Mike Houck- Executive Director
Mike Houck- a native Portlander- graduated from Estacada Union High School before obtaining a B. S. in Zoology from Iowa State University- in Ames- Iowa in 1969 and a Masters of Science in Teaching in Biology at Portland State University in 1972. After graduate school he directed the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry's Community Research Center and the museum's National Science Foundation's Summer Science Teaching research program in field Ecology- Archaeology and Paleontology at the Hancock Field Station in the John Day Basin of eastern Oregon. Mike joined the staff at the Audubon Society of Portland in 1980 after two years of teaching biology at Oregon Episcopal School.
Mr. Houck has been a leader at the local- regional- national and international levels in urban park and greenspace issues since his founding the Urban Naturalist Program at the Audubon Society of Portland in 1980. Since that time he has worked on urban parks- trails- greenspaces and natural resources in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. He speaks locally- nationally and internationally on issues related to urban natural resources and sustainable development. He helped found the Coalition for a Livable Future in 1994 to better integrate social and environmental issues into the region's growth management planning process. The CLF consists of over 70 nonprofit organizations- individuals and businesses from the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region working to build an equitable and sustainable metropolitan region.
Mike founded the Urban Greenspaces Institute in 1999 and directs the Institute out of the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research at Portland State University's Geography Department where he is an adjunct instructor. Mike serves on the national steering committee of the Ecological Cities Project of Amherst- MA and on several local and regional urban watershed- park and greenspace advisory committees in the Portland metropolitan region.
He serves on The Intertwine Alliance's core group and is a member of the Alliance's board of directors. Mike was appointed to the City of Portland's Planning and Sustainability Commission by Mayor Sam Adams.
He was co-editor of 2000 Wild in the City, A Guide to Portland's Natural Areas and also co-edited the new Wild in the City, Exploring The Intertwine released by OSU Press in the fall of 2011. Mike produced Wild on the Willamette- Exploring the Lower Willamette River (2003). He has been recognized for his contributions to urban greenspace locally, nationally and internationally.