AmazonEcology: Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Campbell Plowden has worked for tropical forest conservation since 1985 with groups including Greenpeace, the Environmental Investigation Agency, Amazon Watch, and the Humane Society of the U.S. He earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the Penn State University Graduate Ecology Program based on his studies of non-timber forest products with the Tembé Indians in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. This work was largely supported by a Kleinhans Fellowship from the Rainforest Alliance. He has since published numerous articles on this and other tropical forest issues. Campbell also helped formed the Tembé Indian Support Committee with other Quakers from State College Friends Meeting and other friends to support land rights, cultural preservation, and other local development projects in the Alto Rio Guamá Indigenous Reserve. He also facilitates conflict resolution workshops with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP).
Kat Alden is the director and pre-school teacher with the Cooperative Play School in State College, PA. She is also the founder of the One World Environmental Center and Camp in Spring Mills, PA. She has worked with indigenous people in the U.S. and was the co-chair of the Tembé Indian Support Committee with the State College Friends Meeting.
Michael Gilmore is an Assistant Professor of Life Sciences and Integrative Studies at New Century College of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Michael is an ethnobiologist who is active with many Amazon conservation activities with groups including WildShare International, the Rainforest Conservation Foundation, and the Federation of Maijuna Native Communities (FECONAMAI) that represents Maijuna indigenous communities in the northeast Peruvian Amazon.
Jim Finley is a Professor of Forestry at Penn State University in charge of the Forest Resources Cooperative Extension program. He has more than twenty years of experience doing forest ecology and management studies and works both private landowners and communities to develop sustainable forest management programs. He is co-author of the book Forest Resource Management: A Landowner's Guide to Getting Started that was awarded the Best Forestry Book of 2006 by the National Woodland Owners Association.
Audrey Maretzki is a Professor Emerita of Food Science and Nutrition at Penn State University and co-director of the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK). She has also led and promoted research and other projects to support health, culture and conservation with rural communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia through the Marjorie Grant Whiting Center, the Univ. of Hawaii and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. CACE welcomes her skills as a grant writer and developer of social entrepreneurial initiatives with women in developing countries.
Robin Van Loon is the founder and executive director of amino Verde, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting trees in the Peruvian Amazon. A Massachusetts native, Robin has lived in Peru since 2001, studying traditional use of medicinal and economic plants in the Andean highlands and in Tambopata, Madre de Dios. The organization manages a "Living Seed Bank" of 250 species of fruit, medicinal, crafts, and timber trees for reforestation projects on site and with local farmers.
Christopher Uhl is an ecologist with many years of experience working in the Amazon where he co-founded the Brazilian organization IMAZON – Amazon Institute of Man and the Environment. He is a Professor of Biology at Penn State University and author of the book Developing Ecological Consciousness: Paths to a Sustainable World.