Founding family

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Julie

Allyson

Julie

Julie is currently a doctoral fellow with the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Her research meets at the intersection of natural resources and human dimensions of aquatic ecology for science driven and culturally contextual education and management. She has extensive background experience in both fresh and saltwater field and laboratory work, designing,  managing, and evaluating formal and informal K-12 science education programs, as well as conducting community ethnographic research through behavioral observation and oral history. She is passionate about the power of place and how historical ecology and intergenerational learning leads to environmental stewardship. Julie holds a Bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a concentration in Ichthyology, a Masters in STEM Education and Learning Science, and is completing her PhD in Integrative and Systems Biology.  naturesnavigation@gmail.com

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Bill

Allyson

Julie

Bill is a biologist and started the first environmental consulting business in the state of Florida. His passion is connecting people to nature using scientific data to create and preserve native habitat for reciprocal care of animals and human well-being.

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Allyson

Allyson

Allyson

Allyson is a Mother, a Sister, and a Transformational Catalyst for healing our plants and animals. Allyson has worked in both higher education and contemporary community wellness. Her passion is representing the sacred elements and native rights of all.

Science COLLABORATORS

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Dr. Alex Cruz

Dr. Laurel Hartley

Dr.Jingchun Li

“I am a teacher at heart, and there are moments in the classroom which I can hardly hold the joy. When my students and I discover uncharted territory to explore, when the pathway out of a thicket opens up before us, when our experience is illuminated by the lightning-life of the mind – then teaching is the finest work I know.“ These words by noted educator Parker J. Palmer parallel my experience of what teaching is all about. The ability to explore uncharted territories and formulate new hypotheses and predictions happens not only in the classroom, but more frequently outside of the classroom when students are actively involved in “hands-on” scholarly work. It is under these circumstances that students have the opportunity to put into action what they have learned in the classroom setting and to gain not only experience but the confidence to consider different career options.

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Dr.Jingchun Li

Dr. Laurel Hartley

Dr.Jingchun Li

Jingchun is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has always been fascinated by the remarkable diversity of marine invertebrates and their complex interactions. One of her childhood obsessions was to attempt raising any invertebrates (spiders, dragonflies, cicadas, moths, crayfish, crabs, etc.) she could find near home. This passion further developed into curiosity about the evolutionary processes that generate the diverse lineages, forms, and functions of invertebrates. Her research focuses on understanding how biological interactions drive the evolution of invertebrates. As a Curator to the CU Boulder Museum of Natural History, she is also interested in connecting scientific research to the general public through museum programs.

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Dr. Laurel Hartley

Dr. Laurel Hartley

Dr. Laurel Hartley

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Science COLLABORATORS

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Nicolas

Nicolas

Nicolas

Growing up in inner city Phoenix, I didn't have much access to biodiversity, but I developed my love for nature through volunteering. Throughout my college years, I had the privilege to work with various zoos and aquariums that allowed me to familiarize myself with biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary ideas it brings. I didn't start thinking seriously about evolution until I took a course on it in college and this morphed into a career track that brought me to focus on studying the evolution of hummingbird bills. My research focuses on understanding the how evolution shapes ecology using a variety of techniques ranging from population/quantitative genetics, niche modelling, phylogenetics, and genome architecture in order to link phenotypic variation (P) with genotypic variation (G) and fitness (F) in wild populations of hummingbirds. I am particularly interested in the evolution of complex, quantitative traits. The bills of hummingbirds represent an excellent model for studying adaptive evolution in quantitative traits given their widespread distribution and feasible collection, and recently available genomic resources. One method I use to characterize the genomic architecture of phenotypic variation between species is to leverage phenotypic variation within wild populations of species to understand differences among species, such as the diversity we see in bill shapes among birds as different as pelicans and sparrows.

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Hilary

Nicolas

Nicolas

Animal Behavior

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Dan

Nicolas

Dan

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Environmental Education COLLABORATORS

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Angela

Dr. Oakleigh

Dr. Oakleigh

Angela is Director of Community Partnerships at Thorne Nature Experience, a nature connection non-profit in Boulder, Colorado, and has six years’ experience as a bilingual classroom teacher in Denver Public Schools. Angela also served as a Peace Corps environmental volunteer in Peru where she gained advanced proficiency in Spanish. She has a B.A. in Geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. Angela is passionate about the integration of self with the natural world and the social-emotional domain.

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Dr. Oakleigh

Dr. Oakleigh

Dr. Oakleigh

Oak is the founder of Thorne Nature Experience. 

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Dr. William

Dr. Oakleigh

Dr. William

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environmental Education collaborators

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Dr. Louise

Dr. Louise

Dr. Louise

Research 

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Cheryl

Dr. Louise

Dr. Louise

Research 

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Shannon

Dr. Louise

Shannon

GIS programs 

Deep ecology COLLABORATORS

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Mary

Joseph

Mary

Mary Reynolds Thompson is the Founder of Live Your Wild Soul Story, works with creatives, change-makers, and spiritual seekers who long to step into their most courageous, creative, and connected selves in order to live fully and have the impact they desire. An award-winning author, facilitator of poetry therapy, and a pioneer in the emerging field of spiritual ecology, Mary has created a unique program of transformation based on five Earth archetypes that provide a map of our wild souls. She speaks and gives workshops around the world. Her book Reclaiming the Wild Soul is a 2015 Nautilus Award-Winner. She is at work on her next book, A Wild Soul Woman

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Lori

Joseph

Mary

Lori asks the question of how are we all being called at this time of the great turning? To reintegrate the human psyche with world soul – and that means a return to the wild.  As a business woman, she works in the barren landscape of recruitment that's rife with trauma and exploitation – what a tragic and beautiful place to begin.  By virtue of nature’s brilliance, she's reclaiming the dead soil of job boards and transforming them into vibrant “job hives” to feed connection and wellness – both personal and planetary.  With every job posted, she plant 50 trees. Full circle support and giving back, fueled by endless job sourcing. Nature is her teacher. 

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Joseph

Joseph

Joseph

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Aquatic Husbandry Advisors

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Dr. Marcus

Dr. Marcus

Dr. Marcus

cichlids

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Makenzie

Dr. Marcus

Dr. Marcus

Makenzie holds bachelors degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and French from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has had a passion for raising and breeding fish since she was 10 years old. Her thesis research focused on characterizing the dominance hierarchy, courtship behavior, and early developmental biology of a mouth-brooding cichlid.

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Dr. Lindsey

Dr. Marcus

Dr. Lindsey

Dr. Lindsey Dougherty was scuba certified at 14 years old in a freezing, zero-visibility lake in land-locked Colorado, and has been underwater ever since. She taught scuba in Zanzibar as a PADI instructor, she is an AAUS scientific diver with over 3,000 dives, and she has been lucky enough to dive for work, research, and recreation all over the world. 

Lindsey is an avid underwater photographer. She was a photographer/videographer for the Seattle Aquarium Indonesia Expedition, a principal coral scientist and photographer for the Elysium Expedition, and a scientist for the Sea and Learn Saba Program. Lindsey has written articles and taken underwater photographs for Biosphere, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, and Scientific American magazines, and exhibited in a solo summer show at the Broomfield Auditorium and as part of the Pop! Gallery on Pearl Street in Boulder. 

Lindsey’s love of photography stems from her background in animal behavior - she received her PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 2016 on the flashing “disco” clam, and did the majority of her research throughout the Indo-Pacific. Her research has been featured in over 50 new stories, including the New York Times, CNN, the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. She continued her research in her post-doc with the Li Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder where she now teaches EBIO 3190 - Tropical Marine Ecology. 

Lindsey does as much ocean outreach as possible, having participated in many educational and public programs throughout California and Colorado. She is a Scientific Advisory Board member for the Ocean First Institute, works with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and teaches an annual marine biology course with photography to recreational scuba divers. Lindsey hopes to combine photography, storytelling and science to inspire a love for the ocean in life-long learners across Colorado. 

Fisherman research collaborators

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Dusty

Dusty

Dusty

Dusty is a 6th generation Floridian born and raised fishing the waters we call home. He spends much of his time offshore with friends and family and deeply understands the interconnections between ecological and human dimensions of fishery research.

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Matt

Dusty

Dusty

Matt is a 4th generation Floridan and charter guide in the Gulf of Mexico. He loves creating meaningful experiences for families through sharing the ecological treasures of the Gulf. He deeply understands the value of protecting our fisheries.

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Dusty

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cultural diversity Liaisons

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Marcie

Pradeep Kumar Das

Marcie

Ministry

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Alex

Pradeep Kumar Das

Marcie

Ministry

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Pradeep Kumar Das

Pradeep Kumar Das

Pradeep Kumar Das

Ministry

Leadership Advisors

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Dr. Liz

Syntysche

Dr. Liz

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Lea

Syntysche

Dr. Liz

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Syntysche

Syntysche

Syntysche

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Education collaborators

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Sammantha

Sammantha

Sammantha

Samm holds a masters in Environmental Management, has worked in formal and informal STEM education, and has traveled to many areas in South America. Samm questions the ordinary and challenges social norms with strength and grace.

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Lee

Sammantha

Sammantha

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Kalia

Sammantha

Kalia

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international translators

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Savannah, French

Savannah, French

Savannah, French

Savannah is a recent graduate from the University of Texas with degrees in Biology and French language. She conducts field ornithology research in Colorado and is applying for PhD programs in biodiversity conservation. 

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Lisa, Korean

Savannah, French

Savannah, French

 Lisa  is a South Korean national living and studying in Florida. She is interested in the topics of international relations, cultural diversity majored in the field, to share her talent globally.. As a global citizen, she believes that not only her but every individual has an opportunity to make a positive change in the international community. "In retrospect, my biggest contribution was the summer that I held an English language and Canadian culture exchange program for Korean children from low-income families. Originally, I was born in South Korea, I spent part of my adolescent time in Canada and now I live in the U.S. I’m passionate about traveling, studying other cultures and languages; my recent study abroad in France taught me much about the way Europeans live their lives. I was so fascinated by it, I’m writing a research paper about French culture, currently."

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Savannah, French

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Journalists

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Crystal

Crystal

Crystal

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Melanie

Crystal

Crystal

Melanie has a Masters degree in Journalism and has written for news sources all over the USA. Talking to Melanie is comparable to long conversations with your childhood bestfriend.

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Robert

Crystal

Robert

Robert is a writer who has published his work in many avenues. He has a specialty of attention to detail in those he interviews and a care for his clients that is illuminated in his articles.

Partners & Friends