Meet the Team

Dr. Monica Paulson Priebe, Natural Resources Faculty

Monica grew up working and playing outside in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She studied Ecology and received her BA degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology. Monica served in Peace Corps in Guatemala leading work in Ecotourism, trail network development, community ecology training and reforestation. She taught regular courses at the local forestry school and started Becas Especiales, a grassroots sustainable scholarship program for rural impoverished Guatemalan youth. In Guatemala, Monica realized there was a lack of coordination and communication between natural resource scientists and practitioners, and decided to go back to school so she could work on bridging this gap. She taught graduate ecology classes while receiving an MS in Environmental Science and MS in Environmental Policy from Indiana University. She studied how different interpretation of forest policies in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras were manifested on the forest ecosystem in the course of obtaining her PhD in Environmental Science with a focus in Forestry. Previously Monica has taught at Portland State University in the Environmental Science and Management Department and at Mount Hood Community College in addition to her teaching at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Monica is excited to be working with the Natural Resource Program at Green River College where she gets to fulfill her passion for teaching. She thinks she has the best job out there and loves her work! Monica is currently working on grants to develop a study abroad program for Natural Resource students.

Chuck Wytko, Natural Resources Faculty

I started my career in 1976 planting trees for the US Forest Service on the White River Ranger District in Enumclaw, Washington and spent three summers as a Summer Aid doing reforestation surveys while I completing my Associates Degree in Forest Technology here at Green River Community College. I did complete my degree here at Green River in 1979 and then spent the next 10 years working in private industry working for various timber companies and finally went to work full time for a small forestry consulting company, contracting tree planting, pre-commercial thinning, timber cruising, slash burning and other forest management activities.

In 1988 I decided to leave private industry and began my career with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for the DNR the last 28 years. I had the opportunity to serve in several positions starting out as a seasonal Forest Crew Supervisor working with the Washington Conservation Corp providing training opportunities for young adults working in the outdoors. My first fulltime position was a Forest Technician and worked my way through the ranks as Forester, Unit Forester and eventually finishing my career with the agency as a District Manager. Over those 28 years I spent 17 years in State Land Management that included timber sale design, layout and compliance, cruising timber, writing silviculture and harvest prescriptions, contract administration, road layout and construction and supervising a fulltime forestry staff of 5 professional Foresters. Part of this was managing of the Ahtanum State Forest where our staff was responsible for the management of close to 125,000 acres of State Trust Lands with the responsibility of managing all trust land activities. I also worked spent 3 years on the regulatory side of the agency as a Forest Practices Forester, reviewing, conditioning and monitoring most forest operations within my geographic area.

My final 3 years were spent managing the Landowner Assistance Program which provided funding for small forest landowners for fuel reduction on their properties. In this position I wrote and applied for grants, supervised 6 permanent Foresters and managed a budget of up to 3 million dollars of state and federal funding dollars. I have been a Wildland Fire Fighter for over 28 career and have held several fire line positions with continuing involvement and hold qualifications as a Type 2 Planning Section Chief.

“I have had a very successful career in both the Forest Industry and with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and been very fortunate with all the opportunities put in front of me. As an instructor here at Green River my intent is to bring my experience, knowledge and skills to a new group of professionals that will be dedicated to continue the management and protection of our natural resources. Who knows maybe I can pass on to the students my passion for this profession and the industry?”

Gene McCaul, Natural Resources Faculty

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management degree from Washington State University in 1978, Gene was hired by the L.T. Murray family to work for Murray Pacific Corporation, also known as West Fork Timber Company (WFTC), where he worked for 37 years helping to manage their 55,000 acre tree farm in the shadow of Mt. Rainier until it was sold in 2015. Over the course of those years he worked in nearly every aspect of tree farm management, but specialized in inventory, planning, GIS and silviculture. He was actively involved in developing the first Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan in Washington State, which was later amended as the first All Species Habitat Conservation Plan in the US in 1995.

Gene was also active in the Stand Management Cooperative (SMC) hosted at the University of Washington, serving a term as chairman of the policy committee. He is also active and served as chairman on the City of Sumner’s Parks and Forestry Commission. He has also been an active member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1978 and in 2014 received the SAF Field Forester of the Year award for Region 1.

Since 1978, Gene has known or been associated with nearly every instructor in the Green River Natural Resources program and worked with nearly 20 interns during that time. He is excited to bring his decades of professional industrial forestry experience into the classroom to help train the next generation of natural resource professionals.

Dave Schoenfeld, Natural Resources Adjunct Faculty

Dave began his educational career here at Green River College in 2005 and by the time he had completed his studies here at GRC he had obtained the AAS in Natural Resources; Natural Resources – Water Quality; Natural Resources – Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GIS Certificate, and AAS in GIS. Dave spent summers working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources as a forest engineering intern while attending GRC. During the school year he worked as a tutor and assistant for both the Natural Resources and GIS programs at the college and realized his passion for teaching. Dave transferred to the University of Washington in 2012 and obtained a BS in Environmental Science with a focus on water quality. He worked as an intern with the UW Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma where he used GIS to quantify the total area of scotch broom in the watersheds of Hood Canal. He also completed GIS projects for the Puget Sound Institute and NOAA. He took one year off college before returning to obtain a MS in Geospatial Technologies from the UW where his capstone project was creating a model to map and analyze contaminates in our regions waters using web mapping and server-based geoprocessing. Dave helped write a grant in which the college was awarded funding to purchase Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) equipment and software and is currently developing the UAV program at the college. Dave holds a FAA Drone Operator certificate and an FAA Student Pilot certificate and is working on his Private Pilot certificate. In addition to teaching GIS in the Natural Resources program at GRC and studying the latest GIS technologies for natural resources and environmental science to share with students, Dave enjoys hiking, camping, and road trips.

Melanie Rodgers, Natural Resources Adjunct Faculty

Melanie grew up in Germany in a small town south of Munich surrounded by the Alps and mountain lakes. After moving to the U.S., she first earned her A.A.S. in Geography and GIS certificate at Montgomery College in Maryland. She continued her studies at University of Maryland- Baltimore County, where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Geography and Environmental Systems and Cartography certificate. After taking a few years off to start a family, Melanie then earned her Masters of Science in Geospatial Technologies at University of Washington- Tacoma. She is thrilled to be working with the Natural Resources Program at Green River College, where she is pursuing her lifelong goal of teaching. Melanie has extensive knowledge in Cartography, and her primary focus is the conservation of natural resources. She recently completed postgraduate research analyzing cyanobacteria blooms using satellite images in western Washington lakes. Melanie is excited to share her knowledge in Geography with the students of Green River College.

Rob Sjogren, Natural Resources Faculty

Rob earned his A.A.S. in Forestry Technology here at Green River College and his Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science from the Evergreen State College. Rob brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to his teaching drawn from his more than 35 years of varied experience in the Natural Resources field. He is an accomplished Forest Manager, well versed in Washington policy and methods, private operations, federal programs and industry raw materials acquisition and manufacturing processes. Rob is also a skilled researcher and has studied and monitored mountain goats in Mount Rainier National Park, streams with the Department of Natural Resources and elk herds for private landowners.