Staff & Board



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Diane Quinn, Executive Director

Drawing on her more than three decades of experience in informal education, Diane Quinn's goal as Executive Director is to create opportunities for people to keep learning and caring about our marine environment. Collaborating closely with staff, volunteers, and professional partners, she works to elevate programs, exhibits and experiences that bring people closer to the wonders and complexity of the Salish Sea Watershed as well as the growing restoration and conservation efforts being made throughout the region at this critical time.

Diane's relationship with PTMSC began in 1998 when, while working for the Burke Museum, she first met with PTMSC's founders and founding executive director about a new exhibit. Joining the PTMSC staff as Program Director in 2017, Diane focused on supporting new initiatives and ongoing programs that share PTMSC's resources with the communities it serves. As part of this work, she led the creation of the new Visitor Center, Store and Gallery spaces in PTMSC's Flagship Landing building.

For more than 20 years at the Burke Museum, becoming Director of Education in 2005, she helped to expand the scale, budgets and impacts of school and public programs. She nurtured innumerable community partnerships, contributed to the development of major exhibitions and participated in long-term, new museum planning resulting in a major capital campaign.

PTMSC's mission along with its deep and sustained ties to the community continue to inspire her.

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Liesl Slabaugh, Marketing & Development Director (she/her/hers)

As Marketing & Development Director, Liesl delights in helping people put their passion for the environment into action. She says, "My job is to make the experience of supporting the Marine Science Center a positive one. When people know that their resources are making a difference they feel good." She adds, "it is a very powerful experience to see one's deepest held values become actual in the world and I am honored to be part of that." Liesl also works with staff to be sure resources are stewarded well. She is motivated by a desire to help people of all ages feel a deep relationship with the natural environment. 

Liesl is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She holds an MPA from the University of Colorado and a BA in philosophy from Haverford College. Liesl has served on many volunteer boards and commissions, including the Jefferson County Community Foundation, the Port Townsend Planning Commission, and the Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Board. She has worked for nonprofits for over 20 years, including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Womenspace.


Carolyn Woods, Education Coordinator

As the Education Coordinator, Carolyn enjoys sharing her passion for conserving the Salish Sea with students through school programs and summer camps at PTMSC. She enjoys connecting youth and adults with the wonders of the natural world and uses art as a teaching tool whenever possible. Her favorite part of the job is being a witness to discoveries and connections made by students in the marine environment. 

Carolyn has worked at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in various roles since 2014, including serving as a Marine Mammal Stranding Network Intern and a term as an AmeriCorps member.  She holds a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Washington and has also served at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge as a Visitor Services and Education Intern. When she's not at PTMSC, Carolyn might be painting, hiking, rollerskating, birding, listening to music, or some combination thereof.  

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Brian Kay, Marketing & Development Coordinator (he/him)

A brief rundown of his numerous tasks: as part of the marketing team, Brian designs print and web collateral for PTMSC's events and programs while updating the PTMSC website, social media channels, and e-newsletter communications. Development duties include maintaining the donor database and membership programs, as well as organizing and providing administrative support to the PTMSC Annual Benefit Auction, the Stewardship Breakfast, and the various member & donor events. Brian also attends to internal IT matters.  

Prior to working at PTMSC, Brian interned with Port Townsend-based Copper Canyon Press. Before relocating to Port Townsend in 2010, Brian worked previously with Oregon State Parks as a public service representative. Brian currently serves as secretary on the board of Port Townsend Film Festival; he also volunteers with Olympic Angels to provide support to local foster care families.

Whether it's sipping americanos at a local Port Townsend coffee shop, cranking punk rock on his RAV4 stereo on another errand to the local hardware store, day-tripping with his mirrorless camera to any of the infinitely beautiful locations around the Olympic Peninsula with his amazing and beautiful wife Dana, or just spending a rainy day at his beautiful home with his lively cats Luke and Leia, Brian enjoys living the good life. (Oh, and he likes bowling, too.)

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Betsy Carlson, Citizen Science Coordinator

Part of the PTMSC team since 2015, Betsy is thrilled to help coordinate Citizen Science projects, educational programs, volunteers, the Discover Lab, and the center’s data management.

Betsy has a Bachelors of Science in Plant Science from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Environmental Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has worked on a diverse array of projects with Washington State University, Olympic National Park, ForTerra, Olympic Park Institute, and Peace Corps Madagascar.

Always up for an adventure, Betsy is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to travel. She spent six years in Madagascar, one on a remote island studying forest habitat of an endangered primate, the Aye-aye. She fell in love with the Pacific Northwest as a backcountry ranger for Olympic National Park and has called Port Townsend home since the early 1990s. She enjoys gardening and raising her two sons.

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Tracy Thompson, Volunteer Coordinator

Tracy comes to the Marine Science Center with experience in a range of nonprofit functions, including marketing, fundraising, education and program development. She has previously worked at Centrum, and was the Assistant Head of School at Swan School in Port Townsend. For four years she led Carnegie Picture Lab, an art education nonprofit in Walla Walla, WA, where she recruited and trained a cadre of over 90 volunteers who brought art lessons and projects into 13 elementary schools in the valley. To diversify the curriculum of artists taught in the Picture Lab program, she wrote and published an illustrated picture book about Yakama/Warm Springs artist Lillian Pitt, titled Lillian Pitt, She Who Watches.

She is a big proponent of the power of volunteerism, and is eager to get to know the many dedicated volunteers at PTMSC, and to support the organization with this role. Tracy is an avid quiltmaker, dog walker, and loves to swim, bike and kayak.

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Gabriele Sanchez, Programs Manager

Prior to moving to Port Townsend, Gabriele was the creator and owner/operator of The Retreat House in Rockport, Texas, an arts and crafts retreat facility. When she’s not working at the Marine Science Center, she enjoys volunteering, reading, knitting and exploring and learning about the Salish Sea.


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Alexandra (Ali) Redman, Aquarium Curator

Ali is from Washington and grew up sailing the Salish Sea.  Always interested in conservation and animal husbandry Ali initially worked with terrestrial species from Southeast Asia. After getting her undergraduate degree from University of Washington she worked at an animal rescue facility in Borneo. She returned to the USA to pursue a master’s degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and refocus her career on the marine environment.  Most recently she oversaw the wet labs, aquarium, and field courses at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Virginia.  When not working Ali enjoys introducing her husband and son to the beautiful environment she grew up in. 

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Mandi Johnson, Outreach Coordinator

As the Outreach Coordinator, Mandi enjoys connecting those within our community to PTMSC through a variety of sustainability projects and endeavors. Her focus is on community education and response activities that reduce waste and create a change in attitude towards this waste. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the way a person’s eyes light up when they do something that has made an impact and realize they too can make a difference! Mandi has held several different roles while with PTMSC since 2018, including serving two terms as an AmeriCorps member. She holds a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Animal Science and a minor in Environmental Sustainability from Northern Arizona University. While not working, you'll find Mandi playing around this beautiful state with her dog and significant other.

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Emilee Carpenter, Aquarium Specialist

As Aquarium Specialist, Emilee enjoys sharing her passion for the Salish Sea with others. She has her undergraduate degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University and after teaching for a few years in local nonprofits throughout WA, she went back and got a certificate in Aquarium Science from the Oregon Coast Community College.

Living all over the PNW, the Salish Sea has always felt like home and she is excited to work with our staff and volunteers to help connect people to this place. She enjoys walking the beach with her dog, and when not working you can find her hiking and taking pictures of our local flora and fauna. 


Debra Diner, Administrative Specialist

I moved to Port Townsend three years ago after retiring from teaching in California, where I taught all subjects to grades K-8 at a small rural school for 25 years. I started with the Marine Science Center by volunteering as an aquarium docent, and loved it so much that I’ve been volunteering for more and more. I was thrilled to be offered a paid position! Actually, in high school, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but I discovered that I am very prone to sea sickness, so I switched to land, and got my degree in anthropology. While in college, I decided to become a teacher because it would include all my interests (math, science, art, reading, and kids) in one job! I also have a “hobby business”; a shop on etsy called Wee Brigadoon. I make custom tiny clay figurines that are put in fairy gardens or used as birthday and wedding cake toppers. I enjoy all kinds of crafts and art projects, and love to travel.


Elizabeth Lyon, Flagship Store Manager

Elizabeth started at PTMSC as a volunteer, greeting in the Museum and Aquarium. With a background in marine biology and education from Occidental College, she enjoys helping out on low tide walks, and is on an unrequited hunt to see a nudibranch in the wild. Following her 30+ career teaching Kindergarten- 7th grade, and lifelong love for visiting museum gift shops, she is now managing our retail spaces downtown and at Fort Worden. “I love that the downtown space has become a visitor’s center. I truly enjoy talking with visitors about our mission, and then sending them off to the Aquarium and Museum!”

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Brian Simmons, Facilities Maintenance Coordinator

Brian moved to the PNW in 2009 to learn how to grow veggies at a small, bio-diverse, organic farm in Indianola. Immersed in the local food scene, he managed the Poulsbo Farmers Market, the North Kitsap High School greenhouse program, and most recently, facilities and operations at Fishline Food Bank in Poulsbo. He also served a term as Vice President of the Washington State Farmers Market Association.  

Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management with a minor in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a Wilderness EMT/ First Responder certificate from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). He can often be found with his little family exploring local beaches and forests on foot, by bike and by boat. 

Brian joins the PTMSC to maintain and improve its numerous facilities through the coordination of volunteers, staff, partner organizations and tenants. 

Photo coming soon

Mia Steiner, Water Street Store Cashier

Bio coming soon


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Hadley Beahan
Marine Stewardship Educator - AmeriCorps member 

Hadley Beahan is a recent graduate of California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) with a degree in Biology and a background in Environmental Studies. Through CSUCI and the National Park Service, Hadley has participated in restoration work on the Channel Islands as well as operated under the Keiki Kohola Project in Maui, studying coral reef quality, microplastics, and humpback whale mother and calf behavior. With an undeniable passion for marine mammals, Hadley served as a 2022 West Coast Photo ID intern with Cascadia Research, and worked as a volunteer mammalogist at the Aquarium of the Pacific as well as a rehabilitation intern at the Channel Islands Marine Wildlife Institute.

Hadley is looking forward to bringing her background in veterinary medicine and education experience to the Pacific Northwest, working alongside the staff at PTMSC, and gaining more knowledge on the wonders of the Salish Sea!

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Lydia Plescher
Marine Stewardship Educator - AmeriCorps member 

Hello! I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where I majored in Environmental Studies. Last year, I served as an AmeriCorps member in West Virginia at the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center, where I designed an exhibit about native edible and medicinal plants. I love thinking about how complex scientific topics can be presented in more creative and accessible ways, and am so excited to be continuing this work at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, surrounded by the fantastic marine ecosystems of the Salish Sea. In my free time, I love to explore the outdoors, crochet, sew, and rollerblade.


Diane Baxter - President

Diane retired to Port Townsend in 2015. Her career in science, technology, and environmental education focused on increasing public understanding of science, and broadening participation in science by under-represented groups. Diane was the Director for Education at UCSD’s San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and prior to that was Development Director at the San Diego Botanic Garden, launching the “Seeds of Wonder” Children’s Garden, introducing children to nature through outdoor exploration. Diane launched her professional career as Education Curator at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Diane received her doctorate in Zoology (Botany minor) from Duke University in North Carolina.


Doug Rogers - Vice President

Doug has been interested in fish his entire life.  He grew up in Alaska and made nets out of coat hangers and worn out socks to catch fish in the local lakes as soon as he was old enough to venture out on his own. He spent every summer sport fishing, a hobby that he continues to this day.  Doug worked in commercial salmon, halibut, and crab fisheries as a young adult. Then, after moving back to Washington, he spent 10 years cooking Northwest cuisine, including lots of fish and shellfish.  In 1998, Doug began working for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and his destiny was finally realized.  He is now part of the Puget Sound Shellfish Unit and works throughout Puget Sound’s beaches and waterways. His love for the marine environment and everything that lives there led him to the PTMSC.  He plans to continue volunteering to protect the precious Salish Sea for many years to come.


John Mackey - Treasurer

John is a CPA with Gooding O’Hara and Mackey. He has experience with businesses, ranging from “start-up” to mid-size, as well as with individuals and fiduciary. A graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, John has practiced public accounting since 1996 and moved to Port Townsend in 2002.  He is a past president of the Peninsula Chapter of the Washington Society of CPAs and active with the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary Club, the Mountaineers Club and the Boy Scouts.


Ruth Shelly - Secretary

Ruth retired in 2020 after 45 years in the museum field and currently lives on the central Oregon coast. Most recently, Ruth was Executive Director of Portland Children’s Museum (7.5 years) and the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin (10 years), which won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service during her tenure. Prior to children’s museums, Ruth served in management and exhibit design roles at the San Diego Museum Natural History, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla), Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Atlanta), Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and the Albuquerque Museum. Her long museum career has included the planning and execution of six new buildings or expansions.


Linda Dacon - Member

Linda moved to Port Townsend in 2003, retiring after working for 30 years in the field of public health. At the Los Angeles County Department of Health for 23 of those years, she managed large public vaccination programs, did legislative and budget analysis, and managed the contractor selection process.  In addition, she worked for 5 years for the largest publicly operated non-profit HMO in the nation.  As her last job before retirement, she served as the Executive Director of Clinica Para Las Americas, a community clinic near downtown Los Angeles.  As ED, she managed 36 employees and a $1.75 million budget. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health from California State University, Northridge.