Brian Barr – Executive Director
Brian Barr is a native of northern Illinois and firmly believes that Chicago is a good place to be from. He arrived in the Rogue Valley in 2001 after stops in Ohio, Virginia, Idaho, and Portland.
In 2020, Brian will have just barely worked over half of his life on the Rogue (he did work on Rogue River issues for seven years prior to moving here). He is most passionate about native fish conservation and has subjected people all over the United States, Mexico, and India to his enthusiasm on this topic. From his perspective, few things compare to watching native fish use pristine habitat (although native fish using restored habitat is pretty exciting, too).
He is very proud of his daughter (studying Transportation Design at Art Center in Pasadena), his wife (who recently started a consulting firm to site renewable energy and affordable housing developments), and the Great Greys (a competitive birding team in Jackson County, Oregon to which he sometimes contributes).
Anna Johnson – Administrative Specialist
Anna has been with the Rogue River Watershed Council since 2016. She has an MBA in accounting from Southern Oregon University, a background in small business administration, and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology. Anna grew up in a sailing family in the tiny state of Rhode Island and moved to Colorado in 1979 where she was captain of her high school color guard team, traveled to the Orange Bowl twice with the University of Colorado Buffaloes marching band, and served as an animal control officer relocating bears and porcupines among other wildlife from the downtown streets of Boulder, Colorado.
Anna transplanted to Grants Pass, Oregon in 2004 where she settled down to raise her two boys on a small horse farm. She enjoys her role in administration and finance at the Rogue River Watershed Council and doing her part to contribute to a healthy watershed for the next generation to come. In addition to a lifelong interest in the natural world, Anna enjoys hiking, canoeing, searching for interesting birds in her backyard and competing in combined driving carriage events with her Shetland pony, Jet.
Crystal Nichols – Community Engagement Project Manager
Crystal will begin her work with us in August 2021.
Crystal holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University with an undergraduate degree in fisheries biology. She has extensive experience in videography, web design, social media, and marketing. Her personal mission is driven by the desire to harness the power of science to transform the way society understands and manages the environment through education, outreach, and stewardship. She has experience with partner organizations in the Rogue Valley and direct connections with individuals in the community. With a passion for advocating and conserving the Rogue River Basin for the future of all its inhabitants, Crystal brings her enthusiasm for a healthy watershed along with her to everyone she meets.
Lance Wyss – Restoration Biologist
Lance Wyss joined the Rogue River Watershed Council staff in October of 2019 to manage restoration projects and monitor ecological restoration actions as our Restoration Biologist. These actions include instream and streamside enhancement such as large wood placement, noxious weed control, and fish passage improvements. Lance fosters lasting relationships with landowners and other partners in the development, implementation, and stewardship of projects. Since 2013, he has managed many restoration projects in the Willamette Valley for the Calapooia Watershed Council and in the Rogue Valley for The Freshwater Trust. Lance has also spent over a decade completing fisheries research that includes monitoring of Pacific Lamprey, sampling fish populations and aquatic invertebrate communities, and completing stream habitat surveys. He attended Oregon State University where he received a Bachelor’s in Fisheries and Wildlife Science and a Master’s in Wildlife Science. In his spare time, he enjoys running, hiking, bird watching, and trail building.
John Speece – Project Manager
John began with the Rogue River Watershed Council in August 2018. Most recently, he was the coordinator for the Middle Deschutes Watershed Council and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program planner for Central Oregon. He holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Southern Oregon University and a Masters Degree in Natural Resources from Oregon State University. John brings 15 years of experience in natural resources project management, monitoring, and riparian restoration to the Rogue. As a native Oregonian, he appreciates all parts of the state and is happy to have circled back to Southern Oregon where he focuses on water quality improvement projects throughout the watershed.