Committee Member Information

 Eddy UryEddy Ury

--Eddy Ury has been advocating for climate action in Whatcom County throughout the last decade -- first actively as a student organizer at Western Washington University, and then for several years as a non-profit program manager. At RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Eddy led public engagement in state & municipal policymaking and industrial permitting processes to support the clean energy transition and to protect public health and Salish Sea ecosystems from hazardous coal & oil projects. He served on the statewide steering committee of the Climate Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy, a broad coalition working toward Just Transition. He was a key partner in creating the Build Electric WA campaign, and was honored by Northwest Energy Coalition’s "4 under 40" award for energy policy professionals in the quad-state area. In 2016, Eddy proposed the creation of the Climate Impact Advisory Committee to Whatcom County Council, and supported the committee's work as an informational contributor for years before becoming an appointed member in 2021.
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Ray Kamada

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Steve Harell

- Stevan Harrell retired from the Department of Anthropology and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington in 2017, and moved with his wife Barbara to Bellingham. While at UW, Steve also served at various times as Director of the University Honors Program, Curator of Asian Ethnology at the Burke Museum, and member of interdisciplinary programs in China Studies, Comparative Religion, and Urban Design and Planning, and supervised over 50 Ph.D. students at UW and elsewhere around the world. Steve has conducted research in Taiwan since 1970 and in China since 1988, much of it on how local communities adapt to the challenges of both environmental and political change. He is the author or editor of 18 books, most recently the co-edited volume Greening East Asia: the Rise of the Eco-Developmental State, published in 2020. At UW, Steve developed several courses that bear on climate vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation, and environmental resources. His serious engagement with Whatcom County started in 2005, when he began bringing undergraduate and graduate students on field trips to visit north-county dairy farms and learn about the different ways that different farmers managed land, animals, crops, markets, and environmental challenges. These trips became an integral part of his field-based class on Growing Stuff, which also included trips to forestry operations of the Yakama Nation and geoduck, clam, and oyster farms of the Taylor Shellfish Company. He also taught courses jointly with faculty from Atmospheric Sciences (including a seminar on controversies over climate change and evolution), Environmental and Forest Sciences, Asian Languages, Archaeology, Biology, and Engineering. Since moving to Whatcom County, Steve wrote the Agriculture and Food Security section of CIAC’s Community Research Study, and before COVID was beginning research for a book on the history of agriculture (or maybe just dairy farming) in Whatcom County. He hopes to use his term on CIAC to bring together various stakeholders around the County to find common solutions to pressing climate-related problems.
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Imran Sheikh

- Imran Sheikh is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Energy Studies and Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University. His research interests include understanding various pathways to decarbonize residential space and water heating systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Prior to graduate school he was a consultant at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) where he helped industrial clients make their plants more efficient through whole-systems design and compared the economics and climate impact of nuclear power, micropower, and energy efficiency. While in graduate school he worked with the Global Energy and Sustainability team at Johnson Controls on developing a next generation of smarter building control systems. He has also held various research appointments at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is currently advising a group of students on the design and construction of a net zero energy tiny house called Project ZeNETH.
 Meeting Members

David Kershner

– David co-founded the Lummi Island Heritage Trust, a non-profit land conservation organization, and served as the organization second Executive Director. Past experience includes environmental research positions with Sightline Institute in Seattle, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Maryland. With a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan, he has co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles on environmental topics. David was a team lead for the Community Research Project where he interviewed numerous stakeholders in the community about efforts to address climate change. He has made public presentations about climate change as part of the Whatcom County Library System speaker’s series.

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Katherine Kissinger 

– A recent graduate from Western Washington University (WWU). In December 2018, Katherine completed a Bachelor's degree in environmental science, with a minor in geography. She contributed to scientific studies in Biology and Water Quality at WWU during her time there as a student. She also spent time working as an intern with the Washington State Department of Transportation and The Evergreen State College doing wetland monitoring across Washington state. As part of her studies at WWU, Katherine took courses on Climate Change, Wetland Ecology, Natural Resource Policy, Energy and the Environment, Oceanography, and Water Quality to name a few. Katherine was born and raised in the south King County area and spent summers camping and recreating all over Washington state and the Pacific Northwest with her family. She moved to Bellingham about four years ago and is looking forward to working with the community and on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee to make a positive impact in Whatcom County.

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William Bethel 


Ellyn Murphy, Committee Chair

– Early in her career Ellyn worked as a reforestation forester on the Oregon Coast. After grad school, she spent most of her career as a research hydrologist, division director and program manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Dept. of Energy research laboratory in Richland, WA. Her research focused on groundwater chemistry, age, flow and transport, bioremediation, vadose zone recharge rates, and geologic carbon sequestration; most often involving multidisciplinary teams. Later in her career she focused on science communication and strategic initiatives related to the nexus of environment and energy issues. Ellyn’s primary interests are in climate change and its impact on fresh water and forests, as well as building sustainable communities. She has an M.S. in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Hydrology.

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Phil Thompson

– Recently retired (2020) WWU Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics in the College of Business and Economics and Institute for Energy Studies at WWU. Spent ten years as the chief economist for the Missouri state utility consumer advocate, followed by 25 years in academia at the University of Missouri Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), Central Michigan University, and WWU. Primary research interests include household energy efficiency and the market and regulatory impacts of increasing quantities of wind and solar electricity generation. Classes taught include energy, environmental, and electricity market economics. Previously served on the Whatcom County TDR/PDR work group (2017-2018).
 Charles Bailey

Charles Bailey

– Charles has spent most of his career overseas with the Ford Foundation, awarding grants to governments, universities, research institutes and NGOs in a dozen countries in eastern and southern Africa and south and southeast Asia. He funded people in rural communities to find better ways to farm, fish, and utilize forests and water resources sustainably. Heading the Ford Foundation in Hanoi, Vietnam, for ten years he helped launch U.S. -Vietnam cooperation to assist victims of Agent Orange/ dioxin and to clean up dioxin residues from the Vietnam War. The Congress now funds this program at $45 million annually. Charles is the co-author of From Enemies to Partners: Vietnam, the U.S. and Agent Orange. A resident of Lummi Island, Charles served six years on the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee. He successfully advocated for the County to replace the aging, diesel-powered, Whatcom Chief with a carbon neutral, electric ferry. After graduating from college Charles spent three years in the Peace Corps teaching agriculture to middle school kids in a remote corner of Nepal. His PhD dissertation focused on tribal management of community grazing land and water resources for beef cattle production in Botswana, a Texas-sized country in southern Africa.

County Councilmember Kaylee Galloway

Kaylee Galloway, County Councilmember, Non-Voting

- Kaylee Galloway is currently serving her first term on the Whatcom County Council representing District 1. Councilmember Galloway’s term ends January 2026. In 2022, Councilmember Galloway is Chair of the Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Planning and Development Committee and Public Works and Health Committee. In addition, she represents the County Council on several community boards and committees, including the Council of Governments, Opportunity Council, Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) Legislative Steering Committee, and the WSAC Timber Counties Caucus and Coastal Counties Caucus. 

Kaylee has spent the last decade serving our community at all levels of government. She has worked for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and Washington State House of Representatives. In addition, she volunteers on the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee, where she co-authored the new Whatcom County Climate Action Plan, and the City of Bellingham Community Development Advisory Board, where she has supported the city in funding critical projects and programs for affordable housing and human services. 

Kaylee has extensive outreach experience engaging government officials, stakeholders, and members of the community on a diverse range of topics. Her policy interests include economic and workforce development, climate change, housing, sustainable development, local food systems and agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, public safety, and criminal justice reform. Kaylee is eager to bring her experiences, knowledge, and perspectives to the Whatcom County Council.    

Kaylee graduated from the University of Washington Bothell with her Master of Arts in Policy Studies. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with minors in Energy Policy and Law, Diversity & Justice.

 Meeting Members

Chris Elder, County Liaison, Non-Voting

- Chris is a Senior Planner in Watershed Management with Whatcom County Public Works.  He has served as the Purchase of Development Rights Administrator, Open Space Land Administrator, and has supported agricultural and ecosystem related long range planning efforts over his past 6 years working with Whatcom County. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Biology, an M.S. in Agriculture, and worked in agriculture for 10 years prior to working for the County.