Meet the Board of Directors

Washington Native Bee Society

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David Jennings

President & Chair | Olympia

David is someone who gets excited at all the biodiversity around us. He is an academically trained wildlife conservationist concerned about the decline of our native pollinators. David started learning field ID of bumble bees via Xerces’ Bumble Bee Watch. Now that he has tracked down all the species of bumbles in Washington (except Bombus suckleyi), he is learning how to find and identify all the other 600+ species of Washington’s native bees.

A selfie of a woman, Colleen Willson, wearing a gray sweater and standing with her back to the waterfront. The setting sun glows brightly through her windblown hair

Colleen Willson

Vice-President  |  Snohomish

Colleen Willson is an instructional designer with a background in sustainability who is passionate about sharing her love of native bees through outreach and community with other bee enthusiasts.  Photographing native bees introduced Colleen to the many species in Washington State while also providing the thrill of a challenge. Those bees don’t hold still for very long! 

In a verdant, sloped yard, Elise Novitski points her camera toward some daisies to take a photo of a bee

Elise Novitski

Secretary  |  Seattle

Elise Novitski is a physicist who fell in love with the native bees nesting in her yard. She wants to make WaNBS a place where everyone can experience the joy of learning about bees, and where we can all work together to conserve these amazing creatures.

Ingrid Carmean a woman with white hair, wears a large sun hat while she joyfully looks for bees or evidence of bees.

Ingrid Carmean

Treasurer  |  Port Angeles

When Ingrid was about 10, she lived in Washington State and had a Bumblebee collection. Now, 60 years later, she’s collecting bees again and living in Washington State.  Between these points in time she received a B.S. in Entomology, ran a pest control business in Central California, retired, spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in Peru.

Marek Stanton, a brown-haired youth, stands in the foreground wearing a blue coat, his favorite bill hat, and with a pair of binoculars in his hands. In the background is an Oregon beach with tidal pools.

Marek Stanton

Youth Director |  Estacada, OR

Marek is a high school student in an early college program in Oregon.  Since 2020, he has had a focus on bees and flowers, and has been a participant of the Oregon Bee Atlas and iNaturalist.  He is also excited to learn about nature in general.  Much of his free time is spent exploring the natural world, reading, creating artwork (mainly pencil or watercolor), and asking questions. 

Joe Dlugo with camera, examining bees up close on flowers

Joe Dlugo

Director at Large & Webmaster |  Tenino

With a background in gardening and habitat restoration honed in younger years on the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest, the passion for wildflowers led him to discover the extraordinary diversity of bees that visit them.  He took up photography to share the fascination with others, and his work can be viewed throughout the WaNBS website, on his own website, beesafari.net, and in numerous publications worldwide, including Science and Scholastic.  He is the creator of the WaNBS Native Bee Diversity of Washington State poster. When not weeding his overly-ambitious pollinator garden, he spends time roaming the woods with his two nature enthusiast children and works as a teacher of students with visual impairments.

Lisa Robinson sits at a table in a lab* wearing binocular loupes so she can see to remove minutin insect pins from a native bee specimen

Lisa Robinson

Director at Large  |  Wenatchee

Lisa volunteered to work on Don Rolfs’ Washington state bee collection in 2015, thinking that sorting a bunch of Bumble bees wouldn’t be beyond her minimal abilities. This started a cascade of events because she needed to learn more about our Bumble bees… She joined the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas project in 2017 and took “Bumble bee Biodiversity, Ecology, and Identification Course” with Lincoln Best. She continues to take Bee ID courses and became the first out-of-state Master Melittologist in 2020 where she has since earned her apprentice certificate. In spite of Covid and working through Zoom, Colleen Willson, Lisa Robinson and Joe Dlugo jumped in and started the Washington Native Bee Society in October of 2020. Needless to say she is now a 100% native bee nerd.

 

Lisa continues working on Don’s collection to this day. You can find her attempting IDs in our Washington Native Bee Society iNaturalist project, posting to @wa_nativebees in Instagram, or hanging out in the Facebook group--where she enjoys meeting fellow bee enthusiasts from Washington and around the world. 

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Will Peterman

Director at Large  |  Seattle

Will is a lifelong geek who stumbled into pollination ecology in graduate school, and remained fascinated by native bees even as he was drawn into the attractive nuisance that is the Seattle software industry.  He was an early adopter of digital insect photography, and used that as leverage to gain entry into the UW biology community, where he spent a decade learning bee taxonomy and population monitoring techniques from Dr. Evan Sugden. 

He is currently trying to establish and maintain a reference collection of the bees of Western Washington, and can be found from time to time assisting with identifications on iNaturalist. 

He would like to remind everyone that bees need dirt!

A woman with red curly hair, with blue eyes looks off onto the distance. She has a half smile of her face.

Tina LaBonte

Director at Large  |  Seattle

Tina took her fear of bees and turned it into a passion. When not connecting to other bee enthusiasts on iNaturalist or Instagram, she can be found roaming thru her neighborhood photographing bees and getting her neighbors excited to learn what she has discovered in their yards. Other favorite activities are roadtrips, reading and hanging out with her cat Pancake. She also is the moderator for the WNBS Facebook page.

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Kate C. Walker

Director at Large  |  Wenatchee

Kate spent most of her career as a botanist around the country, but her love of gardening and botanizing while in the backcountry was forever changed when she joined the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas. Now, with a net by her side at all times, in the yard, in the Wenatchee foothills, or in the Wilderness, surveying for bees has opened up a whole new dimension to her outdoor adventures. 

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