These folks make it possible for the Earth Guardians to do what they do best. From office maintenance and taking out the compost to brainstorming and campaign support, this team works behind the scenes to make the movement move.
Tamara Rose, Executive Director & "Chief mama"
Tamara is the mother of six beautiful children who are actively involved in Earth Guardians. She is the founder and executive director of Earth Guardians and the soul behind many of its projects. In 1992, she co-founded and directed the Earth Guardian Community Resource Center, an accredited experiential learning high school in Maui, Hawaii, where she successfully directed her vision to bring environmental awareness, cultural involvement, and positive change to youth. She has taught environmental education and has organized youth outreach programs and cross-cultural programs focused on earth restoration for the past 20 years. Tamara is now guiding the third generation of Earth Guardian youth leaders into environmental activism and leadership.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director
Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 16-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained, and moratoriums on fracking in his state, and is currently a plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations.
Xiuhtezcatl has traveled across the nation and to many parts of the world educating his generation about the state of the planet they are inheriting and inspiring youth into action to protect the Earth. His message has inspired youth to join the front lines combating the environmental crisis, as well as form Earth Guardian crews in over 30 countries. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stones, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, Bill Maher, Skavlan, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and more.
In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President's youth council.
He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize, recipient of the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, 2016 Captain Planet Award and the 2016 Children's Climate Prize in Sweden. Bill Mckibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl "an impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear.”
Russell Mendell, campaign director
Russell– a writer, musician and community organizer– is focused on merging art and activism to inspire youth participation in climate solutions. Russell was moved to action after witnessing the water contamination near fossil fuel extraction sites. This led him to assist with water catchment construction and water deliveries from the Amazon to Northeast Pennsylvania. He was previously the Outreach Director for Frack Action and Water Defense, actor Mark Ruffalo’s nonprofit. Most recently, Russell was the Campaign Director for Frack Free Colorado, a nonprofit focused on making the transition from fracked gas to renewable energy. He has co-organized dozens of concerts and events for social and environmental causes. Russell is working to nurture the symbiotic relationship between art, music and climate solutions.
CHRISTIAN "Yano" O'ROURKE, Digital organizer & Grant writer
Christian O’Rourke is a talented activist who balances the urgency of front-lines activism with the intentionality of an organizer. He oversees Earth Guardians fundraising work, as well as the digital strategy of campaigns and events. Christian’s background includes time working in media and organizing for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ nuclear power safety campaign, co-founding the student group Climate Justice at Boston College, and volunteering with the Boulder County Community Rights Network and Greenpeace’s Beyond Coal campaign. In the past he also worked on communications for Colorado's Break Free Day of Action and Colorado's "Yes For Health and Safety Over Fracking" ballot initiatives.
A talented photographer and storyteller, Christian dedicates much of his time to photographing the movement. His work has been featured by Survival Media Agency, Jacobin, New Internationalist, EcoWatch, and other prominent outlets.
Aidan Ferris, Global Crew director
Aidan Ferris, an environmental solutionary from Phoenicia, New York, works to educate and inspire those around her to take action on climate change. With the better part of a decade’s experience working with children, Aidan is enthusiastic in her mission to teach future generations how to be the caretakers of the Earth. With this goal in mind, she co-founded Earth Guardians NY with Rachel Marco-Havens. Since then Aidan has spoken at public hearings and participated in direct actions, bringing the voice of the youth to the table. She seeks to empower youth around the world to use their passions to make a difference both locally and globally. Aidan was a part of the Earth Guardians COP21 Youth Delegation in Paris, France and has led several workshops with Earth Guardians focusing on climate justice solutions that youth can bring into their communities. As the Global Crew Director she supports crews worldwide and works to create connection and collaboration within the Earth Guardians network. Aidan also heads up the Earth Guardians Instagram and Protect Our Future educational campaign.
Michaela Mujica-Steiner, DIRECTOR OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Michaela grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and became involved with organizing in college through her work on two fossil fuel divestment campaigns at Fort Lewis College and Northern Arizona University. Throughout college, she was also engaged with 350.org, from being a fellow in the Fossil Free Fellowship to being a mentor in their Training Corp Program. She has played multiple roles in the Divestment Student Network, including being the co-founder of the Southwest Divestment Network as a regional organizer and being on the Long-term Strategy Team, helping to determine the long-term trajectory of the organization. After graduating from college this past May, she worked for 350 Action as the Colorado Statewide Organizer, working on ballot initiatives to prevent fracking in Colorado and working on Get Out the Vote during the election. In her free time, Michaela enjoys going out with friends, free form dance, cooking dinner with her housemates, and being outdoors. She is excited to start working with the Earth Guardians and helping to coordinate the RYSE Youth Council.
KRISTIN REYNOLDS, Director of Operations + Speaker's Bureau manager
Kristin is an intersectional feminist with a huge passion for social change and a bit of a southern accent. She first became interested in activism during her time studying at Appalachian State University, where she graduated in 2014 with a BA in Religious Studies, a BS in Sustainable Development, and a minor in music. Her passions have since taken her across the country to colorful Colorado.
Kristin’s experience includes working as an organizer with Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., serving as Director of Communication for Bee Safe Boulder, acting on the social media team for Colorado’s “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” actions, and working as an office director for the “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking” ballot initiative campaign. Her biggest passion lies in learning and teaching about the interconnection between equality, education, and environment. After working closely with EG staff for years, Kristin is excited to join the team as Director of Ops, as well as Manager of the Earth Guardians Speakers Bureau.
ROBIN EDEN, COLORADO REGIONAL coordinator
Robin Eden is a mother, mixed media artist, permaculture designer/teacher, and event coordinator. Her mission in life is to bring generations together to ponder and grasp our essential connection with natural systems. She works to inspire people to take action through a combination of logical design practices and creative solutions.
Robin has worked extensively as an event organizer; some of her past work includes organizing cultural arts & ecological events, film-screenings, natural building workshops, and permaculture design courses. In addition, Robin is an ecological consultant/designer for FLOWS, Boulder Edible Landscapes Committee, and Boulder Shambhala Center. She also collaborates with CU Environmental Center to organize the Front Range Bioneers Conference at the University. She is co-founder of Regenerative Lifestyles, whose core mission is to create a community center and eco-tourist education facility.
Robin's work with Earth Guardians involves leading the local Boulder Earth Guardians Crew, collaborating with other local Colorado crews, planning youth events, and managing our Soil For Life campaign.