Meet Jess Newley, SeaDoc’s Newest Board Member


Born and raised in Eastern Washington, far from saltwater of the Salish Sea, Jess didn’t discover her pull to the ocean until her first SCUBA course in Thailand 10 years ago.  After that she was “hooked” and was soon on a path to becoming a SCUBA instructor in Egypt, an underwater photographer ready to share the awe and wonder with others, and a life that would evolve around this deep developed passion for our ocean.

She returned to school to get her Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University in 2011, knowing that she wanted to help teach others how to sustain the environment she loved so much.


Jess developed a sense of place and strong connection to the Salish Sea while working onboard the historic sailing vessel, Orion (Deep Green Wilderness), as their onboard marine science educator. It only took one season of sailing the deep channels, hiking the steep cliffs, and exploring the world under the surface to fully realize the magic of our deep green sea. Her favorite thing about the Salish Sea is the unpredictability of it at every turn.

Being a part of Team SeaDoc is what appeals to Jess most about her role on the Board. She is excited to be part of a dynamic team that speaks loudly for our Salish Sea with hard science, powerful storytelling, and of course Joe’s perfect hair. Her favorite creature in the Salish Sea is the Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker. And if you have to ask why, you obviously have never seen a Spiny Lumpsucker!

Jess, her husband, and little dog now reside on San Juan Island, where they have found their forever home. She works for Friends of the San Juans as their Marine Program Assistant.