Our Staff

Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch Executive Director

I became an environmentalist in the wetlands of Back Bay in Virginia and the New River in North Carolina.  As a child, hunting and fishing with my father, I saw many sunrises and sunsets over mid-Atlantic marshes.  I had many quiet conversations with my dad learning about the habits and habitats of marsh wildlife and the wonders of our wetlands.  

Today I can’t take a breath of the rich, salty air around a tidal wetland without being transported back to those wonderful days.  That is what drives me to keep these lands protected and open, so my children and grandchildren can have the same experiences.

Short biography

 Shereen Hughes, Wetlands Watch Assistant Director

I have always loved being on and in the water.  As a kid, we lived near the beach in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, California.  Many of my early memories are associated with exploring the tidal pools, collecting shells and rocks, and walking through the native, sun-crisped meadows.  Twenty years ago, my husband and I bought a “rivah” cottage in Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Potomac River.  My kids have grown up swimming, crabbing, fishing, and boating in the Bay. After all these years of enjoying this beautiful treasure, I feel obligated and motivated to promote the changes in our water and land-use practices to protect this valuable resource and it’s habitats.

Wetlands Watch has provided me with an opportunity to blend my passion for environmental conservation and preservation with my professional expertise gained as an environmental consultant, landscape designer, and planning commissioner. As an environmental consultant, I gained experience with flood insurance studies, hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, environmental litigation, and permitting.  As a landscape designer and small business owner, I encouraged my clients to use native plants and minimize lawns and pesticides.  As a former James City County planning commissioner, I developed public policy, became knowledgeable about the land-use decision-making process and environmentally-friendly development techniques such as low impact stormwater management and green infrastructure.

My philosophy matches the Wetland Watch philosophy that “citizens properly informed and motivated, will be the source of the energy and vision needed to guide Virginia through the difficult times ahead”.  I look forward to working for Wetlands Watch as we continue to inform and motivate our localities and region to plan for adaptation to sea level rise and wetlands preservation and restoration. 

 Shannon Hulst Jarbeau, CFM, Wetlands Watch Assistant Director

I grew up on the coast of Maine spending summer days sailing and at the beach. I have always had a love and appreciation for the natural environment, especially the ocean. After spending two college summers interning with a marine stewardship organization in Portland, Maine, I found that my passion was in helping citizens, local governments, and other interested parties work together to use our oceans and coasts in a sustainable and smart manner.

In order to pursue this passion, I earned a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. With a particular interest in how climate change affects the coast, I narrowed my focus in graduate school to coastal hazards management; specifically, how to deal with rising sea levels and destructive storms along developed coastlines. This background led me to the work that Wetlands Watch has begun, working at the local level to raise awareness and seek solutions for sea level rise and flooding in Virginia.

Mary-Carson Stiff, JD, CFM, Assistant Director

As a native of Suffolk, Virginia, I grew up on and recently returned to live with, near, and around water. Our Tidewater region showcases the many creeks, rivers, and bays that unite our notions of home and place. I love kayaking and canoeing on Lake Meade and the Nansemond River and spent one of my favorite summers in college leading ecological kayak tours on Back Bay and dolphin tours in the Atlantic Ocean. 

After graduating from Bates College in Maine with a B.A. in English, I lived and worked in Northern Virginia at a boarding school until I (finally) moved back to Hampton Roads to attend William & Mary Law School. During law school I worked for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Land Trust Alliance, and Virginia Sea Grant on primarily land conservation, TMDL, and other coastal issues. After graduating from law school I worked as a Post-Graduate Fellow for the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic at W&M Law School and continue to consult for the Clinic today. My position at Wetlands Watch completes my journey back to my roots and energizes me to conserve and enhance the aquatic ecosystems that shelter, protect, and preserve our waterfronts of work and play. As our coastlines and riverbanks change with time, I want to offer strong legal and policy adaptation solutions so we may continue to live with the water that nourishes our home.