EarthEcho International Water Challenge Virtual Field Trip – Water Journeys - panelists

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Khristin Landry-Montes, Ph.D. Art History
Khristin Landry-Montes is an affiliated researcher with InHerit, Indigenous Heritage Passed to Present, based out of the University of North Carolina. She is currently the project facilitator with InHerit’s Yucatec Cenotes Heritage and Conservation Project. With funding from National Geographic, this year-long project is a collaboration between InHerit, the Universidad de Oriente (UNO) in Yucatan, Mexico, and nine middle schools in Maya communities in Yucatan. This project seeks to develop sustainable environmental and cultural conservation in these Maya communities by supporting educational curriculum focused on experiential learning. The project specifically focuses on the conservation of cenotes, natural underground water systems that have long been sacred to the Maya. As the only major sources of natural freshwater in Yucatan (with the exception of seasonal rainfall), cenotes are vital elements of Maya cultural and environmental patrimony. Khristin’s roles as the project facilitator and affiliated researcher with this project include mentoring and training university students from UNO, leading environmental, anthropological and art historical activities in middle school classrooms, and engaging with community teachers to help create, organize and write curriculum that protects and supports cenotes. EarthEcho water test kits have been a particularly important aspect of the project’s interactive middle school curriculum. Khristin will end her term as project facilitator this April, but she has recently accepted a position at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Khristin will join Cornell’s art history faculty in the fall where she intends to continue research and work in Maya communities throughout Yucatan. In her spare time, Khristin enjoys being a mother to her two, slightly overweight, cats.



Li An Phoa - Drinkable Rivers
Li An Phoa is a watershed mobilizer. Trained in whole system ecology, philosophy and business, she engages people through outdoor learning experiences and initiates projects on landscapes, food, and water. She started Drinkable Rivers, as indicators for healthy living. She mobilizes people in watersheds by organizing walks and initiating projects. She engages local people and experts to care for Drinkable Rivers.  In 2018, she walked 1061km (660miles) from source-to-sea along the river Meuse from France to the Northsea. Born in the Meuse-Rhine delta in the Netherlands, she started with this river. She involved five hundred children to #MonitorWater in a water quality citizen science research, the world's first people's led source-to-sea baseline study. In 2019, she will repeat the study along the Meuse and also widen to other places in Europe.  She is a systems thinker & actor and social innovator cross-pollinating relations among people, disciplines, and industries. The past ten years she walked more than fifteen thousand kilometers. Water plays a crucial part in her life(work) since canoeing a month a completely drinkable river in the north of Québec Canada. She is a university lecturer at e.g. the Nyenrode Business University. With her nomadic school Spring College, she organizes walks to ground our daily life choices (economy) in accordance with the logic of life (ecology).In 2017, she gave a TEDx talk on Drinkable Rivers.

Jesús F. Sánchez, M.Sc.
Born in Carolína, Puerto Rico Jesús Sánchez grew up in Ohio for the majority of his life. He studied Biology at the University of Findlay earning a B.Sc and later obtaining a Master’s of Science in Biology from John Carroll University. From 2006 to 2013, he worked in various capacities through the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Green Corps program with high school age youth in Cleveland using urban gardening as a way to develop 21st-century skills and outdoor learning in youth. Jesús became Director of Programs at Esperanza Inc. in July of 2013, where he directed six outreach and educational support programs within the Cleveland Hispanic and Latino community partnering extensively with Cleveland Municipal School District k-12 schools. Passionate about experiential learning, Jesús is now Education Director for the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. He collaborates extensively with the National Park System developing curriculum, providing teacher professional development, and working towards an institutional culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Each year the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center hosts thousands of students through overnight, day, and summer educational programs. Many of these students come from two diverse urban cities (Cleveland and Akron) located in Northeast Ohio. We strive to build the connection of our students to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, ultimately creating future stewards of our local environments. Our programs challenge students to “think like scientists” developing ideas as well as possible solutions to issues that impact the Cuyahoga River watershed such as pollution and human impact. Through our programs, we are confident that students leave the Education Center with a better understanding and respect for the natural world.  


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