Board of Advisors





Associates & Advisors

The Children & Nature Network’s  Board of Advisors and Associates are individuals who are exemplars and ambassadors for the mission of the organization. Together they bring a breadth of knowledge, experience and expertise from fields as diverse as child development, medicine, architecture, education and design. We are honored to include these multidisciplinary and cross-sector leaders in our network.

Mary Catherine Bateson, Ph.D.
Mary Catherine Bateson is a writer and cultural anthropologist who divides her time between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where she recently completed three years as a Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has written and been co-author of many books and articles, lectures across the country and abroad, and is president of the Institute for Intercultural Studies in New York City. Until recently, she has been the Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University, and is now Professor Emerita. She is currently beginning an appointment as Visiting Scholar at the Center on Aging & Work/Workplace Flexibility at Boston College. During the past few years, Mary Catherine Bateson has been particularly involved with finishing and bringing out her most recent book, Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery. Mary Catherine Bateson also writes a regular column, “Peripheral Vision,” for Pink magazine.
Noel J. Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Noel Brown is the former Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for North America. Dr. Brown holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Seattle University, an M.A. in International Law and Organization from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in International Relations from Yale University. He also holds a diploma in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law. Over the past two decades, Dr. Brown represented the United Nations Environment Program at a number of the major international conferences and negotiations on environment and development issues and on international law.  He is a founding member of the Aspen Global Change Institute, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, and Indigenous Development International. Dr. Brown currently serves as President of the Friends of the United Nations. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chairman of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism and Chairman of the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments.
Gregory Cajete, Ph.D
Dr. Gregory Cajete is a Native-American educator, artist and author whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. Dr. Cajete worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for 21 years. While at the Institute, he served as Dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, Chair of Native American Studies and Professor of Ethno-science. Currently, he is Director of Native American Studies and an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cajete earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from New Mexico Highlands University, with majors in both Biology and Sociology, and a minor in Secondary Education. He received his Master of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in Adult and Secondary Education. He earned his Ph.D. from International College, Los Angeles, New Philosophy Program. Dr. Cajete is the author of five books, including Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education and Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence.
Gerald Charles, M.D.
Dr. Gerald Charles is Professor of Medicine (Emeritus) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Charles is partially retired from his clinical practice but continues to be an active clinical educator at the University. He was formerly an Associate Dean at the UCSF School of Medicine and was the Chief of Staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow working in the United States Senate in 1978 and 1979. His research publications have included work in health economics, clinical ethics and health policy. He has served on a number of national committees and task forces, including work for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Louise Chawla, Ph.D.
Louise Chawla is a Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado, with a background in child development and environmental psychology. Her work relates to children’s experience of both natural environments and the public spaces of cities and towns, and the opportunities that these places afford for positive development. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Norwegian Center for Child Research, she initiated a revival of the Growing Up in Cities project of UNESCO, which engages young people in documenting and improving urban communities. Among her many publications, she is editor and co-author of Growing Up in an Urbanising World, author of In the First Country of Places, and an editor of the journal Children, Youth and Environments.
Joseph Cornell
Joseph Cornell is one of the most highly regarded nature educators in the world today. His award-winning Sharing Nature Books have been translated into 20 languages and have sparked a worldwide revolution in nature education. In 1978, Joseph Cornell founded the Sharing Nature Foundation to spread his work around the globe. He is the honorary president of the Japan Nature Game Association, an organization of over 10,000 leaders.
Dudley Edmondson
Mr. Edmondson is a well known nature photographer and author.  Over his nearly 20 year career he has captured the attention of many, long before the 2006 publication of his book, Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places. The Black and Brown faces books of which there are both adult and children’s versions were written to try to create a set of “Outdoor Role Models” for people of color.  Dudley is convinced that the key to America’s conservation future is making sure that a sense of ownership for our public lands exists in all Americans. Dudley’s work with children has taken him all over the country.  He has worked with kids sharing everything from nature photography skills to flora and fauna identification and more.  He has been invited into schools from Mansfield, Ohio and Gary, Indiana to Seattle, Washington talking to kids about his experiences as a professional nature photographer in the outdoors.
Richard Jackson, M.D.
Richard Joseph Jackson, MD MPH, is Professor and Chair of the Environmental Health Sciences department at the UCLA School of Public Health. He has served in many leadership positions with the California Health Department, including the highest: the State Health Officer. For nine years he was Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta. In 2005 he was recognized with the Presidential Distinguished Executive Award. He was the US lead under several US government efforts around health and environment in Russia, including radiation threats. In the late 1990s he was the CDC leader in establishing the US National Pharmaceutical Stockpile to prepare for terrorism and other disasters, which was activated on September 11, 2001. Dick Jackson co-authored Urban Sprawl and Public Health, a 2004 book from Island Press. He has served on many medical and health boards, and in September 2005 he was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. His strongest public health interest is in developing the next generation of leaders in Public Health.
John Johns
John Johns is the co-founder of New West Products, Inc., which he sold to ITW, a mid-west conglomerate, in 2002. Prior to founding New West, John enjoyed a fifteen-year career in magazine publishing. For ten years, he was editorial director of East West Network, the world’s largest publisher of in-flight magazines and, later, a publishing consultant to HarperCollins, the American Film Institute, Billboard Publications and the National Academy of Recording Artists. He was an adjunct professor in the USC School of Journalism and member of the Advisory Council to the School of Journalism at California State University Long Beach. He is past chairman of the board of trustees of Camp Ronald McDonald for children with cancer and former vice president of Southern California Children’s Cancer Services. Today he is president of Providence Marketing Corp and an active board member of two non-profits: Educate a Child Trust in Sri Lanka and Ocean Discovery Institute in San Diego.
Rick Lemon
Rick Lemon served as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). Since 1990, Rick has led efforts to envision, plan, design, construct, and operate the NCTC.  Rick has previously served on the board of Project WILD. Before his 30 year Service career, Rick served with the Peace Corps in Central Africa. Rick’s passion in life is helping people find and reach their potential. He believes that helping children find their connection to the natural world gives them a strong foundation upon which to grow.
Estella Leopold
Dr. Estella Leopold, youngest daughter of Aldo Leopold, is Emeritus Professor of Botany and past director of the Quaternary Research Center at the University of Washington. Dr. Leopold was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and American Philosophical Society. Her research interests and publications focus on paleobotany, forest history, restoration ecology, and environmental quality. She studies fossil pollen and seeds to reconstruct ancient vegetation and climate in Alaska, China, and the western U.S. Her conservation activities focus on forest management issues. Estella and her sister Nina Leopold Bradley are Founders and Members of the Board of Directors of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Rue Mapp
During her childhood, Rue Mapp split her time between urban Oakland, California and her families’ working ranch in the Northern woodlands, where she cultivated a passion for natural spaces, farming, and learned how to hunt and fish. As a youth, her participation in the Girl Scouts and Outward Bound broadened her outdoor experiences, but Rue was troubled by the consistently low numbers of African Americans participating in these activities. So for over a decade, Rue used digital media as an important and practical tool to connect with people of color who share her outdoor interests. Outdoor Afro emerged naturally from this experience. Outdoor Afro is a community that reconnects urban African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing—and more.  Rue has a B.A. in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a successful entrepreneur. She is currently a part of the Development Team for Golden Gate Audubon Society, responsible for diversity outreach through major events. She also provides social media consulting for small to mid-sized non-profits. Rue currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her three children.
Robin Moore
Robin Moore is a designer and design researcher, specializing in child and family urban environments that support healthy human development, informal play, and non-formal education, especially through children’s exposure to nature. Moore holds degrees in architecture from London University and city and regional planning from MIT. He is professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He is a member of the UNESCO-MOST Growing Up in Cities (GUIC) action research program. His publications include, “Our Neighbourhood is Like That!” in Growing Up in an Urbanising World (2002); “Healing Gardens for Children,” in Healing Gardens (1999); Natural Learning (1997); Plants for Play (1993); the Play For All Guidelines (1987, 1992); and Childhood’s Domain: Play and Place in Child Development (1986). He is Associate Editor of the American Journal of Health Promotion and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the on-line journal, Children, Youth Environments. Moore is past president of the International Association for the Child’s Right to Play (IPA), past chair of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), and a principal in the design and planning firm of Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG).
David W. Orr, Ph.D
David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. Dr. Orr is perhaps best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He is the recipient of a Bioneers Award, a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation, a Lyndhurst Prize awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation.  He was named “an Environmental Hero for 2004” by Interiors & Sources Magazine. He holds three Honorary Doctorates.  He is the author of five books.  He has published 150 articles in scientific journals, social science publications, and popular magazines.  Dr. Orr is a contributing editor of Conservation Biology. He serves on the Boards of the Rocky Mountain Institute (CO), the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Ecoliteracy (CA), and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. He is also an advisor and consultant to the Trust for Public Land, the National Parks Advisory Committee, and other organizations. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Mike Pertschuk
From 1966-70, Mike Pertschuk served as Consumer Counsel (later Staff Director and Chief Counsel) to the Democratic Majority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce. In that capacity, he was charged with shepherding through the Senate, and Senate-House Conferences, the series of landmark consumer protection, public health, and environmental laws.  In 1977, Mike Pertschuk was named by President Carter as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission.  Pertschuk, as Chair, pursued a series of aggressive regulatory initiatives, including his proposed rule banning all advertising targeted to children. In 1984, along with David Cohen, Pertschuk created the Advocacy Institute, to build the capacity of citizen groups to advocate policies in the public interest.  He has written more than 20 guides on media advocacy and four books on effective – and ineffective – strategies for citizen advocacy, especially media advocacy. He is a founding Board member of The Frameworks Institute and an advisor to Environics Strategic Initiatives Forum.
Akiima Price
Akiima Price is the founder of A Price Consulting and one of the few African-American environmental education specialists in the country. Her specialty is working as a bridge builder between communities and resources and developing relatable curricula around urban and community environmental education issues. For the past 15 years, Akiima has worked with numerous environmental organizations creating and implementing innovative programs that connect low income residents with the natural environment, educating them about the environment and preparing them for responsible citizenship while teaching the basics; confidence, courage, and life skills. One of few African-American urban environmental education specialists in the country, her expertise is creating engaging programs in nature that teach kids to love the world around them while learning to love themselves.
Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D.
Robert Michael Pyle is a professional writer, a butterfly ecologist, and a Guggenheim Fellow who has published fifteen books and hundreds of papers, essays, stories and poems. His Ph.D. is from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  In 1971, Pyle founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. His book Wintergreen: Rambles in a Ravaged Land, describing the aftermath of unrestrained logging in Washington’s Willapa Hills, was the winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing; and a follow-up title, Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place,  won the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.  The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland, which introduced the concept of “the extinction of experience,” is considered a classic in the literature of children and nature; in 2010 it came out in a new edition from Oregon State University Press.  Pyle has taught environmental writing from Tasmania to Tajikistan, and is the 2012 Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Montana.  His longtime home is along Gray’s River, a tributary of the Lower Columbia, in Washington.
Rolland Smith
Rolland Smith has over 40 years of broadcast experience as an anchor, reporter, documentary producer, and writer. Smith formally worked for the CBS network where he was co-host of “The CBS Morning Program.” He also anchored WCBS-TV Channel Two News in New York for many years and anchored the Ten O’clock News at WWOR-TV in New York. Smith is the recipient of eleven Emmy awards. He is an author and poet. His book of poetry, Quiet Musings, published by Sunscape Publications, was nationally released with critical acclaim. A second book Encore – The Poetry of Nature followed in 2001. He received an Editor’s Choice Award from The National Library of Poetry among other honors and awards. His third book of poetry and commentaries entitled Stone Wisdom is schedule for publication in early September of 2008. Details and contact information at
David T. Sobel, M. Ed.
David Sobel is the Director of Teacher Certification Programs in the Education Department and Co-Director of the Center for Place-based Education at Antioch New England Graduate School. Prior to 1997, he served as the Chairperson of the department for a dozen years. He was one of the founders of The Harrisville Children’s Center and has served on the board of public and private schools. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, and is a correspondent for Orion Magazine His published books include Children’s Special Places; Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education; Mapmaking with Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years and Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities. Sobel is currently co-director of Project CO-SEED (Community-based School Environmental Education).  Sobel’s exploration and documentation of the natural interests of children are the foundation for much of his work.
Bill Vanderberg
Bill Vanderberg is an educator and the Lead Volunteer Coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Building Bridges to the Outdoors program. Vanderberg is the Dean of Students at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles as well as being the faculty advisor to Crenshaw’s Eco Club. He has been an active member of the Sierra Club for the past eight years, with a particular interest in finding ways to make both the Club, and environmental issues, more relevant to minority communities. Vanderberg believes this goal can best be achieved by engaging underserved youth in outdoor environmental experiences from which he hopes they gain a sense of ownership and responsibility for their natural environment, along with the many benefits children and youth get from playing in the dirt.
Senior Associates
Children & Nature Network Senior Associates are experienced practitioners and leaders who provide technical expertise in support of the movement to reconnect children and nature.
Nancy Herron
Nancy Herron has over 30 years experience in conservation education, volunteer management, community leadership and non-profit administration. Currently she manages the state nature and fishing education programs for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as well as educational technology, web and program evaluation efforts. Nancy was a reporter and columnist, and a teacher for pre-school through college level and children with disabilities. She has been a featured speaker at national conferences on educational technology, best practices in conservation education and volunteerism.  Nancy serves on multiple state and national boards and is active at the local, state and national level for the Children and Nature Network and is currently serving as Chair of C&NN’s Grassroots Leadership Team.  Nancy is the recipient of multiple awards for educational innovations and leadership. She loves to hike, kayak and explore the natural world. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband in Austin, Texas.
Avery Cleary
Avery Cleary is a member of the C&NN Grassroots Leadership Team and co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Children in Nature Collaborative.  Over the past two decades Avery has been a spokesperson and advocate for reuniting people and nature.  Avery has a background in early childhood education and community organizing. Her work has taken her into boardrooms, city council and law enforcement offices, juvenile justice programs, neighborhood meetings, classrooms, and living rooms where she has witnessed time and again the power people have to inspire each other when they feel hope, focus on solutions, and explore ways to integrate nature into their lives.
Sara St. Antoine
Sara St. Antoine is a writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience developing education and outreach materials for such organizations as the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and National Audubon Society. In addition, she has published several middle reader novels on nature-related themes, and her short stories have appeared in Cricket and Ranger Rick magazines. Sara is the series editor of Stories from Where We Live, anthologies of fiction, poetry, and memoir about people and nature in different ecoregions of North America. She currently serves as senior writer to the Children & Nature Network, supported in part by a leadership grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. A graduate of Williams College, Sara holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and two young daughters.
Clifford E. Knapp
Clifford E. Knapp has been an experiential educator for most of his 40-year career, working in K-12 schools and at the university level. He has held positions of science teacher, outdoor education director, and professor of outdoor/environmental education at Southern and Northern Illinois Universities. He holds educational degrees in Junior High Education (B. A.), Administration and Supervision (M. S.), and Curriculum and Instruction (Ph. D.). He has also served in summer camp leadership roles for several years and co-directed his own camp dedicated to human relations and adventure skills. His interests include nature study and interpretation, values education, reflection/processing skills, indigenous cultures, curriculum development, place-based education, and environmental ethics. He has published 10 books and over 100 articles and book chapters, mostly directed toward promoting outdoor teaching and learning.
Page Lambert
Page Lambert has been writing about the western landscape and leading nature-based creative adventures for twenty years, often working in partnership with organizations such as True Nature Journeys, Women’s Wilderness Institute, Grand Canyon Field Institute, and Aspen Writers’ Foundation. Her blog “All Things Literary. All Things Natural.” received the Best Blog of the Year Award from the Colorado Authors’ League and she was selected as one of the “Twelve extraordinary women of Jefferson County” by Colorado’s West Chamber of Commerce. Featured for her outdoor adventures in The Denver Post, and interviewed in Bloomsbury Review (“Place Lives and Breathes”), her River Writing Journeys with Sheri Griffith Expeditions were featured in Oprah’s O Magazine in 2006 as “One of the top six great all-girl getaways of the year.” A Senior Associate with the Children and Nature Network, she is the Creative Consultant for the Clear Creek Land Conservancy, an Advisor for The Rocky Mountain Land Library, a founding member of Women Writing the West, and a Board Member of the Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation. She designed and teaches a graduate course at the University of Denver, “The Writing Life: Concepts, Practices, and Professionalism.” Her most recent essay (“Mother Tongue”) appears in Sojourns: Landscapes for the People, Celebrating One Hundred Years of the National Park Service.
Kathy Baughman McLeod
Kathy Baughman McLeod is a Senior Associate with the Children & Nature Network and co-founder of Healthy Development, Inc. Kathy has built a career around the complex relationships of environment, community development, land use, public finance and policy. She is currently the president of the board of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, and a director of the Florida Council for Sustainability, a program of the Collins Center. Kathy has held leadership positions with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. As Program Director of the Florida Communities Trust at the Florida Department of Community Affairs, she administered a $66 million annual grant program for local governments for the acquisition and creation of community parks, open space and trails related to the Florida Growth Management Act.  Kathy has presented to and appeared before many major organizations.
Bob Peart
Bob Peart (BSc, MEd) is a registered professional biologist, with a background in biology and education. He has worked for the past 30 years in parks planning and advocacy as well as public conservation education. He has worked at both professional and senior management levels within government agencies including Parks Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the BC Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Bob has also held Executive Director positions with conservation NGOs such as the BC Outdoor Recreation Council and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society as well as serving on many other conservation organization boards. In the area of public education he has similar senior level experience having served as the Assistant Director of the Royal BC Museum. Drawing on his diverse experience, he also served as Executive Assistant to BC Cabinet Minister the Honourable John Cashore in the portfolios of both Environment and Aboriginal Affairs. His work has been extensively linked to aboriginal communities especially in British Columbia.










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