Carson Sprenger, Director
Forester/Restoration Ecologist/Fire Ecologist
M.S. Forest Ecology, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington
B.S. Environmental Science, The Evergreen State College
Carson Sprenger is a forester and restoration ecologist with 20 years of experience working in the forests of the San Juan Islands. He has 8 years of experience conducting ecological research and is a local expert on historical fires and pre-contact forest structure. Carson specializes in conservation/forest management planning, forest restoration design, forest inventory, design of fuel reduction treatments, and tree health assessments. With professional experience in rigging, hazard tree removal, and large scale tree thinning, he has a keen understanding of on-the-ground project management.
Forest Ecologist, Climate Change Scientist
Ph.D. Climate change and forest ecology, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, UW
M.S. Forest Ecology, College of Forest Resources, UW
B.S. Forest Management, Environmental Law, University of Wisconsin
Having completed a tree growth and climate-focused Masters degree at the College of Forest Resources (UW) in 2004, Michael worked as a Research Scientist for World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) International Climate Change Program for nearly 5 years. Michael is currently finishing his Ph.D., focusing his research on a climate change vulnerability assessment of key tree species in the region and improving models of vegetation distribution. Michael officially joined the Rain Shadow team in 2011 and applies his experience to forest management and conservation projects.
Heather began working for Rain Shadow in late 2013, shortly after moving back to Orcas Island. While her background is in art education, she has enjoyed working and volunteering outside for the last few years doing conservation fieldwork, landscaping and farm work.
Field Technician/ Certified Heavy Equipment Operator
Craig is a new addition to the team at Rain Shadow. He is a nationally certified heavy equipment operator with a wide variety of on-the-ground skills. Craig and his family spent the last five years on Cortes Island, BC, where the variety of work included carpentry, mechanics, equipment operation, landscaping, and farming. Before that he was a combat engineer in the Marine Corps. Changing his feathers after his 2nd deployment in ’07, he backpacked around the world, meeting up with his wife while traveling in Australia and New Zealand. He and his wife our enjoying their new residence on Orcas and have just welcomed their third child into their growing family.
Colin began working for Rain Shadow in 2015, learning his trade as an arborist with Skyline Tree Care. He was born and raised on San Juan Island where he began working with trees in 2010 but has since moved to Orcas. When he's not climbing in the amazing forests of the San Juans, he is either mountain biking, working on trails, or traveling the world.
Field Technician/ Certified Arborist
Galen began working for Rain Shadow soon after he completed his undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College in 2010. Galen’s passion for arboriculture and outdoor conservation work is drawn from not only his academic work but also from his upbringing on Waldron Island (3rd generation). He has worked on research and fishing boats throughout Puget Sound and Alaska. Galen is a Certified Arborist (through the International Society of Arboriculture) and lives with his wife Rachel and canine pal Nootka in Deer Harbor.