This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held in February 2018
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Showing Full Presenter Bios     [show Brief Presenter Intros]   

Jay Adams

JJay Adamsay Adams is an active bird watcher who first became concerned about the effects of artificial light at night because of the hazards it poses to migratory birds.

Since then he has come to understand that artificial light at night can have negative consequences on nearly all living things, the most important of which may be the re-setting or alteration of an organism's circadian rhythm.

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 Peninsula 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.


Bob Bailey

Bob Bailey planting Gary Oak saplingsI've always enjoyed the outdoors, especially the trees. An involved forestry teacher, and FFA, introduced me to Forestry/Natural Resources studies in my central CA High School. My career began in CA where I was a Utility Arborist with ACRT Inc. While, there, I worked on a major tree inventory project throughout the state of Florida and as a Supervising Arborist on the Pacific Gas and Electric contract in CA.

I became an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist in 2003 and added my Utility Specialist certification in 2005. I became Hazard Tree Risk Qualified through the ISA in February of this year and have evaluated thousands of trees over my career.

My recent affiliation with the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society has given me the opportunity to volunteer my time for Garry oak tree restoration and propagation and provide community education concerning the importance of saving these wonderful trees. As a City of Oak Harbor employee, I am currently involved with the management, pruning, and irrigation of the Centennial Oak Tree Grove located just to the north of Oak Harbor. Hundreds of young Garry Oak trees were planted in this grove over the past 3 years, ranging from saplings to young trees. I am also part of the management team that established and oversaw the recent Smith Park Garry Oak  pruning project. Over 150 native Garry oak trees were professionally pruned to remove dead, diseased, and damaged portions.

It is my goal to continue to use my experience and knowledge to educate the public. I hope to nurture a strong culture of tree stewardship throughout my community so that we can create a green and healthy environment for future generations to enjoy.

Phoebe Barnard

Phoebe BarnardPhoebe is a passionate biodiversity and climate change ecologist, conservation biologist, sustainability strategist, and environmental futures groupie. She's executive director of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, affiliate full professor at the University of Washington, and research associate of the University of Cape Town's Center of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and the African Climate and Development Initiative.

Between 1983 and 2017 she was busy across Africa setting up and running programs in the climate change bioadaptation research, environmental futures, public policy, and conservation leadership training arenas. She has taught hundreds of young scientists in Africa and Europe, directed national (Namibian and South African) and global programs, published 2 books, many booklets and 100+ research papers in peer-reviewed scientific and popular journals.

Phoebe still edits books, journals and shopping lists obsessively. But ultimately she is a softie for her handsome filmmaker husband, for climbing erupting volcanoes, and contributing to sustainability tipping points in society.

Barbara Bennett

Photo of Barbara Bennett at shorelineBarbara 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 a MMA degree from the School of Marine Affairs (now SEMA) at the University of Washington and a 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.

Now working as an independent consultant, Barbara served as project lead to complete the marine display at the Coupeville wharf and is now volunteering as outreach coordinator for the NOAA ocean acidification team led by Paul McElhany based at NOAA's laboratory at Mukilteo.

Danielle Bishop

Danielle BishopDanielle Bishop began working for the Land Trust in 2006. As land protection specialist, Danielle’s primary work duties include: working with landowners, partners, and staff to complete land protection projects, applying for grants to fund land protection and stewardship projects, and representing the Land Trust in broader community planning projects.

Danielle has a BA in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and prior to joining the Land Trust, was a city planner for the City of Champaign, Illinois.

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.

Ginny Broadhurst

Ginny Broadhurst kayakingGinny Broadhurst is the new director of Western Washington University’s Salish Sea Studies Institute.

The Institute was established in 2015 and serves as an interdisciplinary center for collaboration, education, research and community involvement focused on the health of the Salish Sea and its environs.

Ms. Broadhurst worked at the Northwest Straits Commission from 2003 to February 2017, first as its Marine Program Manager then for the last 10 years as its executive director.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington.

Eric Brooks

Island County Emergency Management logoEric Brooks has been the Director of Island County Department of Emergency Management since July 2011.  Eric works to ensure that county residents and agencies work together to improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Eric is responsible for managing emergency plans for Island County. He also coordinates its relationships with other emergency response agencies and community groups at the local, state, and federal levels. The program encompasses all phases of integrated emergency management.

Prior to assuming his duties in Island County, Eric spent 21 years protecting others around the world through Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal. 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.”




Terry Buchanan

Photo of Terry BuchananTerry Buchanan, author of "Fort Casey" and "A Pictorial History of Fort Casey," has been fascinated by the retired military post since his first visit on a Sunday afternoon in 1962 as a 14 year old. His interest led him to seek every bit of local information he could find in his home town of Oak Harbor, Washington, as well as talking to men who had been stationed at the fort. Throughout his school years in Oak Harbor he continued to visit the fort and talk with local residents about their associations with the fort.

Once he entered college he pursued a teaching degree in History at Western Washington University and wrote his first history of the fort, "Ft. Casey and the Defense of the Pacific Northwest". This entailed numerous interviews with surviving soldiers from both the First and Second World Wars and eventually a cross country trip to Washington D.C. to spend a week at the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland. Throughout these years he continued to collect interviews, photographs and all manner of information on the fort and its history. This led to the publication of his second book, "A Pictorial History of Fort Casey."

Terry retired in 2006 and now lives in Sequim, Washington. He has been giving slide presentations of the fort for years and still gives walking tours of the gun emplacements. His books will be available for sale at Sound Waters.

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 animal care staff, manages the Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate-related permits, and oversees health and welfare management of the Aquarium's fish and invertebrate collection.

Tim has been SCUBA diving for 25 years and is a senior member of the Seattle Aquarium's field research and collection dive teams.  Tim also works collaboratively with governmental and private agencies in planning strategies to manage wild rockfish populations.

Ed Carriere

Carriere and Croes book coverEd Carriere has woven baskets for over fifty-five years. He learned the art from his great-grandmother, Julia Jacob of the Suquamish Tribe, who raised him. When Ed was 15, his great-grandmother's hands had weakened with age, and she told Ed he would have to make the baskets. As his skills improved, he found it to be a very pleasurable and challenging undertaking. Great-grandma passed away in 1960, and Ed gave up basketmaking.

Ed graduated from high school, entered the Marine Corps and then the working world. In 1969, he started to revive the old art of basketmaking. He says he almost waited too long. It took him four years to regain the knowledge and skills it takes to weave the attractive, dependable clam basket that would make his Grandma proud.

Ed has been weaving baskets for over fifty-five years. He has learned to make a wide variety of artifacts including the open weave burden basket, straight and crossed warp clam gathering baskets, clothing, and hats. His materials are the bark, limbs, and roots of the western red cedar, beargrass, sweetgrass, wild cherry bark, cattail and horse tail root.

Many people have learned about Ed's basket weaving through classes, demonstrations, and school presentations. To him, weaving baskets and carving canoes and paddles is relaxing and challenging.

Among Ed's many awards are: 1983 Man of the Year Award by Indianola; 1986 Honorarium by Seattle Central Community College; 1988 "Honored Artist" by Native American Art Fair, Suquamish; and 1998 Governor's Heritage Award of Washington State

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.

His teaching and research have primarily focused 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), the age of Cascade topography, and the location and identity of the oldest rocks in Washington.

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.

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, he will go over equipment and safety tips and he will talk about day trip routes. He plans to throw in a few anecdotes for good measure.

Tracy Collier

Tracy Collier worked for more than 30 years at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, ending up as the Director of the Environmental Conservation Division. There, his research portfolio involved environmental toxicology and chemistry with assessments of oil spill impacts, harmful algal blooms, seafood safety, and watershed processes.

Following his ‘retirement’ from that position, he has served as the science advisor for NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative from 2010-2014. From 2010-2016, he also served as technical advisor to NOAA and other natural resource trustees charged with assessing injuries to marine mammals and sea turtles after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

He accepted a role from 2012-2014 as the Science Director for the Puget Sound Partnership, a Washington State agency charged with protecting the Puget Sound ecosystem and with using science to inform management and policy. Tracy was also appointed to the Delta Independent Science Board in California in 2010, recently serving for 2 years as the chair of that Board.

Dr. Collier received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1988. He has written over 160 scientific publications, and he plans to retire again someday.

Jennifer Convy

Picture of Jennifer ConvyJennifer is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and Director of the Wildlife Department for the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Lynnwood, WA. She has a biology /pre-veterinary degree, but chose to forego veterinary school in order to rehabilitate wildlife professionally. She began her career in St. Louis in 1991.

She began working for PAWS in 1996 as a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and has been Director of the PAWS Wildlife Department since 2006. Jennifer is a founding board member of the Washington Wildlife Rehabilitation Association (WWRA). She currently serves on the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association’s (NWRA) board of directors as a vice president for their executive committee and as NWRA’s Human Resources Committee Chairperson.

Jennifer regularly participates as a speaker and trainer for wildlife-focused symposiums. She provides training for wildlife professionals on rehabilitation, staff management, and wildlife center operations.

Jennifer is an author of various articles published in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin by NWRA. She also co-authored several chapters in the online book "Hand-Rearing Wild and Domestic Mammals" (Gage, L. J. (2002), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK).

Dale Croes

Basketry book cover with Croes and CarriereDale R. Croes received his BA in anthropology from the University of Washington (UW) and his MA and PhD in anthropology at the Washington State University (WSU). His research focus has been on Northwest Coast wet (waterlogged) archaeological sites. He did his Ph.D. dissertation research on basketry and cordage artifacts from the Ozette Village wet site. His post-doctoral research consisted of directing and publishing the research at the 3,000 year old Hoko River wet site. (WSU Press, 1995, 2005). He has also co-directed excavations of the Qwu?gwes wet site with the Squaxin Island Tribe.

Dale is a founding member of the Squaxin Island Tribe Museum Library and Research Center. He worked with the Director, Charlene Krise, to assure that the Qwu?gwes artifacts were properly preserved and transferred to the museum archives. Together they continue to check that these ancient artifacts are interpreted and made available to the general public.

Charlene Krise was the Councilmember in charge of the hugely successful Paddle to Squaxin in 2012.  Dale Croes assisted in planning this event, serving on the Squaxin Volunteers committee with Patti Puhn. Over 1500 volunteers helped with this week-long event in Olympia and Shelton. 17,000 people observed the canoes arriving in Olympia and 7-8000 people were hosted for the week-long potlatching at the Squaxin Island Tribe in Shelton.

Dale is an adjunct Professor with WSU Department of Anthroplogy in Pullman, WA and also directs the Pacific Northwest Archaeological Society. 

Dale is working on a grant with Ed Carriere, Suquamish Master Basketmaker, to replicate and analyze the 2000 year old basketry from the Biderbost wet archaeological site which is now held at the UW Burke Museum. Ed and Dale received the 2015 Washington State Historical Society Peace and Friendship Award for promoting diversity throughout Washington State. The results of their work is being released January 2, 2018. It is entitled "Re-Awakening Ancient Salish Sea Basketry, Fifty Years of Basketry Studies in Culture and Science," and is available through The work is Memoirs 15 of the Journal of Northwest Anthropology.

Phillip Dionne

Photo of Phillip DionnePhillip Dionne has been with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's Habitat Science Team since 2011. His current research interests are monitoring and assessing the distribution, abundance, and characteristics of forage fish stocks and habitat, and assessing new methods to research and monitor those stocks. 

Prior to researching forage fish, Phil used mark – recapture, and acoustic telemetry to assess abundance of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed shortnose sturgeon in Maine, and green sturgeon in Washington and Oregon.

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.

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.

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.


Note:Photo by Sandy Dubpernell

Brad Gluth

Gluth picture

Working for the City of Oak Harbor as the Stormwater Engineer, and as a Certified Stormwater Manager (CSM), Brad is also a founding member and current board member of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society (OHGOS).

As a City employee and OHGOS board member he works with the Navy, State Parks, public schools, Pacific Rim Institute, private land owners as well as other city staff and OHGOS members to restore Oak Harbor’s Garry oak population.

Brad has spent time on Whidbey since 1986 and became a Whidbey resident in 2003. He grew up spending time in the Pacific Northwest woods with his father who imparted a deep respect for trees and landscape to him.

Brad feels Whidbey Island is a special place and is proud of the effort the community has put forth to restore the native oak population.

Brad is a Civil Engineering graduate of WSU.

Florian Graner

Photo of Florian Graner divingFlorian has lived on Whidbey Island since September 2006 after moving from Monterey Bay, California. While he holds a PhD in marine biology and is still very well connected with the scientific community, his main focus and profession is the production of natural history documentaries and educational and outreach videos. For this reason he has founded his company, Sealife Productions.

Florian has been a research diver since 1990 and has NOAA observer diver status. During 3,000 dives, he has filmed extensively in local waters of the Salish Sea, as well as in remote regions of the planet.

Current video and cinema productions feature the Salish Sea and the Olympic Peninsula, including the natural history documentary currently on the National Geographic Channel: “America’s National Parks: Olympic”. His documentary film “ BENEATH THE SALISH SEA” is a a wide screen movie project currently touring Puget Sound and undergoing popular annual up-dates. Today it is in its 7th edition. Beyond that in more than 20 years of film making Florian has dived and filmed in many remote regions, working for award winning series productions such as Blue Planet / BBC, Amazon Abyss / BBC, Pacific Abyss / BBC, River Monsters, Discovery Channel and many more.

Florian received his PhD and MS in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool. Most of his scientific work focuses on marine mammals and his PhD work was done on harbour porpoises in Norway. You can learn more about Florian and his extensive cinematography and documentary production experience from his company’s website at

Listen to the January 12th 4pm interview of our keynote speaker by Ed Bremer, host of Sound Living. (available thru Jan 26 @ KSER)

Janet Hall

Janet HallJanet is a “newbie” employee (almost 2 years) for the Washington State Parks, but she worked in Fort Casey State Park for the past 20 years as an Environmental Educator and Volunteer Coordinator for WSU/Island County Waste Wise program. She educated people on ways to reduce waste through recycling, composting, reducing household hazardous waste and sustainable living. Janet has taken her fun and entertaining ways into the historic and nature interpretive realm and is loving it.

Janet loves to learn new things about our parks, and enjoys sharing with visitors all the amazing natural, historical and cultural features of Whidbey State Parks. Her educational background is in science with a BS in Forest Management and a MS in Forest Fire Science.

Rus Higley

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

Picture of Rus Higley in diving mask

He was born in Alaska, but grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Western Washington University with a BS in Marine Biology. He received his MS in Curriculum & Instruction from Old Dominion University, 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.

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.

Rick Huey

Picture of Rick HueyRick is the Biologist for the Washington State Ferry System (WSF), a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. He has been with WSF for 11 years, working on Endangered Species Act consultations and Marine Mammal Protection Act permitting for over 30 ferry projects, including the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal project.

Much of this work includes analysis of in-water noise from pile driving, and the protection of marine mammals and marbled murrelet (an endangered seabird) during ferry construction projects. Rick is also a member of a WSF/WSDOT team that is focusing on the emerging issue of ferry vessel noise impacts on marine mammals.

Before working at WSF, Rick worked for 20 years as an Environmental Protection Specialist for the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). While at Ecology he worked on air and water quality protection, and was the State Lead for the Duwamish River Superfund Site sediment cleanup project.

Rick has a degree in Biology from Western Washington University (Bellingham) and a Masters in Marine Environmental Protection from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (Seattle).

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. He 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  either provide means for or finance the collection, reuse, recycling and/or proper disposal of their products and packaging when the consumer 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 as well as working to decrease the impacts of packaging and increase its recycling. He also promotes effective composting of food waste and other organics and returning that compost to local farms and gardens, thus closing the food-cycling loop.

Sego lives on South Whidbey Island in the Maxwelton watershed.

Jody Jeffers

Jodie is the coordinator for the Island County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program at Island County Emergency Management. The CERT program educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT also trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Commissioner Jill Johnson

Commissioner Jill JohnsonJill Johnson is serving her second 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.

Raised on Whidbey, Jill 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 spent a decade pursuing career opportunities in work around the country. Jill then returned to Whidbey Island to live what she describes as “a real life” near family, friends and specifically her niece, Lydia.

Upon her return, she immediately put her leadership skills to use in the community. She first became involved in the effort to build a new Wildcat Memorial Stadium and renovate the Oak Harbor High School. A graduate 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 core services. Her constituents respect her for her honesty and clarity of focus, and for her ability to identify revenue streams and to control expenses while still pursuing the Chamber's goals.

She was first elected to the Board of Island County Commissioners in 2012 and re-elected for a second term beginning in 2017. 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.

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. He then spoent five years working at the Olympia, WA office of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in their environmental division (consulting). Doug came to Island County over 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.

Karen Krug

Karen Krug and spoiled dogsKaren Krug's passion is wine and this passion lead to the creation of Spoiled Dog Winery, beginning in 2003. Prior to moving to Whidbey, Karen had been in Kazakhstan from 1992 working as an international lawyer (partner with Dentons). Then a sudden family issue changed the career paths for Karen and her husband. No longer could they work overseas and be far away from family. Thus they decided to move to Whidbey Island, (a place they had always loved), and start a vineyard (Pinot Noir, of course), and a winery from scratch.

Prior to practicing law, Karen was an engineer with a BS from Colorado School of Mines. Her background, especially in chemistry, became invaluable for winemaking.

Sustainability is a primary focus of the vineyard and winery. This includes sustainable processes for growing grapes, making wine, and conducting their business. This focus on sustainability also carries through into their family life and how they interact with their community here on Whidbey. 

Mariko Langness

Picture of Mariko LangnessMariko is a Marine Ecologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife's Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program - Toxics in Biota team.  She has over eight years of experience conducting and supporting studies in marine biology, ecotoxicology and habitat of the Salish Sea and Washington's outer coast.

Mariko has a BS in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from University of Washington, received in 2008.

Jennifer Lanksbury

Jennifer is a Marine Ecotoxicologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife's Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program - Toxics in Biota team.


She has over fifteen years of experience in the field of marine ecology as a field researcher, data analyst and published author. Jennifer worked for the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center doing research on plankton biology/ecology before coming to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to study marine ecotoxicology.Photo of Jennifer Lanksbury

She has a MS degree in Environmental Science (Marine and Estuarine Science) from Western Washington University, received in 2000.  She has a BS in Natural Resource Science (Wildlife Biology) from Washington State University, received in 1996.


Lanksbury, J.A., Niewolny, L.A., Carey, A.J., West, J.E. 2014. Toxic Contaminants in Puget Sound’s Nearshore Biota: a Large-Scale Synoptic Survey Using Transplanted Mussels (Mytilus trossulus). Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Publication #FPT 14-08. 180pp.

2011/2012 Mussel Watch Phase 1 Sampling Summary and Progress Report.

Lanksbury, J. and J. E. West. 2011. Blue Mussels as Indicators of Stormwater Pollution in Nearshore Marine Habitats in Puget Sound. Olympia, WA. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife/Puget Sound Assessment and Monitoring Program. 28pp.

Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic Contaminants in Pelagic Marine Fish Species from Puget Sound.

Persistent Organic Pollutants in Marine Plankton from Puget Sound.

Lanksbury, J., J. E. West, K. Herrmann, A. Hennings, K. Litle and A. Johnson. 2010. Washington State 2009/10 Mussel Watch Pilot Project: A Collaboration between National, State and Local Partners. Olympia, WA. Puget Sound Partnership, 283pp.

Lanksbury, J.A., J.T. Duffy-Anderson, M.S. Busby, P.J. Stabeno and K.L. Mier. (2006). Distribution and transport patterns of northern rock sole, Lepidopsetta polyxystra, larvae in the southeastern Bering Sea. Progress in Oceanography, Vol 72/1: pp 39-62.

Lanksbury, J.A., J.T. Duffy-Anderson, K.L. Mier, and M. Wilson. (2005). Ichthyoplankton abundance, distribution and assemblage structure in the Gulf of Alaska during September 2000 and 2001. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol 64/4: pp 775-785.

Lu Lee

Picture of Lu Lee with her husband, Don LeeLu Lee works in the Payless Meat Department. She is an important part of the presenting trio for this class because Lu will demonstrate how to masterfully fillet a whole salmon.

The Fishin' club, aside from fishin', has developed an impressive network of fund raising, involving door prize raffles, auctions, and their popular Pink Salmon Fishing Derby.

The club's primary community service project is a Scholarship Program which enables several deserving Whidbey Island high school students to receive a monetary donation that will be used to continue their education in marine science and/or environmental careers.

As members of the Fishin' Club, Lu, along with her husband, Don, are Raffle Managers for the club.

Eric Lee-Mader

photo of Eric Lee-Mader

Eric 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. /



Tom Leschine

Tom LeschineProfessor Emeritus at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA), Tom retired in 2016, having been Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of the Human Dimensions of the Environment (2011-2016) and SMEA’s Director (2003-2014).

His research interests are in the area of marine environmental policy, with emphasis on the use of scientific and technical information in policy making. His topical interests include coastal habitat protection and restoration, marine pollution management and policy, maritime shipping, and oil spill prevention, preparedness and response.

Tom was a member of the Puget Sound Nearshore Environmental Restoration Program’s (PSNERP) Nearshore Science Team, and also served on the Puget Sound Partnership’s (PSP) Science Panel.  He is currently a member of the PSP’s Social Sciences Advisory Committee.

Alex Lowe

Alex Lowe is a marine scientist working on his PhD in Biology at the University of Washington. His firstPicture of Alex Lowe experience with ecology was as a child foraging for berries and clams around the Pacific Northwest, which he credits for his professional curiosity today.

His research is driven by the desire to understand how the immediate and indirect impacts of human activities influence the ecosystems we depend upon for food, culture and recreation.

Alex studied fisheries at the University of Washington as an undergraduate, and completed a Master's degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There he was able to link Antarctic krill physiology to large-scale oceanographic and sea ice dynamics. He returned to Washington to study the kelp-based food webs at the Friday Harbor Labs before starting his PhD.

His current work integrates benthic ecology with coastal oceanography to investigate factors affecting native and commercial oysters in Washington State estuaries. Working in estuaries provides an opportunity to use natural variability to understand how plants and animals respond to extreme conditions, and how these responses are connected to ocean, river and land-based processes, thereby providing a better understanding of factors that will be important to plants and animals in the future.

See more of Alex’s research, teaching and outreach at

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 the Fishanistas fishing classes for women at Trinity Lutheran Church and at all four South Whidbey Farmers Markets.

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

"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)

Nathan McCurtain

Nathan McCurtainNathan McCurtain is a field organizer with Washington Environmental Council who started organizing work as a volunteer for Candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Since then Nathan has volunteered and worked on campaigns in the Puget Sound region until he joined the Washington Environmental Council (WEC) team.

Nathan grew up in Puyallup, Washington and fell in love with the beauty and history of the area. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and went on to study Law before joining initiative campaigns in Washington.

After 14 years in Puyallup and six years in Seattle, Nathan has settled down in the Tacoma area where he connected with the Tacoma Tide Flats issue which brought him to WEC.

Nathan enjoys tea, restaurant hopping, reading, and musicals and can be found enjoying the outdoors or glued to his computer depending on the weather.

Paul McElhany

Paul McElhanyDr. Paul McElhany has been a research ecologist with the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center since 1999. He currently leads the NWFSC ocean acidification research team.

The research team uses laboratory species-exposure experiments, food web ecosystem modeling and field work to understand the impact of ocean acidification along the Washington-Oregon coast.

Dr. McElhany received his PhD from Indiana University in 1997 followed by a post doc at the University of Oregon. Previously at NOAA, he focused on estimating extinction risk and developing recovery strategies for threatened salmon populations. He continues to have an interest in risk evaluation and recently participated in a review of several tropical coral species, particularly considering risks from ocean acidification.

Doug McKeever

Picture of Doug McKeever hikingI began teaching geology as a "charter employee" at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham in 1971, the initial year of academic courses. Later I added courses in oceanography and meteorology, as well as classes in mountaineering, cross country skiing, and other P.E. topics. My courses in hiking and travel through WCC's community education program also were popular.

As a generalist I don't really specialize, but I have particular interest in volcanoes, glaciers, coastal geology, and natural hazards. I retired in 2014 after 43 years at WCC and now spend time with my wife of 47 years, Audrey, enjoying and maintaining our home that we built on 5 acres near Bellingham.

Typical days are spent puttering in the garden and orchard, filling the woodshed, tending the chickens, exploring and recreating in the PNW,  participating in church activities, and volunteering in various capacities to help those in need.

I long ago decided to want to be an old climber rather than a bold climber and still climb quite a bit, having recently stood on Mount Baker's summit for the 78th time. I enjoy trail running and have completed 16 different hundred mile trail races, including two in Alaska in winter. My not-up-to-date webpage is

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.

Ruth Milner

Ruth MilnerRuth Milner is a District Wildlife Biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), covering San Juan, Island and Snohomish Counties.

She works on a variety of species within her district, such as raptors, shorebirds, small mammals, mountain goats, black-tailed deer, and amphibians.

She began studying bats in the late 1990's. With the first detection of white nose syndrome in Washington bats confirmed in 2016, WDFW staff are working to understand the implications of the disease in our state.

Ruth holds a BS and MS in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington.

Kelsi Mottet

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

Kelsi joined the Whidbey Island Conservation District (WICD) as Marketing, Education, and Outreach Coordinator in fall of 2016.

Prior to joining the WICD 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 for the North Cascades Institute.

Kelsi is a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University, with an M.Ed. in Environmental Education. She also has 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.

Heather Mulligan

Picture of Heather Mulligan

Heather has more than 20 years of experience working on programs which support the deployment and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. For the past 10 years, she has been working on green power and net metering programs at Puget Sound Energy as the Market Manager for Customer Renewable Programs.

Prior to joining Puget Sound Energy in 2006, Heather worked as the national and regional coordinator of U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Her work at DOE built from a successful eight year career as a renewable energy policy consultant.

Heather has a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from American University.

Tyla Nattress

Tyla NattressBorn and raised on the East Coast, with centuries-long family ties to Maine and Massachusetts, Tyla now freely admits she prefers Dungeness Crab to Atlantic Lobster.

Her career in restaurants began was she was a teenager, but she discovered fine dining service after completing college at the University of Vermont. It was there she met Tosha Norris, a restaurant manager from Napa Valley, who opened Tyla's eyes to fine dining service and to the world of wine. Two years later, when Tosha decided to return to California, Tyla made the leap to switch coasts and head west. There, she met this friend of Tosha's named Vincent, but that's another story.

In the years that followed, Tyla worked in several fine-dining restaurants. She also drew upon her science background with stints working in the Lab at Robert Mondavi Winery as well as at Miner Family Winery and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. During her time in Napa, Tyla learned a great deal about wine, food and hospitality.

She worked in the very demanding special events department for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, coordinating and executing events for their discerning clientele.

She also worked with Vincent to build his catering business, doing everything from food preparation to event coordination and fine table service. She even took an excursion to New Zealand to work as a cellar rat at the pioneering Pinot Noir producer, Felton Road Winery. Tyla & Vincent married in 2000, and the following year took a huge leap, opening a restaurant of their own, right in the heart of Napa Valley. Roux won many accolades, including selection as one of the San Francisco Chronicles Top Ten Restaurants of 2001. This was due in no small measure to the seamless service that Tyla inspired from her staff, and to the innovative wine list she created, which focused on small production “Tiny Wines” with case productions of less than 1000 cases.

One of her great fortes is an understanding of how food and wines interact, and so wine pairing is child's play for Tyla. After Roux closed in 2004, Tyla had her hands full for a few years with two young daughters. She worked for several months in 2007 as the chief recruiter for the reopening of The Restaurant at Meadowood, interviewing, evaluating and helping to train the opening staff there. Always being one to seek balance, she even followed a long time passion and natural talent as a teacher, becoming a certified Yoga instructor.

In 2009 she and her family left Napa in search of a place to call their own in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011, based on her desire to create a Food Hub, the Nattresses found their farm: a five-acre property on Bayview Road in Langley, Washington.

Kyle Ostermick-Durkee

Kyle in vestKyle Ostermick-Durkee has been working to restore Western Washington ecosystems since 2012, leading crews of professionals and volunteers all over the Puget Sound area. Kyle joined the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in 2015, where he is responsible for a wide range of stewardship tasks, including habitat restoration, trail building, conservation easement monitoring, and volunteer coordination.

Bellamy Pailthorp

Picture of Bellamy PailthorpBellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for public radio station 88.5 KNKX based in Seattle/Tacoma, where she has worked since 1999. She also hosts and produces the weekly segment, "The Weather With Cliff Mass", which airs every Friday.

Bellamy holds a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006 mid-career during her stint on KNKX’s Business and Labor Beat from 2000-2012. From 1989-98 she lived in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a bi-lingual producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 for a project on theater studies and communist history.

She holds a Bachelors’ degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. (Yes, she is fluent in German.) She strives to tell memorable stories about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Character-driven narratives of exploration and innovation excite her.

Rhonda Paulson

Rhonda is Vice president of the Camano Preparedness Group and a General Level amateur radio operator. She also holds General Mobile Radio Service license to cover communications at a neighborhood level and is a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

Rhonda provides Map Your Neighborhood presentations to Camano neighborhood groups and to local organizations as part of the Camano Preparedness Group's ongoing efforts to educate and assist citizens in preparing for whatever natural or human-caused disaster may come their way.

Robert Pelant

Dr. Robert PelantDr. 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 (PRI) for Environmental Stewardship 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

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:

Gary Piazzon

Gary  with statueGary is a retired physical therapist. He is an amateur naturalist and avid birder with over 30 years of experience leading field trips and teaching classes about owls, gulls and butterflies. He also has special interests in mythology, poetry and literature.


Joe Quintana

JJoe Quintanaoe Quintana and his partner, Joann, are advocates for restoring the night sky by reducing light pollution and the harm caused to all living things.

Members of the International Dark Sky Association, they seek to make Island County an accredited Dark Sky County.

They have lived on Whidbey for 5 years and were instrumental in convincing the City of Langley to reverse a plan to convert all its street lights to high-intensity LED lights, the major cause behind dramatically increasing light pollution.

Kyle Renninger

Kyle RenningerA fifth generation Whidbey Islander, he is a board member of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society (OHGOS).

Kyle is passionate about preservation of the natural features that make our island beautiful.

He is founder of Amethyst Interactive, a socially responsible web design and marketing consulting firm.

Linda Rhodes

Linda RhodesLinda Rhodes is a supervisory research microbiologist with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries) in Seattle, and serves as manager for the Marine Microbes & Toxins Program (

In her professional career, she has been fortunate to be able to combine a PhD in molecular and cellular biology with aquatic toxicology, aquatic animal infectious diseases, and microbial ecology. She also serves on Island County's Marine Resources Committee, representing science interests.

The bull kelp project is an ideal way to do a bit of  science in a kayak!

EZ Rider

Comic picture of EZ RiderAvid angler, not feared by many fish. Carpenter by trade, sign painter and artist by passion. Vice President of the Fishin' Club, where I am on the Scholarship Committee (one of my proudest achievements). 

Photo: EZ Rider (on the right) with another unnamed member of the Fishin' Club practice possible arrest  positions in the unlikely event either should commit WDFW infractions.

Govinda Rosling

Picture of Govinda RoslingGovinda Rosling joined the Guillemot Research Group in 2010 as an intern/contractor and continues as a regional coordinator for the group. Govinda photographs birds of the northwest and beyond, with many of them being pigeon guillemots. You can see her work at

Don Rothaus

Rothaus and 2 large crabs

Don has been a Shellfish Biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for 29 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.

Bart Rulon

Bart Ruon outdoorBart has been a professional wildlife artist and photographer on Whidbey Island for 26 years.  He is the author of five books on wildlife art and photography, and 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.

Sue Ryan

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

Sarah Schmidt

Photo of Sarah Schmidt

Moving from Maine to Arizona in 1990 to pursue an interest in wildlife research, Sarah did field work on birds, lizards, frogs, dragonflies and small rodents, but primarily studied bats. While earning a M.S. from the University of Arizona, her thesis work examined the use of artificial water developments by desert bats. During eight years of research on bats in the mines, mountains and deserts of southern Arizona, she handled over 3,000 bats of 19 different species.

An 18-year resident of Whidbey Island, Sarah is a Beach Watcher (class of 2000; now Sound Water Stewards) and is active with Whidbey Audubon Society. These days she mostly studies birds, participating in citizen science bird surveys of shorebirds, seabirds and other species.

Sarah will share her enthusiasm for the marvelous mammals that fly through our summer nights. For more information on Sarah and bats, see Dan Pedersen's excellent article from December 2011, "Living with bats on Whidbey Island"

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:

Dyanne Sheldon

Dyanne SheldonDyanne Sheldon is a retired restoration ecologist who has been working on Whidbey Island since the early 1990s. Dyanne was the first Wetland Planner for King County, and then ran her own environmental consulting firm specializing in aquatic resources, land-management planning, and wetland issues for 16 years. After merging with a larger civil/planning firm, she continued to work on a wide range of environmental and permitting issues. She joined the Board of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in 2012.

Dyanne taught through the University of Washington for the Professional Certificate in Wetland Science and Management. She earned a BS in Botany from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Education from Arizona State University.

Brian Sherrod

Photo of Brian Sherrod in foregroundBrian 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.

He received a BS in Geology from James Madison University in Virginia, a MS in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD 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:

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 in February, 2015.

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.

Lieutenant Commander Blair Sweigart

Photo of LCDR SweigartLCDR Sweigart currently serves as the Chief of the Enforcement Division for USCG Sector Puget Sound, where he is responsible for federal maritime law enforcement and security operations through the Sound, the San Juan Islands, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, offshore northern Washington, as well as international and interstate lakes and rivers in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

LCDR Sweigart’s prior operational tours include Sector Honolulu, Sector Boston, and Group Boston, where he has primarily focused on response and incident management, including search and rescue, oil pollution, and major disaster response. He has also served as an operations research and mathematical analyst for Coast Guard Atlantic Area, and as the Incident Command System Coordinator (ICS) for Atlantic Area. He has been an ICS instructor since 2007, and has taught personnel from numerous international, federal, state, local, and private agencies.

LCDR Sweigart holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Science in Computer Science, with a specialization in Computational Operations Research from the College of William & Mary. He is currently a PhD candidate in Applied Mathematics at William & Mary. LCDR Sweigart has earned the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Coast Guard Commandant Letter of Commendation, as well as several personal and Coast Guard unit awards.

Mary Jane Topash

Mary Jane TopashA Tulalip Tribal member working at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Mary Jane has been the Group Tours Specialist for the last six years. She coordinates and conducts educational tours, community outreach, and general operations of the museum.

Mary Jane attended the University of Washington earning her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and American Indian Studies and recently earned her graduate degree, a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies.

Her focus in education is about challenging the dominant narrative of Native Americans and addressing stereotypes, and working towards changing that imagery.

She lives in Tulalip and has two Australian Shepard puppies.

Aaron Varadi

Aaron VaradiAaron Varadi grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and received a BA from the Evergreen State College with a focus in Sustainable Agriculture and Political Economy. After that, he owned and managed Sunbreak Farm in Olympia, WA for five years.

Since 2016, Aaron has been the Farm Manager and Lead Instructor at the Organic Farm School (OFS) in Clinton, WA, where he and a yearly class of farmers-in-training produce certified organic vegetables, pastured poultry and lamb, as well as vegetable seed crops. Aaron and OFS are also actively collaborating in several vegetable breeding projects, as well as reduced tillage trials in efforts to help move organic agriculture to a more carbon-neutral enterprise.

Off the farm, Aaron served as a founding board member of the West Olympia Farmers Market, and is presently serving on the board of directors of South of the Sound Community Farmland Trust. He currently splits his time between Whidbey Island and Olympia.

Jim Waddell

Photo of Jimm WaddellJim Waddell is a Civil Engineer who is retired from a 35 year public service career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For over twenty years of that career he has been a leader in developing the policies and practice of Sustainable Development within the Federal family. He also served with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.

His work with the NSF and then as the Senior Policy Analyst for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was largely focused on climate change policy, budgets and research integration. He was the first in the Federal Government to identify and integrate all the global warming research programs allowing scientific information to better inform National and International policies. His efforts in 1989 helped establish and organize the US Global Change Research Program.

In 1999, Mr. Waddell became the Deputy District Engineer for Programs at the Walla Walla District at the time the Lower Snake Feasibility Study was into its 5th year of development. This $33 million study was the most comprehensive ever undertaken by any government to determine the feasibility of breaching dams to restore salmon runs.

After his retirement from the Corps in 2011, Jim has undertaken a reevaluation of the study and his work shows that the magnitude of cost errors in the report clearly supports the conclusion that breaching the four Lower Snake River dams is not only a sound biological choice but would prevent the waste of millions of taxpayer’s dollars and loss of economic benefits to the Nation and region.

James Walker

Picture of Jim WalkerJames Walker 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 past ten 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 the author of a recently published dragonfly field guide, Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast. This guide features many unique features, including new aspects of dragonfly behavior, and promotes safe dragonflying with no netting.

An Anacortes resident, Professor Walker enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for dragonflies with others.  Favorite topics include his discovery of the "Happy-face Dragonfly" and the dragonfly's intriguing splash-dunk/spin-dry behavior, which features a spinning motion at 1,000 rpm—the fastest rotational motion known in nature.

David Wallin

picture of David wearing a backpackDavid Wallin is a Professor and Chair of the Environmental Sciences Department 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, has begun using unmanned aircraft for his work.

Elizabeth Wheat

Picture of Elizabeth WheatElizabeth Wheat is a farmer at SkyRoot Farm and a faculty member in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Washington. Her academic background is in marine ecology, but her passion lies in the application of ecological knowledge in the context of food production systems.

The big questions that motivate her life work are: How can we build productive ecosystems that maximize biodiversity and sustain human communities? How can agriculture be part of our planetary solution matrix? What can be done to close nutrient cycle loops within agricultural systems to minimize external losses?

SkyRoot farm is a 20 acre integrated farm on South Whidbey Island. In addition to diversified vegetables, the farm produces meat goats, broiler chickens and eggs. The farm is slowly growing a perennial food forest,  which will help the farm meet its production and conservation goals.

Sue Ellen White

Sue Ellen White with paddleSue 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.

Lee Whitford

Lee with mushroomsLee took her first mushroom ID class in 1988. In 1989 she and 7 others started the Northwest Mushroomers Association in Bellingham where she served as president for 5 years.

Lee has her BS in Geology and MEd in Science Education and has worked as an environmental educator, naturalist, program director in various organizations. She is now semi-retired and serves as the chair of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. But every spring and fall she dusts off the mushroom basket, heads to the woods and teaches others about the fascinating world of fungi.

Frances Wood

picture of Frances WoodA writer, artist and naturalist, Frances wrote and illustrated Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West.  She contributes a regular birding column for the South Whidbey Record and has written for "Birdnote," heard daily on public radio throughout the country. Frances serves on the Island County Marine Resources Committee. She is represented by the Rob Schouten Gallery in Langely, WA. 

For 12 years Frances has coordinated a research project studying the 1,000 pigeon guillemots that breed on Whidbey Island. Volunteers and a paid contractor collect data on the population and breeding success of these birds. See

Todd Zackey

Todd Zackey in the fieldTodd Zackey is the Marine and Nearshore Program Manager for the Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Department and has been working for the Tribes for 15 years. He manages the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and Nearshore Programs for the department and is responsible for mapping, monitoring, assessing, and protecting the Tribes’ nearshore and marine resources on and off the Tulalip Reservation.

Todd has conducted and been involved in a variety of monitoring and research projects in the nearshore areas of the Whidbey Basin including water quality monitoring, mapping of intertidal habitat, and studying juvenile salmon utilization of the Snohomish River estuary, pocket estuaries, and small coastal streams.

Todd is an active member of the Island County Local Integrating Organization, San Juan Salmon Technical Advisory Group, and Co-Chair of the Island County Salmon Technical Advisory Group.


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