About the Board Members

A little background info on the Cooks Creek Watershed Association’s all-volunteer board of directors.

W. Scott Douglas, President

Scott has lived in the Watershed since 1990 and is currently residing in Springtown with his wife Aimee and a rotating cadre of dogs. Scott is a professional environmental toxicologist with more than 30 years of experience working in the areas of surface water hydrology, freshwater stream ecology and sediment toxicology.

He is currently employed as a Project Manager at the NJ Department of Transportation where he coordinates environmental programs and dredging projects for the State of NJ. His latest initiative involves finding ways to create sustainable transportation infrastructure programs by integrating natural design principles.  Scott has been active in the Watershed since 1990, when he became involved in opposing the proposed quarry and asphalt plant in Durham.

Scott was a founding member of both the Durham and Springfield Township Environmental Advisory Councils and a longtime member of the Springfield Township Planning Commission.  He was the driving force behind the award winning Cooks Creek Watershed Conservation Plan and currently heads up our water quality and quantity monitoring programs.

Scott loves working with children and introducing them to the great outdoors and all the wonders that it holds.  He has been active in local Scouting programs for almost 20 years, helped to found and organize the Watershed Inclusion Program (WIP) at Palisades Middle School, and conducts our popular Mini-Monster Mayhem children’s education program.

Lois Oleksa, Communications Director

Lois is a homemaker and owner of Gill O’er the Ground (a provider of high quality gardening services). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology (specializing in the field of Botany) from Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA. She has been a member of the Board of the Cooks Creek Watershed Association for more than 25 years and is trained to assist and has performed water testing for the Delaware River Keeper. She has been active in the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education and served as President of its local affiliate, GEP (Gifted Education in Palisades).

Her interest in the Cooks Creek Watershed began soon after moving to Durham.  Her family property borders Cooks Creek, located about a mile from its mouth.  When a spring flood threatened to destroy the bank of the stream and began to divert the water in a new direction, the family began to repair the banks without the use of large equipment, a “natural” correction for the problem.  The Cooks Creek Watershed Association members volunteered to assist and a bond was forged with the organization.

She currently resides with her husband, David, in Durham, Pa., and operates a small business from her property selling fresh flowers from a road-side stand. She grows oyster and shiitake mushrooms on logs in the woods and helps her husband, David, with their goats and cheese making. She is on the Durham Township Planning Commission, the Durham Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and Durham’s Open Space Committee.

In her capacity as Newsletter Editor, she is appreciative of any articles or rebuttals suitable for publication in the Cooks Current.

Jim Orben

Jim moved into the Cooks Creek Watershed in 1973 and has been a member of the Watershed Association since 1975.  He holds a degree in Environmental Science from Lehigh University and worked for many years in industrial wastewater treatment and air pollution monitoring. 

Jim has served on the Cooks Creek Watershed Association’s Board of Directors since joining the Association, for a time filling the role of president.  He has worked on many of the association’s projects including stream improvement, tree sale, roadside cleanup, newsletter and stream classification upgrades.