Jeanie McElwain

SWS Board Member

  • BW Class of 2003, SWS Class of 2017
  • Current (2020) Lead of Whidbey Island Monitoring Committee
  • Whidbey resident since 1989

SWS Experience

  • Beach Naturalist-created and co-led BW Extreme “Low Tide Guides” project 2003, 2004
  • Current Lead – Intertidal ID Study Group trainings and field trips
  • Co-Lead with Paul McElwain – Volunteer Training Class of 2018
  • Member – Volunteer Education & Training Committee, 2017-present
  • Member – Whidbey Steering Committee  2017-present
  • Distribution & Marketing Chair, plus fund raising, ground-truthing, writing, editing for Getting to the Water’s Edge

Life/Work Experience

Maxwelton Salmon Adventure/Whidbey Watershed Stewards

  • Teaching Volunteer, Board Member, Outdoor Classroom Teaching Lead
  • Co-founder and Tour Lead for Green Home Tours

Maxwelton Creek Co-Housing – Eco-housing alternative-building consensus community

  • Founding year member, Co-builder & Chair of Community Water System, liaison with County government, co-built straw-bale home

Island County Government

  • Contracted for, created, and presented Freeland Water Quality Improvement Project to organizations and schoolchildren throughout Whidbey Island

Ph.D Transpersonal Psychology

  • Specialties include: brain development, perception & motivation; healing of trauma though physical modalities; death and grief counseling

M.S.L.S. Specialty – Library Outreach to Special Needs Populations

  • Professionally created and ran projects in Detroit, North Carolina and California’s Imperial Valley for multiple-language, multiple-needs populations

Whidbey General Hospital

  • Social work/discharge planning – facilitated follow-up patient support and care, liaison with multiple agencies, medical providers & community services, facilitated Whidbey cancer support groups

Life Experience 

  • gifted to live in/explore multiple habitats, including deserts (Sonoran Desert, Imperial Valley, Four Corners, India’s Deccan Plateau), eastern mixed deciduous forests (Indiana Hill Country), southern Piedmont and Appalachian foothills (North Carolina), now the Pacific Northwest!

Skills re Board

  • Experience over time with multiple projects, committees and tasks within BW/SWS.  Experience with multiple non-profit boards.  Enthusiasm.  Passion for volunteer support.
  • Past experience in organizational development of non-profits during early post-founding years, as is SWS, including determining true goals, identity choices and structures.


Paul Ben McElwain. Cats. Dogs.  All other Animals.  Plants. Color.  Beauty.  Guidebooks! Sharing the wondrous natural world with anyone who will look and listen.