This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held February 4, 2017
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters information
Showing Full Presenter Bios     [show Brief Presenter Intros]   

Filipe Alberto

Dr. Alberto holding up a rope with a sample of kelp attached to it.Filipe Alberto, a population geneticist, studies the evolutionary processes shaping the spatial genetic structure of marine plants and algae.

His research approach complements classical ecological research with molecular ecology. He uses model species that constitute the foundation of important marine ecosystems, such as large brown algae (kelps) and marine angiosperms (seagrasses).

In his laboratory, students use molecular techniques and statistical modeling to understand an organism's reproductive systems.  His students also use these techniques to infer the causes and consequences of variation in allocation to sexual and asexual reproduction. These techniques also aid researchers in his lab in interpreting genetic connectivity across different levels of spatial organization, from single populations and metapopulations to whole range distributions.

Dr. Alberto is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin.

lab page:

Sarah Aldrich

Photo of Sarah AldrichSarah Aldrich has been archivist of Island County Historical Society since January 2015.  She previously lived in Istanbul where she completed her Master’s degree in Art History. There, she studied the cross cultural relationship between the Kingdom of Georgia and the Anatolian Seljuks in the thirteenth century. Her studies took her on travels to great libraries throughout the country, developing the love of history and storytelling that she has brought to her work here on Whidbey Island. 

In her time with Island County Historical Society, Sarah has placed an emphasis on digitizing the approximately 100,000 documents and over 16,000 photos in the collections within the Janet Enzmann Library and Archives.  Her efforts are aimed not only at stabilizing and protecting the collections, but also in making research more accessible.

Building upon the work of those before her, Sarah also has expanded public outreach efforts. This, in turn, has increased the usage and research requests for the archives. More than 70 individuals have used the archives for their personal and professional projects with interests that range from genealogy and commercial history to landscape design and large scale photo reproductions. Sarah greatly enjoys working one on one with each researcher to find the answers to their questions. It is through these requests that she has learned the stories of the land, water and peoples of Whidbey Island and surrounding areas that she will share in her presentation.

Rick Baker

Rick wearing a white hat

Rick currently serves as Executive Director of the Whidbey Watershed Stewards, which is an organization focused on environmental education for the general public, especially focusing on students in grades K – 7. The Watershed Stewards also engage in research and habitat restoration and protection.

Rick also serves as the chair of the citizen stewardship committee for the Smith & Minor Islands Aquatic Reserve. This committee facilitates all the citizen science research and public outreach for the Reserve.

Before retiring to Whidbey Island, Rick Baker was the Vice President and Director of Education at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA. where he worked for 22 years. The Ocean Institute is an informal educational center focused on Marine Science and Maritime History. Each year, it provides programming for over 120,000  students, ranging from kindergartners to collegians. 

Rick also taught Oceanography for 14 years at Palomar College in San Marcus, CA .

Ken Bevis

Head shot of Mr. Bevis

Ken has been working as a wildlife biologist in Washington since 1986. He has worked for a variety of agencies, and as a researcher on woodpeckers and owls.

He was one of the original spotted owl biologists on the east side of the Cascades and has worked for the Forest Service, the Yakama Nation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and now DNR.His work over the years included reviews of forestry activities and collaborations with various groups to preserve habitats.

He has also worked as a cowboy, crewed a tug boat and lived as a ski bum in Colorado. He sings, writes poetry, plays guitar and has a delightfully quirky sense of humor.


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.

Nick Bond

portrait of Nick BondNick is a principal research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) of the University of Washington (UW), and also holds an appointment as an Affiliate Associate Professor with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the UW.

He is the State Climatologist for Washington.

He has a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.

His research is on a broad range of topics, with a focus on the weather and climate of the Pacific Northwest and the linkages between the climate and marine ecosystems of the North Pacific.

He cheerfully admits to being a weather geek, as evidenced by his preference to visit Alaska in winter and steamy places like Florida in summer.

Eric Brooks

Eric Brooks has been Deputy Director of Island County Department of Emergency Management since July 2011. As Deputy Director, Eric supports the community in efforts that ensure that as a county we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Eric’s responsibilities include managing the multi-hazard emergency management program for Island County and coordinating its relation to other emergency response agencies and community groups at the local, state, and federal level. The program encompasses all phases of integrated emergency management.

Prior to assuming his duties in Island County, Eric spent 21 years in Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal protecting others on a different level around the world. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and a Master's degree in Infrastructure Planning and Management through the University of Washington.

Eric stresses the importance of community resilience and the “whole community approach.”


Stephanie Buffum

Photo of Stephanie BuffumStephanie Buffum has served as the Executive Director for FRIENDS of the San Juans since 2001.  FRIENDS is a non-governmental organization located in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, adjacent to the Canadian Gulf Islands.She works with community members,  tribes, and decision-makers at all levels of government on a variety of issues including endangered species protection, land use, marine and land management and tourism. She manages all projects, community outreach, research,  fundraising and board development and oversees work of staff and contractors. She collaborates with tribes, governments, and NGOs on shared interests internationally as well as locally. Although she has primarily focused her efforts in the Pacific Northwest, she has consulted in other areas of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Ms. Buffum holds a BA in Public Policy and Management, BS in Marine Biology, Master in Public Administration and a Master in Community and Regional Planning all from the University of Oregon. Her areas of emphasis were community and economic development, environmental law, citizen involvement and rural capacity building.

Ms. Buffum has worked in the public and non-profit sector for 23 years assisting rural communities with planning, natural resource management, and capacity building. She has worked closely with the University of Oregon and the city of Eugene, the Centre for Biological Diversity, and local, state, federal and tribal decision makers in New Mexico, Arizona, Washington State and British Columbia. She is a regular contributor in domestic and international media. She serves on various domestic and bi-national (Canada/US) committees for tourism, economic development, and environmental protection and has published papers on a variety of topics relating to these areas. She is a founding member of the San Juan County Economic Development Council and the San Juan Islands Scenic Byways Committee

Ms. Buffum resides on Shaw Island, Washington.

John Calambokidis

Photo of John CalambokidisJohn Calambokidis is a Senior Research Biologist and one of the founders of Cascadia Research Collective, a non-profit research organization formed in 1979 and based in Olympia, Washington. Between 1991 and 2013, he periodically served as an Adjunct Faculty at the Evergreen State College, teaching a course on marine mammals. His primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans.

He has served as Project Director of over 100 projects, conducting studies on a variety of marine mammals throughout the North Pacific. He has authored two books on marine mammals (blue whales and a guide to marine mammals), as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports.  He serves as Project Manager of the Southern California Behavioral Response Study and has directed long-term research on the status, movements, and underwater behavior of blue, humpback, and gray whales. Some of his recent research has included attaching tags to whales with suction cups to examine their feeding behavior and vocalizations.

His work has been covered on shows by National Geographic and others. In 2012 he received the American Cetacean Society's John Heyning Award for Lifetime Achievement in Marine Mammal Science.

Larry Campbell

Portrait of Larry CampbellLarry is the Tribal Historical Preservation Officer for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in the Cultural Resource Office.  This work entails being involved in the regulatory aspects of cultural and archaeological resources in the usual and accustomed areas of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. 

Other duties and job descriptions include:  Intergovernmental Relations/Cultural Resource Planner in the Office of Community Planning and Economic Development.  He has been involved for over 30 years in Swinomish Indian Tribal Community governmental committees, intergovernmental affairs, public relations, community development, spiritual traditions and cultural activities.

For the past 25 years, the greater part of Larry’s work has involved the interrelationships between tribal, local, regional, national, and international governmental programs.  He has presented numerous times on inter-governmental relations, cultural, spiritual and historical issues.

Tim Carpenter

photo of Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter is the Curator of Fish and Invertebrates at the Seattle Aquarium.  He supervises the Fish and Invertebrate staff, manages the Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate-related permits, and is where the buck stops for fish and invertebrate health and management issues. 

Tim has been SCUBA diving for 25 years. As a senior diver at the Aquarium he is one of our primary boat operators for field work as well as a primary collection and research diver.

Gideon Cauffman

Photo of Gideon CauffmanGideon Cauffman grew up in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. He is an enrolled member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.  Gideon became interested in archaeology at 16 while working on the Sequim Bypass Archaeological Site and later earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington State University where he also had an award-winning radio show on KZUU.

Gideon taught English in Kyoto, Japan prior to working as a contract archaeologist at U.S. Army Garrison, Yakima Training Center, where he concurrently earned a Master’s of Science in Resource Management from Central Washington University. He was an archaeologist for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation,  mostly working along the lower Columbia River. During his time at Yakama Nation, he assisted US Prosecutors and gave testimony in Federal Court pertaining to a site looting case,resulting in the conviction of two people. 

 Gideon was hired by the City of Oak Harbor on May 4, 2015 (May the 4th be with you!) Prior to taking the job in Oak Harbor and moving there, Gideon worked for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe where he completed a nomination for Tamanowas Rock to the National Register of Historic Places- one of 3 Traditional Cultural Properties in Washington State to make that prestigious list. He is also currently Tribal Gaming Commissioner, where he oversees regulatory matters at 7 Cedars Casino. He has volunteered on a review committee for No Child Left Inside, a State grant where upwards of $125,000 was awarded to local programs to get at-risk youth outdoors He also volunteers with the Oak Harbor Main Street Association. During his free time, he enjoys golfing, jogging, yoga, and playing petanque.

Drew Collins

Photo of Drew sitting down in front of rock wall at the waterline wearing a wet suit for diving

Drew Collins' life has always been connected to Puget Sound.  He grew up hiking, biking and swimming in the beautiful mountains, valleys, and waters that support life in this area, His experiences quite naturally made him an advocate for a cleaner and healthier environment.

Drew is a professional underwater and land photographer / videographer living and diving primarily in Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington. He is rarely in the water without his camera gear. He began diving in April of 2009 and to date has completed over 1000 hours in the water. ~80% of those dive hours were in Puget Sound.

He volunteers much of his time supporting life sciences and environmental activities that directly benefit the Puget Sound region. His presentations and blogs enlighten and inspire his audiences to share his passions for photography, videography, and diving.

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.

Susan Marie Conrad

Susan Marie Conrad is an adventurer, author, educator, and speaker who has paddled extensively throughout the Salish Sea—and beyond. On an early spring morning in 2010, Susan dipped her paddle into the Salish Sea near Anacortes, WA and began a 1,200-mile solo journey of the sea and soul all the way to Juneau, AK. She is excited to share that life-changing journey through the Inside Passage with Sound Waters participants—and also the book resulting from that journey.  Susan uses this expedition, and the resulting transformation in her life, as a springboard for her work, focusing on inspiring people to reach their full potential.

Her articles and photographs have appeared in Sea Kayaker, Canoe and Kayak, Adventures Northwest, and Figure magazines.  Countless newspapers, guidebooks, and historical journals also feature Susan’s work.  "Inside" is her debut memoir. She's been involved in the paddlesports industry for over 25 years and is an EXPED adventure ambassador and sponsored athlete. She currently holds an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 4 Open Water Coastal certification.

For more info: See also LinkedIn profile:

Birdie Davenport

Birdie in field holding binocularsRoberta (Birdie) Davenport has worked for the Washington Department of Natural Resources for 24 years. She has managed the Aquatic Reserves Program for the last two and a half years.

During her first 22 years with DNR she carried out research, monitoring, restoration and management on natural areas in Washington.

Birdie has worked with volunteers and students on a variety of educational and stewardship projects.

She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College.

Megan Dethier

Portrait of Dr. Megan Dethier


Dr. Megan N. Dethier is a Research Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Washington but is in full-time residence at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, where she is Associate Director for Academics and the Environment.

Since ~1978 she has been working on the shoreline ecology of the Pacific Northwest. Her first love is rocky shores, but she now also works in mud, gravel, and salt marsh habitats.

She designed a marine habitat classification system for Washington state, and has worked with the National Park Service and various Washington agencies designing shoreline mapping and monitoring programs.

Her current research efforts are mostly focused in Puget Sound, investigating the linkage between physical features of shoreline habitats and their biota, and the effects of human impacts (such as shoreline armoring) on this linkage.

Some of her greatest pleasure comes from teaching marine biology to undergraduate students, which she has done at the Friday Harbor Labs for over 30 years, but also at marine labs elsewhere including Maine and Australia.

She did her undergraduate work at Carleton College in Minnesota, then PhD work at the University of Washington.

Phillip Dionne

Photo of Phillip DionnePhillip Dionne has been with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's Habitat Science Team since 2012. His current research interests are monitoring effects of shoreline modification on nearshore habitat, identifying and assessing the distribution and characteristics of forage fish spawning habitat, assessing new methods of detecting forage fish spawn, and monitoring the implementation of marine bulkhead HPA permits to help inform the development of a more effective permit system.

Prior to joining the habitat program, Phill’s research included work with the WDFW Fish Program using mark – recapture, and acoustic telemetry to assess abundance of Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) in Washington and Oregon estuaries, and using estimates of larvae density to estimate spawning stock biomass of ESA listed eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) returning to the Columbia River.

Dr. Jamie Donatuto

Picture of Jamie standing next to colleague/tribal memberDr. Jamie Donatuto (on left) is an Environmental Community Health Analyst for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, located on the shores of the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Jamie has been conducting scientific investigations on behalf of the Tribe for the last 15 years.  She has researched toxins in local traditional foods and the impacts of climate change on the health of tribal members. She has also launched an environmental health education program, and developed community-based indigenous health indicators.

The Indigenous Health Indicators project is a collaborative effort with long-time colleague and Swinomish elder, Larry Campbell (on right). Jamie and Larry most recently launched the Swinomish Environmental Community Health Program and they work extensively on community education and outreach projects.

Dr. Donatuto completed her doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia, graduating from the interdisciplinary program of Resource Management and Environmental Studies.

A few of the many publications stemming from her work can be found under the 'resources' tab here:

The latest publication is:

Martha Ellis

Photo of Martha and Steve Ellis

Steve & Martha Ellis are Coupeville residents.  Steve currently is vice-president of Whidbey Audubon Society and Martha is a member of the Washington Native Plant Society.  Together they have been leading field trips and giving talks on a wide range of natural history topics for nearly 30 years.

Steve Ellis

Photo of Steve and Martha Ellis

Steve & Martha Ellis are Coupeville residents.  Steve currently is vice-president of Whidbey Audubon Society and Martha is a member of the Washington Native Plant Society.  Together they have been leading field trips and giving talks on a wide range of natural history topics for nearly 30 years.

Steven Fradkin

Photo of Steve FradkinSteve Fradkin has been the marine ecologist and limnologist (lake scientist) at Olympic National Park since 2000.

He is the chief scientist and natural resource manager for the park's 65-mile coastline and 650 lowland and mountain lakes. He conducts research and long-term monitoring in the coastal intertidal zone and also the lakes of Olympic National Park.  He also conducts monitoring and research in the intertidal zones of San Juan Island National Historical Park and the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park located near the mouth of the Columbia River.

A native of Detroit, MI, he holds a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University, and received his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1997. He lives in Port Angeles, WA, with his wife Kim and their two young children. There he enjoys fishing, hiking, and looking in the water.

Kelsi Franzen

Kelsi FranzenA fourth-generation Whidbey Island native, Kelsi Franzen has over eight years of experience working in the fields of environmental education and natural resources, and holds a deeply embedded passion for her home.

Kelsi joined the Whidbey Island Conservation District as Marketing, Education, and Outreach Coordinator in fall of 2016. Prior to joining the Conservation District team, Kelsi worked on four central Whidbey farms to learn first-hand how small agricultural businesses operate and collaborate to market their products.

She has worked in several educational and outreach capacities, including as a consultant for Triangle Associates in Seattle, as coordinator of program and volunteer efforts for University of Alaska Fairbank’s Girls on Ice Program, as a second grade teacher, and as a naturalist for the Pacific Science Center and North Cascades Institute.

She is a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University, with an M.Ed. in Environmental Education and a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and Administration through North Cascades Institute.

In her free time, Kelsi enjoys connecting with the many varied ecosystems of Whidbey through hiking, foraging, cooking, and wildcrafting.

Howard Garrett

Photo of Howard GarrettHoward received his degree in Sociology from Colorado College in 1980, and began working with the Center for Whale Research in 1981.

In 1996 Garrett wrote Orcas In Our Midst, a booklet oriented toward middle-school students.  Volume 2 of Orcas In Our Midst was published in 2005.  Volume 3, Residents and Transients – How Did That Happen? was published in 2011.

Garrett also wrote the entry under "Animal Culture" for the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005) and a chapter about the rescue of the solitary orca A73 (Springer), in Between Species.

He co-founded Orca Network in November 2001 with Susan Berta.

Matt George

Matt George is currently a Ph.D. candidate in his fourth year of study in the Biology Department at the University of Washington. A significant portion of his research takes place at the Friday Harbor Marine Station, located on San Juan Island, and explores interactions between marine mussels and their environment.

The biology of mussels is of interest due to their unique ability to attach to surfaces using a protein-based adhesive which cures like an epoxy, all while in seawater; a trick that synthetic, commercially available glues have yet to replicate. A mussel's ability to adhere to man-made structures is also what allows them to be farmed in suspended rope cultures, supporting a worldwide industry worth more than $1.5 billion annually that remains one of the most sustainable food sources on the planet.

Matt's research aims to understand how a mussel's glue is influenced by the environment in which it is made, particularly in regards to the predicted impacts that climate change and ocean acidification will have on the Puget Sound.

Matt graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington. From 2011 to 2012 he was employed as a research technician at the Friday Harbor Marine Station in the Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory. He has been a graduate student at the University of Washington since 2012. Matt aspires to one day work in the biotech or aquaculture industries.

Deborah Giles

Photo of Deborah GilesGiles (she goes by her last name) received her PhD from the University of California,Davis in 2014 where she is a Lecturer and Research Associate in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. Her dissertation focused on the federally listed southern resident killer whales.

Since 2009, Giles has collaborated with Dr. Samuel Wasser and dog handler Elizabeth Seely from the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology. They use scat-locating dogs to find floating whale scat,which is then analyzed to monitor the health of southern resident killer whales.  Starting in 2010, Giles also began work with an ongoing collaborative project between Cascadia Research Collective and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.   This study uses acoustic suction-cup recording tags placed on killer whales to measure noise levels received by the whales.

Giles is a Scientific Adviser and Coordinator for the Orca Salmon Alliance, a program Advisor for Killer Whale Tales, and is on the Board of Directors for the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN).

Kristen Griffin

Kristen Griffin is the Reserve Manager for Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve. She has pursued a long and widely ranging career in cultural resource management that has included working as a freelance archaeologist in Washington, a National Park Service Historian in Alaska, and Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Spokane and Spokane County.

A self-described lover of grassroots preservation, Kristen regards Ebey’s Reserve to be “…the most inspiring demonstration of the power of people-powered, local preservation anywhere.”

Rob Hallbauer

Photo of Rob HallbauerRob's professional experience includes working as a Natural Resource Planner for the Whidbey Island Conservation District, working on farm planning, timber management plans, and alternative stormwater systems. He also worked as an Environmental Health Specialist for Island County.

In the private sector, he worked with both wastewater and stormwater systems for a civil engineering firm. Rob is currently self employed, as consultant and owner of Deciduous Design Services, LLC.

Rob received his BS degree in Conservation and Natural Resource Management from North Carolina State University. 

Rus Higley

Rus has worked as Manager at the Marine Science and Technology Center since its opening in 2003.

He is a native Alaskan, but grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Marine Biology. He then went on to get his M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction from Old Dominion, and Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.

As well as managing the MaST Center, Rus also teaches classes at Highline College in Marine Biology, Environmental Sciences and Oceanography.  When not teaching, or overseeing operations at the MaST Center, Rus enjoys spending time in the water as he is a certified SCUBA master diver and river rafting tour guide.

Richard Honour

Richard Honour photo

Richard has served since 2010 as Executive Director of the Precautionary Group, a research and education firm evaluating the adverse health and environmental effects of toxic wastes which are applied to farms, rangeland and forests.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Honour had a long and distinguished career in pharmaceutical development for treatment of infectious diseases. He served as President and CEO of two companies specializing in development of biopharmaceuticals to treat antibiotic -resistant staph aureus and TB infections: (Phage Therapeutics in Bothell (1997-2002, advisor to program 2003-2004), then at Viridex Corporation in Ocala, FL from 2004-2010.

He had previously served from 1991-1995 as Executivce Vice President for Pharmaceutical Development at Cytran Corporation in Bothell, developing new peptide-based biopharmaceutical products for treatment of antibiotic resistant infections.

Richard was President and CEO of MicroProbe Corporation in Bothell from 1985-1991, managing the discovery and development of novel DNA probe-based diagnostic products for infectious diseases.

From 1983-1985, he was President and CEO of Zymogenetics, Inc of Seattle, managing discovery and development of new peptide/protein -based pharmaceutical products. He served as Executive Director of the Children's Cancer group at USC Medical Center in LA, managing clinical trials and evaluation of new drugs for treating pediatric cancer.  His early career also involved environmental research, coworking as a research scientist in the US Antarctic Research Program in 1972 and as a consultant to Argonne National Laboratory regarding environmental education related to energy development on indigenous lands in the Western US. 

He graduated with a BS in Biology from San Diego State University and a PhD in Plant Pathology/Soil Microbiology from UC-Riverside.

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.

Dave Hunter

Dave Hunter portraitDave collaborates with others looking to produce more food for our planet's increasing population  through the use of super-pollinating bees. What had started out as a backyard hobby, blossomed into a mason bee company when Dave's previous employer closed their doors back in 2008.

After doing his own study and analysis, Dave met with experts  and then created the nonprofit Orchard Bee Association to increase development standards and to exchange best practices with peers. opened their online shop in 2008, then expanded to bring mason and leafcutter bees and products to nurseries, orchards and crops.

He is on the advisory board for the 5-year USDA project on Integrated Crop Pollination with the second 5-year phase starting in 2018.

Dave co-authored the book "The Mason Bee Revolution" (2016). He is a national speaker on managed alternate pollinators, and has been a featured guest on PBS's Growing A Greener World.

Andy James

Andy James, Ph.D.

The focus of my work has been to gain a better understanding of the behavior and effects of low levels of anthropogenic compounds in the environment. This includes exploring new ways to measure them, to characterize how they move and degrade, and to determine if they might have biological impacts.

I am also interested in stormwater and stormwater treatment and, perhaps more challenging, figuring out ways in which we can promote better communication of science to policy makers.

Education: PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Washington. Masters of Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University.

Photo from Center for Urban Waters Research Laboratories, Puget Sound Institute, University of Washington Tacoma

Gregory Jensen

Dr. Greg Jensen diving near a large mass of eggs; the water is turquoise.

Greg Jensen grew up studying marine life in the Pacific Northwest, exploring beaches at low tide and learning to scuba dive as soon as he was old enough to do so. He developed a special interest in crabs and shrimps, and is an avid underwater photographer.

Since receiving his Ph.D. in 1990, he has taught at Western Washington University, the University of Washington, and the Bamfield Marine Science Centre on Vancouver Island.

Greg has published papers on a wide range of crustacean topics, including reproductive biology, the effects of invasive species, larval settlement, feeding behavior, and descriptions of numerous new species.

Professor Jensen also helps seniors at UW complete a research requirement for their major in fisheries science.

The book ,"Crabs and Shrimps of the Pacific Coast" by Greg Jensen, will be available for purchase during Sound Waters 2017. Be sure to look for his table in the exhibition hall.

Jill Johnson

Photo of Jill JohnsonIn her former lives, Jill was a teacher, trainer and international program consultant. “I’ve taught everything from creative dramatics for 6-7 year olds to adult ESL,” Jill says, “in five states and overseas.” As a trainer, she worked for organizations like Peace Corps, Save the Children, and the United Nations Development Program in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. “All of these experiences are grist for the mill in storytelling,” Jill says. “When I conjure up a magician in the desert, I remember the old gardener in my Peace Corps training program in Morocco. Storytelling is a WONDERFUL way to use life experience.”

Then she moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee, which just happens to be the home of the annual National Storytelling Festival. “For five years I sat at the feet of the best in the business. What a gift that was!” She became a board member of the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild and told throughout northern Tennessee and North Carolina.

When she moved back to the Pacific Northwest, she returned to Whidbey Island. She explored the maritime history of this region in her one woman show, “Little, but OH My!” which was chosen for the Humanities Washington Inquiring Mind program and won an Honors award in a national Storytelling World competition. In 2012, she premiered another one woman show about Rebecca Ebey, wife of famed Whidbey pioneer, Isaac Ebey. In 2011, she received the Huebner Award, a grant for historical storytelling from the National Storytelling Network (NSN). In 2014, “Rebecca” received a Winners Award in a second Storytelling World competition. 

Jill has also been a resident storyteller, teaching and telling in area pre-schools and senior centers. “There is something magical about telling to the very young… and the old”. She continues performing (storytelling and acting) and giving workshops (“my chance to teach again”) from her home in Langley.

For more information, visit Jill’s website at

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 Geologist 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), environmental division (consulting). Doug came to Island County 20 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.

Ryan Kelly

Head shot of Mr. Ryan

Trained as both an ecologist and a lawyer, Ryan Kelly has a broad set of interests focused on obtaining both hard scientific data and looking at how this data is or might be used to guide those who develop environmental policies. Thus he is drawn to projects that have both significant scientific merit and a high degree of relevance to development of policies promoting sustainable ues of marine resources.

Ryan currently studies the interplay between geography, ecology, and genetics in marine species. He also looks at how genetic and ecological research is used to develop environmental policies, particularly with respect to environmental monitoring, resource management, endangered species, and ocean acidification.

Ryan Kelly is an Assistant Professor in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.

He received his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University, and his JD from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Terrie Klinger

Portrait of Dr. Terrie KlingerTerrie Klinger is Director of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, Co-Director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center, and holds the Stan and Alta Barer Endowed Professorship in Sustainability Science in honor of Dr. Edward Miles.

Trained as a marine ecologist, she studies ecosystem-based approaches to managing natural resources in the ocean. She researches the ecological effects of environmental stressors, such as ocean acidification and habitat loss, and how rocky intertidal communities respond to and recover from disturbances.

Dr. Klinger conducting a survey in a rocky intertidal zoneShe leads a graduate training program focused on how oceans are changing worldwide and what that means to the human communities connected to them.

The Pacific Northwest is her primary study area, including the Puget Sound, the San Juan Archipelago, and the outer coast of Washington.

She received her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Photo Note: Dr. Klinger conducting a survey in a rocky intertidal zone

Jennifer Kropack

Photo of Jennifer KropackJennifer Kropack is a Planner at Dept. of Health, Office of Drinking Water (ODW). She is the lead planner for Island, Pierce and Skagit Counties which gives her special insight into the various ways counties are the same and how they are different.

She has worked at ODW for 24 years and has held a variety of positions. She has a BS from The Evergreen State College. Her expertise is in the many and various laws which intersect with water system business, water resources and conservation/efficiency. She is also self-taught and knowledgeable on the topics of budgeting and rate-setting.

Michael Kyte

Michael holding up sea weed which from a distance looks like a chimpanzee standing uprightMichael Kyte is a marine biologist,invertebrate zoologist, and scuba diver with over 50 years of experience specializing in coldwater environments and habitats,

A Washington native, he attended Everett Community College, obtained his BS in Zoology from UW and a MS from University of Maine.He worked as a consultant for almost 40 years, helping firms find balanced solutions to potential conflicts between their industry or development goals and protection of the environment. He also participated in the process of permitting several capital projects including ouil pipelines, municipal wastewater outfalls, marinas and cogeneration power plants.  his work involved conducting baseline studies and impact evaluations, designing mitigation plans and negotiating permit conditions.

Since his semiretirement in 2012, he volunteers as a citizen scientist and marine biologist with the Snohomish County Beach Watchers, the Cama Beach Foundation, and the Citizen Stewardship Committee for the Washinbgton Department of National Resources Aquatic Reserves at Fidalgo Bay and Cherry Point, conducting intertidal monitoring at these two sites annually.  Michael in hip boots standing in front of rocky shore.For the last four years he has monitored seastars at 5 sites in Whatcom, Island and Snohomish counties, recording population data and identifying stages of pathology for the University of California Santa Cruz Seastar Wasting Syndrome Program. Through his expertise, he has increased citizen science participation and support in these programs.

Outside of Washington, he has lived and worked in Oregon, Alaska, British Columbia and Maine and currently lives in North Seattle with his wife of 15 years and rescue cat, Percy. As a break from his marine biology activities, he enjoys biking on rail trails and volunteering with the Center for Wooden Boats at Cama Beach.

Eric Lee-Mader

photo of Eric Lee-MaderEric Lee-Mäder is the Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation ( In this role Eric works across the world with farmers and agencies, such as the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the United Nations FAO, to enhance biodiversity in agricultural lands.

His professional background includes previous work as an extension farm educator, commercial beekeeper, and crop consultant for the 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.

In addition to his professional background, Eric farms native plants on Whidbey Island in Washington’s Puget Sound and owns Northwest Meadowscapes, a native grass and wildflower seed company serving Washington and Oregon. www.NorthwestMeadowscapes.comEric



Robert Long

Scientist setting up remote cameras in the forestDr. Robert Long is a Senior Conservation Scientist at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. His primary responsibility is coordinating carnivore research and conservation projects associated with the zoo’s Living Northwest Program.

Robert has twenty-plus years of experience studying species such as black bears, fishers, martens, wolverines, bobcats, foxes, spotted owls, marbled murrelets, coyotes and deer.

He holds degrees from Humboldt State University, the University of Maine, and the University of Vermont.

In 2008, he and his wife and co-researcher Paula MacKay co-edited Noninvasive Survey Methods for Carnivores (Island Press, 2008).

Robert lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife and their dog. When not hiking in the wilderness or on his bike, he still finds time to play soccer a couple of times each week.

John Lovie

Photo of John LovieJohn Lovie, principal of ETI Consulting LLC, received his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Manchester, and the Graduateship of the Institute of Metal Finishing from the London South Bank University.

John worked in research and development, technical service, technical management, and regulatory compliance in the chemical industry for many years before founding ETI in 1990. His focus was on developing more environmentally friendly processes that consumed less water and produced less waste. With ETI, John has focused on business management, software and database development, systems analysis and architecture, project and program management, and client communication and training on environmental health and safety compliance.

John is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer. He currently is Vice-President of the Whidbey Island Water Systems Association, Vice President of Sun Vista/Sunlight Beach water system, and is a member of the Island County Water Resources Advisory Committee, the Island Local Integrating Organization Technical Committee, and the Salmon Recovery Technical and Citizens Committee.

Paula MacKay

Paula sitting in a sub-alpine meadow full of yellow flowers with her dog Paula MacKay is a writer, field biologist, and communications consultant for conservation.

Paula grew up near Walden Pond. After earning a degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont, she became an environmental activist in Washington, D.C. Her work as a whale campaigner with Greenpeace inspired her to study the Right Whales at sea, where she developed a passion for field research (though not for seasickness).

She met her husband, Robert Long, while taking graduate courses in wildlife ecology at the University of Maine. For the past 15 years, Paula has surveyed bears, wolverines, and other wild predators with Robert, who was also her co-editor for "Noninvasive Survey Methods for Carnivores" (Island Press, 2008).

Paula has written for numerous books, magazines and organizations. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with an MFA in creative writing in 2015.

Paula shares a woodsy home on Bainbridge Island with her husband and a wily husky-mix named Alder. She spends as much time as possible hiking in the North Cascades and Olympic Mountains. When she's not in the wilderness, Paula enjoys gardening, reading, taking local walks in the forest, and the not-so-wild perks of living near a great city.

Benjamin Maurer

portrait of Dr. MaurerDr. Benjamin Maurer is a fluid dynamicist working in renewable technology development as a Senior Engineer at the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory. Ben specifically supports an R&D portfolio of tidal and wave energy projects at the interfaces between the academic, commercial and government sectors.

Ben has an extensive background in environmental fluid dynamics and oceanography. He earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego; and his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

He has formerly held positions as Research Associate at the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics; and technician supporting the National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

Prior to joining APL, Ben served as technical and strategic consultant to the US Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Program, seeking to develop a national technology portfolio in marine and hydrokinetic energy, hydropower, land-based and offshore wind power.

Among multiple other projects with DOE, Ben helped coordinate and author the inter-agency DOE/DOI 'National Offshore Wind Strategy', and has served as a subject matter expert for hundreds of research and development proposals for multiple funding entities.

Outside his academic research, Ben does as much ocean sampling as he can from his surfboards.

Brian McCleary

Brian McCleary is PSE's Whidbey-based Energy advisor.

Dan McShane

portrait of Dan in a suitDan founded Stratum Group in 1997. He is a senior geologist at Stratum Group and manages Stratum Group’s geologic and environmental projects. Dan is a licensed engineering geologist with a M.Sc. degree in geology from Western Washington University and has over 25 years of environmental and geology consulting experience.  

Dan has extensive subsurface soil and ground water investigation and cleanup experience ranging from small-scale projects to multi-million dollar Superfund sites. Dan has completed over 25 environmental clean ups on contaminated sites that resulted in  “No Further Action” letters from the Department of Ecology. 

Dan has also conducted hundreds of evaluations on landslide areas, storm water infiltration and impacts, gravel deposit assessments, frequently flooded areas, debris torrent/alluvial fan hazards, and abandoned coal mine areas. 

His focus has been on thorough site inspections and evaluation of each property so that residences can be safely set back from geologically hazardous areas.

An interesting tidbit you should know about Dan:  Dan is an avid runner and regularly dabbles in local politics.  He was on the Whatcom County council for 8 years!

Stratum Group is a consulting firm dedicated to providing quality property assessments for geologic risk, contamination, and natural resource issues.  Our environmental science and geology expertise combined with years of work in the Pacific Northwest have given us a strong foundation in understanding the local geology, history, environmental issues, and permit requirements.

Carol Miles

Photo  of Carol wearing a red Cougars capCarol Miles is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University, and is the Vegetable Specialist located at the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center. She specializes in vegetable crop production and has a strong interest in alternative crops and organic production. Carol has her Ph.D. in vegetable crops from Cornell University.

Ian Miller

Photo of Ian MillerA skilled science communicator and media spokesperson, Dr. Ian Miller is Washington Sea Grant’s coastal hazards specialist, working out of Peninsula College in Port Angeles as well as University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks.

Dr. Miller works with coastal communities on the Olympic Peninsula to increase their ability to plan for and manage coastal hazards, including tsunamis, chronic shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and other hazards associated with climate change. Utilizing outreach, applied research, synthesis of existing science, and coordination of services, he helps coastal communities access funding and expertise to develop and implement plans that will achieve their specific goals.

Before joining Washington Sea Grant, Dr. Miller served as the education director of the Olympic Park Institute and as Washington field coordinator for the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation. Dr. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in marine ecology at Western Washington University’s Huxley College of Environmental Studies and a doctorate in ocean sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His graduate research focused on the transport and fate of sediment in the coastal zone adjacent to the Elwha River delta. Find him online blogging at the Coast Nerd Gazette.

Todd Mitchell

Photo of Todd in boat with baseball cap on--foggy day on the water

Todd Mitchell, a Swinomish Tribal member, is the Environmental Director of the Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection.

He graduated from Dartmouth College (BA, Earth Science & Film Studies) and Washington State University (MS, Geology) specializing in hydrogeology, igneous petrology and geochemistry.

Todd conducts research on the Tribe's water resources including beaches and tidelands, surfacewater, groundwater, and wetlands.  He also works on habitat restoration research.

He approaches water related issues on a solid scientific basis while maintaining sensitivity to the Swinomish Culture through the development, management, and implementation of multiple grant driven research. This involves the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in scientific research design and policy development to adequately address tribal cultural concerns for environmental protection, as well as traditional ecological knowledge driven research for the direct protection of sensitive cultural and environmental resources.

Vincent Nattress

Vincent and Tyla preparing food in a kitchenVincent grew up on Whidbey Island and started working in restaurants while still in high school. After high school, a four month trip to Europe cemented his burgeoning passion for food and culture. Once in college he would return to Europe three times to expand his knowledge. This culminated in a three month stage in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Provence, which served as the senior project for his Bachelor of Arts degree,  A Cultural and Historical  Perspective on the  Culinary Arts.

Following graduation Vincent embarked on a sixteen year odyssey in Napa Valley, which included working as a winery chef, founding his own catering company, and opening Roux Restaurant in St. Helena with his wife Tyla in 2001. Roux would go on to be recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Top 10 New Restaurants of 2001.

In 2004 Vincent joined Meadowood Napa Valley as Executive Chef with the express mandate of restoring the property to culinary glory. Vincent was a part of an amazing team, including Patrick Davila, Joseph Humphrey and Christopher Kostow, setting the stage for Meadowood to become a culinary Mecca.

Feeling a strong pull to return to Puget Sound Vincent & Tyla moved back to Whidbey Island with the desire to create a culinary destination of their own. After finding the perfect property in Bayview their dream became reality in 2015 with the opening of the Orchard Kitchen, a farm house restaurant and cooking school on their five acre organic farm.

Vincent is a co-founder and past president of Slow Food Whidbey Island, and a delegate to Slow Food USA’s Terra Madre 2014 in Turin, Italy. He currently serves on the board of directors of the great, local food bank charity Good Cheer in Langley.

Boyd Norton

photo of Boyd in Hard Hat with a forest backdrop

Boyd grew up in the Puyallup valley and graduated from Green River Community College in 1975 with an AAS degree in Forest Technology.  Boyd first got work as a temporary Forest Technician 1 and Fire Warden for DNR in Enumclaw. He then spent several years with St. Regis Paper Company at their King Creek Tree Farm just outside of Orting before he was hired full-time to DNR as an assistant unit forester in the Naselle unit.

In his 40 years with the DNR, Boyd has worked in timber management and silvicultural programs, forest practices, and fire suppression and prevention. Boyd has been a part of the transformation of the Service Forestry, Farm Forestry and Forest Stewardship Programs. Boyd was one of the original Timber, Fish, and Wildlife forest practices foresters. As one of the original forest stewardship foresters, he co-led the first Forest Stewardship Coached Planning Class in Northwest Region. He also was an original member of the Small Forest Landowner Office, assisting with development of the Forestry Riparian Easement Program and the Family Forest Fish Passage Program.

When funding for the Small Forest Landowner Office was reduced, Boyd became the Northwest Region Forest Practices Program Coordinator. He also has 32 years of fire suppression experience, is certified as a Logistics Section Chief on fires, and has co-led fire suppression training at the state and national level.

Mr. Norton has been married for 36 years, has two grown daughters and four grandchildren. He spends his spare time with family, and working on carpentry projects.

Sandie O'Neill

photo of Sandie in a boat with large yellow apron and orange glovesThe majority of her career has involved investigations into the health of the Puget Sound ecosystems.  Focus areas have been  1) the role of contaminants as stressors on marine biota,   2) the influence of fish life history on contaminant accumulation,   3) the flow of contaminants through the aquatic food web, and 4) the effects of toxic substances on ecological and human health.

Sandy has played an active role identifying and selecting biophysical indicators of the health condition of Puget Sound.

She has worked for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife since 1987, except for a four year assignment with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Sandy received her B.Sc. in Zoology from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1981 and her M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia in 1986.

Greg Parkinson

Greg Parkinson has worked with PSE for 34 years.  Thirty of those years he worked as an Equipment Operator with the Line Crews during storms, regular maintenance and new construction. 

Jim Patton

Photo of Jim PattonJames M. (Jim) Patton is President of the Whidbey Island Water Systems Association (WIWSA). Jim and his wife, Wendy, have resided on Whidbey Island for over 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 three years ago.

Rhonda Paulson

Rhonda is Vice president of the Camano Preparedness Group and Technician Level amateur radio operator working with other volunteers to educate and assist our community’s citizens in preparing for whatever natural or human-caused disaster may come our way.

Loma Pendergraft

Photo of Loma PendergraftLoma is a graduate student working in John Marzluff's lab at the University of Washington and studying crow communication and cognition. Specifically, his current projects are focused on the vocalizations that crows give in response to either food or other crows.

Loma earned his undergraduate degree in wildlife ecology at Oklahoma State University. Before he was admitted to the UW, he worked as a science teacher for Tulsa Public Schools.

For more information about Loma and his research, you can read his website at:

John Post    Presenting:
Helen Price Johnson

Photo of Island County Commissioner Helen Price JohnsonElected to the Island County Board of Commissioners in 2008, Helen Price Johnson served as Board Chair in 2010 and again in 2015.

Price Johnson was elected to leadership in the Washington State Association of Counties in 2013 and served as its president in 2014. She has made it a priority to balance the County budget and restructure local government to more efficiently and effectively provide necessary services. She believes that collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions are a key strategy in this effort. Protecting our islands’ natural resources and quality of life is important to Price Johnson as well.

Her priorities are reflected in the following boards and organizations where she serves:

  • Island Watershed Local Integrating Organization, Chair
  • Regional Transportation Policy Board, Chair
  • Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve
  • Senior Services of Island County
  • Washington Salmon Recovery Council
  • Island County Substance Abuse Task Force
  • Island County Board of Health
  • Northwest Regional Council
  • Washington Counties Insurance Fund
  • Whidbey Island Community Education Board of Directors
  • Langley United Methodist Church – youth leader
  • Local Government Performance Center
  • Washington Association of Counties, Legislative Steering Committee
  • Washington Association of Counties, Federal Relations Task Force
  • Washington Association of Counties, Coastal Caucus
  • Washington Association of Counties, Past President/Executive Committee

Previous to her current position, Price Johnson owned and operated small businesses on South Whidbey Island for 25 years in the retail and construction trades. She served two terms and is a past president of the South Whidbey School District Board of Directors. A Clinton resident, she and her husband grew up on Whidbey Island, raised their four grown children there, and now have two adorable grandchildren.

Molly Roberts

Molly standing on mussel farm float holding socks of musselsEmily “Molly” Roberts is a Ph.D Candidate in her 3rd year of study in the Biology Department at the University of Washington.

She studies the influence of ocean change on the growth, survival, and mechanical attachment of mussels.

Mussels use structures called byssal threads to attach to rock or aquaculture lines. Her research aims to incorporate seawater monitoring of temperature and food availability into predictions of mussel attachment on aquaculture lines in the Salish Sea.

Her research involves laboratory work at Friday Harbor Laboratories, and seawater and mussel monitoring on Whidbey Island.

Molly graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Biophysics from Oberlin College, and in 2012 with an M.A. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University. From 2012 to 2014 she was employed at Friday Harbor Laboratories as a research technician in the Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory. She has been a graduate student at the University of Washington since 2014.

Don Rothaus

Rothaus and 2 large crabs

Don has been a Shellfish Biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for 28 years.

In his current role with WDFW, he helps to manage crustacean resources (crab and shrimp) in Puget Sound. Over the course of his career with WDFW, he has also worked on abalone, Geoduck, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

He was the WDFW Diving Safety Officer from 1990 until 2009.

Don has authored a number of elementary level children's books on animals and the environment.

Sue Ryan

Sue Ryan is the Program Director of the Camano Preparedness Group sponsored by Island County Department of Emergency Management.

Virpi Salo-Zieman

Photo of Virpi Salo-ZiemanVirpi Salo-Zieman has been a Regional Engineer with the Washington State Department of Health for ten years. Her current assigned area includes Island County in addition to portions of Pierce and Skagit Counties. She is a licensed professional engineer and graduated with MSCE from the University of Washington. She also has a post-graduate degree called Lisentiate of Technology in Environmental Engineering from Tampere University of Technology, Finland.

Hillary Scannell

Photo of Hillary ScannellHillary Scannell is a PhD student in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. Hillary studies the role of the ocean in climate variability and change, with a focus on tropical air-sea interactions and ocean temperature extremes. Hillary graduated from the University of Maine with a M.S. in Oceanography and B.S. in Marine Science.

Brian Sherrod

Photo of Brian SherrodBrian Sherrod is Project Chief and PNW Regional Coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program and is based out of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

He received a B.S. in Geology from James Madison University in Virginia, a M.S. in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington.

His main area of research is paleoseismology – finding evidence of past earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest using the geologic record. Most of his work employs airborne laser surveys.  He currently  is working on evidence for surface rupture along faults in central and western Washington, coastal uplift and subsidence along faults in northern Puget Sound, and uplift along the coast of southeast Alaska.

Hugh Shipman

Photo of Hugh ShipmanHugh 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:

Norma Smith

Photo of Representative Norma Smith

This is Rep. Norma Smith’s fifth term representing the 10th Legislative District, which includes all of Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish Counties.

As a state representative, Norma has built and been involved with multiple bipartisan coalitions addressing issues important to the Puget Sound area. In 2013, she successfully led the effort to secure the final $3.5 million in funds that were needed to complete the removal of derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound. During the 2015 legislative session, she introduced legislation to establish the Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth-Abundant Materials. Her bill passed overwhelmingly, putting Washington state on a path toward becoming a leader in advancing the use of earth-abundant materials in clean technologies, which will have a profound impact on the future of our national security, energy independence, sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Before being elected to the state House, Norma worked in the private and non-profit sectors providing operational and communications expertise. She also spent six years working as Special Assistant to Congressman Jack Metcalf, building bipartisan congressional support on issues important to our military members and veterans. 

Norma is active in her community, having served previously on the South Whidbey School Board and dedicates her time to mentoring young adults. She is also active in her church.

Norma lives in Clinton on Whidbey Island. Her family includes four wonderful grown children and their families.

Bill Steele

Bill SteeleBill has directed the educational outreach and communications program for the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) at the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences since 1993. He works closely with news reporters and filmmakers to provide hazards information and he coordinates scientist involvement in the development of accurate and interesting reports and documentaries. Bill also supports interdisciplinary and interagency cooperation between university, government, and private sector research communities to identify hazards, vulnerabilities, and mitigation opportunities.

Recently, Bill has been touring the PNW introducing the ShakeAlert, West Coast Earthquake Early Warning Project (EEW) to businesses, utilities and public agencies. He is working with regional companies and public agencies to identify opportunities to develop automated loss reduction actions triggered by ShakeAlerts.

He is also seeking to document how EEW can be used to reduce injuries and economic losses during an earthquake and how to speed recovery. He assisted the Whitehouse Office of Science and Technology Policy in the development of the Whitehouse Earthquake Resilience Summit last February.

Bill also serves on a number of NGO boards including CPARM (Contingency Planners and Recovery Managers), and he is founding member and current Vice President of CREW (the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup).
Previous to his post at the University of Washington, Bill was involved in earthquake engineering research at the Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERC) at UC Berkeley.

Outside of work, Bill enjoys travel, backpacking, gardening, and apparently, endless repair projects on his 1906 Seattle home.

Anna Toledo

Photo of Anna ToledoAnna joined Island County in 2014, and coordinates the Island County Marine Resources Committee, an advisory body to the County Commissioners with the goal to protect and restore the local marine environment. Anna also manages Island County's Shore Friendly project, the goal of which is to promote alternatives to hard armoring along the shoreline.

Anna received her BS in Biology from the University of Richmond. Prior to moving from the east coast to Whidbey Island in 2014, Anna worked in environmental consulting in Washington, DC, and also spent time in Ecuador with the Peace Corps working on projects involving ecotourism, environmental education, and small business development.

James Walker

Photo of James WalkerJames earned his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Washington, and served as a Professor of Physics at Washington State University for almost twenty years. When he retired from WSU, he was the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science and Mathematics Education. 

Since his retirement, Professor Walker has written a number of physics textbooks. He has also devoted himself to birdwatching, dragonflying, and other conservation efforts. 

Dragonflies, and their close relatives the damselflies, have been the focus of Professor Walker's interest for the last several years.  He has given a number of dragonfly presentations in both Washington and Arizona, and has led numerous dragonfly field trips with his wife Betsy Walker.

Professor Walker is currently writing a field guide on dragonflies and damselflies of the West Coast of North America, scheduled to be published in spring of 2017.

An Anacortes resident, Professor Walker enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for dragonflies with others, including his discovery of the "Happy-face Dragonfly" and the intriguing splash-dunk/spin-dry behavior involving a spin at 1,000 rpm, the fastest rotational motion known in nature.

Photo on the left: Three darners from left to right: Shadow Darner, Shadow Darner, Paddle-tailed Darner.

Jim usually presents a similar class each summer as part of Skagit Aububon - which includes a field trip. When it gets toward summer, check out the Skagit Audubon website for details.

James Watson

Picture of Jim WatsonJim 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.

Sue Ellen White

Photo of Sue Ellen WhiteSue Ellen White is a fourth-generation resident of the Pacific Northwest whose life is informed by a deep sense of place. A sea kayaker for more than three decades, she most enjoys expedition kayaking and has paddled in many places in British Columbia, including Kyuquot Sound, God's Pocket, the Broughton Archipelago and Haida Gwaii, as well as in the warmer waters of Baja.

Sue Ellen serves on the statewide Paddlesports Advisory Committee, an advisor to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. An award-winning journalist, she is now retired.

Her series on kayaking Whidbey won first place in the 2015 Pacific Northwest region of the Society of Professional Journalists competition for non-daily papers in the environment, nature and science reporting category.

David Wilkinson

David on his sailboat on a day with blue skies Dave teaches marine weather at the Northwest Maritime Center, Island Sailing Club, Seattle Sailing Club, The Center for Wooden Boats and for the University of Washington Sea Grant Program.

His sailing experiences in Mexico, the Caribbean, and New Zealand, as well as the Pacific Northwest, provide realistic context for describing key weather concepts.

Wilkinson, holds a MS in Atmospheric Science from Oregon State University, and is member of the American Meteorological Society and the American Sailing Association where he is a certified marine weather instructor.
Jason Wood

picture of Jason wearing life vest on a sailboat Jason manages the SMRU Consulting North America offices (USA and Canada). He has over 15 years of experience studying acoustic ecology and behavior in airborne, substrate (i.e. seismic), and waterborne communication. He is currently an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington.

Following his PhD at the University of California, Davis, he held post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University in the Geophysics and Otolaryngology departments. Later, he taught an undergraduate field based bioacoustics course through the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories for Beam Reach. Formerly, he led the research department at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.

For the past decade his work has focused on marine mammals and the potential impacts of anthropogenic sounds on these animals. These studies have involved the development of complex study designs and the implementation of acoustic, statistical and, spatial analyses and modelling.

In his spare time, Jason is a volunteer fire fighter and keen sailor, diver, and kayaker.

Kevin W. Zobrist

Kphoto of Kevin in a red Cougars sweatshirtevin W. Zobrist is an associate professor with Washington State University. He coordinates the Extension Forestry and Biofuel programs in northwest Washington, which includes the greater Seattle area.

Kevin has two forestry degrees from the University of Washington. His top research interests are ecology, native trees, woody biofuels, and using technology in forestry education.

He is based in Everett and is the author of the book:  Native Trees of Western Washington.


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