OUR
TEAM

 
 

–directors & admin–

 
 

Ayana Young
co-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. 

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Marina Joy
co-managing director

Marina walks a path inspired by the magic between knowns and unknowns and the deep, timeless wisdom of earth. With a diverse arc of experience in nonprofit administration, education, environmental conservation, sustainable architecture, and community mobilization, Marina's work synthesizes her passion for helping others with her devotion to protecting the earth. 

Her professional focus includes leveraging qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis, strategic planning, and fundraising to maximize organization flow, team-member satisfaction, and long-term project sustainability. Her understanding of project lifecycle and impact (social, environmental, economic) comes from working nationally and internationally on diverse creative, education, and social impact campaigns. In all her work, she believes in the importance of listening, accountability, and designing appropriate metrics of success. 

Completing graduate studies in education at the Rhode Island School of Design has bolstered Marina's work in all areas and has given her a unique toolkit for directing social/environmental initiatives with a keen eye towards the philosophy of pedagogy and relationality. 

 

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Melanie Younger
co-managing director

Melanie has had special relationship with nature all of her life. She spent most of her childhood roaming the acreage of her grandfather’s pioneer-era farm in the Ottawa Valley in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She has always felt a deep kinship with plants, animals and the land that grew her. While her first career was in yoga and alternative medicine, in recent years Melanie’s work has shifted focus towards justice and advocacy work. In addition to her role with For The Wild, she is a law and environmental science student, as well as the Director of a non-profit focused on restorative justice. Melanie has experience working as a lobbyist in both the Canadian and American contexts around legislation related to environment, animal protection, religious freedoms and human rights. Her academic work includes research used to develop a graduate level program in conflict resolution, creation of a victim-impact training program for incarcerated women, as well research for publication in the U Penn Journal of International Law and the Religion, State and Society Journal. She is currently co-editing a book about intersectional feminism, environmentalism and the law, entitled, “Mothers, Mothering, and the Environment: The Maternal in Discourse and Activism” Melanie’s long-term aims are to become a lawyer focused on nonhuman rights, as well as to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental sustainability.

 

–podcast–


 
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Andrew Storrs
podcast producer & editor

Andrew, documentary filmmaker, artist, video/sound editor & producer, has worked since an early age on community-oriented American arts. Spanning the nation as a former band member in numerous musical acts from the East Coast, touring & recording, now in his 8th year as a practicing Filmmaker, his focus on the preservation of Cultural Equity producing Documentary shorts; series for television, films at home & abroad has brought him in close contact with an essence of humanity that he strives to share in his work. Drawn to environmental activism & education at this critical moment in our planet's history. He lives in the Joshua Tree area of California & is an avid bird & plant enthusiast.

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Carter Lou McElroy
podcast music supervisor

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 uses any spare time between to connect 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.

 
 

–research & writing–


  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.   

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Francesca Glaspell
research collaborator

Francesca resides in the high deserts of New Mexico, her place of birth and where she is always drawn back. She holds a degree in American Studies with concentrations in Southwest Cultural Studies and Critical Environmental Studies from the University of New Mexico. Throughout her academic career she felt called to address the silent and persisting traumas interwoven into society. In her research she is committed to including a multitude of voices, while staying devoted to narratives of love and justice. Francesca is called back to the arts, storytelling, cultural advocacy, and creative expressions as gateways to consciousness. She intends to continue her education while dedicating herself to living in communion with Earth and stretching her awareness between past, present, and future. She is currently relearning ancestral knowledge from her Andean roots, in order to implement practices that provide reciprocal, respectful, and regenerative relationships with one another, the environment, and ourselves.

 

–marketing, media, & design–


 
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Eryn Wise
communications director

Bio coming soon...

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Molly Leebove
media director

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.

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Erica Ekrem
art director & design

A child of the Dakota prairie, Erica was shaped by the quiet strength of the flatlands, by stories her grandmother told her during the long, northern winters, and through her relationships with the surrounding flora & fauna.

Erica is a designer, instructor, writer, maker, and mother. She offers freelance graphic design to small business & nonprofit organizations, and empowers others through skill sharing. 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.

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

 

–land & campaigns–


 
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Daniel Becker
land manager

Bio coming soon...

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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.

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.

 

–publishing–


 
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Milla Prince
publishing director

Milla grew up in the endless boreal forests of Eastern Finland about two hundred miles from the Arctic Circle and a hundred miles from the Russian border. Her work is grounded in her people’s ancestral folk medicine, and her culture’s surviving land-based practices; and her early teachers were grandmothers, both
human and plant. She’s a folk herbalist, a writer, a forager, a local plant enthusiast, a community organizer, an activist, and a gardener, among other things. She finds the intersection of all of these trades in calling herself a witch, or in her native Finnish, “Noita”.

She now lives on a small island on unceded Coast Salish Territory in the Cascadia Bioregion, where she hosts classes and workshops on Old Ways for these wild and wooly times.

The challenge of transferring her plant knowledge to a new, and different bio-region, has been the inspiration for her current work in bringing together folk herbalism, Earth activism, ancestral knowledge, decolonizing and reciprocity, ancient healing modalities, mythology, and creating local resilience and culture. Her passion is connecting people with their own ancestral folk lineage with plants.

 
 

–founders–


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Ayana Young
co-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. 

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March Young
co-founder

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.