Paul Ben McElwain


SWS Board Member

  • BW Class of 2017
  • Whidbey resident since 1986

SWS Experience

    • Beach Watcher spouse since 2003
    • Classroom co-facilitator for 2018 SWS training
    • Beach monitoring re-calibration team
    • several SWS committees (Science, IBOT, ITT, Communications)

Life/Work Experience

  • Grew up in SE in, on, and around the water.
  • Came to Seattle for UW Oceanography program and found home.
  • Academic studies in Physical Oceanography, Geology (geomorphology), and Geography (computer cartography).
  • Professional career in computing systems with emphasis in data analysis, system architecture, and process maturity.
  • Founding members of Maxwelton Creek Cohousing, involving dozens of years of group process, land search and purchase, and Planned Residential Development — all by consensus process.

Skills re Board

  • Experienced in group social processes in general, and consensus in particular
  • Practiced in deep listening and bridging communication between contrary perspectives
  • Enjoy meeting facilitation and ensuring group process success


  • Exploring and researching our coastal beach
  • Fiber arts, especially spinning and weaving
  • Reading
  • Celtic folk music

Reason I want to serve

  • SWS is dedicated to a cause about which I care deeply.
  • I want to help SWS make member training more accessible and provide more continuing education for our membership.
  • I also want to help SWS become more self-aware and active in the larger ecology of Salish Sea environmental organizations.