Staff Spotlight: Katie Zieber

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We’re thrilled to welcome Katie Zieber (she/her) to The Environmental Center team in the role of Communications Coordinator! This is a brand new role for the organization, and one that we’ve been excited about adding for a long time. Katie will be crafting our newsletters, engaging with you on social media, providing resources via our website, and so much more.

Katie, who grew up in Temecula, California, comes to TEC with a marketing degree from Oregon State University. After school, she moved to Austin, Texas where she worked as a content producer and editor for a business that supports entrepreneurs. But she couldn’t stay away from Oregon for too long, and landed here in Bend in early July 2021. She was drawn to TEC as an opportunity to connect with and make an impact in her new community. 

Katie is a strong communicator and story-teller with a drive to collaborate. She’s a joy to be around, to work with, and I can’t wait for you all to meet her. In the meantime, you can connect with Katie by emailing And if you can’t reach her right away, she’s off-screen gardening, hiking, and training for her first marathon. Welcome, Katie!

As a new Central Oregon resident, what’s your favorite local spot so far?

I loved the Deschutes River Trail—specifically the Old Mill Reach. It’s so beautiful with all the flowers blooming and I love watching all the surfers, kayakers, and folks floating by on their inner tubes. It looks like so much fun! I’ve got to find a weekend to float the river soon.

What’s your go-to blog or podcast?

I’m a huge fan of podcasts! Particularly ones about US/foreign policy and climate change. I’ve become a pretty religious listener of “Pod Save The World” and “Pod Save America,” but I’ve also really enjoyed “A Matter Of Degrees,” “America Adapts,” as well as some of the more historical podcasts like “Slow Burn”.

How do you recharge and take care of yourself?

I feel the most at-ease when I’m digging around in the dirt or just spending time outside, so my self-care usually involves a walk of some kind, or gardening.

However, growing into adulthood has also given me a real appreciation for naps, so those are also scattered throughout my week. I honestly believe the world would be a way better place if we all worked a 20 minute nap into our daily routines. It’s the ultimate tool for a brain reset or a mood boost.

Share a photo that’s currently on your phone that sums up summer for you.

I was advised against it (apparently I have a bit of a “hot take” on summer… pun fully intended 😉 ) but in the spirit of authenticity and transparency, I feel obligated to share that I’m honestly not a big fan of summer.

I think I was too spoiled growing up in a place with basically non-existent winters and hot summers, so I never grew a true appreciation for sunshine. Also, I’m a fair-skinned redhead, so in many ways the sun is my mortal enemy. I’m sure my feelings will change after I experience winter in Bend, but for now, I much prefer cloudy, cold weather.

So in true Katie fashion, here I am at the Grand Canyon earlier this summer: enjoying the view and having a great time, to be sure… but looking a little sweaty and uncomfortable from all the sun exposure; despite the long-sleeve sun shirt and hat haha!

Let’s talk marathon training. Road or trail? What’s something you’ve learned throughout the process?

A little bit of both for me! Ugh, I have such a love/hate relationship with my marathon goal. I’ve always been active—I was a competitive gymnast, a cheerleader, and now love weight lifting, HIIT, and pretty much every kind of exercise. But despite all my athleticism, running has ALWAYS kicked my butt. So when I got it in my brain that I wanted to run a marathon, I was immediately met with a ton of challenges from old injuries, asthma, and a few boneheaded mistakes like forgetting sunscreen or running myself into the ground in the beginning (oops!).

I’m still very early in my journey, but it’s been really fun and challenging so far. The biggest lessons I’ve learned are to be patient with my body, okay with slow progress, and just keep showing up for my runs. Oh, and that physical therapy is absolute magic and everyone should do it.

Hypothetical situation: You just put in two weeks PTO. Where are you headed/what are you doing?

Edinburgh! I visited right after I graduated from high school, and I’ve been dying to get back so I can walk around the streets and take in the beautiful view from Castle Rock.