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Melissa joined Cascades Raptor Center in 2019 shortly after moving to Oregon from Washington, D.C. Her work at Cascades Raptor Center is a reflection of her varied background, engaging communities at the intersection of environmental conservation, the arts, and education. She has a passion for building community participation through collaborative, inclusive, cross-disciplinary, and environmentally engaged creative practice. 

Before coming to the Pacific Northwest, Melissa worked for over a decade as the Director of a community arts program with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and George Washington University, which spanned nonprofit, museum, and higher education fields. She worked with underinvested communities in D.C. and designed environmental and art engaged programming with The Smithsonian, National Park Service, Department of Energy and the Environment, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

Also an educator at heart, Melissa taught graduate and undergraduate museum engagement courses with George Washington University and the Corcoran College of Art, and designed educational experiences at the National Portrait Gallery and University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Outside of work at Cascades Raptor Center, she currently teaches at the University of Oregon, serves on the Springfield Arts Commission, and works as an artist in printmaking and painting. Melissa is deeply committed to environmental education, providing meaningfully engaged experiences, and bringing people together to connect with the natural world.