Alison Studley, Executive Director, Bay View

Alison grew up exploring the rivers, farms and mountains of the Skagit Valley.  After receiving a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from UC Santa Barbara Alison first starting working for SFEG in 1997.  In 1999 she became the Executive Director.  Alison greatly values her role at SFEG and her role in helping to ensure that the Magic of the Skagit remains intact for future generations.  Alison is the mother of two sons, Ervin and Zakary.  When not working, she and her husband Drew delight in sharing new adventures as a family rafting, kayaking, camping and exploring.

Why I Do the Conservation Work That I Do an article by Alison Studley (pdf)


Sue Madsen, Restoration Ecologist, Alger

Sue has a Master’s degree in Fluvial Geomorphology from Colorado State University, and Bachelor’s degrees in Forestry and Watershed Science from the University of Montana.  Prior to joining SFEG Ms. Madsen spent 15 years working as an environmental consultant specializing in watershed analysis, in-stream flow studies and hydropower relicensing. Her work at SFEG involves writing grant proposals, developing and overseeing habitat restoration and monitoring projects, and supervising implementation of project work by SFEG’s field staff. When not knee deep in the Skagit River, Sue enjoys sea kayaking, diving, moonlight snowshoe trips and backpacking. She can be reached at smadsen @


lucy on sjiLucy DeGrace, Outreach Manager, Bellingham

A native of Ohio, Lucy joined the SFEG team in 1999 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Communication, Education, and Interpretation at the Ohio State University.  Lucy really enjoys teaching kids and adults about salmon and stream ecology.  In her spare time she enjoys birding, hiking, traveling, and photography.  As a ‘flatlander’ Lucy is very appreciative of Washington’s mountains, and as a ‘landlubber’ she is really trying to appreciate being on boats!  Reach her at ldegrace @


Debbie and CasenDebbie Denton, Finance Manager, La Conner

Debbie has a background in finance and business and is currently working with several non-profit organizations throughout Skagit County.  She is native to Skagit County. Her interest in salmon began as a slimer on a 300’ Alaskan Processor.  She volunteers with her church, Summit Assistance Dogs, Girl Scouts and Skagit Service Stitchers. Her interests are in quilting, camping and genealogy.  She can be reached at accounting @


Joe George, Restoration Crew Coordinator, Oak Harbor

After traveling the world and researching whales (ask Joe about Iceland) Joe entered into Skagit Valley College’s Environmental Program.   His experience there ignited his love for salmon in the Pacific Northwest.  Soon after, he joined the ranks of Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group as a Restoration Technician.   When not saving salmon, Joe is an active bee-keeper, maintains a carnivorous plant bog which he designed, is a marksman with the Skagit Muzzleloaders, an ethno-botanist, a wood-worker and loves Star Trek. Contact him at joe @



Kyle Koch, Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Bellingham

Kyle moved to Washington from New Hampshire in 2007 to be the AmeriCorps WCC restoration assistant with SFEG. He liked the area so much, especially the North Cascades Mountain Range that he decided to stay. In 2008 there was a field position opening within SFEG that he jumped right into. He has been there ever since as a Field Technician. Kyle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology from Unity College in Maine. He enjoys exploring outside, reading, photography and other outdoor activities.   Kyle can be reached at  kyle @



Bengt Miller, Stewardship Coordinator, Bellingham

Bengt began his restoration career right out of college.  After an internship performing in-stream monitoring during the summer of 1999 he became the first AmeriCorps/WCC individual placement Skagit Fisheries employed.  After his year of service he moved to Maine to do another AmeriCorps year.  Upon returning back to the Northwest he used his AmeriCorps education allowance to attend the Bellingham Technical College, where he learned about land surveying, mapping and GIS.  Since February of 2009 he has been employed by Skagit Fisheries as a Watershed Restoration Technician.  He loves the outdoor aspect of his job and finds the work fulfilling.  Outside of work he can usually be found wherever there is an Ultimate Frisbee game.  Contact Bengt at bmiller @


Rachael West, Riparian Restoration Coordinator, Everett

Rachael was born and raised in the south side of Chicago (not the suburbs) and went to college at the University of Dubuque in Iowa.   There she received her B.S. in Environmental Science and began her career in restoration.  Immediately after college, she started a position with a private company as prairie restoration crew technician in the Driftless area of Wisconsin (called the Driftless area because it is a very small portion of the Midwest that was not bulldozed by glaciers).  In this position she worked on the limestone bluffs of the Mississippi River controlling weeds, chopping down incredibly invasive trees and working on a prescribed fire crew.

After a while she decided it was time to leave the Midwest and found a position with the Washington Conservation Corps in the Seattle area.   Where she worked as an AmeriCorps member for two years and then as a  supervisor to several AmeriCorps crews with the Washington Conservation Corps for four years. Rachael’s background is mainly in riparian areas, planting buffers, controlling weeds, building beaver and elk exclusion fencing, etc… all to improve salmon habitat and water quality.  Rachael was able to get familiar with the Green, Snoqualmie, Cedar, and Nisqually watersheds and is now  excited to learn more about the beautiful Skagit River Valley and its surrounding community!


Lindsey Juen, Restoration Technician, Sedro-Woolley

Lindsey grew up in Maple Valley, Washington as well as in the Cascade Mountains. With parents who encouraged her to hike the muddy trails and watch the spawning salmon in local streams, she was bound for an environmental path. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Environmental Studies, Lindsey spent two years with the Washington Conservation Corps before becoming a nomad. She moved to Montana to learn to ski, then to Kansas to work on a peach orchard, and finally to southern California where she began her 2,600 mile journey home on the Pacific Crest Trail. When she’s not working, she can be found on a trail in the mountains (far away from the crowds) or in a kitchen trying to cook up something new and challenging.






20151031_120223Stephanie Blevens, Seasonal Restoration Technician

Stephanie grew up in Lynnwood, Washington on a small piece of property in the middle of the city. After moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming for five years she decided to move to Mount Vernon, Washington, where she first began her relationship with SFEG as a planting party volunteer in 2008. After graduating high school she went off to Alaska to work in the commercial fishing industry for a few years before reappearing in 2014 as the spawner survey intern. She is currently in the process of acquiring a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Conservation from Skagit Valley College. You can expect to find her making any excuse to get outside in her spare time, rain or shine. She enjoys drawing, kayaking, and exploring what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.



2016-2017 AmeriCorps  

20151021_153800KayLani Siplin, WSC Education Associate, Arlington

KayLani was born and raised in Everett, but eventually made her way to Bellingham where she graduated from Huxley College at Western Washington University. There she received both a B.A. in Environmental Education with an emphasis in outdoor education/interpretation and a B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in marine ecology. During her time at WWU, she worked as an interpreter at the Seattle Aquarium and as an environmental educator with the Friends of Moran State Park on Orcas Island. Since college she has been working as an outdoor environmental educator at YMCA Camp Orkila on Orcas Island.  She is very excited to be working with the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and have the opportunity to continue educating kids and help them to foster a connection with salmon and their local watersheds. KayLani can be reached at education @


taylorTaylor Schmuki, WCC Restoration Assistant, Everett

Taylor was born in Phoenix, and her parents quickly learned she was a fish out of water.  Spending the first years of her life swimming every day, she dreamt of the time when she would live among the sea creatures.  After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation from Brigham Young University, she convinced her husband to take a risk and move up to Washington to help her follow her childhood dreams.  Now she is not only using her degree, but is pursuing her passion of helping conserve our precious water systems and the species that depend on them.

Outside of work, she lives by the motto “mountains and mermaids.”  Summiting peaks, kayaking down rivers, or running 2.5 miles to swim at a lake near her house are some of her favorite things.  If adventure is out there, she hopes to be a part of it!