Bethany Shepler

SPP Green Track Programs Coordinator (Beekeeping Education and Roots of Success)
MES Program, The Evergreen State College

The Sustainability in Prisons Project is at the intersection two of Bethany’s primary passions – environmental education and criminal justice. Bethany is excited to be a part of SPP to further its mission to bring environmental education and sustainable practices to incarcerated individuals.

Bethany grew up in a rural farming community in the Skagit Valley, Washington. Growing up among farms, she learned first-hand how intricately woven human lives are with the physical environment; this created for her a desire to work with environmental health and sustainability. Growing up with a father who was a cop, the daily stories she heard developed into a passion for criminal justice reform.

As a graduate in Oceanography from the University of Washington, Bethany has spent over three years working with real-world data, implementing and supporting sustainable practices, and promoting environmental education and sustainable living. She conducted her senior thesis research at Friday Harbor Labs, studying the effects of dam removal on a local economy; she looked at the Elwha River Dam Removal and River Restoration Project’s impact on economic growth for the Lower Elwha Klallum Tribe. Working with climate change data has shown her the urgency of environmental health, and she has worked to promote environmental literacy within her communities. In Spring of 2016, Bethany and two friends wrote and produced a film for the University of Washington’s annual climate change video competition. For the film, she wrote a poem that was spoken throughout the video in which they call themselves and their communities to action.

In The Evergreen State College’s Master of Environmental Studies, Bethany wants to learn more about spatial analysis, geographic information systems, and the use of qualitative data in climate science.