While the Climate Science Alliance is composed of a large, diverse network of stakeholders and community members - there is a core team working hard behind the scenes to connect the climate dots. We invite you to get to know our team and what drives them in this fun new series.
Team Member: Ana Lutz-Johnson
Position: Collaboration and Engagement Coordinator
Describe What You Do With the Climate Science Alliance:
As the Collaboration and Engagement Coordinator, I have the pleasure of working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to advance projects focused on climate change science and solutions. My duties span from social media and project management, to stakeholder engagement and event planning! It’s my goal to amplify community stakeholders’ voices while promoting equity and inclusion. Diverse perspectives lead to innovative ideas and solutions -- something that is desperately needed in the face of a changing climate.
My adventure buddy/husband Max and I share a great love of the outdoors. He has an affinity for the beach and ocean, while I gravitate towards the mountains and forest!
Why do you do this work?
The environmental arena has always been magnetic to me. In times past, I have explored other professional avenues, but was always pulled back into a community that highlights science and the human experience. It’s a dynamic arena that gives me the ability to share the knowledge and skills I have gained, all through the lens of empowerment and personal action. Being the Collaboration and Engagement Coordinator at the Climate Science Alliance gives me the opportunity to connect with incredible individuals and organizations while promoting safe spaces for learning, asking tough questions, and exploring complex feelings.
Though the journey to resiliency and adaptation is an uphill battle, it is one not walked alone. I am thankful for the community I serve, and strive to contribute to a legacy that protects and empowers both people and the planet. This work is a personal calling, and I’m here to answer.
Of the 10 Things You Can Do to Protect the Earth - Which one do you commit to doing and why?
While I incorporate many things into my life to protect the Earth, I intentionally commit to recycling items that I use in and outside of the home. With other commitments, I’ve found it easier to ‘practice what I preach!’ Recycling, however, can be a challenge. I’ve researched items that can and cannot be recycled, how items need to be properly cleaned before putting them in the bin, and proper recycling bin sorting (glass, paper, plastic). I work hard to first refuse single use items when possible, and otherwise recycle to the best of my ability!
What gives you Climate Hope?
Darkness can never overcome light as long as there is still a flicker. In the moments I’m overwhelmed by the work ahead, I take note and appreciate all of the lights around me. In re-establishing my connection to the land, I better understand the patterns and rhythms of life, and further respect the intimate relationship between people and the planet. I am hopeful when my community shares their diverse perspectives and ideas, which help illuminate the path forward to community resiliency and adaptation. We are better together in struggles, in success, and in each step forward.
Sharing my love of nature through acorn observations with young outdoorswomen!
What is Your Life Motto or Favorite Quote?
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ― Audre Lorde. For many years, I let fear bar me from experiences and opportunities. Because of the mentorship and encouragement I’ve received throughout my life, I now know that even in fear, I can move forward. Fear does not have to be a barrier, but parallel on the path to progress.
What is the last thing you read, watched, or listened to that inspired you?
Recently, I have been watching the Netflix documentary series entitled Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, in which chef and author Samin Norsat travels the world to explore the four basic keys to wonderful cooking. In each episode, Norsat interacts with the local community, learning about their relationship with the land, the history of cultivation, and knowledge that is passed down through generations. Though the concept is simple, adding salt, fat, acid, and heat to make a delicious dish, it speaks to a growing movement to reconnect with cultivation and cooking practices that are seldom used by younger generations. Empowering people, including myself, with the knowledge and history of ingredients reconnects me to the land, its cycles, and its rhythms. Ultimately, it encourages me to have a sense of wonder, delight, and excitement surrounding food from an ecological and cultural perspective!
Freshly baked bread is supposed to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing, though I’m rarely patient enough to make it the whole 30 minutes!
What do you like to do for fun?
Most of my ‘fun’ activities are outdoor related, but recently, baking bread has become my obsession! Anything from no-knead white breads, sourdough, focaccia, and the occasional batch of brioche cinnamon rolls can be found coming out of my oven nearly every weekend. It helps me engage in a tactile experience that calms any nervousness, uncertainty, or anticipation I may be feeling. In baking bread, and cooking overall, I’ve learned to trust my intuition and past experiences to guide me to a beautiful and delicious destination. Trusting myself in the kitchen encourages me to trust myself in other aspects of my life, knowing that the destination will be beautiful in time as well. Plus, carbs are always a good idea.
Tell us one thing on your bucket list.
The world seems to quickly enter into new eras of culture and technology, turning into a seemingly foreign landscape. However, I believe experiencing natural phenomena allows people to transcend time and space! It connects us to the past, and possibly gives a view of a world gone, even just for a moment. That being said, I would love to see the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) in my lifetime. From both a cultural and physics standpoint, it endlessly intrigues me and invokes a true sense of wonder, appreciation, and interconnectedness!
I have great respect (aka fear) for murky bodies of water and always yelp when something touches my leg unexpectedly!
To learn more about the Climate Science Alliance and the work we do, please visit us at: www.climatesciencealliance.org
In my spare time, I love hiking with a partner (usually my dog Lexy)! I relish the relaxing moments when pausing at a viewpoint or when I stop to ‘smell the roses’ (aka Black Sage) along the trail.