About Neyssa

Neyssa Hays

Neyssa Hays

Me hosting the Anatomy Table at the 2007 Salmon Festival.

I grew up in rural Oregon, then lived in  Portland (Oregon’s largest city) for nineteen years. My family and I currently live in my hometown, Carlton, where I am enjoying getting back to my roots.

I am an experienced environmental educator and public speaker.  A long time ago I thought I was going to be an actress, so I paid little attention in my science classes. In a surprise turn of life events, I now hold a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University. I focussed on salmon fisheries, communication, and policy. Before that, I worked for many years as a single mom and a student to earn a BA in Russian with minors in biology and anthropology from Portland State University. I find connection in these degrees through our mutual interest in the Pacific Ocean.

I love learning new things, digging into deep research papers, and writing projects. In addition, I have worked as a park ranger, fisheries assistant, teacher’s aid, and legal assistant.

I work as a project manager and community engagement specialist for the Greater Yamhill Watershed Council. We’re building an environmental education program called Watershed Education Adventures, conducting spawning surveys to better understand our Coho salmon and Steelhead populations, restoring habitat, and testing water quality across our region. A grass-roots, non-regulatory entity, watershed councils work with farmers and communities to help them understand what they can do to have a beneficial impact on the environment because we all live in a watershed and water always runs downhill.

In addition to research and writing, I enjoy being a mom, hiking, camping, biking, old-school photography, gardening, horseback riding, reading, cooking, and yoga. I’m hoping to soon learn the fine arts of fly-fishing and knitting (not simultaneously).

My husband and me on our wedding day (Photo courtesy of LookieLoo Portraits)

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