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South Slough Coming & Going

Apr 6, 2020 | Reserves, South Slough, Oregon, What We Work For

John Bragg (left), retired as South Slough’s coastal training program (CTP) coordinator earlier this year. Keary Howley (right) joined the Reserve as their new Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist.

Oregon’s South Slough Reserve has gone through some changes this year, with the retirement of John Bragg as coastal training program (CTP) coordinator and the hiring of Keary Howley as a Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist. Please join NERRA in warmly thanking John for his 18 years of service and welcoming Keary to the NERRd family!


John retired at the end of January after 18 years of service. As CTP coordinator, he  offered training and technical assistance to Oregon decision makers on habitat restoration, water quality, invasive species, human impacts on protected places, nearshore ocean processes, and climate change. These trainings provided the flexible, practical assistance local coastal managers needed as they responded to a range of challenges.  

John is also a photographer who contributed numerous photos to the Reserve’s library over the years. He designed many of the Reserve’s posters and other publications, which showcased his eye for artistic design.

John has plans to travel, but expects to remain in Coos County in the near future, “where there are still lots of pictures waiting to be shot.” He will also continue to be a staunch fan of Reserves and the special places they protect.

 “More than ever, it’s the voices of Reserve friends and advocates that will keep our elected representatives aware of the value of estuaries, wetlands, and clean water,” he says.

Photographs of Coos Bay flora and fauna taken by John Bragg.

Keary Howley comes to the Reserve after moving to the Coos Bay area with Heather, his wife of 27 years. Together, they’ve been enjoying cycling, hiking, camping, skiing, paddle boarding, backpacking, and gardening in their new state. “I’m excited to be part of the South Slough  Reserve team; it gives me a chance to apply my diverse GIS experience in a newto me!coastal environment and increase my knowledge,” he says.

Keary has a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in geography from the University of New Mexico. He has worked in the GIS field for nearly 20 years in both private and public sectors and started a GIS program at New Mexico’s San Juan College, where he taught for three years.

Much of Keary’s work focuses on creating maps, collecting GPS data, and analyzing spatial data. He enjoys the variety of projects and problem solving. “With GIS there’s always a number of possible solutions to any question and figuring it out is half the fun,” says Keary.

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