Meet the Team
Spring Creek Project Staff
While the Spring Creek Project has a small, core team, in spirit it feels much larger because of our organization’s emphasis on collaboration. We partner with many departments and schools at OSU and have developed events and programs with dozens of other organizations in Oregon and beyond. Below, meet our staff and Senior Fellows.
Carly Lettero, Director
Carly Lettero directs the Spring Creek Project and is the Associate Director of Arts, Science, Humanities and Technology Integration at PRAx. She envisions and builds programs, nurtures collaborations and supports thinkers and creatives. Since 2006, she has worked with Spring Creek Project to develop residencies, fellowships, workshops, symposia, speaker series, films and podcasts. She thrives at intersections—places where ideas and people and disciplines come together to imagine new stories and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. She swims whenever she gets the chance, no matter how cold the water.
Shelley Stonebrook, Program Coordinator
As the program coordinator, Shelley Stonebrook develops inclusive programming that invites our community of listeners, viewers and attendees to be curious about the world and inspired to help it thrive. She also manages many of the behind-the-scenes details that keep the Spring Creek Project humming along—from creating our newsletters to putting the final touches on a podcast episode. Between gardening and hanging out with her daughter and husband, she usually has a 5K run or other race on her calendar.
Joy Jensen, Research Program Coordinator
Joy Jensen helps structure and coordinates residency and fellowship programs for PRAx, the Spring Creek Project and the Center for the Humanities. She works with artists, writers, scientists, students and our partners to shape meaningful, productive experiences. As an Oregon Master Naturalist, she’s actively engaged with ecological restoration projects, community wildfire preparedness and conducting bird surveys for conservation groups and private landholders. Her favorite USGS Breeding Bird Survey route lets her explore the rugged and beautiful Oregon Siskiyous. She can also fix your typewriter.
Spring Creek Project’s Senior Fellows help carry out our mission in many ways. When called upon, a Senior Fellow may collaborate on Spring Creek events, contribute to the discussion of future visions and programming, or serve as a resource for ideas, information and connections to people and institutions.
Kathleen Dean Moore
For many years, Kathleen Dean Moore was a prize-winning nature writer and professor of environmental ethics at Oregon State University. But her alarm at the growing climate and extinction crises led to her leave academia in order to write and speak full-time. Emphasizing the moral urgency of action, her first climate ethics book was "Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril" (co-edited with Michael Nelson). More recent books include "Great Tide Rising, Earth’s Wild Music, Bearing Witness and Take Heart: Encouragement for Earth’s Weary Lovers." Moore co-founded the Spring Creek Project in 2002 and served as its original director before becoming a Senior Fellow.
Charles Goodrich is the author of several volumes of poetry, including "Watering the Rhubarb and Going To Seed: Dispatches from the Garden," and a collection of essays about nature, parenting, and building his own house, "The Practice of Home." His essays and poetry have appeared in many magazines, including "Orion, Open Spaces, The Sun, and Best Essays Northwest." Widely sought as a speaker and workshop leader, he worked for 25 years as a professional gardener and in his writing and teaching he still looks to the garden as a model for interacting with nature. Goodrich is a former director of the Spring Creek Project, a role he retired from in 2016.
Fred Swanson, emeritus affiliate faculty at OSU, began his work in research geology and disturbance ecology at the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service in 1972. As an earth scientist with a long history of research on physical processes in forest and stream ecosystems, he has been attentive to long-term changes in the land and our relationship with the land. Much of his place-based work has occurred at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades and at Mount St. Helens. Swanson has been deeply involved in Spring Creek Project’s Long-Term Ecological Reflections program at the Andrews Forest and he has encouraged and provided support to programs at other sites to undertake science-humanities-arts collaborations.
Michael Paul Nelson
Michael P. Nelson is an environmental scholar, writer, teacher, speaker, and professor of environmental ethics and philosophy. He holds the Ruth H. Spaniol Chair in Natural Resources in the College of Forestry. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group, an award-winning environmental ethics consultancy group fusing ethics with social and ecological science. He is the author of many articles, and the author or editor of a number of books, in and around the area of environmental ethics. Michael is called upon regularly by various government agencies and conservation organizations to assist with understanding the ethical implications of natural resource management decisions. As the former lead principal investigator at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Nelson has been a valued collaborative partner in our Andrews and forest-related programming.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Alison Hawthorne Deming is an author across genres and a Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. Her books include "Science and Other Poems, Writing the Sacred Into the Real," and "Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit." She has received two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, among many other fellowships and residencies.
Robert Michael Pyle
Robert Michael Pyle is a biologist (with a specialty in lepidoptera ecology), writer, teacher and speaker. He founded the international Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, later chaired its Monarch Project and was the founding chairman of IUCN's Lepidoptera Specialist Group. He has published hundreds of articles, essays, papers, stories, poems and more than a dozen books, including "Wintergreen," "Sky Time in Gray’s River," and "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies." A Guggenheim Fellow, Pyle has won the John Burroughs Medal, three Governor's Writer's Awards, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, the Harry Nehls Award for Nature Writing and the National Outdoor Book Award for natural history literature.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College for Environmental Science and Forestry, and a MacArthur Fellow. She is the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and building resilience for climate change. She is the author of "Gathering Moss" and "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants," which addresses living in reciprocity with land. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi.