Dr. Laura Monti
Dr. Gary Nabhan
Dr. Laura M. Norman
Jose Manuel Perez
Aishah Lurry, founder and CEO of Patagonia Flower Farm, is an artistic florist that combines her love for water-wise and organic farming techniques to produce affordable, healthy fresh-cut flowers.
As a gardener that began her flower farming career in 2017, Aishah started her micro-farm at her home after getting tired of driving 20 miles out of town to buy overpriced and imported flowers that she didn’t like. By merging her expertise and knowledge of crop planning, propagation, harvesting, drying, and arranging, Aishah was able to turn her beloved hobby into a thriving business that celebrates eco-consciousness and the local economy.
Laura Monti is a Cultural Ecologist at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies. Her research and practice focuses on bio-cultural diversity and social and ecological health, with a Ph.D from University of Arizona in Arid Lands Resource Sciences-Ethno Ecology and Medical Anthropology, and an M.S. in Community Health and Pediatrics from St. Louis University. During the last twenty years she has lived and worked in Southwest US and Northern Mexico, teaching with universities, developing intercultural community programs and guiding philanthropic investments to address complex social and ecological challenges that face indigenous communities living.
Gary Paul Nabhan (born 1952) is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement.
A first-generation Lebanese American, Nabhan was raised in Gary, Indiana. While excelling in some of his studies, he dropped out of high school, and then had the opportunity to attend Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa for 18 months. During that time, he worked at the headquarters for the first Earth Day for two stints in Washington DC.
He then transferred to Prescott College in Arizona, earning a B.A. in Environmental Biology in 1974, and has remained in-state ever since. He has an M.S. in plant sciences (horticulture) from the University of Arizona (1978), and a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary arid lands resource sciences also at the University of Arizona (“Papago Fields: Arid Lands Ethnobotany and Agricultural Ecology”, 1983). During this time he started working with, and learning from farmers and foragers in several indigenous communities on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.
Dr. Laura M. Norman is a Supervisory Research Physical Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, where she has worked since 1998. She received her Ph.D. in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona with a minor in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. She also has a Master of Science in Watershed Management, a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Oregon State University, and a Degree Certificate in Visual Basic Programming.
Dr. Norman leads the Ecohydrology Team of the Western Geographic Science Center (2015-present), served as the President for the SW Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (2014-2017) and Region Director, Southwest US Region of American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (2010-2012).
Jose Manuel Perez, originally from Monclova Coahuila, Mexico, graduated from the University Antonio Narro, with experience in managing diversified ranches in the states of Coahuila and Nuevo León for more than 27 years. While working with conservation organization Pronatura Noroeste, Jose Manuel was responsible for reforestation and restoration of degraded ecosystems in northeastern Mexico from 2003 to 2013 in the states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi, where work in more than 80 private estates and 25 ejidal (communal farms) restored more than 40,000 hectares.
Currently he serves as director of Cuenca de Los Ojos A.C., a Mexican non-profit organization that preserves biological corridors between Mexico and the United States, managing ranches that have been voluntarily contracted for conservation in the municipality of Agua Prieta, Sonora.
Dr. Richard Pritzlaff, President, Biophilia Foundation, Managing Partner, Borderlands Restoration, L3Cm is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, where he grew up in the then desert open spaces on the slopes of Camelback Mountain. There were lizards to chase, snakes to play with and snakes to avoid, coyotes, javelinas, and what had to have been the last mountain lions on Camelback Mountain that would come down from the mountain and drink from our pool from time to time.
It was these early experiences that set him on a path to work as a conservation biologist dedicated to enhancing and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, especially on private lands. He can occasionally found in Boulder, Colorado when he's not on Biophilia Foundation project work, and have been known to wander the slot canyons of Southern Utah.
From 1993 to 2002, he raised funds and helped to manage many wildlife habitat restoration and conservation projects while working for Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage. In 2002 and 2003 he was a Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land where he became familiar with complex public land acquisitions, complimenting his private land conservation experience.
Ronald Pulliam is a founder and board member of Borderlands Restoration, L3C and Borderlands Restoration Network. He is a Regents Professor Emeritus in the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. His former positions include President of the Ecological Society of America, Director of the National Biological Service, Science Advisor to the Secretary of Interior, and Director of the Institute of Ecology.
Pulliam has also served on numerous boards and commissions, as an advisor to several major philanthropic foundations, and as Chairman of the Board of NatureServe. Pulliam has published over 150 scientific articles and books on topics including niche theory, foraging and flocking behavior, source sink dynamics, protection of endangered species, and the effects of climate and land use on plant and animal abundance and distribution.
Among many awards received by Pulliam are the Distinguished Service Award from the Ecological Society of America and the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award from the International Association for Landscape Ecology.
David grew up in Tucson and holds degrees in literature and philosophy; linguistic anthropology; and ecological anthropology, historiography, and social memory. He has practiced ecological restoration and education for over 20 years by integrating aspects of hydrology, horticulture, Japanese garden design, firefighting and management, and attention to diverse cultural values on public and private land. Representative work includes sacred spring and wetland restoration and resource protection with Hopi, Zuni, Navajo and Southern Paiute partners; prescribed fire application and wildfire mitigation with ranchers; and training the next generation of practitioners for work in complex adaptive systems.
After starting a restoration consulting business in 2010 while completing a Ph.D. in ecological anthropology at the University of Arizona, David moved to Patagonia in 2012 to co-found Borderlands Restoration L3C. His 2013 dissertation on the region explores the unique sense of place forged among rural residents, smugglers, and travelers through chance encounters and found objects on the land. Unexpected, shared experiences of grace, hope, and mutual caretaking humanize a region prone to political abstractions, and help mitigate extreme uncertainty as people continuously reimagine how best to inhabit the region together.
Dr. Sisk is the Olajos-Goslow Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Northern Arizona University, where he directs the Landscape Conservation Initiative. Tom and his research group have pioneered landscape-level analyses of biodiversity and collaborative approaches for engaging diverse voices in conservation planning.
Tom and his colleagues work to improve policy and on-the-ground outcomes by delivering rigorous science to participatory processes, leveraging field research, remote sensing, and spatial and statistical modeling.
Tom holds a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University, served as Special Assistant for Science to the Director of the National Biological Service, and is a founding board member of Conservation Science Partners. His career is dedicated to training the next generation of conservation leaders, who are diversifying the conservation profession and developing novel career pathways for protecting biodiversity during this period of rapid environmental change.
Inspiring humans to adapt a new way of thinking about life on a precious and finite planet is the motivating force that fuels Kate’s life and work, both on the ground and as a speaker. Since 2005 Kate envisioned and built an artful demonstration site at Deep Dirt Institute campus, utilizing native materials, waste and the enthusiastic energy of youth to accomplish those aims.
A decades long permaculture teacher, practitioner and designer with a focus on organic food systems as foundational to human and planetary health, the campus serves as both curriculum and example, integrating wildlife habitat into an evolving foundation of arid lands restoration, and innovative structures that value the vernacular.
A graduate of UC Santa Cruz renowned Eco Horticulture program, Kate’s pivot from a long career in Southern California real estate. She knows well the landscapes of destruction, consumption and wealth and the urgency to heal ourselves from from the consumer trap that is pulling our planet apart, threatening all life on Earth. As a certified expressive arts therapist Kate’s work engages people in the bigger questions and actions we need to take to bring a new story into being, one that fosters a sense of belonging and a relationship of reciprocity with our planet.
1 School Street
Patagonia, AZ 85624
P.O. Box 121
Patagonia, AZ 85624