Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is comprised of community members committed to our mission to protect, preserve, and restore diverse ecosystems in Olympia, Washington.

OlyEcosystems welcomes people of all backgrounds, and seeks to foster a culture of respect, openness, learning, integrity, honesty, and a sense of fun. Read more about our commitment to diversity.

Sarah Hamman, Ph.D.

President and Restoration Committee Director

Sarah is OCEP President and Restoration Director, where she is in charge of planning and coordinating the restoration actions, including regular volunteer work parties, in the West Bay Woods. She is passionate about conserving pockets of wilderness within our urban environments, where ecological, social and educational priorities can all be met through easily accessible restoration, recreation and outdoor learning.

Outside of her role with OlyEcosystems, Sarah is the Director of Science for Ecostudies Institute, a conservation non-profit based in Washington. Her work is aimed at researching and restoring rare species habitat in Pacific Northwest ecosystems using rigorous science and careful conservation planning. She is involved in all stages of the restoration process, with the goal of developing the most effective techniques to restore resilient and diverse above- and below-ground communities. Sarah holds a B.A. in Biology from Wittenberg University and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University. Sarah is also an adjunct professor at The Evergreen State College, where she teaches in the Master of Environmental Studies program, and she serves as the Chair of the Research and Plant Inventory Committee for the Washington Native Plant Society. Whenever possible, she is out exploring the rugged mountains, ancient rivers and deep green forests of the PNW with her husband and tireless pup.

Diane Carney, M.S.

Vice President

Diane is OCEP Vice President and serves on the Finance and Communications Committees. She’s an experienced business owner and consultant with expertise in accounting systems and organizational growth and development. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound, an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Washington, and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Organizational Psychology. A systems thinker with experience in education and technical communication, Diane owned University Tutoring Service in Seattle, was the Learning Services Director at Annie Wright Upper School for Girls, and currently runs Smart Barn Company and is the Head of Education for Seattle Sounders FC. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, catching frogs in the neighborhood creek, and she’s always been happiest while active and outside. She’s motivated to work for all kids, big and small, to have open, green space for play, exploration, and improved mental health.

Heather Grob, Ph.D.

Treasurer and Finance Committee Director

Heather is OCEP Treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. As a labor economist with several years’ experience working in regulatory issues, Heather has worked with a variety of policy organizations, and has written and managed several research grants. She became even more interested in ecological issues through her study of occupational safety, health and stress where larger environmental concerns are vital to human well-being. Her position as Professor of Economics at Saint Martin’s University led her to develop courses in Cost-Benefit Analysis and Ecological Economics, popular additions for students in the Environmental Studies program and business programs.  Heather is currently the Benefit Cost Lead for the Washington State Institute for Public Policy which performs non-partisan and nationally recognized analyses of public policy at the request of the State legislature.  Heather received her PhD in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1998.

Gabriel Taylor, L.E.G.


Gabriel Taylor is OCEP Secretary and a Licensed Engineering Geologist who specializes in natural hazard mitigation and earthwork construction. He holds a B.A. from the Evergreen State College and a B.S. from Western Washington University. His combined education in the humanities and earth sciences has instilled in him a sense of responsibility to participate in the mitigation or reversal of the environmental degradation he has witnessed over his lifetime.

Gabriel has been working at the Washington State Department of Transportation since 2005, primarily as a landslide and rockfall specialist. His professional background in applied science and engineering allows him to provide practical and technical assistance to OlyEcosystems in their efforts to restore and conserve local habitat and ecosystems. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors and is a member of the Restoration Committee and the Conservation Committee.

Gabriel is a musician, mountaineer, backpacker, bicyclist, and general outdoor enthusiast. He has a deep appreciation of the Pacific Northwest landscape and the wide array of habitat contained therein. He is also a husband and father. He is dedicated to doing his part to ensure that a livable world is passed on to the next generation, and share his appreciation of wilderness and nature with others. Through his efforts to conserve and restore West Bay Woods, Gabriel hopes to provide a wild and green space for Northwest neighborhood residents, or visitors, to find some quiet and solace. He works with OlyEcosystems with the hope that these efforts will provide a healthy forest for neighborhood children to explore, so they might nurture their own appreciation for nature, learn from the example provided by adults, and develop into responsible stewards of the environment.

Tanya Barnett, J.D.

Tanya has been a lawyer in Olympia since 1987. She represented the Department of Ecology until 1999, then moved to the private firm now known as Cascadia Law Group, where she practices environmental law. Having grown up in the Midwest, Tanya considers herself lucky to live here. She has an abiding appreciation for the mountains, waters, forests, and other natural wonders of the Northwest. Tanya received her law degree from the University of Oregon and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She serves as the legal advisor to Empowerment4Girls, a nonprofit based in Olympia whose mission is to help girls cultivate confidence, develop skills that support their well-being, and become advocates for themselves and others.

Marijean Holland

A Northwest native, Marijean Holland is an OlyEcosystems Founding Board Member and currently serves on the Finance Committee. Her awareness of ecosystems’ importance increased when the Pacific Great Blue Heron, red fox, and other wildlife in her Northwest Olympia backyard became threatened by pending land development.

Marijean recently retired from her position as a Program Manager for the State of Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner. Previously, Marijean taught Quality Improvement Strategies for Xerox Corporation and Group Health Cooperative. Marijean is an alumna of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Based on many years of both professional and personal experience, Marijean believes a collaborative approach to problem-solving can result in a positive outcome for our community – allowing for a thriving ecosystem in our urban environment. In her leisure time, Marijean can be found with friends and family exploring beaches, hiking, biking, and swatting the occasional tennis ball.

Kevin Hansen, MS, LHg, LG, LEED

Kevin has 40 years’ experience in water resources, hydrogeology, environmental restoration and management. He has experience with numerous technical areas, including environmental data collection and investigation; groundwater modeling and hydrogeology; GIS/database, data analysis, engineering and scientific design; and remediation and management. He has worked on hundreds of sites in the United States, Asia, and Latin America, emphasizing consensus-based solutions at publicity-sensitive sites. He has extensive personal experience with computer modeling of diverse-phenomena including groundwater flow, seismic modeling, and mass transport in both groundwater and surface water; GIS data presentations, and the use of advanced hydrogeologic, geophysical, and geologic data analysis methods. Environmental projects included sites where chlorinated solvents, metals, DNAPLs, Fuels/Free-Product, PCBs, TPH, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, dioxins, and PAHs were important issues.

Lynne Geller, M.S., M.Ed.

Communications Committee Director

Lynne is a professional writer/editor and educator. Most recently she worked for the Washington State Department of Ecology in the Water Resources Program, writing on water quantity issues. She describes her role as that of a “translator”: the go-between the scientists and the general public. Lynne has applied her skills and talents as a writer/editor in a variety of settings including a national historic site, a national fund-raising organization and a software development company. Her other love is teaching. She taught first and fourth grades in the Boston public school system; college-level writing and vocabulary at South Puget Sound Community College; and frequently tutors English-as-a-second-language students.