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The Yakutat Nature Society Board of Directors & Officers

Rose mary Ryman - Board member

Rose Mary Ryman has been a resident of Yakutat since 1975. She has 4 children, 7 grandchildren & 4 great grandchildren. She was adopted into the Kwashki’Kwaan of Yakutat. Raven Humpback Salmon Clan, Dìs Hit, Moon house, and is a member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp #13. She's volunteered with the Yakutat Tern Festival since its first year in 2011. Rose Mary is a retired Yakutat School District Administrative Assistant & Superintendent-School Board Secretary, serving from 1979-2014. She owns a local business, Ryman’s Italio Sport Camp along with her spouse, Frank (Skip) Ryman. She has been a board member of YNS since its formation in 2020.


Havaleh (Hava) Rohloff - Board member

Hava Rohloff was born in Dry Bay and her childhood experience included time in Yakutat. Hava earned her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in Environmental Sciences with a focus in Fisheries Science. After graduating, she returned to Yakutat where she worked with the U.S Forest Service. Hava became involved with the Yakutat Tern Festival through her work with the U.S. Forest Service, a YNS partner. Hava has since taken a job with the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe as their Fisheries Biologist, but takes any opportunity to support the local environmental professional community. Hava serves on the board of the Yakutat Nature Society to support environmental education in her community and to continue learning from her professional mentors.

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Sarah Israelson - Board member

Sarah Israelson came to Yakutat in 2009 as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the school. After 2 years of service, she found a full time job at the school and met her future husband. She is the 5th and 6th grades teacher at Yakutat Elementary School. Sarah is originally from South Florida and attended Florida State University to earn her degree in Elementary Education. She has been a part of the Yakutat Tern Festival since the first year, when she designed the festival's program and was a tour driver. She has served on the YNS board since its formation in 2020.

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Curt Heikell - Board member

Curt started coming to Yakutat as a teenager, fishing with his dad. He loved it so much that in 2003 he started working on plans to create the Monti Bay Lodge, and in 2004 it officially opened. Curt has been a generous member of the Yakutat community throughout his residency in town and is excited to be a part of the vision of the Yakutat Nature Society.

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Susan oehlers, YNS President and Treasurer

Susan Oehlers grew up in Minnesota, and has a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in wildlife biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Susan has worked with a wide variety of animals and birds, including wolves, moose, brown bears, small mammals, spotted owls, songbirds, Canada geese, and terns.  Susan is currently the wildlife biologist for the Yakutat Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest, and is involved in the Yakutat-based Aleutian tern research.  Susan enjoys learning more about birds and sharing her knowledge with local students.


Teresa Swanson, YNS Vice President

Teresa Swanson has lived in Alaska most of her life, but grad school and a fisheries biology career drew her away to study fish in the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. While her earliest jobs wereassociated with the commercial fishing industry, most of her work experience has been studying fish inWyoming, Arizona, and Alaska. Teresa’s outdoor experiences and growing up in Alaska have shaped herrecreational and biological points of view. She has worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Fisheries Technician on the Chugach National and Forest and a Resource Assistant on the Tongass National Forest.Teresa is currently the Interior Alaska Data Collections Coordinator for Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA), where she works with crews to collect ecological data on forests across the nation. This programis often referred to as “The Nation’s Forest Census”, in which we provide information on Forest resources on all forested lands in the US, enabling us to evaluate whether current management practices are sustainable and will allow the next generation to enjoy American’s forests as we do today. Teresa is busily expanding her skills and interests to include birding, and has been instrumental incoordinating festival youth activities.


Mary Glaves, YNS Secretary

Mary grew up in upstate New York, has a BA in psychology from SUNY Binghamton and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast. Mary first came to Alaska at age seven on a trip with her grandmother. In the fall of 2016, over 20 years later, she returned to work in Yakutat as an SCA intern with the U.S. Forest Service. Since then, Mary has made Alaska her home. She took on the role as the Yakutat Tern Festival Coordinator in 2017 and is growing in her knowledge of birding and loves building the YNS nonprofit. Being able to remain a part of the Yakutat community in this role has been the biggest reward of all. Mary visits Yakutat as often as she can from Juneau, where she currently resides. 

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