunteer with land trusts in California, Oregon, and Hawai`i. His teaching included Geology, Meteorology, Environmental Science, and Native Habitat Restoration classes, as well as uncountable field trips along the Maui and central California coastlines. He also taught Sustainability Science and Island Sustainability at the University of Hawai`i, Maui College.
“I’m excited at this opportunity to be intimately involved in the acquisition, protection, and restoration of lands and habitats along the northern Coast of Oregon. It has long been my goal to work for a land trust, especially to protect and restore riparian habitats. I see this as my dream job, working with a motivated and dedicated community, while applying my knowledge and skills to protect our forests, wetlands, and streams, as well as the myriad organisms that rely on them for survival.”
Ben likes to bike and hike, often with his camera in tow, and looks forward to exploring the lands and waterways in and around the Nehalem Bay region.
LNCT welcomes Shane Sjogren and his enthusiasm as the Trust’s Stewardship Lead. He feels fortunate to share the beauty of this area with the community. His appreciation for restoration of natural lands began in his youth with many voyages into Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Shane graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in Speech and Intercultural Communication.
Shane was a landscape designer before wanderlust led him to teach English in Taiwan for four years. Summer breaks were spent traveling to almost a dozen different countries. Upon his return, Shane loaded his motorcycle, surfboard and dog into his van to explore the West Coast. “I was awestruck at the colossal vegetation of the forests and the great pulse of the ocean”. He has been a resident here for nearly a decade. When not surfing, biking, or hiking Shane likes to forage for clay deposits to create ceramic pieces inspired by natural landscapes.
Community Garden Manager
Karen Matthews has a passion for gardening and sharing her knowledge with the community. As a homeowner in the Nehalem Bay area since 1992, she feels fortunate to be surrounded by the beauty of the area and is always excited to teach others gardening techniques that protect the natural areas in our region. With more than a quarter century of work in the high tech industry, Karen brings a wealth of management experience and creative energy. Having a varied background in metallurgy, component engineering, and business has provided a broad range of skills that we are lucky to have her apply to the Community Garden’s smooth operation. As a young retiree and early garden volunteer, Karen led the initial formation of the Community Garden in 2006, just one year after completing her Master Gardener training at Oregon State University. Her enthusiasm for education and sharing has led the program from its earliest phases of development to its current state of community integration.