An introduction to new staff at Conservation Northwest

An introduction to new staff at Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest / Sep 08, 2022 / Our Staff

Get to know some of the new faces at our organization!

Keith Watson

Conservation Associate, Sagelands Heritage Program

Where are you from and how long have you lived in the northwest?
I’m from St. Louis, MO and moved out to Olympia in 1995 to go to college and climb mountains. I have lived on my 5 acres in the Methow Valley since 2005, the tiny saplings I planted back then are now towering shade trees burdened with fruit.

Why Conservation Northwest? What about this organization appeals to you?
I enjoyed a 15-year career centered around monitoring salmon populations and the restoration of riparian and aquatic habitats. I loved the endless field work and always working in a river on the hottest days of the year. Even in January, chopping ice off the water and diving in (wearing a dry suit) to take data on tiny wild salmon emerging from the gravel is my idea of a good day at work.

I came to be part of Conservation Northwest because this organization makes concrete actions daily to facilitate the connection, protection, and restoration of habitat. Here I don’t just take data and report it like I did as a biologist, I am able to make a real difference for native plants and animals.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I spend a bit of time with my wife maintaining our gardens and raising two little girls climbing trees and picking cherries. When I get a weekend off, I am in the mountains searching for the places on the map that say: “Trail Abandoned” and “Hard to Follow.”

Who is your environmental hero?
My environmental hero is a visionary professor I had at the Evergreen State College, Nalini Nadkarni. She was a pioneer in science by documenting the biological complexity hidden in the canopy of first Costa Rican and then Washington State forests. Nalini’s creative thinking has led to other pursuits such as introducing environmental education, honeybees, gardens, and plant nurseries to Washington State Prisons.

Tanner Humphries portrait

Tanner Humphries

Community Wildlife Monitoring Program Lead

Where are you from and how long have you lived in the Northwest?
I grew up nestled in the arms of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges and developed a deep love of the Pacific Northwest while romping through the woods near my hometown of Federal Way, WA. While international travel, jobs, and graduate school have taken me away from the Northwest at times, I’ve always heard the “Cascades calling” me home. I’m happy to officially be back and digging roots in the Pacific Northwest again and to continue adding to the 25 years I’ve spent in the area so far!

Why Conservation Northwest? What about this organization appeals to you?
I first discovered Conservation Northwest in 2009 while pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. I was immediately inspired by the science-based management, community involvement, and partnerships/collaborations being conducted by a non-profit with similar conservation ideals as my own. I had the immense privilege and pleasure of volunteering, interning, and working closely with the Community Wildlife Monitoring Program from 2016-2018. It was during that time that I really got to appreciate how one-of-a-kind Conservation Northwest is and how amazing and passionate the CNW team is. It’s a dream come true to be a part of this team, helping to protect, connect, and restore the wild places that make the Pacific Northwest such a unique and special region.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Ironically enough, when I’m not working, I enjoy doing the same things I have the pleasure of doing while working! When not playing outside (hiking, biking, climbing, rafting, skiing, etc.) and nerding out on all-things-nature, you can find me getting messy on the potter’s wheel, working on my Spanish, or enjoying a cup of chai while listening to records.

Who is your environmental hero?
Wow, this is a really challenging question. There’s no way I can choose one single environmental hero. My life has been shaped by the work and passion of a myriad of individuals who have devoted their lives to being stewards of the environment. My hope is that more individuals can start viewing themselves as everyday environmental heroes. By simply making a commitment to small lifestyle changes that have huge and lasting impacts, we ALL can be environmental heroes.

Rebekah Papé

Philanthropy Partnerships Manager

Where are you from and how long have you lived in the northwest?
I grew up in Central/Southern Idaho and Portland, OR. I have lived in Seattle since 1997.

Why Conservation Northwest? What about this organization appeals to you?
I studied/worked in local food systems and philanthropy for a decade and went through a period of major transition during the start of the pandemic. I believe land and environment is food adjacent and appreciate CNW’s commitment to working with Indigenous peoples and amplifying their land stewardship. Philanthropy is firmly rooted in land-based exploitation and wealth accumulation and there’s a growing movement to question this relationship. I’m excited to be able to use philanthropy as a tool for environmental and social justice.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
From May to September I spend my early mornings swimming in Lake Washington, which I love. I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, connecting with friends and introducing my 7-year-old to my favorite PNW places.

Who is your environmental hero?
My environmental heroes are the indigenous folks in my grad school program who gently but firmly invited me to confront my white colonial heritage and re-orient my entire worldview, but most specifically my relationship to land, food, and community.

Portrait of Tyler Ung

Tyler Ung

Communications Associate

Where are you from and how long have you lived in the northwest?
I grew up here in North Seattle enjoying the duality of city life and the natural landscapes the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Why Conservation Northwest? What about this organization appeals to you?
While attending the University of Washington, Conservation Northwest has been revered highly across our networks as an impactful environmental non-profit in our region. Several students either volunteered, interned, or conducted research with CNW. It has been exciting to personally see the legacies, partnerships, and programmatic strategies coming out of the organization. Place-based education has been a strong foundation to my environmental advocacy work and CNW helps bring these creative priorities into practice.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Outside of work hours, I also do some freelance photography and graphic design on the side. Recently, I’ve been focusing on several personal projects like my music and an illustration book.

Who is your environmental hero?
There are many inspiring environmental leaders that contribute to shaping a more sustainable, equitable world. Those who often go unrecognized for their daily efforts advocating for their communities and our environment deserve my most respect. I look to them for empowerment and as a reminder that even the smallest contributions domino into collective impact. Also, David Attenborough. He’s a legend, no doubt.

Portrait of Alishia Orloff

Alishia Orloff

Colville Forest Lead

Where are you from and how long have you lived in the Northwest?
I was raised in Tacoma, Washington, right on the water of the Puget Sound. Listening to the water beckoning, I continued her fascination of aquatics at the University of Washington for a Bachelor’s degree and was thrusted to the east coast to study at the Yale School of the Environment to complete her Masters. I now live with my partner in Spokane, Washington where I serve as our Colville Forest Lead.

Why Conservation Northwest? What about this organization appeals to you?
I started with Conservation Northwest to build upon its legacy of reciprocal natural resource management with the tribes. I’m thrilled to work with an organization that is paving new roads in conservation that successfully brings visibility to and leverages tribal interests. Conservation Northwest is a leader in this sense and continues to build relationships of respect and responsibility to our natural lands.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I fulfill these roles in my own life while gardening and foraging for mushrooms. I also enjoy playing the piano and painting with acrylics.

Who is your environmental hero?
My environmental hero is Elizabeth Hoover, an Indigenous scholar who works towards indigenizing food systems. Dr. Hoover is replanting the roots of traditional lifeways one seed at a time.