STAFF & CONSULTANTS

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LYNNE CHERRY

Founder, Director, Film Producer

Producer/director Young Voices for the Planet film series. Author, illustrator, lecturer on climate change messaging and environmental education. Author/illustrator of 30 award-winning children’s books including best-sellers The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. Lynne received her BA from Tyler School of Art; a Masters in History at Yale University. She has had artist-in-residencies at Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution and Cornell University and science-writing fellowships from the Marine Biological Lab and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She was a winner of a Metcalf Fellowship and the Brandwein Prize. Her academic writings include a chapter in “Written in Water” published by National Geographic Books, a chapter “Kids Can Save Forests” in “Treetops At Risk” edited by Dr. Margaret Lowman (Springer) and a chapter “Teaching Climate Change With Hope and Solutions: Lessons from a Film Project” in the book “Education in Times of Environmental Crisis.” (Routledge, 2016)

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GARY BRAASCH

Co-Founder, Co-Producer, Project Photographer

Co-Founder of Young Voices on Climate Change, Co-Producer of the YVFP films and Project Photographer/Photojournalist. Gary’s award-winning photographs appeared in National Geographic, TIME, LIFE, Discover and Smithsonian magazines. His many awards included the Ansel Adams Photographer of the Year Award. Observing the Arctic and Antarctic melting, he interviewed IPCC climate scientists worldwide and photographed the ecosystems they studied for his large format book “Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World”. This book spawned the children’s book How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate, co-authored with Lynne Cherry, that won 15 awards including the AAAS/Subaru Award, AAAS’s Best Middle School Science Book of the Year and the American Meteorological Society’s children’s book award. In March 2016, while snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to document the effects of climate change-induced coral bleaching, Gary tragically, lost his life. Please see our In Memoriam page for more information on Gary and to leave comments.  Gary is profoundly missed by us all.

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SETH BUSH

Outreach Coordinator

Outreach Coordinator. Seth Bush builds partnerships between YVFP and Pittsburgh environmental centers, science centers, schools, libraries and other institutions hosting YVFP Educator Training Workshops for the YVFP films and Civic Engagement Curriculum. These workshops train educators to help youth develop self-efficacy – the belief in their ability to change the world- and to develop their own ACTION PLAN inspired by the youth in the YVFP films.  Seth is also a climate justice organizer, a consultant and a leadership coach. He specializes in supporting communities to advocate for climate justice and an equitable transition from outdated, dirty fossil fuels to locally-made clean energy. From 2009 – 2013, through the Pittsburgh Student Environmental Coalition, Seth led youth in organizing to resist fracking. He served as a Beyond Coal Campaign Organizer with the Sierra Club in Baltimore, Maryland.

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ALISA CARBONE

Administrative Assistant, Film Editor, Videographer

YVFP Film Editor and Administrative Assistant. Alisa has worked with numerous non-profit organizations providing video and administrative support to help spread awareness and advocacy. She developed the first television program produced by people with disabilities, Ablevision, that has won numerous awards and accolades for providing accessibility for people with disabilities in the arts.  She also has an extensive teaching background for video production, working with numerous groups of people of different skill levels to get them excited about the art of storytelling. Alisa covers film-related tasks in including creating compilations of different films for various screenings and submitting the Young Voices for the Planet films to film festivals.

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TOM LEMPNER

Graphic Designer, Web Developer

YVFP Graphic Designer & Website Developer. Tom is an experienced graphic artist, website designer, and WordPress site developer. He has seen nearly everything when it comes to website design. He built his first website when the Internet was just getting started in the mid-90’s, and has made the most of the numerous technological and stylistic changes through the years. He has designed most of the YVFP artwork including the website, DVD cases, postcards, invites, flyers, banners, etc. He runs his own website design and development company called Radiant Design. You can connect with Tom via his website: www.radiantd.com

 

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PETER RHODES

Co-Producer, Film Editor

Young Voices for the Planet films Co-Producer and Editor; Independent Film Editor trained at BBC in London; Specializes in documentary storytelling. Peter is the editor of all the Young Voices of the Planet films as well as the two half-hour television programs being distributed through American Public Television to 60 public television stations nationwide. Since moving to the US in 1986 he has accumulated more than 50 credits for films for PBS’s Frontline/Nova, BBC, and at major film festivals. His most recent work includes The Last Mountain, which was an Official Selection at Sundance; Frontline: Inside the Meltdown; and Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America for PBS’s NOVA.

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LINDA HARRAR

Film Consultant, Board of Advisors

YVFP Film Consultant, Board of Advisors. Independent Executive Producer/ Director specializing in documentaries on women’s health and rights, global health, development, and environment. Staff producer: PBS NOVA Series for a dozen years. Produced the 1st international documentary on the Antarctic ozone hole, a portrait of biologist Stephen Jay Gould; a portrait of Native American physicians: The Crisis in Indian Health, Twins, and Rafting through the Grand Canyon. Senior Producer for Race to Save the Planet Series. Produced Discovery Channel’s Power of Dreams. Produced and directed Last Oasis for PBS; Biodiversity: Wild about Life, a docudrama for teens; Executive Producer of Six Billion and Beyond; Co-Executive Producer of World in the Balance; Senior Content Director of the Emmy-award winning series Rx for Survival — A Global Health Challenge.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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HARRIET SHUGARMAN

Chairman of the Board

YVFP Board of Directors, Founder and Director of ClimateMama. Harriet is the Executive Director of ClimateMama, an on-line community that reaches individuals in over 110 countries and all 50 states. She works regularly with colleges, school children and their parents, educators, businesses, PTA groups, civil society, non-profit organizations and houses of worships to empower individuals and to support collective actions on climate solutions. Harriet is a leader and mentor with The Climate Reality Project; Chair of the NY City Metro Chapter and the recipient of the “Green Ring Award” presented “to an outstanding Climate Reality Leader who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their role as a climate communicator and activist.” Harriet has worked for 25+ years in Canada and in the US with governments, international organizations, and educational institutions on climate and sustainability issues as an economist, policy analyst, educator and adjunct professor and is recognized nationally as an “influencer and connector” in the climate movement. In 2017 she was named a Woman of the Year by Next Tribe.

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DR. SYLVIA EARLE

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Directors, Founder/Director of Partner Organization Mission Blue, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, American oceanographer and chief scientist for NOAA. Has won over100+ international awards including the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas. She led the Sustainable Seas Expeditions to study National Marine Sanctuaries sponsored by National Geographic and funded by the Goldman Foundation. She led several research trips during the Gulf War and following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Author of 125+ publications she has starred in many TV productions and lectures internationally in more than 60 countries.

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DR. MARK PLOTKIN

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Directors, Founder and Director of Amazon Conservation Team. For 30 years, Mark, with his wife Liliana Madrigal,  has successfully worked to protect the Tirio Indians and their lands in the Amazon rain forest of Suriname and many other Amazon tribes and lands. Mark was the star of the IMAX movie AMAZON and is a recipient of the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Award which comes with a 1 million dollar prize. His acclaimed book Tales of A Shaman’s Apprentice introduced the ethnobotany of the Amazon Indians to the general public. With Lynne Cherry, he wrote the children’s book The Shaman’s Apprentice, now used to teach ethnobotany to the world’s children including the Tirio Indian children in the Amazon.

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MARY FORD

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Directors, National Geographic Education Program Manager, has managed the education programs of National Audubon, Project WILD, World Wildlife Fund, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. She has a MA from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. She has taught in nature centers and schools nationwide and has conducted conservation biology research and environmental education throughout the U.S., Latin America, Borneo and Siberia.

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DR. MEG LOWMAN

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Directors, Chief of Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences. Founding Director of the Nature Research Center of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Professor at N.C. State University.; Climate Change Advisor to Florida’s CFO. Champion of forest conservation who pioneered the field of canopy ecology, “maps” the canopy for biodiversity, and facilitates policy solutions through science education. V.P. of the Explorers Club and Ecological Society of America; Treasurer of Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; Director of Florida’s TREE Foundation. Awards include Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Conservation Author of 100+ peer-reviewed scientific papers. Her book Life in the Treetops featured on the cover of the NY Times Book Review.

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JOHN R. SEYDEL

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Advisors, John R. Seydel is the President, CEO of RNN: The Revolution Nation Network @RNationNetwork and Trustee elect at the Turner Foundation. He is also the Sustainability Director for the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

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DR. JULIANA TEXLEY

Curriculum Coordinator, Board of Directors

Co-Author of YVFP Civic Engagement Curriculum, Board of Directors, Co-author of ‘Empowering Young Voices for the Planet’ the teacher guide for the YVFP films; Curriculum coordinator for PBS Learning Media’s Young Voices for the Planet Web Platform. Past President of National Science Teachers Association; Editor of the NSTA Journal The Science Teacher for 12 years. Spent 25 years as a science teacher in grades K–12 and nine years as a school superintendent. Served as an officer of the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching. She teaches college biology and technology and develops online curricula for students and teachers. She has an MA in biology and Ph.D. in curriculum development and reviews proposals for NSTA Recommends and the National Science Foundation.

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DR. PAUL WALKER

Board of Directors

YVFP Board of Directors. Int’l Director of Environmental Security and Sustainability of Green Cross, Dr. Walker is the winner of the 2013 Right Livelihood Award, the “alternative Nobel.” Paul has helped to permanently eliminate over 65,000 metric tons of chemical weapons and millions of munitions in eight countries. He has worked, spoken, and published widely on international security, threat reduction, non-proliferation, demilitarization, and environmental security for 30+ years. In 1994 he took part in the first on-site inspection by US officials of one of seven declared Russian chemical weapons stockpiles. At the annual Chemical Weapons Convention conference in The Hague in 2009 he led the effort to establish the CWC Coalition. A founder of the Fissile Material Working Group, he has also supported the four Nuclear Security Summits in DC, Seoul, South Korea, and Amsterdam, 2010-16.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

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JESSICA LANDMAN

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors. Jessica Landman is the Senior Director for the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans Program in Europe. She directs EDF’s European collaboration with fishermen, governments and other stakeholders in support of sustainable fishery management practices that incorporate science based decision-making, secure fishing rights and active engagement of fishermen in the management of marine resources, under EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. A US-trained lawyer, she has over 3 decades of experience in the NGO community, in the fields of marine and water law and policy.

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DR. THOMAS LOVEJOY

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors. Tom Lovejoy, Professor at George Mason University, Biodiversity Chair and Past President of the Heinz Center and Conservation Fellow at National Geographic received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Council of Science and the Environment (NCSE). For nearly 40 years, he hosted politicians, celebrities, and individuals at his Amazon research camp.(In 1989, Lynne Cherry researched her classic rain forest children’s book The Great Kapok Tree there.) Tom conceived the long-term study on forest fragmentation in the Amazon, coined the term “Biological diversity”, originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and worked on the interaction between climate change science, environmental policy and biodiversity for 20+ years. He founded the public television series “Nature”. He served as Advisor to the UN Foundation and the World Bank, Assistant Secretary to the Smithsonian and Executive VP of World Wildlife Fund-US. He has been honored with numerous awards. He has advised the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations and, in a letter of appreciation from the White House signed by President Obama, he  was recognized for representing the country as a Science Envoy.

BILL MEADOWS

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors, Recognized national leader in public land conservation and wilderness preservation, Former president of the Wilderness Society and currently serves as Counselor, a senior program position for the Wilderness Society. He has been active in conservation for over 40 years. Before becoming president of the Wilderness Society, Meadows worked for the Sierra Club where he provided oversight for a $100 million dollar fundraising campaign. He was Vice President for College Relations at Briar College in Virginia and he currently serves as their Chairman of the Partnership Program.

BILL REED

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors. Bill Reed is an internationally-recognized authority in sustainability and regenerative planning, design and implementation. Through the institutions that he co-founded, Regenesis and Integrative Design, Inc., Bill implements design processes that integrate green building, community planning and living systems that yield higher efficiency, lower costs and reduced waste. His projects consider social, ecological, financial and human values. Bill also helped found the US Green Building Council and the LEED Green Building Rating System. He is often a keynote speaker and lecturer at major building and design events at universities throughout Europe and North America including Harvard, MIT, Princeton and University of Pennsylvania.

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DR. GUS SPETH

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors. Gus Speth was faculty at Vermont Law School from 2010 to 2015. He is now Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute, Senior Fellow at the Democracy Collaborative and Vermont Law School and Co-Chair of the Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative. His eminent positions include Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Administrator of the UN Development Programme; chair of the UN Development Group; founder and president of World Resources Institute; law professor at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (Carter Administration); and senior attorney/cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. Among his many awards are National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Environmental Law Institute and LCV, the Blue Planet Prize and the Thomas Berry Award of the Forum on Religion and Ecology.

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DAVID CONRAD

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors, Independent consultant on Water Resources Policy for Pew and other organizations. Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) PI on national study of impacts and effects of federal programs on development and conservation of the nation’s floodplains. Consultant for Committee of the Water Protection Network, a national network of more than 190 conservation and civic organizations focused on improving federal water resources policies and programs for the 21st century. Retired from National Wildlife Federation after serving 23 years in DC as their senior water resources specialist.

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REBECCA BELL

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors, Science & Environmental Education Consultant, Curriculum Developer, Staff Support. Her clients include: National Geographic Society, Maryland Public Television, and Polar Bear International. For 10 years, she served as an Environmental Education Specialist of the Maryland State Department of Education and was a leader at bringing environmental issues to Maryland public school curriculum. Bell has been honored as a Maryland Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, was selected to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Teacher at Sea program to help scientists monitor changes in ecosystems. She was designated in 2009 as the Women’s History Month Honoree by the National Women’s History Project.

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DAN MARTIN

Board of Advisors

YVFP Board of Advisors, Dan Martin is an experienced grant-maker, environmentalist, educator, non-profit manager and consultant to private foundations. His career includes work with medical schools, liberal arts colleges, nature conservation, population issues, sustainable economic development and public policy for education and foreign aid taking him to more than 125 countries throughout the world. He has served on a wide variety of public and non-profit boards and in American election campaigns. He was a member of the 2012 Executive Committee of the Energy and Environment Team for Obama. Dan has worked at four private foundations: the Markle Foundation (medical education); Noyes Foundation where he was President (environment and population); MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, where he was founding Director of the World Environment and Resources Program and the Population and Reproductive Health Program; and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in San Francisco where he served as Chief Research Officer and Senior Director, Environment. Dan also served on the Committee for Research and Exploration of National Geographic, and was President of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, and a VP of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

LEGAL COUNSEL

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JANET FRIES

Legal Counsel

YVFP’s pro bono legal counsel, Janet Fries is an attorney with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She focuses on copyright, trademark, entertainment and Internet law and is a pro bono project coordinator for the firm’s Washington, DC office. She has assisted authors, artists, collectors, estates, art organizations, musicians, producers, Internet companies and non-profits with contract negotiation and preparation, web site review, copyright and trademark protection as she does for YVFP. She is a frequent lecturer and has published many articles on copyright and related topics. She co-teaches graduate seminars at George Mason University and George Washington University Law School. Janet is also an experienced professional editorial and fine art photographer whose work has been published and exhibited widely.

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YVFP VOLUNTEER

This could be you!

YVFP volunteers help us accomplish so much of our work. If you want to get involved and work on a project that could do tremendous good in the world, please contact us at youngvoicesforplanet@gmail.com. Volunteers help us with writing blogs, messaging on Twitter and Instagram, data entry, writing content for our youth action map, photographing youth events and actions, and many other tasks.