Admiral Thad Allen

Thad Allen is a retired U.S. Coast Guard admiral and commandant who served as national incident commander for the unified response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. In that position, Allen oversaw all efforts to cease the flow of oil and mitigate the disaster’s effects. He worked with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, Commerce and Health and Human Services on the federal response. He was also in charge of coordinating with state and local organizations and directing the efforts of BP, the responsible party in the spill. In 2005 and early 2006, he also directed the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf region. He was born in Tucson, AZ, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, holds a master of public administration degree from George Washington University and an MS from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is an author, a Rice University history professor and a fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. He is also a history commentator for CBS News and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine. He was born in Atlanta and raised in Perrysburg, OH. He received his BA degree from Ohio State University and his MA and PhD from Georgetown University in U.S. diplomatic history. He has taught at Princeton University, the U.S. Naval Academy and Hofstra University, and he has earned several honorary doctorates. Among the two dozen books he has written are: “The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today” (2002, with Stephen Ambrose); “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast” (2006); “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America” (2009); and “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960” (2011).

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia A. Earle, an oceanographer who served as chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1990 to 1992, is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence. She was born in Gibbstown, NJ, received her BS degree from Florida State University, earned her MS and PhD from Duke University, and has numerous honorary degrees. She was curator of phycology at the California Academy of Sciences (1979-1986) and a research associate at the University of California Berkeley (1969-1981), Radcliffe Institute Scholar (1967-1969) and research fellow or associate at Harvard University (1967-1981). From 1980 to 1984, she served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. In 1992, after her tenure as NOAA chief scientist, she founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER), which designs, builds and operates manned and robotic equipment for deep marine environments.

Dewitt Jones

Dewitt Jones is one of America’s top professional photographers. In 20 years with National Geographic photographing stories around the globe, he has earned the reputation as a world-class photojournalist. As a motion picture director, he has had two of his films nominated for Academy Awards. As a business man, he has risen to the forefront of creative marketing by photographing national advertising campaigns for organizations such as Dewar’s Scotch, Canon and United Airlines. He has published nine books, including “California” and “John Muir’s America.” His most recent book, “The Nature of Leadership,” was written in collaboration with Stephen R. Covey. Jones is a renowned lecturer. His inspirational messages are further discussed in his best-selling training programs. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in drama and holds a master’s degree in filmmaking from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Curt Meine

Dr. Curt Meine is a conservation biologist and writer based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. He is Director for Conservation Biology and History with the Center for Humans and Nature; Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation; Research Associate with the International Crane Foundation; and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has authored and edited several books, including the biography Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work (1988) and Correction Lines: Essays on Land, Leopold, and Conservation (2004). He also serves as on-screen guide in the new documentary film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time (2011)

Ian Shive

Ian Shive is an award-winning photographer, author and film producer who has emerged at the forefront of conservation photography. Shive’s images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, US News & World Report, Popular Science, Outside and hundreds of others. Shive’s book The National Parks: Our American Landscape has become a best-selling photography book. Shive is most proud of his role in helping to encourage young people to spend more time outdoors and has reached new heights utilizing short films on the web including his new nature travelogue series, Wild Life: A New Generation of Wild, which has been viewed in over 120 countries.

Emilyn Sheffield

Emilyn Sheffield, professor of Recreation and Parks Management at California State University, Chico, works with partners to connect people to the special places that enhance their lives. Her projects and high-energy presentations help leaders respond more effectively to changing demographic and lifestyle trends. From CSU, Chico and the Golden Gate National Parks she coordinates Service Learning and Leadership Field Schools at parks, trails, and forests in California. She serves as president of the Association of Partners for Public Lands, co-chairs the National Park Promotion Council Research Committee, and works closely with the California Roundtable for Recreation, Parks and Tourism.

Bob Byrne

Currently, Bob is President of Bob Byrne Consulting, a conservation consulting firm specializing in finding innovative solutions to conservation issues through programmatic reviews, evaluations, group facilitation and strategic planning. Prior to forming his own company, Bob spent 30+ years in conservation where he worked for three state wildlife agencies, two NGOs and a conservation-communications consulting firm. Being an avid hunter and angler, Bob has a deep concern about passing on our hunting and fishing heritage on to future generations, and has focused much of his recent efforts on this task.

Juan Martinez

A proud product of south central Los Angeles, Juan D. Martinez is the national Natural Leaders Network coordinator for the Children & Nature Network. His passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles. Most recently, Juan was named a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. A recent graduate of California State University Los Angeles with a BA in history, he is a recipient of Congresswoman Hilda Solis’ Environmental Youth Leadership Award and “Looking to the Future” award from the Breaking the Color Barriers conference, the largest conference on people of color in the great outdoors. Juan received a “Green for All” 2009 fellowship; and is on the national executive committee for the Sierra Student Coalition. Juan is a spokesperson for the Sierra Clubs’ Building Bridges to the Outdoors initiative which works to connect all youth with nature. He dedicates his energy and free time on grassroots campaigns that vary from health care, housing discrimination, to creating garden space in the city of L.A.

J. Michael Scott

Michael Scott went to work for the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1974 as an endangered species biologist in Hawaii. While in Hawaii he designed and conducted the Hawaii Forest Bird Survey. Information from that survey was used to establish Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. He was the leader of the Condor Research center-1984-1986- and the Idaho Cooperative Research Unit since 1986. He has conducted management and policy relevant research on ecological content and context of America’s conservation system, GAP Analysis, and methods of recovering endangered species. He recently retired as a Senior Scientist with the US Geological Survey.

Majora Carter

Majora Carter is the host of the Peabody Award winning public-radio series: The Promised Land. She has a long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 when few were talking about “sustainability“; and even fewer, in places like The South Bronx. Since 2008, her consulting company, MCG has exported Climate Adaptation, Urban Micro-AgriBusiness, and Leadership Development strategies for Business, Government, Foundations, Universities, and economically under-performing Communities.

Jeff Salz

Jeff Salz, considered one of today’s authentic adventurers and explorers, provides the foundation for adventurous thinking in any organization. An authority on authentic cultures, a 35 year veteran of adventuring and exploring with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, Jeff spent 10 years as a university professor. Dr. Jeff Salz has traversed most of the remaining blank spots on the globe. An expert in innovation, Jeff was the creativity consultant for the production team of The Lion King, the top grossing film of all time. He has consulted and lectured for U.S. A.I.D. and the U.S. Information Agency in both Asia and Latin America. Jeff has also served as liaison officer and interpreter for NBC Television News, reporting from behind the rebel lines of El Salvador. A recognized television personality, he is a guest expert on adventure for the CBS Early Morning show and both creates and stars in adventure specials for the Discovery Network.