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The Team

Samantha Zwicker

Co-Founder

U.S. Executive Director

Samantha Zwicker is the co-founder and visionary behind 501c3 nonprofit Hoja Nueva as well as the co-founder and conservation director of Fashion for Conservation. She is currently both a Ph.D. student and NIH Global Health Fellow through the University of Washington researching ecology, conservation, and zoonoses.

Samantha received her bachelor’s with honors from the University’s Program on the Environment in 2012, her master’s in wildlife ecology in June of 2015, and a degree in Nonprofit Management in 2016 through the Evans School. In addition to teaching environmental science courses at the University of Washington, she is President of the National Forestry Honors Society (Alpha Chapter), a term member of the renowned Explorers Club, and mentor to over 20 undergraduate and graduate students in research worldwide.

In addition to spearheading Hoja Nueva’s projects within the Amazonian rainforests and communities of Madre de Dios, Peru, several of her research projects involve assessing the effects of land use change on felids and their prey using in-situ observation and camera trapping, estimating densities of regional jaguar populations, reintroducing threatened species to the wild, and studying the prevalence and risk factor of tungiasis in Madre de Dios. EMAIL

Darwin Solano

Co-Founder

Peru Executive Director

Darwin Solano is a specialized forest engineer in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, and the executive director of our Peruvian nonprofit Hoja Nueva. In order to pursue a professional career in forest sciences, forest engineering and the environment, Darwin went to UNSAAC, the National University San Antonio Abad del Cusco. He graduated with the skills to effectively execute a variety of forest inventories and analyses, reforestation projects, scientific research projects, social and economic projects, and to practice the biological monitoring of flora and fauna. Darwin has experience in environmental impact statements, socioeconomic surveys, botany, nursery management, ecotourism, ArcGIS and mapping, tree climbing, and the successful acquisition and management of concessions in Madre de Dios (MDD). One of his most recent projects was assessing the sustainable management of natural resources and biological diversity in MDD.

Darwin has since practiced ecotourism as a guide and field instructor for many tourist and student groups, such as the Markham and Roosevelt schools in Lima. His diverse background and experience makes him the ideal executive director in charge of implementing projects at our field base in Peru and in his home city of Puerto Maldonado. EMAIL

Harry Turner

Co-Founder

Wildlife Coordinator

Harry is a co-founder of Hoja Nueva, ex-military, and a wildlife reintroduction specialist. He is our jungle expert; Harry is able to navigate the rainforests of the Piedras and identify nearly every species of herp (reptile and amphibian) and mammal along the way. His most recent project was the reintroduction of an ocelot named Khan – this reintroduction and future projects can be seen on his facebook page.

Harry is a guide, coordinator, and forest ranger for Hoja Nueva. He also 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. EMAIL

Ava J Holmes

Co-Founder

Fundraising & Public Relations

Ava Holmes is a co-founder of Hoja Nueva, and produces our annual fundraising gala in addition to managing public relations. Ava believes that bridging the gap between the industries of conservation and fashion is key to the planet’s survival, so she chose to combine her work as a worldwide fashion week producer and co-founder of both Hoja Nueva and Fashion for Conservation (FFC). FFC’s mission is to support conservation through fashion fundraising galas and international fashion week campaigns. Most recently, Ava has been featured on a reality TV wilderness survivalist show on the Discovery Channel to revisit her childhood lifestyle having grown up living off of the land with her father who founded Cornell University’s outdoor education and primitive skills school, Primitive Pursuits. EMAIL

Danielle Bogardus

Co-Founder

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

Brad Lewis

Board President

Brad Lewis is the Board President of Hoja Nueva’s 501(c)(3). Hehas been teaching mathematics for over twenty-five years, the past seventeen at Bainbridge High School. He started his teaching career with the Peace Corps, where he taught mathematics in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Currently he serves as the Mathematics Department Head, where he specializes in Applied Statistics. Brad earned his Master Degree in Education from the University of Washington, and is working toward his second Master Degree in Applied Statistics from Penn State University.
Brad Lewis has over a decade experience creating, developing, and leading three-week student trips to authentic research facilities throughout the world. The focus of these trips are to provide opportunities for students to experience real-world applications of statistics in the fields of animal conservation, environmental sciences, and global health. Currently he leads expeditions to Lajuma Reasearch Center, South Africa and Hoja Nueva, Peru.
Brad is also the proud father of two amazing sons, Cole and Quin. He is sincerely thankful that they have been willing to follow him around the world while conducting research on animal and environmental conservation efforts. EMAIL

Eliabett Ayrampo

Alto Purús National Park Representative

Eliabett Milenka Ayramo Guerra has been working for the protection of Alto Purús National Park since 2009. She is dedicated to the research and applied conservation efforts necessary to both protect its beautiful biodiversity, and the uncontacted tribes that reside within park boundaries. We have partnered with Eliabett and her department due to our mutual commitments and overall mission to protect Las Piedras, the gateway to Alto Purús.
For the Park Department, Eliabett manages all aspects of coordination and logistics in Madre de Dios. She is in charge of directing control, surveillance, management activities and resources relating to the endangered Taricaya species, in addition to environmental education and outreach with native communities. Currently, she is helping the department update that Master Plans for Alto Purús National Park. EMAIL

Andres Vera

Peru Board Member

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! EMAIL

Heidi Hokamp

U.S. Board Treasurer

Heidi Hokamp has lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 35 years. She has 30 years of experience managing accounts for a variety of businesses, and is the mother of three successful young adults. Heidi has been coaching children’s tennis and soccer part-time for over 10 years – educating kids and helping animals is her passion. Heidi is excited to donate her time to a cause that supports wildlife conservation and sustainable living. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging out with her kids, going to Seahawks games, and sipping on sustainably grown coffee!

Laura Choi

Technology & Operations Director

Laura Choi is a Salesforce Consultant at Slalom Consulting with current and prior experience in Salesforce development, Agile methodology, Scrum, artificial intelligence, and program/project management. Her recent post of President with Fashion for Conservation unites her passions for eco-conservation, fashion, technologically-aided advancement, and the protection of our planet. She is excited also to combine these passions with a champion of the conservation cause, Hoja Nueva, as a member of the Board. EMAIL

Megan Schenck

Outreach Director

Megan Schenck is a graduate from the University of Washington who majored 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 doing field work during the dry seasons at Hoja Nueva studying our cacao plots, and has worked on wildlife conservation research projects with Samantha since January 2015. EMAIL

Ronee Collins

Sponsorship Director

Ronee Collins is active in the entertainment field; being an actress and doing whatever she can to make movies happen is her passion. Animals and the environment have always been a huge piece of her heart, propelling her to participate in both Hoja Nueva and Fashion for Conservation. Ronee is the type of person who never stops learning and thrives off of information.

After volunteering at Hoja Nueva in Peru for three months, Ronee became fascinated by the jungle and wanted to continue our efforts to conserve the Amazon rainforest back in the States. Her strong interpersonal and managerial skills make her the perfect sponsorship director for Hoja Nueva. EMAIL

Ivy Terry

Research 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 as an intern for Hoja Nueva. EMAIL

Tyler Moravec

Volunteer

Tyler Moravec is a junior at Bainbridge High School in the state of Washington. He is a planning to receive an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Wildlife Biology, Animal Conservation, or something similar. In 2016 he volunteered at the Lajuma Research Centre in South Africa working on multiple conservation projects. This past summer he volunteered on a SCA trail crew in Olympic National Park. He is currently assisting in jaguar identification using camera trap data from Hoja Nueva. Tyler’s passion for the outdoor world has been growing with each new adventure. EMAIL
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