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Meet the Team

Staff

Amber Pairis
Amber Pairis

Executive Director

Jeanette Starpine
Jeanette Starpine

Director of Education and Engagement

Joel Arellano
Joel Arellano

Indigenous Land Stewardship Specialist

Patricia Fernandez
Patricia Fernandez

Science Program Manager

Kat Schroeder Mora
Kat Schroeder Mora

Visual Communications Designer

Althea Walker
Althea Walker

Director of Community Resilience

Connor Magee
Connor Magee

Director of Sciences

Kara Conner
Kara Conner

Science Program Manager

Will Madrigal, Jr.
Will Madrigal, Jr.

Tribal Capacities and Partnerships

Tenaya Wood-Luna
Tenaya Wood-Luna

Indigenous Climate Stewardship Lead, DRI

Diane Terry
Diane Terry

Director of Communications

Paula Ezcurra
Paula Ezcurra

Operations Manager

Marlene' Dusek
Marlene' Dusek

Indigenous Stewardship Coordinator

Shannon Magee
Shannon Magee

Indigenous Land Rematriation Specialist

Fellows + Interns

Meliza Le Alvarado
Meliza Le Alvarado

California Sea Grant Fellow

Nizhoni Tallas
Nizhoni Tallas

Indigenous Stewardship Fellow

Evan Foskett
Evan Foskett

Climate Education Student Intern

Levi Hill
Levi Hill

Climate Media Fellow

Previous Fellows + Interns

Emily Gelbart

Emily Gelbart joined the team in 2023 as a NASA intern between the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Climate Science Alliance (Alliance). During her spring season with the Alliance, Emily worked closely with the Alliance team on compiling regional climate impacts for the Nevada region as part of southwestern resilience partnerships including the Great Basin Tribal Alliance, and on climate science education efforts as part of the Climate Kids Hub and Traveling Trunk programs. Read Emily's internship reflections here.

Jada McCovey

Aiy-ue-kwee (Hello), my name is Jada McCovey, I am a Hoopa Tribal Member with Yurok and Karuk affiliation from Northern California. I am a student at the University of California, Davis attaining a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies and Environmental Policy and Planning in hopes to pursue a career in environmental management in Indigenous communities to better support and empower traditional knowledge systems and build resiliency against environmental challenges that threaten cultural vitality. Last year I worked with the Yurok tribe’s environmental department back home to better learn and meet my own communities needs. This summer I am interning with the Climate Science Alliance to build greater knowledge of intertribal environmental work that strengthens communal resilience to the impacts of climate change, while promoting Indigenous ecological knowledge and stewardship. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity and for my hosts at Climate Science Alliance in La Jolla, San Diego CA.


Ko-weesh-cho’ (thank you)

Karla Nailea Monroy

Karla Nailea Monroy (she/her) joined the team in 2023 as a NASA intern between the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Climate Science Alliance (Alliance). During her spring season with the Alliance, Karla worked closely with the Alliance team on climate science education efforts as part of the Climate Kids Hub and Traveling Trunk programs, and in broadening outreach efforts underway as part of the Baja Working Group and bi-national partnerships. Read Karla's internship reflections here.

Advisors

Nikki Cooley
Nikki Cooley

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

Megan Jennings
Megan Jennings

San Diego State University

Tamara Wall
Tamara Wall

Desert Research Institute

Laura Engeman
Laura Engeman

California Sea Grant

Julie Kalansky
Julie Kalansky

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Shasta Gaughen
Shasta Gaughen

Pala Band of Mission Indians

Melodie Lopez
Melodie Lopez

Indigenous Strategies LLC

Technical Advisors

Ron W. Goode
Ron W. Goode

Cultural Burning Advisor

Wesley Ruise, Jr.
Wesley Ruise, Jr.

Stewardship Pathways: Fire Advisor

Ana Gloria (Martha) Rodriguez
Ana Gloria (Martha) Rodriguez

Binational Working Group Advisor

Stan Rodriguez
Stan Rodriguez

Stewardship Pathways: Coastal Advisor

Previous Advisors

Anna Lucia López-Avedoy

As a Climate Kids - Mexico Project Advisor, Anna Lucia works to expand the Climate Science Alliance efforts bi-nationally. Since 2016, Anna Lucia has been working with the Climate Science Alliance to educate students from Casa Eunime (students with AIDS), Red Binacional de Corazones (students rescued from human trafficking), Guías de Mexico (Girl Scouts), students from the Kumeyaay community of San Antonio Necua, and more. Anna Lucia leads hands-on field trips to the beaches and natural ecosystems of Baja for students to learn about climate impacts on local ecosystems and most importantly - what they can do to help protect the earth. 


Anna nació en Sinaloa, y migró con su familia a Baja California en 1989. Estudió turismo y derecho en la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC). Después de graduarse litigó brevemente, y decidió dejarlo cuando se percató que había otras formas directas y más ágiles para ayudar y servir a la comunidad. En un inicio se desempeñó como salvavidas voluntaria y luego profesionalmente en la Dirección de Bomberos Tijuana, y después renunció para dedicarse de lleno a actividades que incluyen la cultura de playa (desde prevención de ahogamientos, plásticos y vida marina, limpieza de playas), divulgación y educación ambiental (talleres de cambio climático, química atmosférica), senderismo (guía de naturaleza, talleres de interpretación de flora). De 2012 a 2019 impartió materias de ecología y sustentabilidad en la Facultad de Turismo y Mercadotecnia en la UABC. Con su trabajo dentro y fuera de la academia ha procurado enfocarse en la población vulnerable, como niños y jóvenes, personas en situación de riesgo, así como acercarse y acercar a otros a conocer y valorar a nuestras comunidades nativas de Baja California. Docente, activista ambiental, voluntaria, gestora y divulgadora. Vive en Playas de Tijuana.

Richard Bugbee

The Elders' Indigenous Climate Fellowship is a unique opportunity for a Tribal Elder to collaborate with, advise, and support the Climate Science Alliance team to elevate and incorporate the critical voice, perspective, and deep knowledge held by our Tribal elders. Richard Bugbee served in this inaugural role 2020-2021 and worked closely with the Climate Science Alliance team to create, initiate, and advance projects and programming that supports and promotes Tribal resilience in southern California. Specifically, Mr. Bugbee played an important role in providing guidance and direction to the Climate Science Alliance Tribal Working Group and supporting the formation and launch of the Resilient Restoration Vision group. He also provided guidance and recommendations on Tribal Resilience Projects including input on creating plant lists, discussing potential Stewardship Pathways plant propagation training, seed gathering and storage, and traditional plant uses.


In loving memory of our dear friend and Elder.

February 6, 1948 - October 15, 2023



Richard Bugbee is a Payoomkawichum (Juaneño/Luiseño) Indian from northern San Diego County. Richard has ties with the Kumeyaay, Mununjali Yogumbeh, and Te Ahwina. Richard grew up near the Kumeyaay village site of Kosa’aay, now known as Old Town San Diego CA. Richard is an Instructor of Kumeyaay Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology at Cuyamaca College through Kumeyaay Community College. Richard sits on the board of Indigenous Regeneration (Mata’Yuum). Richard was the Curator of the Kumeyaay Culture Exhibit at the Southern Indian Health Council, the Associate Director/Curator of the San Diego American Indian Culture Center & Museum, and the Indigenous Education Specialist for the San Diego Museum of Man. Richard is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS). Richard was a member of the Native American Council for California State Parks (1991-1995), California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA), the Land ConVersation, and the Elders’ Circle for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2006-2008). Richard has been learning traditional plant uses of southern California and the Kumeyaay language from Jane Dumas, a Kumeyaay Elder from Jamul Indian Village from 1980 to 2014. Richard was the ethnobotanist for the Traditional Indian Health Program through Riverside-San Bernardino Indian Health providing information on the interactions between traditional plant and pharmaceutical medicines. Richard teaches indigenous material cultures and traditional plant uses of southern California at many museums, botanical gardens, and reservations, and is an instructor for summer cultural programs for several Kumeyaay tribes. His goal is to use knowledge to serve as a bridge that connects the wisdom of the Elders with today’s youth. 

Hunwut Nganga Pe'naxanish 

'Iipaa Womii Namuul'shu'ii

Martha Aidé Escalante Garcia

Profesora Aidé Escalante is a Technical Advisor for Climate Kids - Mexico. Aide has been working with the Climate Science Alliance since 2015 and has developed a unique approach to training high school students to deliver the Climate Kids program in elementary and middle school classes in Tijuana. 


Martha Aidé Escalante García, es una educadora ambiental desde 2010, profesora de Ecología y Ciencia y Tecnología Sociedad y Valores en CBTIS, coordinadora de programa de Escuela Verde del CBTis 155, certificada como escuela líder ambiental desde 2014 por la Semarnat. Colabora con la Dirección de Protección al Ambiente de Tijuana en el diseño y puesta en acción de talleres multiplicadores de educación ambiental en escuelas primarias, secundarias desde 2012. Ha participado como coordinadora en talleres de educación ambiental en Ferias del Medio Ambiente. Participo en Congreso Nacional de Calidad Académica en el 2015 por llevar a cabo práctica de aprendizaje exitosa en educación ambiental. Obtuvo premio estatal por el Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación SNTE por promover una Educación para la Sustentabilidad. También coordina jóvenes estudiantes en proyectos de PFEA de limpieza de playa y participado en campañas nacionales de limpieza. Colaboro en evento binacional de limpieza de playa y Arte Aéreo de Ocean Kids Day organizado por I Love a Clean San Diego en 2015. También puso en marcha un proyecto piloto multiplicador de educación con enfoque de cambio climático, Climate Kids México, diseñando talleres de arte, ciencia y cuenta cuentos para niños de primaria, desarrollando las capacidades de educación para el cambio climático en jóvenes de bachillerato. Actualmente trabaja en CBTis 146 de Playas de Tijuana, colabora con la DPA, PFEA y lleva a cabo el proyecto Climate Kids México en Baja California.

Staff
Advisors
Technical Advisors
Fellows + Interns
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