This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held Saturday, February 2, 2019
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters University information
Showing Full Presenter Bios     [show Brief Presenter Intros]   

Mahmoud Abdel-Monem


Abdel-Monem is Professor and Dean Emeritus, College of Pharmacy at Washington State University. He retired from WSU in 1998. 
Prior to WSU, Monem was on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, and in 1985 he received the University of Minnesota Amoco-Morse Outstanding Teaching Award, a University-wide award in recognition of his effort in developing novel educational systems utilizing computer managed instruction. Additionally, in 1999, Abdel-Monem received the University of Minnesota Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, in recognition of his significant contributions to higher education and research.

Abdel-Monem has served as scientific consultant to industrial firms throughout his academic career, and holds over 25 U.S. patents.
Abdel-Monem is a Sound Water Steward (class of 2007), and a member of the Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron. He lives with his wife on Whidbey Island.

Rein Attemann

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

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




David Bailey

David Bailey at Beaver Dam

David participates in elk collaring and population monitoring, avian monitoring in estuary systems, and wildlife habitat enhancement projects.

Primarily he addresses urban beaver management issues by relocating beavers to the upper watershed to improve fish habitat and water storage capabilities.

He recently published a paper in Wires Water titled "Reintegrating the North American Beaver in the Urban Landscape."

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 in Mukilteo.

John Bower

John Bower holding multiple chickensJohn Bower has spent 25 years studying the natural world. Getting his start as a birdwatcher, his research includes acoustic communication in bowhead whales and song sparrows, as well as population ecology of Pacific Northwest marine birds.

Most recently, John and his family lived on Isla Robinson Crusoe, 500 miles off the coast of Chile, where he studied competition for flowers between the endangered and endemic Juan Fernandez firecrown hummingbird and the green firecrown, a recent arrival from the South American mainland. In his spare time, John gardens, play folk guitar, and spends time with his two kids and partner.

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.”




Hillary Burgess

Prior to getting her feet wet in the marine world through the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), Hillary focused on community engagement in restoration, horticulture, and sustainability. While working at a botanic garden in south Florida, she discovered a passion for citizen science that eventually manifested into graduate studies at UW, and creation of a citizen science project exploring influences of gardening on pollinators.

Hillary Burgess with dog on beachNow the Science Coordinator at COASST, she ensures that data are useful and used by working with science and resource management partners, conducting trainings, module development, and overseeing data quality assurance and control. She is also involved in the Citizen Science Association and UW Citizen Science Community of Practice, and has an interest in advancing science outcomes in the field of citizen science.

Coming from a long line of beach walkers, Hillary loves visiting coastal communities and beach combing. Outside of COASST, she grows orchids, does aerial dance and is an avid hiker.

Max Calloway

Picture of Max CallowayMax Calloway was raised on the shores of the Long Island Sound where he discovered a love for marine environments as a child while harassing horse-shoe crabs at low-tide.

While working as a field technician for Olympic National Park, he became enamored with the floating forests of bull kelp along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This curiosity followed him into his graduate studies at the Evergreen State College Master's of Environmental Studies program where he focused almost all his time and effort on understanding the dynamics of Puget Sound bull kelp beds.

His graduate work transitioned into a position with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund where he currently co-manages the organization's growing kelp recovery and restoration efforts.

Betsy Carlson

Betsy CarlsonBetsy works “off-shore” (at the end of a pier) as the Citizen Science Coordinator for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in Port Townsend, Washington, where she designs and coordinates citizen science projects, trains volunteers, and oversees the center’s data management.

Betsy has over two decades of experience in environmental and conservation outreach, education and community building with Washington State University Extension, Olympic National Park, Olympic Park Institute and Peace Corps.

She lived for six years in Madagascar; one year on a remote island collecting botanical specimens and studying forest habitat of an endangered primate, the aye-aye, and five years as the Associate Director for Peace Corps’ Environment Program.

Betsy completed her Masters of Environmental Studies at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelors of Science in Plant Science at the University of Delaware. She fell in love with the Pacific Northwest as a backcountry ranger for Olympic National Park and has called Port Townsend home since the early 1990s.

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 he is where the buck stops for fish and invertebrate health and management issues. 

Tim has been SCUBA diving for over 25 years and is a senior member of the Seattle Aquarium's field research and collection dive teams. He works closely with the national network of aquarium professionals through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Henry Carson

Image of Henry CarsonHenry "Hank" Carson grew up in Walla Walla and lived for trips to a family cabin on Hood Canal. After a bachelors in Environmental Science and Biology at the Colorado College, he moved to Seattle and had a variety of jobs in teaching and science such as work with NOAA on Columbia Basin salmon recovery. He then moved to California to pursue a doctoral degree in marine ecology at San Diego State University and University of California, Davis.

Henry's Ph.D. dissertation research focused on how populations are connected to each other in the ocean through the drift of larval stages. In 2008 he then took a post-doctoral researcher position at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, also on population connectivity. In 2010 he started a second post-doc position at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, this time studying plastic pollution in the marine environment. 

Henry returned to the Puget Sound in 2013, at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Olympia. He leads the department's shellfish dive team that manages fisheries for geoduck, sea cucumber, sea urchin, and scallops, as well as the pinto abalone population recovery program.

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 as well as talk about day trip routes. He plans to throw in a few anecdotes for good measure.

Lori Clark

Picture of Lori ClarkLori is the Manager of Island County Department of Natural Resources and the Coordinator for the Island Local Integrating Organization. Her education includes a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Science and Policy and a Master's of Science in Water Resources.

Lori loves having the opportunity to lead a group of people who are dedicated to ecosystem protection and recovery in Island County.

She works with watershed and regional partners to collectively advance recovery goals. She also ensures funding is targeted to the highest priority local actions to achieve the greatest impact in our watershed and Puget Sound.

Wayne Clark

Wayne Clark with historic photos of lighthouse keeper and coast artileryWayne Clark is the President of Admiralty Head Lighthouse Keepers, and he is also a docent for the lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park.

He served in the United States Coast Guard as an Aviation Survivalman and Rescue Swimmer in Alaska and California from 1970-1974.

Following his service he worked as an educator and education administrator in Wisconsin, Oregon and Alaska.

While in Alaska he owned a backcountry guide and fishing business and worked as a Ranger at Glacier Bay National Park.

Dan Clements

Dan is an adventurer who has a deep appreciation and respect for the world’s natural wonders and life in its many varied forms. He has climbed, skied, sailed, SCUBA dived, and traveled throughout the world.Picture of Dan Clements

After a successful 30 year career in public finance, Dan is working to help develop a greater appreciation of our natural environments through photography, publishing, and travel. ​ When he is not shooting photos underwater, he enjoys back country skiing, distance running, mountain biking, and opera.

He holds an MBA in international finance and has sat on boards for United Way of Snohomish County and Housing Hope. Additionally, he is an active supporter of the Pacific Northwest Underwater Photographers Society, Seattle Opera, Washington Ceasefire, and Family and Friends of Victims of Violent Crimes.

Everett, Wahington is home base and is where he and his wife raised two sons. 

Matthew Colston

Picture of Matt ColstonMatthew is a Surface Water Quality Specialist for Island County Department of Natural Resources. He also has experience in onsite septic systems  operation and maintenance.  Currently he monitors surface water quality across Island County.

He has a B.S. degree in general biology from the University of Washington (2015).

Matthew is a resident of Oak Harbor and he loves serving our community and calling the Salish Sea his home! 

Maribeth Crandell

Maribeth CrandellMaribeth has a degree in Environmental Education, a K-8 Teaching Certificate and Masters in Human Development. She’s worked as a naturalist and guide for twenty years in parks and wilderness areas from the Columbia River Gorge to Southeast Alaska. She’s been a community educator on Whidbey Island for over a decade. She initiated the Whidbey Green Seal, Waste Wise Holiday, Free Breakfast for Car-Free Commuters and Island Transit's monthly Guided Tours.

She hiked the Appalachian Trail and published her book, Flip Flop on the Appalachian Trail, in 2018. She gives presentations on local and long distance hiking at Sno-Isle Libraries.

Maribeth is a WSU Beach Watcher, Waste Wise and Climate Steward graduate. She’s been commuting by foot, bike and bus and taking low carbon vacations for a dozen years. She works as a Mobility Specialist for Island Transit and enjoys sharing ideas on how to live a low carbon lifestyle with a high quality of life.

Marianne Edain

Picture of Marianne EdainMarianne Edain is a co-founder of Whidbey Environmental Action Network. She has worked more than 30 years as a restoration ecologist and embodies a lifelong spirit of environmental protection and advocacy.

Martha Ellis

Photo of Martha and Steve Ellis

Steve and Martha Ellis are Coupeville residents. Steve is a former 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 and Martha Ellis are Coupeville residents.  Steve is a former 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.

Hilary Franz

Hilary Franz

Hilary Franz was sworn in as Washington’s 14th Commissioner of Public Lands on January 11, 2017. The Commissioner of Public Lands administers the state Department of Natural Resources and its 1,500 employees, directs the management of over 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, supervises DNR's wildfire protection on millions of acres of state and private forestlands, and chairs the state’s Board of Natural Resources and the Forest Practices Board.

Prior to being elected, Commissioner Franz was executive director of Futurewise, an organization committed to implementing smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies. In this role, she brought together local governments, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to protect the environment and grow strong local economies. She served four years on the Bainbridge Island City Council, where she developed nationally-recognized energy and environmental policies and programs. In addition, Hilary has served on numerous state and regional boards and commissions, working to strengthen and protect both the environment and local economies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a juris doctor from Northeastern University Law School.

Hilary is a third-generation farmer and small forest landowner.  She is the mother of three wonderful sons, whom she raised on a small historic farm along with 12 sheep, 2 goats, 7 pigs, 3 cats, and 100 chickens.

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

Carrie Garrison-Laney

Dr. Carrie Garrison-LaneyDr. Carrie Garrison-Laney is a tsunami hazards expert at Washington Sea Grant and liaison to the National Center for Tsunami Research at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

Carrie’s graduate research focused on paleotsunami deposits at intertidal marsh sites around the Salish Sea, and included numerical modeling of tsunamis, a study of marine and intertidal diatom evidence for sea level change, and radiocarbon ages to determine the timing of inundation events and potential tsunami sources.

Carrie’s interests include tsunami science, scientific communication, and scientific education. Carrie participates in a variety of outreach activities, including Washington’s Tsunami Roadshow series of talks.

Carrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Geosciences from San Francisco State University; a master’s degree in Environmental Systems from Humboldt State University; a master’s degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington; and a Ph.D. in Earth and Space Sciences from the University of Washington.

Deborah Giles

Photo of Deborah GilesDr. Deborah Giles (she goes by her last name) received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2014.  Her master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertation both focused on the federally listed southern resident killer whales. Formerly the Research Director at the Center for Whale Research, she currently is a resident scientist and lecturer at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Labs, where she teaches Marine Mammals of the Salish Sea and Marine Biology.  

Since 2009, Giles has been the vessel captain for  Dr. Samuel Wasser's project - University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology - utilizing a scat detection dog to locate floating killer whale scat to monitor the physiological 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 these animals.

Giles is the killer whale scientific adviser for the Orca Salmon Alliance, a program advisor for Killer Whale Tales, and is on the Steering Committee for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Advocates (SalishSEA).

Greg Goforth

Picture of Greg GoforthGreg Goforth, Associate Critical Areas Planner, has explored the West Coast thoroughly in the past few years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State, graduate certificate in GIS from Oregon State, and has done an internship and work in Alaska and California completing watershed management and habitat assessments.

As a Critical Areas Planner for Island County, Greg reviews mitigation and restoration plans associated with development proposals, makes site visits to determine wetlands and buffers, and consults with other staff and the public on critical areas regulation.

Harrison Goodall

Goodall at TetonsHarrison Goodall is an architectural conservator specializing in historic vernacular architecture. He consults on and develops preservation plans and maintenance management systems and services. He has served as a building pathology and diagnostics specialist assisting owners and stewards with preservation issues nationwide.

Goodall is also an educator in the field of Historic Preservation and has developed curriculum for the National Park Service, National Forest Service, historic sites, museums and others.

He is currently a volunteer member of Lighthouse Environmental Program (LEP) Grant Committee, and an active volunteer helping to preserve heritage barns and buildings throughout Washington, especially on Whidbey and Camano Islands. He has assisted in preparing nominations for the WA Heritage Barn program (43), and for Barn grants ($300,00 +), and has performed historic building surveys of Whidbey Island, Grand Teton, the Olympic and Virgin Islands National Parks, Washington State Parks, and county parks.

Goodall is the Principal for Conservation Services

Emily Grason

Emily GrasonEmily Grason, Ph.D. is a Marine Ecologist with Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington.

For "work", she plays in the mud with 200 adventurous volunteers, tribal and agency staff partners, to help protect the Salish Sea from invasive European green crab.

As a specialist in marine bioinvasions, Emily is interested in learning what happens to an ecological community when a new species shows up, and how to avoid invasions entirely. 

crab team monitors



Cheryl Greengrove

Julie Masura (left) and Cheryl Greengrove (right)Co-presenters Cheryl Greengrove (right) and Julie Masura (left) are both Geoscience faculty members in Environmental Science in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT).

Cheryl, an Associate Professor and founding faculty member of the Environmental Sciences program at UWT, is a physical oceanographer who received her Ph.D from Columbia University.

Julie, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher, is a sedimentologist who received her MS from Washington State University.

They are both currently working with biological and chemical oceanographers studying harmful algal blooms in Puget Sound and estuarine processes in Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Their favorite activity is taking students in the field and involving them in hands-on research.

Neil Harrington

Neil HarringtonNeil Harrington has worked for the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe since 2012.

His work has focused on harmful algal blooms, shellfish safety, invasive European green crab monitoring and outreach to school children.

He represents the Tribe on the Jefferson county Marine Resources Committee, the Dungeness River Audubon Center Board and the National Harmful Algal Bloom Committee.

He has 17 years of experience working on natural resources issues on the North Olympic Peninsula. He holds a Master of Science in Biological Oceanography from UC Santa Cruz.

John Hudson

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

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

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

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

Sego Jackson

Photo of Sego Jackson

Sego Jackson is City of Seattle's Strategic Advisor for Waste Prevention and Product Stewardship. He 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.

In recent years, Sego has turned his attention to addressing issues around plastics, including implementing Seattle's plastic straw and plastic utensil ban and new regulations on plastic bags. He's been engaging with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastic Economy Initiative.

Sego also advises and works on a range of policy proposals addressing plastic packaging, including comprehensive producer responsibility legislation for plastic packaging in Washington state.

For their 2018 summer vacation, he and his wife Raven Jirikovic, joined the 5Gyres Institute's Coral Triangle Expedition to observe and survey plastic pollution in the waters of Indonesia.

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.

George Kaminsky

George Kaminsky is a Coastal Engineer with the Washington State Department of Ecology with 27 years of applied research on how beaches and coastal landforms change over time, and what types of interventions are most sustainable and compatible with the surrounding environment.

George oversees the Coastal Monitoring & Analysis Program (CMAP) at Ecology, a group that conducts coastal morphology monitoring around the State using boat-based topographic lidar, multibeam sonar, and real-time kinematic global positioning systems.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Washington, and holds a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Sydney, an MSc in Oceanography from the University of Washington, and a BSc in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.

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 spent 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. He left 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.

Elyssa Kerr

Elyssa KerrElyssa Kerr has the privilege of spending inordinate amounts of time exploring beaver ponds and appreciating the ecosystems that beavers engineer.

She has previously worked for a variety of organizations performing environmental restoration and delivering environmental education lessons on beaches, in wetlands and beyond.

Nothing makes her more happy than marveling over plants, invertebrates or beavers with other nature nerds!

Ardi Kveven

Ardi Kveven - ORCAArdi Kveven earned her bachelor's degree in biology with a marine emphasis, along with her teaching certificate, from the University of Washington. She holds a master's degree in science education from Western Washington University and a United States Coast Guard 100 ton Master’s License.

Prior to developing ORCA with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kveven taught marine science and oceanography from high school to the college level. She focused on introducing students to the marine biology of the Pacific Northwest. 

Kveven views science as an active process….one that all students should have an opportunity to experience. Innovative work with engaging students in experimental research in the local estuary led to three National Science Foundation grants, including one for a custom designed 34 foot research vessel.

Kveven also serves as a board member for the SeaDoc Society, an organization that works to protect the health of marine wildlife and their ecosystems through science and education.

Lou LaBombard

Pictureof Lou LaBombard

Lou recently retired from  full-time instruction at Skagit Valley College, but continues to teach Anthropology classes part time. 

His 36 years of full time teaching included five years at Navajo College in Arizona and three years at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. His area of expertise includes Anthropology, Sociology, Native American Studies, and Ethnic Studies.

He has worked in Archaeology and Ethnology on Whidbey and elsewhere for more than 35 years. He has also taught wilderness survival for over 35 years.

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

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

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.

Hannah Liss

Picture of Hannah LissHannah Liss is an Associate Critical Areas Planner with the Island County Planning and Community Development team.

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of South Carolina, Hannah relocated to Washington as an AmeriCorps service member. Through work with WA State Conservation Districts, she has gained hands-on experience with the protection and restoration of native wetland and riparian ecosystems. The extent of her experience ranges from conservation planning and implementation to community outreach and education.

Hannah has further deepened her appreciation for Puget Sound communities through extensive volunteer involvement with the Seattle Aquarium, the Wildlife Society, and the Washington Native Plant Society.

T. Abe Lloyd


T. Abe LloydT. Abe Lloyd is an ethnobotanist who specializes in Northwest Coast indigenous foods systems. He is the Director of Salal, the Cascadian Food Institute, where he works with tribal governments to research and promote ancestral foods.

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

For more information about Abe and the Cascadian Food Institute see

Parker MacCready

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

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

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

Julie Masura

Julie Masura (left) and Cheryl Greengrove (rightCo-presenters Julie Masura (left) and Dr. Cheryl Greengrove (right) are both Geoscience faculty members in Environmental Science in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT).

Cheryl, an Associate Professor and founding faculty member of the Environmental Sciences program at UWT, is a physical oceanographer who received her Ph.D from Columbia University.

Julie, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher, is a sedimentologist who received her MS from Washington State University.

They are both currently working with biological and chemical oceanographers studying harmful algal blooms in Puget Sound and estuarine processes in Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Their favorite activity is taking students in the field and involving them in hands-on research.

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.

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.

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.

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

Don Meehan

Don Meehan flying plane with companion and dogWashington State University (WSU) Island County Director Emeritus and founder of the WSU Beach Watchers. Currently serves as grants manager for Lighthouse Environmental Programs (LEP).

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 from 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.

Kelsi Mottet

Kelsi MottetA 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.

Jan Newton

Photo of Jan NewtonDr. Jan Newton is a Senior Principal Oceanographer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, and affiliate faculty with the UW College of the Environment.  Jan also  is the Executive Director of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, NANOOS, which is the regional association of U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, IOOS, for the Pacific Northwest. Jan's work through NANOOS seeks to bring knowledge of ocean conditions to stakeholders for their use in decision making in myriad contexts, including safeguarding public economy, health, and safety.

Jan is a biological oceanographer who continues to study multidisciplinary dynamics of Puget Sound and coastal Washington waters, including understanding effects from climate and humans on water properties. An appointee to the Washington Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification (OA) and the West Coast Panel on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia, Jan is now co-Director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center at the University of Washington and researching ocean acidification and its effects in local waters with colleagues from NOAA and elsewhere.

Jan works on OA from local to global scales. Locally she works with west coast tribes and shellfish growers, facilitating use of observing technologies, forecast models, and data portals; globally she is a founding Executive Council member of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network, GOA-ON, and works in service to support capacity building and data provision for the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 14.3 on marine pH.

David Parent

Picture of Dr. David ParentDavid Parent, DVM has been passionate about wildlife since he was a young boy. He earned a degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University.

He has been involved in several wildlife studies including rocky mountain goats in Olympic National Park, marbled and Kittlitz's murrelets in Glacier Bay National Park and fat-tailed dwarf lemurs and diademed sifakas in Madagascar.

In addition to examining dogs and cats in his veterinary practice, he is licensed by the Washington Department of Fish and Game to treat wildlife, including marine mammals.

Rhonda Paulson

Rhonda is Vice-president of the Camano Preparedness Group and a General Level amateur radio operator. She also holds a General Mobile Radio Service license to cover communications at a neighborhood level and is a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Rhonda currently is studying Morse code as a critical backup for amateur radio communications.

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.  She works with Island County and Camano Island CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to provide local training sessions twice a year.  Rhonda currently is working to establish continuing education/exercises for those who have already completed CERT training. In addition, she continues to add to her training with updated First Aid/CPR/AED classes and with the Stop the Bleed course.

Katrina Poppe

Katrina Poppe in grass fieldKatrina Poppe works to advance the use and appreciation of our northwest wild foods as co-owner of Salal, the Cascadian Food Institute, LLC. She is also a wetland ecologist, a consultant with Northwest Ecological Services, LLC, and a research associate in the Estuarine Ecology Lab at WWU.

Katrina serves on the board for a number of organizations including the Koma Kulshan chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, the Society of Wetland Scientists PNW chapter, the Pacific Estuarine Research Society, and The Dudley Foundation.

Lovel Pratt

picture of Lovel PrattLovel Pratt is the Marine Protection Program Director at Friends of the San Juans. Friends of the San Juans protects and restores the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature using science, education, and advocacy – since 1979.

Lovel advocates for safe shipping and oil spill prevention in the transboundary Salish Sea. She is a member of the Governor’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force’s Vessels Working Group and the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee. Lovel is the environmental representative on the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee and served on the VTRA (Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment) 2010 and VTRA 2015 Working Groups.

Helen Price Johnson

Photo of Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson

Elected to the Island County Board of Commissioners in 2008, Helen Price Johnson served as Board Chair in 2010, 2015 and again in 2018.

She has made it a priority to balance the County budget and restructure local government to efficiently and effectively provide vital services to our community. 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 supporting a vibrant economy and affordable housing for our families. 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 here, and have two adorable grandchildren.

These are some of the other boards and organizations where she serves:

  • Island Watershed Local Integrating Organization, Chair;
  • Regional Transportation Policy Board, Chair;
  • Island County Law and Justice Committee;
  • Island County Board of Health;
  • Whidbey Community Foundation, Board of Directors;
  • Northwest Regional Council – Agency on Aging;
  • Washington Counties Insurance Fund, Past President;
  • Puget Sound Partnership Salmon Recovery Council and Ecosystem Coordinating Board;
  • Washington Association of Counties, Coastal Caucus;
  • Washington Association of Counties, Legislative Steering Committee;
  • Washington Association of Counties, Federal Relations Task Force; and
  • Washington Association of Counties, Past President/Executive Committee;
Gregg Ridder

Photo of Gregg RidderGregg received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1977. He worked as a research scientist at Procter & Gamble for 25 years studying mechanisms of toxicity at the cellular level using analytical cytometry.

In retirement, Gregg is contributing to the mapping of eelgrass abundance using underwater videography and aerial photography for the Island County Marine Resources Committee.

Don Rothaus

Rothaus and 2 large crabs

Don has been a Shellfish Biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for 30 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 28 years. 

He is the author of five books on wildlife art and photography, and he has traveled to South America, India, Africa, Costa Rica and Alaska in pursuit of his subjects.

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

Sue Ryan

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

Meera Lee Sethi

Photo of Meera Lee SethiMeera Lee Sethi was born in Singapore in 1979. She moved to the U.S. in 1998 and began falling in love with science, slowly and inconveniently, while earning a BA in Comparative Literature and a Masters in Children's Literature and Teaching.

Since then she has worked as a middle school humanities teacher, a textbook editor, a freelance science writer, and a serial field technician on ecological research projects in Sweden, Alaska, and California.

She is currently in the 4th year of her PhD in Biology at the University of Washington, where she is interested in discovering how climate affects the complex relationships living organisms have with each other. Specifically, Meera's research focuses on the impacts of climate change on the relationships between subalpine meadow plants and their insect herbivores. She is also curious about the indirect effects herbivory may have on insect pollinators, and uses a combination of observational methods in the field and experimental approaches in the lab to quantify these phenomena.

Olivia Shangrow

photo of Olive Shangrow Olivia completed her bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Washington.

She is passionate about teaching the public about wild bees. Her research focuses on increasing the value of rural and urban habitats for native insects.

Joe Sheldon

Photo of Joe SheldonHigh school St. Helens, Oregon; B.S. The College of Idaho (Biology); Ph.D. the University of Illinois (Entomology: Insect Ecology).

Thirty six years of college teaching at Eastern College and Messiah College, both in Pennsylvania. Summer teaching faculty of Au Sable Institute of Environmental science (1987-2007.) Received outstanding teaching awards at both Eastern and Messiah College. Received the Conservation Educator of the Year, Classroom Category, for the state of Pennsylvania in 1998.

Served as President of the American Entomological Society (1991-1997) and President of the American Scientific Affiliation (1998-1999). Listed in Who’s Who in American Men and Women in Science and Who’s Who in Theology and Science; Board Member of the Evangelical Environmental Network (2004-2007). Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Creation Care Study Program (2004-2007). Presented invited expert testimony on the Endangered Species Act for the House Committee on Resources (2004). Participant in the first Scientists-Evangelicals Retreat in 2006 at The Melhana Plantation, Thomasville, GA., sponsored by the Center for Health and the Global Environment, (Harvard Medical School) and the National Association of Evangelicals.

Author of numerous articles on insect ecology and also on science/religion focusing on stewardship of creation. Authored two books – Rediscovery of Creation: A Bibliographical Study of the Church’s Response to the Environmental Crisis, 1992, The American Theological Library Association ATLA Bibliography Series, No. 29 and The Scarecrow press, Inc; Redeeming Creation: The Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship, 1996. Inter Varsity Press, Co-authored with Van Dyke, Mahan, and Brand. 

Currently Senior Academic Adviser for Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship; Board Secretary for Whidbey Island Theological Studies; Board member of Whidbey Audubon.

Retired to Whidbey Island, WA June 2007.

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:

Jill Silver

Photo of Jill SilverJill Silver is the Executive Director and Watershed Program Manager at 10,000 Years Institute, a non-profit science and education group based on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend.

The Institute develops and implements applied research projects, watershed monitoring, and educational programs that inform and encourage sustainable resource management and conservation in forested watershed ecosystems.

Jill is a watershed ecologist with a passion for connecting to the natural world through landscape stewardship in many forms, ranging from biomimicry to forestry, and from residential backyards to entire watersheds and ecoregions. She develops projects and research that contribute locally-sourced knowledge to locally-based solutions for challenging and complex issues. For example, she enjoys assessing and addressing the intersection between climate change, forest health, and invasive plants.

Working in communities with diverse partners, Jill identifies needs and opportunities for jobs in research, restoration and stewardship. She pioneers methods and projects that increase restoration success while decreasing costs and impacts over time.

Jill brings her passion for thriving biodiversity to boards and committees including the Olympic Forest Coalition, the Olympic Forest Collaborative, the North Pacific Coast Marine Resource Committee, the North Pacific Coast Lead Entity, the Olympic Invasives Working Group, and the Washington Scotch Broom Working Group. She is also a member of the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Dawn Spilsbury Pucci

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

She has been in the salmon recovery network in Washington for 18 years and also previously in British Columbia. 

Dawn has worked with forest and fish ecology, nearshore ecology, sea level rise and climate change, wetlands science and marine telemetry projects.

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 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 opportunities for mitigation.

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 to speed recovery. He assisted the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the development of the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit in February, 2016.

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.

Rachel Taylor

Rachel Taylor photoBorn and raised on Vashon Island, Rachel moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to attend Occidental College, where she earned a degree in Urban and Environmental Policy.

Rachel has worked with organizations such as Community Coalition, Backbone Campaign, Monteverde Conservation League, Cogan Owens Greene, Fossil Free Oxy and LA EcoVillage doing community and campus organizing, environmental education, media design and communication, creative activism and community-based research.

In addition to Joyality, Rachel consults with the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network on social media and communications and assists in WECAN's social media strategy. She is also a researcher, writer, and communications and marketing associate for Intentionalist, a Seattle-based startup driving economic empowerment, conscious consumerism, local economies and inclusive communities.

Rachel is a joyful lover of the Earth and holds a deep faith in the capacity of human beings to evolve, to come together and to consciously create a better world. Rachel is particularly passionate about awakening and deepening the human-nature connection, the role of women in facilitating transformation, and nurturing diverse, decolonizing, inclusive and creative solutions to social and environmental problems. She has a passion and talent for bringing the unconscious to the surface and articulating truth in a way that is at once accessible and transcendent.

Heather Trim

Picture of Heather TrimHeather has more than 25 years of experience in environmental work. Heather joined Zero Waste Washington as Executive Director at the end of 2016. Since then she  has been ramping up programs that build upon the organization’s signature producer responsibility policy initiatives. Her focus has been on programs to reduce upstream sources of waste, remove toxic chemicals from products, and reduce plastic pollution.

Previously, at Futurewise (for four years), she worked to prevent runoff from entering our waterways; improve shoreline management practices and policies; and address a range of issues such as community sustainability, habitats, and climate change. Heather was at People for Puget Sound for over ten years where she focused on protections for the marine environment. Earlier, she was staff scientist for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council focusing on various projects leading to the greening of the rivers, including water quality, stormwater issues, pollution assessments and habitat renewal. She also worked for the Regional Water Quality Control Board on water quality standards, regulatory permits, and pollution assessments of both surface and ground water for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Heather has extensive experience in the technical and scientific aspects of environmental policy. She has conducted education and outreach for over 20 years, ranging from community science projects to K-12 education and creative outreach projects. As part of the grass roots group, Zero Waste Seattle, she was a leader in the Seattle bag campaign and helped lead the advocacy effort for Seattle’s food serviceware, phone book opt-out, and commercial building recycling/compost ordinances.

Yaamini Venkataraman

Photo of Yaamini VenkataramanAs a California Bay Area native, I grew up going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was always floored by the intricacies of the organisms themselves, but also by the complexity of their environments. These experiences pushed me to get my BS in General Biology and BA in Environmental Policy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

I studied several different species-environment interactions, including copepods and copper toxicity at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, marsh plants species and increased carbon inputs at the Smithsonian Institute for Environmental Studies, and limpet-surfgrass interactions under acidified conditions at UCSD. At the Roberts Lab, I study how climate change is going to affect the organisms in our current and future oceans. My current projects involve examining ocean acidification’s effects on oysters.

I’m also interested in projects at the intersection of science, policy and communication. I currently serve as the Social Media Intern at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, where I spearheaded a profile series featuring graduate students in the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. I interned at the Tropical Forest Group and served on the editorial board of the undergraduate biology research journal, Saltman Quarterly. I have also participated in several education and outreach experiences through the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where I assisted with developing a teen social media brand and was a part of the aquarium’s youth delegation for the 2012 International Aquarium Congress.

Bert Webber

Bert WebberI come from a long line of family, going back to the 17th Century, who earned their living from the seas of the English Channel. They were mostly fishermen (and perhaps some pirates or soldiers) all having a close connection to the salt water, a trait I share.

I was born in New Westminster BC in 1941, and after university at UBC came south to the States. I spent two years at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, a couple of years teaching on the east coast and then returned home to join Huxley College of the Environment in 1970 to teach marine ecology.

The Salish Sea is my home. Through participating in ecosystem based studies in the 1980's it became clear to me that the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia and the Puget Sound are all one interconnected estuarine ecosystem. I believe that we will not be successful in restoring and protecting the natural values of the waters we live beside until we, all 8 million or so of us, become better stewards of the Salish Sea.

Eli 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 prefers expedition kayaking. In 2013-14 Sue Ellen circumnavigated Whidbey Island by kayak, and wrote about the experience. Most recently, she enjoyed a paddling trip to the outer Broughton Archipelago. 

Sue Ellen serves as an advisor on the statewide Paddlesports Advisory Committee of 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 Environment, Nature & Science Reporting category of the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists competition for non-daily papers in the Pacific Northwest region.

John F. Williams

John Williams spent almost 20 years helping to map the ocean floor all over the world, from the deepest of the deep, the Mariana Trench, to the flanks of Surtsey, Iceland, some of the newest real-estate on the planet.

At the beginning of this century, he embarked on a new adventure:  turning his love for SCUBA diving into a new career making educational underwater movies. Recognizing some of the serious issues facing our oceans, yet optimistic that they can be addressed through public awareness and involvement, John founded a media production company called Still Hope Productions, Inc. His videos have been seen on broadcast, satellite, and cable TV, and at science conferences.

John's movie about the four seasons underwater in Puget Sound, Return of the Plankton, is in many schools and libraries around the U.S., and it toured the country with the Kids First! film festival in 2007.

From 2006 to 2009, John produced the award winning TV series: “SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest” about our underwater neighborhoods that aired on over 60 community stations. In the last few years, John has been broadening his horizons, integrating his experience with marine ecosystems with an exploration of our local forests. This wholistic approach is reflected in his new project, "Salish Magazine" (

Janet Wright

Photo of Janet WrightJanet Wright, Senior Planner, has worked for Island County since 2014, and has reviewed and approved development proposals for both shoreline and upland areas.

A large part of Janet's duties focus on public education. She strives to explain to the public how Island County regulations try to balance development activity and protection of the natural environment, which is an ongoing challenge.

Janet enjoys local and international travel and served as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala from 2010-2013. Her experience living in a developing country made her much more appreciative of the environmental laws in this country. A graduate with a master’s degree from the School of Planning and the Built Environment at the University of Washington, Janet is grateful to live and work in the beautiful Puget Sound region.

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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