Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

The Pathways team is thrilled to announce the following line up of speakers for the Pathways conference.

Biography

Representative Debra Lekanoff represents the 40th legislative district of Washington state, which includes parts of Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties. She is a proud mom who fights every day to ensure younger generations, including her daughter Emma, can continue to flourish. She is inclusive in her decision making process by listening to stakeholders, citizens and governmental bodies. She is known for her experience and capacity to work with vast parties, and on vast issues, and get the job done. Sworn in to the Washington State House of Representatives in January 2019, Representative Lekanoff is the only Native American woman to currently serve in the Legislature. 

Representative Lekanoff has called the Skagit Valley home for almost 20 years. In addition to serving in the Legislature, Representative Lekanoff served as Governmental Affairs Director for the Swinomish Tribe. With over 20 years of government relations experience,  she engages on a variety of issues at the international, federal, tribal, state, and local levels.  

Representative Lekanoff’s background and experience provide valuable knowledge and perspectives that allow her to lead on a wide range of policy issues, including but not limited to, environment, natural resources, climate change, education, housing, and agriculture. To learn more about Rep. Lekanoff’s work in each of these areas, please visit her issues page. Representative Lekanoff is Vice Chair of the House Committee on Energy & Environment. She also sits on the Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and the Capital Budget Committee. She is also co-chair of the Joint Legislative Taskforce on Water Supply.  

Debra Lekanoff

Representative

40th Legislative District

Biography

Leonard Forsman is Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, a position he has held since 2005.  In 2017, Forsman was elected President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, which represents 57 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California, and Western Montana. In 2013, President Obama appointed Chairman Forsman to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP); he recently completed his tenure on the ACHP. More recently, he served on Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force.  Chairman Forsman was formerly director of the Suquamish Museum and a Research Archaeologist at Larson Anthropological and Archaeological Services. Forsman holds a B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.A. from Goucher College.  The Suquamish people continue to live in the Puget Sound area as they have for thousands of years. Among their historic leaders are Chief Seattle and Chief Kitsap. The name Suquamish comes from the Lushootseed term for the “People of the Clear Saltwater.”

Leonard Forsman

Chairman

Suquamish Tribe

Biography

Dr. Gretchen Greene has over 25 years of diverse economics experience in natural resource, energy, agricultural, and community economics. She has worked with numerous federal, state, tribal, and municipal agencies, as well as private industrial clients and law firms helping each evaluate investment in the natural environment. Gretchen’s areas of focus include ecosystem service valuation, cultural economics, recreational and commercial fisheries, water management, climate change, decision analysis with uncertainty, and environmental justice. She earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College.

Gretchen Greene

Principal Economist

Greene Economics

Biography

Øystein Aas is a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and senior scientific advisor at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. He has worked with salmon governance analyses and researched the human dimensions of Atlantic salmon fisheries in Norway and throughout the North Atlantic region through work for the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) for approximately 25 years. He also edited and published the book Atlantic Salmon Ecology for Wiley in 2011. When not at work, he is an eager angler, with significant experiences also from steelhead and salmon fishing in British Columbia, Canada.  

Øystein Aas

Professor, Senior Scientific Advisor

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

Biography

Mark Titus is an award-winning writer + director and founder of August Island Pictures in Seattle.

Since 2004, Mark Titus has written and directed brand films for clients like: Amazon, Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy, T-Mobile and the United Nations Development Programme.

As a filmmaker, Mark Titus has directed and produced short films since 2003. In 2014 Mark Titus helmed The Breach – an award-winning feature documentary about wild salmon. The Breach screened at over 25 international film festivals and in 2015 completed a 20-city national theatrical tour across The United States. The Breach is now available worldwide on VOD and disc.

Mark Titus is currently releasing The Wild – a new feature documentary examining the fate of Bristol Bay, Alaska and its storied wild salmon runs.

mark Titus

Filmmaker, Director and Founder

August Island Pictures

Biography

Sen. Christine Rolfes represents the 23rd Legislative District, which includes the Kitsap County communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Silverdale, and East Bremerton. Since her election to the state House of Representatives in 2006, Christine has become a leading voice on education funding and reform, small businesses, ferries, military-families and veterans, and the environment. Her efforts have yielded tangible results for the 23rd district and Washington State as a whole.

She chairs the Senate Ways and Means Committee, responsible for leading the development of the state’s $52 billion biennial budget. Under her leadership the legislature has, for the past two legislative sessions, delivered a four-year balanced budget on-time, with billions set aside in strategic reserves and historic investments in environmental restoration and public education. In August of 2019, the state’s bond ratings were upgraded by Moody’s Investor Services to Aaa for the first time, due primarily to sound fiscal practices and a diversified and strong economy.

Read Rolfes’ full biography here.

Senator Christine Rolfes

23rd Legislative District

Washington

Biography

Jarred-Michael Erickson holds an AA degree from SFCC, a Bachelor’s in Biology from Eastern Washington University and has been employed by the Colville Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department for over 10 years. His current position is of Wildlife Biologist, covering the Omak, Nespelem, and Sanpoil Districts. He handles everything from big/small game, predators, aerial flights, problem animals, trapping & collaring, relocation of animals, and timber sales. Mr. Erickson also writes Environmental Assessments for timber sales and various other land-based projects. A vital part of his position requires him to have close relationships with many different tribal and non-tribal entities. He works alongside many departments such as BIA Forestry, History & Archaeology, Environmental Trust, Range Department, Department of Natural Resources, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, WA Department of Ecology, as well as landowners, both tribal and non-tribal in Usual & Accustom areas.

Jarred Michael-Erickson

Natural Resource Committee, Fisheries Committee

Nespelem District Representative

Biography

Kelly Biedenweg is an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions at Oregon State University’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department. Her research interests are in human wellbeing, social values, and decision making in natural resource management.  She has spent the last ten years focused primarily in the Puget Sound and the ten years before in Latin America, often collaborating with The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service´s Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Puget Sound Partnership, and King County, among others. She received a EPA Early Career Award for her research on Integrating Human Wellbeing and Ecosystem Services in the Puget Sound and is a former NSF SEES, NSF IGERT, American Association of University Women, and University of Florida Alumni fellow. She has a PhD from the University of Florida in the human dimensions of natural resource management, with certificates in Environmental Education and Communication and Latin American Studies, and a concentration in Tropical Conservation and Development. She also holds a master of science in conservation biology and a bachelor of science in marine ecology.

Kelly Biedenweg

Associate Professor

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

Oregon State University

Cecilia Gobin headshot

Biography

Cecilia Gobin is a Conservation Policy Analyst with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and represents Tribes on the Commission. Her work is focused on supporting tribes and the protection of tribal treaty rights and resources, and covers areas such as the Endangered Species Act, Puget Sound salmon recovery and recovery planning, as well as working on various habitat protection issues with particular focus on the nearshore and shoreline environment. Cecilia also brings along a strong understanding and familiarity of the Puget Sound National Estuary Program, as well as various tribal programs and habitat initiatives, and extensive experience and understanding of tribal treaty rights.

Prior to her work with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Cecilia worked for the Tulalip Tribes on cultural resources issues and at the Hibulb Cultural Center. Previous to this, she also gained experience in natural resource policy and legislation having worked for the United States House of Representatives, House Natural Resource Committee’s Office of Indian Affairs.

Cecilia is a lifelong fisherman and loves getting out on the water as much as she can, especially in her home waters around Tulalip and with family. She enjoys an active lifestyle from wakeboarding, cycling, to skiing, as well as making time for various cultural and community events at Tulalip.

Cecilia earned her Bachelor Degrees in American Indian Studies, with a focus in Federal Indian Law and Policy, and a Degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington. She is also a Tulalip Tribal Member.

cecilia gobin

Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Irene Martin headshot

Biography

Award-winning author Irene Martin has specialized in lower Columbia River fisheries for over forty years. Her husband, Kent, is a fourth-generation Columbia River gillnetter. They have fished together in Alaska, the Columbia and Willapa Bay. Her most recent book is The Flight of the Bumble Bee; the Columbia River Packers Association and a Century in the Pursuit of Fish. Irene is currently working on another book: The Incoming Tide of Memory, a History of the Salmon Canneries of the Columbia River. An exhibit she created, Legacy of the Columbia River Fishery, incorporated her knowledge of Columbia River fisheries and images and artifacts from a number of collections, including that of her husband. The exhibit was awarded the David Douglas medal from the Washington State Historical Society in 2013. Among other awards, she has received the James B. Castles Heritage Award, Washington State Historical Society Center for Columbia River History in 1998 and the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award, 2000.  She resides in Skamokawa, Washington.

Other books include Legacy and Testament, the story of Columbia River Gillnetters, and the Beach of Heaven, the history of Wahkiakum County, Washington as well as Sea Fire, Tales of Jesus and Fishing. Her book of poems, The Family that Never Threw Anything Away, was published in 2013. Irene has been a board member on the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, the St. James Family Center board, and is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, as well as Salmon For All, an organization of fishermen and processors on the Columbia River. She is an alternate representing commercial fisheries on the Columbia Basin Collaborative, whose focus is salmon recovery. Additionally, she served 22 years as clergy at St. James Episcopal Church, Cathlamet, WA, before retiring in 2016. She and her husband reside in Skamokawa, Washington.

Irene Martin

Author, Specializing in Columbia River fisheries