Meet the Team

Specializing in expert tree care, ecologically-based forestry, consulting, and habitat restoration services throughout the San Juan Islands.

Rain Shadow Consulting, founded in 2005, provides an array of tree care, environmental, and forestry services. With Waldron roots and a five-year residence on Shaw, Rain Shadow opened their current office in Eastsound in 2012.

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

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Carson Sprenger is a forester and restoration ecologist with 25 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 recently taught a Tree Worker Basics class through the San Juan EDC and was elected to the San Juan Conservation District’s board of supervisors in May of 2020. 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.

Colin Blevins

Project Manager, ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ)

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Colin began working for Rain Shadow in 2015 after learning his trade as an arborist with Skyline Tree Care. Colin passed his ISA Certified Arborist exam and became our General Foreman in early 2018, and in late 2019, he became Rain Shadow’s Project Manager. 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

Foreman, ISA Certified Arborist

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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 an ISA Certified Arborist and lives with his wife Rachel, 2 children, and canine pal Nootka in Olga.

Kristina Bender

Office Manager

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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 held the 2018-2019 Miss Washington Woman title. She recently got married to Nicholas Bender, one of our friendly San Juan Propane Service Techs. 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.

Xoe (Zoey) Chue

Tree & Restoration Technician

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Captain Xoe Chue has been with us full-time since Fall of 2018. She is a graduate of Western Washington University, a Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest naturalist and native. She has a background working in farming, landscaping, managing plant nurseries from Washington to Panama, boat building and maintenance, carpentry, charter fishing, sustainability, and off-grid energy systems. Her free time is filled with playing music, hiking with Olive her dog, fishing, sailing, traveling, surfing, and writing.

Patrick Roy

Tree Technician

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Patrick has been traveling about the Pacific Northwest since 2012.  Living in Oregon and Washington, he has gained a background working with plants, landscaping, and orchard work.  His free time is spent hiking, exploring different parts of the forest, and searching for scenic locations to set up his hammock.

Wyatt Broadaway

Tree Technician

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A recent addition to the San Juan Islands, Wyatt brings an experiential background as varied as the places he’s called home.  From farming, gardening in North Carolina, to timber framing in Montana, to stage work, bartending and selling Christmas trees in New York City, this Texan finds happiness through physical exertion in nature.

Lindsay Watkins

Communications & Program Coordinator, Assistant Forester

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Lindsay joined Rain Shadow in early 2020 after relocating to Orcas Island from New England, where she spent nearly 15 years learning and teaching about the ecology of northeastern forests and mountains. Lindsay has worked as a land steward for the Nature Conservancy, a backcountry and wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service, a ski patroller at Wildcat Mountain (NH), and as an outdoor and environmental educator and program manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. She has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a master’s degree from the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning program at the University of Vermont. Lindsay spends her free time mountain biking, backpacking, and snowboarding.

Charles Janicek

ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ)

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Coming Soon

Matt Lewis, Bobby Reinert, & Grant Troester

Forestry Technicians – Ellsworth Creek Field Crew

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Matt, Bobby, and Grant are our Ellsworth Creek Forestry Technicians and have spent the summer re-measuring long-term monitoring plots at The Nature Conservancy’s Ellsworth Creek Preserve. Originally from Indiana, Matt recently graduated with a degree in biology from Washington State Vancouver, where he studied the effects of chytrid fungal pathogens on Pacific Northwest amphibians. Matt has also done habitat restoration work as a volunteer at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, and he has a keen interest in amphibians and gastropods, particularly our local slugs, often fascinating us with little-known slug facts. Grant was Rain Shadow’s first intern in the summer of 2016 and returned this year to join the Ellsworth Creek field crew. Originally hailing from outside of Chicago, he has a degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Vermont. Grant has spent the last several years in Colorado, where he works as a ski instructor at Vail and helped the resort with revegetation and water management work as part of a large-scale snowmaking expansion. Also originally from near Chicago, Bobby rounds out our midwestern-turned-Pacific-Northwestern crew. He thought he was accompanying Grant on a brief road trip to Oregon and Washington and soon found himself recruited to join the Ellsworth Creek team. Bobby has a degree in business and work experiences that have taken him around the world, including working for a production company and as a bicycle tour guide in Germany, teaching skiing lessons at Vail, performing with his band in Michigan, and now wrangling trees with a measuring tape in the PNW. Matt, Bobby, and Grant all share a love of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and frequently communicate with each other primarily using quotes from the TV show and an assortment of other movies.

Rylan Date

Plant Health Care Specialist

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Rylan was raised in Olga on Orcas Island and studied Horticulture at Longwood Gardens where he discovered his passion for trees. He then learned to climb and furthered his understanding of trees with Bartlett Tree Experts in Philadelphia. Rylan recently returned to Orcas Island to care for the beautiful forests of the northwest. He loves spending time working with Bonsai, Topiary and espaliers, and aside from tree work, he can be found hiking with his dingo Delta, fishing and crabbing and gardening.