Our Staff


Mike Ramsey


Contact Mike at 360-378-6621 ext.302 or Mike@sjicd.org

Mike recently moved to San Juan Island to become the Executive Director at the District. He moved here with his wife, Desirae, who is a nurse at Peace Health in Friday Harbor. Prior to coming here Mike had a 32-year career with the State of Washington in various natural resource management positions. For the last 18-years Mike was a habitat restoration and property acquisition Grant Manager for salmon and Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. This gave him experience working on a myriad of projects with local citizens, nonprofits, tribes, federal, state, and local agencies. Prior to his State service, Mike was a seasonal Park Ranger and Whitewater River Guide.

Already appointed to the Agriculture Resources Committee, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and the Salmon Recovery Technical Advisory Group, Mike is looking forward to contributing to the community in a positive way. Being a multigenerational native Washingtonian, he has been fortunate to pursue his passion for the environment professionally, as well as personally through mountain climbing, hiking, rafting, canoeing, and sea kayaking within the region and beyond.

Bruce Gregory


Contact Bruce at 360-378-6621 ext.303 or bruce@sjicd.org

Bruce is a certified USDA-NRCS Farm & Forest Planner and a long-time resident of San Juan Island. He and his wife, Colleen Howe-Gregory, own and operate Mitchell Bay Farm & Nursery. Their farm has agricultural production in grass raised lamb, Kiwifruit, Asian pears, Cane berries, figs, small round bale haylage and they keep bees.

Bruce is a member of the Agricultural Resources Committee, the Noxious Weed Control Board, the Economic Development Council and the Island Grown Farmer’s Cooperative. He also serves as a board member of the Northwest Agricultural Business Center in Mt. Vernon, WA. Bruce has a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University, and Post-Bac from WWU and was a participant in the two year WSU/Kellogg Foundation/Holistic Management statewide program.

Ellen Jones


Contact Ellen at 360-378-6621 ext.304 or ellen@sjicd.org

Ellen lives on Shaw Island where she and her husband operate a small organic farm.  At the Conservation District, Ellen works as a Natural Resource Planner doing farm and forest planning and coordinating the cost share program. She is also involved in education and outreach, and works as a storm-water monitor for Lopez Island.

Ellen has a Master’s degree in Environmental Horticulture from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington.  She comes to the Conservation District with a background in forestry and ecological restoration and is passionate about conservation of natural resources and supporting sustainable agriculture in the islands.


Erin Licata


Contact Erin at 360-622-9617 or erin@sjicd.org

A Pacific Northwest native, Erin has a strong background in environmental research, monitoring and restoration throughout Western Washington.  Erin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington University Huxley College.  She enjoys backpacking, culinary mushroom hunting, canoeing, carving, painting, and utilizing traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in native resource ID and gathering.  She has deep cultural and spiritual connections with the San Juan Islands and wholly believes in the seven-generation perspective on sustainability and that the health of our people is directly dependent on the health of our environment.

Robert Walters


Contact Robert at 360-378-6621 ext.305 or robert@sjicd.org

Robert is a long time resident of San Juan Island where he makes his home with his wife and daughter. He has two hats at the Conservation District. Water Resources Manager duties include coordinating the County’s Stormwater Monitoring Program, coordination of the current False Bay Watershed Restoration Assessment, and provide input in to other water quality issues as they arise in the District’s other programs. As Firewise Coordinator, Robert is involved in community outreach and education as well as consulting with homeowners and local fire districts as a certified Firewise Assessor. A summa cum laude graduate of Oregon State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Policy and Management, Robert is ceaselessly intrigued by natural systems and their functions. A lifelong love of fishing, hunting, and being in natural wild areas has led to a deep appreciation for these ecosystems as well as a desire to preserve and care for them. Robert tries to remain an active community member through service organizations, youth sports, and other volunteer opportunities.

Samantha Martin 


Contact Samantha at 360-378-6621 or samantha@sjicd.org

Samantha has been a resident of San Juan County for over 12 years and currently lives on Orcas Island.  Her main role at the Conservation District is to coordinate the Shoreline Stewardship Program, which works with shoreline property owners to develop the best solutions for protecting important shoreline habitat.  She is also involved in supporting a viable agricultural economy in the County, and acts as a stormwater monitor for Orcas Island.

After receiving a Master of Science degree in forest ecology and soil science (University of Washington, 2007), she co-founded Rain Shadow Consulting-- a small-scale, island-based company which helps landowners sustainably manage their forestland.  Samantha has over 20 years of horticultural experience and has been involved in native oak and grassland restoration, as well as the recovery of rare plant species in San Juan County.  When not working, she enjoys being part of a dance group on Orcas and spending time enjoying the beauty of the San Juans with her family.   


Ryan Palmateer


Contact Ryan at 360-378-6621 or ryan@sjicd.org

Ryan recently moved to The San Juan’s with his girlfriend Meagan by way of Olympia, Washington.  He is a self-professed “nerd” who loves to tinker with all things electronic, making him a perfect fit as the Conservation District's Energy Program Manager. Having done work for green building organizations like NW Passive House and The Eco Builders Guild, Ryan believes that curbing the demand for energy is just as important as building more renewable energy sources. Ryan is a skilled photographer, videographer, licensed UAV pilot and film editor. You will often find Ryan out at South Beach or Cattle Point taking photos of Bald Eagles and Foxes. If you were curious what new technology or appliance is out or just around the corner, just ask Ryan and he will tell you at length the positives and negatives of each new piece of tech and how it could help you save energy!


Matt Claussen

Resource Conservation Planner 

Contact Matt at 360-378-6621 or Matt@SJICD.org

Matt is a San Juan Island resident where he and his wife operate Red Roof Acres, a small horse-breeding farm for Friesian-cross and Quarter horse breeds, along with orchard and garden crops supplied to local markets.  Matt works at the District as a conservation resource planner coordinating with staff for farm and forestry planning.

Matt worked on the family farm in Iowa, before getting the Rocky Mountain bug.   Prior to moving here in 2014, Matt spent the past 25 years as a park ranger/naturalist and natural resource manager for the City of Boulder, Colorado.   Matt has a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from the University of Northern Iowa.  Locally, Matt is involved with the Stand Up Men organization, Grange 966, is a youth mentor and his black lab Levi, is training as a Parkinson’s Alert Dog.


Phyllis Clem

Office Manager

Contact Phyllis at 360-378-6621 or Phyllis@SJICD.org

Raised in Seattle, Phyllis has had a life long appreciation of the beauty and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest.  Phyllis and her husband moved to San Juan Island as newly-weds, raised their two daughters and a wide variety of pets.  Phyllis brings a variety of experience to her position as Office Manager.  After operating a Daycare in her home for 15 years, she transitioned to customer service and office management positions in the community.  Her work with a global environmental non-profit has been some of her most satisfying experience and she is glad to be working with other like-minded co-workers once again.  Phyllis loves gardening, reading and spending time with family.


Nathan Donnelly


Contact Nathan at 707-820-7645 or nathan@SJICD.org

Nathan Donnelly moved to Lopez Island full-time in 2014 and is a certified Permaculture designer. Also a former builder, back-country national park ranger, wildland firefighter, field biologist, and program coordinator/crew boss of an invasive weeds program covering two counties. 

A former San Juan county parks manager, he now operates his Lopez based business, Reverence Permaculture, and teaches workshops on sustainable homesteading, outdoor survival, nature awareness, and climate change resilience.

Ecological restoration, land stewardship, and teaching are among his passions, along with kayak fishing, bow hunting, bushcraft, carving, and community gatherings.

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