Sheldon is an entrepreneur who co-founded a life sciences tool company (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific). He is a former Alumni Regent of the University of California, and a trustee emeritus of the UC San Diego Foundation. An avid surfer, Sheldon is active with the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and received the Chancellor’s Medal in 2011.
Sue received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from UC San Diego, where she served on the Board of the Alumni Association. She taught Math at the University of San Diego, and currently volunteers as a math tutor for an alternative education high school in Oceanside. She and her husband Steve live in North County, where he co-founded the company ViaSat. Sue and Steve actively support a number of organizations including Nature & Culture, UC San Diego, Interfaith Community Services, KPBS, and Mainly Mozart.
Ann Hunter Welborn
Ann is a native Californian and chair of the board at Hunter Industries, a leading manufacturer of irrigation and landscape lighting equipment. She serves on the board of Rachel’s Network and the Sonoran Institute. She holds a PhD in depth psychology with emphasis on mythological studies, and views all existence through that lens. She and her husband David have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Marcia is a preventive medicine physician. For two decades she was medical director of IntraHealth.org, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. In North Carolina, she was medical director of a county health department, taught international health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and taught environmental epidemiology at Duke University’s School of the Environment. Marcia has a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Duke University, and an MPH from UNC-CH. She serves on the boards of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and the Southern Environmental Law Center, as well as several advisory councils. At home she is an enthusiastic organic gardener.
Adriana is an environmental lawyer native to Colombia. She has experience working on environmental law and policy issues in Latin America, particularly as related to sustainability, nature-based solutions, and climate change mitigation and adaption. She is also interested in the transition towards carbon-free energy systems, urban forests, and the overlap between biodiversity conservation and infrastructure development. Adriana and her husband support a scholarship fund in Colombia for undergraduate and graduate student theses related to conservation and sustainable use of Colombia’s biodiversity.
Annie Dunne is on the board and is President of Araim Pharmaceuticals, and is the CEO of The Wild Wisdom Foundation. She is the founder and CEO of the Sage Garden Project, a hands-on cooking and gardening program currently serving over 30,000 California elementary students. Annie’s passions are diabetes prevention and the protection of open spaces. Annie’s Canyon in the San Elijo preserve was named in honor of her efforts. Annie is also an artist and avid traveler.
Charles has started five companies and one foundation. He is known for inventing the royalty-free model at Digital Stock Inc., later sold to Bill Gates, and the confidence-based learning model at Knowledge Factor Inc. He is co-founder and a board member of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and previously served on the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Honorary Board Member
Jane Goodall is a world famous primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots. Her work began in Tanzania where she studied the social and familial behaviors of chimpanzees. She is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. Her work has been critical to conservation and animal welfare efforts.
Honorary Board Member
David has lived in Ecuador since 1985, where he has been carrying out floristic projects, providing training to Ecuadorian botanists, and assisting in the development of the National Herbarium of Ecuador (QCNE). In the past he served as director of the Jatun Sacha Foundation, a nonprofit Ecuadorian organization engaged in conservation, education and research, and holds a position as a university professor in Quito.
Honorary Board Member
Byron Swift is an environmental lawyer, and has worked for the past four decades to conserve biodiversity and natural ecosystems in most countries of the Western hemisphere. He has served as President of Nature and Culture International, founder and President of Rainforest Trust, and head of the United States office of IUCN – the World Conservation Union. An avid birder, he graduated from Columbia Law School and Stanford University.
Honorary Board Member
Ed Wilson is a renowned biologist, author and Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He is considered the world’s foremost expert on myrmecology, or the study of ants. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author known for his books ranging from biology to environmental advocacy and his secular-humanist ideas on the interplay between religion, ethics and conservation. Read more here.
President and CEO
Matt started with Nature and Culture in 2015, as an advisor in the Loja, Ecuador office. For seven years prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, a conservation organization in his native Portland, Oregon and also served as treasurer on the board of an Oregon-wide network of conservation entities. Additionally, he’s worked extensively for Native American tribal governments in the US, supporting their treaty fishing and water rights. Matt first fell in love with Latin America — its vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes and incredible biodiversity — while in Honduras in the 1990s as a Peace Corps volunteer. He has a BA from Stanford University in English Literature and Human Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Director of Programs and Strategy
Renzo is one of NCI’s founders. In 1996, he and Ivan Gailer established the San Francisco Scientific Station, home to the world’s largest tropical mountain forest ecology research program. Under Renzo’s direction, NCI’s first conservation projects were developed in Ecuador. Renzo has broad experience in the field of conservation. He served as coordinator of the United Nations Geo-Loja report and was president of the Regional Council of the Catamayo-Chira River Basin. In recognition of his efforts, Renzo received the Podocarps Award from Loja’s Provincial Council for his conservation and environmental management efforts. He holds a Master’s in Zootechnics from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow.