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Our Team

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Welcome to The Salish Sea School, where you'll discover a passionate and dedicated team who bring marine science to life in the most exciting and interactive ways possible. Our team consists of a dynamic and talented bunch, all with a wealth of knowledge and deep passion for the Salish Sea that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. Their enthusiasm for the ocean and its creatures is contagious. We're excited to share our love of the sea with you, and to help you develop a deeper connection to the natural world.


Join us on a journey of discovery and marine conservation!

Volunteers  are the heart of our organization! Check out our volunteer opportunities to learn how you can get involved.

volunteer teacher, mindfulness curriculum

cathy norman

is a Hatha Integral Yoga instructor (RYT 200) and has studied mindfulness and meditation practices through her yoga training and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 8 week course...

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board member, president

betsey thoennes

is very involved in environmental advocay and activism projects. Her work as a developer, project manager and technology integration consultant...

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board member, VP/treasurer

cindy elliser, ph.d

 founded Pacific Mammal Research to study marine mammals in the Salish Sea, particularly harbor porpoises and harbor seals...

science advisory board

craig olson

is a retired salmon pathologist and microbiologist passionate about educating students about the many wonders of science.

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board member, secretary

stacy de la o, cae

Stacy De La O, CAE, is a certified association executive and principal consultant for Sage & Rosemary Consulting. Read more

social media manager/graphics

samantha-lynn a full-time student at the University of Washington, studying Marine Biology and Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. Aside from her studies, she is a part-time designer for UW Astronomy and various environmental organizations ...

volunteer teacher

dave norman

...passionately believes in the transforming power of intentional community and mindfulness practice. He has many years of experience in contemplative practice and building bridges of understanding and compassion in this tumultuous time of change.

diversity committe volunteer

jake schoenmann

is an NBC News Photographer based in DC and also a Trans Man. He brings a creative mind and helps with the inclusion/affirmation process towards the LGBTQ+ community. Having more programs that are safe spaces for diverse communities is much needed and beneficial to mental and physical health. 

science advisory board

peter hodum, ph.d

is interested in how patterns and processes in ecology and conservation biology are shaped by mechanisms...

A sincere thank you to the many professionals who have and continue to provide a wide range of invaluable support:

Tim Gohrke, Fractal Fotos
Deborah Gohrke, Fractal Fotos
Matt Stolmeier, OIE Captain
Drew Vevea, OIE Captain
Brooke McKinley, OIE Naturalist
Kevin Jackman, Skagit County Public Works
Deb Macrae

Wayne Huseby, Friends of Skagit Beaches
Erica Pickett, Soroptimist/Friends of Skagit Beaches
Nicole Mortimer, Anacortes School District
Rob Martin, Chinook Enterprises
Jason Quigley, Skagit County Public Works
Diane Hennebert, Anacortes Stormwater Manager
Mira Lutz, SeaDoc Society
Julie Masura, University of Washington, Tacoma
Elizabeth Johnson, The Johnson Manor
Pete Haase, Skagit MRC
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