Sam Samuel Leininger

WeedWise Program Manager

[email protected]

(503) 210-6006

Sam has been the manager of the WeedWise program since its inception in 2009. He is an ecologist specializing in invasive species management. As program manager, Sam oversees the operations and continued development of the WeedWise Program. He also provides technical assistance to local landowners and to the Clackamas SWCD planning staff.

Born and raised in rural eastern Oregon, Sam learned the importance of responsible land management at a young age. Weed management was an important part of his rural upbringing.

Sam attended Oregon State University and earned an Honors Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science. He later received a Master’s of Science, in Ecology from the University of California, Davis after specializing in invasive species ecology and management.

Over the course of his career, Sam has worked on a variety of ecological issues, including Willamette Valley prairie restoration, rare plant conservation, production forestry, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, water quality, population modeling, as well as invasive species management.

While serving as WeedWise program manager, Sam has been very active in Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMA) in Oregon and serves a leadership role for the 4-County CWMA and the Columbia Gorge CWMA.  Sam also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Oregon Invasive Species Council.

Sam lives in Oregon City with his wife and two sons. He enjoys gardening and spending quality time with his family.



Lindsey Karr

WeedWise Specialist

[email protected]


Lindsey Karr joined the WeedWise program in 2016. She works on controlling, surveying, and mapping invasive species; conducting outreach to landowners; and also collaborates with many of our partners to carry out the management plan for the Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP).

Lindsey has worked with a variety of natural resource organizations in the Portland metro area, including a year-long internship with the City of Portland controlling invasive plants; a winter with the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District maintaining natural areas; and summers with the US Forest Service as a ranger, the Mount St. Helens Institute as a guide, and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement as a plant ecologist. She has also conducted plant surveys on Mount St. Helens and Mt. Adams and in timber harvest areas across Oregon and Washington. Before joining our team, she spent the summer controlling invasive plants at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, where she worked with volunteers and often got around in kayaks or ATVs.

Lindsey grew up in Washington with a thirst for adventure and exploration that was closely tied to a love for nature. She earned her Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Seattle Pacific University, and then taught high school for 9 years, including one year of teaching English in Kathmandu, Nepal. While still working as a teacher, she began guiding outdoor trips in 2005. Her love for the outdoors, desire to protect natural resources, and fascination with plants lead her to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Management from Portland State University, which she completed in 2014. For her thesis, she studied the spread of non-native plants at Mount St. Helens.

Lindsey lives in Portland and loves growing vegetables, cooking tasty food, taking photos of wildflowers, and exploring forests and mountains.


Courtney Gattuso

WeedWise Specialist/ CWMA Coordinator

[email protected]


Courtney Gattuso joined the WeedWise team in October 2018. She works on surveying and controlling invasive species in the Sandy River Basin while conducting education and outreach efforts to local landowners. Aside from her role in weed control projects, Courtney also serves as the 4-County and Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) Coordinator, where she organizes meetings and events to help spread the word on the importance of invasive plant management.

Courtney developed a passion for ecological restoration during her year-long internship with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in Marin County, California, where she was able to watch whales and lead volunteer groups simultaneously. After a long road trip through the Pacific Northwest, she packed her bags and shortly found her new home in Oregon. She worked as a restoration contractor for Mosaic Ecology, where she learned the local flora and the importance of working collaboratively in a team dynamic. She has also worked seasonal positions with Clean Water Services and Metro, further pursuing her passion for natural resource conservation.

Courtney grew up on a ranch with her family in southern California, where she spent her childhood riding horses and observing wildlife in her backyard. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Management and Conservation, as well as a Bachelor’s of Arts in Geography.

Courtney lives in Portland and enjoys film photography, attending local concerts, and camping with friends and her pup, Juniper.


Justin Cooley

WeedWise Specialist

[email protected]


Justin Cooley joined the WeedWise team in May 2019.  He works on controlling, surveying, and mapping invasive species; conducting outreach to landowners; and collaborates with many of our partners to carry out the management of priority noxious weeds within the Molalla River and Lower Willamette portions of Clackamas County.

Justin has worked in a variety of natural resource positions in Willamette Valley.  Prior to joining the WeedWise team, Justin managed the invasive species control program for the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District.  Justin also spent 5 years working for Metro’s Natural Areas Land Management Team.  In this role there, he implemented invasive species control and restoration projects on over 3,000 acres of open space including Smith and Bybee Wetlands in North Portland.

Justin has lived in Oregon for over 3 decades and has resided in Clackamas County for over 13 years.  He earned a BS in Geography from the University of Oregon and completed his graduate studies in the Environmental Science and Management program at Portland State University.  In his spare time, Justin enjoys spending time with his family and exploring local parks and natural areas.

WeedWise Program