Board and staff

Our Staff

Jennifer Mackey

Stewardship Director

Jennifer Mackey

Stewardship Director

Email: jennifer@whatcomlandtrust.org

While attending Western Washington University for a B.S. in Environmental Science, Jennifer spent her summers interning to gain hands-on experience. She accomplished stream profile surveys, vegetation surveys, fish surveys, small mammal surveys in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. For the Mount St. Helens Institute she also co-led the Youth Stream Team, a program aiming to bring at-risk youth outside to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their natural surroundings. After graduating and completing other internship opportunities, Jennifer joined the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC), an AmeriCorps program, to gain riparian restoration experience with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. She later joined the Whatcom Land Trust team in her final year with WCC as a Stewardship Associate, and then filled in as the Interim Stewardship Director. Jennifer then spent the following year with the City of Bellingham’s watershed team in aquatic invasive species prevention before joining Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group as a Restoration Technician for over a year. When the Stewardship Director position opened up, she didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity in joining the evolving Whatcom Land Trust team once more. On the weekends when she is not leading a work party, you can find her hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, biking, and exploring natural areas throughout Washington.

Claire Johnston

Communications Director

Claire Johnston

Communications Director

Email: claire@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Claire’s family arrived in Seattle in 1877 and worked in fisheries, forestry, and farming throughout the state. Her maternal great-grandparents owned a large farm in Lynden, Washington and her paternal ancestors established Manning Seed Co. in Roy, Washington.  Claire had a childhood full of Pacific Northwest adventures, inspiring a lifelong passion for conservation and recreation. She strives to help grow a conservation minded community in Whatcom County through meaningful community engagement.

Claire holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington. She began her career in the outdoor recreation industry as a bike technician, team manager, and local community engagement lead. She started working in the Land Trust field while living in Southeastern Massachusetts, as the Programming and Outreach Manager for Wildlands Trust.

She is thrilled to call the Pacific Northwest home again, and excited to share her love for this land with all members of her community. When Claire is out of office you can almost always find her on a trail or a beach. Whether mountain biking, running, or paddling, she is usually accompanied by her dog (and best friend) Chowder.

Alex Jeffers

Conservation Director

Alex Jeffers

Conservation Director

Email: alex@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Growing up in Kent, OH, Alex made his way to Whatcom County via Cleveland, OH, Madison, WI, and Whidbey Island. Along the way, Alex has worked as an Environmental Educator and Water Resources Planner, and received Master’s degrees in Water Resources Management and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As Conservation Director at Whatcom Land Trust, he works on conservation planning and oversees all land and easement acquisition projects.  Elsewhere in Whatcom County, Alex is a board member with the North Cascades Audubon Society and a slow trail runner.

Madeline Mahler

Volunteer Coordinator

Madeline Mahler

Volunteer Coordinator

Email: madeline@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Madeline got into conservation because while in Australia surfing, she realized that microplastics were surrounding her, not seaweed. This made her realize that change needs to happen now and what better way to do that then work for a local non-profit. One of Madeline’s biggest passions is bringing the community together to restore hurt ecosystems back to healthy ones and connect people back to nature.

Madeline attended Western Washington University and received her degree in Environmental Studies with minors in Geography and GIS. While not at work, Madeline is usually seen hanging out with her new adopted pup, Ocean! 

Kristy Lee

Communications Coordinator

Kristy Lee

Communications Coordinator

Email: kristy@whatcomlandtrust.org

Kristy grew up in Colorado and moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University and Fairhaven College. While working towards her degree she interned with the Land Trust during her senior year at Western. Kristy graduated in 2020 with a self-designed dual degree in Environmental Law & Policy and Immigration Law and a minor in Business Administration. After graduation, Kristy was offered the position of Office Manager and was excited to continue her time at the Land Trust. Since then, she has worn a multitude of hats within the organization and in 2022 was promoted to Communications Coordinator. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with the community through programing, events and digital engagement. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, traveling, backpacking, and hiking.

Hailey Clark

Conservation Transaction Specialist

Hailey Clark

Conservation Transaction Specialist

Email: hailey@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Hailey grew up in Colorado Springs where her foundational love for the outdoors began by exploring the local trails on horseback. Wanting to incorporate this passion into her education, Hailey pursued a BA in Environment and Sustainability from Western Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. While living in Gunnison, she transitioned to mountain biking and splitboarding as her means of accessing the surrounding trails. 

While finishing her undergraduate degree, she began her masters degree in Environmental Management with a focus in outdoor recreation management. After graduating in May of 2023, Hailey moved to Bellingham after falling in love with the area and its many outdoor recreation opportunities a few years earlier. In Bellingham, Hailey can most often be found on the trails with her dog, Oakley, or behind a book by the bay. She is extremely excited to continue exploring Whatcom County, and to contribute in protecting years of exploration for generations to come.

Kelsey Bedient

Financial Specialist

Kelsey Bedient

Financial Specialist

Sun Mountain Consulting LLC

 

Kelsey moved to Bellingham with her husband in 2015. She started her career in public accounting working extensively with nonprofit organizations. After nearly 10 years working in public accounting, Kelsey decided to start her own consulting business to continue her work supporting nonprofits with their accounting and finance needs. When she’s not running her business, you might find her on a local trail with her 7-month old twins and two dogs.

Alexis Burton

Office Manager

Alexis Burton

Office Manager

Email: officemanager@whatcomlandtrust.org

Alexis is a happy little spider in the middle of the office, webbing connections to keep everyone close and feeling supported. At work, she is usually found with a cup of tea in hand typing away on the computer, or out on a walk with a staff member taking a moment to touch base with the elements and themselves. Alexis graduated from Western Washington University with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Education and from the University of Montana with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. These skills next to each other form a solid foundation for her to weave a joy-filled aura of focus and friendship in the workplace. 

As a former kindergarten teacher at Cedar Tree Montessori, Alexis is well-versed in play and enjoys bringing that sense of style to the office with their current team at the Land Trust. Alexis is invested in creating the most welcoming space possible in every corner of the areas we occupy, and is passionate about bridging everyone around her in unity and compassion. In their spare time, Alexis loves to garden and care for living things, craft wild teas, write letters to penpals, read a little bit of everything, and listen to the sounds of the wide world on walks. Alexis enjoys engaging with her peers and building community in every place it can be shared. 

Alexis is excited to be the Office Manager at the Whatcom Land Trust because it’s like a dream come true for them – Alexis’ curiosity and spirit are fueled by being in a position of support and creative energy as the staff looks to the natural world for inspiration and motivation. She has many things to feel grateful for and enjoys expressing them.

Prisca Ratsimbazafy

Development Assistant

Prisca Ratsimbazafy

Development Assistant

Email: development@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Growing up in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Prisca has always been passionate about environmental matters and how to preserve and restore natural resources. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Lafayette College, she started working at the Wildlife Conservation Society Madagascar as a Logistics Assistant. Then, she took the position of Database Officer at MIHARI Network, where she gathered and analyzed information on locally managed marine areas, and assisted in advocating for the rights of traditional and remote small-scale fisher communities in Madagascar. A few years later, she decided to pursue her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Then, she interned at American Rivers as a Development Operations intern. She is now the Development Assistant at Whatcom Land Trust, where she is excited to expand and apply her experiences in the realm of development. In her free time, she enjoys biking, learning about food and cooking.

Bryce Auburn

Stewardship Assistant

Bryce Auburn

Stewardship Assistant

Email: stewardship@whatcomlandtrust.org

 

Bryce Auburn grew up on the southern end of Whidbey Island. Nowadays, the island is known for its lengthy summer ferry lines and an excessive population of rabbits. After graduating high school, Bryce moved north to Skagit Valley Community College to pursue his love for soccer at the collegiate level. In 2017, Bryce moved again, finding a new home in Bellingham. Bryce finished his A.A. from Whatcom Community College and took time off to discover his next move. In the Winter of 2019, Bryce started working towards an Environmental Studies B.A. and a GIS Certificate from Western Washington, eventually graduating in Spring 2022. During Bryce’s final year at WWU, he interned at Whatcom Land Trust. Bryce now serves as the Stewardship Assistant, responsible for conducting yearly site visits and helping to manage all properties that Whatcom Land Trust owns. When he’s off the clock, Bryce loves to hike throughout Whatcom County and can be seen soaking in nature off the clock on Land Trust properties.

Our Board

The Whatcom Land Trust Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers whose skills, experience and expertise represent our diverse community. Together, they share a love and respect for Whatcom County’s outdoor places and natural resources. Whatcom Land Trust’s governing board provides leadership, policy development and community connections while building trust with our donors, partners and community. Together, with a talented and committed staff, the board fulfills its mission to preserve and protect and Whatcom County’s lands, waters, wildlife habitat and natural resources to benefit people and species in perpetuity. We are grateful for the many hours and generous resources they secure to further the work of Whatcom Land Trust.

Hall Walker

President

Hall Walker

President

Hall grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Sehome High School. His professional career started in the public sector with the Budget Offices of King County and the City of Seattle, focusing on sustainable and responsible spending policies and prioritizing limited public resources. While he continues his finance career in the private sector, he spends his time with his wife and two kids exploring the Pacific NW by land and by sea. He moved back to Bellingham in 2017 and joined the Whatcom Land Trust Board in 2019.

Dave Brown

Vice President