Staff and Board
Sue Patnude has been working to restore the Deschutes Estuary for over 15 years. She is a co-founder of DERT and a strong advocate for a healthy Puget Sound and Salish Sea. Sue's career has been focused on protecting and restoring the environment recently through work with DERT and in the past with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Ecology and positions in local and regional government. She lives on a small farm in the Upper Chehalis Watershed with her husband Tom Hyde and works on environmental policy consulting through her own business from home.
Dave Peeler has degrees in both Zoology and English Literature from the University of Washington and studied environmental policy and sciences at The Evergreen State College (MEP program). Dave had a 33 year career with the WA Dept. of Ecology in water resources, water quality, shorelines management and Puget Sound restoration as Water Quality Program Manager and Special Assistant to the Director. Subsequent to retiring from Ecology, he has worked as an independent consultant, as the Director of Policy at People for Puget Sound, and on the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSESMP) for the Puget Sound Partnership. Dave now volunteers with Thurston Environmental Voters, Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Scott Lake Maintenance Co. (homeowners association), Griffin Neighborhood Association, Thurston County Democrats, and the Deschutes Advisory Committee. Dave and his wife of 43 years currently reside in the Scott Lake area. Dave enjoys boating, gardening, bicycling, sports, loud rock music and family time with his grandson.
Board- Vice President
From a young age growing up in arid Eastern Washington Daron learned the importance of protecting our rivers and watersheds. This was later enforced while working to restore water systems in England, and studying climate change in the Fiji Islands. Daron has worked to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest through jobs with several non-profits, the US Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Through this hands on field experience and with degrees in water resources, political science and a master’s in environmental studies, Daron understands the challenge of protecting our regions natural habitats – Daron is meeting these challenges head on through his current role as the restoration and outreach coordinator for a local non-profit and as a member of DERT’s Board.
Ann Butler currently works in health promotion and communication with the Washington State Department of Health. Rounding out her expertise in water quality, watershed management and communication, Ann was previously with People For Puget Sound and the Washington State Department of Ecology. She is an avid hiker and backpacker.
Dave is a retired Washington attorney, having spent most of his professional career in Washington, working for State and local agencies on water, natural resource, and environmental issues. He was formerly staff to the Washington State Senate, the Washington Department of Health Office of Drinking Water, and the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. He and his wife live in Olympia.
Ali is a student at the Evergreen State College studying Native studies, climate change, and geography. She sees efforts to restore the Deschutes estuary as a way to combine these areas of knowledge for a greater good. She is a lifelong resident of Olympia, Washington and loves mud flats, blue herons, and salmon, all things that would thrive in a restored estuary!