Taimur Ahmad: Born and raised in New York City, Taimur (ELP ’16) is an environmental advocate and climber. Taimur currently works for the Access Fund on recreation policy as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within the climbing community. He lives in Bishop, CA, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.
Juan Lazo Bautista (ELP ‘19) grew up both in Oaxaca, Mexico, and California where he experienced different ways of living and enjoying the natural environment. His indigneous customs and family centered upbringing instilled strong values of conservation and motivated today much of his practice around nature and forest therapy, inviting participants to explore relationships with themselves, others and their environment. He understands these experiences as an extension of healthy community building and is eager to share this practice with others. Juan is equally excited to reimagine our world systems and co-create healthier realities for future generations. He is an avid doodler, bike rider, hammock lounger and vegetarian food fanatic.
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.
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.
Madison McCoy (ELP ‘19) is an activist, healer, organizer, lifelong-learner, peacemaker, and connector. She currently holds the role of Program Associate at One Common Unity. She is an alumni of the 2019 ELP cohort.
Madison’s day to day work focuses on making sure the One Common Unity flagship youth program, Fly By Light, and its facilitators are coordinated for success. Additionally, she has facilitated the Fly By Light Program at multiple DCPS school sites and coordinates & co-authors curriculum for week long Fly By Light nature immersion retreats.
A graduate of George Mason University, Madison holds a bachelors degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. In 2017, Madison was awarded the Seeds of Change award for her community and social advocacy work. She was recently accepted as a 2019-2020 Personal Transformation Fellow through the Personal Transformation and Courage Institute.
In her free time, Madison enjoys practicing yoga, watching ocean documentaries, writing poetry, and spending time with loved ones outdoors.
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.
Natrieifia Miller: Born and raised in North Carolina, Natrieifia (ELP ’17) grew up learning about science and the environment from the likes of Steve Irwin, The Kratt Brothers, Bill Nye and many other TV personalities. These people inspired a love for wildlife, science and the natural world, but the idea that she could do similar work didn’t occur to her until a fateful internship near the end of her college career.
In the summer of 2016, Natrieifia began work with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. This internship became a springboard for building connections and discovering the many facets of work beneath the umbrellas of conservation, outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship. This new exploration also opened her eyes to concepts such as environmental racism, equity, inclusion and other related topics.
She now works in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park educating students, and other visitors about the rich biodiversity and prosperous cultural histories of the Smokies.
Courtney Schultz, PhD (ELP ’19) is the Executive Director of Health and Technology Partners LLC, a social science research consultancy dedicated to improving wellbeing through cooperative partnerships with healthcare providers, communities, and natural resources.
With nearly a decade of experience leading research projects for local, state and federal agencies, Dr. Schultz has developed an expertise in the design and execution of behavioral research across the lifespan—all with the focus of integrating nature exposure into a salutogenic healthcare approach for communities. Dr. Schultz also serves as the Research Fellow for Park Rx America.
Dr. Schultz holds a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University, along with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Parks and Recreation Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She divides her time between Portland, OR and Milwaukee, WI.
Tiana Wilson-Blindman (ELP ’19) grew up in Pine Ridge, SD (Oglala Lakota). Her focus lies at the intersection of Western science and indigenous knowledge in the understanding and protection of our wild lands. While centering on the environmental impacts of extraction and atmospheric changes, the connection to health, energy sovereignty, and access became unavoidable.
Currently, Tiana is a Master of Environmental Management Candidate at Yale University Studies focusing on natural resource science, co/management, and policy on indigenous lands. She also serves on the school’s EQUID (Equity, Inclusion, Diversity) student committee and is currently working on the co-development of the Yale Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Knowledge in the United Nations System (IPRUN) with the mission of growing indigenous representation and decision making at the international level. When not wrapped up in pushing the envelopes of the powers that be on the East Coast, she can be found – with Nikon in hand – mountain frolicking in search of all that makes us human and wild.
Aaron Wolf (ELP ’17) hails from Chicago and is the founder of Adventures Accessed. Before starting his own business in 2015, Aaron served in the Marines from 2004-2008, attended college at DePaul University and started a career in advertising. Aaron credits the journey and transition from service to education to career in blazing the trail into his rewarding work as an outfitter, guide and small business owner. Aaron has always had a natural curiosity and passion for nature and believes that a meaningful connection to the planet can be the foundation for a healthful life. Through his work with Adventures Accessed, Aaron strives to eliminate the barriers to entry in getting people out of the city and into the region’s national forests, parks and preserves. In addition to running the business, Aaron volunteers on the board of directors for the Outdoors Empowered Network and as a City Leader for Bunker Labs. His favorite tree is the green ash.