Adam has always felt a deep connection with the mountains and forests and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. He has been a builder for many years, but most recently a stay-at-home dad. Adam’s greatest joy is his wife and two daughters, and with them, he loves exploring all that this beautiful area has to offer. He believes in the importance of adventures both big and small, and it is this idea that drew him to Wild Whatcom.
Besides being outside with his family, Adam spends his time riding his bike, drinking coffee, reading, playing chess, and scratching away at the fiddle.
Asa grew up in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California among giant sequoias and raging rivers. His passion for outdoor education was fostered when he was a high school counselor at an outdoor science camp called Exploring New Horizons. After attending college at UC Santa Cruz, Asa completed a naturalist internship and was hired on as a naturalist at the very same camp that he attended when he was in high school.
After three years as a naturalist, running around the Santa Cruz mountains and singing songs to students, Asa took over as the Program Director at the Sempervirens campus of Exploring New Horizons for five years before packing up and heading north to Bellingham. He is excited to explore the area via bicycle, ski, and foot and to be a part of the incredible team here at Wild Whatcom!
Brian grew up in the “wilds” of Brooklyn. Throughout his childhood years, vacations in upstate New York were highlighted by the scent of the forest, which is why living in Bellingham and working with Wild Whatcom feel like a perpetual vacation for Brian.
“I admire your courage, if not your intelligence.” was a friend's reaction to the news that the Mulligans were moving to western Washington in 1979, but when the outdoors beckon it’s best not to question. The ensuing 35 years have been punctuated by numerous family camping trips, lots of local hikes, volunteering for community groups, and a stroll on the Great Wall of China. A primary focus of almost all these activities has been kids.
Guiding kids as they mature into young adults, connecting with their increasingly imperiled natural environment and beginning to take responsibility for their lives and their world is important work. Brian is privileged to do his small part.
Ellen spent their early childhood exploring the high desert and mountains of Utah before moving to the south Salish Sea where they quickly made a home romping around Washington’s temperate rainforests and intertidal zones. Growing up so close to nature permanently oriented their internal compass to the outdoors, which they followed to a career in ski instruction, multiple seasons in State Parks, and a marine naturalist job. Ellen has always felt deeply shaped by their exposure to nature. It was life-changing to realize that they could, through their work, extend nature’s powerful influence to others.
As a queer and gender non-conforming person, Ellen also knows the importance of exposure to diverse identities and strives to be a role model by breaking stereotypes, challenging bias, and protecting and supporting queer youth at every opportunity. They are so grateful and excited to join Wild Whatcom in this work and can’t wait to get outside and play!
With over a dozen years in leadership roles at non-profits, Emily brings a wealth of experience and insight to Wild Whatcom. One of her best traits is the capacity to link heart and head, leading with a blend of compassion and strategic thinking. She emphasizes collaboration and open communication and enjoys being part of a dynamic and engaged team.
Emily holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, an MS in Geography from the University of Wisconsin, and graduate work in Organizational Leadership from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. In her ‘in-between’ life, she has worked as a whitewater river guide and feels deeply at home atop the swirling, feisty currents of rivers. Emily is thrilled to bring her passion for the outdoors and belief in the transformative power of nature to Wild Whatcom.
Program Lead & Mentor
Hannah recently graduated with her Masters in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. She is extremely excited that she is able to do exactly what she dreamed of prior to graduating - teaching kids outside. Her emphasis on anti-bias education and youth empowerment complement her local natural history knowledge.
Hannah grew up in the dense cities of Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia and didn't always have a knack for being ‘outdoorsy’. Her immersion into the wilderness came naturally once moving to Flagstaff, Arizona for undergraduate school and then flourished once finding her home in Washington State. She is excited to expose as many people as possible to the wonders of the natural world that you can find in any environment.
Hannah split her upbringing between suburban New Jersey and the Issaquah Alps. Upon arriving in Bellingham, she immediately noticed a rich network of community connections and deepened these while attending Huxley College (B.A. in Outdoor Education), working for North Cascades Institute, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, and teaching dance classes.
Through her work with Wild Whatcom, she aspires to connect participants to a variety of personalities, places, and creatures in the greater Bellingham area, creating lifelong stewards for both the local community and the natural world.
Adventuring is Hannah’s favorite activity. She can easily be lost (and generally found) romping through western red cedar groves with her dog, sliding in mud, and making friends with banana slugs (her favorite!). Additionally, she appreciates time spent snuggling with her family, lost in conversation, rock climbing, and improving her cooking skills.
Program Coordinator & Mentor
Holly has been a bug watcher and nature nerd for longer than she can remember. As a child growing up in Michigan, she roamed fields and creeks on the eternal quest for creatures to bring home and freak out her mother.
In 1992, Holly migrated to Washington, graduating from Western Washington University with a B. A. in Environmental Studies, majoring in Environmental Education. Holly has worked in outdoor education for more than 20 years, as a camp counselor, director and coordinator for children’s nature day camps at the Whatcom Hills Waldorf School, and at Discovery Park and the Tennant Lake Interpretive Center in Ferndale.
For Holly, nature is an ideal playground, research laboratory, and sacred place of wonder. She spends as much time as possible playing outside with her two sons. Holly's goals are to foster wonder and share knowledge about the natural world, creating relationships that will inspire living with care on the Earth.
Born and raised in Washington, Jasmine spent her formative years east of the Cascades exploring the Inland Northwest and Idaho. She eventually discovered the beauty of the Salish Sea and moved to Bellingham to earn her BA in Psychology at Western Washington University and a teaching certificate in Environmental Education from Hamline University.
Jasmine has joyfully spent the last 9 years frolicking in the mountains, playing, growing, and deepening her connection to the outdoors. When she isn’t adventuring in the woods with her hounds or fly-fishing with her husband, you can find her happily floating in the lake or reading a book in front of a campfire.
Living a beautiful life that has been abundant in adventure, excitement, and time spent outside, Jasmine is incredibly excited to give these gifts back and connect our community with resources that will help them thrive and live their passions. She aspires to make outdoor exploration inclusive for people of all backgrounds and experience levels, and believes that nature can offer something for everyone.
Jillian was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she was taught the value of mālama i ka ‘āina, meaning “to respect and care for the land.” This concept has shaped her personal passions and aspirations in life.
As a recent graduate of IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community masters program, Jillian is looking forward to continuing to explore the wonders of our natural and human communities with curious minds.
In her free time, Jillian can be found scampering up rock faces, wrapping gems into jewelry, and experimenting in the kitchen.
Program Coordinator & Mentor
Joey grew up climbing trees, making forts, and generally getting lost and muddy in nearby green spaces. His love of being outside flourished during many family trips throughout Washington and Oregon and he considers himself lucky to call the Pacific Northwest home.
Since completing a B.S. in Biology from WWU in 2013, Joey has worked with salmon in Alaska, studied skink populations in New Zealand, led youth sailing camps in Massachusetts, and lived (and surfed) in Nicaragua. For him, traveling ignites a deep appreciation for the diversity of ecosystems and cultures present in our world and for the wondrous beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Throughout his life Joey has found comfort, inspiration, and renewal in the woods. He is humbled and honored to help children spend time outdoors and have the chance to form their own relationships with our natural world. In his spare time you may find him riding his bike in the Chuckanuts, fishing for trout in a cool stream, or marveling at the odd shape of a coral fungus.
Kona is a mentor in many of the school programs including SEED, Neighborhood Nature, and EdVentures. He approaches education with the aim to bring care and compassion back to the environment through observation and participation.
Local to both Hawaii and Montana, Kona continually explores the intersection of indigenous knowledge and western knowledge as it relates to Aloha ʻĀina, Love of Land. After working in public, private, and non-profit organizations, Kona has taken the last two years to further his understanding of the natural world with a Masters of Environmental Education from WWU.
Kona is excited to collaborate with all generations, building and analyzing our connections with nature and each other.
Lauren was born and raised in Bellingham and spent her childhood exploring wide and wild open spaces with family, friends, and as part of the original Explorers Club group, the Tree Hugging Dirt Worshippers.
After graduating from Sehome High School, Lauren ventured east for her first year of college at Saint Michael's in Burlington, VT. After a year in New England and a cross-country roadtrip back home to the PNW, she is back in Bellingham and attending WWU. Starting her junior year this fall at Huxley, Lauren is majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys backpacking and hiking with friends in the North Cascades, trail running with her Mama in the Chuckanuts, kayaking on the bay, and hitting the slopes at Mt. Baker! She is super stoked to have come full circle with this organization and looks forward to giving back as a mentor to Wild Whatcom kids.
Lauren grew up creekin’ and camping in the hills of Tennessee and expanded on her love of the outdoors while studying biology at the University of Tampa. Science and education have always captured Lauren’s interest, but it was not until her junior year of college that she discovered she could combine the two disciplines into one incredible career path in the environmental education field. Subsequent work with the National Park Service inspired Lauren to continue her education at WWU and the North Cascades Institute.
After two years of wandering the trails of North Cascades National Park and sharing her love of natural history with anyone and everyone, Lauren earned an M.Ed. in Environmental Education and a clear path for following her life's calling. Lauren is thrilled to continue connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to their human and other-than human communities with Wild Whatcom!
Registrar & Administrative Coordinator
Lisa is one of the original Explorers Club parents and is thrilled to be working with Wild Whatcom. Lisa is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, born and raised east of the mountains, where she spent memorable summers at family lake cabins in North Idaho.
Lisa came to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University (WWU), graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Huxley College. She's been here ever since. Her work roots are in resource conservation and providing outreach services for local waste reduction, recycling, and composting programs.
Lisa lives within walking distance of Fairhaven, downtown, and WWU with her husband and daughter, an original Explorers Club member. She is an early morning runner, a fan of 2-3 hour door-to-door local adventures, loves to sleep outside, and looks forward to weekends in the Methow Valley, visits home to the lake, and backpack trips with her dad, uncle, and family friends.
After spending more than a decade working in youth programming in Denver, Colorado, Meredith followed the call of the water and headed west to Bellingham. She has been creating and sustaining youth development programs for more than 15 years and holds fast to the motto that together we achieve more. Breaking down barriers and bringing Wild Whatcom’s nature programming to where the kids are… (in schools) is how she is currently serving our community.
You will most likely find her year-round in flip-flops on the beach or bobbing in the lake, followed by three young girls. She considers it a privilege to be a part of an organization that is empowering youth to serve and amplifying youth voices in our community!
Nick grew up in the Pacific Northwest chasing grasshoppers and turning over rocks to look for bugs in his family's backyard. He received his undergraduate degree in environmental studies at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, then moved to Missoula, Montana where he continued his education and spent time exploring the spectacular mountain landscapes of that state.
Nick recently completed his Master's in Environmental Education from WWU. As part of that experience he spent over a year living in North Cascades National Park working with the public and learning about the unique natural history of this bioregion.
In his spare time Nick enjoys hiking, backpacking, bird watching, and observing the changing of the seasons in beautiful northwest Washington. He is passionate about sharing a love for wild things with the people around him and excited to pursue this goal as a mentor at Wild Whatcom.
Program Lead & Mentor
Nicole was raised in northeast Indiana where she spent most of her days singing, dancing, and reading. It was reading that sparked her love of adventure and environmental stewardship - particularly an article she read in 7th grade about the impact of sea turtles as by-catch.
Ultimately, that article inspired Nicole to pursue a B.S. in Biology and move to coastal Georgia to work at a sea turtle hospital. There, she discovered her love of environmental education and went on to work as a naturalist, eventually becoming a Master Naturalist through the University of Georgia.
Excited about landing in the PNW, Nicole can often be found hiking with her sweet border collie, bird watching, and exploring the immense natural beauty Bellingham has to offer.
Rachel hails from southern Illinois, where a childhood spent catching bugs and getting muddy cemented her desire to be a biologist when she grew up.
She obtained a BA in Zoology, a Masters in Ecology, and a PhD in Conservation Biology, working as a research scientist for many years.
Happily transplanted to the Pacific Northwest in 2005, she spends as much time as possible outside with her husband and two children. Watching her children’s transformation into their best selves with the guidance of Wild Whatcom’s mentors made her realize that she wanted to be part of Wild Whatcom too! Rachel joined the Wild Whatcom Board of Directors in spring 2014 and lives happily ever after.
Program Manager & Program Coordinator
Sammy hails from the not-so-wilds of the greater Chicago area. It was in college that she truly developed her passion for outdoor recreation, wilderness medicine, and environmental sustainability.
While earning a B.A. in Religious Studies at Kalamazoo College, Sammy led many outdoor trips, became a certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and set her sights on working in outdoor education. It is Sammy’s hope to encourage others that anyone, from anywhere, and any walk of life, can experience and thrive in the great outdoors.
Sean was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado skiing and camping with his family. He later moved to California spending outdoor time at the beach and on the water surfing. He received a degree in philosophy from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he spent most of his time leading trips for the outdoor program backpacking in Yosemite and Sequoia, doing trail work in Big Sur and teaching surfing and stand up paddle.
After living on the central coast, Sean has worked in southern California, Utah, and Hawaii in the outdoors. Sean strives to spread the stoke, get people outside, excited on wilderness and appreciating natural landscapes.
Steve was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In his youth, Steve developed a deep relationship with the land through backpacking trips in the Olympics and North Cascades. Explorations around his hometown of Seattle soon led to adventures further afield - from the wilderness of Southeast Alaska to the deep jungles of Costa Rica, and west to the cirques of the high Himalayas. Through his travels, Steve came to realize the value of connection with place and community. He firmly believes that the land has offered him many gifts and continues to restore him daily.
Steve holds a B.A. in Outdoor Recreation and a Minor in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. Steve and his wife, Danielle, are firmly rooted here in Bellingham. In his free time, you can find Steve outside - bicycling, surfing, hiking, and backcountry snowboarding.
Program Coordinator & Mentor
Stormie spent her childhood running amok in the forests of Pennsylvania and exploring the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. As a kid, she took every opportunity to scramble up trees and swim across rivers. As she grew, her love of nature manifested itself as a fascination with local flora, a case of wandering feet, and desire to work on and for the land.
Stormie holds a B.S. in History from Skidmore College and has worked as an organic farmer for the past seven years. She is delighted to be working with Wild Whatcom because she believes that a healthy love and respect of the wild should be fostered in all people, especially kids. She loves learning, experiencing, and getting muddy alongside fellow explorers. When Stormie isn't farming or on an outing, you can probably find her practicing yoga, working in her garden, or going down a mountain on something fast.
Tim grew up in Bellingham, spending countless hours with friends and family in the woods building forts, playing with sticks, and scurrying around in sword ferns.
He graduated from WWU with a B.A. in Outdoor Recreation and a minor in Environmental Education and Anthropology. Tim credits his professors, mentors, and family for nurturing his personal philosophies surrounding environmental education, the role of community, and deepening connections to the natural world. A summer internship with the Wilderness Awareness School was particularly meaningful.
Tim is grateful for the opportunity to give back to his community and make a difference in the lives of youth. In his time off, he is usually hiking with friends, honing his primitive skills, deepening his natural history knowledge, listening to music, shooting hoops at a local park, reading a book with a cup of coffee, or relaxing around the fire at home.
Board of Directors
Rachel Budelsky, Board Chair
David Hirsch, IT
Jeff Lewis, IT
Kirsten Barron, Attorney, Legal Counsel