Dr. Shani Kleinhaus works tirelessly for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society in the Silicon Valley region of California. A self-described Environmental Advocate, Shani is described to a tee on the Santa Clara Valley Audubon website. "Shani (pronounced shaa-knee) works to protect and promote wildlife habitats and to include conservation in local development plans. She represents the Chapter before local governments and supports the executive director in addressing issues of land use, wildlife and habitat, and environmental impacts. She works closely with our Environmental Action Committee and volunteers on a plethora of conservation issues in the county. Shani earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis and has contributed to conservation research, advocacy and planning in a variety of ecosystems in the US and overseas."
During her TogetherGreen year, she engaged immigrant communities in the preservation and protection of some the last remaining Burrowing Owl habitat at Mountain View's Shoreline park.
Shani became my friend and kindred spirit during our year as TogetherGreen Fellows. Her enthusiasm for life was evident when she and I hiked down to the Potomac River to join the "young fellows" for a midnight, moonlight, around the campfire gathering during our first training session at NCTC in August of 2010. Again we found ourselves joining the "young fellows" while in Washington, DC for the final TG Retreat in November of 2011, where we shared a meal at an Indian restaurant and endured the noise of an Irish Pub before we and Stacy Vigallon hiked across the National Mall on a balmy autumn night.
|TogetherGreen Fellows enjoying an evening in DC. Stacy on the left. Shani on the right.|
Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, Marine Biologist of the Shoals Marine Labratory, a research arm of Cornell University, works to preserve intertidal habitat in Maine by protecting rockweed beds from industrial-scale cutting. She has spent the last 10 years working with the Rockweed Coalition, sharing scientific knowledge on the impacts of rockweed cutting while also listening to local fishing communities. Her depth of knowledge of the people, flora, and fauna of coastal Maine is second to none, and her love for this land is evident in her words, expressions, and actions.
A self-described country girl, Robin's humble nature and kindness give no hint to her stellar career as a marine biologist and conservation advocate out of Cornell. For more info, go to the Cornell website or the TogetherGreen site.
So you see, it still amazes me that I have been able to spend quality time with some of the greatest conservationists and environmentalists of our times. There are still 35 more in the Class of 2010 TogetherGreen Fellows. They all have amazing backgrounds, stories, and passions to ensure that their presence in the world has a wonderful outcome for the quality of life for all things living and growing. I will remember them all forever.