Erik joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2003 and became executive director in 2012. He has fought in court to safeguard our climate from dirty fossil fuels, promote our transition to a clean energy future, and protect the American West’s rivers and wildlands. An expert in issues related to oil and gas development, Erik leads WELC’s campaigns to phase out fossil fuels and build climate resilience. Prior to joining WELC, he worked as a public lands attorney for The Wilderness Society. Erik is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in natural resources, and earned his law degree and a certificate in environmental & natural resources law from the University of Oregon School of Law. Erik works from our Southwest Office, 575-751-0351 x137 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Erik’s docket.
Ally joined WELC as a legal fellow in 2019 and became a staff attorney in 2020. She earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. During law school, Ally was a notes editor for the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, worked for the Michigan Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic, interned at the Earthjustice Mid-Pacific Office, and was a Dean’s Public Service Fellow. She then spent her final semester of law school as a full-time extern at WELC in Taos. Ally holds a B.S. in Biology, with minors in Latin American Studies and Spanish, from the University of Oklahoma, and an MPH from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, Health and Social Behavior concentration, with a specialty area in Public Health Nutrition. Between the MPH program and law school, Ally worked in Bolivia on sustainable housing, environmental/occupational health, and water rights issues, and was an ASPPH Environmental Health Fellow at the U.S. EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection in Washington, D.C., where she focused on the intersection of social determinants of health and environmental justice, and the effects of early-life experiences and environmental exposures on health inequities. Ally works from our Southwest office, and can be reached at 575-751-0351 x133 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior Attorney, Rocky Mountains Office Director
Matt joined WELC as a staff attorney in 1998 and spent his first decade working from our Southwest office in Taos, New Mexico. He returned to his hometown of Helena, Montana in 2008 and established WELC’s Rocky Mountains office. Matt works on public lands issues throughout the West and leads our efforts to protect iconic Western predators including wolverines, Canada lynx, grizzly bears, and Mexican wolves. Matt is a graduate of Whitman College and earned his law degree from Vermont Law School. He is the director of our Rocky Mountains office, 406-324-8011 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Matt’s docket. Read a profile of Matt here.
Susan Jane Brown
Senior Attorney, Wildlands and Wildlife DirectorSusan Jane joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2009 and is our Wildlands Program director. She joined WELC after serving as Natural Resources Counsel for Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in Washington, D.C. She also worked as a staff attorney with the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, Lewis and Clark Law School’s environmental law clinic. A nationally recognized expert on forest law, she has been appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to co-chair the Federal Advisory Committee on the National Forest Management Act. Susan Jane is a recipient of the Wilburforce Foundation’s Conservation Leadership Award, honoring her years of hard work protecting wildlife and wildlands in the western United States and recognizing her outstanding leadership in the conservation movement. She also served as executive director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force from 2000-2003. Susan Jane graduated from Vanderbilt University and earned her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. Susan Jane works from our Northwest office, 503-914-1323 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Susan Jane’s docket.
Attorney, Diehl Fellow
Jennifer joined WELC in 2021 as a Diehl Fellow. After several years as a professor and researcher studying the ecology and evolutionary biology of Callipepla quail behavior in California, and Sonora, Mexico, she returned to school and earned her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law in 2018. During law school, she interned for Earthjustice’s Seattle office, Our Children’s Trust, and the Crag Law Center in Oregon. After graduating from UW School of Law, she clerked for the Honorable Judge Leach at the Washington State Court of Appeals Division One. In addition to her J.D., Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in biological science from UC Irvine, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and a B.S. in ecology, behavior, and evolution. Jennifer works from our Seattle office and can be reached at 206-487-7207 x144 or via the email form at the bottom of the page.
Barbara joined WELC in 2021 after 15 years working on water law and policy in Montana. Originally from South Carolina, Barbara earned a B.A. in economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her law degree from the University of Montana School of Law. She previously worked to restore instream flows across Montana as a project manager and executive director of a statewide water trust. From 2010 through 2016, as the legal director for the Clark Fork Coalition, Barbara developed and advanced strategies for protecting and restoring the Clark Fork river watershed. She joined WELC after working as an attorney for the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation for five years on water rights law and policy. Barbara works from our Rocky Mountains office and can be reached using the email form at the bottom of this page or 406-430-3023.
Senior AttorneyTannis joined WELC in 2020 as a staff attorney. She focuses on moving New Mexico away from its overreliance on oil and gas, and toward clean energy sources. Previously, Tannis was engaged in environmental protection work for the state of New Mexico for almost 20 years, with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and as Deputy General Counsel for the New Mexico Environmental Department, with a focus on water quality protection. She was the 2016 recipient of the Karl Souder Water Protection Award from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for her work on copper mines. Most recently, Tannis served as U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s speechwriter. Tannis graduated from Williams College with a major in economics, graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Tannis works from our Southwest office, 505-629-0732 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior AttorneyPete’s great-grandparents immigrated to Idaho and Oregon in the 1890s. He joined WELC in 1999, and has since litigated in federal and state courts to preserve forests, rivers, wildlife, and wilderness in the West. Pete graduated from Stanford University and the University of Oregon School of Law. He is a recipient of the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award. Pete works from our Northwest office, 541-359-3239, or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Pete’s docket.
Administrative CoordinatorDina joined WELC as our administrative coordinator in 1999. She received her B.S. with honors in environmental biology from Northern Arizona University. During her undergraduate studies, Dina was chosen as the recipient of several academic scholarships, notably, as the first recipient of the Environmental Fund for a Sustainable Future Scholarship. Dina works from our Southwest office, 575-751-0351 x136 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Collaborative Conservation and Legal Fellow
Senior Attorney, Kirkwood AdvocatePam joined WELC in 2017 and is our Kirkwood advocate. Pam works to shift local paradigms of public lands management away from resource extraction and toward a broader, more durable suite of ecosystem and community services. She joined WELC with more than a decade of experience in collaborative negotiation on behalf of environmental interests as well as several years of litigation experience. Prior to WELC she worked for Oregon Wild and 1000 Friends of Oregon. Pam graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1991, spent a decade as a backcountry guide in the American West, and earned her law degree at the University of Oregon in 2006. Pam works from our Northwest office, 541-914-9698 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Communications and Outreach Associate
Renata joined WELC in January 2022 after four years working in media and communications for national parks in Alaska, California, and Montana. Prior to that, she received bachelor’s degrees in international development and French, worked as an English teacher, wedding photographer, pastry cook, and video editor. While agonizing over what path to take, she dove into volunteering on conservation and ecology research projects, eventually realizing she wanted to meld her interests in media and the environment. An Ohioan at heart, Renata is based in northwest Montana and a dedicated volunteer in local citizen science wildlife monitoring projects. She can be contacted via the email form at the bottom of the page.
Senior AttorneyAndrew joined WELC in 2017 as a staff attorney. Originally from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Andrew earned B.S. in biology from the Pennsylvania State University and his law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. From 2004 to 2008, Andrew was the Walter Kulman Legal Fellow and then Staff Attorney at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC, working to protect North Atlantic right whales, Florida panthers, bald eagles, wolverine, and lynx among other wildlife. In 2008, Andrew returned to Oregon to join the Northwest Environmental Defense Center as the organization’s first staff attorney, where he focused on Clean Water Act enforcement and protecting the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. Andrew works from our Seattle office, 206-487-7207 x142 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Andrew’s docket.
Senior AttorneyMelissa joined WELC in January 2020 after working in state and federal government. She holds a B.S. in botany and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Washington, and obtained her J.D. in 2008 from Hastings College of the Law. The next year, she earned a M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana. Before practicing as an attorney, Melissa worked in the field as a botanist/biological technician for various academic and governmental entities, including the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey. She worked as an attorney with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on tribal and federal water rights issues, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Montana with the Department of Justice. Melissa works from our Rocky Mountains office, 406-708-3058 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
AttorneySangye joined WELC as a legal fellow in 2019 and became a staff attorney in 2020, He earned his law degree cum laude at Lewis & Clark Law School with certificates in Environmental and International Law. Upon graduating, Sangye received the Williamson Public Interest Environmental Law Award, was selected as a recipient of the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Leadership Award, and was selected as a member of the Cornelius Honor Society. While a law student, he worked for Center for Biological Diversity, Earthrise Law Center, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and World Animal Protection. Sangye earned his B.A. in Anthropology summa cum laude from Southern Oregon University in 2012, and spent four years producing documentary films and videos for nonprofit groups in southern Oregon before enrolling in law school. Sangye works from our Northwest office, 541-778-6626 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Development DirectorDavid joined WELC as development director in 2013. He works to strengthen relationships with WELC’s supporters and to secure funding for the organization. Previously, David worked in a development and communications capacity for Earthjustice, the Environmental Protection Information Center, and Humboldt State University. David received his B.A. in journalism from San Francisco State University and his M.A. in social science from Humboldt State University. He attended the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at the University of Washington and via Western Washington University is a Certified Sustainability Practitioner (CSR-P). David serves on the board of directors at the Calapooia Watershed Council and is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Oregon chapter. His writing exploring environmental issues has been published in academic journals including the European Journal of Ecopsychology. David works from our Northwest office, 541-255-0209 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Individual Gifts CoordinatorMichelle joined WELC in 2016 as an administrative assistant and became the individual gifts coordinator in 2017. She received her B.A. in environmental policy with a cognate in sociology and specialization in environmental studies from Michigan State University. Prior to joining WELC, Michelle worked for the Kane-DuPage Soil and Water Conservation District and interned for The Nature Conservancy and Midwest Pesticide Action Center. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and is an advocate for the zero waste lifestyle. Michelle works from our Northwest Office, 206-487-7207 x118 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Design and Communications ManagerJackie joined WELC in 2008 and focuses on design, communications, and fundraising. She updates supporters with our victories and their impact by doing graphic design, writing, and editing for our newsletters, reports, mailings, emails, and other materials. She has received several awards for her graphic design work. Prior to WELC, she did membership, fundraising, and outreach for Pacific Rivers Council and Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, was an outdoor educator and wilderness guide for City of Eugene and Appalachian Mountain Club, and did GIS for Grand Canyon Trust. She graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in environmental science and emphasis in ecosystem management. She won the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science Hydrology Presentation Award, Lowell Observatory Achievement Award, and was the university’s Standard Bearer. Jackie works from our Northwest office, 541-485-2471 x111 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Attorney, General CounselJohn joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2011 and is our general counsel. Prior to WELC, John worked for Earthjustice, Fiscalía del Medio Ambiente, Our Children’s Trust, and as a legislative aide for a Michigan state senator. His docket includes legal advocacy to protect Western predators including wolves, wolverines, and lynx, and litigation aimed at preserving Western forests. John holds a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Michigan and a J.D. with a certificate in environmental & natural resources law from the University of Oregon, where he served as co-director of the 2010 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. John works from our Northwest office. John’s docket.
Shared Earth Wildlife AttorneyKelly Nokes joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2018. Before that, Kelly worked to protect the American West’s wildlife and wild places with WildEarth Guardians. She formerly served as a legal intern at Trustees for Alaska and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, and was a program administrator for Columbia Riverkeeper. She holds a J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Outdoor Recreation, Leadership & Management from Northern Michigan University. Kelly works from our Southwest office, 575-613-8051 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Finance OfficerLyndee joined WELC as finance officer in 2014. She has more than 16 years of diverse accounting and business experience. Lyndee graduated from the School of Business at the University of Montana. Her desire to work for WELC is fueled by a love of the outdoors, which began in her youth as a native of Montana. Lyndee works from our Northwest office, 541-485-2471 x113 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Administrative and Technology CoordinatorKelly Scoble joined WELC as an administrative and technology coordinator in 2019. She has 12 years of experience working in technology and business. Prior to WELC, she provided administrative support for the nonprofit academic retailer, The Duck Store, in Oregon. Kelly holds B.A. degrees in economics and Japanese from the University of Oregon. She enjoys hiking and admiring the majesty of the Pacific Northwest. Kelly works from our Northwest office, 541-485-2471 x114 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Thomas Singer, Ph.D.
Senior Policy AdvisorTom joined WELC as a senior policy advisor in 2013. He previously served as senior advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as the director of research for the Western Governors’ Association. Tom works on policy development, advocacy, and litigation support to address the environmental impacts of oil and natural gas development with an emphasis on reducing methane pollution. Tom holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s School of Business, and a Ph.D. in international business from George Washington University. Tom works from our Southwest office, 505-231-1070 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Tom’s docket.
Communications DirectorBrian joined WELC in 2015 as communications director. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in agricultural journalism/life sciences communication and a certificate (minor) in environmental studies. Before joining WELC, he performed communications duties for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of the Great Lakes and editorial communications at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Brian works from our Southwest office, 505-570-5567 or use the email form at the bottom of this page.
Senior Attorney, Climate and Energy DirectorKyle joined WELC as a staff attorney in 2011 and is our Climate and Energy Program director. Kyle frequently engages the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and other federal agencies in administrative decision-making as well as federal court regarding the management, leasing, and permitting of fossil fuel resources on public lands. Kyle received a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University and earned his law degree from Vermont Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Kyle works from our Southwest office, 575-751-0351 x134 or use the email form at the bottom of this page. Kyle’s docket.