MFWWC Staff

Sarah Dyrdahl

Sarah Dyrdahl

Executive Director

Sarah became the executive director of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council in August 2015. Sarah has been working on rivers in Alaska and Oregon since 2004, including significant experience building and managing restoration programs for four additional watershed councils in Oregon – Coos, Calapooia, South Santiam, and North Santiam. Before migrating upstream to freshwater ecosystems, Sarah studied nearshore marine ecological communities along the Oregon Coast with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans.

Sarah grew up in the country, on the banks of the Applegate River in southern Oregon – an experience that she weaves into her dream job of conserving and restoring rivers and landscapes through community building. When not working in the Middle Fork Willamette, Sarah can be found out exploring and enjoying the many beautiful watersheds of Oregon – on foot or by boat.

Gale Darling

Gale Darling

Community Engagement Coordinator

Gale joined the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council as the Community Engagement Coordinator in October 2017. Although new to this position, Gale is not new to the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council having served on the Board of Directors since 2016. A graduate of the University of Oregon Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Gale is excited to bring her expertise in community engagement and fundraising to the team.

A native of the Northwest, Gale has long been surrounded by water. After living in Bend for several years, she is happy to be back on the wet side of the mountains where she has rekindled her love of crew on Dexter Reservoir.

Erika Coyer

Erika Coyer

Youth Education Coordinator

Erika’s love of water runs deep, growing up sailing and playing in the oceans of the world. Since moving to Oregon 10 years ago and discovering her love of fresh water, she can often be found paddling, biking, skiing, and hiking around the majestic rivers and lakes of Cascadia. Erika has a B.A. in Environmental Science from Colorado College, and a M.Ed. in Waldorf & Integrated Learning from Antioch University New England. As an educator, she seeks to fan the flames of creativity and curiosity through outdoor experiential learning. Erika joined the Council in 2015 to design Middle Fork Watershed Stewards, the Council’s program for high school studentsIn 2017 she stepped into the role of Youth Education Coordinator. In addition to facilitating watershed education experiences for local public school students, she is the owner/director of Taproot School, an all-outdoor forest preschool near Oakridge.

Audrey Squires

Audrey Squires

Restoration Projects Manager

Audrey joined the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council as the Restoration Projects Manager in September 2016. As a Springfield native, Audrey really loves contributing to the protection of the watershed she grew up in. Prior to this position she spent several years living, working, and playing in a variety of places, including serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, getting a master’s degree in Water Resources and developing a youth science education program in Idaho, and working as an Assistant Watermaster for the State of Oregon in Pendleton. From these experiences, Audrey brings expertise in water resources, science communication, and community development to the Middle Fork. However, Audrey is equally passionate and excited about pursuing her hobbies in this amazing place.

Despite growing up here, she has a lot of ground left to explore in this large, diverse watershed. As an avid mountain biker, backcountry skier, trail runner, and backpacker, she thoroughly enjoys hitting the trails and seeing what the backcountry of the Middle Fork has to offer.

Karen Sarno

Karen Sarno

Operations Manager

After living in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other Bay Area towns, Karen finally decided to leave the concrete behind and head for green. She and her husband Theo moved to Oregon in 2008 and have never looked back. They enjoy living in downtown Springfield. Karen believes that we need to protect and preserve our natural resources, with water being the most important. To that end, don’t be surprised to find buckets in her shower used to collect the cold water while waiting for the water to warm up!  She loves working for the MFWWC and helping to build and educate community about restoration needs and opportunities in the basin.

Karen is an active member of Lane County Sheriff’s Ground Search and Rescue. When she is not crunching numbers, Karen enjoys walks in the woods, inhaling the negative ions at the beach, gardening, biking, and traveling.

Ryan Spinks

Ryan Spinks

Education Intern
Ryan joined the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council as the Education Intern in October 2018. He is currently a Senior at the University of Oregon majoring in Environmental Studies. Ryan recently finished a study abroad program in South Africa where he worked closely with field biologists and conservationists on game ranges and national parks to evaluate local wildlife.
Ryan grew up in Beaverton, Oregon  and has lived in Oregon for his whole life. He attended a science-oriented middle school named after one of his idols, Rachel Carson, that bolstered his love for the outdoors and education. This experience propelled his desire to help others appreciate the nature surrounding them. To fill his free time, Ryan enjoys hiking and camping in the Columbia River Gorge with family. He is also scuba certified and looks for any opportunity to be underwater.