Seth Muir, Executive Director

Seth MuirSeth 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.

Dan Hannafious, Education Director

Dan HDan comes to Salish Sea Expeditions with a passion for educating students of all ages about nature in a way that will remain with them throughout their lives.  Prior to joining our team Dan served as the assistant director of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group for over 12 years where he co-managed research investigations of hypoxia in Hood Canal, directed Stream Team interns, organized youth Salmon Camps, and helped to develop the WestSound GreenSTEM program.  During that time he also coordinated the Washington NatureMapping Program where he provided multi-aged school programs and community citizen science programs across the state.  Dan most recently comes from his role as an informal educator at the Mercer Slough Environmental Learning Center where he spent several years providing science-informed nature experiences to students, engaging them in the outdoors in canoeing, overnight camping and day programs.

Dan brings his experiences from Washington, Oregon and Alaska to share at Salish Sea Expeditions. He brings expertise and knowledge shaped by directing informal science programs as well as his involvement in the salmon and marine research science community.  He has always enjoyed exploring the outdoors and his passions have included birding, animal tracking, dog mushing (Alaska), and learning the local landscape through the eyes of native culture.  When he is not corrupting young minds with nature, he can be often found offering Bat Talks and associated nighttime bat walks in a community near you.

Ryan D’Jay, Program Manager

picture-3Ryan 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.

Maria Drury, Development Director

Maria for SVPMaria is excited about connecting people with the work that Salish does – supporting students as they learn scientific inquiry and sailing skills on the waters and shores of the Puget Sound. A native of Seattle, she has almost always lived near the water and feels quite at home on the deck of a boat. She is passionate about experiential learning, having taught singing and conducted youth choirs, and is eager to link passionate people with a great education program. She graduated magna cum laude with Honors from the University of Washington and holds a graduate degree from the New England Conservatory. Maria lives with her husband, Peter, and their two daughters, on Bainbridge Island, WA. To contact Maria, please email her at

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.

Brenna Sowder, Communications and Office Coordinator

brenna_smallA native New Englander, Brenna has spent much of her life on boats in the Bay of Fundy. There she developed a lifelong love of the marine environment and a passion for telling stories to build awareness about environmental protection. She has a bachelor’s degree in Writing and Communications with a minor in Secondary 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.

Program Staff

Salish Sea Expeditions has a history of attracting and retaining highly qualified staff, and the spring 2016 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 – Elena Bary, Erick Dowell, Colleen O’Brien, Grant Bowman, Kelly Greenwood, Jessie Mathews, Tom Weiner, Emily Hiatt, Dan Hannafious   Front row – Nora Cosbey, Ryan Downs, KC Crowell

Ryan Downs – Full Time Captain

Ryan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon graduating from college where he studied Northwest history, he fulfilled his life’s dream to sail aboard a square-rigged ship. It was on that vessel that he formed a profound love for the Salish Sea and the San Juan Islands. He has been sailing from Alaska to Mexico to Maine on many different ships, mostly traditional sailing vessels with an educational mission. Ryan has been working with children for 10 years on the water, and now is excited to combine his joys and talents aboard the S/V Carlyn

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.

Michael Sharp – Mate

Michael, a licensed USCG Captain, lifelong sailor and adventurer joins us again for the 2016 spring season. His earliest memories are of being aboard sailboats. In early 2015, Michael arrived in Port Townsend after an eight-year Alaskan odyssey aboard his 36-foot steel cutter Bluewater with his wife Susanna and Nisa the Wonderdog. When not working with Salish Sea Expeditions, he is a Maritime Educator and Sailing Instructor with the Northwest Maritime Center, and helps businesses and nonprofits with program development and strategic communications. With more than 25 years of sailing experience on vessels up to 137 feet, he is known for his emphasis on safety and preparedness and his ability to inspire enthusiasm in anyone who is the tiniest bit interested. In his free time, he enjoys exploring his new home in his Vanagon, learning ukulele and marveling at how spring arrives four months earlier at 48 degrees North. Michael is very excited to be returning to Salish Sea Expeditions for the Spring 2016 season.

Nora Cosbey – Mate

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.

KC Crowell – Deckhand

KC was born and raised in Northern California, where she earned her degree in journalism from San Francisco State University. She has worked as everything from a line cook to an assistant at a publishing company before transitioning to working on traditional sailing vessels. She has worked onboard a number of tall ships and in 2017 completed her captain’s licensing through the Coast Guard. This is her second season onboard Carlyn. In her free time she enjoys writing about her experiences as a traveling outdoor educator.

Jessie Mathews – Deckhand

Jessie developed a passion for the ocean at an early age exploring tide pools in Maine. She learned how to sail and SCUBA dive while in high school and graduated from Boston University in 2014 with a degree in Marine Science. Jessie spent the next three years working for outdoor education organizations such as World Ocean School aboard the schooner Roseway, Outward Bound, Salish Sea Expeditions, and the Maine Windjammer Association aboard the schooner Mary Day. She recently acquired her 100 ton Inland Master, 100 ton Near Coastal Mate, and AB Special Coast Guard Licenses. When not sailing, Jessie enjoys traveling and hiking. She spent last fall walking 600 miles from the French Pyrenees Mountains to Cape Finisterre in Spain on the Camino de Santiago. While still planning on pursuing a graduate degree… eventually, she plans to spend the next couple of years exploring and teaching. Jessie is excited to be back working for Salish and can’t wait to hang out with the PNW marine fauna (fingers crossed for Orcas) this season!

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.

Kelly Greenwood – Program Coordinator

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.

Emily Hiatt – Marine Scientist

Coming from the landlocked mountains of Utah, Emily was drawn to the culture and climate of the Pacific Northwest, and moved up to Bellingham, WA in 2011. There, she attended Western Washington University for marine biology, and made friends with the octopi at the Marine Life Center, where she was the Science Education Coordinator. Emily has worked on various tall ships since her youth, and has chased whales in the Pacific, island hopped in the Caribbean and explored the San Juan Islands aboard Schooner Adventuress. Most recently she worked in a lab aboard an oceanographic survey vessel off the stormy California coast, a brief and exciting change from wooden boats and the calm waters of the Puget Sound. When not on boats, Emily is usually found in Port Townsend. She is committed to good seamanship, environmental justice, and increasing science literacy and accessibility in our communities.

Elena Bary – Marine Scientist

Elena spent her childhood exploring the forests and waterways of the Pacific Northwest. Her love of the outdoors lead her to pursue a degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. After graduating from college, she worked with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community throughout the Northeast. There she found her passion working with nonprofits and community organizations. Being involved in education programs feels like a great fit. Feeling drawn back to the Pacific Northwest, she spent last summer working as a deckhand and educator on the Schooner Adventuress sailing in the San Juan Islands. After falling in love with sailing, she is excited to continue helping others learn about and be inspired by the Salish Sea.

Colleen O’Brien – Galley/Logistics Coordinator

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!

Grant Bowman – Galley/Logistics Coordinator

Grant comes to Salish Sea Expeditions from the jungles of the Congo River Basin where he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, Africa. During his two year service, he founded an ecotourism business that took clients on excursions through the rainforest and donated all proceeds towards anti-poaching efforts. Grant was the director of a 12 person staff and acted as the translator for non-French speaking tourists. After serving in the Peace Corps, Grant worked with McKinstry in the green building industry to help cities in Washington reduce energy usage in their buildings and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Grant has a contagious love for the natural world and is always up for learning something new about science. He holds a BA in Economics and Environmental Studies from Western Washington University and is a certified keelboat skipper through the University of Washington Yacht Club.

Contact Us

Salish Sea Expeditions
1257 Patmos Lane NW
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: (206) 780-7848
E-Mail: Info@Salish.Org

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