Our Staff


Mike Ramsey


Contact Mike at 360-378-6621 ext.306 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.


Matt Claussen

Resource Conservation Planner 

Contact Matt at 360-378-6621 ext.305 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.


Erin Licata


Contact Erin at (cell) 360-622-9617, (office) 360-378-6621 ext.304 or erin@sjicd.org

A Pacific Northwest native, Erin has over 10 years of experience in environmental research, monitoring and restoration throughout Western Washington.  Erin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington University Huxley College and enjoys backpacking, skiing, culinary mushroom hunting, canoeing, carving, and utilizing traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in native resource identification and gathering. Her connectivity with the San Juan Islands is founded upon the seven-generation perspective on sustainability and that the health of our people is directly dependent on the health of our environment.


Ryan Palmateer


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

Ryan 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 has served as the San Juan Islands Electric Vehicle Asscoation Chapter President for 2 years. 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!


Phyllis Clem

Office Manager

Contact Phyllis at 360-378-6621ext. 301 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.


Youth Conservation Corp Staff


Libby Valluzzi

assistant Program Manager/Lopez YCC Project Coordinator

Contact Libby at 360-622-9617 or libby@sjicd.org

Libby was drawn to environmental education because she realized the most long-lasting way to reconnect humans to the web of nature is by giving them memorable and grounding experiences outdoors.  Therefore, she remains deeply committed to returning humans to a harmonic relationship with nature.  After graduating with a B.A. in Community, Environment, and Planning and B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Washington, Libby worked for a variety of outdoor youth environmental education programs throughout Washington and California. Libby is also passionate about real food and no-till agriculture and spends her time tending three large vegetable gardens, processing the harvest, caring for her flock of chickens, milking a cow weekly, and growing and foraging for medicinal plants. In her free-time she enjoys sewing clothes out of recycled textiles, playing violin, wandering around the forest, and going for long walks.  She lives in a little cabin in the woods built by her husband, a Lopez Island-born-and-raised fisherman.


Sierra O’Connell

San Juan YCC Project Coordinator

Contact Sierra at 360-622-9617 or sierra@sjicd.org

Sierra has spent most of her adult life adventuring in the outdoors, whether that be underwater as a SCUBA dive-master leading tours around dive sites, out on the Salish Sea as a naturalist and kayak guide, or riding her bicycle, self-supported, around the US and abroad.  She holds a BS in Environment and Occupational Health and worked with environmental testing equipment for several years before moving to the island.  She has been blessed by the island’s natural environment as well as its community and finds peace here practicing yoga and searching for birds in the forests and along the shorelines.  To her, nothing is more rewarding than being immersed in nature while connecting, teaching and learning alongside our youth.

Samantha Martin 

Orcas YCC project coordinator

Contact Samantha at 360-622-9617 samantha@sjicd.org

Samantha has been a resident of San Juan County for over 12 years and currently lives on Orcas Island.  She completed a Master of Science degree in forest ecology and soil science (University of Washington, 2007), and has over 20 years of horticultural experience in the PNW.  Sam has been involved in native oak and grassland restoration, as well as the recovery of rare plant species in San Juan County.  She also works for the Center of Natural Lands Management as their North Sound Ecologist. 

Nathan Donnelly

YCC CREW Coordinator/firewise program coordinator

Contact Nathan at 707-845-2506 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.