The Team

Samantha Zwicker

Samantha Zwicker is a Ph.D. student researching ecology and conservation at the University of Washington in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences while pursuing a separate Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Evans School.

She received her bachelor’s with honors from the University’s Program on the Environment in 2012 and her master’s in June of 2015. In addition to teaching environmental studies and environmental science courses at the University of Washington, she is President of the National Forestry Honors Society (Alpha Chapter), term member of the renowned Explorers Club, and co-founder and President of Hoja Nueva. Samantha’s fieldwork is based primarily in the Amazon rainforest along the Las Piedras River in Peru, where she’s investigating Increasing the resilience of both livelihoods and ecosystems: wildlife conservation in cacao agroforestry systems of Las Piedras, Peru. Several of her other projects involve assessing the effects of land use change on felids and their prey using in-situ observation and camera trapping, estimating density of jaguar populations in the Piedras, and reintroducing threatened species to the wild. EMAIL

Andrés Vera
Hoja Nueva

Andrés Vera studied in Arequipa at Colegio la Salle, and in Lima at colegio Ricardo Palma between 1976-1977 in la Marina de Guerra del Peru. There, he studied electricity and occupational safety at Sencico (servicio nacional de capacitación para la industria y la construcción).

After his studies, Andrés worked in a variety of fields, all of which involved forests. He harvested both wood and castaña in Peru, worked in Japan for three and a half years, was a forest ranger at Tambopata National Park, was a field assistant in the “Tambopata Project” with Fauna Forever, and worked as a guide and field assistant in the “Proyecto Las Piedras.” From 2006 to 2010 Andrés worked in the tourist business with Rainforest Expeditions as a maintenance manager. He also supported the beautiful construction of ARCAmazon, the Las Piedras Amazon Center, in 2015. In addition to Spanish, Andrés speajs a little Japanese, English, and Portugués! He is excited about managing our affairs in Peru and directing the construction of our Experimental Center in summer of 2016!

Harry Turner
Hoja Nueva

Harry is our jungle expert; he is able to navigate the rainforests of the Piedras and identify nearly every common species of herp (reptile and amphibian) and mammal along the way.

Harry educates local children about frogs, snakes, and caiman, especially the scary (venomous) ones! By communicating their traits and ecological importance, we are one step closer to conserving herps in the area, especially the ones that are killed on-site due to fearfulness and a lack of education. In addition, Harry’s experience as a forest ranger and guide from ARCAmazon combined with his love for the rainforest and its inhabitants make him a fun and educated guide and member of the Hoja Nueva team. EMAIL

Julio Caceres
Hoja Nueva

Julio Cesar Quispe Caceres is a member of our co-op and full time staff member at Hoja Nueva. He is the technical expert in Lucerna and has been trained to plant, graft, prune, and maintain cacao plots in addition to making incredible chocolate. Last year he began his bachelor degree in agriculture and will continue to teach us and the world about cacao from Ayacucho.

Isabel Carrera
Hoja Nueva
Board Member

Isabel Carrera Zamanillo is a PhD student in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Washington’s School of Environment and Forest Sciences. She has a background in Biological Sciences and Science and Technology Studies.

She is interested in the role that scientific information plays in society as well as the impact scientific information has on the design of natural resource management strategies. Her doctoral research project focuses on the approach of using natural capital as an instrument to calculate the productive base of ecosystem goods and services. In particular, she wants to understand the implications of this approach for community-based forest management projects, especially when managed by indigenous communities. Isabel works with Latino communities in the Greater Seattle Area, and specifically with the Peruvian community in Seattle as it is directly tied to Hoja Nueva’s work in the Piedras region of the lower Peruvian Amazon. EMAIL

Danielle Bogardus
Hoja Nueva
Waste Management Director

Danielle Bogardus is a current undergraduate student researching sustainable community development in the Program on the Environment at the UW. She graduated from Bainbridge High School in 2014 with Honors recognition and immediately fell onto the path of environmental studies receiving the UW Foresters Alumni Association Scholarship.

Danielle’s fieldwork is focused on creating sustainable means of living through healthy waste management, agricultural diversification, and conservation practices. Current studies include developing a research project tracking plastic waste systems within the Piedras Basin of Peru, as well as working to improve scientific literacy through encouraging local based knowledge and participatory action research methods. EMAIL

Hoja Nueva
Communications Director

Ava Holmes is a long-time collaborator of Hoja Nueva, producing the majority of our fundraising events in the States as well as  managing public relations and outreach. She is the founder and CEO of A DOT Productions, and the founder of Fashion for Conservation.

Megan Schenck
Hoja Nueva
Agroforestry Intern

Megan Schenck is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington majoring in Environmental Science and Resource Management. She graduated from Steilacoom High School in 2013 and had always been interested in environmental studies. It wasn’t until her volunteer trip to Australia that she truly fell in love with environmental science. There, she worked in restoration and wildlife conservation and the removal of invasive species and also assisted in local community education involving sustainable development and rewilding. Megan is currently in the field interning for Hoja Nueva and studying our cacao plots, and has worked on wildlife conservation research projects with Samantha since January 2015.

Alan Garvey
Hoja Nueva
Waste Management Intern

Alan Garvey is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Washington, pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management. His areas of focus include waste management and environmental education with an emphasis on community education of recycling, composting and landfilling best practices. Alan is a certified Master Composter / Soil Builder, a steward of the Duwamish River and very passionate about compost. Currently, he is researching how perceptions and understanding of waste direct waste disposal outcomes. In particular, Alan wants to know how waste bin color drives decisions regarding waste disposal and whether or not certain colors lead to increased correct waste diversion.

Ivy Terry
Hoja Nueva
Wildlife Intern

Ivy Terry is a an undergraduate student at the University of Washington in the College of the Environment. Her main focus is in wildlife conservation with a minor in quantitative science. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest she has always been enamored with the outdoors and the animals that call it home. Fueled through her involvement in wildlife labs on campus as well as research endeavors abroad, Ivy’s love for predator and large mammal research has evolved into a life long passion. 

Jon Coonan
Hoja Nueva
Communications Intern

Born in northern California, at the age of 6 Jon’s family spent 5 years on the water, covering the entire North American west coast from Alaska to Panama. He then spent a year in Europe before arriving at his home of Bainbridge Island. By the age of 17 he has been to 26 different countries spanning 5 continents. Jon’s expertise is in marketing, promotion, fundraising and graphic design. He past work experience has been at a Bainbridge Island robotics team and non-profit broadcasting group.

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