Stephanie Bishop – Program Manager (email)


Stephanie manages and coordinates the South Sound G.R.E.E.N. program, a watershed education program serving Thurston County youth in grades 3 – college.  More than 1200 students and 35 teachers engage in the program annually from the North Thurston, Olympia, Tumwater, Rainier and Griffin School Districts, St. Martin’s College, The Evergreen State College, private schools and home-schooled students.

Stephanie joined our team in May 2012.  Previously she worked as an Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Mason Conservation District (2007-2012), where she had the pleasure of coordinating the Student Watershed Investigation and Monitoring (SWIM) program, based on the South Sound G.R.E.E.N. model.

Stephanie earned a BA in natural resources from The Evergreen State College.  She is active within the community, serving as a volunteer with several planting restoration and education groups.

Sam Nadell – Program Coordinator (email)

Sam began working for the Thurston Conservation District and South Sound GREEN in October 2019. Sam has provided watershed education programs for thousands of Thurston County students both in-person and virtually, and has helped to establish the new Teens in Thurston (TnT) volunteer group for local high school students. He also coordinates the South Puget Sound Regional Envirothon competition alongside educators from the Pierce and Mason Conservation Districts.

Sam hails from New York State, growing up in the Hudson Valley and attending college in the Finger Lakes. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Cornell University, where he focused his classes and research on biological and physical oceanography.

Since graduating college, Sam has worked in multiple informal and environmental education roles around the country and world, primarily aboard tall ships. He has spent two sailing seasons (and one winter) working aboard the Schooner Adventuress here in Washington, sailing around the Salish Sea while educating people of all ages about maritime history, local ecology, and nautical skills.

Sam is passionate about using comedy and satire to enhance science communication, and has been featured in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Dive and Discover blog, AGU’s Plainspoken Scientist blog, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Outside of work, Sam enjoys hiking, playing ukulele and banjo, and tall ship sailing.

Ariel Curtis – Water Quality Educator, AmeriCorps (email)

Ariel is an AmeriCorps member who joined the Thurston Conservation District in September of 2023 as a Water Quality Educator with the South Sound G.R.E.E.N. program.

Ariel grew up in both Oregon and Colorado, but most recently moved to the Thurston County area from the Willamette Valley region of Oregon. Growing up in a family that encouraged and nurtured a love for nature and science, Ariel has always enjoyed being outdoors and exploring the natural spaces around her. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon and then added a Botany minor through Oregon State University.  

Outside of work, Ariel likes to hike, read books, and spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking treats and meals for her friends and family. Ariel is excited to be able to serve with AmeriCorps and the Thurston Conservation District as an environmental educator as she makes decisions about her next steps.