Roald Bradley Severtson


Roald was educated at the University of Puget Sound, Oxford University (on a Rhodes Scholarship), the University of Chicago (on an NSF Fellowship), and the University of Washington. He focused on the history and philosophy of science, specializing on the development and validation of mathematical modeling in physics and astronomy.

Roald worked as a mathematical hydrogeologist in the 1990s, modeling the flow of groundwater and contaminants in the subsurface and then for 20 years as a software developer at Microsoft and Amazon on messaging infrastructure, machine learning, AI, and quantum computing technologies.

Roald’s professional research and interests have impressed on him that our economic practices and the administration of our environmental policies are exposing us and our ecosystems to dangerous and immoral risks. Washington State has passed legislation to protect Puget Sound habitats, but our agencies have failed to enforce the relevant regulations consistently. Sound Action exists as a corrective watchdog, monitoring the permitting process to protect nearshore habitat from unlawful and harmful developments.

In addition to his work with Sound Action, Roald has served on several nonprofit environmental boards, including People for Puget Sound (as board president), Toxic-Free Future, and Friends of Cooper Island, working to protect the health of Puget Sound communities and ecosystems and to raise awareness about catastrophic anthropogenic changes to our climate.

Roald lives in Ballard with his wife, Liz Gallagher and enjoys cycling, woodworking, and bartending when not researching his latest enthusiasm.