Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet the Expedition Leaders

Wildlife & Conservation
Alexandra Silva.
Cornell University, B.S. Alex was an Animal Science major and a Natural Resources minor at Cornell, with a special emphasis on wildlife and habitat preservation. She spent a semester at the Universidad San Fransisco de Quito’s Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation in the Galápagos program, where she studied and traveled the varied regions of Ecuador, including Quito, the rainforest and the Galápagos Islands. She served as a volunteer veterinary technician at CEMEII, an animal hospital on the island of San Cristóbal, where she worked directly with the Galápagos campaign to limit the damage caused by domestic cats and dogs, and as an animal keeper at the Santa Marta Rescue Center in Tambillo, Ecuador. At Cornell, Alex was a teaching assistant for a course on domestic animal biology, a journalist for the New York Forest Owner Association newsletter, and an administrative assistant for the Cornell Cooperative Extension. She worked as a veterinary technician at the VCA Berwyn Animal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois. In the fall of 2009 she begins a two-year fellowship with Environment America, an environmental advocacy organization. Alex has traveled throughout Ecuador, Venezuela, and Chile. She is fluent in Spanish.


Jes Therkelsen. Amherst College, B.A.; American University, M.F.A. Jes is a Washington D.C-based photographer, filmmaker, media consultant, and educator. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst, where he majored in Geology and collaborated with NASA on his thesis project. After receiving a one-year Hellenic American Educational Fellowship to teach in Athens, Greece, he relocated to Washington DC to study social media at the Center for Social Media at American University. Jes has written, produced, and directed several award-winning independent films, and is the owner and founding director of Sensory Media Arts LLC, a Washington-based media production company. He serves as a lecturer in Film and Visual Media at American University and Catholic University in D.C. As a 2008 Advocacy Peace Fellow in Nepal, he initiated The Clean Hands Project – a media campaign meant to empower and mobilize Nepali Dalits by teaching them photography and video-making. The project may be viewed on-line at Jes’s photographs have been exhibited at numerous venues in Washington, including the Washington School of Photography, Touchstone Gallery, Tryst Café, Healing Arts Gallery, and the New Media Center at American University. He is currently a 2009 Washington D.C. Artist Fellow. Besides filmmaking and photography, Jes is an avid musician and composer.