Northwest Watershed Institute announces changes

Co-founder and stewardship director resigns

Jude Rubin, who has resigned from the Northwest Watershed Institute, is pictured at a 2018 Plant-A-Thon opening circle.

Jude Rubin, who has resigned from the Northwest Watershed Institute, is pictured at a 2018 Plant-A-Thon opening circle.

PORT TOWNSEND — The Northwest Watershed Institute is making staff changes in light of the resignation of Jude Rubin, the institute’s co-founder and longtime director of stewardship and public engagement.

Both incoming Director of Stewardship Wesley Meyers and incoming Education Coordinator Megan Brookens are moving into management positions after working on the professional restoration crew of the Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI), said Peter Bahls, executive director, in a press release.

Meyers is a botanist with a decade of experience in environmental restoration and data collection for scientific research.

He completed a bachelor’s degree in biology from Whitworth University in Spokane in 2012 and has gone on to work for nonprofit land trusts, universities, state parks, USGS and the National Park Service. Meyers began working for NWI in 2017.

Brookens worked in a variety of outdoor and music education settings, including locally with Salish Sea Expeditions and NWI. Her previous employers include Repair the World and The Netter Center in Philadelphia. Brookens completed her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to managing stream and watershed restoration throughout the Tarboo-Dabob Watershed as field crew, Meyers and Brookens will collaborate closely on Dabob Days, a new youth-led stewardship initiative, and on Plant-A-Thon, a popular multi-age service learning program that NWI has coordinated since 2005.

Rubin, who resigned about three weeks ago after 30 years with the organization, joined the staff of NWI in 2004.

While best known for the Plant-A-Thon and Youth Environmental Stewards (YES!) Programs, Rubin also designed and implemented stream restoration projects, wrote grants and press releases, worked with donors and provided strategic guidance for the Tarboo Watershed Program.

Rubin received the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership award in 2015 and has been recognized with numerous other awards.

“Jude funded school programs with art and science, built resilience into our watersheds, imparted skills, leadership and ownership in our youth, and taught us that we can make a difference, one action at a time,” said Kit Pennell, science teacher with Chimacum PI program.

Bahls will continue as executive director, the role he has held since co-founding the organization with Rubin in 2001.

Megan Brookens.

Megan Brookens.

Wesley Meyers.

Wesley Meyers.

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