Seth Muir, Executive Director
Seth comes to Salish from the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association where, as Education Director, he hosted over 11,000 students annually on ships in the San Francisco Maritime National Park (and beyond). He has over fifteen years of experience in the fields of Outdoor Experiential Education, Marine Science, Environmental Stewardship, Outdoor Leadership, Classroom Teaching and Non-profit Management. Seth served as Director, curriculum developer, coordinator, guide, educator, middle school science teacher and boat builder at organizations including Marine Science Institute, Camp Galileo, Rippleffect, Mendocino Woodlands, Get Out and Learn and Absolute Adventures. Seth holds a BA in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied Hydrology at the School for International Training in Belize. When not in or on the water Seth can be found taking a walk with his lovely wife Christen and his two young sons, playing guitar, traveling or gardening. He is originally from Maine but doesn’t have a funny accent.
Martin Blevins, Finance Manager
Martin graduated from Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Utah where he received his BS in Accounting. An active member of our community Martin has volunteered for North Kitsap High School Marching Band Boosters, Boy Scouts and PTA. Martin has been a member of the North Kitsap community since 1998, and currently lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife Heidi and their combined family of four children. In his free time he enjoys going with his family on Adventure Days to explore all the different areas of Western Washington. Martin is also currently employed as the Director of Finance for Martha and Mary Center in Poulsbo, Washington.
Stephanie Burns, Education Director
Stephanie has 20 years experience as an educator in diverse communities and settings in Massachusetts, Florida, California, and Hawai’i. Exploring the beaches of Cape Cod at an early age sparked her love of learning, and as an intern at the New England Aquarium and later at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, she was introduced to the value of project-based, experiential learning. That discovery of hands-on, hearts-on and minds-on learning continued during her 15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where for many years she worked at several educational initiatives, including aboard a 90-foot marine research vessel and The JASON Expedition, an inquiry-based program devoted to STEM. During her decade-long career at Galileo Learning, a premier arts and sciences summer innovation program, she authored curriculum, hired and coached hundreds of seasoned and aspiring educators, and introduced thousands of students to an innovation process and pedagogy based on the Stanford d.school Design Thinking model. Most recently she worked as Senior Program Manager at Kupu developing and managing the Sustainability Internship Program for Kamehameha Schools. A lifelong learner, educator, and trainer, Stephanie believes that in order to engage and educate, embracing an individual’s strengths and elevating both their mind and spirit is an integral part of the learning process. From there, anything is possible!
Ryan D’Jay, Program Manager
Ryan began working for Salish in the spring season of 2014 as logistics coordinator. A Colorado native, Ryan’s passion for Marine Sciences stems from a 7th grade field trip aboard the Tole Mour for a multi-day program doing sailing and science off the coast of California. Since then, Ryan has gone on to receive a Bachelor’s of Science in Oceanography with a minor in Marine Biology from the University of Washington. During his undergraduate work, Ryan did research on intertidal ecosystems, shark habitat, and paleoclimatology, and has worked aboard both sailing research vessels and traditional research platforms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Through his time at UW, Ryan fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and the city of Seattle. When not working for Salish, Ryan he can be found hiking in the Olympics, exploring the coast, and cheering on the Seahawks. He aspires to foster a passion for marine science and nature in kids through experiential education, in the hopes that future generations will care about the conservation of this beautiful area and our marine environment.
Brenna Sowder, Communications Director
Brenna joined Salish in 2015, and is thrilled to be shining a light on the excitement of science and maritime learning on the Salish Sea. A native New Englander, Brenna grew up on research boats in the Bay of Fundy. She has a BA in Writing and Communications with a minor in Education, as well as an MA in Human Relations. Her professional journey has included managing public relations for a design firm, implementing communications for a land trust, and teaching at an environmental education camp. She has also worked as a marine mammal observer from boats and airplanes, written as a freelance journalist, and wrangled lobsters as a sternman off the coast of Maine. In her down time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, and looking for beach treasures with her husband, Dan, and their two young children.
Page Pless, Development Director
Bio coming soon!
Kristin Boone, Events and Administrative Coordinator
Bio coming soon!
Salish Sea Expeditions has a history of attracting and retaining highly qualified staff, and the fall 2017 season is no different. We have a great group of both new and returning staff members who bring with them a strong understanding of the program, a love of science and sailing, and an enthusiasm for working with students!!
L to R: Back Row – Kelly Tobin, Ryan D’Jay, Kelly Greenwood, Rayn Downs, Michele Barutha, Eric Dowel, Colleen O’Brien Front row – Chloe Beck
Tom Weiner – Captain
Tom is originally from the east coast where he learned to sail in small racing sloops in New Jersey. He did his first tropical trip managing a bare boat charter in the Virgin Islands quite a few years ago, enjoyed it so much he and his wife Linda returned with some good friends and did a repeat. Tom has worked in the charter yacht business sailing as captain on 50 ft sloops and 60 ft ketches in Antigua and the Virgin Islands. Several years ago they packed it all up and moved west to the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Here they bought another restaurant business ran it for nine years, but missed being on the water, and after selling that they promptly got involved with the schooner Adventuress program where he and his wife have been volunteers for the past 11 years. Tom has since been a captain on the schooner Suva doing local charter work in Port Townsend and the San Juans and he has worked as well with Dolphin Charters in Alaska on wildlife photography trips. Most recently Tom signed on with the Maritime Discovery program through the maritime center in Port Townsend as a captain with their longboat program. This will be Tom’s third season with Salish Sea Expeditions.
Nora Cosbey – Captain
Nora is happy to be back for her third season with Salish Sea Expeditions. She is a USCG licensed captain and has been working in the maritime industry since 2005. Since her most recent season with Salish in 2011, she worked with Hasse & Co., Port Townsend Sails, building and designing sails for blue water cruisers. During her time there, her favorite project was designing the newest main and mizzen sails for Carlyn, specialized for her work with Salish. Nora is originally from New York and has sailed in Sloop Clearwater, Schooner Adventuress, Schooner Westward, and Schooner Manitou. Her favorite phylum is Cnidaria, no question.
Michele Barutha – Mate
Bio coming soon
Kelly Greenwood – Deckhand
Kelly graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in English and Environmental Studies. After graduation she hopped on her first education-focused tall ship, and has been teaching outdoor education ever since. In 2015, she started sailing in the Puget Sound leading expeditions through the San Juan Islands, and hasn’t found a reason to stop sailing around here since. On days off you can find her working on her sailboat, Goldfinch, and bemoaning outboard engines.
Frederick Dowell – Program Coordinator
Frederick (aka Erick) originally hails from North Carolina. He grew up exploring the streams, hardwood forests, and sandy shores of his home state. Erick graduated from University of North Carolina with a B.S. in Biology and has studied a range of subjects from Deep Sea Microbes to Columbia River Salmon. Erick moved to the Pacific Northwest 4 years ago and immediately fell in love with its strange evergreen forests and rocky coasts. In the summer, Erick shows folks Orcas and other cetaceans via boat in the San Juan Islands. Erick is “super stoked” to share in the wonder of the Salish Sea and help others learn more about it.
Colleen O’Brien – Marine Scientist
Growing up near Lake Erie, Colleen developed an early curiosity for aquatic ecosystems which eventually led her to study Marine Science (B.S) and Biochemistry (B.S) at Eckerd College, where she graduated in 2015. After college, she spent time in Indonesia researching mangroves and throughout the Southwest, working for a conservation corps. In 2016, she worked as an Educator/Deckhand aboard the Schooner Adventuress, followed by a stint this fall as an Educator/Deckhand with the World Ocean School, voyaging from New England to the Caribbean with a class of high schoolers. In her free time she can usually be found backpacking, rock climbing or tidepooling for those elusive nudibranchs. She’s excited to be able to combine her love for marine science, sailing and cooking as a member of the crew this season, and is looking forward to further exploring the Salish Sea!
Chloe Beck – Galley/Logistics Coordinator
As an Ohio native, growing up near Lake Erie, Chloe’s passion for sailing and exploration developed at a young age. She went on to study Zoology and International Studies at Miami University. During college, Chloe studied abroad in Patagonia, Chile backpacking and doing ecological research in Patagonia National Park. In 2015, she moved to Seattle for an AmeriCorps position as Conservation Science Coordinator at Seattle Audubon Society. Since then she has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest. This past summer, she was working in the Great Basin of Utah and Idaho doing plant and avian research. After spending a summer in the desert, it will be quite refreshing to get out on the Salish Sea!
Kelly Tobin- Galley/Logistics Coordinator
Kelly is a Connecticut native who grew up exploring the tide pools of New England and looking forward every year to vacations down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She went on to major in Marine Science at Boston University where she had the opportunity to conduct research on estuarine nutrient cycling in New England and conchs in Belize. After graduating in May, she headed down to southern Maryland to work on environmental curriculum development for DC public schools and is excited to get even more hands on with education this fall. This is her first time in Washington and she is excited to explore with Salish and see the beauty of a new part of the U.S.