👥 Our Team, Collaborators, Supporters & Partners
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)… That’s us together with you!
Board Members & Officers
Earthwise Aware is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) that we founded early 2016, and have since then incorporated as a nonprofit in May 2017. We are very proud of its mission & vision and are working hard at developing it into a vibrant community. Thanks to a dedicated and growing group of supporters who want it to succeed, EwA is developing fast. We look forward to this journey, and invite you to join our effort!
Born in France. Claire lived in Canada in the 90s before moving to the US where she has been residing since then. She is a scientist trained in mathematical statistics, probabilities, and artificial intelligence. She is also a field naturalist and wildlife conservationist. Her and EwA’s mission is to bring biodiversity science, ecological ethics, and environmental leadership to the heart of communities and into the daily life of people.
Claire is a fierce advocate for the democratization of science. To this end, she has developed a citizen science model that enables science by the people, benefiting both people and nature. Where she lives in Massachusetts, her communities get a chance to experience what this means first-hand with EwA’s Naturalist program. EwA citizen science projects promote a form of scientific contribution and experiential learning that is system-based, with an emphasis on the interaction between species, habitats, and their function in several critical urban locations..
Her science background in domains of expertise reliably used in ecology and conservation fields, her leadership and technical innovation career, along with her engagement in nature and wildlife conservation citizen science and volunteering projects, gave her the vision and provide her with the tools for building a successful organization. Her energy and commitment to EwA’s mission and vision are key in nurturing a vibrant EwA community.
I can’t count the number of countries I’ve traveled to –often in most remote wilderness areas. I’ve volunteered my skills and expertise, such as statistical and data methods that are core to most ecological and conservation research studies. I have contributed to so many great conservation missions. I had the pleasure to meet wonderful, dedicated nature enthusiasts, conservationists and scientists along the way, many of those whom I became friends with, and whom I am collaborating with at EwA.
I’ve also witnessed directly the impact of an excessive and reckless human relationship to nature. I have witnessed a fair share of poorly managed projects and venues in general; And more than I wanted to, I also volunteered for and visited few questionable organizations; I have made mistakes myself out of ignorance, as well as I observed few entitled, badly trained travelers, volunteers and leaders.
Years of these mixed experiences shared with other conservationists, experts and concerned people made me realize how ‘wild’ we’ve become and how misinformed and unprepared we can be as travelers, volunteers, leaders or simple eco-citizens. With a human population of 7.6 billion and counting, this has devastating effects on our environment.
That is how EwA came to be. EwA intends to provide the information support and an eco-centered ethics model for the Nature lovers, conservation experts, volunteers, travelers, leaders as well as eco-citizens and guide them towards identifying ethical experiences and developing responsible actions and habits.
Ultimately all of us want to contribute positively and responsibly while enjoying our life and experiences to the fullest. Celebrating responsibly the gift of Nature every day whatever we do wherever we are is what EwA is all about. “Earthwise Aware —Because I Care!” really became my motto in Life.
Born in the UK. Sharan worked as an operational change and people manager within a major bank in the UK until 2010. When an offer of voluntary redundancy came her way after a 15-year career, she grabbed the opportunity and undertook 9 months of voluntary conservation work across several countries.
Since returning, she has been a self-employed consultant and has re-arranged her life to enable her to continue to lead and support businesses through project management and transformational change and have the flexibility to support her passion for further volunteering and nature conservation ventures once the contracts finish. Sharan has volunteered in Africa, Asia and Australia with more plans for the future.
“I have the best of both worlds and my enthusiasm for knowledge transfer, to learn and to share what I’ve learned, works in both fields.
Conservation efforts for me include finding out about good ventures, learning lessons from bad ones, widening my knowledge from fellow travelers, working with and understanding local communities and what they do to preserve their ecosystems and wildlife, and of course sharing my enthusiasm.
Claire and I met in Asia on a poorly run animal conservation site and it was our conversations in the main that grew my awareness that the ethics of conservation volunteering and travel need a lot more thoughts.
Over the years I’ve often been approached to share my experiences and about how I choose ethical organizations. Then when Claire asked me if I would be interested in collaborating on Earthwise Aware and working on a platform for furthering knowledge about conservation volunteering & traveling ethics (including my own), I simply jumped at the opportunity.”
Born in Romania, Dan moved in the US in 1999 and lived there since then. With a background in Chemical Engineering and Organic Chemistry, Dan is now an Informatician, Data Manager and Administrator for Scientific Research Information Systems in Biotech and Pharma. He likes working closely with Scientists and IT professionals, to provide optimal solutions for increasing productivity by automating repetitive tasks like analyzing, reporting, storing and querying/mining data.
Also, a nature enthusiast, Dan looks forward to continuing to learn, travel, volunteer for citizen science projects, and eventually apply his ethics, experience, scientific background, technical skills towards nature & wildlife conservation, and towards sustainability in general.
“I have always been a Nature and Wildlife enthusiast, and traveled to few parts of the world to observe, enjoy and disconnect. Until I met Claire, I didn’t really have a greater purpose, neither did I take the time to think these experiences through and take it to another Awareness level.
Early 2017, Claire and I volunteered for a wildlife conservation veterinary project in Sumatra (Indonesia). During our trip, we had numerous eye-opening discussions about human activities and behavior that negatively impact us, Life, the Environment, and long-term sustainability. As consumers and travelers, we don’t always think about the consequences of our actions (or lack of) on the Environment. It became obvious to me that Ethics are needed, and that these Ethics need to be spread and taught efficiently.
Raising awareness and promoting ethics are an essential step if we hope to survive and thrive on this planet in harmony with ourselves and with the Environment. It is also becoming critical that we better understand, and participate in Nature and Wildlife conservation efforts the best we can.”
Born in the US. Jeff lived in Puerto Rico and in France. Jeff is a minimal footprint kind of a person, a minimalist – environmentally aware and savvy. Jeff always acts as if we are to a very large extent the instrument of our fate. Leading by example, and encouraging anyone to go for what we think is right or necessary. He is an unconditional supporter of EwA.
Jeff has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a Juris Doctorate. During law school, Jeff was a summer intern at Fair Vote and the National Voting Rights Institute. Jeff wrote a law review article setting forth legal grounds for mandating fairer voting procedures under the U.S. Constitution. Jeff has a passion for helping people vote the right way and this motivated him to found OpaVote in 2011. All these facets are crucial to the development of EwA. Besides being a strong supporter of the mission and the vision of EwA, he brings his technical and legal expertise into the picture.
Collaborators – Interns & Citizen Scientists – Contributors – Donors & Grants
EwA is a community of collaborators, contributors, citizen scientists, and partners who are absolutely essential to our organization. All our generous volunteers help EwA shape its content –reviewing it, editing it, supplying their conservation & wildlife experiences, and expertise as naturalists, volunteers, travelers, scientists, practitioners, or leaders. We are also very thankful to our growing community of citizen scientists who contribute their skills and study & record important ecological data, and co-lead field events.
We are thankful to count on such great people, who give their time, expertise, and experience so as to inspire and raise the standards of nature conservation and wildlife welfare practices.
In 2017, we launched our Donation platform. And we want to also thank here all our donors, who are EwA contributors! We do need your help so that we can continue developing EwA’s Eco-Ethics framework, our guides, our etiquettes, our outreach, and citizen science programs. EwA has a small core team. We work long hours and it is complete pro bono work on our part, so your gifts to us mean a lot and help tremendously! Most importantly your tax-deductible donation helps us maintain our 501(c)(3) status!
To our EwA community ▹ Thank You!
“We must realize we are stakeholders in wildlife and habitat management. Engagement prevents us from both the mismanagement of and detachment from these precious resources.” –Matt
“In this current state of declining numbers of species and populations, supporting efforts to preserve and even expand the number of species and populations is essential. A world that’s not teeming with amphibians and reptiles would be a sad world indeed.” –Joe
Joe and Matt are both herpetologists at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Both share with us their love and enthusiasm for reptiles and amphibians.
We met Joe in the context of a Citizen Science program at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, where he and a group of citizen scientists monitor a little vernal pool and its inhabitants. We really enjoyed his protocol and appreciated the care that Joe takes to minimize our impact on those habitats. As for Matt, we were familiar with his 2011 survey of the amphibians of the Fells. As it happens, Matt was Joe's mentee a few years back, and are now colleagues at the Museum.
When learning that the Middlesex Fells Reservation hosts some 110 vernal pools, half of which not yet certified, we realized that certifying the candidate pools could be a great base for a community-based science program. We proposed a collaboration to Matt and Joe focused on raising awareness about wetland habitats, documenting them scientifically for the purpose of certifying them so that they gain added State protection.
Here we are today running this project together! With Joe and Matt, we are blessed to gain genuine herpetology expert knowledge every time we get out in the field. We just love it!
“Conservation of natural resources as well as caring for mother nature needs awareness, education, and practice whenever possible.
Nature conservation and education are very important to me, and I like that I found an organization that I can ‘be part of’ – an organization that encourages me to explore how we can better make an ecological difference altogether (…)”
Born in India, Shilpa grew up in a small forest town in the Eastern part of India. She followed her passion for nature and the management of natural resources by choosing a research career path in ecology. She has worked with WWF-Bhutan and collaborated with other international partners including assessing habitats and providing training.
Shilpa did a Ph.D. in marine ecology and graduated in 2016 from the Aquatic Bioresource Research Labotary (University of Calcutta, India). Her research work and doctoral thesis focused on mangrove crabs and their ecosystem functioning in mangrove conservation.
With Shilpa, we are benefiting greatly from her wetland expertise, and enjoy her advocacy enthusiasm to educate and help eco-citizens in understanding the value of conservation and sustainability.
“The more time I have worked as part of Earthwise Aware’s community, the more intuitively I have felt my connection to the environment around me and the effects my actions have on our ecosystems and the larger global system. This organization is doing important work to confront the environmental crisis that many among us so deeply fear.”
Mike McGlathery is an editorial collaborator and field leader for Earthwise Aware. Mike has had a broad range of academic interests over the course of his life, from ecology and chemistry to philosophy and American literature, and eventually graduated with a B.A. in English from Harvard University in 2017. He attended EwA's citizen science field sessions early summer in 2019, and quickly started to contribute new ideas to EwA's content and programs.
Mike grew up in northeastern Massachusetts, and the ecosystems of the Boston area have offered a place of solitude, peace, and wonder for him throughout his life. He has found priceless companionship in the hills, ponds, fields, beaches, marshes, vernal pools, and forests of Massachusetts and the broader New England area.
Mike is excited to advocate with us for the thoughtful and ethical stewardship of Nature. He believes that one can engage with ecological ethics anywhere, at any moment, and is passionate about promoting and reestablishing this way of thinking in the United States and beyond.
We are thrilled to have Mike with us helping to anchor and deepen EwA's ecological and ethics guides, as well as collaborating in our various programs!
“A colleague told me of Earthwise Aware. I joined the group on one of the nature outings in the Fells and was immediately drawn to the people and the mission. Being outside makes me happy and I enjoy being a part of this group.
Just as important, participating in the phenology and arthropod surveys as a citizen scientist allows me to contribute to the collection of data that will inform larger research questions. This is a great way to increase our understanding of biodiversity, which, in turn, will inform the decisions we make on policy on how we conserve and protect species, especially in the face of a changing climate.”
Jennifer is trained in animal science and plant biology and holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm that we deeply value and make use of. We also are so appreciative of the time that Jennifer spends to monitor a few of our phenology sites in our favorite urban forest, the Middlesex Fells Reservation.
“Being a naturalist has been part of my identity for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I loved being in the forest, and was allowed to wander through the woods untethered. My parents had a fondness for the natural world, and I became more interested in birds, plants, and wildflowers through walks in the woods with my grandmother." — Jennifer
Together with Jennifer, we investigate the wildlife of our woods and cities and learn a ton doing it. Let's add that none of us look at a spot on a leaf the same way then we did before Jennifer joined us—and we love that we don't!
▸ Jennifer's EwA Biodiversity Records
“With ballooning human population levels, species are slipping away at extinction rates 1000 times the ‘natural’ rate due to human activities. The time is now to act and try to instill changes in perception and promote awareness before we reach some sort of global tipping point that the planet’s biodiversity, and possibly we ourselves, may not recover.
By promoting awareness and education regarding the issues negatively affecting the natural world, as well as teaching ways to be better stewards of this planet, EwA is doing its part to try and reshape people’s current thoughts and perceptions of conservation and overall sustainability. To be a part of that mindset is important.”
We met Joe at the 2018 City Nature Challenge event that we run at the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Right away we knew that we had found a Nature friend—a person who discovers, shares about and learns from Nature every time possible— a true naturalist.
Joe is curious, humble, marvels quietly at the beauty and sophistication of Nature, and shares generously his knowledge of the local fauna and flora. Joe also enjoys wildlife camera trapping. He started this activity both for his own enjoyment, and to get his daughter involved and excited to get outdoors. Over the years, he has learned so much about the habits of the animals captured in these photos. Some of his records have even been in a mammal tracking survey of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, as well as became evidence for the presence of mammals that were never documented in that location.
Another thing about Joe: he spots quickly! And that is a great asset when we lead biodiversity events! Since we started our Biobliss series at the Fells (part of EwA's citizen science program), Joe rarely missed one, as well as joined our side data collections expeditions. So, naturally, we thought that it would be great to count Joe as a formal EwA citizen scientist. Done deal! (and we're so happy about it!)
▸ Joe's EwA Biodiversity Records
“One of EwA’s mottos is “Nature Conservation as a Way of Life.” I believe in that. I am an amateur naturalist, and at EwA, I have met like-minded curious naturalists, with the mission to collect biodiversity evidence for national data platforms. It is empowering to contribute to databases that researchers in climate and biodiversity can use in their research. I also love EwA’s mission to educate members of the local communities about the nature that surrounds them. EwA gives them the knowledge and tools to notice it and study it, and to do that in a way that is respectful to nature. Nature and biodiversity become part of what we notice and care for every day.”
Kathy is a keen naturalist and an incredible phenology leader! She shares generously and patiently with the team her knowledge and attention to detail. We are so lucky to have Kathy leading the EwA Fells' Long Pond phenology study and coaching our new citizen scientists and interns.
“I am fascinated by the endless intricate ways that flora and fauna depend upon each other and find unique niches to fill, by the interconnectedness of their life cycles, and by how they respond to times of plenty or time of stress. Our biodiversity is stunning, it is complicated, and it is changing. There is so much that scientists do not understand. By recognizing ecosystems’ delicacy and complexity, we can contribute to the protection of our biodiversity and climate." — Kathy
Together with Kathy, we listen, observe, discuss, and record the many activities going around one of our favorite permanent ponds. We also challenge our perception of what we see, remaining humble as we witness and learn.
▸ Kathy's EwA Biodiversity Records
“As a Science teacher, I am passionate about helping students develop the knowledge and confidence to take on an active role in the world. Education is key to empowering the next generation, and EwA’s role in attracting, educating, and retaining citizen scientists is something that I truly appreciate and support.”
Bill has been with us ever since his brother Joe invited him to join one of our field sessions in 2018. Together, we marvel, discover, document and monitor EwA's biodiversity study sites in the Middlesex Fells Reservation (a.k.a. the Fells).
Bill is a tranquil force and an efficient and enthusiastic presence in our team. Wandering in the Fells, where we run 75% of our citizen science programs and enjoying the moment (and the work) is becoming our Fells team's specialty and pleasure: we regularly spend hours all together without realizing that 3-4 hours just flew by!
Bill has always loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time with his brother Joe exploring and learning about the world of nature. Bill earned a BA in Biology from Colby College in Waterville, ME, and a Masters in Science Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA. He has been a Science teacher at Parker Middle School in Reading (Massachusetts) for 30 years and continues to love working with young people and watching them learn and grow.
“I strongly believe in EwA’s values of data transparency, community, and co-creative conservation. I am excited to be part of an organization that refuses to create a hierarchy between scientists and non-scientists and instead recognizes the valuable skill sets and knowledge we all have to offer.”
Mina graduated from Lesley University in Environmental Studies. She has lived in Massachusetts most of her life and grew up exploring places like the Middlesex Fells and Habitat in Belmont.
Mina’s interest in natural history took root during a New England field studies course at Lesley. This course involved learning about ecology and plant identification at local parks and urban wilds. One of these sites was the Middlesex Fells.
“Seeing the Fells through a naturalistic lens instead of a purely recreational one fundamentally changed my perception of the space. I began to pay attention to places differently, noting not only individual species but also the relationships between these species and their environments and interspecies interactions. Observing and recording these kinds of details over time can show us the effects of climate change on biodiversity and inform how we protect that biodiversity.”
Mina is interested in the ways in which human health, mindset, and behavior inform understandings and treatment of land. She interned with the organization Green Cambridge to compile a history of the Alewife district. This work, which drew heavily from citizen-created histories of the Alewife, affirmed her belief in the power of co-creative science. Mina is highly enthusiastic about EwA’s collaborative scientific approach and has done wonders during her 2020 EwA summer internship focusing on phenology.
Now, one gets a chance to read Mina's blog about EwA's monthly Fells Forest Exploration walks.
“The passion, curiosity, attention to detail, and inclusivity of the EwA community was why I wanted to join; I knew I would learn a ton though working alongside individuals that love nature as much as I do.”
Kate was born and raised in Maryland in close proximity to countless hiking and nature trails. As an avid runner, she has always loved to explore new trails and this has inspired her love for nature and being outdoors. However, her passion for conservation did not come until she began pursuing her undergraduate degree at Brandeis University, where she currently continues to explore this passion as a Biology and Environmental Studies double major.
In addition to her love for conservation, Kate is also an aspiring environmental activist and has been a member of several environmental justice movements. She hopes to be able to continue her work in both conservation and activism after college in a career that ideally combines the two.
“Conservation is extremely important because the world is one large, interconnected ecosystem. We depend on our planet for survival and all of our actions have an impact on the global system. We owe it to our planet and all of its inhabitants to learn more about the natural world, increase our awareness of our surroundings, and do everything we can to protect it."
Kate and Olivia joined the EwA Summer Climate & Biodiversity internship program. They are both developing phenological calendars of species that we monitor in Middlesex county, building content to help our citizen scientists, and taking over the monthly EwA News Digest during the period of their internship. They are also assisting fieldwork and learning about the fauna and flora of our region. We are excited to have them both with us this summer!
Kate is extremely excited to be working with the EwA community alongside many passionate and curious nature lovers. She also feels strongly about EwA’s mission, as she agrees that it is not only important to protect biodiversity, but also to educate and empower as many people as possible.
“At the end of the day, we have to take a moment to remember that we are only one of the millions of species currently on this planet, and life exists in a vast display of forms and locations. It is important we work to restore this balance of life on our planet to conserve its unique biodiversity”
Olivia is a marine science major and biology minor at Boston University. Originally from Belmont, Massachusetts, she has spent her whole life exploring places such as Fresh Pond Reservation and Habitat.
After volunteering at the New England Aquarium as a Visitor Education Volunteer and removing invasive species from the Harbor Islands, she developed a passion for ecological conservation. She has completed fieldwork projects in the intertidal zones of Plum Island during research-based classes at BU and is looking forward to spending more time in the field.
She is joining EwA as a Phenology Citizen Science Assistant and is excited to assist with the development of EwA's insect and plant phenology community project!
"I was drawn to EwA because of its message of citizen science, allowing for local communities to become involved in scientific research. In order for conservation efforts to succeed, we need the voices of those who are most directly affected, whether they have a PhD in the subject or not".
Olivia and Kate joined the EwA Summer Climate & Biodiversity internship program. They are both developing phenological calendars of species that we monitor in Middlesex county, building content to help our citizen scientists, and taking over the monthly EwA News Digest during the period of their internship. They are also assisting fieldwork and learning about the fauna and flora of our region. We are excited to have them both with us this summer!
“EwA activities that I enjoy the most are developing a better understanding of the biodiversity in our local recreation areas as well as collaborating with like-minded people. The Earthwise Aware team, members, and their links with local and national groups provide an excellent way to share and learn from others.”
Tom immediately joined the EwA team, after attending a Biodiversity hike in early 2020. Tom now co-leads EwA hikes in the Fells that focus on geology and ecology.
His curiosity and enjoyment of the environment began at a young age. Growing up in Northern California, he marveled at the seacoast’s ragged shoreline, the redwood groves’ majestic growth, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ boundless peaks. Living in
the Boston area, he now enjoys exploring New England's natural wonders.
His care for the environment began with scouting which instilled an ethic for respecting nature, minimizing impact, and non-disruptive observation. With his two favorite merit badges being Nature and Environmental Science, his enthusiasm continues through participating in local community science programs.
Tom earned a B.S. degree in experimental psychology at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, and an MBA from Boston University. He spent more than 30 years in the computer software industry and now he advises municipalities on renewable energy and
environmental conservation programs and projects. He is currently working on a book on hiking town forests and conservation lands in New Hampshire.
"Several people recommended that I check out EwA and I am very glad that I did. Now I am able to rekindle my interest to explore and appreciate nature at many levels. This includes finding pleasure and harmony in all kinds of wild things and studying the relationships between people and nature."
▸ Tom's EwA Biodiversity Records
“EwA is such a special community in that it is equally as beneficial for the community involved and the nature that they look after. EwA helps people to stop, notice, and learn about the world around them, which can counteract dangerous human-centered views of the environment. This curiosity and humility that is central to EwA are what drew me to the organization.”
Caitlin is from Hopkinton, New Hampshire where she grew up hiking and camping incessantly in the White Mountains. The outdoors have always had a special place in her heart; she believes the feeling of freedom and wonder of being in nature is inspiring and unmatched. Her love for the natural world led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology and geoscience at Tufts University.
At Tufts, Caitlin works in a marine biology research lab studying the effects of toxic algae on hermit crabs and the thermal tolerance of intertidal snails. After graduation, she hopes to work in the field of endangered species management and habitat restoration.
She is a citizen science advocate, recognizing its importance for empowering the public and as a means for filling critical conservation science gaps. The more involved and invested everyone is in nature, the better off it will be! Caitlin enthusiastically participated in EwA’s Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science spring 2021 internship program. Caitlin helped us develop a phenological calendar of species that we monitor, built content to help our citizen scientists, and took over the monthly EwA News Digest during the period of her internship which got us to enjoy her take on environmental and conservation news.
“Growing up around so much beautiful conservation land and woods, I have always had an appreciation for nature, and all it has to offer. Now more than ever, with our planet facing issues such as biodiversity loss, I think it’s time to give back to nature and the ecosystems that exist within it. The first steps toward change are education and awareness–knowing exactly what the problems are before you try to solve them. That is why I believe that encouraging community involvement and making change at the local level through organizations such as EwA is key to moving forward.”
Lucy was born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts. She has always had a deep interest and respect for the environment, but it was not until college that she was able to pursue this passion in her academic studies. At Skidmore College, she is an Environmental Studies major, with a focus on environmental justice and policy. When discussing climate-related issues, she believes that it is crucial to consider the ever-evolving relationship between the environment and the people who inhabit it.
She has worked on increasing community involvement in issues of climate change, as well as assisting in outreach for events started by organizations such as Solve Climate by 2030. Lucy believes that education and hands-on involvement are key to improving the public’s understanding of and relationship with the environment. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career that involves addressing environmental issues from a human rights perspective.
Lucy has done her Skidmore Summer 2020 internship with EwA where she gained experience with studying ecology on a local scale, as well as contributed to larger-scale research and conversations about the environment. She has developed an ecological almanac for Fresh Pond Reservation that documents its insects and plants throughout the summer. The August almanac is out, and June and July are scheduled to be released in 2021. Stay tuned!
“Awareness is something that I try to do every day through example. And my aim is to share the idea that small actions of a lot of people can make a huge difference.”
Carolina is a marine biologist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Very engaged in conservation biology, she travels worldwide and contributes to projects covering many diverse groups of species including birds, sea turtles, herbivores, etc.
Carolina recently completed her master thesis focused on the diving behavior of marine birds and intends to return to this kind of research sometime in the future. At the moment, she works as a marine mammal observer on seismic vessels. This means spending months at sea observing and enjoying what she loves the most, the ocean.
Caro is a traveler with a restless soul. She hopes to keep moving, traveling, learning, volunteering, and doing everything in her power to help take care of an amazing planet.
“I have found such joy and wonder in botany. I want to help others see it. The world around us is so intricate and interconnected. The more I look, the more there is to see. The more I learn, the more I want to find out. I think that is the key to motivating positive change: inspiring wonder and curiosity.”
Laura grew up a country girl playing in the woods and fields of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She came to Boston for college and immediately knew this was home. She got a BS in Computer Engineering and then worked on microprocessors at Intel for 3 years. But engineering wasn't for her, and she quickly transitioned to Product Management. She is now a Director of Product Management at a public safety software company. Another of her passions is baking (especially desserts), and we can tell you that her baking is top! She also enjoys partner dance and photography. We regularly showcase Laura's wonderful botany photography on the EwA website.
Laura's interest in botany exploded the summer of 2016 based on two events: First, a friend pointing out lady's-slipper orchids and second, an edible plants walk around Somerville. "It blew my mind that every little weed in the cracks of the sidewalk had a name and particular characteristics and that many were edible and I knew nothing about them. And that there could be orchids growing wild in Massachusetts and I was completely ignorant of it."
Laura became consumed with the need to know the wildflowers - their names and their stories. And wildflowers lead to pollinators, fungi, plant communities, ecosystems, and on and on. It's all inseparable. And she now spends every hour she can outside exploring the world.
At EwA, we are fortunate to have Laura co-leading botany walks with us and documenting the plant diversity of our study sites. Laura also manages our online EwA Guide to the Plants of the Fells, keyed by color, flowering season and native/invasive status. That Guide is designed to help our citizen scientists working in the Fells with us, and to any nature enthusiasts who simply want to learn about what they are encountering. It's a great guide, check it out!
“If we treat the Earth well, the Earth will nourish and sustain us in return…”
Agnese is a talented and passionate conservation scientist. She has a vast work experience addressing important issues related to biodiversity conservation and management.
Agnese is the co-director of Dodobase LTD, an organization focused on bringing technical assistance to actions dedicated to conservation, from individual endeavors to big-scale programs.
Agnese is a strong supporter of conservation actions, and with this in mind, she also founded a conservation nonprofit, Boomerang for Earth Conservation (BEC). BEC implements and supports small, local, ethical, community-based conservation projects worldwide because:
- Change is needed
- Change can come from the ground
- All small actions are important
- We can all contribute to a more sustainable world
- We can no longer wait
- We still have a chance
- And Now is the time to change
We couldn’t agree more with this mission statement!
Agnese helps us and allows us to use her knowledge and expertise as part of our work, as in etiquettes, guides, and recommendations pertaining to marine environments. We know how important Agnese’s work is, and we truly feel privileged to have her support and to count her as a friend!
“Everybody has the capacity to be a conservationist. Small actions such as trying to avoid using straws or reusing plastic bags can make a big difference for the welfare of marine animals. When on holiday, try not to pay to take selfies with wild animals as many are wild-caught and this encourages illegal wildlife trafficking.
Every action, however big or small is helping the environment.”
When we started working on our apes rules and wildlife etiquette, the first potential collaborator who came to our mind was Denise. Denise is a young biologist and primatologist. When we told Denise about our EwA vision and projects and asked for her expert help, she said yes right away —excited by both the project and the ultimate EwA goal of bridging communities of citizens, conservationists, and scientists. We are truly blessed to count Denise as a friend and collaborator: Denise has an energy and an enthusiasm that we love, and she truly knows her stuff in and out!
Denise is a passionate conservation biologist studying primates & the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on habitat use. We met Denise in NW Ecuador a few years back when she was working at identifying factors affecting occupancy of the brown-headed spider monkey in the region. After leaving Ecuador, she then embarked on a year project years studying the effects of fragment size & shape on slow loris occupancy and the illegal wildlife trade of threatened mammals in SE Asia. Now Denise is back in the Americas where she just completed a Ph.D. focusing on the effects of disturbance on Yucatan spider monkeys at the Universidad Veracruzana.
Oh, and did we mention that Denise is also a 2016 National Geographic Young Explorer!...
“Our perception of wildlife needs to change if we are to continue to survive on this planet. We cannot continue to behave as if we are the top species here and we cannot continue to adopt the attitude that no one else matters but us.
We all matter, we are all here to exist, and no one species is here to be categorically disposed of at the hands of another. If we cannot CO-exist, we cannot exist… it is simple.”
Sam recently completed a master in Biology with a wildlife conservation focus at the Miami University in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global. Sam’s interest is to work with communities to inspire coexistence with wildlife through education and awareness. She raises individual environmental awareness through Open Space Coalition, a blog committed to bringing an understanding of wildlife, conservation challenges and environmental issues to residents of Los Angeles and beyond.
She is passionate about conservation which we’ve witnessed first hand when we met her in 2015 in the context of a conservation volunteering project in Costa Rica. She has worked with conservation organizations, including the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society in Peru, Ara Project in Costa Rica, and locally with Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife, on assessing barriers to create solutions that work toward co-existence between wildlife and communities.
Thanks to our EwA interns (past and present). We love to mentor and learn from our young environmental leaders: Caitlin Ball ( Spring 2021 / ▹ news digest ) | Mina Burton ( Summer 2020 / ▹ articles ) | Lucy Janovitz ( Summer 2020 / ▹ articles ) | Layza Espinal Maldonado ( Spring 2020 ) | Stephanie Schofield ( Spring 2020 / ▹ article ) | Jackson Schilling ( Summer 2019 ) | Sarah Haughney ( Summer 2019 / ▹ article ) | Charlotte Low ( Summer 2019 ) | Xaelel Allen-Caballero ( Spring 2019 / ▹ article ).
A special thanks to our growing community of dedicated citizen scientists in Massachusetts.
- Biodiversity & Phenology: Jennifer Clifford | Joe Macindewar | Kathy McGlathery | Bill Macindewar | Sara Gardner | Mike McGlathery | Lisa diRocco | Yvonne Liu-Constant | Daniel Onea | Randie Brisson | Rachel Hertzberg | Laura Costello | Christine Tuccelli | Elizabeth Abitbol | Kai Abitbol | Renee Scott | Jeanine Farley | Amy Meltzer
- Habitat Degradation (Bio-Pollution & Fragmentation): Lisa diRocco | Jennifer Clifford | Thomas Dempsey | Joe Macindewar | Diana Lomakin | Marina Ilko Ivanova | Syrah McGivern | Anita Brewer-Siljeholm | Jeff Buxbaum | Patrick Hogan
- Habitat & Ecological Community Documentation: Joe Macindewar | Shilpa Sen
We are very appreciative of the contributions, feedback, and help from Amy Mertl & Teá Kesting-Handly (US): Entomology expertise | Lawrence Millman (US): Mycology expertise | Walter Kittredge (US): Botany | Samantha Sullivan (U.S.): Content (▹ articles) | Marie Therese Heggen (Norway): Content (▹ article) | Nathan Van Meter (US): Content (▹ articles) | Anne-Cécile Decoux (France): Content Advisor + Media | Meredith Heather (Content Review) | Joyce Ng (US): Media | Chanda Bahlo (US): Content Editor | Mercedes Delgado (US): Business Advisor | Kathryn Leach (US): Corporate Legal Advisor (EwA Bylaws) | Christiane Dupré (France): Content Advisor | Jon Hodge (US): Content Advisor | Claire Reichstein (Australia): Content | David Kulik (US): Media | Lacey Higgins (US): Media | Kristen Heard (US): Content | Lorraine Roberts (UK): Media
Thanks to all our generous donors. We could not do it without you! 2017- 2020 supporters (non-exhaustive list): Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation, Inc. (2020 Grant) | Daniel Onea | Mercedes Delgado | Georgine Bird O’Neill | Carol Lombardo O’Neill | David Morimoto | Crystofur Brown | Thomas Eid | Doug Larrick | Richard Bagley | Laura Costello | Julide Ikican Lauck | Samir Sebbah | Julie O’Neill Gage | Robert Weisenseel | Ya Chen | Margaret-Ann Mills | Rachel Klein | Steve Durst | David Kulik | Don Gurewitz | Genna Waterman | Ravi Polisetty | Seggy Umboh | Valeria Damachianu | Julie O’Neill | Claire Reichstein | Claire and Jeff O’Neill | John Smathers | Susan Green | Bijoyini Chatterjee | Diane Pucci | Sharan Bahra | Nina Vogel Gibely | Allison Kaplan | Aurelien Faure | Barbara Olson | Sophie Rénove | Joe MacIndewar | Anne Locatelli | Johann Locatelli | Bill MacIndewar | Nathan Van Meter | Amal Marks | Alicia Pierson | John O’Neill | Christophe and Emma Koudela | Glenna Waterman | Claire Reichtein | Maureen O’Neill Eddy | Michael O’Neill | Serena | Elizabeth Carlson| Xaelel Allen-Caballero | John Born Margo Flavin | Amy Mertl | Chanda Bahlo | Anita Brewer-Siljeholm | Lisa DiRocco | Shilpa Sen | Russ Cohen | Maria T. Costello | June Mackenize | Susan Saidman | Janet Polcaro | Susan Richmond
Site and Event Partners
We are very happy to collaborate with local and national organizations on important conservation and education community programs. These organizations include the Friends of the Fells and the DCR (EwA at the Fells Citizen Science program); the Fresh Pond Reservation (EwA Biodiversity citizen science program, and nature journaling circles); the Mass Audubon Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary (EwA Community-based Pollinator Science); the Somerville Community Growing Center (where we run EwA at the Growing Center a biodiversity survey focused on insects and pollinators); Green and Open Somerville (with whom we collaborate on insect and native species focused initiatives); the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (where we present various wildlife science programs); the Center for Arts at the Armory, the Medford Public Library and the Somerville Public Library (EwA Citizen Science seminars); Green Cambridge (EwA eco-ethics consultant work for the Alewife Ecology Collaborative). organization (2018 environmental ethics webinar).
Finally, thanks to the following organizations for great one-off events! Lesley University (Annual Ethics Seminar); Explorers Club New England Chapter (2019 Seminar & Fells Hike); Speak for the Tree Boston (2018 co-led Tree-focused event); the Goddard House Facility (2018 Closer to Nature seminars); the Global March for Elephants & Rhinos’ Boston Chapter; and the National Biodiversity Teach-In organization (2018 environmental ethics webinar).
If you want to collaborate with us, join our effort, and contribute your experience, expertise, stories, programs, or areas of interest please do not hesitate to contact us!