Meet the team ♥
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.
Mary GiardinO, Development Director
Writer, Editor, Mediator, Advocator, Agitator - is a native, 2nd generation American/Coloradan who spent half of her life in Northern California. Protecting the natural world has been an automatic reflex since she was a child. After studying Creative Writing and World Religions at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she took up residence in what she calls Boulder-by-the-sea: Santa Cruz, California. Staying close to the production of food - her first love - Mary learned the gracious art of service.
After a glorious stint of seacoast living, she found a profound home among redwoods and rebels. Living 12 years off-grid in the forest, among people who worked hard at self-sufficiency and valued community & diversity, Mary learned how to put the art of service to work. Alongside community, Mary fought to save forests; co-create a world of art & music; support independent radio, local education, and environmental resistance; and built a farmer’s market and a town square. She helped organizations thrive through board of directors service, community leadership, resource development, conflict resolution, and community organizing.
Emerging from the forest as a certified mediator; certified child, client and family advocate; and a non-profit professional, Mary moved back to Boulder to raise her two daughters - now 13 & 18 - close to her big Italian family. Mary’s focus is now on disrupting the dominant paradigm by bringing her art of community service and environmental activism out into the larger community.
Dana Pauzauskie, Director of Conscious Arts and Partnership
Dana believes in the beauty of the human spirit and is an unwavering creative optimist, bridge builder, consultant, educator and social impact entrepreneur. She enjoys interdisciplinary pursuits, including former research with the National Center for Atmospheric Research designing collaborative projects between climate scientists and indigenous communities. In order to demystify the interconnection of humanity and the external environment, she has bridged her experience in cross cultural climate research, wilderness therapy, yoga, Montessori and public schools with social entrepreneurship to create “You Are Yoga: Awareness” education for children and adults.
As a consultant, she works closely with individuals and organizations in unique capacities to identify and refine visions while strategizing how to bring them to life. Dana is a Founding Partner of Dream Tank, a Boulder, CO born social impact entrepreneurial accelerator for kids and has also worked closely with the Impact Hub Academy to design educational entrepreneurial opportunities for youth. Dana believes in you.
Lily Lemire, Executive Assistant
Lily is one of the newest members of the Earth Guardians team. She is a recent graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with a BA in Film Studies and a Certificate in Business. Her role as the Executive Assistant is to handle day to day tasks in the office such as organize files, book flights, post on social media, respond to emails, run errands etc. She does anything she can to help make things run a little more smoothly. When she isn’t working, she enjoys writing, watching movies, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. She currently resides in Boulder, but has lived in Maine, Hawaii, and Australia.
Kellie Berns, Project Manager
Kellie Berns is a visionary, spiritual practitioner, teacher and community organizer who has a passion for bringing peace, justice and healing to those in need. Her time spent studying and practicing Buddhism, Advita Vedanta and in earth based Native Americans ceremonies ignited a deep spiritual calling within her to be of service to humanity. The understanding that all beings are connected, and that if one being is suffering, we all are, is what moved her off the meditation cushion and into the world of direct action.
After teaching yoga, meditation and massage therapy for many years, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she co-directed the Ahimsa House, a community center which merges activism and spirituality, and stands outside of the violence of capitalism by offering all classes free of charge. The project serves to give voice to underserved communities using the principles of compassion and non-violence. In 2013, Kellie Co-founded a Yoga Teacher Training in west Philadelphia which encouraged bringing yoga to lower income areas, and to people of mixed race and gender identification. Her passion for teaching stems from the knowledge that when there is peace within, there is peace without.
In 2016, Kellie’s relationship to various Indigenous tribes of the Americas, as well as her love for water, drove her across the country to Cannonball, ND where she spent 2 months living and participating in the Standing Rock movement. Working in harmony with her Native and non-Native allies, she learned more about non-violent front lines direct action, as well as how to create a movement with prayer at its center. Kellie now lives in Boulder, CO and is continuing her work of heart-forward, direct action with the Earth Guardians.
Mensa Tsedze, Africa Regional Youth Director
Mensa Kwami TSEDZE, Regional Director of Earth Guardians Africa, is a young activist from Togo who is passionate about environment and sustainable development. He committed himself very early with local and international organizations to act on the ground and also learn by connecting to the global networks.
Holding a BSc in Animal Biology and Physiology from the University of Lomé in Togo in his native country, Mensa also attended several certified courses such as Diplomacy and Global Issues, Human Rights and Dignity, Project Management and Others. Prior to joining Earth Guardians, Mensa was a country director of various organizations in Togo such as Earth Charter Youth, Youth Climate Report, World Youth Alliance, Iduka. He was a Tigweb online volunteer, and co-founded IDEAS for Togo. Former TUNZA eco-generation ambassador to west Africa, Mensa represented his country at the UNEP World Youth Summit on the Environment in 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. In the same year, he played a key role in organizing the TUNZA Africa summit in Togo. Mensa was delegated of his country and university to the World Student in the Environment Summit in South Africa in 2014 and also attended the prestigious One Young World conference in Dublin, Ireland in the same year. In 2016, Mensa and his team planted more than 14,000 trees across Togo. He was aparty delegate of his country at COP 22. Apart from his ecological passion, and everything related to the development of the African continent, Mensa loves football, music, and traveling
Teotecpatl Santin Martinez, Mexico regional youth director
My name is Teotecpatl Santin Martinez, I live in Mexico City, I dedicate myself to cultural art, dance, theater, music, spirituality, and I also dedicate myself especially to fighting against climate change and to raising awareness among the world population about importance of one of the biggest problems of our era, climate change.
Something that inspired me a lot to be a part of Earth Guardians was to see the situation of the world, pollution in my community, waste of water in many aspects, overexploitation of natural resources, mistreatment of animals, disconnecting people with their spiritual origin with the Earth, and I realized the only way to heal the earth and the world is to heal our lives.
I am currently working very hard in Mexico after the earthquake of September 19, 2017 in the (conscientious reconstruction of Mexico Anahuac) a project of conscious reconstruction with permaculture, and renewable energies in a new rebirth of humanity towards a global consciousness different and with a respect for our environment knowing that we come from the land and valleys will return, knowing to be in harmony with all that surrounds us as we were taught in Mexico our ancestors Mexica Tolteca. The project is about the reconstruction of humanity from the depths of being from the spiritual, social, emotional, cultural, physical, material and educational systems. For example, we are working on vegetarian food, which is one of the most powerful weapons against climate change.
Jackson Hinkle, U.s. regional youth director - WEST COAST
Jackson Hinkle is an environmental activist from San Clemente, California. He is the founder of the Team Zissou Environmental Organization, which he created in an effort to connect like-minded youth from all across the world in order to address and solve the greatest issues humankind is currently facing. Jackson is leading a campaign in his town called “Plastic Free SC,” which provides the city with a step by step process to eliminate detrimental plastic consumption. He has also been instrumental in protecting threatened habitats in Orange County, and ensuring the proper and safe storage of the United States’ nuclear waste.
Aside from Team Zissou, Jackson lectures about youth activism and water conservation to high school students in his area, serves on the RYSE Youth Council and was selected to be a youth delegate at the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment in the summer of 2017. In his freetime, Jackson enjoys making art, writing music, surfing, and hiking.
Jaiia Cerff, Australia Regional Youth Director
Jaiia Cerff is an engaged and active global youth who has represented youth-led NGO’s around the world from the COP21 UN conference in Paris to the Earth Guardians NZ tour this January. He is passionate about catalyzing a new way of life. Planting seeds of hope and action within local communities and broader afield. He is curious about all things culture and is excited to explore and share about how our social and physical spaces affect and guide our behavior, as well as the cutting edge of sustainable education as viewed by the millennial demographic.
Marlow Baines, U.S. regional Youth Director - Midwest
Marlow Baines grew up in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. They were and continue to be her inspiration to work towards a more environmentally conscious world. Her work began after a mind opening trip to Standing Rock in her first year of high school. A few months later she attended her first peaceful protest and joined the National Earth Guardians Youth Council. She currently is on the National Earth Guardians RYSE Youth Council, she is a regional crew director at Earth Guardians, and has begun a small scale project under the name of The Confidence Projects, which is working to flip our current beauty standards and judgments of others.
Tashi Dorji, Bhutan Regional Youth Director
I am nature lover and I also love to hike with friends. I started Earth Guardians Bhutan Chapter few years ago and actively organized community clean ups, tree plantations, protecting streams and planning youth events for environmental protection. As deeply influenced by Buddhism and fueled by the passion to protect environment, I am very interested into exploring how Buddhist values and principles can help in protecting environment and combating climate change.
I have also served as a representative of myfaceforpeace.org in Bhutan and Youth Leader Messenger in Bhutan for Youth-Leader. Over the past 4 years, I have been working to educate the school and college students about climate change and its impacts in Bhutan. I am keen on connecting with the like-minded Bhutanese youth and International organizations to protect our Mother Earth and in protecting our forest. I love planting trees and increasing the forest coverage in Bhutan which already covers 72% of the total land.
Completed B.Sc in Sustainable Development from College of Natural Resources and currently undergoing Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration.
Jonathon Reed, Canada Regional Youth Director
As a passionate speaker, Jonathon's goal is to inspire more young leaders into climate action. Jonathon first connected with activism by sleeping on the street with the Occupy movement in 2011. In the years following, his love of nature and hunger for justice brought him into the climate justice movement. He recruited for Powershift 2012, marched in solidarity with Idle No More, protested planned pipelines, and organized for the People's Climate March. Currently, Jonathon is involved in organizing against tar sands in his homeland of Canada.
Jonathon has the natural ability to connect with young people, having spent years working with kids in outdoor education and at-risk youth programs. In his spare time, Jonathon enjoys performing slam poetry and mentoring youth.
Jacques Macaire, International Public Relations
As Franco-American, and an inveterate dreamer living between France and the United States, Jacques Macaire has participated for more than 30 years in the growth of many companies. Strong advocate for a better world and "UN Peace Messenger Initiator," he urged everyone to change their strategy by cooperating together to the creation of a better world. It prefigures already what will be his future by founding the non-profit association HUMANBE to direct a thorough reflection on future changes in the world of tomorrow, and by taking up the challenge to put the human at the center of our concerns. By borrowing the human as a symbol of their new visual identity, he affirmed his loyalty to humanity. In his desire to meet the challenges of tomorrow, he sketched out several scenarios to change the world, and made his organization a place capable of exploring new ideas for the future of our humanity and to defend a more human world. With his many international connections, he launched several projects that will be crucial for sustainable change, such as the rebuilding of rigid airships, a new hydrogen system from organic waste, eco-positive houses that can withstand hurricanes or the creation of new project concerning the SDGs using the last technologies based on blockchain, AI, etc. With the help of the social network, he created also multiple groups to encourage the union of humans and help the various international communities, as in 2015 at the United Nations COP21 in Paris, by helping, as International Public Relations, the different world delegations of the Earth Guardians.