ESC maintains a corps of highly qualified part-time naturalists and teachers in addition to an administrative staff. Our current administrative staff includes:

Tara staff photoDr. Tara Luckie, Executive Director (, has 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector.  Her nonprofit career has mostly focused on K-12 education nonprofits.  Tara developed her passion for environmental curriculum while teaching at a science-based charter school in South Central Los Angeles.  She is the past Executive Director of the West Seattle Helpline and has worked for several nonprofits in the greater Seattle area.  Tara holds a Master’s in Education, a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.  During her free time, Tara enjoys skiing, scuba diving, hiking, and anything else that includes the outdoors.  She also loves spending time with her family and traveling.


Joanna Stodden, Program Manager (, 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, Joanna is thrilled to enhance our school 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.


kharli-roseKharli Rose, Community Engagement Manager (, 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.


Kelly Steffen, Grants and Programs Coordinator (,Kelly photo has worked at ESC as a Naturalist since 2015 and is excited to be help out more internally with the programs. 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. 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.



Hannah Lertola, Operations and Stewardship Manager (, comes to ESC with several years of non-profit experience throughout the greater Seattle area, primarily working with organizations that serve children, youth and families. She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Washington and has a wide background of experience ranging from working in local school districts, community and political organizing, as well as non-profit program and operations management. As an outdoor enthusiast, committed to social and environmental justice, Hannah is excited to apply her skills and experience more directly towards environmental causes. Originally from Michigan, she has called Seattle “home” for nearly 10 years and can’t get enough of the endless natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the incredible outdoor recreation and wildlife it has to offer. In her free time, Hannah enjoys traveling, hiking, birding, crafting and snuggling up with her cat and a good book.