OUR TEAM

 
Ayana Young Founder / Project Director / Host  Ayana is a lover and protector of wild nature. She was studying Ecology at Columbia University when the Occupy Wall Street movement began. Amid the burgeoning resistance in Zuccotti Park, she co-created the Environmental Working Group to help orient the movement to the realities of a suffering planet. From there she moved West to her beloved Cascadian bioregion, starting an organic farm and wild foods cartel on an Oregon mountaintop. In Portland, she had the fortune of learning from the herbalist Cascade Anderson Geller before her passing. Ayana is currently studying Restoration of Natural Systems in Victoria, BC, and creating an ecological research center and native species nursery in the Southern tip of the Cascadian bioregion. Along with the restoration of damaged landscapes, Ayana is committed to protecting intact ecosystems. In the summer of 2016 she lead a delegation of women to the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska to spend time with the forest and learn from the local people to collaborate on a strategy to stop old growth logging. The Tongass film and campaign will launch in 2017.  Ayana hosts For The Wild Podcast (formerly Unlearn & Rewild) and teaches about empowered earth stewardship, leads biodiversity enhancement workshops and facilitates panels across North America. 

Ayana Young
Founder / Project Director / Host 

Ayana is a lover and protector of wild nature. She was studying Ecology at Columbia University when the Occupy Wall Street movement began. Amid the burgeoning resistance in Zuccotti Park, she co-created the Environmental Working Group to help orient the movement to the realities of a suffering planet. From there she moved West to her beloved Cascadian bioregion, starting an organic farm and wild foods cartel on an Oregon mountaintop. In Portland, she had the fortune of learning from the herbalist Cascade Anderson Geller before her passing. Ayana is currently studying Restoration of Natural Systems in Victoria, BC, and creating an ecological research center and native species nursery in the Southern tip of the Cascadian bioregion. Along with the restoration of damaged landscapes, Ayana is committed to protecting intact ecosystems. In the summer of 2016 she lead a delegation of women to the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska to spend time with the forest and learn from the local people to collaborate on a strategy to stop old growth logging. The Tongass film and campaign will launch in 2017. 

Ayana hosts For The Wild Podcast (formerly Unlearn & Rewild) and teaches about empowered earth stewardship, leads biodiversity enhancement workshops and facilitates panels across North America. 

Madison Magalski Research Director Madison is a student of our beloved Earth, dedicated to learning from and being a voice for the biodiversity of Cascadia. She studied Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, where she delved deep into the intricacies of diverse forest ecosystems under the guidance of passionate scientists. Although trained in the realm of rigorous academics, she approaches ecological research with a holistic lens, nurturing the reclamation of human intuition and the inseparability of people from the systems they study. Madison has further cultivated her relationship with the land through farming. She has farmed medicinal herbs, vegetables, and flowers within wild landscapes such as the high desert of central Oregon, ancient Juniper cloaked ridges of New Mexico, the vibrant foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and on a small island off the northern coast of BC in the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii. Her travels throughout North America always lead her back to the coast of Cascadia, where she plans to continue working for the restoration and protection of wild ecosystems.   

Madison Magalski
Research Director

Madison is a student of our beloved Earth, dedicated to learning from and being a voice for the biodiversity of Cascadia. She studied Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, where she delved deep into the intricacies of diverse forest ecosystems under the guidance of passionate scientists. Although trained in the realm of rigorous academics, she approaches ecological research with a holistic lens, nurturing the reclamation of human intuition and the inseparability of people from the systems they study. Madison has further cultivated her relationship with the land through farming. She has farmed medicinal herbs, vegetables, and flowers within wild landscapes such as the high desert of central Oregon, ancient Juniper cloaked ridges of New Mexico, the vibrant foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and on a small island off the northern coast of BC in the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii. Her travels throughout North America always lead her back to the coast of Cascadia, where she plans to continue working for the restoration and protection of wild ecosystems.   

Carter Lou McElroy Marketing Director Carter grew up amongst the wilds of Texan Hill Country, where she first discovered a close connection & deep admiration for the natural world along with the rhythms of its sweet music. After spending the majority of her youth in this region, she felt a call from the North that lead her to one of the most urban communities we have on Earth: New York City! She found her footing almost immediately working in a boutique PR & Marketing agency called Girlie Action Media, and is now in her 8th year of work with the company. Alongside her marketing projects - she writes her own music, poetry, and has created a platform (@eco_ragamuffins) for connecting her urban neighbors to the importance of sustainable living & eco-education within the constructs of an environment suffocating in its over-development Carter Lou is also in the process of developing For The Wild's Collegiate Ambassador Program: where we will connect students to the importance of our projects & urgency in the need to re-develop our workforce to support sustainable ideals.

Carter Lou McElroy
Marketing Director

Carter grew up amongst the wilds of Texan Hill Country, where she first discovered a close connection & deep admiration for the natural world along with the rhythms of its sweet music. After spending the majority of her youth in this region, she felt a call from the North that lead her to one of the most urban communities we have on Earth: New York City! She found her footing almost immediately working in a boutique PR & Marketing agency called Girlie Action Media, and is now in her 8th year of work with the company.

Alongside her marketing projects - she writes her own music, poetry, and has created a platform (@eco_ragamuffins) for connecting her urban neighbors to the importance of sustainable living & eco-education within the constructs of an environment suffocating in its over-development

Carter Lou is also in the process of developing For The Wild's Collegiate Ambassador Program: where we will connect students to the importance of our projects & urgency in the need to re-develop our workforce to support sustainable ideals.

 
Jade Begay Tongass Campaign Director Jade Begay, Dine and Tesuque Pueblo, is a filmmaker, a storyteller, a communications strategist but above all, Jade is a woman who has cultivated a deep and fierce passion to protect land, air, and water. In order to accomplish this mission, Jade has committed her life’s work to amplify the voices and knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, so that the world can remember who the original caretakers of this earth are and who have maintained balance and harmony for time immemorial. It is Jade’s hope that once we recognize and honor Indigenous leadership, we can move towards healing hundreds of years of oppression.  Jade currently produces multimedia for the Indigenous Environmental Network. She has worked with grassroots and Indigenous communities, from Standing Rock to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Arctic to the Southwest. She is also a facilitator and trainer in anti-oppression work.

Jade Begay
Tongass Campaign Director

Jade Begay, Dine and Tesuque Pueblo, is a filmmaker, a storyteller, a communications strategist but above all, Jade is a woman who has cultivated a deep and fierce passion to protect land, air, and water. In order to accomplish this mission, Jade has committed her life’s work to amplify the voices and knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, so that the world can remember who the original caretakers of this earth are and who have maintained balance and harmony for time immemorial. It is Jade’s hope that once we recognize and honor Indigenous leadership, we can move towards healing hundreds of years of oppression. 

Jade currently produces multimedia for the Indigenous Environmental Network. She has worked with grassroots and Indigenous communities, from Standing Rock to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Arctic to the Southwest. She is also a facilitator and trainer in anti-oppression work.

Molly Leebove Director of Media Molly is, above all else, in service to the healing and restoration of our planet. She serves as a community builder, regenerative agriculture educator and creatrix of curriculum that uses food + farming as a platform for social and environmental justice.  She is currently educating beginning farmers and food systems activists in Vermont and commencing studies to become a death doula. Molly is an artist, photographer, dancer and body positive being passionate about exploring embodiment as liberation from a scripted + choreographed life in the pangs of a patriarchal and capitalistic world.

Molly Leebove
Director of Media

Molly is, above all else, in service to the healing and restoration of our planet. She serves as a community builder, regenerative agriculture educator and creatrix of curriculum that uses food + farming as a platform for social and environmental justice.  She is currently educating beginning farmers and food systems activists in Vermont and commencing studies to become a death doula.

Molly is an artist, photographer, dancer and body positive being passionate about exploring embodiment as liberation from a scripted + choreographed life in the pangs of a patriarchal and capitalistic world.

Erica Ekrem Art Director A child of the Dakota prairie, Erica was shaped by the quiet strength of the flatlands, by stories her grandmother told her during long, northern winters, and by her parents who raised her in intimate relation to nature.  Erica is a designer, instructor, writer, and artist. She offers freelance graphic design to small business & nonprofit organizations, and empowers others through skill sharing and transformational retreats. She urges participants to contemplate their impact on the environment, to honor those who have come before, and to choose environmentally supportive practices. She is a student of tea ceremony and a traditional folk-style bookbinder. Her ode to nature, Book of the Sea, was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. At the heart of her offerings lays an unwavering reverence for Nature paired with a fierce will to protect plants, animals, & places still wild.

Erica Ekrem
Art Director

A child of the Dakota prairie, Erica was shaped by the quiet strength of the flatlands, by stories her grandmother told her during long, northern winters, and by her parents who raised her in intimate relation to nature. 

Erica is a designer, instructor, writer, and artist. She offers freelance graphic design to small business & nonprofit organizations, and empowers others through skill sharing and transformational retreats. She urges participants to contemplate their impact on the environment, to honor those who have come before, and to choose environmentally supportive practices. She is a student of tea ceremony and a traditional folk-style bookbinder. Her ode to nature, Book of the Sea, was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

At the heart of her offerings lays an unwavering reverence for Nature paired with a fierce will to protect plants, animals, & places still wild.

 
 
Melanie Younger Director of Project Advancement Melanie has had special relationship with nature all of her life. Throughout her childhood Melanie learned much from her mother and grandfather about tending to the earth and nurturing animals. She grew up spending most of her time at her grandfather’s pioneer-era farm in the Ottawa Valley in Eastern Ontario, Canada. As such, Melanie has a special burden in her heart to protect the earth and her creatures. While her first career was in yoga and alternative medicine, in recent years Melanie’s work has shifted focus. In addition to her role with For The Wild, she is a law and environmental science student, as well as the Director of a Canadian non-profit focused on restorative justice. Melanie has additional experience working as a legislative lobbyist specializing in environmental and animal rights and as a researcher. Most recently, Melanie’s research has been used to facilitate the redesign of a graduate level university program in conflict-resolution and for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law. Melanie’s long-term aims are to become a lawyer focused on environmental and animal law, as well as to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental sustainability. She is currently writing her honours thesis on how international trade policies allow corporations to police global human rights and environmental laws. She plans to begin graduate studies at Harvard University in environmental policy and international development, in the fall of 2018.

Melanie Younger
Director of Project Advancement

Melanie has had special relationship with nature all of her life. Throughout her childhood Melanie learned much from her mother and grandfather about tending to the earth and nurturing animals. She grew up spending most of her time at her grandfather’s pioneer-era farm in the Ottawa Valley in Eastern Ontario, Canada. As such, Melanie has a special burden in her heart to protect the earth and her creatures. While her first career was in yoga and alternative medicine, in recent years Melanie’s work has shifted focus. In addition to her role with For The Wild, she is a law and environmental science student, as well as the Director of a Canadian non-profit focused on restorative justice. Melanie has additional experience working as a legislative lobbyist specializing in environmental and animal rights and as a researcher. Most recently, Melanie’s research has been used to facilitate the redesign of a graduate level university program in conflict-resolution and for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law. Melanie’s long-term aims are to become a lawyer focused on environmental and animal law, as well as to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental sustainability. She is currently writing her honours thesis on how international trade policies allow corporations to police global human rights and environmental laws. She plans to begin graduate studies at Harvard University in environmental policy and international development, in the fall of 2018.

Rachel Laase 1 Million Redwood Director / Native Species Nursery Manager Rachel is a lover of the soil, seeds, and all that blooms. She is a budding herbalist and has spent the last 4 years working as a farmer/educator for the education and research non-profit, Ecology Action in Mendocino County. She is also is on the Board of Directors for the organization. Rachel is also the co-founder of the non-profit Victory Gardens for Peace, helping to shed light on the issues of modern day agriculture and our current food systems while strengthening communities through localization and subsistence farming. After studying traditional printmaking and textiles in college, she felt the need to return to the land, to the garden, and left her urban life behind to move to Mendocino County to pursue a life of homesteading. Her life is dedicated to helping others, creating peaceful ways to work through and help solve the current challenges we face as a species, and to honor and protect Our Mother. Rachel feels most at home being amongst the trees and is thrilled to be a part of For The Wild's 1 Million Redwood Project.

Rachel Laase
1 Million Redwood Director / Native Species Nursery Manager

Rachel is a lover of the soil, seeds, and all that blooms. She is a budding herbalist and has spent the last 4 years working as a farmer/educator for the education and research non-profit, Ecology Action in Mendocino County. She is also is on the Board of Directors for the organization. Rachel is also the co-founder of the non-profit Victory Gardens for Peace, helping to shed light on the issues of modern day agriculture and our current food systems while strengthening communities through localization and subsistence farming.

After studying traditional printmaking and textiles in college, she felt the need to return to the land, to the garden, and left her urban life behind to move to Mendocino County to pursue a life of homesteading. Her life is dedicated to helping others, creating peaceful ways to work through and help solve the current challenges we face as a species, and to honor and protect Our Mother. Rachel feels most at home being amongst the trees and is thrilled to be a part of For The Wild's 1 Million Redwood Project.

Evan-Marie Mason 1 Million Redwood Researcher Evan-Marie was raised on the good red earth of the Southern end of the blue ridge mountains in north Georgia, the old territory of her ancestors, the Eastern Band of Tsalagi (Cherokee). She spent her formative childhood years a student in the foundations of deep ecology while cultivating a lifetime love and allegiance for the wild from her family time devoted to being present in the remaining pristine Appalachian spaces, the Piedmont deciduous forests and coastal plains of the Southeast. Evan-Marie’s passion for understanding the natural world, ecosystem dynamics, resilient systems and the traditional ecological knowledge within them has taken her throughout the southeast and Appalachia, across the Pacific and finally to the Northern coast ranges of Mendocino, California. For the past decade Evan-Marie has been a stewardess of a beautiful piece of land on the Navarro river watershed, where she and her husband raise their daughter. On this land, they have co-created a large organic farm and famers collective dedicated to nurturing the expression of plant intelligence while healing and shifting culture through symbiotic plant- human relationships.

Evan-Marie Mason
1 Million Redwood Researcher

Evan-Marie was raised on the good red earth of the Southern end of the blue ridge mountains in north Georgia, the old territory of her ancestors, the Eastern Band of Tsalagi (Cherokee). She spent her formative childhood years a student in the foundations of deep ecology while cultivating a lifetime love and allegiance for the wild from her family time devoted to being present in the remaining pristine Appalachian spaces, the Piedmont deciduous forests and coastal plains of the Southeast. Evan-Marie’s passion for understanding the natural world, ecosystem dynamics, resilient systems and the traditional ecological knowledge within them has taken her throughout the southeast and Appalachia, across the Pacific and finally to the Northern coast ranges of Mendocino, California.

For the past decade Evan-Marie has been a stewardess of a beautiful piece of land on the Navarro river watershed, where she and her husband raise their daughter. On this land, they have co-created a large organic farm and famers collective dedicated to nurturing the expression of plant intelligence while healing and shifting culture through symbiotic plant- human relationships.

 
March Young Podcast Producer March is a student of Restoration Ecology and is rehabilitating land and water in BC and Northern California. His main fascination is maintaining biodiversity in a rapidly changing climate. He is an amateur mycologist, wild food forager, and earth-skills enthusiast. He has also been practicing in the visual arts for two decades, attempting to open eyes and hearts to the wisdom of nature. March lived in the Andes of Peru for six years studying anthropology and collaborating with indigenous artists. He spent several more years traveling on foot and bicycle around North and South America, fostering relationships with a wide gamut of humans and non-humans. March worked as an environmental activist and organizer in NYC particularly against shale-gas development. He has studied at numerous institutions, but has learned the most from observing nature and witnessing Earth-based cultures. 

March Young
Podcast Producer

March is a student of Restoration Ecology and is rehabilitating land and water in BC and Northern California. His main fascination is maintaining biodiversity in a rapidly changing climate. He is an amateur mycologist, wild food forager, and earth-skills enthusiast. He has also been practicing in the visual arts for two decades, attempting to open eyes and hearts to the wisdom of nature. March lived in the Andes of Peru for six years studying anthropology and collaborating with indigenous artists. He spent several more years traveling on foot and bicycle around North and South America, fostering relationships with a wide gamut of humans and non-humans. March worked as an environmental activist and organizer in NYC particularly against shale-gas development. He has studied at numerous institutions, but has learned the most from observing nature and witnessing Earth-based cultures. 

Alena Walker Media Intern Alena is a storyteller and a writer with an environmental conscience who believes in the power of words and art to bring people closer to our natural world and to one another. She studied journalism in London before becoming fashion editor for an international arts & culture magazine. She has collaborated with ethical textile artists in Cuba, Arizona, London, Morocco and New Zealand, and was a finalist in the Kering’s Award for Sustainability. She now works as a freelance writer and creative consultant. Her work explores issues of identity, sustainability, ethics, zero-waste and environmental activism, covering topics such as permaculture, biodiversity, street art, farming, indigenous rights and preservation of traditional cultural craft. Two of her most prominent investigations have explored the symbol of the hijab in Moroccan youth culture and examined the sustainability of the surf industry. She regularly interviews artists and pioneers who advocate for a better world. Through her research and writing, she intends to inspire change, dispel myths, destroy complacency and bring new ideas to light. Alena hails from Northern Ireland and lives in New Zealand.

Alena Walker
Media Intern

Alena is a storyteller and a writer with an environmental conscience who believes in the power of words and art to bring people closer to our natural world and to one another. She studied journalism in London before becoming fashion editor for an international arts & culture magazine. She has collaborated with ethical textile artists in Cuba, Arizona, London, Morocco and New Zealand, and was a finalist in the Kering’s Award for Sustainability. She now works as a freelance writer and creative consultant.

Her work explores issues of identity, sustainability, ethics, zero-waste and environmental activism, covering topics such as permaculture, biodiversity, street art, farming, indigenous rights and preservation of traditional cultural craft. Two of her most prominent investigations have explored the symbol of the hijab in Moroccan youth culture and examined the sustainability of the surf industry. She regularly interviews artists and pioneers who advocate for a better world.

Through her research and writing, she intends to inspire change, dispel myths, destroy complacency and bring new ideas to light. Alena hails from Northern Ireland and lives in New Zealand.

Daniel Becker Land Manager Bio coming soon~

Daniel Becker
Land Manager

Bio coming soon~