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Full Team Bios 

​ Please Note: These bios are listed alphabetically by last name.

Those with a small "p" next to their name are no longer active members. 

  • p Bee, Lizzy - Lizzy Bee began her career as an environmental educator in 2006 in Sequoia National Park, where she spent most of her childhood. She went on to teach science-based outdoor education for non-profit organizations such as the Great Basin Outdoor School, Naturalists at Large, the Oregon Zoo, and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, before she earned her Master of Environmental Management degree with an emphasis in Global Sustainability from Western Colorado University in 2021.  Through Gunnison, Colorado’s international sister-city relationship with Majkhali, India, she began work with the Foundation for the Contemplation of Nature in 2020, collaboratively developing a “Holistic Resiliency” course which focuses on the practices of mindfulness and ecotherapy nature connections to improve the psychological development of children.In her spare time, you might find Lizzy hiking or meditating somewhere in the mountains. In the winter, she enjoys snowshoeing and snowboarding and, in the summer, she is often on the river, whitewater rafting on her boat-- Relish, the Dill. Lizzy is also a Leave No Trace Master Educator and enjoys backpacking and educating others on the importance of practicing respect and awareness in nature. 

  • Brzezicki, Rachel - "I am currently a sophomore at Columbia University studying Sustainable Development. Since first learning about the premise behind 'Earth Day' as in kindergarten, to camping as a Girl Scout, spending summer days at my local beach, and visiting the mountains and caverns of Virginia, I have always appreciated the beauty and intensity of nature and understood the importance of leaving the planet better than we found it. I believe the most effective way we can do this is by understanding the perspectives of those most vulnerable and learning from the methods of indigenous communities. I have much prior experience in business operations and development, and with this knowledge, I am excited to focus on initiating grassroots fundraising efforts, creating partnerships between RP-MP, organizations, and communities, and while contributing to our mission of global river restoration."

  • p Coignoux, Tifaine - Tifaine Coignoux is an artist-researcher. Her art is focused on physical and spiritual displacement, transformation/metamorphosis, or even fiction. Her practice plastic allows her to develop her ideas in many nuances. She currently lives in Roussac, in the Limousin, in France. She graduated with a Master’s degree (Diplôme National Supérieur d'Expression Plastique, DNSEP) at the National Superior School of Art in Bourges, in 2020. She is interested in the human transformations involved in new technologies and climate change.

  • p Jones, Matthew - "Hello my name is Matthew Jones and I am extremely excited to be a part of this project. Growing up I spent a great deal of time playing in the woods and in particular the local stream looking for various wildlife that lived. That childhood pastime that originated where I grew up in Maryland extended into my adult life and gave me a direction in which to follow that has taken me around the entirety of the United States, which was to preserve natural areas around the world alongside helping people to take care of these areas themselves. As a Western Colorado Alumni I earned my undergraduate degree in Outdoor Education which was soon followed by my Masters in Environmental Management with a emphasis in Global Sustainability. Professionally I have worked primarily in the outdoor education sector where I have done work with: the Mass Audubon Society, Naturalist at Large, North Carolina Outward Bound School, Coldharbour Institute, as well as a curriculum consultant for the United Nations Mountain Partnership. Outside of work I am a recreationalist, my favorite ways to connect with nature is through whitewater stand up paddle boarding, rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, swimming, and surfing. I feel that the only way to prevent further environmental damage is to connect people to each other so they feel empowered to conserve these amazing ecosystems and as a part of the field team I hope to further foster these relationships." 

  • Kosuri, Sushmita - "I am passionate about global health issues and how our ecosystems and communities play a role in our well-being as well as how we in-turn can also play a more supportive role in our ecosystems and communities. I have spent the larger part of my professional and academic careers at Johns Hopkins Medicine learning how co-dependent the worlds of medicine, research, multi-disciplinary collaboration are. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to join this diverse and growing team here at The River Project-Ma Ganga, and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to help build the infrastructure for the educational, programmatic and volunteer efforts which can ultimately help restore the health of the Ganges River and the countless individuals and animals who rely on this the holy river serves as their critical water source."

  • Kowalcyk, Lara (new member)

  • p Narang, Prabhav - "I am Prabhav, a final year student at the University of Delhi pursuing a major in economics. The fondest memories of my childhood are those of spending my summer vacations at the banks of the Ganges River with my family. I remember the river being calming and its natural beauty therapeutic- countless days being spent frolicking on the riverbank, observing the ebbs and flows of the majestic river. My passion towards RPMG stems having proximately seen the Ganges degrade over the years and have become in dire need of rejuvenation and restoration efforts. My grandmother used to say every river tells a story- of adventure, of passion, of wonder. The Ganges today has been reduced to a story of despair. I believe the way to move forward is collective advocacy and empowerment, building on sustainable practices that can help save our rivers. Through working at RPMG, I hope to be able to contribute to ecological rejuvenation and help Ma Ganga".  

  • Qureshi, Tehreem - "I am studying environmental science with a concentration in computer science at Columbia University. The outdoors has always been a place of great peace and beauty to me. I'm passionate about the conservation of our natural environment after spending time camping and canoeing in Wisconsin, the Adirondack Mountains, and recently in the Death Valley National Park! In addition, I want to center my conservation efforts in South Asia as I have roots in Pakistan and am well aware of the environmental threats within the subcontinent."   

  • Schofield, Suzanna - "I have been passionate about human-environmental issues for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my mom would take my sister and me to national parks, and since that time, I have committed myself to the fields of conservation, environmental science, and sustainability. At college, I am double majoring in environmental studies with a focus in agriculture and environmental science and peace and justice studies with a concentration in sustainable community development. Through my studies and other projects, water has always been a central force that brings me peace and I view it as the most basic thing that connects us all. As the world continues to face the effects climate change, I believe collaborative community-based initiatives focused on resources like water will be the most effective in establishing resiliency. I am really thankful for being part of The River Project-Ma Ganga to take part in making a difference."

  • Shanti, Ayo Oum - Ayo is a lover of this Earth and its waters. While living in India, she fell in love with Ma Ganga, spending her afternoons at the banks of the river in Assi Ghat, Varanasi, and watching the dance of energy between Ma Ganga's waters and the massive monsoon clouds above her just before the cloud's release of its flooding waters.​ She is a visionary with one foot rooted deep in this Earth. Over the decades she has worked as a community organizer and served on different leadership committees. She has a Masters degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and passed the ten week training course to join the New York City CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), deploying several times including for the main sewage pipeline break in Queens and the recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida.​  A published writer, poet, dancer, choreographer, (with her own dance company), she also had years of managerial experience in financial information services and medical science research.  Ayo loves exploring/hiking in the wilderness and connecting with different cultures and Indigenous peoples. "Mina olen velho." 

  • Sharma, Samiha -  Being born in the village of North India where mountain ranges and rivers are the main attraction  .I always see that  some visitors  never understand their responsibility towards keeping the area clean and better for future generations. Currently I am in Delhi university and pollution here in Delhi is a big problem which caused me health issues and  motivated me to get involved myself in to something which can help in sustainable development. I got a beautiful chance to meet Ayo and she gave me the opportunity to be part of this river project. I am blessed to be a part of this river project. Thanks!

  • p Suratkar, Adwait - "My biography is very simple. My education is hands-on and non traditional. The mantra of my life is to always by Cheerful (ABC). I have only one purpose: to inspire, change and lead, it's that simple. I cannot complete my bio without taking Sara's name, because she taught me the importance of being human and that all that a human needs to do is just love. Currently I am building people-Planet-Problems website.

  • von Krenner, Karin - Karin von Krenner is a multi-disciplinary writer and photographer who has worked internationally for over 20 years. She has been recognized for both her political writing and stark photography.Karin was born in the US and has lived and worked around the world including Asia, the Middle East and Europe. She attended the University of Montana with a double major in Journalism and Politics. In addition to her journalism, Karin is well known for her legal work in human rights and influencing change for women and children. She is the Founder of an activist platform for artists to collaborate and create powerful social dialogue for change.When not writing and sampling eclectic coffee shops she can be found browsing bookshops and traveling in strange places.

  • p Zimbel, Sam - "I am studying Sustainable Development with a concentration on international affairs at Columbia University. My passion for conservation and preservation originated when I joined my local rowing team in Toronto. Because of rowing, I became exposed to the effects of water contamination on human development, ecology, and the built environment. This experience, in combination with my academic courses centering around India, have drawn me to this opportunity! My goal throughout this internship is to develop the skills and knowledge to help those dependent upon the Ma Ganga river, as well as advocate for the preservation on a broader scale!"

                Webpage created by Tehreem Qureshi and Ayo Oum Shanti

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