Executive Director Joanna Stodden has been teaching youth to love the outdoors since 2008. After graduating from the Evergreen State College with a BS in field biology, she worked for several environmental consulting firms conducting stream surveys for amphibians and salmon habitat all over rural Southeast Alaska. She eventually became lonely among the grizzly bears and mosquitoes and developed a strong desire to share the diversity of the incredible Pacific Northwest with others. She has taught environmental education on beaches, forests, wetlands, aboard tall ships, in school gardens, and served as the Program Coordinator for Seattle Tilth’s Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. An ESC naturalist from 2009-2013 and our Program Manager through 2019, Joanna is thrilled to advocate for outdoor programming as she loves working with the diverse youth that we serve. Joanna’s hobbies include surfing, skiing, gardening, playing soccer, picking her banjo and calling square dances. You will most likely find her following an ant back to her colony or squawking alongside the herons. Joanna@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org – Joanna will be on maternity leave until June.
Community Engagement Manager Kharli Rose spent a decade in the news industry and began birding in the middle of it. Her hobby /obsession soon revealed many natural connections and a desire to share them with others. She gained her BS in environmental studies while helping a Florida county and a national estuary program develop their outreach efforts, but was eager to explore Washington’s wonders. Working in King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks and volunteering with local Audubon groups taught her about our region’s natural treasures. Kharli aims to fuse environmental stewardship with community engagement, so she is overjoyed to help ESC expand their outreach, strengthen their programs and empower the community. In her free time, you may find her drooling at mountains, adding birds to her lifelist, or simply geeking out and goofing around in the outdoors. She also enjoys games, corny jokes, mountain biking, and creating group art and music. Kharli@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org
Grants and Programs Coordinator Kelly Steffen has been working in marine and environmental education for years. Her previous employment had her sharing the marine wonders to the land-locked citizens of Utah as the Director of Education at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. She has also taught students in south Texas and Florida but the Pacific Northwest has always had that special draw. Working as a naturalist, coordinator for the Salmon Heroes program, and now managing the grants, Kelly is excited to be a part of the work ESC is doing to share the wonders of the Puget Sound area. Kelly holds a B.A. in Biology from Lewis & Clark College and a M.S. in Marine Science from The University of Texas at Austin. When she finds time, she enjoys gardening, camping, triathlons, and chasing after her two girls. Kelly@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org
Operations Manager Kasey Qynn Dolin received her BS in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2003 Kasey discovered her a deep love for hands-on science education and found great fulfillment working in the not-for-profit sector. At the Science Museum of Virginia, Kasey taught for a variety of programs both in the Museum, in the outdoors, and in the community, before settling in as School Partnerships Program Coordinator, devoted to bringing hands-on standards-correlated science lessons into the classrooms of underserved urban schools. After making the move from the Chesapeake Bay watershed to the watershed of the Puget Sound, Kasey was thrilled to discover ESC, and in 2013, she joined the team as Programs Manager. Though she had to return to the coal country of Appalachia for a brief period, Kasey is thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest and back at ESC serving as Operations Manager. Kasey is grateful for many things in this world, but the top of the list includes accessible urban greenspace and beaches, the joy of yoga, the love of pit bulls, and the breathtaking beauty of a spreadsheet where all the formulas work as intended. Kasey@EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org
ESC Naturalists: We are also fortunate to have a corps of highly qualified and passionate part-time naturalists! Positions open seasonally for school programs of Beach Heroes and Salmon Heroes and may lead into community program opportunities. Volunteering can be a gateway for all roles and we hope you join our team!