Board of Directors

Rosa Blair, MS, LMHCA – Counselor, healer, herbalist

First and foremost, I am an island girl, a Northwest native, a lover of drippy forest canopies, wildflower meadows, and salty air.  I am also a world traveler, but have decided that San Juan Island is where I want to call home and the community I want to serve.  

Before I was a counselor I wore many hats, one of which was running my own landscaping and arborist company for the better part of fifteen years! Over the years I have also increased my knowledge of herbal healing, wildcrafting, and Plant Spirit Medicine.

I earned a BA in Spanish from Reed College, and a MS in Counseling from Prescott College.  My clinical training was completed in Santa Fe, NM.  I worked at Zephyrus of Santa Fe, the SW region’s only outpatient clinic dedicated to the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, where I was fortunate to oversee the art therapy program.  I then worked with Scott Thomas, Ph.D, a counselor of Lakota descent, who gifted me seminal experiences in the realm of Native American ceremony and healing. I was also blessed to work with Tewa Women United, a indigenous-based nonprofit that serves as a safe place and provides support for Native Americans struggling with issues related to cultural identity loss. In addition, I trained and worked at Gerard’s House, a nonprofit grief center dedicated to supporting children and families who have lost loved ones. Inspired by my work at Gerard’s House, I studied with the Grief Recovery Institute and became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist.

I continue to train and hone my practice, and now serve my beloved island community as a counselor and healer in private practice. I also spend a lot of time in my garden and getting lost in the woods.

My ancestors came from all over – Germanic, Celtic, Turtle Island, but certainly not this bio-region. For this reason, I increasingly feel the need to acknowledge the rightful peoples of this land, the Coast Salish People, and to find ways to seek permission and reparations whenever possible. I know it is a never-ending task, and welcome you to join me.

Nunutsi Otterson – Cherokee Elder, teacher, herbalist

I was raised to know many of the Medicine Plants common to the West Coast regions by virtue of being taught by my Aunt and my traditional Cherokee herbalist relatives, which then lead to receiving a formal Herbalist Certification through Rosemary Gladstar’s School, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Botany through Sonoma State University.

I have also a Waldorf Teacher Certification from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, and have spent many wonderful years of homeschooling my three sons and being a Waldorf teacher.  

After being a Vision Quest leader for 37 years with people from all walks of life, I became an Elder, and five years ago became Chief of a large yearly Ceremonial Dance of which I have been on staff many times in the last 29 years.  For the last six years I have divided my time between family in California and teaching Herbalism, Plant Spirit Medicine, Healing Ways, and Ceremony in the greater Seattle Bay Area.

I am committed to helping grow engaged communities by encouraging self-sustaining and healthful practices that truly honor all our relations.  I am grateful to be able to support Earth-preserving programs and lifeways that will help people heal the  past and support the Seventh Generations to come.

Janet Hobey

Janet embodies over 30 years of experience in the environmental sciences, environmental and cultural education, natural health and wellness, sustainable community development and whole systems design.   

A graduate of both the internationally acclaimed Environmental Studies program and the Creative Writing program at Oberlin College, she went on to study Archeology and Climatology at the University of Utah.  Her career as Geoarcheologist, Environmentalist, Educator, and Whole Systems Designer has involved her in projects throughout the USA, as well as in India, Africa, and the Amazon.  Her extensive non-profit work currently focuses on the creation of a natural pharmacological preserve in the Amazon, as well as several UN recognized projects addressing environmental, socio-economic, and women’s health issues.

A 20-year resident of the Pacific Northwest, she has a Seattle based private practice in Environmental Design and Natural Health.

Advisory Council

Sarah Hanson

Sarah has been working as a land steward consciously and actively for 25 years.  She started by playing outside on the 2 creekside acres that she grew up on in Redmond, Washington, and then moved to trail construction and ecological restoration with various hats worn while working for the Student Conservation Association, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and Washington Trails Association.  She has been a WWOOFer in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Italy and Senegal, learning organic gardening techniques, and has a permaculture design certificate.  Sarah was program director for the San Juan Island Conservation Corps for 5 seasons, working with public lands agencies, local non-profits and Coast Salish tribes to accomplish a variety of marine and terrestrial stewardship projects, including supporting tribal cultural restoration in the San Juan Island archipelago.  

Sarah has learned herbal medicine techniques from her mother, who studied with Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa in primarily ayurvedic herbal medicine, and Deb Lukas, founder of Siskiyou Mountain Herbs and the Spiral Living Center, a permaculture farm in Southern Oregon.  Sarah was also initiated into the Q’ero Peruvian shamanic medicine practices through the Four Winds Society, and has a Healing the Light Body certification.  She is currently reclaiming her Celtic indigenous ancestral medicine ways, and bringing that healing knowledge to the San Juan Islands and greater Seattle area. She moonlights as a sailor, DIY tinkerer, has a B.S. in Geology/Geophysics from Western Washington University, and is the Executive Director of a burgeoning permaculture based non-profit: On Sacred Ground.  

Grisha Krivchenia

Grisha Krivchenia is a composer and pianist who divides his time among Santa Fe, San Juan Island, and concert dates around the world.  He enjoys a busy performance schedule, and his compositions are realized by professional ensembles throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  Grisha takes a special interest in using art to amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard.  He writes original music in collaboration with hospice patients and recently completed a song cycle based on interviews with Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

In 2007, Grisha founded the music program at Spring Street International School, where he taught for seven years.  When he is on island, he enjoys snorkeling around the islands, kayaking, ultimate frisbee, and tending his raspberry patch.  

Jana Marks

A 40-year resident of San Juan County, Jana offers her historical perspective of the islands’ changing landscapes over time. As an environmental activist, she is aware of the importance of land conservation as one critical component in the toolbox to ensure environmental health of our community. As an adjoining property owner, she has a direct experience of the wildlife, wetlands, watershed, and seasons of the Ihiya Biological Reserve area. Jana is also interested in plastic pollution, toxic runoff, noxious weeds and invasive species, and water quantity and quality.  Jana currently works for Friends of the San Juans, an environmental advocacy nonprofit whose mission is “To protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature”.

Shona Aitken

Shona was born and raised in Scotland where she earned a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Stirling, before working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and as a Countryside Ranger for several years. She spent two years working at a Marine Station in Sweden before moving to San Juan Island in 1990.  Shona started volunteering at Wolf Hollow Rehabilitation Center later that year and soon became a member of the rehab and education staff.

As the Education Coordinator of Wolf Hollow, Shona’s aim is to help people learn more about local wildlife and human impacts on these animals and their habitats. She coordinates their Educational Outreach Program, produces their newsletter, “Wild Times”, works with their education birds and coordinates their Internship Program.

More Advisory CoUNCIL members to come!