Matt is an independent storyteller whose journalistic work focuses on the intersection of food systems, ecosystems, and political systems. He has covered stories such as declining bee populations, keeping people fed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and New York farmers trying to grow food in the midst of climate change. His photo work has captured a diverse range of subjects, from the Lakota Sioux in the Black Hills to rural firefighters in New York state. Matt is the author and editor of The Bee Report, an online publication which provides both original and curated content about the wondrous lives of the more than 4,000 species of bees in North America.
Tony Di Zinno
Director of Photography
As a concerned photographer turned filmmaker, Tony has carved a niche as a veteran DP of subjects that mirror his global sensibilities. His time in Afghanistan on projects of giving voice and empowering women in the conflict zone were followed by participation in years of effort in supporting the solidarity between the diverse tribes of the Great Sioux Nation in the Black Hills. More recently his primary focus has turned more specifically to the natural world in general and conservation in particular. He is privileged to be a working team member on the ambitious projects of Endangered Activism and Design for Wildlife. Tony was recently nominated to be the Visiting Artist in Residence for the Seneca Zoological Society in 2019-2020, providing tuition and workshops on visual storytelling for urban youth in Rochester, NY.
Dr. Olivia Carril has been studying native bees for over 20 years. She received her Masters degree from Utah State University, where she studied the bee fauna of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. For her PhD, Olivia studied a specialist bee, Diadasia, and its host plants; she received that degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2013. In 2015 coauthored the book The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees. She lives in Santa Fe, NM, with her husband and their two young daughters. When she isn’t dreaming up new questions to ask about bees, she is working on two more bee identification books, as well as some bee surveys for northern New Mexico.
Joseph Wilson grew up in Utah and has been strongly drawn to the natural world for as long as he can remember; at the age of two he declared to his parents that he would, in fact, be a lion when he grew up. While he didn’t quite make it to lionhood, his academic studies in biology at Utah State University allowed him to become the next best thing: a professor of biology. His research focuses primarily on the evolution and ecology of bees and wasps – creatures whose lives provide as much drama, mystery, humor, and intrigue as any prime time TV show. In 2015 Joseph coauthored the book The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees. As a result of his work and experience with bees, Joseph has appeared on NPR, Canada Public Radio, and in the New York Times. His research enables him, his wife and their three children to travel the country collecting and photographing the beautiful bees and wasps that live all around us.
Farrah, a proud Brooklynite, discovered her passion for community engagement when she served as a Parent Coordinator at New York City’s Department of Education. There, she learned the power of advocacy, community, and coalition building. She often finds her self in awe at civic leaders who are passionate about change their communities on their own terms. She is excited to bear witness to this type of leadership on a national scale, and support it through her work as an Associate Leader Success Strategist. When she’s not working to drive change in her own neighborhood, she’s practicing her kreyol, exploring her passion of all things fiber arts, or leading walking tours focusing on the history, architecture and culture of her East New York neighborhood, in Brooklyn.
Advisory Team, Project Ambassador
Suzanne has nearly two decades of experience solving problems in energy, agriculture, transportation and the environment. She founded Hunt Green LLC in 2007 to provide policy, fund raising, business development, and strategy support to leading organizations. Her clients have included private equity firms, UN bodies, government agencies, clean tech start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profits. In the spring of 2015 she moved the business from Washington DC to the Finger Lakes region of New York state to help with her family’s seventh generation farm and winery Hunt Country Vineyards, and to help accelerate the historic clean energy transition underway in New York.
Advisory Team, Project Ambassador
Allison is president of EarthSpark International, a nonprofit organization incubating businesses that solve energy poverty. Under her leadership, EarthSpark has built a town-sized, solar-powered smart grid in rural Haiti and is currently laying the groundwork for an investable plan for the next 20 microgrids. Allison is a co-founder of Enèji Pwòp, a Haitian microgrid operator, and SparkMeter, a smart meter company now enabling grid operators worldwide to expand energy access to low-income customers. She has consulted to clean energy companies, governments, and advocacy groups. Allison is the 2017 winner of the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) international award.
Visual Design Advisor, Team Illustrator
Mariana is the creator of Design for Wildlife, a collective of creative talent working to support wildlife organizations on challenges in human-wildlife conflict, donor fatigue, poaching communities and other human-centered issues. She is currently a TED Resident, working out of TED HQ in New York. Previously, Mariana was Design Innovation Lead for the International Rescue Committee. In 2013, she was named Global Design Fellow for IDEO.org where she worked on poverty alleviation projects such as reducing teen pregnancies in Zambia, building social enterprises for female farmers in India, supporting victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and working with The Rockefeller Foundation to write a book on the informal workforce in Africa and Asia. On the side, Mariana dabbles in illustration, co-creating a graphic novel series about superheroes that protect wildlife with National Geographic Adventurer of the year, Shannon Galpin.