Introducing the 2020 ELP Facilitators

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) trains early career leaders to help develop our work at SHIFT and in America. By developing tools and strategies for reconnection with our natural world, the program empowers participants to address problems facing public health, conservation, advocacy, structures of oppression and community engagement.

ELP Director Dr. Morgan Green, a pediatrician and 2018 ELP Fellow, announced today the facilitation team for the 2020 ELP.

“I am proud to have my facilitation team back from the 2019 ELP cohort to join me in this dynamic and groundbreaking year,” he said. “And we are further enriched by the new additions of Eva Garcia (ELP 2018) and Dylan McDowell (ELP 2018) to our team.”

“This year will not only be our first virtual conference,” Dr. Green continued. “It takes place at an unprecedented time for our country.”

“Navigating professional development and relationship building in the midst of a global pandemic, Black civil rights movement, heightened political tensions and devastating economic impacts is no small feat to take on. But with the collective expertise, authentic humor and trust born through relationships, I’m confident this team is more than able to meet the moment and provide exceptional content for ELP 2020.”

2020 ELP Facilitators are as follows.

Eva Garcia (ELP ’18) joined the Rails to Trails Conservancy in 2019 to serve as the on-the-ground project manager for the Caracara Trails, which leverages active tourism and active transportation strategies to improve the health of the region while advancing regional economic development. Prior to RTC, Eva served as a planner for the City of Brownsville, working mainly on bicycle and pedestrian facilities, park improvements, and related programs.

As a lifelong resident of the Valley, Eva is passionate about improving the quality of life in her predominately Latin and low-income community, which is challenged by high rates of obesity and diabetes. An avid volunteer, Eva also founded an earn-a-bike program called the Brownsville Bike Barn and serves with environmental and cultural organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Dr. Morgan Green (ELP ’18) is a Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He is a proud mentee of Dr. Nooshin Razani, the founder of the Center for Nature and Health. During his residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland, he worked with Dr. Razani and specifically helped with community engagement and resident curriculum within the SHINE program, an initiative that helps to connect patients seen in clinic from all walks of life—whether that be low-income patient populations, immigrants, refugees or people of color—to the vast amount of regional parks in their community.

Morgan received his medical degree (and found his wife, Tedean Green) at Loma Linda University. He was also a member of UCSF PLUS Program, which trains pediatric residency to become leaders in advancing health equity. He hopes to take the tools he learned from the Center of Nature and Health, his time in Oakland and his global life experiences to better integrate the benefits of outdoor play as a core interaction between physicians and patients.

Shonto Greyeyes (ELP ’18) is a trail worker by trade, and an outdoor educator by chance. He draws experience from 6 years working in forests, deserts, and the occasional classroom. With his current role as a Field Instructor at Teton Science Schools, he has been striving to continually develop his skills to better engage youth and young adults within communities that do not have the resources or structures dedicated to outdoor experiential education.

“I want to make a positive impact in the lives of youth within POC communities to cultivate more mindful, environmentally conscious leaders that are equipped with the skills and knowledge to inspire themselves and others to become pillars in their communities,” he says. Whether it is backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, or tending the corn fields, he finds himself most comfortable outside.

Former SHIFT Board Member José G. González is the Founder and Director Emeritus of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. As a Partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. He is also an illustrator and science communicator.

His commentary on diversity and environmental/outdoor equity has been featured by High Country News, Outside Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, among others.  He engaged in collaborations with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Park Service during the Obama Administration. He also represented Latino Outdoors in several coalitions including the Latino Conservation Alliance, the Next 100 Coalition, and California Parks Now. He has been recognized with several honors, including the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Educator Award, Grist Magazine “Grist 50”, and The Murie Center Spirit of the Muries, among others. You may have also seen him in various outdoor spaces or read his poetic musings.

He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. His teaching coursework was the Bilingual, Multicultural, Education Department at Sacramento State. You can connect with him on social media @JoseBilingue.

He serves as a Trustee for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), a Trustee for the National Recreation Foundation, on the Boards of Resource Media and Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, as a Councilor for Save the Redwoods League, and as an advisor to Blue Sky Funders Forum, among other such leadership volunteer roles.

Dylan McDowell (ELP ’18) works at the intersection of science and policy. Originally trained as a science communicator, he is now Deputy Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, where he supports state lawmakers across the country on a range of conservation and environmental policies. Dylan lives in Salem, Oregon, where he serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and can often be found hiking, running, or doing anything that involves water.

SHIFT Board Member Jess Saba, of Good Point Projects, supports socially and environmentally focused businesses and leaders. Jess develops and manages corporate philanthropic giving programs that support conservation, restoration and preservation of land, water and wildlife. She is a member of the B Corporation Climate Leadership Collective.

Jess grew up in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, where she developed a deep appreciation for pristine and protected ecosystems. She created the Cast Iron Dinner Club to introduce people to the joys of cooking outdoors. Jess hopes to preserve access to outdoor experiences for future generations.


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