Committee Member Information

 Meeting Members Treva Coe – Treva is the Watershed Restoration Program Manager for the Nooksack Tribe. She has a M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Washington.  As a fisheries biologist with the Tribe for the past 20 years, she has experience and expertise in local natural resources management, protection, and restoration issues, including habitat restoration, climate vulnerability and adaptation, floodplain management, and land use and water resources planning and regulation.  She also has established relationships with staff from Nooksack Tribe, Lummi Nation, and Whatcom County governments, as well as Whatcom Conservation District, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and Whatcom Land Trust.  She has a keen interest in land use measures that reduce emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and build resilience to climate impacts.


Kaylee Galloway

– Kaylee brings over five years of government service including Legislative Assistant for State Representative Debra Lekanoff (40th LD) in Olympia and Bellingham, and formerly Community Liaison for Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and Staff Assistant for Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington, DC. Kaylee has extensive outreach experience throughout Whatcom County where she has engaged stakeholders on a diverse range of topics, such as agriculture, water, climate change, renewable energy, salmon recovery, habitat enhancement and emergency preparedness. Her passions are climate change, renewable energy, green buildings, agriculture and sustainable community development. Kaylee holds a Masters degree in Policy Studies from the University of Washington Bothell and focused her capstone on sustainable community development and relevant local, state and federal policy. Her undergraduate work at Western Washington University included a Bachelors in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics in addition to minors in Energy Policy and Law, Diversity, & Justice. Kaylee’s multidisciplinary and moderate perspectives are an asset for finding common ground and solving complex problems.

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Sue Gunn 

– Sue’s diverse career has integrated science, policy and politics on behalf of nature. She has a MS in Geology from San Diego State and PhD in Isotope Geochemistry from UC Santa Cruz and worked for over a decade at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA researching the age and isotopic composition of rocks from the western US. Her BA in Political Science, from the U of Maryland, led her to utilize her scientific background to analyze social and environmental problems to develop and promote solutions. Much of that work has been done by establishing and expanding coalitions, consensus building and education and outreach. For a decade she served as the Director of Budget and Appropriations for The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC and was responsible for improving the funding levels and protections for America’s public lands. Upon moving to Olympia, WA she served as the State Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility working with state and federal whistleblowers. She became the Government Affairs Director for the Center for Environmental Law and Policy working on water quantity issues in WA and finally the Campaign Director for the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative, a coalition of conservation and environmental groups, state agencies and tribes that advocated the creation a program within the US Forest Service that funded over $300 million in road rehab, decommissioning and culvert repair to reduce flooding and enhance fisheries. After her retirement she was elected as the first woman Commissioner at the Port of Olympia. In 2018 she was the campaign director for a successful challenger to a well-funded incumbent on the Thurston County Commission. She moved to Bellingham in search of a place to weather the global climate storm and be close to her son and his family who live in the eastern Whatcom County. She applied for the CIAC during the smoke-filled days of early September 2020 in hopes of helping the community address problems related to global warming.

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Steve Harell

- Stevan Harrell retired from the Department of Anthropology and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington in 2017, and moved with his wife Barbara to Bellingham. While at UW, Steve also served at various times as Director of the University Honors Program, Curator of Asian Ethnology at the Burke Museum, and member of interdisciplinary programs in China Studies, Comparative Religion, and Urban Design and Planning, and supervised over 50 Ph.D. students at UW and elsewhere around the world. Steve has conducted research in Taiwan since 1970 and in China since 1988, much of it on how local communities adapt to the challenges of both environmental and political change. He is the author or editor of 18 books, most recently the co-edited volume Greening East Asia: the Rise of the Eco-Developmental State, published in 2020. At UW, Steve developed several courses that bear on climate vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation, and environmental resources. His serious engagement with Whatcom County started in 2005, when he began bringing undergraduate and graduate students on field trips to visit north-county dairy farms and learn about the different ways that different farmers managed land, animals, crops, markets, and environmental challenges. These trips became an integral part of his field-based class on Growing Stuff, which also included trips to forestry operations of the Yakama Nation and geoduck, clam, and oyster farms of the Taylor Shellfish Company. He also taught courses jointly with faculty from Atmospheric Sciences (including a seminar on controversies over climate change and evolution), Environmental and Forest Sciences, Asian Languages, Archaeology, Biology, and Engineering. Since moving to Whatcom County, Steve wrote the Agriculture and Food Security section of CIAC’s Community Research Study, and before COVID was beginning research for a book on the history of agriculture (or maybe just dairy farming) in Whatcom County. He hopes to use his term on CIAC to bring together various stakeholders around the County to find common solutions to pressing climate-related problems.
 Hunter Hassig

Hunter Hassig

- Hunter is an energy and sustainability professional currently working as an Energy Advisor for Puget Sound Energy where he empowers customers to manage their energy. He has co-led the Green Team to transform employee behavior and shift corporate policies towards sustainability. After graduating WWU in 2013 with a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies, he began his career in building energy usage doing energy audits, heating and weatherization sales for Barron Heating. That job afforded him the privilege of following his passion while residing in the beautiful Bellingham and Whatcom County that he calls home. As a mountain biker, skier and hiker, the preservation of our natural areas, water and air is of the utmost importance to him.
 Meeting Members

David Kershner

– David co-founded the Lummi Island Heritage Trust, a non-profit land conservation organization, and served as the organization second Executive Director. Past experience includes environmental research positions with Sightline Institute in Seattle, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Maryland. With a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan, he has co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles on environmental topics. David was a team lead for the Community Research Project where he interviewed numerous stakeholders in the community about efforts to address climate change. He has made public presentations about climate change as part of the Whatcom County Library System speaker’s series.

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Katherine Kissinger

– A recent graduate from Western Washington University (WWU). In December 2018, Katherine completed a Bachelor's degree in environmental science, with a minor in geography. She contributed to scientific studies in Biology and Water Quality at WWU during her time there as a student. She also spent time working as an intern with the Washington State Department of Transportation and The Evergreen State College doing wetland monitoring across Washington state. As part of her studies at WWU, Katherine took courses on Climate Change, Wetland Ecology, Natural Resource Policy, Energy and the Environment, Oceanography, and Water Quality to name a few. Katherine was born and raised in the south King County area and spent summers camping and recreating all over Washington state and the Pacific Northwest with her family. She moved to Bellingham about four years ago and is looking forward to working with the community and on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee to make a positive impact in Whatcom County.


Cynthia Mitchell

– Cynthia is a 40-year veteran in energy policy and utility regulation, focused on sustainability through energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, and renewable energy generation. As an economist, she has worked for Attorney General Consumer Advocates around the country, the past 20 years deep in California climate change work via electric and gas utility energy efficiency with the statewide consumer advocate office TURN, The Utility Reform Network. Since moving to Washington State Spring 2016, her interests and activities have included state and local energy and utility projects.

Ellyn Murphy, Committee Chair

– Early in her career Ellyn worked as a reforestation forester on the Oregon Coast. After grad school, she spent most of her career as a research hydrologist, division director and program manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Dept. of Energy research laboratory in Richland, WA. Her research focused on groundwater chemistry, age, flow and transport, bioremediation, vadose zone recharge rates, and geologic carbon sequestration; most often involving multidisciplinary teams. Later in her career she focused on science communication and strategic initiatives related to the nexus of environment and energy issues. Ellyn’s primary interests are in climate change and its impact on fresh water and forests, as well as building sustainable communities. She has an M.S. in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Hydrology.

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Phil Thompson

– Recently retired (2020) WWU Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics in the College of Business and Economics and Institute for Energy Studies at WWU. Spent ten years as the chief economist for the Missouri state utility consumer advocate, followed by 25 years in academia at the University of Missouri Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), Central Michigan University, and WWU. Primary research interests include household energy efficiency and the market and regulatory impacts of increasing quantities of wind and solar electricity generation. Classes taught include energy, environmental, and electricity market economics. Previously served on the Whatcom County TDR/PDR work group (2017-2018).

Johnathan Yakawich

– John is a Process Engineer at the BP Cherry Point Refinery. As a member of the Low Carbon Roadmap team at BP, John strategizes higher efficiency projects to create lower carbon fuels. He is a member of the Green Team, which seeks to change employee behavior to adopt environmentally friendly practices, and he advises corporate social responsibility initiatives as a One Young World Ambassador. John brings industry experience in producing transportation fuels with an emphasis on safety, environmental compliance, and efficiency. He is passionate about providing clean and affordable energy while addressing climate impacts and contributing responsibly to his community. As an outdoor enthusiast, John wants to ensure that the beautiful northwest is preserved and enhanced for future generations, including his own kids. He received dual B.S. degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Montana State University Bozeman.

 Meeting Members

Chris Elder, County Liaison, Non-Voting

- Chris is a Senior Planner in Watershed Management with Whatcom County Public Works.  He has served as the Purchase of Development Rights Administrator, Open Space Land Administrator, and has supported agricultural and ecosystem related long range planning efforts over his past 6 years working with Whatcom County. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Biology, an M.S. in Agriculture, and worked in agriculture for 10 years prior to working for the County.