NAME Elections

NAME Elections • Back to Board of Directors page

Below are the biographies for our 2023-2024 Board of Directors officers and candidates. The following positions are open for election this year: President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, NMEA Representative, and Chapter Directors for Oregon and Washington. The Secretary and Treasurer positions are a one year commitment (although we hope you will stay longer, once elected). The President-elect position is a three year commitment as you move from President-elect to President to Past-president over the three year term. The NMEA Representative and Chapter Director positions are each two-year terms.

To learn more about each of these positions you can read over our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). If you are interested in learning more about any of the above positions, please send a letter of interest, your resume and a short bio (for the elections page of our website) to Jenny Huntley at

Current NAME Members will receive an electronic ballot at the email address listed in their NAME profile in December. If you don’t receive your ballot, please contact us at

Board Biographies—2023-2024

President (2023-2024): Jesse Jones, Oregon
Jesse is the CoastWatch Program Manager for Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. CoastWatch is a mile-by-mile beach adoption program with a mission to encourage care and knowledge of Oregon coast. She joined OSCC in 2019 as the volunteer coordinator and has grown the CoastWatch program, starting CoastWatch in Schools in 2021, which recruits teachers to enroll their classrooms in on the beach monitoring and surveys. Jesse is a lifelong Oregonian who has worked alongside hundreds of others in the last two decades to restore, educate and inspire. Jesse is a previous watershed council coordinator and has also worked for Clatsop Soil & Water Conservation District, Surfrider, Haystack Rock Awareness Program, Mercy Corps International and an environmental puppet troupe in Ireland. She was also a consultant working as a mediator, grant manager and educational program designer. She lives in Astoria.

President-elect (2023-2024): Barbara Krystal, Washington
As a marine biologist who is passionate about invertebrates, Barbara Krystal draws attention to the ways in which these creatures have influenced human culture around the world, particularly in the ways these creatures are portrayed in art and literature. An avid swimmer, Barbara loves sinking into the distinct waters of lakes, rivers, seas, and oceans. On dry land, Barbara practices martial arts and appreciates the fluidity of movement which emulates the feeling of being in water.

Past President (2023-2024): Janice Elvidge, Washington
Janice Elvidge is Founder and Manager of The River Mile Network, a watershed health monitoring network, and former Education Specialist at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area (retired December 31, 2021). She has an M.S. in Forest Resource Management, specializing in interpretive planning, from the Univ. of Washington and a B.A. in Professional Studies from Central Washington Univ., also specializing in interpretive planning. She is the current Past President of Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators and was NAME’s Outstanding Aquatic Educator, Non-Classroom, of the year in 2022. 

Secretary (2023-2024): Amy Cole, Washington
Amy Cole holds a combined BA in Zoology and Marine Biology from the University of New Hampshire. She has recently held the post of Marine Educator at the Seattle Aquarium, which included interpretive volunteer supervision, teaching, and curriculum and program development for the Citizen Science program. Prior to joining the Aquarium staff, Amy was an interpretive volunteer for exhibits and field programs. She also chaired the committee to develop and administer the Master Birder program at the Seattle Audubon Society, and for several years has reviewed submissions for King County water conservation grants. Her professional background also includes program management at Microsoft and biotechnology research in the Bay Area. She holds a professional certification in project management (PMP), and has enjoyed putting some of those skills to use as NAME Secretary.

Treasurer (2023-2024): Sue Nightingale, Washington
Sue Nightingale has been teaching a variety of Biology, Ecology, Oceanography and Environmental Science courses at Bellevue College since 1995, particularly enjoying Marine Biology, Puget Sound Ecology and teaching in the Interdisciplinary program. Sue received an Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Occidental College and a Master’s degree in Fisheries from University of Washington School of Ocean and Fisheries Sciences. She spent a year working in Alaska as a Scientific Observer on commercial Fishing Vessels in the Bering Sea, and a year working in the San Juan Islands as a research diver before starting her career at Bellevue.

Sue is active in several local volunteer organizations, including Audubon and The Burke Museum. Her favorite class activities with students are field trips and dissection labs and she spends as much time as possible at the beach turning over rocks and picking up critters. Her interests include the reproductive strategies of marine organisms, bioaccumulation of pollutants in commercial important fish species and plastic pollution in the Pacific.

If you ever want to know about fish – just ask! “They are my favorite animals, and they taste good too!”

NMEA Representative (2023-2025): Maile Sullivan, Washington
As Washington Sea Grant’s Marine Education Specialist, Maile manages K-12 education and outreach programming helping to build ocean literacy among teachers, students and their families. She orchestrates all aspects of Orca Bowl and NOAA Science Camp, develops program partnerships, and designs and implements program evaluation tools. Maile’s history with Washington Sea Grant includes working as the organization’s event coordinator, NOAA Science Camp coordinator and education assistant.

Prior to working at Sea Grant, she also spent two years as a coral program specialist with NOAA Fisheries, where she managed regional coral reef efforts in U.S. jurisdictions and implemented the new, congressionally mandated Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program; and she served as the Education Director for Camp SEA LAB, where she grew its marine science education offerings from a five-week summer camp to year-round programming serving more than 1,500 youth annually. She also worked in the Netherlands Antilles as a marine conservation technician focused on community engagement. Maile has consulted for the National Geographic Society and the Ocean Conservancy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.

Alaska Directors (2022-2024): Jennifer Howell & Kristina Tirman

Jennifer Howell—Jennifer moved to Anchorage in 8th grade as a Army Brat and fell in love with the ocean for the first time in high school on a humpback whale watching trip in Hawaii with her family. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys exploring the shoreline of Alaska every chance she gets. She loves working with local organizations to connect urban kids to the aquatic and marine world that is a big part of what makes living in Alaska so great. Her background is in environmental education and urban sociology.

Jennifer’s first NAME conference was in Bandon, Oregon in 2014 where she was the recipient of the first Bill ‘Sean’ Hastie Conference Scholarship Award. Jennifer remembers, “Walking in the doors I felt welcomed by a group of people who were happy to see someone from Alaska!  It was the first time I really felt part of something bigger and that maybe I might be able to figure out a way to make my passion for all things marine and education a real job.”

Jennifer is committed to inclusion and diversity in all aspects of education and has served on the board of the local Pride Foundation, and is an alum of Leadership Anchorage. She is a former President of NAME and looks forward to growing the Alaska chapter.

BC Co-Directors (2023): Cathy Carolsfeld & Margy Ransford

Cathy Carolsfeld—Cathy grew up in a small town in Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula.  Since then, she has lived, dived, studied, researched and taught biology from coast to coast to coast in Canada and other parts of the world.  From the get go, Cathy’s research interests were piqued by marine invertebrates.  She came to appreciate the power of “creatures as teachers” through her B.Sc., Honours and M.Sc. degrees at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Victoria.  Her combination of academic and practical knowledge about local and global marine environments, firm belief in the power of partnerships and love of teaching is the backbone of her work.  Over the past 40 years, Cathy has run WestWind SeaLab Supplies, Canada’s longest-lived supplier of living marine organisms for teaching and research; and the Seaquaria in Schools programs that now serve 24,000 local public school youth each year– both of which she has co-founded. Cathy continues to be committed to ensuring that students of all ages can experience the magic of marine ecosystems and creatures as teachers.

Washington Director (2023-2025): John Hunter
John grew up in Seaview and Long Beach and went to high school in Camas. He received a BA in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University and an MS in Biology from the University of Southern California where he worked in the “Worm Lab”. He worked as a curatorial assistant in the Invertebrate Department of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology caring for one of the world’s largest spider collections. After teaching science in private schools for several years he worked as a non-formal science educator in upstate New York and was a deputy director for the Gannett School of Science and Man, a life-long learning program in the Rochester Museum and Science Center. He got a teaching certificate in secondary science through Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Certification II while delivering watershed education programs as a naturalist on the Schooner Quinnipiack. Returning to Washington in 2005, he taught science at Forks High School until he retired from classroom teaching in 2021.

He is a representative to the North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee and works part-time as the Coastal Region FieldSTEM Coordinator for Pacific Education Institute.  He also is a life member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators and received NAME’s Outstanding Classroom Educator of the Year in 2019.

His natural habitat is outdoors, gardening or walking beaches, preferably with his grandchildren. During the monsoon season, he likes to read, cook, and fold origami.

Oregon Director (2023-2025): Fawn Custer
Fawn Custer has worked in both formal and informal settings for over 35 years. She earned a BS in science education, a BS in biological sciences, emphasis in aquatic marine studies, a MS in environmental education and a MS in integrated science with post graduate courses in learning behavior and free choice learning. Her current teaching license endorses biological sciences and chemistry, though her emphasis has been marine science for the majority of her teaching career. Before moving back to Oregon, Custer taught physical science for Jacksonville HS in Jacksonville, NC. While developing and implementing marine science and environmental science lab classes for the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), Ms. Custer also taught high school marine science on-line, developed invasive species curriculum for educators and protocols for interpreters, and trained volunteers regarding intertidal organisms and the marine environment. As a member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), she has served as the President, and is currently the NAME Oregon Treasurer and Director. For five years, Custer was the CoastWatch volunteer coordinator before moving to the position of CoastWatch Citizen Science trainer.  Since 2008, she has coordinated the annual Sharing the Coast Conferences, co-hosted by NAME and Oregon Shores.

Custer continues to offer marine ecology presentations and workshops and to lead guided beach walks, both private and public.