Thank You, Science Advisors!

This year, Friends of the San Juans welcomed a new Council of Scientific Advisors, contributing their incredible expertise to our science-driven approach. We’re so thankful for their time and guidance. We want to especially thank former board member, Michael Riordan, for his help in recruiting this fantastic group of advisors.

Drew Harvell (she/her) 

Drew earned her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1985 and is a researcher, professor, and author. Drew teaches at Cornell University where she is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She also researches and teaches out of the University of Washington Friday Harbor Marine Labs. Her current research is focused on marine diseases and sustainable marine biodiversity. Drew has authored two books: Sea of Glass and Ocean Outbreak. Drew leads research into eelgrass wasting disease in San Juan County and across the west coast of the U.S. Drew lives with her husband, oceanographer Chuck Greene, near False Bay on San Juan Island. For more information visit

Val Veirs (he/him) 

Val studied physics through his PhD (Illinois Institute of Technology) and then taught undergraduate physics and environmental science at Colorado College (Colorado Springs) for 30 years. At Colorado College he served as chair of the Physics Department and then, later, as founding chair of the Environmental Science Department. This year, the College inaugurated the annual Val Veirs Environmental Justice Award given for dedication to principles that create a more just and equitable world.Val has also constructed and maintains a network of hydrophones streaming underwater sound to, a citizen science program now directed by his son, Scott Veirs, and a large cohort of contributors via a Slack workspace. 

Chuck Greene (he/him) 

Charles Greene (Chuck) is a Professor Emeritus in Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cornell University and is currently the Associate Director for Research and Strategic Planning at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs. He received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington in 1985. Chuck’s research and teaching areas of interest include ecosystem sustainability, climate change, and marine bioacoustics. Chuck has researched ocean ecosystems in the Northwest Atlantic, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest. Chuck lives with his wife, researcher Drew Harvell, near False Bay on San Juan Island.  For more information 

Gary Greene (he/him)  

Gary is a marine geologist who currently leads the Center for Habitat Studies at Moss Landing Laboratories, a renowned marine science lab serving seven California State Universities. Previously, Gary had a long career with the United States Geological Survey and also served as Director of the Moss Landing Labs. Gary earned his Ph.D. in Geology/Marine Geology from Stanford University in 1977.   

Many of you may be familiar with his work and the cool maps his data produces. Gary has mapped much of the seafloor in the San Juans, discovering Pacific sand lance utilization of deep, sand wave habitats, and exploring impacts of oil spills on benthic habitats. There is a lot of synergy with the work Friends of the San Juans does to understand and protect our marine environment. Gary lives on Orcas Island. For more information about Gary please visit the Center for Habitat Studies website: 

Friends has done so much to identify those critical beaches where the forage fish are spawning and that is work that I value greatly. Once we know the spawning locations, we can permanently protect those very important beaches.

Debby Clausen and Kim Sundberg

members, San Juan Island