Gwen hosted and interviewed Island County Beach Watcher outgoing president Jill Hein, brand new Program Coordinator, Barbara Bennett, and WSU Extension Director Tim Lawrence on her KWPA show Whidbey Chat, Monday, Jan 3, 2011.  Podcasting of this interview will be loaded onto the KWPA podcast page the first of Feb. 2011.

Island County Beach Watchers, an arm of the WSU Extension, is marking a mile stone with the hiring of Barbara as their new Program Director.  During the interview Barbara expressed excitement to be working for the well respected and productive organization, having an office in Admiralty Lighthouse, and to be living on beautiful Whidbey Island!

Of particular excitement, Barbara and Jill wanted the listening audience to know that Beach Watcher training begins in April (2011).  Visit the Beach Watchers website to find out more about taking their training and becoming a full fledged Island County Beach Watcher.  If you appreciate and enjoy our beaches, want to make a difference in their healthy care, Beach Watchers is for you.  Click the link below to find out more, or call one of the numbers listed to inquire about registering for the upcoming training.  Training is a requirement for Beach Watchers.

Beach Watcher Training information link.

1-360-679-7391 (from N Whidbey)
1-360-679-7391 (from Central Whidbey)
1-360-321-5111 x7391 (from South Whidbey)

Joining the interview was new Washington State University (WSU) Extension Director Tim Lawrence who, likewise was excited to share his commitment to the local environment and economy through his work with the extension.  As the umbrella for several important resources and organizations, including the Beach Watcher’s, Tim provided KWPA listeners with an impressive overview of the Extension’s breadth of work.  Running over 9 broad stroked focuses and producing countless educational publications, Tim has his work cut out for him. Below is a list of Extension offerings to ours and the surrounding communities.

In addition, Washington State University provides over 2,200 publications, numerous online educational opportunities, and other statewide educational programs and technical assistance from four Research and Extension Centers, 15 Academic Departments and six of WSU’s Academic Colleges.


All three of Gwen’s guest were excited to tell listeners about the 2011 Sound Waters event the Beach Watcher’s will be hosting on Saturday, February 5th, 2011, South Whidbey High School in Langley.

Dr. Rick Keil

Dr. Rick Keil will provide the keynote speech for the event.  Click on his photo to read more about his presentation.

Rick is director of the Aquatic Organic Geochemistry lab and a Professor of Chemical Oceanography in the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. He is the UW’s Fleming Fellow for Ocean Education and is interested in the application of organic geochemistry to emerging environmental issues such as climate change, and pollutant distributions and sinks in marine systems (understanding the factors that control organic matter cycling in marine and freshwater systems). Rick likes to play blues ukulele and collects toy trains.

Below you will find pertinent information about this amazing and inexpensive event.  A perfect winter day of learning with your neighbors!

Gwen thought the Beach Watcher’s and WSU Extension, with such a staggering amount of offerings for our island community would be perfect guests for Whidbey Chat, and was pleased to bring Tim, Barbara and Jill together in the KWPA studio, to educate our listener’s about all of the ways they can assist our community and state in keeping our beaches clean and healthy, our 4-H clubs up and running, our Master Gardener programs operational and the countless other things Island County Beach Watchers and WSU Extension do through volunteer and philantrophic opportunities.

THANKS go out to all three of you for your commitment to your work and coming into KWPA on a cold morning, to share with our listening audience!


Visit the KWPA podcast page for other talk interviews, music, community events and general interest listening.


Washington State University Island County Extension connects the people of Island County to the research and knowledge bases of the state’s land grant research university providing solutions to local problems and stimulating local economies.  Our county-based educators work with partners in your communities to provide educational programs and leverage the broad resources of a major university to resolve issues and create a positive future for the residents of Island County.