Meet the wonderful people who make up the Nature Consortium team, including staff, interns, crew leads and teaching artists.


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Caroline Borsenik, Restoration Program Manager

Caroline journeyed to the state of Washington from the Midwest in 2013. She began her time in the Pacific Northwest as an environmental educator for the YMCA on Orcas Island. Since that time she has been involved in the environmental restoration field, working for the Washington Conservation Corps for two years where she learned about PNW ecology and restoration techniques. Her restoration background involves riparian, forested, shoreline and wetland project sites around King County. In her spare time Caroline enjoys hiking, watching hockey, and playing on a Seattle women’s lacrosse team in the spring. She has also recently earned a professional certificate in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington.

Email: Caroline(at)


Ben Antonius, Restoration Program Assistant

Ben started with Nature Consortium in 2015 as a volunteer and later crew leader. He worked as a journalist in California until 2010, when he moved to Seattle to pursue a career in conservation and environmental education. Since then, Ben has worked on restoration projects at Magnuson Park and in the Union Bay Natural Area and spent one summer looking for sage grouse in the Oregon desert. He believes in the power of ecological restoration to connect people to their environment and build a legacy of stewardship for the future. He loves cycling and backpacking in the Pacific Northwest, and he thinks the rain is pretty great.

Email: Ben(at)


Yeggy Michael, Art Program Manager & Festival Director

Yeggy is an award-winning public artist whose work can be seen throughout the Seattle area. Armed with metal, stone, glass and a green approach to his work, Yeggy often uses mosaic in public art to illustrate unity and diversity. His vision is to provoke questions about natural cycles, provide a sense of place and to reflect on the movement of time. Yeggy believes that public art needs to reflect the community, the culture and the people who live in it, especially in communities that are underserved. It’s not just about beauty – it’s an expression of the moment and the people.

Email: Yeggy(at)

all shots copy write by Mark Stone/ Stone Photography

David Bestock, Executive Director

David serves as Executive Director of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), which now proudly powers Nature Consortium as part of the DNDA family. David was previously Director of DNDA’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, where Nature Consortium’s offices have been for the last 10 years. He is thrilled to be part of Nature Consortium’s continuing legacy, and in growing ongoing arts and restoration programming as well as the Arts In Nature Festival. Before joining DNDA, David worked at World Arts Access supporting a youth-driven FM radio station in Sana’a, Yemen. He worked at the Northwest School in HR and as a PE teacher and coach, at UW’s College of Arts and Sciences in development, and at the Metrocenter YMCA leading high school environmental service learning groups.

Email: David(at)



Cindy Olejar

Cindy is a Seattle native and has a passion for nature and environmental education. She was an elementary teacher where she taught 4th and 5th grades. She also loves animals and owned and operated a dog and cat care business that got her outside every day for 9 years. Seeing how nature has a positive impact on children, animals and adults she wanted to be a part of restoring and maintaining nature for future generations to enjoy. The Nature Consortium is a great way to learn, take action and meet people passionate about the environment. Cindy also likes to read, walk, hike, kayak, look for cats and write early reading children’s books.


Rihana Master

Rihana has a degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington. A native to the Pacific Northwest, she has enjoyed the lush green surroundings since a little girl. Rihana is interested in restoration techniques and how they can be improved upon in order to increase the success rate of restoration efforts. She also enjoys learning about the local flora and fauna, and finds joy in interacting with the community and educating people about restoration. Rihana hopes to attend graduate school after discovering more about planning and executing restoration projects. In her free time Rihana likes to read, tend to her growing succulent garden, and binge watch Netflix with her cat.


Lauren Burcham

Lauren is a Law, Economics, and Public Policy student at UW Bothell, graduating in Spring of 2017. She is passionate about studying Environmental Law, and the process of how Environmental policy gets drafted, approved, and implemented. She believes that connecting communities with their local green spaces is the key to encouraging restoration. She was drawn to the Nature Consortium because of its mission to increase accessibility to urban spaces. In her spare time, Lauren works at Starbucks, and enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, cooking, and hiking with her dog.

Alex Sughrua

Alex studied environmental science and ecology at Evergreen State College, and graduated in 2015. He has been working with elementary and middle school students in Seattle for the past few years. Alex believes the best way to protect our future forest is through education with an emphasis on the natural world, and everyone’s relationship with their own environment. Building relationships between our environment and students is the first way to help our future on this planet. Alex likes and tries to do everything outdoors, whether it be skiing, hiking or walking around a park.

 Crew Leads

 Tim Jaureguy

Tim Jaureguy

Tim has served as a volunteer and crew lead with Nature Consortium since 2011. Tim’s work experience encompasses leadership positions in environmental education and organized camping. Tim earned his Bachelor’s of Science from Lewis & Clark College and his Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology at Cal State Hayward. Tim is a stay at home parent for his two sons and actively supports their schools both as a classroom volunteer and parent council chair. Tim’s favorite recreational pursuits include trail running, back country hiking and fishing. He looks forward to continuing the efforts to help restoring Seattle’s forests.


Kyle Miller

Kyle is a senior at the University of Washington-Bothell studying Conservation Science and Restoration Ecology. With a passion for natural history and environmental education, Kyle thinks the key to solving environmental problems lies in empowering individuals to connect with the natural world surrounding their communities through exploration and public service. Kyle lives in the Skykomish Valley and enjoys photography, bird watching, and exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest. After college, Kyle hopes to continue working to restore public lands to ensure future generations can continue to access, enjoy, and be inspired by public lands.


Paulien Sloan-Evans

Paulien is a recent college graduate from the University of Washington Bothell, with a life-long love of nature. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Paulien has been fortunate enough to see the positive impact of nature on people’s lives. Paulien was drawn to the Nature Consortium by their unique mission of bringing the arts and nature together, especially within an urban setting. Paulien has led writing in nature programs for Friends of North Creek Forest, and is excited by the opportunity to work hands on in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. In her free time Paulien likes to read, drink tea, press flowers, and find old houses. Paulien is a Nature Consortium restoration intern alumni.

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Chuong Pham

Chuong has an Environmental Science degree from the University of Washington Bothell and is currently an MPA candidate at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Moving from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest, Chuong was inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty and its environmentally-focused culture to study the natural environment. Chuong is excited to work with the Nature Consortium to similarly inspire other people and help spread environmental awareness and education. In his spare time, Chuong likes to read sci-fi/fantasy books, watch TV shows (especially sci-fi/fantasy shows), and try foods around Seattle. Chuong is a Nature Consortium restoration alumni.

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Greg Waggoner

Greg has been a Nature Consortium crew lead since early 2015. Originally from Las Vegas, he moved to Seattle to obtain an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Seattle University. The Pacific Northwest’s lush vegetation and engaged communities have since inspired Greg to pursue a career in environmental restoration and education, believing that connecting urban populations with natural areas improves both environmental and communal health. In his free time, Greg likes to volunteer, play basketball, hike, cook, read, watch Korean TV, and support his wife.

 Teaching Artists


Chloe Allred

Chloe Allred is a painter, print-maker, and illustrator that lives in the Seattle area. She graduated summa cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts in 2013 and is a McMillen Foundation Scholar. She will be pursuing a masters degree in painting in 2015. Chloe is particularly interested in how we relate to the body. She creates work that focuses on redefining beauty ideals and eliminating body shame.



Luke Roehl

When I was in elementary school, my best friend Jeff and I would draw aliens, and then tell the other kids in daycare that we were aliens. Making art while traveling near and far has led me to discover new worlds ever since my childhood doodles and as I’ve grown up, picture-making and words continued to shape who I am.

I’m heavily influenced … by my feelings, music, words, cooking, my friends and daily life, along with nature ~ I take a daily walk in the woods. I am a wanderer, a long boarder and hooper who draws, writes, windows, paints, sings, cooks, and broods when lonely or confused.

Luke Roehl holds a gold ribbon from his ’Neon Trapdoor Spider’ in 3rd grade. He also co-designed and built a privately commissioned 15 sq ft. mosaic, alongside other glass work (reflecting stories and travels in Palestine and the rock valleys of Utah).

 Taryn Dance teacher

Taryn McGovern

Taryn was born in the forests of New Hampshire and raised on oxygen and imagination. She holds a joint degree in dance from Barnard College and the Danish National School for the Performing Arts, and has a professional background in outdoor education. Taryn has spent several years traveling, studying, and living internationally and throughout the U.S.; at the moment she is savoring the PNW for its big mountains, cold waters, tall rocks, and good arts. Taryn likes to make dances in non-traditional spaces, such as on a raft in a harbor, on the beach, on an abandoned house platform, in a bunker… she also draws inspiration from plants, rock concerts, meditation, and rock climbing. She wants to be the first artist-in-residence in space.


Aramis Hamer

When I think of my artwork, I’m reminded of a colorful world that can only be found in dreams. The basic themes found in my work are strong color contrasts, exaggerated subject matter and drip techniques where I try to stretch the boundaries of surrealism. Music is definitely one of my main inspirations. Songs are like stories and while listening to the lyrics, an image forms in my mind inspiring the next piece. Utilizing house hold tools, such as a grout spreader, creates texture that mimics sound waves in music. I love to incorporate spray paint related to my admiration of street art. Integrating imagery of my people and urban landscapes reflects the environment in which I was raised. Recently my work has seen a transition from technical and deliberate portraits to a more free form and loose aesthetic. By releasing control, I am able to embrace the natural flow of the paint allowing it to fall where it may. My work continues to evolve and develop; I welcome you to join me on this journey.



Kimisha Turner

Kimisha Turner is a multimedia artist based in Seattle. A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, her art reflects and celebrates the observation of life experiences, diversity and consciousness. She is heavily influenced by nature and the abundance of artists and mediums used around her, while relishing in the notion of re-invention with every show. The running theme in most of her work is the process of life, which reflects in the different layers and mediums she chooses at any given time. She is in awe of the miracles in life and lives to create beauty, awareness and empowerment with her work.



Emily Taibleson

Emily Charlotte Taibleson studies the relationship between the micro and the macro, mythology and legend, architecture and ecology through painting, sculpture, performance, and writing. She is an explorer, a traveler and a collector of stories. Emily supports her practice by facilitating large scale collaborative art installations with the intention of building accountability to the land to to each other through urban beautification and community engagement. She works for numerous arts programs in the Pacific Northwest and beyond to bring equal access to the arts and their healing powers. She has a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She is at home in the mountains and at sea.




Jim Knodle

Jim has been a member of the free jazz group Holus Bolus, and a founding member of Circular Cowboys and Inside Out. He has recorded or performed with Andrew Hill, Caroline Kraabel, Dina Blade, Jonathan Edwards, Lynette Westendorf, Michael Vlatkovich, Paul Rucker, Rob Blakeslee, Robin Holcomb, Sue Ann Harkey, Vinnie Golia and Wayne Horvitz. He has two CDs in national release: “Wending” and “Unprepared,” with Dave Storrs; and the self-released CD “Keeping the Devil Out.” His compositions have been performed in concerts by the Open Music Workshop, the Earshot Jazz Festival, Marzena Arts’ Spring Festival of Contemporary Music, Portland’s Creative Music Guild, the Dumaurier Jazz Festival, Seattle Composers’ Salon, Tacoma New Music, Tone Action Orchestra, the Composers and Improvisers Workshop, and the Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble. He current performs with Big Crinkly Trio and Sidewinder.

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Benson Smith

Benson Smith is 59 and has played music since he was 11. He is currently a clarinetist with the Steering Committee, Mighty Tiny, the Seattle Hand Drummers, and the Klez Kids. He also operates the Junk Chime — and has a day job.



Meet the rest of our team: Board of Directors