Mike Houck

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.

Mike has been a leader at the local, regional, national and international levels in urban park and greenspace issues since founding the Urban Naturalist Program at the Audubon Society of Portland in 1980. Since that time he has worked extensively on issues related to urban parks, trails, greenspaces and natural resources in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. He speaks locally, nationally and internationally about 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. CLF consists of more than 70 nonprofit organizations, along with 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 as part of The Intertwine Alliance's core group and is a member of its board of directors. Mike was appointed to the City of Portland's Planning and Sustainability Commission by Mayor Sam Adams.  

He was co-editor in 2000 of 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.