Oregon Tech Alumni

Jeffrey Kee

'86 Land Surveying; '87 Industrial Management

I started college at the Klamath Falls campus in 1981. Spending the first year in the dorms built some great friendships and red-shirted as a walk on with the men's basketball team. The summer after that first year offered an Alaskan adventure that went a bit too long. Too late to register for that sophomore year. A short stint at OSU and a year playing basketball at Clackamas Community College got me back in the groove to head back to OIT. I served on the student government board while serving as the Editor of Tech Talk the campus newspaper and teamed up with some great friends and take the Buffalo Grants to a championship in intramural flag football. Working as a Resident Advisor one year helped pay for my quality education. in 1986 I secured an Associates Degree in Land Surveying and in 1987 I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial Management.

Numerous jobs followed that my OIT experience helped me get. I worked on the Central Oregonian in Prineville before taking a job with the Crook county surveyor, re-monumenting some Ochoco National Forest boundaries. Eventually the desire to make it big sent me into the Portland Metro region, sharing the rent on a house with one of my college friends.

I secured the highest paying job of my life working at Freightliner Corporation in 1990 and met my life partner and eventual wife Katherine Kersey who I married in 1995.

Eventually the same desires that spurred me into surveying called again. I opted for another career change and left the corporate world to take a biology course at Portland Community College. I joined a group of Natural Resource professionals in the NW Ecological Research Institute that mentored me and gave me my first job in Conservation in 1991; monitoring birds at a mitigation site. I have been president of the group since 1996. I secured a full time job surveying and learned more about land development, wetland delineation and natural resource planning. I passed the state exam to be recognized as a Professional Land Surveyor in 2002 and became a Certified Water Rights Examiner in 2003.

I secured a job working as a Conservation Planner for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District and stayed there until I was Director of Urban Conservation.

While building my conservation career I began following a non-profit group called the Oregon Water Trust. They were dedicated to restoring streamflows in Oregon. It sounded like a dream job to me, protecting and restoring the most important natural resources of Oregon. After seven years of trying to get a job with the Trust I was offered a job in August of 2008.

Today the organization is named the Freshwater Trust and I work in the John Day basin, where my family has two ranches, restoring stream flows for watershed health.

In 2005 I joined the Northwest Chapter of the OIT Alumni Association and am currently the President of this small group dedicated to build the capacity of Alumni, the college and its students.

The outstanding land surveying education I received at OIT enabled me to secure my professional license and become a water rights examiner. My experiences in student government and working on the college newspaper built the foundation for my strong communication skills and developed my leadership abilities.

I am most satisfied with my role in creating the Industry Advisory Committee for OIT's Renewable Energy Engineering program here in Portland. This degree is a natural progression for an institution that has always been on the leading edge, creating some of the most sought after graduates in the world.

My wife Kay and I live near Sauvies Island where I also dabble in some art. You can see some of my work at www.nwecoart.com.

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