Eric Pallant

Eric Pallant is the author of Sourdough Culture: The History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers. He is a serious amateur baker, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, double, award-winning professor, and the Christine Scott Nelson Endowed Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability at Allegheny College. He is acknowledged for his skill in weaving research narratives into compelling stories for the Gresham Lecture Series, London, bread symposia, podcasts, and articles for magazines such as Gastronomica, Sierra, and Science.

3 words to describe Nature?

Surprising. Restorative. Necessary

3 things Nature taught you?

Nature is better than engineers at managing ecosystem functions.

Nature is everywhere and needs to be available to everyone, not restricted to wilderness jaunts reserved for privileged, white, and wealthy people.

Appreciating Nature, like appreciating most things in life, takes time. It cannot be rushed.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Wellfleet Harbor, Cape Cod, MA.

My compost pile

My sourdough starters

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Tiny

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Heart thumpingly excited. I’ve actually walked up to the lava in a couple of active volcanoes.

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Patient

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Happy

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Also happy. I love wind!

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Ocean. No question!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

8

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I spent countless childhood hours digging holes with my hands under the porch in my suburban backyard. I was searching for arrowheads and fossils. I found many, probably none of which were real. But I have remained fascinated by soil ever since. I now understand that beyond the tiny invertebrates I encountered, soil contains more living things than anyplace on earth and represents the profound junction of earth’s biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere. 


Dianne Dain

Dianne Dain is the Chief Innovation Officer for the World Humanitarian Forum and a member of the WHO Innovation team. Recognized globally as a thought leader on women's influence and empowerment, sustainable tech, and social innovations, Dain is the co-founder of COPXX and an Honorary Professor at the Wise Center for Economic Justice at Glasgow Caledonia University.  Additionally, she is the President of The Singer Foundation. Prior to these roles, Dianne was with the United Nations Secretariat where she lead the UN Reboot Accelerator for youth crowdsourcing and participated in the creation of the global network of UN Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL). In 2010 she was named National Mother of America

3 words to describe Nature?

Majestic. Creator. Home

3 things Nature taught you?

Perspective

Humility

Gratitude

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Scottish Highlands

Palos Verdes Peninsula beaches

Waipio Valley, Hawaii

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Eternally grateful for the rhythm and heartbeat of the universe

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Grounded and connected to ancient wisdom

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Humbled by the power and fire living within the earth Is walk upon

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Thankful I am alive and get to see another day begin or end 

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Liberated from humans, worshipful of the power of the universe

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Exhilarated and energized that the air

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Forest and Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My earliest memories are of being born looking for a connection to my environment. I was conceived during a surf lesson and abandoned as a baby at the Salvation Army. As a child, I would sit on the hillside overlooking the ocean and wonder how I came to be here and why. I spent hours alone on the hills because I intuitively felt most at home with the earth. She was my mother and nurtured me through a lack of strong human connections and identity as a child. 

 


Shawna Pandya

Dr. Shawna Pandya is a physician, scientist-astronaut candidate program graduate with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences/Project PoSSUM, aquanaut, speaker, martial artist, advanced diver, skydiver, pilot-in-training, VP Immersive Medicine with Luxsonic Technologies, Director of Medical Research at Orbital Assembly Construction, and Fellow of the Explorers’ Club. She is also Director of the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS)/PoSSUM Space Medicine Group, Chief Instructor of the IIAS/PoSSUM Operational Space Medicine course, a clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta, podcast host with the World Extreme Medicine’s WEMCast series, Primary Investigator (PI) for the Shad Canada-Blue Origin student microgravity competition, member of the ASCEND 2021 Guiding Coalition, and Life Sciences Team Lead for the Association of Spaceflight Professionals. She serves as a medical advisor to several space, medical and technology companies. Dr. Pandya was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero-gravity in 2015. She earned her aquanaut designation during the 2019 NEPTUNE (Nautical Experiments in Physiology, Technology and Underwater Exploration) mission. She previously served as Commander during a 2020 tour at the Mars Desert Research Station.  In 2021, Dr. Pandya was granted an Honorary Fellowship in Extreme and Wilderness Medicine by the World Extreme Medicine organization and named one of the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, as well as a Canadian Space Agency Space Ambassador. Her career and trajectory have been captured at the Ontario Science Center’s “Canadian Women in Space,” exhibit, alongside Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman in space (and Dr. Pandya’s idol growing up).

3 words to describe Nature?

Vast. Inspiring. Infinite

3 things Nature taught you?

To be in the moment

To be prepared

That everything else can wait

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Canadian Rockies

Hapuna Beach, Kona, Hawaii

The sunset over the pond behind my parents' house

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

At peace, knowing that I am one tiny part of infinity.

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Like I am at the start of an adventure.

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Full of awe at nature's power.

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Grateful and satisfied to be able to have that moment to appreciate.

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Excited for the subsequent storm.

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Like I am in a mystery or adventure novel!

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

All of the above

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was 14, we went on a survival camp. My best friend and I were only 2 of a handful of girls in a class of over 35. We proudly built and slept in one of the best lean-tos, and managed to keep a fire going all night. We also went caving on that same trip!


Greg Hill

Greg Hill is a pro skier, filmmaker, and ski guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Hill has made hundreds of first descents and has set several world records. Some of his feats include:

  • Climbed and skied 330 000 ft in march 2014, or 100 vertical km.
  • Climbed and skied 2 million feet in 2010. Averaging 5500 ft a day upwards all year. During this year he climbed 71 mountains, skied 1039 runs, in 4 countries, his biggest day was 23000ft, he had 77 days over 10 grand. Recently beaten by Aaron Rice who toured 2,500,000ft in 2016.
  • Set the Spearhead Traverse record of 4hr1min (no longer the record), and the complete Spearhead with 11 summits, 20 000ft in 13 hours.
  • First North American to climb and ski 40 000 ft in 24 hrs and set a World Record of 50 100 ft in 24 hours.(no longer the record)
  • First North American to climb and ski Mt-Blanc in a day, 11 hours, 12000 ft.
  • Pioneered the Northern Monashee traverse, a 21-day ski traverse where he summited 21 peaks along the way.
  • Pioneered many first descents throughout the Columbia Mountains, Canada.
  • Has climbed and skied 9 of the 10 highest peaks in the Selkirk mountains.
  • Climbed 80 ten thousand foot days in 2006-7 season, 990,000 ft total.
  • Has summited and skied over 190 mountains.
  • Has planted over a million trees.

His feats have earned him the titles “Top 25 Fittest Guys in the World” (2011) from Men’s Fitness Magazine for climbing and skiing 2 000 000 feet in a year and “Top Adventurers of the Year” (2005) from National Geographic Adventure Magazine for his first million feet climbed and skied. His most recent environmental adventures are profiled in his movie “Electric Greg” which has traveled the world inspiring people to change. Media impressions featuring Greg number in the tens of millions.  He has been featured on National Geographic Television, Outside Television, and in the Banff International Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Greg has presented to audiences worldwide. He has been an ambassador for leading outdoor brands like Arc’teryx for over fifteen years and is widely recognized as one of North America’s leading adventurers. Greg’s biggest objectives lately are in his everyday quest to adventure in a more sustainable fashion. Fueled by fortitude, rather than recognition and fame, Greg, a father of two, challenges himself and us all to leave the planet in better shape.

3 words to describe Nature?

Resplendent. Calming. Endlessly challenging

3 things Nature taught you?

Patience

Confidence

Happiness

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Anywhere near water be it ocean, river, or lake, Mountain tops, and any sunset viewing spot.

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Insignificant and at peace

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Fresh and free

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

In awe

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Like everything makes sense

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Raw and real

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Alive

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Great memories of camping lakeside with the family, waking to water flooding the tent, and just loving the moments.


Taylor Keen

Taylor Keen is a full-time instructor in the Heider College of Business Administration in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Keen is also the Founder of Sacred Seed, a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to propagate tribal seed sovereignty, battle for tribal sacred geography, and seek cultural revitalization among tribal peoples. Currently, Keen is embarking on a journey with indigenous seeds of the upper Missouri River tribes to grow, harvest, and celebrate the cosmology of the 4 Sisters (corn, bean, squash, and sunflower). Additionally, from his book-in-progress, he incorporates teachings of the sacred masculine/feminine of tribal peoples including the cosmology of Mother Corn and the Earth Mother goddess. Keen holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College as well as a Master's of Business Administration and Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University, where he served as a Fellow in the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Taylor is the author of the book-in-progress entitled "Rediscovering America: Sacred Geography, the Ancient Earthen Works and an Indigenous History of Turtle Island”. Keen is Trustee Emeritus of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Board member Emeritus of the Humanities Nebraska, and Chairman Emeritus of the Blackbird Bend Corporation (The Omaha Nation of Nebraska and Iowa’s Economic Development Corporation). Listen to Taylor’s interview on the Meateater podcast with Steven Rinella below. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Love. Mother. Earth

3 things Nature taught you?

Plant Nation comes first in priority. 

Animal Nation comes second, for they depend on the Plant Nation. 

Third in priority are the Human Beings, for if we put ourselves above the other two Nations, we will but destroy ourselves.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Flathead Lake

The foothills of the Ozark Mountains 

Anywhere where granite meets the ocean

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...? 

That our planet is a water planet. People forget that.

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Loss, as there are not enough of them left.

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

That our planet is alive and that core is molten, and that there is an Underworld / Lowerworld.

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Rebirth and Death.

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Those are the sounds of the Upper Realm Thunderers, and their messengers, the Thunderbirds. 

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Spirits of those gone on are carried by the wind.

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

All of the above

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Realizing that all of nature is alive and knowing everything grows and dies, and feeds more life.


Aaron Olivera

Aaron Olivera is the Founder and CEO of Earth 300, a global environmental multidisciplinary initiative incorporating a 300 meter super science vessel for research, exploration, and innovation at sea. Equipped with 22 states of the art labs and frontier technologies such as AI, Robotics, and quantum capabilities, a team of 160 scientists from different fields, will work together on climate science, ecosystem restoration, and planetary stewardship. Marrying science, technology, adventure, exploration, and education, Earth 300’s mission is to ring the climate alarm on a global scale and inspire the greatest and largest climate action effort in history.

Aaron was instrumental in the launching of the world’s first Porsche Design megayacht Catamaran – the famed 41 meter RFF-135, helping secure the financing needed to develop it and launch it with a hospitality package that forms part of a timesharing program aimed at reducing the ecological footprint of the UHNW community.

Aaron lives in Singapore but spends half of his time traveling. He is a member of the invite-only Monaco Private Label presided by Prince Albert II of Monaco, and of The Explorers Club (NYC).

3 words to describe Nature?

Astonishing. Miraculous. Alien.

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility

Fragility

Abundance

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Beach

Ocean

Ancient Forest

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Wondrous

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Foolish

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Ashamed

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Loved

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Redeemed

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Scared

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Depends on the season

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Going to the beach early with my father and diving into large waves. Feeling fragile and strong at the same time, that sense of lack of control and yet able to bounce back. 


Nina Jensen

Nina Jensen is the CEO of REV Ocean and is a tireless champion for promoting environmentally responsible solutions for the world's ocean. She started this position in 2018 after 15 years of positive impact in WWF-Norway (as Secretary-General since 2012). Nina holds a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Fishery Science in Tromsø, and has a background in communications and marketing from Ogilvy & Mather. Nina is a board member of The Business for Peace Foundation, The Technology for Ocean (C4IR Ocean) Foundation, The Brain Tumour Association, Ocean Wise, Aker Offshore Wind, Aker CarbonCapture and Project Energy PER-A. She was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014. She is also on the Executive Board of Norway’s Polytechnic Society, and part of Friends of Ocean Action and an advisor to the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

3 words to describe Nature?

Life. Support. System

3 things Nature taught you?

What makes life worth living

Nature always finds a way

Human nature is the most destructive force of nature

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Lofoten islands

Sipadan Island

Madagascar

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Happy

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

At peace

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Alive

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Small

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean😊

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My favourite childhood activity was swimming and snorkelling in the kelp forest, exploring the amazing beauty and wonders of our ocean and always discovering something new. It was a very welcome escape from the hectic city life in Oslo, where I grew up.


GRAHAM HILL

20 years in the making, The Carbonauts is the culmination of Graham Hill’s environmental career. One of Fast Co.’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, Hill is sought after to speak about how to create a wealthier, greener, and happier planet. He has presented at many prestigious conferences including 2 main stage TED talks that have reached over 10M. Hill founded one of the earliest Internet consultancies in ‘95, the groundbreaking website TreeHugger.com in ‘04, and LifeEdited, a small living consultancy in ‘10. TreeHugger was the most trafficked green site for years, sold to Discovery Channel, and has served billions of Page Views.

3 words to describe Nature?

Foreign. Yet. Intimate.

3 things Nature taught you?

We are both tiny and huge.

If we can just shut up and listen, the answers are all around us.

If you were to pick any tiny part of nature, it's infinitely more elegant, sophisticated, and intelligent than anything humans have ever created.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The wall of a wave that I'm riding. 

The oranges, pinks, and blues of an incredible sunset that I'm experiencing. 

The moment of inter-species communication when I stare into the eyes of an animal.

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Held

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Young

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Awe

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Small

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel…?

Nervous

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Ocean and Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

8

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My parents built an outdoor paradise for the 6 of us. A pond, diving boards, raft, trapeze, sauna, trampoline, bikes, and much more. We spent an infinite number of hours outside. One fun memory is when we roped two huge tractor inner tubes together, got inside them, and were pushed down the hill into the pond.


Craig Bradbery

Craig Bradbery is the CEO of Baillie Lodges, Director of Luxury Lodges of Australia and Director of Tourism Tropical North Queensland. Baillie Lodges is an intimate portfolio of luxury lodges setting new benchmarks for premium experiential travel. Their property portfolio includes the Capella Lodge on the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, Vancouver Island’s celebrated luxury outpost Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge, Huka Lodge on the banks of Waikato River on New Zealand’s North Island, Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, and Tropical North Queensland’s luxury bolt-hole, Silky Oaks Lodge located next to the World Heritage-listed wilderness of the Daintree National Park. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Peaceful. Powerful. Rejuvenating

3 things Nature taught you?

As much I wish I could, nature has taught me that I can’t control everything

Always try to make the most of every opportunity

Even when things seem somewhat bleak, there’s usually a silver lining

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kangaroo Island: Our Southern Ocean Lodge property is located on this amazingly pristine island, just 20-minutes off the coast of Adelaide. The wildlife and landscapes showcase the best of Australia, whilst I can sit and look at the wildly intriguing Southern Ocean all day, it just never gets old.

Vancouver Island, Canada: Our newest lodge, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge, is located here, in the remote coastal Canadian wilderness, surrounded by old-growth coniferous forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife in a UNESCO biosphere reserve. I fell in love with Clayoquot during my first visit in late 2019, so this is the number one destination on my list to get back to when borders re-open.

Anywhere by the ocean, whatever side of the world it’s on, whether it be Gordons Bay in Sydney – a beautiful, rocky cove nested between Coogee and Clovelly beaches, or Estero Beach in Baja California, which I visited many years ago when it was rustic surfers haven.

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel…?

Relaxed (it grounds me to look at the ocean and hear its relentless sounds), inspired (it takes me away from the “noise” of daily life and helps me look ahead to bigger things), awe-struck (I’m very respectful of the great power that the ocean holds)

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel…?

Seeing a forest makes me yearn to be within the forest because I’m intrigued as to what I might discover

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel…?

Excited (and maybe a little scared)! The power and uncontrolled force is fascinating – I have very fond memories of the first volcano I got up close to, Mt Agung in Bali

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel…?

Calm and very alive, the start and end of the days are when I’m at my best

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel…? *

Alert! It tells me there’s something interesting going on outside and I want to pay attention.

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel…?

Invigorated - there’s nothing like a windstorm to awaken the senses.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

As an Australian living in Sydney (and a Pisces!), I am all about the Ocean. Having said that the desert is also a real source of inspiration for me, so I relish my visits to our lodge, Longitude 131, at Uluru in Australia’s spiritual heart

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9… but add great food & wine to the mix and it becomes an 11!

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Growing up in Sydney, my first memories of nature were usually on family holidays, such as fishing at Long Jetty on the NSW Central Coast, or snorkeling on the Coral Coast of Fiji. These early experiences were definitely the catalyst for developing my passion for travel… and I consider myself very lucky to work in the industry I am so passionate about.

 


Christoper Mason

Dr. Christopher E. Mason the co-founder of Onegevity Health, co-founder of Biotia, and is a geneticist and computational biologist who has been a Principal Investigator and Co-investigator of many NASA missions and projects. He is a Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with affiliate appointments at the Meyer Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School, and the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Mason is the author of The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Responsive. Engineered

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility

Adaptation

Mutation

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Fernando de Noronha 

Sanders Park 

Lake Hillier

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Open

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Enraptured

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Constructive 

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Ease

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Volition

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Excited

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Standing in a Panama rainforest away from all other people, and hearing the breath of the forest itself as I could feel and sense it moving and living.


Christine Duffy

Christine Duffy is president of Carnival Cruise Line, the flagship brand of Miami-based global cruise industry leader Carnival Corp., the world’s largest leisure travel company. As president, she captains a company that sails a fleet of 24 ships, annually hosts nearly six million guests, and employs more than 43,000 people who hail from 110 nations around the globe. Celebrating six years with Carnival Cruise Line, Christine joined the company in 2015 after a successful tenure as president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents the $120 billion global cruise industry. 

While at CLIA, she elevated the industry’s profile before consumers, regulators, industry stakeholders, and the media; led the adoption of the Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights to enhance the industry’s commitment to passenger safety, comfort, and care; managed the industry response to several high-profile crises; and consolidated a network of 15 cruise industry organizations into one global association.

Prior to CLIA, Christine spent 10 years at Maritz Travel Company, the world’s largest corporate meeting, events, and incentive travel company where she served six years as president and CEO.

Christine is the chair of the U.S. Travel Association. She is a member of the board of directors of Aimbridge Hospitality, the global leader in hotel management services, and Herschend Family Entertainment, the nation’s largest family-owned operator of themed attractions, including Dollywood and Branson’s Silver Dollar City. She sits on the Professional Advisory Board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of which Carnival Cruise Line is the official celebration partner.

Christine has been a strong supporter of women’s leadership in the travel industry, leading initiatives that delivered research and programs to help women advance their careers. She was recently named by Women Leading Travel & Hospitality as one of its top women in travel and hospitality. Christine is also a member of The Committee of 200, an organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders that supports, celebrates, and advances women's leadership. She was recognized by Moves magazine as a 2016 Power Women recipient for her work in serving as a role model for future generations of young women. She has also been honored by the Convention Industry Council and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. Christine was a member of the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference class of 2018, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious public liaison program for the Department of Defense.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Inspiring. Powerful

3 things Nature taught you?

Circle of Life through birth

Growth

Renewal

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Ocean

Beach

My garden

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

At peace

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Small and inclusive

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Intimidated by its' power.

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Inspired for a new day or at peace with the end of a day well-lived.

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Apprehensive for what follows...

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Apprehensive for the damage that can be done.

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

OCEAN

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

7

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Long days at the beach after the lifeguards and crowds have gone home.


Ellen Windemuth

Ellen Windemuth is the CEO of WaterBear, a free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Prior to WaterBear, Ellen was the owner and CEO of the production company Off the Fence, having founded the company in 1994. Ellen is a seasoned Executive Producer and Distributor and has produced over 500 hours to date herself. She executive produced My Octopus Teacher, which won this year’s BAFTA and Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. She is the Chair of the Jackson Hole Film Festival Board, Honorary President of the Sunnyside Doc 2019 festival in La Rochelle, France, and is active in conservation and land development. Ellen was presented with Wildscreen’s Christopher Parson’s Outstanding Achievement Awards 2018.

3 words to describe Nature?

Mother. Protector. Genius

3 things Nature taught you?

There is no waste. 

The more carefully you look inside even the smallest habitat, the more fascinating it becomes. 

Nature connects humans and animals with their common future.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

South African kelp forest

Okavango Delta

Norwegian fjord outside my house.

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Vast and open

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Protected and understood

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Awed and excited

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

In harmony with life on earth

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Happy for the rain to fall

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Wanting a blanket to sit under and listen and tell stories

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Ocean, Mountain, and Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I used to roam outdoors in the fields and the forest nearby, looking for animals in preferably very muddy places. One day I found a pond and discovered how much fun it was to forget the consequences and just jump in in my clothes and immerse. It is my first memory of feeling truly exhilarated from being outdoors


Ivan Salas Jefferson

Iván Salas Jefferson is the founder of Iddes Yachts a Naval architecture, superyacht design & project management company based in Palma de Mallorca. Iddes was shortlisted for the Concept Yacht Over 40 Meters Award in The International Yacht & Aviation Awards with their superyacht HOP in 2019 and their Class 55 won a Red Dot Award and the German Design Award in 2020. Ivan and his team are behind the groundbreaking Earth300 design, a 300m Molten Salt Reactor-powered exploration & scientific vessel.

3 words to describe Nature?

Revitalizing. Self-Ruling. Vulnerable

3 things Nature taught you?

To stop

To let go

To trust the unknown

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Andes

The Mediterranean Sea

Any spot with a good wave.

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Nomadic

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Oxygenated

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Powerless

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Untroubled

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Enchanted

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel…?

Restored

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

All of them

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Feeling the take-up and energy of a wave at my local beach in Palma de Mallorca

 


Dr. Sian Proctor

Dr. Sian Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist, and science communication specialist with a passion for space exploration. She was selected as the pilot on the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission Inspiration4, planned for late 2021.

She appeared on The Colony Season 2, which was aired on The Discovery Channel in 2010, in the 2016 PBS series Genius By Stephen Hawking on "Episode 2: Are We Alone?” and is currently featured on the science show Strange Evidence. On July 22, 2020, Dr Proctor was announced as one of the top-15 finalists of UAE Mars Shot contest. She was recently selected as one of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World.

She uses her AfronautSpace art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry. She’s an analog astronaut and has completed four analog missions including the all-female SENSORIA Mars 2020 mission at the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Habitat, the NASA funded 4-months Mars mission at HI-SEAS, a 2-weeks Mars mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), and a 2-weeks Moon mission in the LunAres Habitat. 

Dr. Proctor was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program and got down to the Yes/No phone call which came from Astronaut Sunita Williams. 

She has a TEDx talk called Eat Like a Martian and published the Meals for Mars Cookbook. Dr. Proctor is a continuing NASA Solar System Ambassador and serves on the Explore Mars Board of Directors, JustSpace Alliance Advisory Board, the Science in the Wild Advisory Board, the SEDS USA Advisory Board, and the National Science Teaching Association’s Aerospace Advisory Board. 

In 2019, she was the science communication outreach officer on the JOIDES Resolution Expedition 383 and spent 2-months at sea with researchers investigating the Dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. She also participated in the 2-week faculty development seminar Exploring Urban Sustainability in India. She was a 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea, a 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador (ACEAP), and a 2014 PolarTREC Teacher investigating climate change in Barrow, Alaska. She is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and serves as a member of the Arizona Wing Aerospace Education Officer.

3 words to describe Nature?

Transformative. Spiritual. Breathtaking

3 things Nature taught you?

Focus

Determination

Resiliency

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Standing by the ocean

Flying looking out the window

Standing on a mountain summit

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Happy

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Overwhelmed by life

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

In awe of the geologic time

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Content 

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Lifted 

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

All of them

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I loved fishing in a small pond in New Hampshire. I would fish for hours every day all summer long - catch and release.


Kelly Alvarez Doran

Kelly Alvarez Doran is an architect and climate activist. A native of Winnipeg - Kelly has learned and worked across the world over the past two decades and currently calls London, UK home. Professionally Kelly has worked with MASS Design Group (Kigali), SvN (Toronto), and WilliamsonWilliamson (Toronto), and Severson Monteyne (Winnipeg). His focus on climate-positive design architecture and the disproportionate impact the built environment has on climate change has shaped his design approach. He has led the design of award-winning projects - notably Munini District Hospital and Rwanda Ministry of Health’s Typical Hospital Plans; the headquarters for both One Acre Fund and Andela in Kenya; and the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, a recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and has previously held teaching positions at The Bartlett, Harvard University, and the University of Waterloo.

3 words to describe Nature?

Replenishing. Complex. Intrinsic

3 things Nature taught you?

We are all intrinsically connected - socially, biologically, and ecologically. 

Nature's nature is to constantly adapt - it will outlast humanity. 

We are a part of nature and thrive when working within the natural systems we emerged within.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Manitoba's Prairie grassland

An Algonquin Park campsite

An Essex estuary

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Connected to the power of nature.

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Closer to the endless cycles of growth and decay.

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Like an inconsequential collection of biological material.

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Connected to the cosmos.

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Nostalgic for a prairie thunderstorm

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Nostalgic for a prairie winter's night 

Are you an OCEAN, MOUNTAIN, FOREST, or DESERT person?

Prairie

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

8

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Endless hours spent traveling across the prairie to the small farming community where my grandparent's lived - looking out the car window at the long, flat, prairie horizon and the ocean of different colors across the fields, meadows, ditches, and forests along the way has created a deep appreciation for how much we've transformed the landscape to our own ends, and how we must now break out of the mindset of dominion and return to one deeply connected to the natural rhythms and cycles of the landscapes we inhabit.


Luca Parmitano

Luca Parmitano is an Italian astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps for the European Space Agency (ESA) with 366 days in space, more than any ESA astronaut in history. He is the youngest non-Russian astronaut to undertake a long-duration mission and first-ever Italian International Space Station commander. Luca was awarded a Silver Medal to the Aeronautical Valour by the President of the Italian Republic in 2007 and was recognized a ‘Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica’ by the President of the Italian Republic in 2013. On August 13, 2019, Parmitano became the first DJ in space when he played a set of electronic music from the ISS for a music festival audience in Ibiza.

3 words to describe Nature?

Life. Water. Energy

3 things Nature taught you?

Resilience

Humility

Compassion

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The rocky beaches in Sicily

The wooded area in my parent's land, up on mount Etna

The 'Stagno of San Teodoro'

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Alive

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Happy

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Home

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Pensive

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Energetic

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Like reading a book

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was a child, my father would dive in apnea to collect sea urchins, because my mother loved the rich, orange meat inside. I never cared too much for their taste, but as soon as I learned to hold my breath long enough to dive with my father, I would go with him... not to hunt, but to share that silent time and space with him, underwater, where this infinitely strange world would be ours only.


Loretta Whitesides

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a Founder Astronaut at Virgin Galactic, mother of two, wife to George T. Whitesides, and author of The New Right Stuff: Using Space to Bring out the Best in You. Loretta studied astrobiology at Stanford and Caltech, did research on plant life in the Canadian Arctic with NASA, dove to the bottom of the ocean with Titanic Director James Cameron, and has floated weightless hundreds of times as a Flight Director for Zero Gravity Corporation. She and her husband are the Co-Creators of Yuri's Night, the annual Worldwide Space Party celebrating the dual Russian and U.S. space anniversaries on April 12. She currently teaches leadership and personal development for the space community through her SpaceKind Training Program which evolved from the New Right Stuff training program she led at Virgin Galactic for five years. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Elegant. Closed-loop. Soul-filling

3 things Nature taught you?

Trees are incredibly generous

You don't need to "waste" anything

We need natural systems to thrive

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Redwood forests

On a rock next to a mountain stream

On a mountain looking down on a fog bank

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Fragile, insignificant, held (I believe the ocean holds are memories)

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Calm, grounded, loved

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Primal, powerful, grateful

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Blessed, full-hearted, quiet

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...? *

Excited, powerful, expansive

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel…?

Connected to my friend Andrew Hopping who loves the wind, hunkered down, humbled

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountains and forests

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was about 14, our girl's group at my summer camp was challenged to do a 24 solo- as though we were lost during a hike- just shorts and a t-shirt in Northern California. It was pretty demanding, alone, cold, hungry, but I survived and was SO PROUD of myself! I always push others to let kids do things that are hard and scary so they can have that experience that they can do more than they think.


Veronica Speck

Veronica Speck began her career in New York City at publishing houses including Condé Nast and Hearst. In 2010, while in the Special Events Department of Vogue, she assisted in the planning of the “American Woman” Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Leveraging her experience in the art world, Veronica joined Bernardaud as the global Director of Public Relations, promoting artist collaborations and limited-edition objets d’art with Jeff Koons, Vik Muniz, JR, Marina Abramovic, Julian Schnabel, David Lynch, The Campana Brothers, Sarah Lavoine, and the Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, and Marc Chagall Foundations. She also formed strategic partnerships with MoMA, MoCA, Sotheby’s, and Gagosian, and hosted press events during Art Basel, Bocuse D’Or, Design Miami/, Frieze, Maison et Objet, and partnered with Architectural Digest to design the 2015 Academy Awards Greenroom with Commune Design.

In 2018, Veronica oversaw the opening of The Future Perfect’s galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and managed all exhibition openings, art fair participation, press, marketing, and events during Art Basel, Frieze, Salon Art + Design Fair, NYCxDesign, Design Miami/, and New York Fashion Week. She also hosted affinity partnership events with The New York Time’s T Magazine to celebrate their annual “Greats” Issue, Fendi’s ‘Made to Order’ program, as well as with Ruinart, Hermès Art de la Table, Puiforcat, Le Labo, Aesop, Vogue 100, and many more.

In 2019, She joined Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud as the global Head of Brand Marketing and Public Relations and helped raise over 1 million dollars for City Meals on Wheels during the annual Sunday Supper Gala at Restaurant Daniel. Le Pavillon restaurant at One Vanderbilt in New York City, designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfield, is the latest venture set to open in 2021.

In 2020, VHS Ventures was established in New York and California with international operations in Asia, Europe, and South America. Current clients range from Ferrari and Fine Art to Fragrance and Fine Jewelry. VHS is a Founding Partner of luxury fragrance brand Maison d’ Etto.

3 words to describe Nature?

Calming. Intriguing. Vast.

3 things Nature taught you?

Appreciation

Gratitude

 Hope

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla, CA, which is dedicated to preserving its namesake, the Torrey Pine (Pinus Torreyana) tree, and other indigenous wildlife in its native environment. The tree only grows there and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Santa Barbara. The hike to the top affords views of the Pacific Ocean and the cliffs of Blacks Beach, which are reminiscent of the Algarve in Portugal. It is also next to Torrey Pines Golf Course, one of the most beautiful golf courses (in my opinion). Big Sur, Muir Redwoods, Lake Tahoe, and Palm Springs desert in California are also special. 

The Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The last time I was there, it was turtle nesting season, and watching hundreds of baby turtles make their way to the sea from the sand was magical. 

The Mighty 5 National Parks in Utah—Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. Hiking amongst the red Hoodoo rocks is reminiscent of Mars (not that I have been…yet!) Afterward, rent a boat and explore Lake Powell and enjoy a restorative stat at Amangiri in the desert.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful and nostalgic. I grew in San Diego, California so the ocean will always hold a special place in my heart. Swimming, surfing, scuba diving, sailing, parasailing, kitesurfing, snorkeling or simply watching the sun rise or set. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Curious. I love to explore and look through the trees for wildlife or up towards the sky for birds. I spent hours in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Adventurous and energized. I hiked Volcanoes National Park in Hawai'i after it erupted a few years ago, and was truly in awe of the natural landscapes and black sand beaches made of basalt and formed from hot lava clashing with the ocean water. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Renewed, restored, romantic. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited. I love thunderstorms, especially tropical ones. I took it for granted growing up, but San Diego has nearly perfect weather year-round so I naturally crave the opposite and love the excitement of storms. I was in New York during Hurricane Irene and Sandy and still remember the sound of the thunder, rain, and wind. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Attentive, Perceptive, Thoughtful. Ideally, I am curled up inside next to a cozy fire, and listening to the sounds outside. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My father has dedicated the majority of his life to caring for animals and the environment. I grew up next to horse and polo ranches, orange and avocado groves, and vineyards, and with exotic pets my father rescued. Boa Constrictors, Tarantulas, Macaw Parrots, African Grey Parrots, African Spur Tortoise, Chinchillas, and even a saltwater aquarium with small sharks, an octopus, living coral, and exotic fish. I celebrated many birthdays as a child at Sleepovers at the San Diego Zoo where guests could spend the night at a campsite and view the nocturnal animals on a guided tour. 

My grandparents are European and when they moved to Los Angeles, they became members of a historic health and wellness retreat from the 1800s called Warner Springs Ranch because the therapeutic natural hot springs and rural beauty reminded them of Bohemia and Moravia. My favorite childhood memories include weekends and holidays spent with family riding horses, golfing, playing tennis, swimming, and exploring the grounds.

 


Jean-Francois Lepine

Jean-François Lépine is an eminent journalist who is now Director of Québec Government offices in China. Before moving to Shanghai, he was an international analyst, speaker, and associate in communication and government affairs at Avistra International Inc.

Until November 2015, he was also chair of the Middle Eastern and North African Observatory (Observatoire sur le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord/OMAN) at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a member of Montréal International’s Board of Directors. He was a foreign correspondent for CBC/Radio-Canada in Beijing, Paris, and Jerusalem from 1982 to 1990 and is recognized as an exceptional analyst and communicator.

From 1990 to 2013, he hosted several popular public affairs television programs on CBC/Radio-Canada, including Enjeux, Le Point, Zone libre, and the international magazine Une Heure Sur Terre, which also aired on TV5 Monde.

His work both as a reporter and TV show host has been recognized by numerous awards. In June 2012, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada. That same year, he also received the Raymond Charette Prize awarded by the Québec Superior Council of the French Language.

3 words to describe Nature?

Wealth. Fragile. Happiness

3 things Nature taught you?

Resilience 

Fight to survive 

Enjoy life

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Quebec's Laurentian forest 

The Atlantic Ocean in Maine USA 

The Amazon

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

The power of nature

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Protection, safety, life

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Life can be dangerous

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

The earth is so vulnerable and small

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Nature is not always peaceful

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Natural life is also sound

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Fishing in a wild lake with my father, brothers, and sisters.

 


Scott Parazynski

Dr. Scott Parazynski is a highly decorated physician, astronaut, and tech CEO recently inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. He is a widely sought-after keynote speaker on innovation, risk management, mentorship, and leadership under extreme adversity.

In 1992 he was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions and conducted 7 spacewalks. Mission highlights include a global ozone mapping flight; leading the first joint US-Russian spacewalk while docked to the Russian space station Mir; serving as Senator John Glenn’s crewmate and “personal physician”; and assembly of the Canadian-built space station robotic arm.

In October 2007, Scott led the spacewalking team on STS-120, during which he performed 4 EVAs. The final EVA is regarded by many as one of the most challenging and dangerous ever performed. The tremendous coordinated effort in orbit and on the ground by Mission Control has been likened to the Space Shuttle and Space Station era’s “Apollo 13 moment.”

On May 20, 2009, he became the first astronaut to stand on top of the world, the summit of Mount Everest. As a life-long explorer, he and a colleague recently set the first bootprints adjacent to the world’s youngest lava lake, inside the crater of Massaya Volcano in Nicaragua.

He is the Founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, focused on the development of revolutionary input devices powered by machine learning to intuitively move through physical and virtual space, and the author of Memoir: The Sky Below.

3 words to describe Nature?

Wonder. Fragility. Enormity

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility - the forces of nature far exceed our control and scale, and warrants our fullest respect

Appreciation - life is an unexplained gift that shouldn't ever be taken for granted

Preparation - going into the true wilds requires forethought, rigorous training, and teamwork

3 most treasured Nature spots?

One atmosphere down with a scuba tank on, face to face with a coral reef and all its residents

Outside on a spacewalk, flying through the Aurora Australis, eyes wide open

On the summit of Mount Everest at sunrise, seeing the world drop off in all directions around me, with a sunrise to beat all sunrises...

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At peace - the calming views of our oceans from space, often with beautiful cloud cover and sunglint, helped me prepare to go to bed when I was up in space.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Connected to our living, breathing planet...

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awed and frightened - reminding me of our first descent adjacent to the lava lake of Masaya volcano in Nicaragua a few years ago.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful, and reminiscent of my views of orbital sunrises and sunsets up in space...

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Sorrow - I'm reminded of our late, great dog Mare, who would always jump on the bed in the midst of thunderstorms. Weighing in at 100 pounds, his unexpected visits were more alarming than the lightning storms outside!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Small relative to the power of nature, like when I camped just below the jet stream, screaming across the summit of Everest

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All of the above.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

The first time I dropped beneath the sea surface with tanks on my back - at age 11 - was an epiphany, being able to gracefully explore in three dimensions a world that I'd only seen in Jacques Cousteau's films. The overwhelming beauty of that dive and the unknown, possibly lurking danger still brings back wonderful memories to this day.


Ron Garan

Former NASA astronaut and highly decorated combat fighter Ron Garan racked up 178 days in space and more than 71 million miles in 2,842 orbits between between tours on the International Space Station, flying on both the US Space Shuttle and a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. During his time in space Ron conducted four spacewalks in support of ISS construction and maintenance. Prior to those space journeys, he lived and conducted research on the bottom of the ocean in the world’s only undersea research lab, Aquarius. Before reaching the summit of his career, Ron, a former test pilot and graduate of the US Naval Test Pilot School, taught hundreds of elite pilots how to fly at the prestigious USAF Fighter Weapons School, the Air Force version of Top Gun. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Orbital Perspective and the upcoming books, Floating in Darkness – A Journey of Evolution and Railroad to the Moon. Today, Ron is celebrated for his research in space and for his humanitarian contribution to life on Earth. 

3 words to describe Nature? 

Implicit. Natural. Wholeness

3 things Nature taught you? 

To be still

To be quiet

To be grateful

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Boulder Flatirons

Zion National Park 

Rain forests of Costa Rica

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Interdependent

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

One with the biosphere

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

The certainty that I am part of a much bigger picture.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

As if I am watching life's expression that it's grateful to be alive

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Connected to the primordial

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Energized 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

I am a person who strives to keep the focus on the continuum that links all those ecosystems and more

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10.5

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

I have fond memories of trading a day-to-day life in the city to camping with the Boy Scouts in the NY Adirondacks.


Alexandra Horowitz

Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know; Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell; and Our Dogs, Ourselves. She is a dog-cognition researcher and teaches at Barnard College, where she runs the Dog Cognition Lab. She has written about topics as varied as attention, imitation, fairness, guilt, captivity, patents, play, and footnotes; from animal representation in children’s books to things people say to their dogs; from anthropomorphisms of animals to dogs in movies. She has been described as “a New World reverse of the Oulipo eminence Georges Perec,” a “skilled investigative reporter,” and a “reasonably sane adult human.” She lives with her family and two large, highly sniffy dogs, one cat, and one puppy in New York City.

3 words to describe Nature?

Integral. Formidable. Omnipresent

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect the unknown

There is wisdom in tree growth and bird activity and mosses. 

Nature is everywhere.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Among giant redwoods 

On a walking path in the Japanese Alps 

In our local forest surrounded by my family

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Awed. I'm humbled by the ocean, which does not care about me. I treat it carefully. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Delighted that there is such a community without people. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

I've never seen a volcano 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Pleased to have color vision.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Moved to go indoors. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like smelling into the breeze. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Remembering camping with my dog among quaking Aspen in the high country of Utah, my senses are all awakened: between the perfect clarity of the air, the smell of drying grasses and sage, and the sound of Aspen leaves gently tinkling against each other.


IN-Q

IN-Q is a National Poetry Slam champion, award-winning poet, and multi-platinum songwriter. His groundbreaking achievements include being named to Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 list of the world’s most influential thought leaders, being the first spoken word artist to perform with Cirque Du Soleil, and being featured on A&E, ESPN, and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. He’s inspired audiences around the world through his live performances and storytelling workshops. Many of his recent poetry videos have gone viral with over 70 million views combined.

As a songwriter, IN-Q’s hit single “Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez went multi-platinum, winning him a BMI award. He has written with renowned artists including Aloe Blacc, Miley Cyrus, Mike Posner, and Foster the People. His songs have accumulated over one billion views on YouTube alone.

Leading organizations including Nike, Instagram, Spotify, Google, Lululemon, Live Nation, Shazam, The Grammy Foundation, and many more have brought IN-Q in to motivate their teams through his keynote speeches and acclaimed storytelling workshop, a transformational bonding experience for companies who want to share their story more authentically.

Ultimately IN-Q writes to entertain, inspire, and challenge his audiences to look deeper into the human experience and ask questions about themselves, their environment, and the world at large.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Wild. Alive.

3 things Nature taught you?

Presence

Presence

Presence

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Eden in Utah. I have spent so much time over there. It is such an integral part of my life.

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii. That road for me is filled with life. It is so beautiful, vibrant and alive. It feels like a neon sign for nature. 

Kenya. I was recently on a safari there and I have never experienced anything like this. It is a particular nature, that is raw and truly powerful. I really felt small but also part of it.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Gratitude

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Power. Not that I feel powerful, but that I am amazed by it. The physical sensation of experiencing the hugeness of the sound all around you is breathtaking. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Brings me back to a childhood memory.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest the best, though honestly, it is the jungle that calls me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

11

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Well, I don’t remember much for my childhood, unfortunately. But there is indeed one memory that comes to mind. My mom and I went camping. She is really not your outdoorsy type. Anyhow, we ended up in the forest of California, somewhere up north. I was 7 I think. We set up camp and during the night, there was this insane storm, pouring rain like crazy. There were lightings and thunder. Bang and Boum! We stayed up all night. My mom was so scared that she made me sleep with my sneakers on because she thought that the rubber would protect me, not conducting the electricity in case lightning would hit us. I felt so small and so vulnerable.


Joanne Liu

Dr. Joanne Liu has served as International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 2013 to 2019. At the helm of MSF, she was a leading voice on medical humanitarian crises, namely in the Ebola outbreak of West Africa, attacks on hospitals, and forced displacement crisis, and has engaged with world leaders at the highest levels.

Dr. Liu’s role builds on a career of fieldwork with MSF, including over 20 medical-humanitarian field assignments. Dr. Liu trained at McGill University School of Medicine in Montreal. She holds a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and an International Masters in Health Leadership, also from McGill University. 

Dr. Liu’s operational work has ranged from introducing comprehensive care for survivors of sexual violence to developing a telemedicine platform for connecting doctors in rural areas with specialists worldwide. 

Dr. Liu remains a practicing doctor, both in the field with MSF and also through hospital shifts in her home town of Montreal. She believes strongly in bringing and delivering high-quality, patient-centered care in all medical work contexts.

3 words to describe Nature?

Wholeness. Strength. Wisdom

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility 

Endurance 

Reverence 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Desert of Yémen

Rice fields in Sri Lanka

Manado diving spots

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Overwhelmed

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Like whispering

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Mesmerized 

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Calm and centered

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...?

Awake

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel...?

Foreboding

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Sky

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was a kid, I would go camping and I remember how much I liked to fall asleep while listening to the sound of the river.

 


Andrea Burgess

Andrea Akall'eq Burgess is Global Director of Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at The Nature Conservancy. She is also the founder and owner of With Real People LLC, an Indigenous consulting firm dedicated to advancing truth and excellence through creative and strategic advocacy, policy guidance, and facilitation. In addition, Andrea serves as co-founder and president of Native Peoples Action and as a board of trustees for the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA). 

Prior to coming to TNC, Andrea was Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center within First Alaskans Institute, a role which allowed her to develop and cultivate relations and community connections all across the state of Alaska, and with Indigenous communities nationally and internationally. She also previously worked for US Senator Mark Begich, supporting him on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and as the telecommunications lead for the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Originally from Bethel Alaska, Andrea currently resides in Oahu Hawaii. Her cultural background is Yup’ik (Inuit) on her mother’s side and Belgian/Norwegian on her father’s side. Andrea is a Tribal Citizen of the Native Village of Kwinhagak.

3 words to describe Nature?

Pure 

Rugged 

Bliss 

3 things Nature taught you?

You are never alone in Nature, our Ancestors are always with you there.

Nature has cycles, patterns, and rhythms that go beyond our human comprehension. 

To come into balance, is to be on the land and water.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The traditional homelands of the Yupik people along the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska. 

Imuruk Basin 

Mākaha Valley and Coast

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Timeless

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Spiritually connected

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Bloodline

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Gratitude always

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Curious

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like home 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

As a child, summertime in Alaska was filled with boat rides, camping trips, and fishing. I remember one summer my dad took me and two of my closest friends on a camping trip along the Kuskokwim River. We enjoyed our separate tents and resulting sleeping schedules, which for us girls meant midnight walks and adventures along the river sandbars as daylight never ceased. We saw porcupine, beavers and all kinds of birds. They were our company and entertainment and wonder. 


Peter Simons

Peter Simons is the President and Chief Executive Officer of La Maison Simons. Established in 1840, La Maison Simons, commonly known as Simons, is a family-owned fashion retailer in Canada and is known for its outstanding corporate citizenship. Simons, and his brother Richard, took over the business in 1996, becoming the fifth generation of the Simons family to run the company.

Upon a visit to Paris, he discovered one of the seven existing Fontaine de Tourny pieces in an antique shop. The fountain was once located in the Allées de Tourny in Bordeaux. Simons had the fountain restored on Île d’Orléans and donated it to Quebec City as a gift for its 400th anniversary. It was installed in front of the National Assembly of Quebec in July 2007.

Peter Simons was recognized as a Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2008, was awarded the Order of Canada in 2018, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University in 2019.


3 words to describe Nature?

Powerful. Wondrous. Inspiring

3 things Nature taught you?

Gratefulness

Resilience

Mindfulness

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Lake Lacon

Rivière aux Feuilles, Ungava Bay  

My little vegetable garden

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

The power of nature

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

The harmony of life

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

The mystery of existence

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Hopeful or melancholic

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Like a child again.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Adventurous

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Flyfishing with my grandfather in Northern Quebec