January 26, 2022: Whatcom County Climate Challenges


The Real Work Begins…

Ellyn Murphy, Chair of the Climate Impact Advisory Committee, and Chris Elder, Whatcom County Senior Planner,  present the 2021 Whatcom County Climate Action Plan, adopted by the Whatcom County Council on November 9, 2021.  If you doubt climate change is here, consider July’s record 100 degree heat; autumn’s unprecedented rain accompanied by floods; and this Christmas’ 12 inches of snow and single digit temperatures.

Scientists are warning us that we are already on track to see changes in the earth’s atmosphere that cannot be mitigated. It is past time to pay attention, and Ellyn and Chris will explain the Committee recommendations to keep the Earth a viable planet for our children and grandchildren.

Ellyn Murphy – Early in her career Ellyn worked as a reforestation forester on the Oregon Coast. After grad school, she spent most of her career as a research hydrologist, division director and program manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Dept. of Energy research laboratory in Richland, WA. Her research focused on ground¬water chemistry, bioremediation, and geologic carbon sequestration. Retiring to Bellingham, Ellyn’s primary interests are in climate change and its impact on fresh water and forests, as well as building sustainable communities. She has an M.S. in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Hydrology.

Chris Elder – Chris Elder is a Senior Planner in Watershed Management with Whatcom County Public Works. He has served as the Purchase of Development Rights Administrator, Open Space Land Administrator, and has supported agricultural and ecosystem related long range planning efforts over his past 6 years working with Whatcom County. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Biology, an M.S. in Agriculture, and worked in agriculture for 10 years prior to working for the County.