Eastern Oregon University > Outdoor Adventure Program > OAP Staff

OAP Staff

OAP Director

Michael Hatch

Hatch is the Outdoor Adventure Program Director and an Instructor of Health and Human Performance for Eastern Oregon University. This dream job continues Michael’s lifelong passion of enveloping himself in everything outdoors. A native of Boise, Idaho, Hatch received a B.S. degree in Resource Conservation/Wilderness Studies from the University of Montana and his M.S. in Education from Eastern Oregon University.

For over a decade Hatch worked as a mountain guide, backcountry ski guide, and helped manage Forest Service recreation programs for operations in both Idaho and Northeast Oregon. Hatch’s favorite outdoor medium and subject to teach is snow. Through the years he has taught avalanche courses to hundreds of recreationists, college students, and EMS personnel as an American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Level 1 and Level 2 Course Leader and professional member of the American Avalanche Association (AAA). He is a board member and forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC). Currently, Michael has certifications as a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level 3, Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT1), and is a Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator.

Hatch is a steadfast believer in the primacy of local landscapes and the outdoors as catalysts for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. He has explored many landscapes around the world such as Chile, Ecuador, New Zealand, Europe, Alaska, and Central America. He is an avid biker, mountaineer, climber, hiker, skier, and whitewater enthusiast. He loves introducing people to new outdoor experiences and giving them the skills and confidence to face and overcome challenges.


OAP Outreach and Engagement Coordinator

Josh Ford

To say Josh is vital to the OAP is an understatement. This guy over the last four years has been a major catalyst for profound programmatic and student engagement growth. Josh assist’s the OAP Director with targeted, on-campus outreach and engagement to underrepresented student groups at our rural university and in our region, including non-traditional students and students of color, to increase their participation in and access to OAP programming.

Originally from McMinnville, Oregon this is where Josh developed his love of the outdoors. Fly fishing and the ocean first peaked his interest and started him on his outdoor enthusiast journey. Once at EOU, Josh took up climbing, mountaineering and snowboarding. During his freshman year Josh was hired onto the OAP staff where he was able to expand his knowledge of outdoor sports and mentor others. He enjoys teaching others what the area has to offer and how to access it. Prime habitat for Josh exists between the surf breaks of the frigid Oregon beaches to our highest peaks in Eastern Oregon. Josh is currently studying fish and wildlife conservation with the hopes of one day being able to restore key salmon and steelhead habitat here in Oregon. Looking really hard you might find him floundering up a climbing route at the local crag or pioneering the sport of extreme snowshoeing. 


OAP Staff Members

Jessica Thomas

As our work study student Jessica helps with a diverse range of programming. You can find her in our rental shop helping students, staff, and community members with outdoor equipment rentals. She assists with OAP activities and event planning, and also helps update the OAP website.

Jessica is a junior at Eastern pursuing an Elementary Education degree. She discovered the OAP just before her freshman year started and instantly fell in love. She was a part of the East tracks camping trip and quotes “It was a perfect introduction into what this college is about and how easily it is to make friends here.” She has always been an athletic, “outdoorsy” person and this program was perfect for that. She grew up in a farm town so she was always outside either working or trying to beat the summer heat in a sprinkler with her siblings. She also grew up doing a lot of sports. She did softball for 8 years, tennis for 2, swimming for 3 and then track for 4. She looks forward to becoming a teacher, but is excited to continue finding ways to keep outdoor activities in her life. Since working at the OAP, she has branched out her involvement with outdoor activities to things like rock climbing, mountain biking, and paddle boarding. She enjoys every trip she goes on, whether its with the OAP, going backpacking through Hells Canyon, or going on a hike by herself on Meacham, she is always excited to try out all the knew things she learns everyday at the OAP.


Emily Andrews

For two years Emily has been one of our primary staff members at the climbing wall. She is super friendly and knowledgable. Last summer, Emily was instrumental in helping us deliver quality programming to youth groups and camps on campus and up at the wall.

Emily Andrews is a Sophomore here at EOU, she is currently working on her Bachelors of Arts; majoring in English, with hopes to be an English teacher at the high school level. Her hobbies include anything that lets her be creative, but she especially loves writing and painting. She also enjoys being outside; whether that is hiking up at MERA, snowboarding at Anthony Lakes, or boating on close by rivers or reservoirs. While at EOU, she has taken trips through the OAP and loved how much adventure she had without having to worry about planning and purchasing of equipment, you just sign up, pay, and you’re off.


Amy Coffman

Amie is someone you can count on to step up to a challenge and show solid leadership. For three years, Amie has been a vital force in helping the OAP be successful on a number of fronts. From helping manage the rental shop to keeping the climbing wall running efficiently, Amie is one of the reasons our program continues to grow and prosper.

Amie Coffman is majoring in Agriculture Education. She is currently enrolled as an EOU and OSU student. She is from Athena, OR. A fun fact about her is that she really really really like COWWSSSSS!!!! She is currently working at the rock wall in Quinn Coliseum. Some of the outdoor activities that she enjoys are hunting, fishing, rock climbing, working with bovine, and snowmobiling. If you would like to know a little more about Amy you will always be able to find her at the rock wall or you could join Ag Club!


Nicole Clark

Nicole is proving to be of the OAP’s best new recruits. You’ll find her most of the time helping students and community members up at the climbing wall. In fact, Nicole has been leading our partnership and engagement with the Union County Juvenile Department. She also is one of the founders of the EOU Trail Running Club on campus.

Nicole Clark is a sophomore studying natural resources here at EOU. She is from Puyallup, Washington. She works at the Outdoor Adventure Program on campus primarily at the rock wall in Quinn Coliseum. This year she wants to become more familiar and comfortable with the forests surrounding La Grande in hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities. Fun facts about Nicole: she loves coffee, she has a fish named Felix and she has a tattoo of mt. Rainer!


Lydia Schaefer

Lydia is what you’d call a quintessential outdoors woman. She excels in a number of disciplines from snowboarding to rock climbing. While she works mostly up at our climbing wall, Lydia is also a leader in both the ski and snowboard and climbing clubs. Find her up at a local crag or ski patrolling at A-Lakes.

Lydia, she is a junior at EOU majoring in Chemistry. She has always loved the outdoors and she participates in many outdoor recreational activities. She particularly enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, and backpacking! During ski season she volunteers on Anthony lakes ski patrol (please don’t get hurt on a powder day), and during summer break she fights wildland fire for the U.S. Forest Service. You can find her up at EOU’s indoor rock wall where she loves to introduce people to the sport!