Meet Oregon Shores’ New Board Members

2018 Oregon Shores Board Members
Newly elected or re-elected Oregon Shores board members, clockwise from left: Ed Joyce, Wayne Rifer, Patrick Willis, Ron Steffens, Allison Asbjornsen, Eric Watkins, and Leslie Morehead.

In the recent online election (Oregon Shores’ first such electoral foray into the digital realm), members voted near-unanimously for a slate of new and returning board members.

Among current board members, co-presidents Wayne Rifer and Allison Asbjornsen, treasurer Leslie Morehead, and board members Ron Steffens and Patrick Willis were elected to new terms.

Two newcomers were also elected to board seats, although one bears a familiar face.

Eric Watkins is both a new and old board member, as he begins his second stint on the Oregon Shores board.  He served on the board for more than a decade in the 1990s and early part of this century, and is now returning.  He describes himself as a “recovering attorney,” still licensed to practice law but not currently active. After a 25-year military career, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, he earned concurrent business administration and law degrees from the University of Oregon and launched a new, 20-year career as an attorney-mediator working primarily with non-profit organizations.  (Eric likes to say that both of his careers involved conflict resolution, although the first one, with Army armored units, involved “the more directive end of the spectrum.”)  While serving in the military, he had protection of the environment from the effects of training and maintenance as a focus of his work.  Eric is the son of former Oregon Shores presidents Howard and Marguerite Watkins.

Also newly elected to the board in 2018, Ed is an earth scientist, educator, and activist with a Ph.D. in Oceanography (from Texas A&M) and a B.S. in Geology.  Research interests span from paleoclimate studies using deep marine fossils to the study of nearshore sediment transport.  Ed was a research scientist in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years and taught geology at the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas in Houston for eight years.  Presently, he is adjunct faculty at Clatsop Community College where he has taught geology and oceanography since 2015. Prior to moving to Oregon, while a geologic consultant based in Pennsylvania, he served as president of the Philadelphia chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  He is an avid surfer, mountain hiker, snowboarder, and swimmer.