SUPERHEROES IN THE FIELD

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TED TURNER
Co-Creator, Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Co-Founder, Captain Planet Foundation
Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy.

Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy, Turner’s vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice. 

Turner is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates; and co-founder of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain, which operates 44 locations nationwide.

Turner also serves as chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages his business interests, land holdings, and investments. Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North America, with 2 million acres in 12 states and Argentina. His ranches are home to more than 55,000 bison and host a variety of environmental projects, including reforestation, renewable energy, water resource management, and reintroduction of native species. Out of concern for the health of his land and its species, Turner established the Turner Endangered Species Fund in 1997 to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies.


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BARBARA PYLE
Co-Creator, Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Co-Founder, Captain Planet Foundation
Barbara Pyle is an executive producer, filmmaker, photographer, media innovator and environmental activist. She spent twenty years as CNN’s Environmental Editor, responsible for all environmental programming across all Turner Broadcasting networks.

Her environmental knowledge and media savvy propelled her to become the first corporate executive in the world to have ‘environment’ in their title, becoming the corporate Vice President of Environmental Policy. In her time at TBS, Barbara produced and directed more than sixty documentary films and is the recipient of hundreds of industry and personal awards. 

In 1989, Barbara and Ted Turner co-created the animated action adventure series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Broadcast in over 100 countries to popular and critical acclaim Captain Planet still maintains a dedicated international fan base.

Barbara has traveled the world documenting real-life solutions in support of the United Nations Global Summits and Conferences. In 1997, she became the only non-scientist to be awarded the prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Prize for her lifelong global contribution to the protection of the environment.

With this award money, she created the Barbara Pyle Foundation. Its mission is “to use media in all its forms to make the world a better place and empower people to protect the planet.” It has a special focus on the six hundred thousand-strong global Planeteer Movement comprised of young adults who grew up watching Captain Planet, taking the message of environmental balance and sustainability into their hearts, lives and actions.

As an acclaimed fine-arts photographer, Barbara’s assignments range from Rolex, TIME and NBC, to nautical photography at the America’s Cup as well as music photography – her most famous subject being Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band during their Born to Run tour in 1975.


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ARABIA MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL
Green School Award, 2011
Arabia Mountain High School defines leadership in environmental education. While many schools may teach lessons about environment, Arabia Mountain High School’s entire curriculum captures environmental issues. Every student conducts investigative research that connects each content standard, participates in service learning for the community, and defends findings to local businesses that have the ability to implement the student’s’ design plans. By having students construct their own theories and experiments, they are well-prepared to enter college or the work force as leaders in the environment. Students with more hands-on experience gain a better understanding of the connections between the subjects they study in school and the world outside their school walls. The poignant understanding of human and environmental interactions results in better attendance, healthier students and a 100% graduation rate. The majority of their students alter their career goals towards environment based on the curriculum.

Arabia Mountain High School (AMHS) is the first public school in the state of Georgia to achieve LEED Certification, obtaining Silver Certification, AMHS hosts the Dekalb County School System’s Environmental Energy and Engineering Program, and has used the Environment as an Integrated Context (EIC) model to improve student achievement by using the local, natural and community surroundings as a context for learning. 

Arabia Mountain High School will continue to serve as an exemplary leader for other schools’ curricula development as they invite community members, businesses, and school officials into conversation about sustainability for environmental education.


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ASSOCIATION OF WALDORF SCHOOLS OF NORTH AMERICA
Green School Award, 2012
Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential, and academically rigorous approach to education. They integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade to enhance and enrich learning. Waldorf Education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.

Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf Education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf Education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child. 





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ED BEGLEY JR.
Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Ed Begley Jr. became an actor. He first came to audiences’ attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six Emmy nominations. Since then, Ed has moved easily among feature, television and theatre projects.

Ed co-starred in the Woody Allen movie Whatever Works with Larry David, as well as the Seth Rogan/Judd Apatow film Pineapple Express, and a number of Christopher Guest films, including A Mighty Wind, Best In Show and For Your Consideration. 

Other feature film credits include Batman Forever, The Accidental Tourist and The In-Laws.

On television, Ed just completed Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, an HBO movie with Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover and Frank Langella. He also starred in the HBO movie Recount with Kevin Spacey, Tom Wilkinson and Laura Dern, and appeared in recurring roles on Six Feet Under, Arrested Development and Boston Legal.

In 2012, he starred in David Mamet’s November at the Mark Taper Forum, and has appeared in several other works by this amazing playwright: The Cryptogram, in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, as well as Romance, also at the Mark Taper Forum.

Ed Begley Jr.Ed has directed several episodes of the hit show NYPD Blue. He also wrote and directed the play Cesar and Ruben, which won a Nos Otros Award and four Valley Theater League Awards.

He is one of the Governors of the Motion Picture Academy and he lives in a solar-powered home and drives an electric car. Ed and his family are currently documenting construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home for Begley Street, a television and Web series produced by Make It Happen Productions. Both shows are set to launch later this year.


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SIR RICHARD BRANSON
Superhero for Earth Award, 2012
Legendary entrepreneur/business leader Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is known for pushing the envelope with his Virgin Group. More than 400 companies exist under the moniker, the most well-known including the Virgin Records music label, the American airline Virgin America, cell phone provider Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline.

Branson’s initiatives toward environmental sustainability and climate change involve and are seemingly as diverse and complex as his network of companies. 

In 2006, he pledged to invest 100 percent of his transportation companies’ profits over a decade-long period into clean fuels, renewable energy, and other environmental technologies. This pledge took numerous forms, including:

The Virgin Green Fund, which invests solely in companies focused around renewable energy and resource efficiency.

Offering a $25 million prize to anyone who creates a new system that actively removes a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.

The Virgin Stars of the Year Special Award for the Environment, an internal Virgin Group recognition for employees whose efforts reduce the company’s energy use and/or impact on the environment.

When it comes to biofuels, Branson’s put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is attitude is ambitious beyond others. In conjunction with Virgin Atlantic’s 2008 success being the first commercial airline to fly a biofuel-powered flight, Branson declared the goal of having his airline’s fleet powered by at least 30 percent biofuel by 2020.

This led to partnerships with biofuel innovators, such as LanzaTech, to develop fuels with measures-of-order lower-carbon emissions than traditional fossil fuels. LanzaTech’s efforts extend to producing its fuels in part by capturing and recycling waste gasses from industrial steel production.

It also spurred his launch of The Carbon War Room, a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders dedicated to sharing the best thinking toward accelerating and scaling solutions toward a low-carbon economy. According to Branson, one of the major challenges toward implementing biofuel use is securing the capital needed to produce them on a commercial scale. The Carbon War Room facilitates the cross-industry conversations that can channel resources to overcome this kind of barrier. The end goal is to lead a global effort that brings together experts, entrepreneurs, and company leaders to achieve profitable, gigaton-scale carbon emissions reduction.

Branson notes that his efforts toward energy efficiency and biofuels are not entirely altruistic. From a business perspective, what is environmentally beneficial is often beneficial to the bottom line, as well.


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ERIN BROKOVICH
Protector of the Earth Award, 2013
Erin Brockovich’s exhaustive investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley’s water for over 30 years. In 1996, and as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, spear-headed by Erin and Ed Masry, the utility giant was forced to pay out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in US history. The story and eventual film helped make “Erin Brockovich” a household name. Over time, Erin realized that she could use her notoriety to spread positive messages of personal empowerment and to encourage others to stand up and make a difference.

Erin is one of the most requested speakers on the international lecture circuit and travels the world for personal appearances. She is a true American hero who’s icon status and “stick-to-it-iveness” only fuels her determination to expose injustice and lend her voice to those who do not have one. 

As President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide. She has requests for her help in ground water contamination complaints in every state of the US, Australia and other international hot spots. She is currently working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.


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PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
Exemplar Award, 2013
Jimmy Carter served as president from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world. On the domestic side, the administration’s achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center addresses national and international issues of public policy. Carter Center staff and associates join with President Carter in efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease and other afflictions. The Center has spearheaded the international effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, which is poised to be the second human disease in history to be eradicated.

On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”


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HRH PRINCE CHARLES
Exemplar Award, 2016
The Prince of Wales, eldest son of The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Buckingham Palace at 9.14pm on 14th November 1948.

A proclamation was posted on the Palace railings just before midnight, announcing that Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth had been safely delivered of a son. It was announced later that the baby Prince weighed 7lb 6oz.

On 15th December, Charles Philip Arthur George was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher.

The Prince’s mother was proclaimed Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 25, when her father, King George VI, died aged 56 on 6th February 1952. On The Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Charles – as the Sovereign’s eldest son – became heir apparent at the age of three.

The Prince, as Heir to The Throne, took on the traditional titles of The Duke of Cornwall under a charter of King Edward III in 1337; and, in the Scottish peerage, of Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

The Prince was four at his mother’s Coronation, in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. Many who watched the Coronation have vivid memories of him seated between his widowed grandmother, now to be known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that The Prince should go to school rather than have a tutor at the Palace. The Prince started at Hill House school in West London on 7th November 1956.

After 10 months, the young Prince became a boarder at Cheam School, a preparatory school in Berkshire. In 1958 while The Prince was at Cheam, The Queen created him The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. The Prince was nine-years-old.


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FRED CONRAD
Superhero for Earth Award, 2008
Fred Conrad, community garden program manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, remembers seeing the first cluster of community gardens appear in 1997, started by a group of older African-American women looking for ways to improve their neighborhoods.

One was on the grounds of what was then Carver Homes in southwest Atlanta and the other was at Tobie Grant Manor near the DeKalb Farmer’s Market in Scottdale. 

“The gardens were dynamic and beautiful,” Conrad said.

Eventually gardens began popping up all over. Today Conrad estimates there are more than 300 active community gardens in metro Atlanta. He credits First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign with helping fuel the movement.

“People were making the connection between their health and the foods they ate,” Conrad said. “They were thinking about where the food was grown, whether it was in season and how farmers were impacting the local economy and if they were being treated well.”


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KEN COOK
Superhero for Earth Award, 2014
Ken Cook is president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public interest research and advocacy organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

Cook is the author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on environmental, public health and agricultural topics and is a frequent source of perspective and commentary in national print and broadcast media. He is regularly listed as one of Washington’s Top Lobbyists by The Hill newspaper and in 2011, journalist and healthy food movement icon Michael Pollan named Cook as one of the “Seven Most Powerful Foodies In the World.” 

Under Cook, EWG’s break-through innovation has been the creation of easy-to-use, online databases to analyze toxic pollution in people, federal farm subsidies, nuclear waste transportation routes, uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, tap water quality and to give consumers ingredient safety information on cosmetics, personal care products, and sunscreens.

Cook earned a B.A. in history, B.S. in agriculture and M.S. in soil science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has his wife Deb Callahan live in California with their son, Callahan Cook.


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JEFF CORWIN
Superhero for Earth Award, 2011
Since his early childhood, Jeff Corwin has worked for the conservation of endangered species and eco-systems around the globe. Presently, Jeff is executive producer and host of Ocean Mysteries which is being broadcast nationally on ABC. In addition to exploring the state of our planet’s oceans and marine life, Jeff is correspondent for science, the environment and nature for MSNBC and NBC news. Beyond television Jeff has partnered with the Whitaker Center to produce and present a major large format film called Expedition Chesapeake. For the past 16 years, Jeff has hosted a variety of popular television series and specials, including Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience, Giant Monsters, Realm of the Yeti, Corwin’s Quest, Spring Watch USA; Snake-Tacular, and King of the Jungle; Disney’s Going Wild with Jeff Corwin; Investigation Earth with the Discovery Networks; NBC’s Jeff Corwin Unleashed, which was nominated four times for an four times for an Emmy and for which Corwin won an Emmy for Outstanding Host; and Travel Channel Jeff hosted Pets and People, the Power of the Health Connection. His popular television series has been broadcast in over 130 countries worldwide. He also created and co-presented CNN’s Planet in Peril with Anderson Cooper in 2007. On November 20th 2008, Animal Planet premiered The Vanishing Frog. This powerful documentary highlights Jeff’s year long, global odyssey exploring the mass extinction of our planet’s important amphibian species. In November of 2009, Jeff executive produced and presented 100 Heartbeats. Produced for the NBC networks, this groundbreaking documentary investigated the plight of our planet’s most endangered wildlife species along with the conservation heroes trying to save them.

In October 2009, Jeff partnered once again with Rodale to publish 100 Heartbeats, whose mission, as with the accompanying NBC documentary, is to connect the readers with our planet’s most endangered species. 100 Heartbeats received great reviews from both critics and the conservation community and is now on its way to paperback. Jeff’s book, Living on the Edge, Amazing Relationships in the Natural World was published in 2004 and is now in it’s 5th edition. Through Penguin Books, Jeff is publishing a series of books for younger readers focusing on wildlife, ecology, and conservation under the brand of The Jeff Corwin jr. Explorer Series. The mission of this well-received book series is to build a strong sense of environmental stewardship amongst our nation’s young people. Examples from this 10 book series include – Your Backyard is Wild, Animals and Habitats of the Southwest, the Great Alaska Adventure, The Wild Wild West, A Whale of a Tail, The Great Everglades Adventure, and Snakes. 

Jeff’s wildlife and conservation work have been regularly featured on television shows including CNN, FOX, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Ellen Degeneres, The Bonnie Hunt Show, Rachael Maddows, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brian, Regis and Kelly and the Oprah Show. Jeff was cast as himself on CSI Miami, named one of People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful People” and Entertainment Weekly’s “It List”. Men’s Journal recognized Jeff as the worlds greatest host of a natural history series.

Beyond wildlife and conservation, Jeff is a passionate explorer of human culture, especially as it connects to regional cuisine, that is produced in a sustainable manner. His interests in renewable and sustainable living, along with how food is often the glue that cements together a community and culture, recently premiered in a Food Network series called Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin.

A native of Massachusetts, Jeff has established an interactive museum and environmental education center called the EcoZone. Based in Norwell, Massachusetts, the goal of the EcoZone is to build awareness for the wild-life and ecology unique to the wetlands of southeastern Massachusetts. In 2008, Jeff was named Ambassador of Climate Change and Endangered Species on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife, one of the United States most prominent conservation organizations. He has B.S. degrees in both Biology anad Anthropology from Bridgewater State College, a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries COnservation from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and an honorary doctorate in Public Education from Bridgewater State College. When not traveling the world, Jeff can be found at his home off the coast of Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife, Natasha, and two daughters, Maya Rose and Marina Faye.


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DR. DAVID SUZUKI & DR. TARA CULLIS
Exemplar Award, 2013
Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 28 honorary degrees from universities around the world. His written work includes more than 54 books, 19 of them for children.

Dr. Tara Cullis is an award-winning writer and former faculty member of Harvard University. Dr. Cullis was a key player in efforts to protect BC’s Stein Valley, the Xingu Valley of the Eastern Amazon, and Colombia’s Choco Rainforest, and contributed to the successful battle for South Moresby (Gwaii Haanas), the Great Bear Rainforest, and the struggles for Sarawak in Malaysia and the Ainu regions of northern Japan. 

In 1990, Drs. Suzuki and Cullis co-founded The David Suzuki Foundation to work with “government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work for social change that today’s situation demands”. They have been married for 42 years and have two daughters who studied biology at university and are themselves devoted and outspoken advocates for the environment.


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DR. SYLVIA EARLE
Exemplar Award, 2011
In 1966, Sylvia Earle received her Ph.D. from Duke. Her dissertation “Phaeophyta of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico” created a sensation in the oceanographic community. Never before had a marine scientist made such an extensively detailed study of aquatic plant life. Since then she has made a lifelong project of cataloguing every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Earle then went on to Harvard as a research fellow and then to the resident directorship of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, in Florida. In 1968, even though she was four months pregnant, Dr. Earle traveled to a hundred feet below the waters of the Bahamas in the submersible Deep Diver.

In 1969 she applied to participate in the Tektite project. This venture, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Navy, the Department of the Interior and NASA allowed teams of the scientist to live for weeks at a time in an enclosed habitat on the ocean floor fifty feet below the surface, off the Virgin Islands. By this time, Sylvia had spent more than a thousand research hours underwater, more than any other scientist who applied to the program, but, as she says, “the people in charge just couldn’t cope with the idea of men and women living together underwater.” 

The result was Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition led by Dr. Earle herself. In 1970, Sylvia Earle and four other women dove 50 feet below the surface to the small structure they would call home for the next two weeks. In the 1970’s scientific missions took Sylvia Earle to the Galapagos, to the water off Panama, to China and the Bahamas and, again, to the Indian Ocean. During this period she began a productive collaboration with undersea photographer Al Giddings. Together, they investigated the battleship graveyard in the Caroline Islands of the South Pacific.

In the 1980’s along with engineer Graham Hawkes, she started the company’s Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies. These ventures design and build undersea vehicles like Deep Rover and Deep Flight which are making it possible for scientists to maneuver at depths that defied all previously existing technology. In the middle of this life of adventure, Sylvia Earle has been married and raised three children, some of whom have worked side by side with her at Deep Ocean Engineering.

In the 180’s, Dr. Earle took a leave of absence from her companies to serve as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. There, among other duties, Sylvia Earle was responsible for monitoring the health of the nation’s waters. In this capacity she also reported on the environmental damage wrought by Iraq’s burning of Kuwaiti oil fields.

Among the more than 100 national and international hors she has received is the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas. She calls these marine preserves “hope spots, to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.”

Today, Dr.Earle is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. She recently led the Google Ocean Advisory Council, a team of 30 marine scientists providing innovative content and protector of our oceans, she has led over 70 expeditions, logging more than 6500 hours underwater.


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ERIC ESTROFF
Young Super Hero for Earth Award, 2011
Eric Estroff has served as the Green Schools Alliance’s National Student Coordinator since 2009. He is also the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s appointed Green School Program Coordinator for the GSA’s Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3). The mission of the Sc3 is “to empower outstanding student environmental leaders with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to address natural resource challenges and better serve their schools and communities.

In his U.S. Green School Program position, Estroff coordinated the nomination and application process of hundreds of students across the nation. He handled all forms, travel arrangements and logistics for the 100 final student fellows and 20 faculty. Fellows this year represented 35 states and five countries. Estroff also chaired the financial aid committee and oversaw the allocation of $15,000 worth of scholarships. 

He won the 2010 Joseph A. Piehuta Prize from the National Conservation Training Center for his contribution to Sc3. The prize recognizes a US Green School Fellow who has demonstrated exemplary leadership that furthers conservation and climate awareness on a global scale. Eric also received the Atlanta InTown Magazines Top 20 Under 20 Award for outstanding service to the Atlanta community that same year.

Eric is a Senior at pace Academy and serves as student body vice president, yearbook co-editor-in-chief, executive service leader, and chair of the Sustainability Club. He also coordinates the Green Cup Challenge, a month-long, school–wide challenge to schools to reduce energy consumption, for over 30 schools in Georgia.


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DR. JANE GOODALL
Exemplar Award, 2014
In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals.

In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a global environmental and humanitarian youth program. 

Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. Today, Roots & Shoots connects hundreds of thousands of youth in more than 130 countries who take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.

Dr. Goodall travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the Earth.

Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire.


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DR. SANJAY GUPTA
Superhero for Earth Award, 2010
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy® award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for all of CNN’s shows domestically and internationally, and contributes to CNN.com. His medical training and public health policy experience distinguishes his reporting from war zones and natural disasters, as well as on a range of medical and scientific topics, including the recent Ebola outbreak, brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, and HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Dr. Gupta is the host of Vital Signs for CNN International and Accent Health for Turner Private Networks.

Gupta’s passion for inspiring Americans to lead healthier, more active lives led him to launch “Fit Nation,” CNN’s multi-platform anti-obesity initiative. In 2009, “Fit Nation” followed the progress of Gupta and six CNN viewers as they inspired each other while training for a triathlon. The program is now in its sixth year. 

In addition to his work for CNN, Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and regularly performs surgery at Emory University and Grady hospitals. He holds memberships in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves as a diplomate of the American Board of Neurosurgery and a certified medical investigator.

Gupta contributes to the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes. He is the author of three New York Times best-selling books, Chasing Life (2007), Cheating Death (2009) and Monday Mornings (2012).


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MITCHELL HARDMAN
Superhero for Earth Award, 2010
Mitchell Hardman, 15, quotes carbon footprints from memory, experiments with alternate fuel sources and powers his room with a wind turbine and solar panels. Anything but a typical teenager, Mitchell plans to bring hydroelectric power to his family’s vineyard, Persimmon Creek Vineyards in Clayton, in the next year.

At the Captain Planet Foundation X-mas Party to Save the Earth in Atlanta on Dec. 12, Mitchell was honored as one of the Foundation’s “Eco Super Heroes.”

The inaugural award recognized five individuals for their dedication. “Mitchell has had a mechanical bent and exceptional ability in science and mechanics since he was a toddler playing with old vacuum cleaners,” says Mary Ann Hardman, Mitchell’s mother and co-owner of Persimmon Creek, where the family splits its time with Athens.


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PAUL HAWKEN
Superhero for Earth Award, 2014
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News and World Report. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Orion, and many other publications.

He authors articles, op-eds, and peer-reviewed papers, and has written seven books including four national bestsellers, The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983), Growing a Business (Simon and Schuster 1987), and The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993) and Blessed Unrest (Viking, 2007). The Ecology of Commerce was voted in 2013 as the #1 college text on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little Brown, September 1999) co-authored with Amory Lovins, has been read and referred to by several heads of state including President Bill Clinton who called it one of the five most important books in the world today. His books have been published in over 50 countries in 30 languages. Growing a Business became the basis of a 17-part PBS series, which Mr. Hawken hosted and produced. The program, which explored the challenges and pitfalls of starting and operating socially responsive companies, was shown on television in 115 countries and watched by over 100 million people. He is currenlty writing Carbon, The Business of Life, to be published by Viking/Penguin. He was recently named one of the top three Pioneers of Sustainability along with Professors Peter Senge and Michael Porter. 

Paul has founded several companies including some of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He founded OneSun, an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry. Paul is the co-founder of Project Drawdown. Drawdown is a book and website that describes how to reduce carbon in the atmosphere using technologies already in place, measuring the beneficial financial and ecological impact they deliver over the next thirty years. It is a mirror held up to the world about what we are doing about greenhouse gases, with the underlying precept that if something is happening, it is possible. Working with hundreds of scholars, students, universities and organizations, it defines and describes 117 impeccably researched, state-of-the-shelf technologies, both practical and social, that reduce and sequester greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


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Jerry Hightower
Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
Jerry Hightower is probably one of the most high-profile members of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area team. Spending his whole life on the river, Jerry now dedicates his life to helping protect and serve the park he also had a hand in founding.

In 1978 when the park was created, Jerry was able to begin a career as a park ranger to safeguard the river he loved his entire life. His official title now is Park Ranger, though colleagues and visitors alike know him for much more. 

There is no typical day for Jerry as a ranger as his job entails so many different aspects of education and interpretation. Jerry visits local schools to teach young children about Chattahoochee River NRA and how they can work to guard it and help it flourish. He performs roving and basic interpretation, leading hikes and canoes trips and teaching visitors about the history and wonder of the park. He leads environmental education programs, helps around the park headquarters, offers teacher training, and so much more.

Jerry’s passion is environmental education. He loves introducing people to the wonders and extraordinarily diverse resources of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Jerry believes teaching others about natural resources and how to defend them is the key to saving national parks and even our own backyards.

“I’ve got to have faith in generations I will never know,” says Jerry. “My success or failure [as a ranger] isn’t measured by me or anyone today, but by the actions of generations to come.”


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LINTON & GINA HOPKINS
Superhero for Earth Award, 2008
Gina is a sommelier who has built a career in her own right. Linton had started out Pre-med at Emory University with a major in anthropology but was drawn to the kitchen by his love of food and memories of being in the kitchen with his grandfather, Eugene. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and followed a culinary path through some of the most prestigious restaurants in New Orleans before ending up in Washington, DC and discovering a new dream – to own a restaurant in Atlanta with Gina. The two opened Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta and have just opened Holman and Fitch Public House.

Gina and Linton balance the business endeavors with raising their two children and being extremely active in their community. Hopkins joined forces with 11 other parents to participate on the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Local School Wellness Council. Through his involvement, he has done everything from attending meetings and workshops to bringing locally contributed produce to schools to educate children about different types of fresh fruits and vegetables. Gina complements this work as a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. The organization’s Green Table Initiative is designed to inform children about how food gets from the farm to their table, a concept close to her and Hopkins’ heart, especially considering the relationships they have with local growers. “That food comes from somewhere; it comes from someone in a sustainable way, and we need to teach that to our children. That’s a big part of what we’re trying to do,” Hopkins noted. 

In addition to other food-centric associations, such as the Slow Food Movement and the Southern Foodways Alliance, Hopkins devotes time to working with the March of Dimes and cancer research organizations. After surviving Hodgkin’s disease at the age of 29, Hopkins is grateful to be able to use his notoriety in the food industry to bring awareness to such a wide array of important causes. Linton told North Points Magazine, “We believe in charitable works, and as a business, you’re really able to be much more of a champion for these causes, more so than as a private citizen,” he commented. “It makes you much more effective because people will listen to you. It’s been one of those great added benefits.”

The honors are another added benefit. Restaurant Eugene won the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The list of awards for the restaurant and Hopkins is as long as your arm. Gourmet magazine called Restaurant Eugene “A Place to Eat Now” in 2005, and Hopkins was chosen as a challenger on Iron Chef and is nominated for a 2008 James Beard Award.


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CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN
Superhero for Earth Award, 2013
Representing California’s 2nd District. Prior to his election to congress, Hu man served six years in the California State Assembly. Hu man previously worked as a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.


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LISA P. JACKSON
Protector of the Earth Award, 2012
While Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson was named one of Newsweek’s “Most Important People in 2010,” featured on Time Magazine’s 2010 and 2011 lists of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, listed in Essence Magazine’s “40 Women Who Have Influenced the World,” and profiled in O Magazine for her work to protect our nation’s air, water and land from pollution that threatens human health.

Raised a proud resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, Administrator Jackson is a summa cum laude graduate of Tulane University and earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate degree from Tulane University. She has also received an honorary law degree from Pace Law School. 

She started with the EPA as a staff-level scientist in 1987 and spent the majority of her career working in EPA’s Region 2 office in New York. In 2002, Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and was appointed Commissioner of the agency in 2006.

During her tenure, Administrator Jackson focused on seven priorities for EPA’s future: taking action on climate change; improving air quality; cleaning up our communities; protecting America’s waters; assuring the safety of chemicals; expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice; and building stronger state and tribal partnerships.

Administrator Jackson outlined principles to modernize our nation’s 30-year old chemical management laws, called for unprecedented innovation in drinking water protection efforts, and announced tough standards to clean the air we breathe. As the first African-American to serve as EPA Administrator, Jackson made it a priority to expand outreach to communities that are historically under-represented in environmental action. EPA stepped up protection for vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, and low-income communities that are particularly susceptible to environmental and health threats.


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LARRY KING
Special Guest, 2014
Dubbed “the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever” by TV Guide and “master of the mike” by Time Magazine, Emmy Award-winning Larry King hosted CNN’S Larry King Live, the first worldwide phone-in television talk show and the network’s highest rated program for over 25 years.

During his historic career, Larry has done more than 50,000 interviews with newsmakers from all walks of life. With his unique approach, he changed the landscape of cable television news in general, and became the domineering force in primetime news programming. 

In July 2012, King, in collaboration with Carlos Slim, debuted the on-line Ora.tv network with Larry King Now, a daily new and different show featuring celebrities and newsmakers around the world. The show can be seen daily on Ora.tv and Hulu.


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ALEC LOORZ
Superhero for Earth Award, 2010
Alec Loorz is a 17-year-old high school student in Ventura, California, who believes his generation is poised to inherit a world where mass production, environmental degradation and the burning of fossil fuels has put the future of human society at risk. He is one of seven youth plaintiffs currently suing the federal government on behalf of youth everywhere in an attempt to take Washington to task on climate change. The atmosphere, they argue, belongs to the public and our leaders must protect it for future generations. On May 11, a federal court in Washington, DC, will decide whether young people have standing in such a case against the government.

As a young teenager, Alec founded the group Kids vs. Global Warming to empower and educate young people. His organization has held workshops, actions and marches across the country to help youths realize that they have the power to take on an issue of global proportions. 

Alec’s journey into climate activism began when he saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” at the age of 12. In order to convince a skeptical friend that global warming is real, Alec began researching climate change and soon put together a presentation for his classmates. Since then, Alec has addressed about 300,000 people with speeches and presentations across the country and is known as one of the prominent youth voices in the climate-change debate. When Alec is not busy with activism, he writes, blogs, makes music and works and interns at a jet propulsion laboratory. Truthout recently interviewed Alec about the federal lawsuit, the role of youth in the climate struggle and his vision for the future.


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LUDACRIS
Superhero for Earth Award, 2008
The Ludacris Foundation inspires youth through education and memorable experiences to live their dreams by uplifting families, communities and fostering economic development. The Ludacris Foundation focuses on three key areas: Leadership and Education; LudaCares, our hands on community outreach; and Living Healthy Lifestyles. Our efforts reach youth at all age levels. 

Founded in 2001 by multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY® award winning artist and actor, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, TLF has achieved notable success. TLF has been named as one of the top twenty “Leading Philanthropy Foundations” by Black Enterprisemagazine and featured in The Robb Report’s Worth magazine as well as The Chronicles of Philanthropy – a Newspaper of the Non-Profit World for outstanding efforts provided to urban communities.



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XIUHTEZCATL MARTINEZ
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2016
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 16 year old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six, Xiuhtezcatl began speaking to crowds at conferences and demonstrations from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations New York. He is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians an organization of young activists, artists and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and working together to create positive concrete action in their communities to address climate change. He also uses original eco hiphop music to educate and inspire his generation into action. He is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Obama administration for their failure to protect the atmosphere and their future. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained and moratoriums on fracking in his state.

He has traveled across the nation and to many parts of the world educating his generation about the state of the planet they are inheriting and inspiring them into action to protect the Earth. His movement has grown to over 1,500 youth lead Earth Guardian crews globally working on the frontline to combat climate change. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stones, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, CNN, MSNBC, HBO and many more.

In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s youth council.

He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize and the recipient 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award. Bill Mckibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl “an impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear.”


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OVIE MUGHELLI
Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
Not many former professional athletes are able to keep driving as hard off the field as they are on it. For former NFL Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli, it’s all in a day’s work. When he’s not working to engage, enlighten, and entertain adults and kids alike about the necessity of living green, he embraces his abiding love of sports by serving as a sports analyst. Working in both television and radio with CBS Sports Radio, 680 The Fan, SEC Gridiron Live. 

“Sharing my opinions and personality off the field on a sport that I have loved for so many years is so rewarding,” says Mughelli. “I still have teammates, and film to study, just like old times!”

Ovie Mughelli played 9 years in the NFL as a starting Pro Bowl fullback for the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens. Ovie was among the biggest fullbacks to play the game, known for being a power blocker, for being able to pick up blitzes, and one of the best special team minds in the game.


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LELANI MUNTER
Superhero for Earth Award, 2015
Leilani Münter is a biology graduate turned professional race car driver and environmental activist. Discovery’s Planet Green named Leilani the #1 Eco Athlete in the world. She is a recipient of ELLE Magazine’s 2012 Genius Award and Sports Illustrated named her one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world. Leilani races in the ARCA Series, a development league of NASCAR. She is the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, the development league of IndyCar. She has 9 top ves and 19 top ten nishes in 50 starts. Since 2007, Leilani has been adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she runs. She uses her race car to spread environmental awareness among 75 million race fans in the US.


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ROBYN O’BRIEN
Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
A former financial and food industry analyst, Robyn O’Brien has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times and Bloomberg. She triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?” Today, she is a sought-after advisor and speaker, inspiring organizations and individuals to engage in the “New Food Economy.” 

Robyn has worked in the food industry for almost twenty years, first as a financial analyst on a team that managed $20 billion in assets, then as an advisor to the industry, analyzing the impact that our food system has on the health of our families, companies and our economy.

The early years of her work are documented in her bestseller The Unhealthy Truth. She became recognized around the world after her TEDx talk in 2011. That talk was viewed by millions and translated into multiple languages.

In the last ten years, she has helped to lead a food awakening among consumers, corporations and politicians. Food companies responding to Robyn’s work include Target, General Mills, Kraft, Coca Cola, Burger King, Chipotle, Nestle, Compass Food Group and others. She has worked with members of Congress, governors and other political leaders. Robyn is a sought after public speaker, most recently presenting at Tony Robbins’ Platinum Event.

Robyn’s unique ability to leverage years of financial and analytical research with insight gained as a mother of four has made her a force for change.


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CHARLES ORGBON III
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2013
In the 5th grade, Charles Orgbon was troubled by noticing litter around his school’s campus. He started a student club that would help lead campus beautification projects. After three years of founding and leading such projects, Charles was off to high school but wanted to show even more young people how they could create similar campaigns. Therein lays Charles’s impetus for creating an organization that would support young environmental changemakers across the globe: Greening Forward.

Greening Forward youth partners come from all over the world and find Greening Forward’s +110 curriculum resources, grant programs, skill-building tools, and mentorship opportunities helpful in their youth-driven campaigns to effect environmental change at the local and global level. Currently, Greening Forward serves more than 2,000 young people directly and has impacted 10,000 other community members. Charles holds a number of national leadership positions and awards in the youth service field. Charles serves as board member for Youth Service America and Earth Force; and, is a teen board member for the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter.


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CATHERINE PADGETT
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
Ford Elementary School teacher and Environmental Educator, Catherine Padgett, has a true passion for educating the youth of Atlanta on matters of the environment. Padgett began the Environmental Program in Northwest Cobb County in 1995, with nothing more than a 4’x4′ raised garden bed. Fifteen years later, the outside classroom and school garden program has grown to include every class at the school and major additions to the grounds, including a Children’s Garden, individually raised classroom beds, a Nature Trail, and a Native Tree Arboretum. Padgett has also been honored with an award by the Atlanta- Journal Constitution for her efforts.





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LIL PEPPI
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2009
At Earth Day Kid’s Fest 2009, sponsored by the Captain Planet Foundation and Chattahoochee Nature Center, Lil Peppi performed several of his songs for the crowd. Lil Peppi, only 10, of Miami is a super young talent with an inspiring rap calling us to protect the earth.

Cardell Hopkins, better known as ‘Lil Peppi, is spreading his positive, eco-friendly messages to the world via YouTube. As a 10-year old boy living in Tampa, Florida, ‘Lil Peppi performed for large audiences across the nation during the Earth Day Kids Fest in Atlanta, Kaleidoscope Festival in Ballast Point and as a host for Whole Foods Market’s during a six-part environmental series, “Whole Earth Generation,” on the company’s YouTube site. His music integrates child-appropriate lyrics with positive messages and unique topics regarding the environment, such as “Melting Ice” and “Mother Nature’s Crying”. ‘Lil Peppi is truly a young leader of environmental awareness for the masses.


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CARTER & OLIVIA RIES
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2014
Carter (now 13.5) and his sister Olivia (now 12) started One More Generation (OMG) back in 2009 when they realized that many animals were in danger of becoming extinct. Their goal was to help endangered species survive at least One More Generation… and beyond. Shortly after starting OMG, the BP Gulf oil spill happened and the two sprang to action. They spent four months collecting badly needed animal rescue supplies and then personally delivered them to the region. It was there they learned that environmental issues such as plastic pollution were a major contributor to the demise of many species. They spent five months educating themselves on the issue and then hired a few teachers to help them write a weeklong curriculum that teaches the next generation of leaders about plastic pollution and shows them how they too can be part of the solution.

Carter and Olivia have continued their animal conservation efforts, have been to South Africa twice, and have just been invited by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi to be guest speakers at an upcoming international conference in Vietnam on the issue of rhino poaching. They are also in the process of completing a documentary that covers their work trying to save the species and all of their global outreach efforts.


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ALICE ROLLS
Superhero for Earth Award, 2008
Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics, keeps a chart in her Atlanta office by which she measures the success of her efforts as the leader of the Peach State’s foremost sustainable agriculture advocacy group.

In 2004 when Rolls took over as director, there were just 25 certified organic farms in the state; over the next decade, as she watched organic production explode across the country, her chart crept up ever so slowly to show 70 organic farms in the state by 2014, representing less than 4,000 acres total. By comparison, New York and Wisconsin, two states roughly the same size as Georgia, had approximately 900 and 1200 certified organic farms (representing more than 200,000 total acres in each state), respectively.

Seeking to carve out a bigger slice of the organic pie, Georgia Organics launched the 100 Organic Farms Campaign in late 2014. The USDA had just announced its organic certification cost share program, which provides a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification costs, and Georgia Organics offered to cover the other 25 percent, hoping to eliminate one common reason farmers cite for not pursuing organic certification. The other reason is the bureaucracy associated with achieving and maintaining certification. To help mitigate this obstacle, Georgia Organics offered a half dozen workshops in 2015 to teach prospective organic farmers the ropes of the business and even offered free marketing consultations as well.


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DR. MARSHAL SHEPHEARD
Protector of the Earth Award, 2014
Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in weather and climate and served as 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society. He is Director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and is the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Shepherd is host of The Weather Channel’s Sunday talk show Weather Geeks. Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years with NASA as a Research Meteorologist and Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. In 2004, President Bush honored him at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research.

Dr. Shepherd is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He sits on boards for NASA, NOAA, Climate Central and Mothers and Others for Clean Air. The White House, Congress, and major media frequently seek him as an expert. Dr. Shepherd received B.S., M.S. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University and was the first African American to receive a PhD from FSU in that discipline. Dr. Shepherd co-authored the children’s book, Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch. Dr. Shepherd is originally from Canton, Georgia, and is married to
Ayana and has two kids, Anderson and Arissa.


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IAN SOMERHALDER
Superhero for Earth Award, 2016
Ian Somerhalder is an actor, environmentalist and humanitarian currently starring as Damon Salvatore in the eighth and final season of the CW hit television series THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. In addition to acting in the show, Somerhalder also took on the role as director in season 7 and will do so again for an episode in season 8.

This year Somerhalder was nominated two People’s Choice Awards for his work on the series for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor and Favorite On Screen Chemistry. In 2013, he won the Teen Choice Award for Best TV Actor on behalf of his work on the show.

Somerhalder can also be seen this Fall in an episode of the ground-breaking and Emmy award winning climate change documentary series, YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.

From 2004 to 2010, Somerhalder starred as Boone Carlylye in ABC’s Golden Globe and Emmy award winning drama, LOST which earned him a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice TV Breakout Performance.

Somerhalder’s television credits include SMALLVILLE, YOUNG AMERICANS and TELL ME YOU LOVE ME.

His film credits include THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, THE TOURNAMENT and HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A WOMAN.

Somerhalder is also the Founder/President of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) which was established in November 2010 after witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the horrible aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill just five years later. The purpose of the Foundation is to advance science; promote the conservation of natural resources for the benefit of the entire community; provide relief to the poor, distressed, and underprivileged; and support other organizations conducting activities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

ISF empowers human action through programs and collaborations that promote education, innovation and build skills in empathy and effective leadership. ISF engages and supports youth through programs, partnerships, grants, media initiatives and campaigns; and provides support for organizational and grassroots efforts that protect and restore our planet.

Somerhalder was born and raised in Louisiana, and he currently splits his time between Atlanta and Los Angeles.


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TOM SZAKY
Green Innovator Award, 2013
Tom Szaky, 31, is the Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, Inc, one of the world’s foremost leaders in eco-capitalism and the reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste. In 2006, Inc. Magazine named TerraCycle, “The Coolest Little Start-Up in America”! That same year Tom was named the #1 CEO in America Under 30. Recently, Tom was named one of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2013.

In 2008, TerraCycle began works with major companies such as Kraft Foods, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Frito-Lay, Mars, Kashi, L’Oreal and many more to sponsor the collection of post-consumer packaging. With the help of these sponsors, TerraCycle pays schools and non-profits two TerraCycle points, (one point is equal to one cent) for every piece of packaging collected. Today over 125,000 organizations worldwide have helped collect over 2.5 billion pre and post-consumer wrappers, while earning over $7 million dollars in donations.

In 2010, TerraCycle was named the #288 fastest growing privately held company in America by Inc. Magazine’s Annual listing, the Inc. 500.

Between 2009 and 2012, TerraCycle expanded its recycling and upcycling fundraisers into 22 countries around the globe.


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HANNAH TESTA
Young Superhero for Earth Award, 2016
Hannah Testa is a 14 year old from Georgia who is passionate about animals and environmental issues that have an impact on wildlife. She believes that knowledge is power and that through education and awareness, she can affect positive change. She founded Hannah4Change to fight for issues that impact the planet and all of its animals.

From kindergarten she has utilized her leadership skills to teach and influence others, and has truly become a voice for those that do not have a voice, including rhinos, elephants, horses, bears, dolphins, and orcas. She has raised money and awareness for various animal causes because she feels all animals deserve a right to live peacefully on this planet. One of her most successful fundraisers was one of her first events. At the young age of 10 she was featured on CBS News for spearheading a large fundraiser for a horse rescue farm in Georgia.

Hannah has presented to thousands of adults and children – as well as the Georgia Governor – on plastic pollution and practical ways residents can reduce their “plastic footprint”. In 2016, Hannah partnered with her state senator to proclaim February 15, 2017 as Plastic Pollution Awareness Day throughout the state of Georgia. This event was conceived and spearheaded by Ms. Testa to help educate Georgians about the growing crisis. Her goal is to make citizens and businesses aware that simple changes can greatly reduce our plastic footprint. Hannah’s call to action is for Georgian’s to avoid consumption of single-use plastic products such as plastic bottles, straws, and bags on at least one day out of the year. Hannah has gotten dozens of environmental leaders across the nation to support her efforts at the State Capitol.

Hannah has received numerous honors and awards, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and the Pioneer of Sustainability Award by Ted’s Montana Grill. She has been named Co-President of Animal Hero Kids since 2015 as well as Ambassador for 5 Gyres Institute and Plastic Pollution Coalition. In early 2016, the Georgia House and Senate both passed resolutions to recognize Hannah for her volunteer work.

Hannah’s plastic pollution advocacy efforts are the latest in her young career to speak up for issues that concern her, and others have taken note of her incredible work. “Hannah is a light of hope and is a true example to never underestimate a young person’s capability to evoke change. Its been a pleasure to watch her blossom and grow in passion and beauty inside and out”, states Angela Sun, award-winning sportscaster, film maker, producer, writer, and environmentalist.


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ALICE WATERS
Superhero for Earth Award, 2013
Chef / Owner of Chez Pa- nisse and American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the nest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally.


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E.O. WILSON
Examplar Award, 2016
E.O. Wilson is generally recognized as one of the several leading biologists in the world. He is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies, and consilience), and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life). Among more than one hundred awards he has received worldwide are the U. S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in non-fiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy, and the COSMOS Prize of Japan. He is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.


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BROOKLYN WRIGHT
Superhero for Earth Award, 2010
In second grade, Brooklyn Wright knew that the way people were treating our planet needed to change. While learning about conservation issues in school, Brooklyn began to notice the litter problem in her local community. She wanted to convince other people to start caring and take notice, especially kids her own age. While Brooklyn knew she had the power to create change, she wanted to create something that would inspire kids everywhere. It was then that “Earth Saver Girl” was born. That year, Brooklyn began sketching out Earth Saver Girl and planning her adventures. She believed that students her age would listen to a “super hero,” and wanted everyone to know that they had the power to make a difference.

“Earth Saver Girl” is the story of Layla, an ordinary 9-year old girl turned superhero, who protects people and animals so that other generations can enjoy a clean and healthy planet. Throughout her journey, she discovers that her own cousin is their community’s biggest “litter bug” and sets out to change his attitude! Through her adventures, readers learn about not only how to protect the planet, but why it’s important.

Since publishing “Earth Saver Girl’s” first book, Brooklyn has traveled and spoken to a wide variety of audiences from pre-schools to church groups. Groups usually start out saying things like “Who Cares? Litter is gross,” Brooklyn says, but by the end of her presentation, they’re all clamoring to use “Earth Saver Girl’s” special “litter getter.” “There is always a big changes in attitudes,” Brooklyn commented, “every time I speak, my mission is accomplished.” For Brooklyn, seeing that her idea has had nationwide, even worldwide, impact is what is most rewarding. While she has seen changes in her local communities and schools, she’s also heard from students as far away as Hawaii that were inspired by “Earth Saver Girl.”

Today, Brooklyn is in sixth grade and has even bigger plans for “Earth Saver Girl” in the future. She’s just completed her second book which focuses on picking up pet waste to protect water resources. She is currently expanding that work into a chapter book to reach her older peers. As the years go on she hopes to tackle even more issues and add more characters to her series, including a character to promote science and technology. This summer, Brooklyn and Earth Saver Girl will launch their first, week long, eco-summer camp for 6th through 8th graders in the Atlanta area to inspire others to love the outdoors and our planet as much as “Earth Saver Girl” does. “I just hope I get to meet Earth Saver Girl,” Brooklyn said with a laugh, “we never seem to be in the same place at the same time.”

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