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Board of Trustees

Who We Are

  • Joseph K. Sheldon, Ph.D. - Chair
    Joseph K. Sheldon, Ph.D. - Chair

    Joe retired after 36 years of teaching and research at Eastern University and then Messiah University. He served on the summer faculty of Au Sable institute from 1987 – 2009. Joe and his wife Donna moved to Whidbey Island in 2007 where they built and now live in an award-winning green home adjacent to the Pacific Rim campus. His published works are on insect ecology and Christian environmental stewardship (two books and numerous articles). When Au Sable Institute launched their Pacific Rim campus in 1997, Joe taught the Field Biology of the Pacific Northwest from 1997-2009. He served as founding Vice Chair of the PRI board from 2009 – 2015 and returned to the PRI board in 2023. Joe loves leading field trips to enjoy Creation – birds, insects, and…. See you in the field!

  • Eric Steinkamp - Vice Chair
    Eric Steinkamp - Vice Chair

    Dr. Eric Steinkamp is a professor of Life Sciences at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.

  • Paula Mihok - Treasurer
    Paula Mihok - Treasurer

    Paula and her husband Ted, both of whom are very active with the Central Whidbey Lions Club, live in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. They have been volunteers for five years. Paula has an event service called "Painture Face", and has done face painting at PRI events such as the Whidbey Island Cider Festival and Whidbey Raptor Day. Paula is currently the Missions and Outreach Director for her church.

  • Tom Johnson, PhD - Secretary
    Tom Johnson, PhD - Secretary

    Dr. Tom Johnson lives in Oak Harbor with Michele his wife. They have three children, all involved in science or writing. Tom taught and provided leadership at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, and George Fox University in Oregon. He teaches a Bible study at PRI.

  • Teresa Ellis - Trustee
    Teresa Ellis - Trustee

    Teresa, a long term volunteer at PRI has served as Treasurer in 2019 and 2020. She is a member of the Coupeville Lions Club and is active in many community based and charitable events on Whidbey Island. Teresa also served as the President of the Penn Cove Water Festival.

  • Ioana Popescu, Ph.D. - Trustee
    Ioana Popescu, Ph.D. - Trustee

    Ioana is a Biology professor at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri since 2001 and was a visiting professor at Whitworth University in Spokane in 1999-2000. She taught Field and Systematic Botany at Pacific Rim several summers between 2004-2010. For 15 years Ioana and her husband George Gibeau volunteer 1-3 months every summer PRI helping with a variety of projects, while enjoying great times with the people, plants, and places on Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound. Ioana is the curator of PRI's Herbarium Collection which can be found on Index Herbariorum.