👥 Board Members & Officers

Earthwise Aware is a pro-bono/volunteer-based 501(c)(3) that we founded in 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!

View Claire O'Neill's profile on LinkedIn

Claire O’Neill | President 
EwA Board member & officer (United States)

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 protect biodiversity by facilitating learning about natural systems, practicing ethical ecological science, and inspiring environmental leadership. Claire is also a co-chair of the U.S.-based Citizen Association Ethics Working Group, focusing her efforts on raising awareness and providing resources for advancing ecology and conservation participatory science ethics. She is a co-organizer of the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge for the Greater Boston Area. She is also a board member of the Friends of the Fells, and an advisor for the Green & Open Somerville group.

Claire is a fierce advocate for the democratization of science. To this end, she developed EwA’s Biodiversity & Climate Participatory Science program– an initiative that connects the public with its immediate natural systems and empowers communities through ecological participatory science. Where she lives in Massachusetts, her communities get a chance to experience what this means first-hand. EwA 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 participatory science and volunteering projects, gave her the vision and provided her with the tools for building a successful organization. Her energy and commitment to EwA’s mission and vision are key to 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 a 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.

View Sharan Bahra's profile on LinkedIn

 Sharan Bahra | Vice-president & Associate
EwA Board member & officer (United Kingdom)

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.”

View Daniel Onea's profile on LinkedIn

 Daniel Onea | Treasurer & Assistant secretary
EwA Board officer (United States)

Born in Romania, Dan moved to 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 participatory science projects, and eventually apply his ethics, experience, scientific background, and technical skills toward nature & wildlife conservation and 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.”

View Jeff O'Neill's profile on LinkedIn

Jeffrey O’Neill | Counsel & Secretary
EwA Board member & officer (United States)

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 large extent, the instrument of our fate. Leading by example and encouraging anyone to do 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, which 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.

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