Washington Chapter

of The Wildlife Society

2023 WA-TWS Board



Alex Pavlinovic

He | Him | His




Ephrata, WA

Read Alex's Bio

With the goal of becoming wildlife biologist, I have taken part in a number of professional activities. I organized and moderated two special sessions for the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society at annual meetings (2018 and 2019). I also served on the Chapter’s Awards Committee for several years. Recently, I was appointed as a board member of the Washington Chapter. To gain valuable research and monitoring experience, I have taken part in over 20 projects, including working for Trout Unlimited, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, Cascadia Research Collective, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. These projects included working on a variety of taxa from sea lions to beaver. Because of my efforts in assisting fisheries research on the Elwha River Restoration Project, I received the Olympic National Park Youth volunteer of the year award.

Always looking to improve myself, I am hardworking, physically fit, outdoorsy, independent, self-motivated, and passionate about the environment. I am always learning about the natural world, reading scientific literature, taking classes, volunteering in the field, and technical writing. All of these efforts may be the root of slight caffeine addiction.

Currently, I am in my final year as a master’s student in the Master of Environmental Studies program at The Evergreen State College. With the support of Cascadia Research Collective and the Washington Chapter of the Wildlife Society, I conducted my thesis research on a group of gray whales that come into the Puget Sound every year – the “Sounders.” After graduation, I look forward to working in the wildlife field and spending time hiking, backpacking, and boating with my Great Dane, Rosie.

Immediate Past President

Matt Wilson

He | Him | His



Yakima, WA

Read Matt's Bio

I began my wildlife career at Utah State University, working with a Master’s student studying effects of salinity on Canada goose development in Utah’s west desert. After completing my B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, I worked on Nene in Hawaii, Key Deer in Florida, Roosevelt Elk on the Olympic Peninsula, and Mexican Spotted Owls in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. Following my passion for waterfowl, I led waterfowl field crews in the Dakotas and Alaska’s North Slope, before ending up in the San Francisco Bay area to pursue a M.S. at UC Davis, studying Pacific Surf Scoter breeding distribution and fecundity. I have been the Statewide Waterfowl Specialist with WDFW for 4.5 years.

I have been a member of TWS for most of my career. As an undergrad I was an active member in the student chapter at Utah State, helped develop a Quiz Bowl Team, and doubled student participation with frequent outings and an engaged leadership group. Among other officer positions, I served as president my senior year. I believe with my diverse wildlife experience, agency employment history (NPS, FWS, FS etc.) and work with tribes and non-profits, that I bring the experience and desire necessary to prepare TWS WA for the challenging future of wildlife management.

President Elect

George Ritchotte

He | Him | His




Seattle, WA

Read George's Bio

I am a wildlife ecologist with over 30 years of professional experience working for federal, state, and local environmental agencies, including 3 years in the Peace Corps in Madagascar. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology and French at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and my master’s degree in wildlife biology at the University of Montana, in Missoula, MT, where I participated in the University’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program. I am originally from Washington DC but have lived and worked in Seattle for the last 20 years, where I am an ecologist for a local environmental consulting firm.

I am passionate about wildlife conservation and eager to become more active in The Wildlife Society. I am a strong believer in the Washington Chapter’s mission to enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society. Climate change and the biodiversity crisis make our work even more important. Raising awareness of climate change and how our actions as a society within that context affect biodiversity and wildlife conservation are essential to mitigating the harmful effects of global warming.

The Washington Chapter of TWS does great work engaging students and other young professionals in the field of wildlife conservation through meetings, scholarships, and grant funding; the urgency of climate change makes those efforts even more valuable. We are at a crossroads, and it is increasingly important to involve as many people as possible in conservation work, particularly younger people of color and other groups that have traditionally been excluded from the environmental field. As members of a local chapter, we are uniquely positioned to engage in our communities at a local, grassroots level and increase the appeal of our profession to a broader section of the population. Having a more diverse selection of wildlife practitioners will also lead to more diverse solutions to our current crisis. I want to do what I can to maximize our outreach efforts and increasing involvement in the chapter.

When not mulling the finer points of wildlife conservation I try to get outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the amazing landscapes of this great state. My partner and I enjoy backpacking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and paddle boarding, ideally with our two crazy German shorthaired pointers. I try to volunteer at least once a year with Washington Trails Association helping maintain trails in the Cascade Mountains. I also volunteer with Seattle Audubon, where I assist with the Puget Sound Seabird Surveys. When in town I like to brew beer (lately I’ve been on a ginger beer kick), try new restaurants, and grow my own vegetables, no matter how little financial sense that makes.

I am impressed with everything the Washington chapter has accomplished throughout its history and I am excited to contribute to its mission.

Vice President

Claudine Reynolds

She | Her | Hers




Winlock, WA

Read Claudine's Bio

I’m honored to serve the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society and look forward to working with you to create inclusive, engaging, and meaningful opportunities that will amplify our ability to face the critical environmental challenges of our time. I’m the Director of Wildlife and Environmental Policy at Port Blakely, a family-owned, sustainable, forestland company with properties in Washington, Oregon, and New Zealand. In this role, I oversee all aspects of wildlife and fisheries resources in the U.S.; providing scientific guidance on habitat conservation, protection, research, and restoration efforts. I also lead the company’s forest policy and environmental education programs, and oversee the development and implementation of federal and state conservation agreements. My professional career began as a wildlife biologist nearly 20 years ago and has since spanned the federal, state, and private sectors of managed forests. Gaining a foothold in the streams and forests gave me an appreciation for our northwest ecosystems and fostered my understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced in natural resource management. The complexity of issues we strive to solve underscores the need for collaboration and partnership. As part of my work, I serve on the Washington Natural Heritage Advisory Council which provides guidance to state natural resource agencies on the designation and management of natural areas intended to conserve native species and ecosystems. I also serve on the Board of Directors for Pacific Education Institute, a non-profit organization that empowers educators to advance equitable civic and scientific literacy. As a first-generation college student, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to pursue an education. I have both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Environmental Studies degree from the Evergreen State College. As an undergraduate, my studies focused on salmon and the aquatic environment, while my graduate studies focused on biodiversity and the terrestrial environment. I’m also a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program. The Washington Chapter of TWS fulfills a key function in bringing current research and applied scientists together. As a professional network, we are rich with opportunities to partner and collaborate. I’m excited to be part of it and look forward to working together to advance the mission of the chapter. A northwest native, I live on a small farm with my partner and have two amazing grown sons. When we’re not growing food, we love to work and play in the mountains, forests, and rivers that make this region so magnificent.

Secretary (2022-2024)

Candace Hultberg (Bennett)

She | Her | Hers



 Newport, WA

Read Candace's Bio

Hello members! I am pleased to be your Washington Chapter Secretary since 2020. During my time, I have helped to launch our new website and created a monthly WA-TWS Wildlife Webinar Series.

A little about me, I have been a wildlife biologist for more than a decade, predominantly working on human-wildlife conflict and various carnivore centered research projects. On my personal time, I am a professional and published wildlife photographer. I love spending time outdoors with my giant dogs (a Newfoundland, a sheepadoodle, and two bloodhounds) or hiking to remote locations all over the world.

Treasurer (2023-2025)

James Butch

He | Him | His



, WA

Read James's Bio

- Hello, I am happy to have been elected as your Treasurer where I hope to serve the organization for the next few years. Bruce Thompson left some big shoes to fill, but after his multi-year term, the finances of the Washington Chapter are in great shape! For the previous fifteen-years I have worked for a variety of private and public organizations, collecting and analyzing environmental data, mostly surrounding bird migration and their breeding habits. I now help to manage thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in Washington state. I am committed to enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat in the Pacific Northwest. I have been working as a wildlife biologist and environmental consultant for the last five years, based in Portland. I create and lead species surveys, conduct GIS analysis, coordinate management activities with a variety of stakeholders, create wildlife habitat management plans in both Oregon and Washington. For the ten years previous to my current position, I was a field technician working with raptors across the western United States, studying their breeding ecology and migratory patterns, before returning to school to receive a Master’s in Biology. I recently became a Certified Wildlife Biologist with TWS and I am looking for opportunities to support budding biologists through mentoring and skill sharing. -

Board Members At Large

Board Member 1 (2024-2025)

Lindsey Webb

She | Her | Hers



 , WA

Read Lindsey's Bio

Lindsey is the Senior Wildlife Biologist for Manulife Timber and Agriculture. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has over 15 years of experience as a professional biologist and has been a member of TWS for the last 18 years. Her early career focused on fisheries research and monitoring and then expanded to include upland gamebird and ungulate work. She now provides risk mitigation and regulatory compliance oversight for threatened and endangered species on 3.8 million acres of forest and agricultural lands across 19 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Her interest in supporting WA TWS as a board member is to facilitate continued engagement of students and professionals with WA TWS as they move through their careers; and to leverage her broad knowledge to advise on landscape level issues and concerns.

Board Member 2 (2022-2024)

Kris Ernest

She | Her | Hers



 Ellensburg, WA

Read Kris's Bio

Kristina (Kris) Ernest received her B.S. in Biology from Cornell University (1982), M.S. in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma (1985), and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico (1993). She has been a faculty member in the Biology Department at Central Washington University since 1994, where she has taught Wildlife Ecology, Mammalogy, General Ecology, General Biology, Biomes of the Pacific Northwest, and Field Techniques. Her research spans population and community ecology, plant-herbivore interactions, and road ecology. For the past decade, she and her students (both undergraduate and graduate) have been investigating how American pikas, shrews, bats, deer mice, and other small mammal species respond to highways and wildlife crossing structures for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.

In her spare time, Kris enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and birding.

Board Member 3 (2022-2024)

Jen Syrowitz

She | Her | Hers



 Issaquah, WA

Read Jen's Bio

Jen comes to TWS driven to help build an empowered network of diverse users inspired by nature and engaged in natural resource protection. She is passionate about increasing the trust, confidence, and funding for Tribes, agencies, and organizations responsible for public trust resource management. Through reconciliation she works to center Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous-led conservation to improve the quality and outcomes of engagement on sustainability of wildlife resources and human environments. Jen has more than ten years of experience in the field of wildlife conservation, natural resource policy, community outreach and advocacy, and non-profit program management.

She has been a member of and involved with TWS since 2009. Originally hailing from the Canadian Prairies, Jen has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, and a Master of Environment from the University of Manitoba where she studied greater prairie chickens in northwestern Minnesota.

Outside the office, Jen spends her time in the evergreen mountains, sagebrush plateaus and coastal beaches of Washington state—backpacking, snowshoeing, hunting upland game and harvesting shellfish.

Board Member 4 (2023-2025)

Jake Verschuyl

He | Him | His



 Anacortes, WA

Read Jake's Bio

I am pleased to serve on the WA TWS board and have a passion for linking applied science and management. I am the Director of Forestry Research for the Western U.S. and B.C. for NCASI or the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. I have a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science from Montana State University and completed my undergraduate degree in Wildlife Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. I have spent just over 20 years engaging in a variety of wildlife related research projects, primarily focused on the influence of forest management on biodiversity and ecosystem function. The research program I oversee for NCASI focuses on wildlife, biodiversity, sustainability, and aquatic ecosystems across private and public managed forests of the Pacific Northwest. This is a pivotal time for our Washington TWS chapter. I am excited to serve in a leadership role and enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve the natural environments we share stewardship of. My past service in professional society leadership includes student representative to The Wildlife Society as an undergraduate (California North Coast Chapter), where we received a Chapter of the Year Award. More recently, I served as treasurer for the Biodiversity Working Group of The Wildlife Society. In addition to The Wildlife Society, I am an active member of the Society of American Foresters, American Ornithological Society, Ecological Society of America, and the Pacific Seabird Group. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and snowboarding with my wife, kids, and our lab-German shepherd mix.

A list of past WA-TWS Board Members can be found here.

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