Staff

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.

 


 

Michael Case
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.

 


 

Colin Blevins
Foreman/Certified Arborist

Colin began working for Rain Shadow in 2015, learning his trade as an arborist with Skyline Tree Care.  In the first part of 2018 Colin became our General Foreman as well as passing his ISA Certified Arborist exam. 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.

 


 

Galen Boydston
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, 2 children and canine pal Nootka in Olga.

 


 

Kevin Hickenbottom
Tree Technician

Kevin started working for Rain Shadow in the Spring of 2018. He is a 6th generation Washingtonian, and graduated from Yale University in 2009 with a BA in Environmental Studies. Following college he worked for the US Forest Service as a Wild-land Firefighter. He has a great passion for growing, and after three years with the USFS he started working on, and eventually managing, small farms. In his free time he enjoys hiking and climbing in the Cascades, and taking walks in Moran with his canine buddy, Fen.


 

 


 

Kristina Janko
Office Manager

Kristina became our Office Manager in the Spring of 2018. She is a grandchild of some of the original Orcas Island founding families, Culver and Willis.  Her previous experiences include working for the United States Military Foreign Language Training Centers as a Project Manager, developing language programs for the Special Forces and other military groups.  She has an extensive background in business management, human resources and bookkeeping. She spends copious amounts of her free time volunteering for public outreach programs all over Washington State. Due to her extensive amounts of community service she competed and currently holds the 2018-2019 Miss Washington Woman title. She is currently engaged to be married next summer in 2019 to Nicholas Bender, one of the local brewers here on the island. Between them both they have one daughter and two sons. In the rest of her spare time she travels all over to compete in Powwow Tribal Dancing as she is part Tlingit (Alaskan Native) and Oglala Sioux.