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Meet the Board of Directors

Washington Native Bee Society

David Jennings surveying bees in a desert environment

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.

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. 

Will Peterman photographing bees in a field of lavender.

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.

Kate Walker using an insect net to catch bees in a mountain meadow.

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. 

Aidan Hersh hiking in a mossy Pacific Northwest forest in wintertime, looking skyward while gripping the straps of his backpack

Aidan Hersh

Director at Large  |  Bellingham

Aidan grew up in the California Bay Area and moved to Bellingham in 2014 to attend Western Washington University. After purchasing a used camera and a macro lens in 2020, he reignited a childhood passion for insects and is now fully immersed in the entomological world (being known to many of his friends as "Bug Guy"). He is co-leading bumble bee surveys at WWU to learn more about the declining presence of Bombus occidentalis and the invasion of Bombus impatiens. 

 

When not being distracted by every flying insect in sight, Aidan is usually hanging out with his cat, begrudgingly editing photos, and reading a good book. His photography can be found on Instagram @photo.by.aidan

Tony Dickey standing in a large garden of raised beds, pointing at his shirt which says "Two Bees and Not Two Bees." The Not Two Bees are a wasp and a moth that look like bees.

Tony Dickey

Director at Large  |  Seattle

Tony Dickey lives in Seattle, where he moved to from Philadelphia in 1992. He spends most of his time in West Seattle, where he learned to deeply appreciate bees and other pollinators. A short attempt at beekeeping made him realize the importance of the connection between pollinators and what we grow. A core volunteer at Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, Tony oversees the Pollinator Plus effort there. He loves chasing bees around to photograph, which helps him appreciate all pollinators and other invertebrate species. He urges people to think of food and shelter as something all of us need, even the smallest species on our planet.


Tony is also an astrologer, a historian and happily retired from regular employment. Tony also enjoys golf, cycling and playing racing games on his PC.

Alex Wilson

Director at Large  |  

Alex has a background in law, policy work, and fundraising. His passion for bees stems from a childhood fascination with bees that would visit his mom's gardens. This love of bees exploded when he learned about the plight of many native bees, and the essential functions they play in our world. 

Julia Costello

Youth Director |  Spokane, WA

Julia is a high school student and senior in Girl Scouts. She recently helped pass Senate Bill 5934 in Washington State that encourages homeowners and any construction builders to plant pollinator friendly vegetation on any new construction builds in Washington State. Because of her knowledge about pollinators and the vital role they play in our world, she has found a passion in learning more about nature and all its little helpers!

Former Board Members 

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.
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Youth Director | Marek Stanton

Board Member | Dr. Don Rolfs

Youth Director |  Spokane, WA

Two bumble bees on an aster flower in a sort of yin-yang arrangement.
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