The PNW SETAC Board is an all-volunteer group of scientists from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. It is comprised of Officers (Immediate Past President, President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary) and a Board of Directors representing academia, government, and industry. Officer and Board members are elected by the membership, usually in the fall, and serve 3-year terms. We also have an At-Large (Student) Board member who is appointed annually by the Board. Please feel free to contact any of our Officers or Board members via email.
Western Washington University
Ruth is an Aquatic Toxicologist with a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. She has been a professor in the Environmental Sciences Department at Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University since 2003. Her primary research interests are at the intersection of environmental chemistry and toxicology, with an emphasis on metals.
Kara Warner has an interdisciplinary background in biology, physiology, and toxicology. She is a Senior Environmental Scientist with Golder Associates Inc., a global geotechnical and environmental services consulting firm. Kara’s professional experience includes environmental impact assessment components, ecological and human health risk assessments, water quality, air quality, permitting, and regulatory compliance. She has worked at Golder for 9 years, and prior to that, Kara held several teaching and research positions, including a post-doctoral position. She has a Ph.D. in Toxicology from Oregon State University, and an M.S. degree in Biology from Texas State University. Kara is married with two children, ages 10 and 7, and she enjoys traveling, reading, and golfin
Oregon State University
Stacey Harper is an Associate Professor of Nanotoxicology in a joint position between the Department of Environmental & Molecular Toxicology and the School of Chemical, Biological & Environmental
Engineering at Oregon State University (OSU). In her current research, she uses rapid assays with whole organisms and communities of organisms to evaluate the biological activity and toxic potential of
diverse nanomaterials, including nanoplastics. Last March, Dr. Harper was highlighted as one of the Women in Nanotechnology by the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office for Women’s History
Month. She will present “Integrative nanotoxicology: linking rapid assays and informatics to understand nanomaterial-biological interactions”.
Applied Ecological Solutions
Dr. Bob Johnston is a retired civil servant who worked as a senior scientist at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, where he coordinated environmental studies for the Navy. Dr. Johnston has been involved with SETAC since 1989 and serving on the PNW-SETAC board is an opportunity to pay back to the Society. During his career, he served as project officer and principal investigator to develop methods for conducting ecological risk assessments at Navy sites, investigated the ecological risk of PCBs released from sunken ships in the deep ocean, evaluated the ecological risk of constructing artificial reefs with ex-warships, and he was a coinvestigator in a partnership to model the marine environmental of the Puget Sound, WA. He also served as Technical Coordinator of a collaborative partnership formed through an ENVivronment inVEStment (ENVVEST) partnership among the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington State Department of Ecology, U.S. EPA, and local stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive water quality improvement project for the watersheds of Sinclair and Dyes Inlets in the Puget Sound. In 2007, he was appointed as a charter member to the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel, created to provide independent, nonrepresentational scientific advice to the Puget Sound Partnership on ecological and human health issues for the Puget Sound, where he served for two terms from 2007- 2013. Currently, Dr. Johnston is the owner of Applied Ecological Solutions, a small business dedicated to solving environmental problems for discerning clients.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Kaley Major is a Water Quality Standards Specialist at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. She holds degrees in biology (BS) and environmental science (MS, PhD). Her most recent research focused on the genetic and epigenetic changes that occur in nontarget populations as a result of exposure to pesticides and/or other chemicals of emerging concern. Now, she works as OR DEQ's toxics point person in water quality standards. When she’s not working, Kaley enjoys making soap, being outside, and learning about all of the amazing varieties of mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest. She does not miss the winter in Boston, where she received her PhD, and cannot wait to explore more of the Pacific Northwest.
Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc.
Erik Naylor is a scientist with 12 years of professional experience in the environmental, chemistry, quality assurance, and data analysis fields. Erik is a Project environmental scientist and chemist at Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc., a Pacific Northwest engineering and environmental services consulting firm. Prior to joining MFA eight years ago, he worked for four years as an analytical chemist specializing in the analysis of environmental media. At MFA, Erik has been integrated into a variety of projects that benefit from his combined background of environmental science and analytical chemistry. He designs and manages quality assurance programs, predesign investigations, and remedial design investigations for sites in the Northwest, as well as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act sites, including the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex Superfund Site in Idaho. His roles on projects have included chemist, environmental scientist, data manager (EQuIS and Microsoft® Access®), data analyst, data validator, quality assurance manager, 3D modeler (Environmental Visualization System), boat pilot for sediment sampling, field manager, forensic analyst, regulatory compliance and litigation support. Erik has lived in Portland for 12 years, enjoys building furniture, and is an avid rock climber and surfer who travels all over the world to pursue his passions.
Washington Department of Ecology
Bryson Finch is the Water Quality Standards and Hydropower Lead Scientist for the Washington Department of Ecology. He develops and revises water quality standards for conventional pollutants for the State of Washington. He also provides technical assistance on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission related questions, hydropower dam relicensing, and 401 water quality certifications. He also serves as an associate consultant for Compliance Services International for pyrethroid-related water quality issues. Bryson received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, M.S. in Environmental Toxicology from Texas Tech University, and Ph.D. in Toxicology from Oregon State University. On his days off, you’ll usually find Bryson salmon/steelhead fishing, kayaking, hiking, or enjoying time with his family.
University of Idaho
Alan Kolok is the Director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute at the University of Idaho. His holds a doctorate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a master’s degree from the University of Washington Seattle. Alan has been a member of SETAC since the mid-1990s and has published broadly relative to
environmental toxicology and physiological ecology. He is an editor for the journal, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and has recently authored two books, “Modern Poisons: A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Toxicology” and “Twist” a science fiction novel in which prions go terribly wrong.
Oregon State University
Sara Hutton is a PhD student in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University in Dr. Susanne Brander's lab. Sara studies the effects of biocides in estuaries, specifically how different salinities influence toxicity by studying behavior and gene expression in Inland Silversides (Menidia beryllina). She received her BS from UC Davis in 2015 and worked in environmental consulting for a couple of years before returning to research where she worked at the Bodega Marine Lab studying nano copper oxide toxicity before returning to school. When not in the lab or at her computer she enjoys traveling, rainy hikes with her dog, and trying (with varying success) to bake.
Western Washington University
April is a Toxicologist II and the Associate Director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology at Western Washington University (Western). She is also an adjunct faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences in Huxley College of the Environment at Western. She received her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and M.S. in Aquatic Toxicology/Aquatic Ecology from Western. April directs, manages, and supervises the day-to-day operations of the Institute. She also serves as a technical and informational resource for students, staff, faculty and the general public, teaches classes in environmental toxicology, writes grant proposals, and co-authors publications. Research interests include aquatic and stream ecology with emphasis in ecotoxicological effects on community- and ecosystem-level interactions, as well as chemical partitioning to water and sediments, and its effects on nutrient cycling.