April 23: Protecting the Planet Day

Fulbrighters in the United States and around the world are seizing the opportunity to meet the many challenges that the climate crisis presents. Fulbrighters serve as environmental stewards, develop innovative policies and technologies, and collaborate with colleagues in their communities and across borders to contribute to a more sustainable way of life. In recognition of Earth Day, and to celebrate National Park Week with our friends at the U.S. National Park Service, Fulbright announces Protecting the Planet Day on Friday, April 23rd with two special events: a Fulbright Impact in the Field alumni panel on climate change and environmental justice and an exploration of Crater Lake National Park with Fulbright Specialist John Duwe and Klamath tribal elders.

Fulbright Impact in the Field Alumni Panel: Climate Change and Environmental Justice (1 p.m. EST)

This Fulbright Impact in the Field: Climate Change and Environmental Justice panel will convene scientists, researchers, and other professionals involved in combating climate change. They will discuss the latest scientific and policy developments; how their Fulbright experiences enhanced collaboration within the international scientific community; and how the new ideas they brought back with them benefit their institutions and communities.

Register here for the Fulbright Impact in the Field panel on climate change and environmental justice.

Moderator and Panelist Bios


Tim McDonnell (2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to Kenya): 
Tim McDonnell is a climate and energy journalist at the global business magazine Quartz, covering the people, companies, technologies, and policies driving—or impeding—the clean energy transition. McDonnell was a 2018 National Geographic Explorer to Bangladesh, formerly on the staff of NPR and Mother Jones, and has contributed bylines in The New York TimesNational GeographicThe Washington PostBloomberg BusinessweekThe EconomistThe AtlanticThe Guardian, SlateIRINWiredThe Huffington PostNautilusGristAudubonSierra, and elsewhere. As a 2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to Kenya, McDonnell studied climate change’s impact on food security in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria. 


Amber Ajani (2014 Fulbright Foreign Student to American University from Pakistan): Amber Ajani is a Climate Fellow at the UN Climate Change secretariat and a recipient of the UNFCCC-UNU Early Career Climate Fellowship. Ajani has teaching and conservation experience in environmental education, climate change, integrated coastal management, and environmental journalism. She has worked with International Union for Conservation of Nature, Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, Greenpeace USA, Subh-e-Nau Magazine, Shehri Citizens for a Better Environment, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. As a 2014 Fulbright Foreign Student, Ajani completed a master’s degree in environmental science from American University.  

Shalanda Baker, JD (2016 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Mexico): Shalanda Baker, JD, is a leading expert on environmental and energy law. She is Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In 2018, she co-founded the Initiative for Energy Justice to support the delivery of equity-centered energy policy research and technical assistance to policymakers and frontline communities across the country. As a 2016 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Mexico, Baker researched energy reform, climate change, and its impact on Indigenous rights in Oaxaca. 

Dr. M Jackson (2015 Fulbright U.S. Student to Iceland, 2018 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Iceland): Dr. M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, TED Fellow, Fulbright Alumni Ambassador, and National Geographic Society Explorer. Jackson has worked for decades in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, and is the author of two award-winning science books, The Secret Lives of Glaciers (2019) and While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change (2015). Jackson travels widely giving public talks and lectures on climate change and women in science. As a Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar to Iceland, Dr. Jackson studied glacial change. 

Dr. Greg Poelzer (2015 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar, 2021 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Co-Lead Scholar): Dr. Greg Poelzer researches comparative politics and policy related to Indigenous relations, energy and resource development, and capacity-building in the North. He is Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) and the Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities Flagship Initiative Lead at the University of Saskatchewan. He is co-director of a multi-million-dollar Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant for 17 Indigenous and Northern communities. As a 2015 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar, Dr. Poelzer studied Arctic energy policy and governance from a First Nations perspective in the Energy Working Group. 

Explore Crater Lake National Park with Fulbright Specialist John Duwe (3 p.m. EST)

John Duwe, 2017 Fulbright Specialist to Slovenia and Education Coordinator, hosts an exploration of Crater Lake National Park and an introduction to the U.S. National Park Service. Learn about how the National Park Service connects visitors to nature, conducts vital research and habitat and species preservation, and works with Native American communities to preserve their cultural heritage. Duwe will discuss how he works with rangers at Crater Lake’s sister park, Triglav National Park in Slovenia, to strengthen engagement between the parks and their surrounding communities. In addition to Duwe, Crater Lake Park Aquatic Ecologist Dave Hering will highlight his work to restore and preserve the native bull trout, which have suffered from the introduction of nonnative species and became a “threatened species” in 1999. The event will conclude in a discussion with Klamath tribal elders, who will recount stories of Crater Lake, its significance to the Native American community, and how the tribes collaborate with the National Park Service to preserve this cultural treasure.

Before the event, registrants will receive an email with a link to a virtual tour of Crater Lake National Park and a recording of Klamath stories on Crater Lake.

Register here to explore Crater Lake National Park with Fulbright Specialist John Duwe.


John Duwe
Education Coordinator
Crater Lake Park, Oregon
2017 Fulbright Specialist to Slovenia 

John grew up both in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the cold spring water of Northern Michigan. His father was an environmental specialist for the National Park Service and his mother was a special education teacher. After completing a course of study in geology and a tour as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, he decided to combine his love of working in natural settings and sharing ideas with people and set out to become an environmental educator. John worked for two seasons as an interpretive park ranger at Crater Lake National Park while he pursued his Master of Science in Environmental Education and Oregon Teaching Licensure from Southern Oregon University. Since then, he has worked as a classroom teacher, a program director for an environmental education NGO, and most recently as the education coordinator at Crater Lake National Park. John traveled to Slovenia in 2017 as a Fulbright Specialist to work with rangers at Crater Lake’s sister park, Triglav National Park, sharing ideas and strengthening relationships between the parks. John now lives in Fort Klamath, Oregon with his wife Stephanie (also a park ranger) and their two retrievers. He hopes to continue to work globally as he strives to provide mutual understanding of shared resources.

An image of Dave Hering holding a fish

Dave Hering
Aquatic Ecologist
Crater Lake National Park

Dave Hering is an aquatic ecologist and fisheries biologist at Crater Lake National Park. His interests include life history diversity and behavior of freshwater fish, the effects of invasive species, and conservation of native nongame fish and amphibians. For the past 14 years, Dave has worked to protect imperiled populations of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in Oregon’s Upper Klamath Basin, and his recent work has emphasized partnership among multiple stakeholders to accomplish landscape-scale ecological restoration. Dave is currently engaged in a collaborative international project to restore an alpine lake ecosystem in Triglav National Park in Slovenia. He is on the roster of the Fulbright Specialist Program and enjoys sharing expertise with international counterparts in the field of natural resource management. Dave holds a B.S in Biology and an M.S. in Fisheries Science. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

an image of John Wright

John Wright
Klamath Tribal Elder

John Wright is an Elder of the Klamath Tribes. John was born and raised in Chiloquin, Oregon. At age 21, he moved to Warm Springs, Oregon, where he worked a full career in the woods and sawmills. Returning to live in Chiloquin in 2000, John supports his community through his participation on the Klamath Tribal Elder Committee and the Klamath Tribes’ Fish and Game Commission. He has also enjoyed teaching his grandchildren and other community members traditional camping, hunting, and fishing skills. John has been married to his wife Barbara (also from Chiloquin) for 54 years. Together they have seven kids, 23 grandkids, 16 great-grandkids, and 4 great-great-grandkids. John enjoys camping and working around the house.

an image of Barbara Alatorre

Barbara Alatorre
Klamath Tribal Elder & Historian of The Klamath Tribes

Barbara Alatorre is a researcher and historian of the tribes of Southern Oregon, and is herself a member of the Klamath Tribe and a direct descendant of two signers of the Treaty of 1864. She has researched Klamath tribal history and stories for over forty years. Ms. Alatorre was recently honored as a “Star of Oregon” for years of outstanding community service, having served as president of the Portland American Indian Center, as board member of both the Urban Indian Council and the Commission on Indian Services, and chairwoman of the Urban Ma’klaks.

An image of Boone Jenkins

Clarence "Boone" Jenkins
Klamath Tribal Elder

Clarence “Boone” Jenkins is an Elder of the Klamath Tribes. Boone was born in 1943 in Klamath Agency, Oregon and raised just below Crater Lake in Ft. Klamath, Oregon. He finished high school in Klamath Falls and then studied welding at the Oregon Institute of Technology. After college, he moved to Albany, Oregon to work in construction and help his parents run a bowling alley. In 1985, Boone moved to Alaska to work as a bowling alley mechanic and then moved to the western slope region of Alaska to build ice roads for trucking. He moved back to Fort Klamath in 2000. Boone has five sons, four living in Oregon and one in Alaska. For fun, Boone likes to hunt, fish, and watch auto racing.

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