WeedWise Program Manager
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.
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.
Bee Sinichko (they/them)
WeedWise Specialist/ CWMA Coordinator
Before joining WeedWise, Bee earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. After graduating they returned to their old stomping grounds (Northern Virginia) to work as a Resource Technician and Naturalist. Their experience working with NOVA Parks solidified their interest in invasion ecology and encouraged their graduate pursuits in Environmental Management and GIS at Portland State University. While at PSU they partnered with the WeedWise program to develop potential distribution models of invasive species in the Riverside Fire burn zone.
Bee is a welcomed addition to the district, officially joining the WeedWise team in February 2023. They serve as a WeedWise Program Specialist for the Clackamas SWCD, and as the Cooperative Weed Management Area Coordinator for the 4-County and Columbia Gorge CWMAs. They conduct and oversee efforts to detect and manage invasive species and support education and outreach efforts in the community.
When Bee isn’t working, they can be found spending their free time at the local dog park, working on a crossword, out hiking, or in over their heads pursuing a new hobby.
WeedWise Specialist CRISP
Monte works with landowners and public agencies to enhance watershed health in the Clackamas River basin as part of CRISP (Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership), as well as other special projects in Clackamas County.
Monte earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Portland State University researching ecological interactions of plants and insects. In past positions, Monte served as Research Faculty with Oregon State University where he worked to: (1) evaluate safe pesticide use for specialty crop growers in Oregon, (2) build a pest management program for cabbage maggot, an insect pest of brassica crops, (3) develop tools to minimize risk and improve outcomes of insect biological control agents. In addition, Monte was an invasive species biologist for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, where he managed priority weeds with the City’s Early Detection Rapid Response Program.
Monte’s favorite pastimes are exploring the outdoors with his family, playing music, and cooking delicious food.