Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is comprised of community members committed to our mission to protect, preserve, and restore diverse ecosystems in Olympia, Washington.
OlyEcosystems welcomes people of all backgrounds, and seeks to foster a culture of respect, openness, learning, integrity, honesty, and a sense of fun. Read more about our commitment to diversity.
Daniel Einstein, Ph.D.
Daniel Einstein is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Saint Martin’s University. He received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. Prior to his appointment at Saint Martin’s, he worked in research with 15+ years experience participating in multiple interdisciplinary research teams in the national laboratory system, at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, and at the Cleveland Clinic. His research focuses on theoretical developments in nonlinear continuum mechanics and the development of numerical frameworks applied to computational biomechanics in the heart and lung. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers, and generated approximately 20 million dollars in research funding over his career.
Gabriel Taylor, L.E.G.
Gabriel Taylor is a Licensed Engineering Geologist who specializes in natural hazard mitigation and earthwork construction. He holds degrees from the Evergreen State College (B.A.) and Western Washington University (B.S.). His combined education in the humanities and earth sciences has
instilled within him a sense of responsibility to participate in the mitigation or reversal of the environmental degradation he has witnessed over his lifetime.
Gabriel has been working at the Washington State Department of Transportation since 2005, primarily as a landslide and rockfall specialist. His professional background in applied science and engineering allows him to provide practical and technical assistance to OlyEcosystems in their efforts to restore and conserve local habitat and ecosystems. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors and is a member of the
Restoration Committee and the Conservation Committee.
Gabriel is a musician, mountaineer, backpacker, bicyclist, and general outdoor enthusiast. He has a deep appreciation of the Pacific Northwest landscape and the wide array of habitat contained therein. He is also a husband and father. He is dedicated to doing his part to ensure that a livable world is passed on to the next generation, and share his appreciation of wilderness and nature with others. Through his efforts to conserve and restore West Bay Woods, Gabriel hopes to provide a wild and green space for Northwest neighborhood residents, or visitors, to find some quiet and solace. He works with OlyEcosystems with the hope that these efforts will provide a healthy forest for neighborhood children to
explore, so they might nurture their own appreciation for nature, learn from the example provided by adults, and develop into responsible stewards of the environment.
A Northwest native, Marijean Holland is an OlyEcosystems Founding Board Member and currently serves as Treasurer. Her awareness of ecosystems’ importance increased when the Pacific Great Blue Heron, red fox, and other wildlife in her Northwest Olympia backyard became threatened by pending land development.
Marijean recently retired from her position as a Program Manager for the State of Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner. Previously, Marijean taught Quality Improvement Strategies for Xerox Corporation and Group Health Cooperative. Marijean is an alumna of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Based on many years of both professional and personal experience, Marijean believes a collaborative approach to problem-solving can result in a positive outcome for our community – allowing for a thriving ecosystem in our urban environment. In her leisure time, Marijean can be found with friends and family exploring beaches, hiking, biking, and swatting the occasional tennis ball.
Sarah Hamman, Ph.D.
Secretary and Restoration Committee Director
Sarah is the Restoration Director for OlyEcosystems, where she is in charge of planning and coordinating the restoration actions (including monthly volunteer work parties) in the West Bay Woods. She is passionate about the conservation and restoration of the sensitive shoreline forest, and hopeful for the future of green space along the edge of the Deschutes Estuary.
Outside of her role with OlyEcosystems, Sarah is the Restoration Ecologist for the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), a conservation non-profit based out of Washington and California. She spends most of her time researching ways to enhance habitat for rare species in Pacific Northwest prairies and oak woodlands. Sarah’s training is in ecosystem ecology with a focus on forest and grassland fire and soil microbial ecology. Her research activities with CNLM have revolved around all stages of the restoration process, with the goal of developing the most effective techniques to remove invasive species and restore resilient and diverse (both above and belowground) prairie communities. Her current collaborative research projects include evaluating grazing impacts on prairie habitat, examining mycorrhizal fungi inoculation effects on native plant establishment, incorporating Indigenous practices into current prairie management, studying seasonal fire effects on plant, bryophyte, lichen and fungal communities, and installing native vegetation mats to enhance wetland habitat for rare frogs. Her past work has included climate change impacts on Minnesota tallgrass prairies, wolf behavior and demographics in Yellowstone, fire effects on invasive species in Sequoia National Park, and soil biogeochemical and microbial legacy effects on restoration success in central Florida scrublands. Sarah holds a B.A. in Biology from Wittenberg University and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University.
Sarah is also an adjunct professor at The Evergreen State College, where she teaches ‘Fire Science and Society’ and ‘Restoration Ecology’ for the Master of Environmental Studies program. Sarah moved to Washington 10 years ago for work and immediately fell in love with the rugged mountains, ancient wild rivers, deep green forests, and kind, quirky people. Whenever possible, Sarah is out exploring new trails, playing in the snow, baking tasty treats, or knitting colorful items for friends and family.
Tanya Barnett, J.D.
Tanya has been a lawyer in Olympia since 1987. She represented the Department of Ecology until 1999, then moved to the private firm now known as Cascadia Law Group, where she practices environmental law. Having grown up in the Midwest, Tanya considers herself lucky to live here. She has an abiding appreciation for the mountains, waters, forests, and other natural wonders of the Northwest. Tanya received her law degree from the University of Oregon and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She serves as the legal advisor to Empowerment4Girls, a nonprofit based in Olympia whose mission is to help girls cultivate confidence, develop skills that support their well-being, and become advocates for themselves and others.
Meghan Hopkins, MA
Board Composition Committee Director
Meghan is an amateur naturalist who enjoys many forms of recreating in a natural settings, including hiking, camping, and kayaking. She strongly believes in the importance of protecting habitat in an urban setting to support the complex ecosystems that sustain wild flora and fauna.
Meghan is a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in private practice in downtown Olympia. She works with clients of all ages and backgrounds, primarily focused on healing trauma. She witnesses the interconnectedness of the human psyche and nature, and believes that dynamic interactive experiences serve to heal at many layers.
Meghan is a Founding Member of the OlyEcosystems Board of Directors. She is the mother of two young children who love to go exploring in the woods and on the beach. Meghan’s relationship with the natural world brings her peace and perspective and endless learning.
Heather Grob, Ph.D.
As a labor economist with several years’ experience working in regulatory issues, Heather has worked with a variety of policy organizations, and has written and managed several research grants. She became even more interested in ecological issues through her study of occupational safety, health and stress where larger environmental concerns are vital to human well-being. Her current position as a professor of economics at Saint Martin’s University has led her to develop courses in Cost-Benefit Analysis and Ecological Economics, and these are popular additions for students in our new Environmental Studies program as well as for our business majors. Heather looks forward to involving interested students in OCEP projects.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
-Aldo Leopold, 1948