Kathryn Prive

Board Chair & Executive Director

Kathryn grew up in Minnesota but has called the west coast home since 2003. She has a M.S. in population genetics and ecological restoration from Oregon State University and a B.S in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon. Kathryn has expertise in partnership coordination, population genetics, ecological restoration and botany. She is passionate about native plant community restoration and seed production.

Kathryn's role at The Understory Initiative is to guide program development and foster greater support for herbaceous plant community restoration in Southern Oregon and Northern California.


Henry whitridge

Board Member & Treasurer

Henry grew up on a farm near the Trinity Alps of Northern California, where from an early age he spent many hours wandering the mountains looking at plants.  After graduating from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, he worked in the shipping and finance industries, living and working first on the high seas, then in China, South Korea and Singapore.  Missing the mountains of home, Henry returned to the United States after several years in Asia to begin graduate studies in botany at Southern Oregon University.  He has since worked as a botanist for the Bureau of Land Management, as a rare plant surveyor across Oregon, and an independent researcher on ecological projects.  In addition to plant sciences, Henry is also passionate about education and serves on the board of the Siskiyou School.


Lilia letsch

Board Member & Secretary

Lilia has been working in the conservation non-profit field since the early 2000's, with a focus on outreach, communications and project development. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, she has lived in Oregon since 2013, and has recently started work on developing a forest-grown mushroom farm while restoring 11 acres of oak woodland and riparian habitat in the Siskiyous (also known as home).

With a bachelor's degree in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Tasmania, and graduate studies in Cultural Landscapes at Deakin University (Australia), Lilia has a particular interest in the impacts of colonialism on landscapes, and working towards regaining a healthier dynamic between humans and the plants and other animals we coexist with.