Candidates for the SERNW Board of Directors Ballot 2022
Position: Program Vice President
Candidate: Kerrie McArthur, Seattle WA
Position: Director-at-Large, 3 open positions
Aimee Kelly, Hamilton MT
Hugh McGee, Arcata CA
Robin Henderson, WA
Position: Student Representative
Kyle Lemle, Oakland CA
Aimee Kelly, Hamilton MT: Position Director-at-Large
I am passionate about restoration, especially anything related to pollinators, and as SERNW board member would love to engage with the larger restoration community. I am very excited about the Decade on Restoration and think that restoration could be a major component of combatting the impacts of climate change on our communities and ecosystems. I operate a native plant nursery that propagates native plants for restoration. We grow a wide variety of native plants and have worked with practitioners throughout the West ranging from riparian projects to mine reclamation to pollinator habitat.
I graduated from the University of Montana in 2016 with dual majors in Ecological Restoration and Resource Conservation with additional studies in community agriculture, art and climate change. My work experience includes: assistant at UM Herbarium, post fire ecology monitoring in Northern California, noxious weed management in Montana and Idaho, rare and endangered plant studies in southern Florida, and environmental education with Clark Fork Watershed Education Program in Missoula. My volunteer work includes working with O’Hara Commons and Sustainability Center in Hamilton to develop and organize a seed library and youth education programs and serving as Vice Chair for the Bitterroot Climate Action Group. In my spare time, I love to run, boat, ski… virtually anything outside with my dog, Juniper.
Hugh McGee, Arcata CA: Position Director-at-Large
Hugh McGee has been designing and implementing ecological restoration projects throughout the western United States for over 20 years. He is currently a Restoration Ecologist and the owner of Native Ecosystems, Inc., a full service ecological restoration design and construction firm located in Arcata, CA. He also currently serves as the Ecosystem Restoration Program Director at the Mattole Restoration Council, a non-profit organization founded in 1983 focused on restoration of the Mattole River Watershed. Hugh brings extensive experience designing and managing restoration projects and has managed many large scale riparian, grasslands, oak woodland, native plant, and salmonid habitat restoration projects with multiple private, non-profit and agency partners. He specializes in native plant restoration design and implementation in riparian and grassland ecosystems. He has managed the installation of over 1.5 million native plants and several miles of willow baffle installation and floodplain restoration treatments. Over the past several years he has played a key role in designing forest health and grassland restoration projects in the Mattole and Eel River Watersheds. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont (UVM, 2002). After attending UVM, he worked for private ecological restoration firms in Montana and California, the National Park Service, and as a private consultant. He is certified by the Society of Ecological Restoration as a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and is a California Licensed Contractor. When not in the trenches with restoration crew, he spends his time with his two sons and wife hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful wildlands of the west coast and looking for the perfect patch of willow cuttings.
I have been eating and breathing ecosystem restoration since the first time I bagged up, swung a hoedad, and put my first plant in the ground. I love every single part of it: design, estimating, fundraising, implementation, monitoring, all of it. What I also love about it is the incredible community of restoration practitioners I was able to meet, and learn from, along the way – tree planters, engineers, children, foresters, ranchers, and biologists. Ecological restoration is one of the most important practices that we can do to make our world a more resilient, diverse, healthy place to live, for plant, animal, and human communities. I have been involved with the Society of Ecological Restoration over the past couple decades and would appreciate the opportunity to continue to be involved as member of the Board of Directors of SER Northwest, as an at-large member in Northern California. As a board member, I will create more collaboration with SERNW and the many restoration practitioners in this region and bring more awareness to the projects being implemented in far Northern California, specifically Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. I also want to create more SER engagement with local Native American tribes and students attending Cal-Poly Humboldt through workshops, memberships and enrollment in the CERP program. I believe my experience and enthusiasm for restoration can be an asset to the organization and the board of directors. I appreciate your consideration.
Robin Henderson, Levenworth WA: Position Director-at-Large
As a member of SER, it has been a great pleasure to interact with regional scientists that shape the practice and science of ecological restoration in the Pacific Northwest. As the Director-at-Large, I would take great pride in assisting the society.
I received a BS in Environmental Science as well as a BS in Geology from West Texas A&M University. Moreover, I have received an MS in Environmental Science from Washington State University and recently earned a Ph.D. from Washington State University in Environmental and Natural Resources, where my research focused on evaluating the effectiveness of stream restoration projects. Throughout my career, I hope to help foster a sustainable future by assisting with the protection and conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
Kyle Lemle, Oakland, CA: Position Student Representative
Born and raised amongst the redwoods and oaks of Northern California, my life’s work is to restore and protect the forest ecosystems in our Cascadia bioregion, while re-storying humanity’s relationship to the Earth. In joining the Board of Directors for the Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest Chapter, I hope to strengthen and invigorate our community of practice, building intergenerational and multicultural linkages to expand our impact in the field. As a forester, organizer, facilitator, strategy consultant, and musician, I have worked for the past dozen years with organizations across the world at the vanguard of movements for forest restoration, environmental justice, indigenous land rematriation, and spiritual ecology. As the Community Projects Manager with Friends of the Urban Forest, I managed grassroots campaigns planting thousands of trees across San Francisco. This spring I graduated from the Yale School of the Environment with a Masters in Forestry where I received the Wyss Scholarship for Conservation in the American West and the Kerry Fellowship as a nature-based solutions advisor to Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry. As part of my program, I designed a conservation strategy to restore Northern California’s old-growth redwood forests; co-designed a biodiversity conservation strategy for Oregon and Washington, which included in-depth species distribution modeling under present and future climate scenarios, and completed a meta-analysis on enrichment planting of late-successional species within tropical forest restoration.
I am committed to equity and justice within the restoration community and believe we will only achieve sustainable restoration in so far as we act in service to the goals of marginalized communities. At Yale, I co-organized an indigenous leadership in western lands conservation symposium. As a member of the SER board, I would be excited to host similar events around diversity, equity, and inclusion in ecological restoration, to equip our community with best practices for working with tribes and integrating traditional ecological knowledge systems into project design. In addition, building on my years of experience as a community organizer, I would be excited to build out our network of student chapters among West Coast universities. My goal would be to strengthen the linkages between students and seasoned restoration practitioners, provide meaningful mentorship opportunities for students interested in restoration career pathways, and organize intergenerational conferences and field activities where students can apply what they are learning in the classroom toward solving real-world restoration challenges across the Pacific Northwest.
Kerrie McArthur: Position Program Vice President
I have been a member of the SER-northwest chapter since 2012. I started volunteering with the chapter in 2017, as part of the 2018 SERNW/SWS Conference Committee. I joined the board in 2018 and am currently part of the program committee and the SERNW co-chair for the SER 2024 Regional North American conference committee. I have really enjoyed helping to plan our conferences. I have enjoyed getting to know and work with other SER board members and would love to continue to do so.
Professionally, I am a senior biologist at Confluence Environmental. I have 28 years of wide-ranging experience as a natural resources professional in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. I design wetland mitigation/restoration plans, oversee their construction, and conduct mitigation monitoring to ensure their success. My most recent restoration projects include expanding an existing 25-acre wetland restoration/creation project in Pierce County to 28-acres, where I oversaw constriction and the installation of plants.