About rivers without borders
Staff and Steering Committee
Staff and Associates
Will Patric, Executive Director
Will has directed Rivers Without Borders since 2008. He has more than three decades of conservation advocacy experience engaging in campaigns for many wild places. A Canadian and U.S. citizen with two environmental degrees, Will is based in northwest Washington in close proximity to Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle. He feels extraordinarily privileged to be advancing conservation in the Alaska – BC transboundary region.
Chris Zimmer, Alaska Campaign Director
Based in Juneau, Chris has been with Rivers Without Borders since 2001. He has worked on environmental issues for over 25 years in Washington, Montana and Alaska, including nuclear weapons testing, Columbia River dams and salmon, forest campaigns and transboundary issues. Chris engages tribes, commercial fishermen and communities advancing watershed conservation. If Chris is hard to reach it’s probably because he’s fishing one of the rivers he strives to protect.
Leticia Hopper, Southeast Alaska Estuaries Initiative Coordinator & Special Projects Manager
Lety has extensive professional experience in environmental research, management, and advocacy specializing in marine systems. Her work with institutions on the coast of Maine, the Shetland Islands, Peru, and Panama provides diverse perspective and skill sets. As Southeast Alaska Estuaries Initiative Program Manager for Rivers Without Borders, Lety works closely with the Natural Capital Project and the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Science.
Jenafor Ryane, BC Transboundary Watersheds Conservation Campaigner
A west coast BC native passionate about the natural values of her home, Jenafor is providing part time logistical support for RWB Canada’s Transboundary Watersheds Governance Initiative from Victoria. She has a Sociology degree and has volunteered in environmental causes internationally. Jenafor is also a yoga instructor and wilderness enthusiast, bringing a healthy balance to her work.
Jenna Keeton, Southeast Alaska Estuaries Initiative Project Scientist
A graduate of the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Jenna is in enthusiastic pursuit of learning how scientific questions drive, answer, and inform policy decisions. Her research has focused on freshwater ecology of salmonids in response to environmental stimuli. Jenna has worked throughout the Pacific Northwest and in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. As Project Scientist for the Southeast Alaska Estuaries Initiative, Jenna has realized an additional fascination in the role of the economy in conserving functioning and pristine ecosystems.
Brian Lynch, Alaska Transboundary Watersheds Conservation Campaigner
A long time resident of Petersburg, Brian is a retired state of Alaska Fisheries Biologist. He has extensive experience in fisheries management and research including involvement with the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the U.S. Northern Boundary Panel, and the Transboundary Rivers Technical Committee. He was also Executive Director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association. Brian understands that fishing is the economic lifeblood of Southeast Alaska and has a deep commitment to sustaining fisheries and the quality habitat they depend on. He is well connected, and well known, throughout Southeast Alaska.
Tim directs the new Salmon State Initiative. Prior to this he directed Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, served as the Executive Director of the Alaska Coalition, was an organizer for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and was the Alaska Representative for the Save Our Wild Salmon.
Kate is a writer and adventurer with, as she puts it, “a grudge against borders.” When she’s not on an expedition or penning words celebrating wildness, Kate works as a reporter for the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She splits her time between an off-grid log cabin in Atlin BC and the concrete wilds of Toronto. Kate was recently named one of Canada’s top ten adventurers by Explore.
Chantelle lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, near her home territory of Atlin, BC. A member of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, Chantelle grew up with a deep appreciation and strong love of the land she and her people utilize for hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, and building communities. She has followed her grandparents’ example of focusing on the protection, preservation, and conservation of her ancestral lands by creating a non-profit society dedicated to land protection across the Yukon and BC borders. She always remembers the example elders provided as she fights to protect her homeland.
Residing near Ottawa, Ramsey is the former Canada Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. He worked with communities facing proposed mining projects, and provided critical analysis to the media, concerned citizens and decision makers. Ramsey received a masters degree in Watershed Ecosystems from Trent. When not working or volunteering, he’s likely off paddling one of his five (!) canoes.
Ben Kirkpatrick, U.S. Steering Committee Chair
Ben came to Rivers Without Borders following two decades with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. As a Habitat Biologist for Southeast Alaska, he reviewed all mining projects in the region. Ben was also project manager for the Community Watersheds Project, establishing local watershed councils throughout Southeast Alaska and providing technical support on salmon habitat restoration.
Wayne Merry has lived in Atlin, BC for three decades. Wayne has a degree in conservation and education, and a professional background with the National Park Service in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and as a teacher in Iqualit, Baffin Island. Wayne is a highly accomplished climber, with numerous first ascents to his credit, and he is founder of the Yosemite Mountain Guide Service.
Patricia Thomson, Canadian Steering Committee Chair
A naturalist and educator, Patricia Thomson is executive director of the Stanley Park Ecology Society in Vancouver. She is also one of Canada’s most highly respected expedition raft guides. Patricia is a member of the Explorers League and knows most of the BC-Alaska transboundary rivers intimately.