The Wildlife Conservation Trust Board Members are a diverse group of individuals that care deeply about our community and the wildlife in our region.
President – Vikki Jackson
Vikki Jackson is a retired wetland ecologist with over twenty six years of experience. Her background includes obtaining a Masters of Science degree in Biology from Western Washington University and also holds a science education teaching degree. She served as the project lead for the Wildlife Conservation Trusts first citizen science project that focused on amphibian monitoring in the Chuckanut Mountains. She currently leads a citizen science project for BP in Ferndale, WA and has been the project manager of Whatcom County Amphibian Monitoring Program (WCAMP) since 2013. Vikki has been working on research projects on the Federally Threatened Oregon Spotted Frog in Whatcom County since 2011. She is currently serves on the Whatcom County Wildlife Advisory Committee. When not chasing wildlife, she lives on a boat and loves to paint and dabble in martial arts.
Vice President –Barry Wenger
Mr. Wenger has a strong science background and has been involved in environmental planning, land use and shoreline issues for the past 42 years in Washington State. His passion for the environment balanced with a solid commitment for reasonable and sustainable planning and regulation has allowed him to be an outstanding leader in the field of shoreline management. He has mentored local and state planners and taught a multitude of land use and environmental classes at planning conferences, training sessions, universities and colleges over the past decades.
He was the lead planner working with local cities and counties around the state, with an emphasis on Puget Sound, to develop Shoreline Master Program updates and amendments. Grant officer for many of these entities as well as NGOs, and community groups i.e. BeachWatchers, etc to plan and implement a wide range of public access and environmental improvements. Barry is currently is the Vice Chair of the Whatcom County Wildlife Advisory Committee.
Secretary –Monique Brewer
While Monique Brewer’s academic training was in biochemistry, she has always had a love of the outdoors. Currently, Monique teaches chemistry at Whatcom Community College. When not imparting her knowledge and love of science, Monique is an avid outdoors person and volunteers as a citizen scientist with Whatcom County Amphibian Monitoring Program, North Cascades Park and Whatcom Land Trust.
Treasurer –Ann Eissinger
Ann Eissinger is a Wildlife Biologist and owner of Nahkeeta Northwest Wildlife Services since 1991. Her work has concentrated on wildlife and habitat assessment, species monitoring, wildlife conservation and citizen science throughout Puget Sound. She co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Trust in 1995, and is PI for the Skagit Great Blue Heron Foraging Study, continuing her 30 year monitoring of the regional heron population. Ann currently lives in Oregon and is Operations Manager for Common Futures LLC www.commonfutures.biz Ann seeks a world in which the spring is forever singing!
Sara Brooke Benjamin
Sara Brooke Benjamin has over 15 years of experience working across a broad range of ecological disciplines. Sara Brooke’s academic training was in earth systems science and marine geochemistry, while her professional path has traversed avian ecology, fisheries biology, and watershed restoration working as a researcher, field technician, educator, and consultant. Currently, Sara Brooke serves as Environmental Coordinator for the City of Bellingham. Prior to arriving in Bellingham, she worked for 5 years as Executive Director for a watershed restoration and education non-profit organization in Southern California called Once Upon a Watershed. A few of her favorite things are blueberries, salamanders, and hot water.
Stephen Nyman has been studying and observing amphibians for more than 35 years, beginning on the East Coast, mostly in New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York. He has a Masters degree in Ecology from Rutgers University and a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island. His research interests have included the distribution and larval ecology of co-occurring, pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma species); the role that larval amphibians play—as consumers of algae and invertebrates—in structuring communities within temporary ponds; cannibalism in larval salamanders; ecology and behavior in a population of Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae); and since 2013 has been formulating research questions regarding Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa).
Stephen has lived in Bellingham since 1989, from which he has had the great pleasure to do field work in eastern and western Washington, Oregon, California, and Colorado, and become familiar with a wide variety of species in diverse environments. He conducts specialized studies of amphibians, including surveys and habitat assessments for federal and state-listed species. He is also an avid amateur photographer, and is keenly interested in the conservation of amphibians and preservation of natural places.