Meet the Team
Audrey Carver grew up in Idyllwild, California and has worked in Scientific Communication and visual arts in Costa Rica, Boston and Ecuador. She now is very happily back in San Diego as the Intergenerational Education and Outreach Lead at the Climate Science Alliance. Recently graduated from Tufts University, she created her own interdisciplinary major, mixing art, anthropology, and environmental studies. Her research focuses on senses of place, and she is passionate about using art to help people connect to their environment. She is an avid surfer, hiker, and lover of fish tacos.
Audrey has been a part of the Climate Science Alliance since 2016, when she first joined as an Artist in Residence helping to advance Climate Kids projects across the region. In 2020, Audrey served as our Climate Art Fellow to communicate findings of the San Diego County Ecosystems Assessment report. In 2021, Audrey served as the Science, Media, and Art Intern, working with Climate Kids to develop fun and engaging art content that inspires youth to care for our natural world and also developing art pieces as part of the Connecting Wildlands and Communities project. After graduating, Audrey joined the Alliance team once again in 2022 as the Climate Literacy Fellow, tasked with expanding the Climate Kids program and advancing the Alliance's commitment to intergenerational learning—a role she continues to lead in her current position.
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.
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
Paula joined the Climate Science Alliance in 2020 as their first Climate Resilience Fellow, responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Alliance's bi-national efforts in the Baja California region. Paula then went on to join the Alliance as the Science Program Manager.
Born in Mexico City, and raised in San Diego, Paula has studied climate change, and its impacts, from a variety of angles. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara—where she received a BS in Aquatic Biology—she began studying the carbon sequestration potential of Mexico’s mangrove ecosystems. Then, as a masters student in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Climate Science & Policy program, Paula completed a capstone project on the threat that climate change impacts, particularly rising seas, pose to coastal cultural heritage sites in Puerto Rico. Also at Scripps, Paula has previously worked as a researcher and communications associate for the Aburto Lab, where her work has included distilling research on mangroves and conservation into policy and outreach materials intended for a non-scientific audience. Before joining the Climate Science Alliance, she also served as a project coordinator to the California Collaborative for Climate Change Solutions and for Dr. Ram Ramanathan—where her work involved supporting the Climate Education for All educational initiative, which aims to bring climate education to adults across America in locally relevant terms through engagement with community leaders. Paula has also been a research diver, and volunteer interpreter at an immigration nonprofit, and is currently a college-access mentor for underserved high-school students in San Diego.
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.
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.
Nizhoni Tallas joined the Climate Science Alliance in 2022 as a Climate Resilience Intern, as part of her student summer internship with Alliance partners, the Insitute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP). During her summer with the Alliance, Nizhoni worked closely with the Tribal Working Group, the Native Plant Propagation cohort meetings and events as part of the Stewardship Pathways program and Resilient Restoration project, and assisted in outreach activities for Tribal youth.