On October 10, 2023, the US Biosphere Network’s (USBN) Youth Board elected a new Youth Board Steering Committee. The Youth Board has been strongly led by founding members Samuel Cuthell (Chair), Marissa Schorr (Vice-Chair), Graham Klag (Treasurer), and Margery Price (Secretary) since 2020. Through their efforts, there is a permanent Youth representative position on the USBN Steering Committee, an international internship program between the US and Canada, an Emerging Leaders workshop series, and Youth Board members from across the US and Puerto Rico.
The new Youth Board Steering Committee brings fresh perspectives, renewed enthusiasm, and diverse expertise to the Youth Board. Each is an example of the drive, capacity, and value of Youth in our communities, organizations, and nation. The USBN welcomes the incoming USBN Youth Board Steering Committee: Jenelle Booker (Chair), Paula M. García Almodóvar (Vice-Chair of Operations), Aidan Lyde (Vice-Chair of Planning), and Chelsea Ballard (Secretary).
Incoming USBN Youth Board Steering Committee:
Chair – Jenelle Booker
Jenelle, traditionally trained as an analytical atmospheric chemist, has been in love with the outdoors since her childhood summers in rural Mississippi. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her studies center on environmental philosophy and law, traditional ecological knowledge, and bioregional planning with the Center for Bioregional and Biosphere Reserve Studies.
Vice-Chair of Operations – Paula M. García Almodóvar
Paula is a Puerto Rican biologist and planner working in conservation. She has been directly engaging with the Luquillo Biosphere Region in Puerto Rico, known as El Yunque, since 2016. Her work with El Yunque’s native vegetation & wildlife has illuminated Puerto Rico’s connections to the Caribbean, North & South American continents, and global biosphere.
Vice-Chair of Planning – Aidan Lyde
Aidan’s close connection with the Rocky Mountain Biosphere Region began with frequent day trips as a child and has grown to be an integral part of his work. His professional and academic research encompasses water-related issues in the Colorado River Basin. He is pursuing a Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of the Environment and holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Colorado State University.
Secretary – Chelsea Ballard
Chelsea is the Cave Resource Manager & Research Project Specialist at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona. Her professional experience includes time with the NPS, USGS, & American Cave Conservation Association. Since 2021, she has worked with the Mammoth Cave Biosphere Region in Kentucky and the Sonoran Desert Biosphere Region in Arizona while participating in the USBN YB as a member and subcommittee chair. Chelsea holds a Bachelor’s in Karst Hydrogeology from Western Kentucky University.