EcoWB Volunteers

Volunteers are the heart of EcoWB’s success. The individuals below have made important contributions to EcoWB in a wide array of technical, logistical, and administrative roles. Please consider volunteering today. No matter your skill level, we can use your help too.


Phil Howell


After college and graduate school in the Midwest, I was a journalist in natural resources and instructor at OregonState University. For the past 35 years I have been a fisheries biologist, primarily working on salmonid research, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Forest Service. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the environmental mantra was “Think globally, act locally.” The world has become an increasingly smaller place, and many of our ecological challenges are global in nature.  EcoWB provides an opportunity to “Think globally and act globally.”

Clayton R. Hawkes


Clayton received his MS from the University of Alaska. His graduate school work focused on parasites of Alaska king crab. After several years of field work in Alaska he was hired by the National Marine Fisheries Service-Northwest Region to work on Clean Water Act reviews and Federal Power Act re-licensing, including Condit Dam, Leaburg-Walterville, and the North Umpqua hydroelectric projects. He wrote NMFS’s §18 prescription for adult and juvenile fish passage at Condit dam, which ultimately led to an EIS examining dam removal as a viable means to achieve fish passage and negotiations with PacifiCorp about dam removal. In 1996, he returned to Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to work on FERC projects until 2003. From 2004 to 2006, he worked on community fisheries in Cambodia as a VSO volunteer and with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Later he was a Federal Aid Coordinator with ADF&G (2007-2009), worked on endangered Atlantic salmon/transportation issues in Maine with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (2009-2011), and endangered species in the NW for NMFS until retirement. He is volunteering for EcoWB because of the opportunity to be involved in fisheries internationally.

John Blum


John received his M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington, and has 30 years of experience as an  environmental consultant focusing on endangered fish species, habitat restoration, instream flow assessments and working with hydroelectric power providers in the United States and Canada.  A majority of John’s work has been in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and British Columbia. I really appreciate working with EcoWB because it provides me the opportunity to use those skills acquired over my career to promote sustainability with other communities internationally.

Thomas Backman


Thirty five years focused on coastal, estuarine, and freshwater restoration ecology. Work settings included academic, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. Research focal areas included seagrasses, striped bass, American shad, and Pacific salmonids.  Developed Salmon Recovery Plan for Columbia Basin tribes, served on Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers Salmon Recovery Board.  Member of Gas Bubble Trauma expert panels. Research areas included Gulf of California, Pacific Ocean from Southern California to the Bering Sea, eastern North Atlantic, Salish Sea, Columbia and Snake River basins. Administrator for The Emergency Striped Bass Act and Anadromous Fishery Grant programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Taught a variety of science courses including ecology, marine biology, chemistry, statistics, environmental science,  physics and ethics,  botany, native plants, and geology. Served as Science chair and advisor for BS degree students in Native American Science.

Heather Batson


Ms. Heather Batson has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Recreation Management with an Ecotourism emphasis from the University of Florida, a Masters in Public Administration and a graduate certification in urban and regional planning, both from the University of Central Florida. Ms. Batson offers volunteer expertise in beaches and coastal system ecology, endangered species, habitat conservation, and climate change. Currently holds Climate Change Professional (CCP) certification from the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO). Ms. Batson currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her pup, Finn, and works as an environmental protection specialist.

Trevor Eakes


I’m very excited to be a part of the Ecologist Without Borders team. I strongly believe in the role of ecologists in helping underserved communities address major challenges at the ecological level. Many social problems have a driving environmental component or effect and it’s the Ecologist’s role to understand that interaction and help shape the public response. I am a fisheries biologist by training, graduating from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Science in 2016. My work has taken me to remote regions in Washington and Alaska as a research and field technician for a variety of salmonid research projects. I fell in love with field work and seeing the effects ecological stewardship can bring to people’s lives. I currently serve in Peace Corps Peru as a Fisheries Specialist where I’ll be building local partnerships to help improve sustainability and economic outcomes for small artisanal fishermen in the region of Piura. As a Development Manager I work with volunteers and the EcoWB board to advance EcoWB missions and make sure our volunteers are given the tools they need to succeed.


Andrew Henry

Volunteer | Global Environmental Consulting

Andrew Henry graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and a minor in Spanish. There, he was able to take part in a student exchange program to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He works for a global environmental consulting firm focusing on soil and groundwater contamination projects. In his free time he enjoys riding bikes, surfing and  fishing (just being outside in general), and hanging with his dog, HankHe enjoys working with EcoWB because of the friendly people and innovative projects that strive to make positive impacts on the world for environmental and social issues that are important to him.

Francine Mejia, Ph.D.


Francine is an aquatic ecologist interested in helping ECOWB with the FIPS program in her free time. She completed a PhD from the University of Idaho and is currently working on the Pend Oreille River investigating cold water refuges for native trout.  Francine previously worked on fisheries issues in California, mostly in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Bill West


Before joining Ecologists Without Borders, Bill West pursued a 25-year career in fisheries research with an emphasis on selective fishing technology for high-seas commercial fisheries and improved sampling gears and methods for fisheries research and resource assessment.  During this time he was employed by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, NET Systems (the leading North American manufacturer of commercial trawl fishing gear), and the Fisheries Research Institute at the University of Washington.  Among other projects, he worked on turtle excluders and other sorting systems for shrimp and groundfish fisheries.  Research topics included bycatch reduction, improving the survival of fish and other organisms escaping fishing gears, and reducing the impact of fishing operations on marine habitats.  Following his time in fisheries research Bill pursued a ten-year career as a lawyer developing strategies and facilitating solutions in complex multi-party situations involving natural resource and environmental issues.  Bill uses his experience with fisheries technology, selective fishing, technology transfer, the fishing industry, business and economics, and public policy to help develop practical solutions to fisheries and marine environmental issues while also satisfying human needs.  He also works as the Technology Program Director for the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation, an organization that shares many goals with Ecologists Without Borders.

Laura Deighan


Laura Deighan is a member of EcoWB’s Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) Advisory Group. She was introducedto the topic of FIPs as an intern with FishWise. Developing an affinity for the topic, she conducted her thesis research on the use of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions’ FIP guidelines in Gulf of Mexico reef fish FIP. After graduating from the University of Washington with a Master’s in Marine Affairs, she spent a year as a Knauss Fellow with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and now serves as Capitol Hill Ocean Week Coordinator for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Laura is firm believer in Ecologists Without Borders’ work to build conservation capacity around the world and enjoys being able to pursue her passion for FIPs as an EcoWB volunteer!

Gonzalo Sanson


Gonzalo is a geophysicist engineer from Mexico. Nowadays, he works as an environmental consultant conducting geological and hydrogeological characterization in contaminated sites for land remediation purposes. He is interested in renewable energy and conservation projects. Gonzalo has participated with EcoWB in a project regarding mangrove conservation and feels it was  a great experience and opportunity to start the process of engagement with other institutions, local NGOs and populations.

Anssel Lopez


Anssel Lopez (GIS Analyst) graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with an emphasis in Sustainable Management  and  with a Degree in Environmental Science, conducted research on the Plant Uptake of Fluorotelomer Alcohols (FTOH) as a method for removal from soils.  Anssel has experience in construction, reforestation, agriculture, knowledge in environmental issues, and GIS analysis in addition to a lot of enthusiasm and energy.  A native of Guatemala, Anssel is passionate about baseball (both watching it and playing it) and freestyle cooking.

Share This