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

Staff

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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)naturec.org

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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)naturec.org

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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)naturec.org

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)youngstownarts.org

Interns

Alyse Adams

Alyse is an Oregon native who relocated to Seattle in Spring 2017. She applied to work with Nature Consortium because of its mission; she hopes to inspire others about the natural world and environmental stewardship, meet new people and deepen her knowledge about our PNW ecosystem. Alyse graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Environmental Science. She has many hobbies including baking, hiking, skiiing, running, camping, traveling, and music to name a few.

Briana McNair

Briana is a Seattle native with a deep passion for the outdoors, especially of the Pacific Northwest. She has her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she focused in ecology, evolution and conservation; also earning minors in environmental studies and environmental science and terrestrial resource management. She’s looking forward to enjoying another Seattle summer of backpacking and camping trips after traveling for the last eight months through 15 countries on three continents.

Morgan Murrey

Morgan has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University with a minor in Spanish. She has always had a passion for the outdoors from hiking and camping. Through Nature Consortium, she seek to expand her knowledge on forest restoration techniques and native plants while getting to know the West Seattle area. She enjoys spending her free time playing volleyball, laying in a hammock, and painting trees.

 Crew Leads

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Luke Dow

Luke earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from the University of Utah and his Master’s of Science in Forestry/Remote Sensing from the University of Washington. Luke currently works in remote sensing, but hopes to apply his environmental experience to urban ecosystem restoration to ensure green spaces for future generations. In his spare time, Luke enjoys playing music, collecting fossils, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

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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, backcountry hiking and fishing. He looks forward to continuing the efforts to help restoring Seattle’s forests.

 

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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 nine 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. 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. Cindy 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 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 intern alumni.

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. Alex is a Nature Consortium restoration intern 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

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Chloe Allred

Chloe 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.

Website: www.allredchloe.com

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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.

Website: www.aohamer.com

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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.

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Kimisha Turner

Kimisha 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.

Website: http://www.kimishaturner.com

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Emily Taibleson

Emily 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.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/emily.taibleson/about

 Musicians

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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 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.

 

 

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Amy Denio

Amy is a member of Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, a multi-instrumentalist (alto sax, clarinet, accordion, guitar, bass) with a four-octave vocal range, and has produced over 50 recordings solo and in collaboration with artists worldwide. She runs her own recording studio and record label, Spoot Music. Her music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in front of 40,000 people on New Year’s Eve in Naples, Italy. She co-founded Tone Dogs, The Entropics, her all-women sax quartet The Tiptons (1988-present) and joined Bosnian folk metal band Kultur Shock in 1999. Amy has played concerts and taught musical workshops in clubs, squats, prisons, churches, sanctuaries, subways, and abandoned buildings on six continents.

 

Meet the rest of our team: Board of Directors