RAY YURKEWYCZ, Executive Director

RAY YURKEWYCZ, Executive Director

“What is more exciting, thrilling, both scary and beautiful, than a volcano? It’s such a powerful tool to make a difference in the world, in the ways that I really care about- the outdoors and equity” -Ray Yurkewycz

Ray started volunteering with the Mount St. Helens Institute in 2007 while working towards his master’s degree from Washington State University in Environmental Science. His academic advisor and long-time board member, John Bishop, introduced Ray to the Institute and to the volcano that would set the course of Ray’s life. After earning his degree, Ray began work as the Science Education Coordinator in 2011. His knack for sharing the rich natural history, coupled with his background in environmental sciences allowed him to develop and grow with the Institute. Ray has served as Executive Director since 2014, where his passion for Mount St. Helens, connecting people to the landscape, and bringing equity to outdoor spaces shines through in every aspect of his work.

In his free time, you’ll find Ray adventuring with his wife, two school-age daughters, and their golden retriever. Their family outings take them birding, fishing, camping, and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest. Introducing these familiar places to his young children allows Ray to experience the wonders and joy of Mount St. Helens through fresh eyes, and bolsters his commitment to making the volcano accessible to everyone.

Contact Ray at ray@mshinstitute.org