Director and Board

Russel Barsh (Director) studied at Harvard, taught at the University of Washington, and worked for many years at the United Nations on indigenous peoples and their ecosystems before returning to the Northwest and organizing Kwiaht with the encouragement of long time friend Ken Hansen.  With a background in human ecology he is especially interested in cultural and economic factors influencing human impacts on the environment, the role of schools, and adaptation of animals and plants to humans.  He lives on Lopez Island.

Milla Prince (Board Chair 2016-2017) is a writer, community organizer, a life-long environmentalist and wild-crafter, with an interest specifically in native plants and wild edibles. Her writing and artwork focuses on wilderness, environmentalism, homesteading, folklore, history, and bioregionalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking from The Metropolia University Of Helsinki. She  pursues online writing, videography, independent filmmaking, and photography, as her hobbies, but also as tools for organizations, and artists to widen their reach online and in social media. She is a resident of Lopez Island.

Shona Aitken (Board Vice-Chair 2017) has a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Stirling in her home country of Scotland. She spent several years working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and as a Countryside Ranger in Scotland and at a Marine Station on the west coast of Sweden, before moving to San Juan Island in 1990. Since then she has worked in education and animal care at Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, raising awareness of human impacts on local wildlife and their habitats.

Chuck Scheitinger (Chair 2009-2015) is an experimental physicist and Lopez resident who designed ultra thin films for uses including studying the sun and aiding microscopy of living cells while working for Luxel in Friday Harbor.  He taught chemistry and physics at Spring Street International School, San Juan County’s alternative high school.  Chuck is a member of the Salmon Recovery Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for San Juan County, and he lives on Lopez Island.

Rhys Hansen (Board Secretary 2017) is an ethnographer, writer, cook and community organizer whose work has focused on food systems, gender and sex minorities and environmental stewardship. He studied Anthropology and Religious Studies at Pacific Lutheran University and currently works at Orcas Food Co-op as the Produce & Marketing Manager. His interests include water systems, qualitative research and indigenous foods. He lives on Orcas Island. 

 

Sharon Massey is a science teacher at Spring Street International School. She loves to share her passion for the natural world and get students outside doing real science with real scientists. A native of the East Coast, Sharon has been traveling since she was young, both in the states and around the world. After completing her BS in Biology and Outdoor Education, she worked in the field of Outdoor Education for 15 years, then returned to school to get a teaching certificate and MA in Systems Thinking.  Sharon has lived in the islands for over 25 years, and she and her family enjoy exploring new places and then returning home to the island.