Whidbey Camano Land TrustOur Staff Whidbey Camano Land TrustOur Staff

Our Staff

MALLORY BELLO, conservation assistant, joined the Land Trust in April 2018. As a member of the Conservation team, Mallory aids in the identification, development, and completion of conservation projects.

Mallory received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Western Illinois University. Prior to working at the Land Trust, she worked for nine years in the automobile service industry.

Mallory recently moved to Whidbey Island from Illinois. Her family moved to the island more than a decade ago. After visiting her family over the years, Mallory fell in love with the island’s natural beauty and charm and knew she wanted to make Whidbey Island her home. Mallory, her partner Tony, and their golden retriever, Charley, spend most of their free time exploring the many trails and beaches on the island. Mallory also enjoys cooking, baking, and reading in her spare time.

Land Protection Specialist Danielle BishopDANIELLE BISHOP, donor relations manager, began working for the Land Trust in 2006. As land protection specialist, Danielle’s primary work duties include: working with landowners, partners, and staff to complete land protection projects, applying for grants to fund land protection and stewardship projects, and representing the Land Trust in broader community planning projects.

Danielle has a B.A. in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and prior to joining the Land Trust, was a city planner for the City of Champaign, Illinois. In her free time, Danielle enjoys being in the outdoors, especially swimming in the Puget Sound and running on one of Whidbey Island’s many scenic trails.

RYAN ELTING, conservation director, joined the Land Trust in April 2014 to lead the Conservation Team – coordinating land protection and acquisition, stewardship and grant fundraising. Ryan has 15 years of experience in natural resources management, land protection, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and conservation program management.

Prior to joining the Land Trust, Ryan directed Longleaf Pine forest restoration programs for the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. As a fellowship with The Nature Conservancy, he conducted environmental assessments as part of conservation planning in eastern Zambia, Africa. Ryan earned his B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Tufts University and Masters of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University.

He and his wife Marthë (from Orcas Island) are starting a small farm in Freeland. They’re thrilled to be exploring the islands and state with their daughters, Alma and Eliza.

JENNIFER HAJNY, membership coordinator, Jennifer joined the Land Trust in December 2015 and ensures that members and others in the community are connected to the Land Trust by administering the Land Trust’s general membership program. Jennifer grew up exploring the forests and beaches of Whidbey Island on horseback. After graduating from South Whidbey High School, Jennifer studied Spanish, Political Science, and Education at Central Washington University. Throughout her studies, she gained an appreciation and love for other cultures and was able to travel to many places around the world, including her top favorites: Ilhabela, an island off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil and A Coruna, found in the Northwest corner of Spain.

Not quite ready to return to Whidbey, Jennifer stayed in Ellensburg for awhile and worked for the Kittitas County District Court as well as the Ellensburg School District. Now, back home, working at the Land Trust and taking an active part in protecting some of those places she and her horse visited years ago brings her a great sense of joy. She is closely connected to her family here on Whidbey, and enjoys raising and showing Labrador Retrievers, attending sporting events, and taking advantage of the outdoor beauty that surrounds us on this beautiful island.

William Hallberg WILLIAM HALLBERG, land protection specialist, joined the Land Trust in 2018. He grew up in Langley and has a deep appreciation for Whidbey Island. William has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a specialization in ecology from Central Washington University. He has a professional background in field biology, wetland science, and environmental land use planning.

As a field wildlife biologist, William has studied various species including Burrowing Owls, Greater Sage Grouse, Common Ravens, and raptors. Some of William’s favorite hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowboarding, and archery.

Land Steward Jessica LarsonJESSICA LARSON, land steward, joined the Land Trust in October 2008. She is responsible for coordinating the monitoring and stewardship of all conservation easements and protected lands owned by the Land Trust. Using her background in forest management, volunteer coordination, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), she develops land management plans, trains stewardship volunteers, and creates property maps – always with a smile and positive attitude.

Prior to joining the Land Trust, Jessica worked with Mount Rainier National Park and Longview Timber. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington and certificate in GIS from Green River Community College. She lives in Coupeville with her Gordon Setter, Angus.

When not training, playing and doing search and rescue with Angus, Jessica is very active in her community; she serves as President and Games Chair of the Highland Games, and Co-Lead for the South Whidbey Disaster Action Team.

Communications Specialist Ron NewberryRON NEWBERRY, communications manager, joined the Land Trust in June 2017. Ron brings more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor in print and online media. Part of the communications and outreach team, he’s the primary writer and photographer. Ron spent 16 years as a sports writer and copy editor at The (Tacoma) News Tribune and later was Sports Editor at The Olympian.

Ron earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Pacific Lutheran University. With a great passion for the outdoors and nature, he’s particularly interested in wetlands and the creatures that inhabit them. Ron and his wife Kathy live in Coupeville. Ron has two grown daughters who share his love for the outdoors.

KYLE-OSTERMICK-DURKEEKYLE OSTERMICK-DURKEE, stewardship specialist, joined the Land Trust in November 2015. Kyle is responsible for coordinating the Land Steward Program and volunteer work parties, as well as monitoring Land Trust properties and conservation easements.

Kyle received his B.A. in Music from the University of Puget Sound, where he studied trumpet and advanced music theory. Beginning with a position in the Washington Conservation Corps, he made a transition into environmental work and hasn’t looked back! Since 2012, he has led crews on ecological restoration projects throughout the greater Puget Sound.

When he and his partner Megan aren’t cooking, gardening, or hiking, Kyle enjoys playing all over western Washington in his rock band.

PATRICIA POWELL, executive director, has led the Land Trust since 2003 into a robust and results-oriented organization, increasing its land protection successes in 11 years from eight properties totaling 397 acres to 78 properties totaling 7,635 acres. She draws on 30 years of land protection, grant writing, planning and management skills.

Pat earned her B.S. in Natural Resources Management from University of Alaska, Fairbanks and a Masters of Planning from University of Washington. She was previously Director of Land Protection for the Nature Conservancy of Washington and Special Lands Acquisition Manager for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, as well as a county planner and private consultant.

A better quality of life, along with beaches, wildlife and beautiful scenery drew Pat and her Whidbey-born partner, Mark to Whidbey Island. Once here, she felt an obligation to help protect the reasons she moved here for current and future generations.

Anything canine enhances Pat’s life. She has two corgis and supports a dog-friendly office. Pat enjoys gardening, beach-walking and a glass of red wine with a good book. Pat’s word’s to live by: “Greatness is a matter of moments – Goodness take a lifetime.”

TAYLOR SCHMUKI, stewardship technician, started at the Land Trust in April 2018. She is the boots on the ground for the Land Trust, along with our awesome volunteers. Taylor can be found throughout the islands monitoring, maintaining, restoring, and chatting with people about the Land Trust’s various projects.

Prior to joining the Land Trust, Taylor received her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation from Brigham Young University while working her summers at Dugway Proving Ground.  She moved to Washington in 2015 to work as Wildlife Rehabilitator but missed working with the greater ecological picture.  After spending two years with Washington Conservation Corps, she found her way to the island.

Taylor, her husband Robert, and their dog Amber love spending their time outside.  Whether mountain bike riding, camping, or swimming in alpine lakes, they like enjoying the lands we protect.

Associate Director Carrie ViersCARRIE VIERS, associate director, joined the Land Trust in 2008 and is responsible for managing the finances and operations of the organization. She oversees the human resources, manages grants and supports the executive director. In addition, Carrie works to put new administrative systems in place – helping to create a more organized and efficient organization. She has more than 30 years of experience in finance and operations for various organizations.

Moving to Whidbey Island in 2006, Carrie enjoys gardening, exploring the outdoors, caring for her chickens, and spending time with her husband and children. She resides in Clinton where she also makes a phenomenal raspberry jam.