team

Eva Schulte

Executive Director

More about Eva

Shannon Davis

Deputy Director

More about Shannon

Isabel Alexander

Executive Administrator

More about Isabel

Elise Cope

Communications and Outreach Director

More about Elise

Katherine Dietzman

Shoreline and Mapping Specialist

More about Katherine

D. James McCubbin

Legal Director and Staff Attorney

More about D. James

Jess Newley

Community Science and Education Director

More about Jess

Lovel Pratt

Marine Protection and Policy Director

More about Lovel

Ken Putney

Data and Gifts Administrator

More about Ken

Jan Sanburg

Operations and Finance Manager

More about Jan

Tina Whitman

Science Director

More about Tina

Eva Schulte

Executive Director

During her career, Eva has driven lasting and systemic change throughout the social sector for the health and dignity of people and our planet. Prior to Friends, Eva was the Executive Director for Whatcom Community College Foundation, leading community support for students and strategic educational initiatives across our bioregion. Eva is also an Executive Committee Board Director for the Sierra Club Foundation and chairs the Foundation’s national Grants Committee.  Eva previously directed impact investing and economic opportunity in support of American Indian communities through her work as vice president for Travois, a Best for the World™ Certified B Corporation. Prior to that, Eva was president and CEO of a community-based organization in the heartland that achieved regional and national public policy victories to move human dignity to the center of public life. Eva shares, “There is nothing more important at this time than the proactive synergy required to solve the climate crisis for people and nature. I love our Island archipelago and surrounding communities and feel fortunate each day to live and work in the homelands and territories of the Coast Salish peoples.”

Shannon Davis

Deputy Director

Shannon works to safeguard the Salish Sea from the net zero home she and her husband built in Port Townsend. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with an emphasis on natural resource management and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. As Deputy Director, Shannon helps the Executive Director with the daily operations of the organization and oversees education, outreach, and communications. Shannon is in charge of grant writing and grant management; she also assists with projects when needed. Shannon joined the Friends staff in 2003.

Isabel Alexander

Executive Administrator

Isabel provides administrative support to the Executive Director and the Board. Prior to joining Friends, Isabel was the Program Director at a nonprofit summer camp in the San Juan Islands. There, she gained experience in fundraising, marketing, hiring, grant writing, and outdoor education. Isabel has also interned with both the EPA and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. Isabel graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in environmental studies, biology, and French. Her professional interests lie at the intersection of community and the environment and using an interdisciplinary perspective to find sustainable solutions in the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea.

Elise Cope

Communications and Outreach Director

Elise Cope is a dedicated advocate for both people and the planet, leveraging her expertise in information design and digital storytelling to construct bridges of understanding. Her passion for environmental stewardship, community empowerment, and social equity drives her work as the Communications and Outreach Director at Friends of the San Juans. Elise joined Friends in 2022, with over 15 years of experience in the Seattle area nonprofit sector. She has traveled the globe extensively by foot and boat, and has sailed the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to Seattle. She resides in Friday Harbor where she enjoys connecting with other artists, sailing, and exploring the gems of the Salish Sea with her two sons.

Katherine Dietzman

Shoreline and Mapping Specialist

Katherine joined Friends in 2021. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies, a minor in Women and Gender Studies, and a certificate in Ecological Restoration in the San Juan Islands. She is passionate about protecting and nurturing the islands she loves and calls home – whether that is through Garry Oak restoration, teaching community yoga classes, or snorkeling as much as possible. Katherine is excited to be a part of the Friends crew and to give back to the place and community that has given her so much. She helps with immersive education, youth mentorship, surveying for forage fish eggs, and shoreline restoration and protection.

D. James McCubbin

Legal Director and Staff Attorney

James joined Friends in 2022 after serving as a deputy county attorney in western Montana for many years. He is originally from San Francisco and earned his juris doctor degree at U.C. Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. During his time in government service, James worked with elected county officials, planning boards, and environmental agencies in adopting, administering, and enforcing land use and environmental regulations. His work has included litigation of numerous land use planning, environmental, and regulatory enforcement cases, with multiple appeals to the state supreme court. James enjoys rolling on just about anything with less than four wheels, and is excited to be refreshing his sailing skills. He lives on San Juan Island where he enjoys exploring all the wonders of the islands.

Jess Newley

Community Science and Education Director

Jess Newley joined our team in 2018. Passionate about marine conservation and life under the surface, she has been SCUBA diving the Salish Sea waters for 10 years now and wouldn’t want to be found anywhere else. In 2013 she graduated from Western Washington University with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education and a certificate in non-profit administration. With experience in diving, boating, place-based education, and field science, Jess combines all of her favorite things as our Community Science and Education Director — working on student and boater education, Pacific Sand Lance beach surveys, community science projects, and developing other science education programs for Friends.

Lovel Pratt

Marine Protection and Policy Director

Lovel joined Friends in 2018. Her previous consulting work focused on maritime shipping and oil spill prevention on behalf of environmental groups, including Friends of the San Juans. Lovel served on the San Juan County Council for one term and represented WA State counties on several regional and state-wide oil spill prevention committees. Lovel served on the VTRA (Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment) 2010 and VTRA 2015 Working Groups. Lovel is the environmental representative on the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee, and a member of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Implementation Committee, and the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee.

Ken Putney

Data and Gifts Administrator

With experience in philanthropy, Ken is excited to use his skills to connect the critical work of Friends of the San Juans to those most interested and affected by it. Ken brings a BS in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems and decades of experience in Microsoft Office, Networking, and database management. Ken retired from the US Navy in 2007 after 20 years as an Electronics and Network technician. His career took him across every ocean, resulting in a true love of the sea. An avid sailor, he has spent time on most of the San Juan Islands, and as a Midwest native he has a visitor’s appreciation for Washington’s mountains. Ken had the great fortune early in his career to volunteer to help National Science Foundation scientists in Antarctica. Since then, he has always found ways to help the environmental causes important to him. 

Jan Sanburg

Operations and Finance Manager

Jan has called Shaw Island home since 1968 and enjoys many aspects of small-scale farming, including the importance of how everything is connected and how we must all work to keep the environment healthy. She and her son enjoy spending time at the beach and camping in the PNW. The islands are a special place to call home, and it is important to protect them. Jan joined Friends in 2017 and brings over two decades of professional experience, a BS in Business Administration, Marketing and Accounting, and Project Management certification.

Tina Whitman

Science Director

Winner of the 2022 Salish Sea Science Prize, Tina is staff scientist for Friends of the San Juans, where she has managed shoreline research, restoration and protection programs since 2002. Tina holds a Master of Science from the University of Oregon focused on the application of biological data to improved land management and a BA in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado. With nearly 30 years of experience in place based conservation on both U.S. coasts, Tina’s professional experience includes work with wildlife refuges, watershed councils and a natural history museum prior to joining the team at Friends. She has served on multiple San Juan County committees including Stormwater and the Marine Resources Committee and is a current member of the Salmon Recovery Technical Advisory Group. Tina lives on Orcas Island with her husband and son and is happiest at the beach, for work or play.

Each year I make a generous gift to the Friends of the San Juans because it’s the one organization where I can actually follow the money from my checkbook to observable measurable outcomes. Will you join me in making a gift to support one of the most beautiful, precious, fragile monuments to nature on earth?

George Lawson

members, Lopez Island