This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held February 6, 2016
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters information
Showing Full Presenter Bios     [show Brief Presenter Intros]   

Jeff Adams

photo of Jeff and youngster investigating something in deep grassJeff is a Marine Water Quality Specialist and Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at Washington Sea Grant, working on a wide range of aquatic and watershed issues on Washington’s Kitsap Penninsula and beyond.

He supports various beach naturalist-, watershed stewardship- and invasive species- programs; and he supports their associated citizen science opportunities.

Jeff is passionate about sharing the wonders of watery worlds with all who will listen. He enjoys island life with his wife and two budding beach naturalists.




Rein Attemann

Rein standing in snow with backpack on

Rein Attemann is the Puget Sound Advocacy Manager at Washington Environmental Council's People For Puget Sound Program where he engages members, activists, and the public to take action to protect and restore Puget Sound.

Over the past eight years, he has organized the annual Environmental Lobby Day for the environmental community; generated grassroots support during the legislative session; built a diverse stakeholder coalition on oil spill issues; managed activists, interns and volunteers; and helped garner public support for a strong Action Agenda for the health of Puget Sound.In 2011, he directed a successful legislative effort to strengthen the Washington State's oil spills prevention program.

A regular visitor to Puget Sound, he moved here in 2004, a natural fit given that he is a Pisces and his childhood years were spent on the beaches and salt marshes of Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. San Juan Island's beauty and its archipelago landscape bring solace, calm, and appreciation to him. Plus, he loves picking his own oysters at the Westcott Bay Oyster Farm. When not at work, Rein loves to travel, bike, hike, ski, sail, cook, and sauna in his back yard with his wife Marcy.

Brian Atwater

head shot of Brian AtwoodBrian Atwater is a research geologist with the US Geological Survey. He began working for the USGS in 1974 in California, and relocated to the Seattle office in 1985.

Brian’s forte is coastal geology: observing and interpreting rocks, sand, and mud to learn about earthquakes and tsunamis. His discoveries and basic research have led to a better understanding of such natural hazards in Washington State, Japan, Chile, Thailand, and the British Virgin Islands.

For the purpose of saving more lives from the threat of tsunamis, Brian has contributed to the writing of fact sheets and public safety booklets which circulate among the people of several countries.

Highlights of his field work include surveying remnant marshes in the San Francisco Bay estuary; mapping the geology of the Sacramento and San Joaquin River deltas; analysis of Pleistocene glacial-lake deposits of the Sanpoil River Valley in northeastern Washington; paddling a canoe through a cedar ghost forest on the Copalis River; finding the remains of a native Pac NW coastal village under a thick layer of mud; and reconnaissance geologic mapping in coastal Indonesia.

Currently Brian serves on a panel of scientists, creating solutions for the water distribution problems of the State of California. Brian is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington.

To use his own words, “I am just a mud geologist, a trans-Pacific detective.” And what are some of the tools of a trans-Pacific-geo-detective?--WWII trench shovels, dendrologists, a shogun’s library, tidal charts, 40 ft antique strip maps, historians, observant pioneers, the ability to read between the lines, Charles Darwin, information analysts, 7 dead trees that talk, math skills, patience, a canoe with a paddle, seismologists, diplomacy for gaining access to private property, international colleagues, a feline geodist, radiocarbon dating, and an understanding of Spanish and Japanese.

Brian is a coauthor of the January 2016 edition of The Orphan Tsunami of 1700— Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America, by Brian F. Atwater, Musumi-Rokkaku Satoko, Satake Kenji, Tsuji Yoshinobu, Ueda Kazue, and David K. Yamaguchi.

Eric Beamer

photo of Eric standing on boat Eric Beamer is Research Director for the Skagit River System Cooperative, where he has worked studying the ecology of salmon freshwater, estuarine, and nearshore habitats since 1984.

Mr. Beamer is a principal investigator in the following areas of research:

* landscape processes influencing habitat conditions

* identification of juvenile Chinook salmon life history patterns

* factors influencing wild Chinook salmon production

* use of non-natal estuaries & small streams by juvenile Chinook salmon

* monitoring effectiveness of estuary restoration projects for Chinook salmon recovery

Barbara Bennett

Photo of Barbara Bennett at shorelineA recreational scuba diver and ocean kayaker, Barbara is an environmental educator who has combined her life-long fascination with the marine world with her professional skills in the field of adult education. Barbara holds an MMA degree from the School of Marine Affairs (now SEMA) at the University of Washington and an MA in Adult Education from George Washington University. Barbara has served as the Program Coordinator of WSU Island County Beach Watchers from 2010 through the program's close in December 2015. She will become an independent consultant and contractor following formation of the new organization, Sound Water Stewards of Island County, in January 2016.

Larry Berdan

Co-presenter for "What's the Buzz? Grid Overview, Backup Generators, and Electrical Safety." Larry will discuss technical and practical details of backup generators.

Helen Berry

Helen Berry is a marine ecologist who maps and monitors nearshore habitat for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the state steward of intertidal and subtidal aquatic lands.

Helen’s current projects include long-term monitoring of kelp, seagrasses and intertidal biotic communities. Findings from these projects are used to track habitat condition for DNR, the Puget Sound Partnership and other organizations.

Helen has an MS in Oceanography from Oregon State University.

Doug Bishop

Doug Bishop has been cruising since 1994 throughout NW Washington and Canada. Having visited many islands, he has seen areas of Washington that few others have had the opportunity to see. He will discuss ways to access these islands and enjoy their remote wonders.

Walt Blackford

Walt has lived in Langley since 1996. He joined Puget Sound Energy in 2008 after four years as City Administrator for the City of Langley. Walt's interests and professional activities have long focused on resource sustainability.  His current responsibilities include organizing and presenting workshops on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and safety and emergency preparedness.

Colin Bloom

Colin BloomI am currently a graduate student in Geology at Central Washington University studying coastal sedimentology and geomorphology. In 2014, I graduated with a BA in Geology from Occidental College where, for two years, I studied part time and worked on Mars Landing Site Selection at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In 2015, I accepted a six-month position with the National Park Service to work on the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail and, most recently, this Fall I began graduate studies at Central Washington University.

My current research interest is in identifying past and future landslide- generated tsunami hazards in Island County.

Ken Campbell

Photo of Ken CampbellKen Campbell is a paddle sports instructor with expedition experience in Washington, California, British Columbia and Newfoundland.

He has authored several books on Pacific Northwest kayaking. As Director of the Ikkatsu Project his work focuses on environmental issues that affect our oceans.

In 2014, Campbell paddled from Olympia to Bellingham in a kayak made out of discarded plastic bottles. This voyage of the Hyas yiém raised awareness about the damaging effects of plastic debris in Puget Sound. During this expedition Campbell organized beach cleanups, gave presentations, and conducted surveys and microplastics sampling.

The plastic bottle boat, named Hyas yiém, is now on exhibit at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma. A documentary of this expedition was released Spring 2015 as a film/book set entitled "Message in a Plastic Bottle".

The Ikkatsu Project continues to maintain beach monitoring and cleanup programs, provide public outreach through presentations and film, and work with schools, tribes, community organizations and non-profits. Why?--To connect people with their natural surroundings in a real and lasting way.

Ann Casey

Ann Casey is past President of Whidbey Audubon Society and a retired educator and administrator. Since retiring to Whidbey Island, Ann has spent time learning and understanding the natural world she shares with many other species of the air, on the earth, and in the waters surrounding Whidbey.For the past five years, Ann has volunteered as a member of the Pigeon Guillemot  project and joined the Guillemot Research Group this year.

Ann is an avid outdoors woman and enjoys kayaking, hiking, fishing and reading.

Mike Cenci

Photo of Officer Cenci in uniform standing on a boatMike Cenci is the Deputy Chief of Fish and Wildlife Police and oversees land and marine operations west of the Cascades. He has been with the agency for three decades.

He also worked as a Deputy Sheriff in a rural county, and as a U.S. Special Agent with NOAA Fisheries.

Mike has two daughters who, at ages 11 and 15, love the outdoors. Herding them back indoors is a constant struggle, but less challenging then convincing them the concept of catch and release is not a government conspiracy.

Police Badge logo of WA State Fish and Wildlife

Eric Cheney

Eric CheneyEric Cheney has been a faculty member at the University of Washington since 1964, with visiting professorships at Stanford and two South African universities. He and his wife, Ingrid, a retired accountant, live in Shoreline.

His teaching and research have been primarily on the geology of mineral resources and the geology of Washington. For the past three years he has been investigating the distribution of cobbles of red chert on the beaches of Puget Sound (including Whidbey Island).

Eric was the main geological opponent of the proposed Skagit nuclear plants (1974-1980). He is the editor and a contributing author to "The Geology of Washington and Beyond, from Laurentia to Cascadia", which was very recently published by the University of Washington Press.

Eric has led many geological field trips in Washington for the Northwest Geological Society (of which he was a founder) and other geological societies.

Rich Childers

Logo for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Rich is currently employed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) as a Senior Level Fisheries Policy Coordinator. In this capacity, he supervises a team of fishery managers and biologists responsible for managing and regulating Puget Sound shellfisheries, including Dungeness Crab.

He earned a BS degree in Fisheries Science from Humboldt State University and MS degree from Oregon State University. His graduate research at OSU focused on implementing field sampling and laboratory experiments to determine the impacts of a lethal microsporidian disease in the Oregon Dungeness Crab population.Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister) Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service



Dungeness crab photo courtesy of USFWS

From 1988 to 1991, he lived on the coast of Ecuador working as a fisheries biologist and field station supervisor for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). His work in Ecuador was focused on quantifying incidental marine mammal mortalities during tuna fishing operations and developing methods to reduce such mortalities.

Rich also worked for several years as a Fisheries Biologist and research vessel pilot in the Alaskan Arctic.                                                                                                    

Dale Christensen

Photo of Dale ChristensenDale Christensen  has been an avid kayaker for much of the past decade. He has circumnavigated Whidbey Island and kayaked the waters of Fidalgo and Camano Islands, Kyuquot Sound and the Pacific Rim National Park areas of British Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula.  He has co-taught Sound Waters classes for the past several years, and hosts occasional kayak safety training classes on Deer Lake.  One of his great thrills is catching salmon from his kayak....without a net!  He will share information about how to get started kayaking on Whidbey, equipment and safety tips and day trip routes along with a few anecdotes thrown in for good measure.

Wendy Connally

photo of Wendy ConnallyWendy Connally is the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Diversity Division Citizen Science Coordinator. She works with professional biologists, conservation partners, and volunteer Citizen Scientists to design and implement priority-species and -habitat data collection projects.

She works with eBird Northwest as a tool to facilitate and drive Citizen Science priority bird data projects and is designing other taxa projects to meet Department needs.

Her background is in wildlife conservation planning, stakeholder development, and on-the-ground stewardship.

Conservation does not happen without people – so, she’s shifted her career in a way to more actively contribute to that conversation.

See also LinkedIn profile:

Tess Cooper

TTess Cooperess Cooper is an Associate Critical Area Planner for Island County Planning and Community Development. Her responsibilities include development review and evaluation of wetlands and Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas.

Tess has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography – Environment and Resource Management from Western Washington University and a Professional Certificate in Parks / Environmental Law Enforcement. Ms. Cooper has ten years of experience in resource management and environmental compliance.

Maribeth Crandell

photoo of maribeth crandellMaribeth was the Environmental Educator for the City of Oak Harbor for 5 years before joining the staff at the Island County Environmental Health Department.

She coordinates the BEACH and Shellfish Programs and monitors water quality in popular swimming areas. She's a WSU Beach Watcher, Waste Wise volunteer and Climate Steward graduate.

Jon Crimmins

Picture of Jon CrimminsJon Crimmins, the park manager who runs Fort Casey and five other state parks on Whidbey Island, grew up just down the road from the former U.S. military installation and spent much of his childhood making it his own personal playground.

Crimmins, a 1993 graduate of Coupeville High School, is in his 17th year serving as a ranger with the Washington Parks Service and his fourth year at Fort Casey.

Relatively recently, personnel cuts in the state parks system led to the development of park management areas in which one park manager is responsible for operations at multiple state parks. 

Since 2012, Crimmins has managed the Central Whidbey Area, which includes Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, South Whidbey, Joseph Whidbey, Ebey's Landing and Possession Point state parks.

Prior to his current position, Crimmins worked for three years across Admiralty Inlet at Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island. He also had previously worked eight years at South Whidbey State Park.

June Davis

June has worked in the nursery industry for the past 20 years and is a Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH), Beach Watcher (Class of 2007), and Master Gardener.

Currently she consults with gardeners to help them choose the plants that work best for their gardens.

Martha Ellis

Photo of Martha and Steve Ellis

Local naturalist and Coupeville resident, Martha Ellis has been giving talks and leading nature walks for over 20 years.  Martha is a member of the Washington Native Plant Society and the Whidbey Audubon Society.














Steve Ellis

Photo of Steve and Martha EllisLocal naturalist and Coupeville resident Steve Ellis has been giving talks and leading nature walks for over 20 years. Steve is a former President of Whidbey Audubon Society.


Mike Ford

Photo of Mike Ford at seaAfter graduating with degrees in biology and genetics from Stanford and Cornell Universities, Michael Ford began work at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 1995, serving as Director of the Conservation Biology Division since 2003. In his twenty-year career at NWFSC, Mike has worked on a wide variety of projects related to marine conservation and published over forty papers and numerous scientific reports. Mike was initially hired to study interactions between hatchery and wild salmon, and in 2002 he published an influential paper that subsequently became the foundation for many of the hatchery reform efforts in the Pacific Northwest. His work was also important for providing the framework the National Marine Fisheries Service uses to develop recovery goals for threatened salmon.

Mike starting studying killer whales in 2004, as a member of the status review team that recommended the southern resident killer whale population be protected under the Endangered Species Act. In 2006, Mike began to oversee the NWFSC’s marine mammal team, which conducts research to understand how to best recover the southern resident population. Mike’s own research has focused on using genetics to understand the breeding structure of the population, and on understanding the whales’ diet. The research team as a whole has focused on a wide variety of issues, including how the whales respond to disturbance from boats and noise, their seasonal distribution and habitat use, contaminant levels, and response to varying salmon abundance. More information on NWFSC’s killer whale research program is available on the NWFSC website:

Erika Frost

photo of Erika FrostErika is a science educator with a background in program administration and volunteer coordination. Since 2014, she has coordinated volunteer and internship programs for COASST, (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, a Puget Sound citizen science program of the University of Washington).Erika  is responsible for communicating with COASST volunteers, conducting training sessions, and coordinating the COASST intern program.

Prior to joining COASST, Erika worked as a marine science interpreter at the Seattle Aquarium and led school programs at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Erika studied Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. She has worked as an educator for zoos, aquariums, nature centers, and non-profits throughout the country, connecting the public to engaging science education opportunities.

When not in the COASST office, Erika enjoys SCUBA diving, hiking, camping, playing piano, and writing music.

Richard Gammon

Photo of Richard GammonDr. Richard H. Gammon is Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjunct Professor (Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. He is a former Co-Director of the UW Program on the Environment (2004-2007).  He received his BA in Chemistry from Princeton University (1965), and his MA and PhD in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University (1970).

Dr. Gammon was co-author of the first Scientific Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990. As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the US program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2(NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, 1982-84). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in chemistry, oceanography, atmospheric science, biogeochemical cycles, and climate change. His research has emphasized measurement and interpretation of atmospheric trace gases critical to climate change. Dr Gammon is active in improving public understanding of the climate change challenge.

Maggie Glowacki

Photo of Maggie Glowacki Maggie Glowacki is a Senior Land Use Planner and Fisheries Biologist for Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). Maggie leads the regulatory updates to Seattle’s environmental regulations. Maggie is currently working on the update to Seattle’s Environmental Critical Areas regulations and she recently completed the comprehensive update to the City’s Shoreline Master Program. Maggie has her Master’s Degree in Natural Resources and Fisheries and has worked as a Land Use Planner for Seattle DPD for fifteen years. In addition to her work on environmental regulations, Maggie is working on a mitigation program for the City of Seattle that will introduce a unit of measurement for shoreline habitat that will aid in the implementation of the new Shoreline Master Program. Maggie has also recently completed an EPA grant that created the Green Shores for Homes program.  This is an incentive based program that encourages residential property owners to make environmental improvements along their shorelines.

David George Gordon

David George Gordon is the award-winning author of 20 books on topics that range from watching gray whales and bald eagles to appreciating cockroaches, coral reef fishes and land snails. The New York Times called his Field Guide to the Slug "gripping," citing its "almost breathtaking" account of snail sex.David Gordon

The freewheeling naturalist has been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not, National Geographic Kids, The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. He's been a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, ABC's Nightline and The View. Gordon has been a guest speaker at the American Museum of Natural History, the San Diego Zoo, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Northwest Flower & Garden Show and many other prestigious venues.

Gordon and his wife Karen Luke Fildes, illustrator, enjoy leading weeklong programs, weekend retreats and one-day workshops on writing and science illustration. They live in Seattle with their pet tarantula Wes.

Emily Grason

photo of tidal flats and Emily holding a quadratEmily Grason is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biology at the University of Washington studying invasive species.

Exploring what happens to an ecological community when new species arrive has a lot to teach us about the role evolution plays in species interactions.

photo of Emily holding a tiny marine organism









In pursuit of this knowledge, Emily has schlepped miles across Washington's mudflats, glued snails to rebar (and her own fingers), and decorated oysters (and her own fingers) with nail polish.

Emily also enjoys science communication, and you can read more about her research and writing at her website:

Rob Hallbauer

Photo of Rob HallbauerRob Hallbauer received his B.S. degree in Conservation and Natural Resource Management from North Carolina State University. His professional experience includes work as an Environmental Health Specialist with Island County. Rob also has worked for a private sector civil engineering firm, as well as working as a self-employed private consultant, working with both wastewater and stormwater systems. He is now employed by the Whidbey Island Conservation District as a Natural Resource Planner, working on such things as farm planning, timber management plans, and alternative stormwater systems.

Anna Hallingstad    Presenting:
Jack Hartt

Cartoon of a beaver dressed in a ranger's uniformJack Hartt was born and raised in the Ballard area of Seattle, and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of his life.

He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Forest Management, and has spent the past 34 years of his working career devoted to Washington State Parks.

He has been the Park Manager at Deception Pass State Park for the past eight years, where he manages six square miles of our neighborhood and over fifteen miles of Puget Sound shoreline, including ten islands.

Jack is a former defensive tactics instructor, and now a fitness instructor for Washington State Parks.  Jack likes to play:  he plays music, plays with his kids, and plays basketball, pickleball, and golf.  He enjoys people, photography, writing, going to the beach, kayaking, flying, and sunsets.

John Hudson

photo of John holding out a Dungeness crabJohn has thirty years experience boating and scuba diving in Puget Sound. He is a graduate of Skagit Valley Community College's Marine Technology Program.

He has been Squadron Education Officer of the Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron, and is a member of the Oak Harbor Yacht Club. He has taught wooden canoe building at Red Rocks Community College.

John's hobbies include woodworking, wooden boat building, cruising, backpacking, and grandchildren.

Most importantly, he is an aspiring member of the International Society of Crab Whisperers.

Sego Jackson

Photo of Sego Jackson

Sego Jackson is City of Seattle's Strategic Advisor for Waste Prevention and Product Stewardship and works in the areas of waste prevention, recycling, organics management, and product stewardship/producer responsibility. In this position, he monitors and advises on related legislation at the local, state and federal level. Sego also serves as Policy committee Chair for the Northwest Product Stewardship Council.

Sego is most noted for his work on product stewardship/producer responsibility systems and legislation and played a significant role in the drafting and passage of Washington State's landmark producer responsibility bill for electronics (2006), the nation's first full producer responsibility law for electronics. This law has now resulted in the manufacturers of electronics providing over 280 locations across Washington where citizens can responsibly recycle their televisions and computers at no cost.

Producer responsibility is a policy approach that requires the producers of products and packaging to provide or finance the collection, reuse, recycling and/or proper disposal of their products and packaging when the consumer is done with them and is seeking a means of recycling or special disposal. Sego is often involved with national, regional or state stakeholder processes or negotiations on this subject,and has helped develop policy proposals related to batteries, carpet, mercury lighting, medical sharps, packaging, paint, pharmaceuticals, solar modules and thermostats.

He is a founding steering committee member of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and is the Chair of its Policy Subcommittee.  His activities include promoting product stewardship for a wide range of toxic products; working to decrease the impacts of packaging and increase its recycling; and closing the foodcycling loop through effective composting of food waste and other organics and returning that compost to local farms and gardens.

Sego lives on South Whidbey Island in the Maxwelton watershed.

Aileen Jeffries

photo of Aileen JeffriesAileen has been using acoustics to study harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea for the past eight years. The primary location for this work is Burrows Pass and nearby waters around Fidalgo Island.

She serves on the Puget Sound Partnership, Puget Sound Ecological Monitoring Program, Marine Mammal sub-committee.

Currently Aileen explores ways to use acoustic monitoring to help establish population baselines for marine mammals.

Aileen has enjoyed a 40 year career as a research scientist with specialties in computer modeling and analysis. She taught at several colleges and universities and holds a Master’s degree in physics.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a Principal Planner with Island County Planning and Community Development and is currently responsible for managing Island County’s GMA mandated Comprehensive Plan update, an update to the County’s critical area regulations, and the Island County Shoreline Master Program update.

Commissioner Jill Johnson

Commissioner Jill JohnsonJill Johnson is serving her first term as Island County Commissioner representing District 2, which is comprised of the community of Oak Harbor as well as areas of the county to the west and east of the city. She was raised on Whidbey and is a fourth-generation Washingtonian whose family has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest.

Jill earned a degree in Communications and Economics from Central Washington University and worked throughout the country pursuing career opportunities.  After a decade away, Jill returned to Whidbey Island to live what she describes as “a real life” near family, friends and specifically her niece, Lydia.  Immediately upon her return she put her leadership skills to use getting involved in the effort to build a new Wildcat Memorial Stadium and renovate the Oak Harbor High School. A product of the Oak Harbor School System, she is a strong advocate for quality public education and the direct impact it has on local economies.

Hired by the Oak Harbor Chamber in 2006, Jill was able to help the organization navigate the rough waters of an economic downturn without reducing the core services Chamber Members and the North Whidbey community have come to depend on.  Her ability to identify revenue streams and control expenses, while still pursuing the Chamber organization’s goals with an honest and clear message, has earned her respect and trust. She was elected to the Board of Island County Commissioners in 2012. Jill serves on a number of County committees ranging from the North Sound Mental Health Advisory Board to the Joint Administration Board on Tourism. She also serves on the State Adult Behavioral Health Systems Task Force (ABHS)and the Governor's MCO/RSN Workgroup. She is a member of the North Whidbey Rotary Club.

Jill and her husband Alex live in Oak Harbor.  You can often see them driving in Alex’s favorite 1974 Yellow Ford pickup, crabbing in their not-so-secret location off of Maylor’s Point, hiking the trails at Ebey’s Reserve, or wandering around the local farmers market with their niece Lydia. The couple have no children, but are in on-going negotiations to get a dog.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson, local watercolor artist and photographer and Joy Johnson, writer, have created and published four books containing colorful, close-up photographs of birds, most found on Whidbey Island.

Together, the Johnsons study ornithology and have spent countless hours observing and photographing birds in the field and in their own yard.

Using Craig's photos, animations and graphics they created a movie, "Birds and Backyard Wildlife Habitat", to share their passion and inspire others to protect birds and wildlife habitat, starting right in their own backyard.

In addition to their popular photographic book of local birds, Our Pacific Northwest Birds & Habitat, the Johnsons authored two children's books, "Harry the Woodpecker's Search for a Home" and "The Amazing Hummingbird Story of Red Rufous", both beautifully illustrated in watercolor. Craig has also constructed an extensive website with more bird photos and information:

Joy Johnson

Photo of Craig and Joy JohnsonJoy Johnson, writer, and Craig Johnson, local watercolor artist and photographer, have created and published four books containing colorful, close-up photographs of birds, most found on Whidbey Island.

In addition to their popular photographic book of local birds, Our Pacific Northwest Birds & Habitat, the Johnsons recently released a new children's book - Harry the Woodpecker's Search for a Home This new book has a similar message to the Birds, Backyard Habitat & Beyond DVD.  Like their first children's book, The Amazing Hummingbird Story of Red Rufous, it is beautifully illustrated in watercolor.

Together, the Johnsons study ornithology and have spent countless hours observing and photographing birds in the field. They put together presentations using Craig's photos and colorful graphics to share their passion and inspire others to protect birds and wildlife habitat.

Craig has also constructed an extensive website with more bird photos and information:

Kurt Johnson

photo of Kurt shucking oysters on the porchKurt has spent over 30 years working in the shellfish farming industry. 

He has owned his own mussel and oyster farm and has developed nursery and grow-out systems for mussels, oysters, scallops and geoducks in the US, Mexico and Canada. Kurt has also  provided biological services for shellfish farming of clams, mussels, oysters, and geoducks.

Kurt Johnson holds a Bachelors degree in biology and a Masters in Fisheries Science.

Kurt enjoys gardening oysters on his own beach in Holmes Harbor.

Deborah Kelley

photo of Professor Kelley standing next to a towering marine robotDeborah S. Kelley is a Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. She has been involved in numerous discoveries of seafloor hot springs that vent fluids of over 700°F  and which host some of the most novel life forms on Earth.

Her current research examines the linkages between submarine volcanoes and underwater hot springs, and how they support life in the absence of sunlight. In 2000, she was part of the team that discovered the Lost City Hydrothermal Field which contains 150,000 year-old carbonate chimneys that rise 180 feet above the surrounding seafloor. The chimneys host microbes that thrive in methane- and hydrogen-rich fluids with properties of liquid drano.

Professor Kelley has participated in over 35 blue-water cruises, leading many of them. She routinely uses robotic vehicles to study the seafloor and has been on over 50 Alvin deep-sea submersible dives to depths as great as 12,000 feet beneath the ocean surface.She is the UW Associate Director of Science for the Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array that connects over 100 instruments offshore Oregon directly to the Internet.

Professor Kelley actively shares her passion of sea-going research with others, co-leading a program to teach K-12 students and teachers how to build instruments for marine and terrestrial environments. She is a coauthor of “Discovering the Deep, A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Oceanic Crust," a new book from Cambridge Press which provides over 500 stunning images of the longest underwater mountain chain on Earth and the life that thrives within these extreme environments.

Links to my teaching and research pages include:

You can connect to the underwater cabled observatory - bringing the Internet into the oceans:

And you can 'explore' the Lost City - one of the most extreme environments on Earth:

Doug Kelly

Doug was born and raised in central Illinois.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Geology/Hydrogeology from the University of Illinois.  He is licensed in the State of Washington as a GPhoto of Doug Kellyeologist and a Hydrogeologist.

He worked seven years in the Groundwater Section of the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and five years at the Olympia, WA office of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in the environmental division (consulting).

Doug came to Island County 19 years ago and worked for twelve years as the County's first Hydrogeologist, leaving the County in 2008 to work for Pacific Groundwater Group in Seattle.  Doug returned to county employment in February of 2012.

He is married and has two children.

Phyllis Kind

Phyllis KindPhyllis Kind retired from a career in academia at the George Washington University as Professor Emerita of Microbiology and Immunology and of Genetics. She holds a B.A. from the University of Montana and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

She moved to Whidbey Island in 1999 and began taking  the Beach Watcher training course. She is a past president of the Whidbey Audubon Society and has served as chair of the Marine Resources Committee and the Northwest Straits Commission.

She is a cofounder of the Pigeon Guillemot Research Group started in 2004. She currently serves on the Board of the Whidbey/Camano Land Trust and is dedicated to preserving the rural atmosphere and the beautiful wildlife habitats on our islands. 

Audrey Kuklok

Picture okf Audrey KuklokAudrey Kuklok is the Biotoxin Specialist at the Washington State Department of Health. She helps coordinate the marine biotoxin program to ensure shellfish safety by working with partners to carry out biotoxin monitoring, conducting outreach, and closing areas when biotoxin levels exceed safety standards.

Audrey has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, and a Master’s in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington.

Lou LaBombard

Lou photo of Lou LaLombardhas taught at Skagit Valley College on the Whidbey campus for 25 years.  His area of expertise includes Anthropology, Sociology, Native American Studies, and Ethnic Studies. He has worked in Archaeology and Ethnology on Whidbey and elsewhere for more than 35 years.

He has also taught wilderness survival for over 35 years.

Lou is a Seneca/Mohawk Native American.

He is also a professional Native American story teller.  He tells stories all over the United States, as well as in Europe and New Zealand.

He is married and has one grown son.  He raises horses and many other animals.

T. Abe Lloyd

photo of T. Abe Loyd outdoorsT. Abe Lloyd is an ethnobotanist who specializes in Northwest Coast indigenous foods systems.

He is the director of Salal, the Cascadian Food Institute where he works with tribal governments to research and promote ancestral foods.

Mr. Lloyd teaches courses related to natural history and ethnobotany at many regional colleges and universities.

For more information about Abe and the Cascadian Food Institute see

Kevin Lungren

father and daughter holding up a salmon caught from the beach

 Kevin Lungren, an angler from birth and life-long lover of the outdoors, thinks Whidbey Island is the ultimate sportsman's playground. In his spare time he can be found on the beach, in a boat or on any of Washington's mountain trails or peaks. He loves nothing more than sharing his love of fishing with newbies and veterans alike.

He has taught fishing classes for women (the Fishinistas) at Trinity Lutheran Church and at all four South Whidbey Farmers Markets.

He is an active member of his community, serving as President of the Whidbey Island Fishin' Club, as a SW Hearts and Hammers Board Member and as a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Clinton.

"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for the rest of his life.
Teach a woman to fish, and she'll know better
than to spend all the family's disposable income on fishing gear."

Picture is of Emma Lungren holding a winter silver salmon with Elmer Fudd (aka Kevin Lungren)

Parker MacCready

Photo of Dr. MacCready working at seaDr. Parker MacCready is a Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, Seattle. He specializes in the physics of coastal and estuarine waters, including Puget Sound and is the lead of the UW Coastal Modeling Group.

The realistic computer simulations and forecast models developed by his group have been applied to important problems such as ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and regional effects of global climate change.

He received a BA in Architecture from Yale University in 1982, an MS in Engineering Science from California Institute of Technology in 1986, and a PhD in Oceanography from University of Washington in 1991. He has written nearly 50 research papers. More information is available at his homepage:

Eric Lee- Mader

photo of Eric Lee-MaderEric Lee-Mäder is Co-Director of the Pollinator Conservation Program at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation ( In this role Eric works with the US Department of Agriculture, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and individual farmers to enhance functional biodiversity in working agricultural lands.

Eric's professional background includes previous work as an extension farm educator, commercial beekeeper, and crop consultant for the native seed industry.

Eric is the author of several books including the best-selling Attracting Native Pollinators, and Farming with Beneficial Insects: Strategies for Ecological Pest Management.

Brad McMillan

head shot of Brad Brad McMillan works as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst at the Department of Ecology helping update, maintain, and map the surface waters of Washington State.

He graduated in the Spring of 2014 from the University of Washington Tacoma, with a degree in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems.

Brad has collaborated with his father, Russ McMillan, flying UAVs for both environmental monitoring and as a hobby.  photo of Brad and his wife standing at the summit of Mt St Helens

His undergrad research at the UW consisted of using a UAV and GIS software to estimate eel grass coverage along a bio-monitoring transect in Padilla Bay.

Since that time, he and his father have worked on a variety of projects using UAV's including monitoring marine vegetation, fish counts in Dabob Bay, and construction monitoring.

When he isn't working or flying, Brad enjoys hiking, kayaking, and traveling the world with his wife Kathleen.

Photo note: Brad and Kathleen McMillan at the summit of Mt St Helens

Russ McMillan

Russ in wader boots kneeling on a tarp in front of a 4-propeller drone.

As a Toxicologist at the Department of Ecology, Russ has devoted his professional career to the cleanup and restoration of Puget Sound.

His experience using UAVs stemmed from a background in radio control modeling and photography hobbies, which were combined to provide another tool for the environmental work he does. He has explored a variety of applications for this technology and continues to advocate for the environmental uses of UAVs on behalf of the state.

In addition to building and flying UAVs, he competitively flies RC gliders and sometimes even gets out hiking or fishing local waters.

He holds an MS in fisheries ecology from UW School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, and a BS in Biology from Western Washington University.

Bridget McNassar

Photo of Bridget working with plants in greenhouseBridget has run the native plants and restoration programs for Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center since 2013.

After nine years as a middle school science teacher, she spent some time traveling and working on various forestry and ecological research projects and then went back to school for a Master’s degree.

At the University of Idaho she spent a great deal of her time gaining experience in nursery research and production, as well as organic farming.

She is so grateful to have landed in the spectacular Snoqualmie Valley. Developing and running the native propagation, research and education program at Oxbow ties in many of her passions and provides many fun challenges.

Especially interesting is discovering the many secrets of native plant propagation.

She recently took on the role of managing restoration on the Oxbow property and is in the beginning stages of creating a property-wide, long term management plan. The opportunity to work at an organization with such a strong focus on sustainable land use, conservation and education is truly a dream come true for her.

Tom Mumford

head shot of TomDr. Tom Mumford received his BA from Wabash College in 1966 and his doctorate in botany from the University of Washington in 1972. He spent three years at the University of British Columbia on a postdoctoral fellowship before joining the Washington Department of Natural Resources in 1976.

At DNR he researched the cultivation of seaweeds for the production of phycocolloids and food, the biology and management of seaweeds and seagrasses, and the inventory and monitoring of marine and estuarine habitats.

He served as a member of the Nearshore Science Team for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project.

He is a member of American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Phycological Society of America. He has taught in various universities and consulted overseas in seaweed aquaculture.

Since retirement in 2011, he continues to study marine algal biodiversity, the role of kelp in marine ecosystems, and kelp restoration. Dr. Mumford generously provides educational outreach and consulting to researchers, organizations, and the public.

Joseph Needoba

Joseph standing on deck of ship in an ice fieldJoe Needoba is an assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.

His current research is focused on the influence of dams, pollution, and changing ocean conditions on the ecosystem health of the lower Columbia River and the Oregon/Washington coastal zone.

As part of the National Science Foundation Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction, he participates in the implementation of a river-to-ocean underwater sensor network that provides real time, continuous monitoring of water quality in the Columbia River estuary.

Joe received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 2003. Before coming to OHSU he spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, CA.

Brian Ostrom

Brian graduated from Central Washington University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geology. He returned to Central in the fall of 2014 to work with Dr. Breanyn MacInnes.

His Master's research is focusing on earthquake and tsunami hazards at Crescent Harbor, Whidbey Island. Brian's research interests include coastal processes, paleoseismology and geomorphology as well as geologic hazards.

Greg Parkinson

 Greg Parkinson has worked for PSE for 33 years .--30 years on the Line Crews as an Equipment Operator working storms and regular maintenance and new  construction.  Greg will discuss electrical safety as a co-presenter for "What's the Buzz/"

Kim M. Parsons

Dr. Parsons has a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria, Canada and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Her work focuses largely on the behavior and molecular ecology of cetacean populations. Current research includes population genetic studies of porpoise and whale populations in the NE Pacific and the Bahamas, and the development of novel technologies to enhance the collection of genetic data for cryptic populations.

Jim Patton

James M. (Jim) Patton is President of the Whidbey Island Water Systems Association (WIWSA). Jim and his wife, Wendy, have resided on Whidbey Island for 20 years. Jim is a retired Navy Captain and was a member of the Island County Health Department's Environmental Health Assessment Team for five years and was the Executive Director of the Port of Coupeville for nine years. He represented two water systems that are members of the WIWSA and was elected to his current position two years ago.

Robert Pelant

Robert Pelant at Ebey's ReserveDr. Robert Pelant, a veterinarian, has lived or worked in over 50 countries. His vocation has been focused on sustainable development through food production and security, human and animal health, and transformational education.

Since moving from Thailand to Whidbey Island, Dr. Pelant has founded the Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship (PRI) on the site of the old State Game Farm (Pheasant Farm) in Coupeville. PRI is a nonprofit dedicated to restoration of endangered ecosystems including the rare native prairie at their 175 acre site.

PRI is open for tours and has facilities for use by the public, service clubs and others. There are many volunteer and educational opportunities. 360-678-5586

Dawn Pucci

close up of Dawn demonstrating equipment used for the seining field work at Cornet BayDawn has been the Lead Entity Coordinator for salmon recovery in Island Count (WRIA 6) for 3 years. Lead Entities are grass-roots watershed groups that drive salmon recovery in WA State through facilitation of partnerships and sound science.

She has been in the salmon recovery network in WA for 15 years and also previously in British Columbia.  

She has worked with forest and fish ecology, wetlands science and marine telemetry projects.

She lives on Whidbey Island with her husband (a retired Navy Chief), daughter (an exceedingly bright 11 yr old), 3 dogs (2 useful, 1 retired), 3 horses (who wish they were retired) and 8 sheep (who really don't care as long as they get fed).

Andrew Raulerson

Andrew RaulersonAndrew Raulerson received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Alabama in 2013.

He is interested in natural hazards, such as landslides and tsunamis. Since he grew up on the Gulf Coast he has always been curious about coastal processes as well.

Currently he is pursuing a Master's Degree in Geology at Central Washington University where he is searching Elger Bay Marsh on Camano Island for tsunami deposits and modeling the 900 A.D. Seattle Fault tsunami in northern Puget Sound.

Captain Joe Raymond

Captain Raymond in uniform covered with many medals, standing in front of US flagCaptain Raymond serves as the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. He first reported to Sector Puget Sound in June 2013 and was assigned as the Deputy Sector Commander until March 2014 when he assumed command.

He came to Sector Puget Sound from his most recent assignment with Coast Guard Congressional and Governmental Affairs in Washington, DC where he served first as the Coast Guard’s Liaison to the U.S. Senate and then later as the Deputy Chief of Congressional and Governmental Affairs.

Captain Raymond is a native of Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1991. He received his Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College in 1996 and graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College, College of Naval Command and Staff in 1998.

Captain Raymond’s afloat assignments include Deck Watch Officer on Coast Guard Cutter NORTHLAND (WMEC 904), Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter ATTU (WPB 1317), Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Cutter SAPELO (WPB 1314), and Commanding Officer and Plankowner of Coast Guard Cutter SHAMAL (WPC 13).

He has also served operationally ashore as the Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit (MFPU) Kings Bay. Captain Raymond’s staff assignments include the Office of Intelligence at Coast Guard Headquarters; a three year detail to Senator John McCain’s staff for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and a tour as the Coast Guard Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Linda Rhodes

Picture of Linda Rhodes doing summer field workLinda Rhodes is a research microbiologist with a PhD in molecular and cellular biology.  She currently is the program manager for the Marine Microbes and Toxins Program at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries) in Seattle.

Over the past 40 years, Linda's professional research has encompassed aquatic toxicology, fish bacterial diseases, and more recently, microbial ecology.

She represents science interests on Island County's Marine Resources Committee, and her first project as a member was the inception of SoundIQ, the interactive web map of the Northwest Straits Commission.

The bull kelp survey project gives her a wonderful excuse to get out in the kayak!

Jim Rich

Jim Rich is a retired naval officer and college lecturer (oceanography, environmental science, chemistry, web development). He is a pioneer in publishing courses on the Internet for adult continuing education with emphasis on distance learning to satisfy requirements for professional growth and licensing.  He also is an active member of the Central Whidbey Lions Club and volunteer for the Island County Division of Emergency Management as the Special Projects Coordinator.

Jim did his graduate and undergraduate work at Oregon State University, Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Harvard University.  His principal interests are oceanography and marine geology. He is coauthor of several scholarly papers on sea floor spreading. Professional societies include American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, Naval Institute.

Jon L. Riedel

Jon Riedel was born in central Wisconsin and first came to the Pacific Northwest as a volunteer in 1980.

photo of John Riedel wearing backpack and standing on a snowfield

For most of the past 30 years, he has studied the glaciers and the record of climate changes they have left in the North Cascades.  Jon’s Master of Science research at the University of Wisconsin examined evidence of glacier fluctuations during the past 1,000 years.

In 1993, as geologist at North Cascades National Park, he instituted a program to monitor the annual mass balance of four glaciers.  In 2003, he added monitoring of the Emmons and Nisqually glaciers at Mount Rainier and in 2014 began to monitor Blue and Eel glaciers at Olympic National Park.

In 2007, Jon completed his Ph.D. thesis at Simon Fraser University: “Late Pleistocene Glacial and Environmental History of Skagit Valley.”   This research focused on glacial advances and environmental conditions during the last ice age between about 30,000 and 11,500 years ago.

Current research interests include the Holocene glacial records on Mount Rainier and Mount Baker and the impact of rapid glacial recession on stream temperatures and stream flow in the Skagit River Basin.

Mindy Roberts

Mindy RobertsMindy Roberts is an environmental engineer with the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program. She manages several large studies that analyze human impacts on Puget Sound as well as on the region’s lakes and rivers.

Mindy has a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, an MS in Civil and Oceanographic Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington.

She has over 20 years of experience working on complex scientific studies. Mindy is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sievert Rohwer

photo of Professor Sievert RohwerSievert Rohwer is Professor Emeritus, University of Washington; and Curator Emeritus of The Burke Museum on the UW campus in Seattle.

From 1972-2007 his academic and research career soared as Curator of Birds and Professor in the UW Biology Department. 

Under my curatorship the Ornithology collections at the Burke Museum became internationally distinguished, with the largest collection of extended wings in the world and the second largest collection of avian tissues in the world.

In truly understanding birds one becomes an ornithologist, but also a behaviorist, physiologist, epidemiologist, ecologist, and a bird's best friend. As rumor has it, the birds keep an eye on him here on Whidbey Island.

I study evolutionary ecology and behavior, mostly of birds, with interests in avian coloration, adoption of unrelated offspring by replacement mates, avian hybrid zones, brood parasitism, phylogeography, and life history implications of feather renewal.

Professor Rohwer's research and scholarly work earned him the Cooper Society Katma Award in 2011, for “formulation of new ideas that could change the course of thinking about avian biology.” In 2006, he was awarded the AOU Elliott Coues award which recognizes “extraordinary contributions to ornithological research.”

Sievert Rohwer completed his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1971.

Bart Rulon

Bartphoto of bart rulon has been a professional wildlife artist and photographer on Whidbey Island for 23 years. He is the author of five books on wildlife art and photography.  He has traveled to South America, India, Africa, and Alaska in pursuit of his subjects.

Bart also teaches at the University of Washington and leads wildlife photography and art workshops.

For more information, see:  

Kim Sager-Fradkin

photo of Kim holding a river otter wrapped in a blanketKim Sager-Fradkin is a wildlife biologist for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and is based at the mouth of the Elwha River, where the river meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Kim has lived in Port Angeles since 2000 and worked for Olympic National Park and the USGS- Olympic Field Station before going to work for the Tribe in 2007.

Kim received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho, where she studied bear movements and distribution in the Elwha River watershed.

Kim has studied everything from marbled murrelets off the coast of California to coyotes in Yellowstone National Park, and currently focuses her research efforts on river otters, American dippers, Columbian black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, and Elwha River restoration. photo of Kim holding a fawn

Kim divides her time between work and spending time in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula with her husband and two young children.

Nat Scholz

Photo of Nat Schultz

Nat is an aquatic conservation biologist with a focus on pollution.  He did his graduate work with Boston University and the University of Washington before joining NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 1999 as a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council postdoctoral associate.  He has led the Center's Ecotoxicology Program for more than a decade, working on coastal pollution issues ranging from Hurricane Katrina to Deepwater Horizon.

To learn more about the Ecotox Program, visit:

Hugh Shipman

Photo of Hugh ShipmanHugh Shipman has been a Coastal Geologist with the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance program of the Washington Department of Ecology since 1989.

He works all over Puget Sound and is interested in coastal erosion, geologic hazards, beach restoration, and the environmental impacts of shoreline modification.

He provides technical assistance to state and local agencies, conducts trainings and educational workshops, and participates on a variety of advisory groups.

Hugh received a BA in Earth Sciences and Engineering from Dartmouth in 1981 and an MS in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington in 1986.

He grew up near the coast of Maine, but moved to the Salish Sea in 1983.

In his spare time, Hugh blogs about shoreline geology at his "Gravel Beach" website:

Fritz Stahr

Photo of Fritz StahrFritz Stahr is currently General Manager of the Seaglider Fabrication Center (SFC: at the School of Oceanography, University of Washington.

Prior to starting the SFC, he taught oceanography at UW and Pierce College, and did post-doctoral research on hydrothermal vent field heat-flux.

He co-founded the Ocean Inquiry Project in 2000, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching marine science through on-the-water experience while conducting research in Puget Sound to the benefit of both communities. 

For more information, see:

He received a Ph.D. in Oceanography from UW in 1998, studying ocean physics and instrumentation at the Applied Physics Lab. Prior to graduate school in Seattle, he was an opto-mechanical engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area for a decade after graduating from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering in 1981.

Joel Swisher

Picture of Joel SwisherJoel N. Swisher, PhD, PE, is Director of the Institute for Energy Studies and Research and Professor of Environmental Science in the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. Most recently, he has been a Consulting Professor at Stanford University and an independent consultant in clean energy technology and business strategy.

He was formerly Chief Technology Officier at Camco International, and Managing Director of Research and Consulting at Rocky Mountain Institute, where he led consulting work for numerous electric utilities and producers of goods ranging from semiconductor chips to potato chips.

Ronald Thom

photo of Mr. ThomRon has conducted research in coastal and estuarine ecosystems since 1971. His research includes coastal ecosystem restoration; adaptive management of restored systems; benthic primary production; climate change; carbon storage in restored coastal systems, and ecology of fisheries resources.

Over his 42-year professional career, Ron has directed approximately 200 multidisciplinary ecological studies on systems in California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Nebraska, and Alabama. He is very widely published in this area and has made hundreds of professional presentations, and has served on numerous professional committees.

From 1985-1989, Ron chaired the Technical Advisory Committee of the EPA’s Puget Sound Estuary Program. Between 1991 and 2013, he managed the Coastal Ecosystem technical group at Pacific Northwest National Labs.

Because of the growing international reputation of his group, Ron was invited to South Korea in 2009 to present a keynote address on Coastal Ecosystem Restoration.   In 2010, he signed an agreement for joint cooperative research in coastal restoration between PNNL and East China Normal University- State Key Laboratory of Estuarine & Coastal Research in Shanghai, the main lab in China studying coastal restoration. That collaboration continues through exchange of visiting scholars, staff, graduate students, joint proposals, and co-authored papers.

In 2010, Ron was appointed to the Science Team of the Northwest Straits Commission, and in 2014 was appointed to lead the Science Advisory team and was elected to NWSC's executive committee. He is also a former member of the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee. Since 2009, Ron has served on the Expert Regional Technical Group (ETRG) that evaluates restoration project proposals aimed at restoring ecosystem health and salmon in the Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program (CEERP). CEERP is among the largest estuarine restoration programs on the west coast. In 2011, Ron served as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board panel reviewing the Great Lakes Restoration Program. In 2010, he was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences based on career accomplishments, and in 2012, he was elected to the Academy's Board of Directors. The Academy advises the Governor on science and medical issues affecting the State. In 2013, Ron served on a panel to advise the State of Louisiana on an adaptive management program for restoring their coastline.

 Ron was selected to Chair the 2015 Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF). CERF is the largest international scientific organization focused on these ecosystems. He was also selected to co-Chair the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. He presently serves as Senior Science Advisor for the Puget Sound Partnership. He is also serving on a National Research Council panel that is providing guidance on monitoring effectiveness of restoration actions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ron has been an Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, University of Washington since 1991. He has taught courses in coastal science and ecosystem restoration for the Western Washington University program at Peninsula College periodically since the mid-1990s.

Ingrid Tohver

Photo of Ingrid TohverIngrid M Tohver is a research scientist for the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) at the University of Washington. Ingrid’s research focuses on the responses of regional watersheds to the projections of a warmer climate for the future.

In particular, Ingrid participates in studies assessing the projected shifts in the frequency and intensity of extreme hydrologic events. She is also responsible for conducting studies that detail the implications of projected changes in water resources for water managers in the region, including those working with water supply, hydropower operations, agriculture, and fish habitat. Ingrid also contributes to CIG’s outreach efforts by giving presentations on hydrologic studies and CIG’s broader research objectives to stakeholders and the general public.

Ingrid graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in botany, and from the University of Florida with a M.S. in forest science.

Veronica von Allworden

Veronica von AllwordenVeronica von Allwörden has a Masters degree in Fine Arts. She is the owner of Sky and Sea Photography specializing in underwater and aerial photography. She worked as a SCUBA instructor for 10 years, teaching in the Pacific Northwest, Australia and the South Pacific. She volunteered for the Seattle Aquarium for 11 years as a diver, research assistant and underwater photographer on a variety of projects. Veronica is a member of the Marine Stranding Network and Orca Network. She is a pilot and photographs gray whales to assist with identification when the whales are in the Puget Sound for their spring migration. Veronica has dived all over the world with sharks, from huge schools of Scalloped Hammer Head sharks in the Galapagos Islands to the elusive Sixgill Shark in the Puget Sound. She currently lives in Langley, Washington and works for Matt’s Import Haven.

David Oakes Wallin

picture of David wearing a backpackDavid Wallin is a Professor of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University. He has been at WWU since 1995 and previously worked at Oregon State University.

His research focuses on forest ecology and wildlife conservation.

He has extensive experience using satellite imagery and, over the past two years, he has begun using unmanned aircraft for his work.

James Watson

Picture of Jim WatsonJim Watson is a Wildlife Research Scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the lead researcher for statewide raptor studies. He has spent the last 40+ years studying raptors in the western United States and abroad. Jim has been employed by WDFW for 30 years, with his research focus including raptor population dynamics, migration ecology and management of raptors in human landscapes. He has deployed satellite PTTs and conducted spatial analysis of range use and migration on about 300 raptors , including bald and golden eagles, Buteos and Accipiters. Jim is presently using satellite telemetry to investigate the ranging behavior of resident raptors before and after wind turbine construction. He is also studying golden eagle movements related to lead contaminants and range-wide movement ecology of ferruginous hawks.  Jim serves on the federal technical assistance team for golden eagles.  Jim has an MS in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University and a Bachelor's Degree from University of Colorado.

Jeff Wheeler

Jeff Wheeler has worked with Washington State Parks since 1984 at eight different State Parks: Fort Worden 1984-85, Alta Lake 1986-87, Manchester 1988, Riverside 1988-91, Fort Flagler 1991-92, Lake Sammamish 1993-99, Saltwater 2000-01, and Cama Beach 2001-present.  

Jeff WheelerJeff is a member of a number of organizations, including: Beach Watchers, Center for Wooden Boats, Friends of Camano Island Parks, Cama Beach Foundation, Cama Quilters, Centrum Foundation, Waste Wise, Park Ranger's Association, Camano Law Enforcement Support Foundation, and Washington State Parks Foundation.  

Jeff's education history includes an Associate Degree from Penninsula Community College (business), Tech Degree from Everett Community College (Law Enforcement), and a BA from Eastern Washington University (Outdoor Rec.) His hobbies include wood working, canoeing, gardening, book collecting, music.


[back to top]