Committee Member Information

   
 Meeting Members Treva Coe – Treva is the Watershed Restoration Program Manager for the Nooksack Tribe. She has a M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Washington.  As a fisheries biologist with the Tribe for the past 20 years, she has experience and expertise in local natural resources management, protection, and restoration issues, including habitat restoration, climate vulnerability and adaptation, floodplain management, and land use and water resources planning and regulation.  She also has established relationships with staff from Nooksack Tribe, Lummi Nation, and Whatcom County governments, as well as Whatcom Conservation District, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and Whatcom Land Trust.  She has a keen interest in land use measures that reduce emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and build resilience to climate impacts.

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Kaylee Galloway

– Kaylee brings over five years of government service including Legislative Assistant for State Representative Debra Lekanoff (40th LD) in Olympia and Bellingham, and formerly Community Liaison for Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and Staff Assistant for Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington, DC. Kaylee has extensive outreach experience throughout Whatcom County where she has engaged stakeholders on a diverse range of topics, such as agriculture, water, climate change, renewable energy, salmon recovery, habitat enhancement and emergency preparedness. Her passions are climate change, renewable energy, green buildings, agriculture and sustainable community development. Kaylee holds a Masters degree in Policy Studies from the University of Washington Bothell and focused her capstone on sustainable community development and relevant local, state and federal policy. Her undergraduate work at Western Washington University included a Bachelors in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics in addition to minors in Energy Policy and Law, Diversity, & Justice. Kaylee’s multidisciplinary and moderate perspectives are an asset for finding common ground and solving complex problems.

 Meeting Members

William (Casey) Harman, Committee Secretary

– As an electrical engineer at Puget Sound Energy, Casey provides engineering services to hydro, natural gas fired, and wind generation all over the state, as well as storm restoration efforts and local power quality issues. He understands our electric supply system and the challenges and opportunities of integrating renewable energy sources into the electric grid. Much of his work involves generator controls and protection, power grid compliance codes, power grid operation and generator modeling. Casey has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Having grown up in Whatcom County, Casey wants to see Whatcom County be a healthy and affordable place to live and work while making meaningful progress on climate change so his three small children can have a future here. 

 Meeting Members

David Kershner

– David co-founded the Lummi Island Heritage Trust, a non-profit land conservation organization, and served as the organization second Executive Director. Past experience includes environmental research positions with Sightline Institute in Seattle, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Maryland. With a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan, he has co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles on environmental topics. David was a team lead for the Community Research Project where he interviewed numerous stakeholders in the community about efforts to address climate change. He has made public presentations about climate change as part of the Whatcom County Library System speaker’s series.

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Katherine Kissinger

– A recent graduate from Western Washington University (WWU). In December 2018, Katherine completed a Bachelor's degree in environmental science, with a minor in geography. She contributed to scientific studies in Biology and Water Quality at WWU during her time there as a student. She also spent time working as an intern with the Washington State Department of Transportation and The Evergreen State College doing wetland monitoring across Washington state. As part of her studies at WWU, Katherine took courses on Climate Change, Wetland Ecology, Natural Resource Policy, Energy and the Environment, Oceanography, and Water Quality to name a few. Katherine was born and raised in the south King County area and spent summers camping and recreating all over Washington state and the Pacific Northwest with her family. She moved to Bellingham about four years ago and is looking forward to working with the community and on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee to make a positive impact in Whatcom County.

 Meeting Members

Cynthia Mitchell

– Cynthia is a 40-year veteran in energy policy and utility regulation, focused on sustainability through energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, and renewable energy generation. As an economist, she has worked for Attorney General Consumer Advocates around the country, the past 20 years deep in California climate change work via electric and gas utility energy efficiency with the statewide consumer advocate office TURN, The Utility Reform Network. Since moving to Washington State Spring 2016, her interests and activities have included state and local energy and utility projects.
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Ellyn Murphy, Committee Chair

– Early in her career Ellyn worked as a reforestation forester on the Oregon Coast. After grad school, she spent most of her career as a research hydrologist, division director and program manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Dept. of Energy research laboratory in Richland, WA. Her research focused on groundwater chemistry, age, flow and transport, bioremediation, vadose zone recharge rates, and geologic carbon sequestration; most often involving multidisciplinary teams. Later in her career she focused on science communication and strategic initiatives related to the nexus of environment and energy issues. Ellyn’s primary interests are in climate change and its impact on fresh water and forests, as well as building sustainable communities. She has an M.S. in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Hydrology.

 Meeting Members

Erika Lautenbach (Nuerenberg)

– Erika has worked extensively in public health and is the newly-appointed Director of the Whatcom County Health Department. She recently completed a yearlong term as the American Public Health Association/Brookings Institute Congressional Fellow, working for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Prior to working for the Senate in Washington DC, Erika was the Assistant Director at the Whatcom County Health Department, the Pacific Northwest Group Manager for Recology, a San Francisco-based waste recovery and reduction corporation, and staff to elected officials at all levels of government. Erika’s interest in climate change relates to the impacts a changing climate has on health, weather patterns, and disease, and the importance the waste and recycling industry, and norms about consumption, have in contributing to climate impact mitigation.
 Meeting Members

Alex Ramel, Committee Vice-Chair

 – Extreme Oil Field Director for Stand.earth and recently appointed to replace state Rep. Jeff Morris in the 40th District. With a background in environmental policy and planning from the Huxley College of the Environment at WWU, Alex has focused on helping local communities take action to build sustainable futures.
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Phil Thompson

– WWU Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics and Institute for Energy Studies at WWU. Spent ten years as the chief economist for the Missouri state utility consumer advocate, followed by 25 years in academia at the University of Missouri Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), Central Michigan University, and WWU. Primary research interests include household energy efficiency and the market and regulatory impacts of increasing quantities of wind and solar electricity generation. Classes taught include energy, environmental, and electricity market economics. Previously served on the Whatcom County TDR/PDR work group (2017-2018).
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Johnathan Yakawich

– John is a Process Engineer at the BP Cherry Point Refinery. As a member of the Low Carbon Roadmap team at BP, John strategizes higher efficiency projects to create lower carbon fuels. He is a member of the Green Team, which seeks to change employee behavior to adopt environmentally friendly practices, and he advises corporate social responsibility initiatives as a One Young World Ambassador. John brings industry experience in producing transportation fuels with an emphasis on safety, environmental compliance, and efficiency. He is passionate about providing clean and affordable energy while addressing climate impacts and contributing responsibly to his community. As an outdoor enthusiast, John wants to ensure that the beautiful northwest is preserved and enhanced for future generations, including his own kids. He received dual B.S. degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Montana State University Bozeman.

 Meeting Members

Chris Elder, County Liaison, Non-Voting

- Chris is a Senior Planner in Watershed Management with Whatcom County Public Works.  He has served as the Purchase of Development Rights Administrator, Open Space Land Administrator, and has supported agricultural and ecosystem related long range planning efforts over his past 6 years working with Whatcom County. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Biology, an M.S. in Agriculture, and worked in agriculture for 10 years prior to working for the County.