CEWCL: When They Joined EWCL

Current class
Abdel Abellard is a citizen of the Caribbean country of Haiti. He holds an MSc in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He also attended a summer program in “Economic Tools for Conservation” at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Abdel has a background in Agricultural Sciences with a focus on Natural Resources and the Environmental Management from the State University of Haiti (UEH).

Internship experiences includes an 8 month assignment with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Office of Migratory Birds Management in Arlington, Virginia, on a project related to the Development of an Action Plan for the conservation of the Black Capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) on Hispaniola Island (DR and Haiti). He also did a summer internship with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) on a Post Fire Recovery Assessment of the Pine forest in Cordillera Central (Highland of the Dominican Republic, Hispaniola Island). Other experiences in conservation included field trainings and workshops in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the US by the Vermont center for Ecostudies (VCE) associated with technical and financial partners.

Abdel spent a year working with a USAID project as a Community-Based Natural Resources Management Specialist, in Montrouis watershed (Haiti). He was also a Program Assistant for The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Abdel is presently working for USAID Mission in Haiti as an Environmental Specialist with specific tasks of assisting the Natural Resources and Environmental Manager on environmental aspects of USAID grants and contracts, also with the Mission Environmental Officer (MEO) on several task related to projects compliance to 22 CFR 216. Abdel would like to continue serving his country mostly in aspects related to Biodiversity and Conservation recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake of January 12th, 2010.


I am indigenous Q’eqchi Maya from Belize in Central America. My name is Marchilio Ack (better known as Moon) and I am married with four children. I am presently living in the Toledo district in the south of Belize in the village of Indian Creek.

Before entering into a career in conservation I was working in the logging industry here in the Toledo district. It was this experience of unsustainable use of the environment that we live in that drove me to seek a profession that involved careful and sustainable use of our natural resources. I have been working with Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust since 1999 as a community ranger, and received extensive training in various aspects of ranger activities. After becoming familiar with all these skills I was chosen to become Field Supervisor (now referred to as Head Ranger). I am responsible for managing the Golden Stream field station, coordinating the rangers’ field activities, including a biodiversity monitoring system developed within the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, and assisting with community outreach and education activities. I have received extensive training in biodiversity monitoring, fauna and flora identification, field orientation with GPS, tour guiding, trail planning, construction in parks and protected area management skills.

In 2008 Ya’axché was granted co-management of Bladen Nature Reserve, a 99’000 acre area within the Maya Mountain Massif, containing one of the most important biodiversity areas in Belize. This led to Ya’axché seeking and eventually securing funding to expand the number of rangers it employs from six to ten to cope with the increase in patrol area. Since taking on this co-management, it has broadened my scope of work and experience dealing with various government agencies and non-governmental organizations that are stakeholders in protected area management in Belize.


Marlon Beale has been employed to the JCDT/Green Jamaica for just over four years, initially as a training consultant in 2006 (1 year) for bird monitoring activities under the Conservation Programme of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT/Green Jamaica) and the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park (BJCMNP). He was subsequently hired as the Conservation Science Officer in August 2007, in charge of the Conservation and Monitoring and Evaluation programme areas, two key programmatic areas for management of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. He fulfilled that role until March 2010. He was then appointed the Acting Executive Director of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT/Green Jamaica) on April 1, 2010, and has served in this capacity to date.

Academically he is currently pursuing his doctoral studies within the faculty of Pure and Applied Science, Department of Life Sciences, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research is based in terrestrial ecology with a focus on birds, and actually awaits oral defense of his thesis for final grading.

Other aspects of Mr. Beale include his position as Chairman of the Church Council at the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Spanish Town, and he is also an adult advisor for the church’s youth group. Mr. Beale is an avid sports fan and outside of the traditional football and cricket, he loves playing basketball. He is the manager of the Spanish Town Spartans Basketball Team, the 2010 Division 1 Basketball League winners and the recently formed Meadows Basketball team, who will compete in the upcoming 2011 Division One league in the Southern Basketball Conference.

Mr. Beale’s motto in life is based on Philippians 3:14 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and he believes that development does not also result from the removal of nature, but should be viewed as nature itself.


Felicity Maria Burrows, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, joined The Nature Conservancy on October 2, 2006. Ms. Burrows is responsible for collaborating with Government and local community groups to advance natural resource conservation efforts including developing strategies to manage and protect existing and proposed protected areas. She also assists with numerous marine-related projects including The Bahamas marine reserves network management planning efforts, the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystems Working Group, Rare Conservation Pride Campaign for the Bahamian Spiny Lobster led by Friends of the Environment in Abaco Bahamas as well as the coordinator for the Bahamas Spiny Lobster Fishery Improvement Project. Prior to joining the Conservancy she was a contractor in marine science for both I.M. Systems Group and Jardon and Howard Technologies at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science in Silver Spring, Maryland. She assisted with the development of a user-friendly, science-based coastal habitat restoration monitoring manual, and from 2002 to 2006 she worked on the Oceans and Human Health grants team. Felicity has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and a master’s degree in Marine Environmental Science from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. It is her love and passion for the natural environment that leads her on a prosperous path in the conservation world!


Jorge Castillo, is a Panamanian with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Sustainable development and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management. He has almost six years of experience working in conservation of protected areas and natural resources by working in different NGOs all concerned with marine protected areas and species in danger of extinction. Some of these organizations include Promar Foundation, the Leatherback Trust, and also the Biodiversity National Institute (InBio).

Mr. Castillo also has an executive background in finance and accounting, experience as an administrative assistant in the United Nations in Panama, and in CEMAD, a Panamanian NGO for environmental education.

His final Master’s project was about sustainable strategies for the management of Las Baulas National Park, and he also developed field projects in RAMSAR sites in Costa Rica. His major goal is to continue working in the planning and evaluation of National Parks Management Plans, specifically those that have coastal marine ecosystems.

Jorge was part of the Environmental department of the third sets of locks project in the Panama Canal, and is currently working on his publication regarding the impacts of the climate change in the Panamanian economy with the support of the Panama National University and the advice of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.


Jamal Galves, a native of Belize, has been passionate about protecting wildlife since his childhood. From the age of 12, he knew he wanted to work with animals – specifically manatees. In 1998, Jamal met Sea2Shore Executive Director and founder Dr. James “Buddy” Powell and USGS scientist Robert Bonde while participating in his first manatee capture. Working with these two renowned scientists influenced Jamal enormously; he was immediately hooked and soon found himself taking every opportunity to work with manatees. While most of his high school classmates were spending their weekends and holidays relaxing, Jamal was working with scientists, monitoring and feeding two manatees in their final stages of rehabilitation, and eventually helping with the tracking of those two manatees after their release. After finishing high school, Jamal volunteered to work with Belize program manager, Nicole Auil Gomez, and was eventually given a full-time position with the manatee project, continuing his dream of protecting wildlife. Jamal’s responsibilities include capturing, tagging, and tracking manatees; collecting data; rescuing and monitoring rehabilitated manatees; assessment of dead and injured marine mammals and educational program in schools. He also heads the Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and holds a position on the Belize manatee working group team. Jamal is also a representative in Belize for the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoot program. Jamal holds a degree in general arts and biology from St. John’s Junior College School of Liberal Arts in Belize. He is looking into further education in Environmental Science.


William Garcia is the Coordinator for the Integrated Community Based Harpy Eagle and Avian Conservation project at the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE). He has been involved in bird conservation for the past five years. Mr. Garcia does not have a formal education but has received much training from some organizations involved in conservation. His training consists of participation in Internships in the USA and Belize (like a formal education). William possesses a Bander’s and Trainer’s certification in Bird banding from the North American Banding Council and also from the Institute for Bird Population. He is also involved in Environmental Education Outreach in the area where he lives. He has done many Environmental presentations to local students as well as internationally. In addition, he has been involved in Avian Research in the Maya mountains of Belize studying the population of Migratory and Resident species of birds as well as working with the Endangered Harpy Eagle (Harpy harpyja). He trains new staff about birds. He was born in a small village close to a nature reserve and has transformed himself from a hunter to a Bird Specialist.


Jeanel Georges has been working as an environmental consultant with a focus on marine and coastal ecosystems. She most recently worked with The Caribsave Partnership as a research assistant investigating the impacts of climate change on the Caribbean Region’s fisheries and biodiversity. She holds an MS in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from the University of the West Indies and a BS in Biology with a minor in Psychology from the Midwestern State University. Other experience includes work on a Sustainable Seafood Awareness campaign geared towards promoting sustainable seafood choices in the Caribbean’s tourism sector; an assessment of the queen conch (Strombas gigas) fisheries in Tobago and education and awareness of cetaceans as a whale watch tour guide. Jeanel has 7 years of experience as a science teacher of CXC physics, chemistry and biology. In addition to her academic background and work experience she also is a PADI certified open water diver and also enjoys snorkeling, hiking and other nature related recreational activities.


Renée Gift is a lawyer from Trinidad & Tobago and Legal Researcher at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL). She holds an LL.M in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from Lewis and Clark Law School, Oregon, and an LL.B. from the University of the West Indies, Barbados. Renée has worked on legal matters advocating for the expansion of the rights of private individuals to bring citizen suits against the local environmental regulator, increased public consultation in permitting applications, and increased enforcement of environmental standards by local regulators, and also provides pro-bono assistance to local non-profit environmental groups. In 2008, she interned at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Washington, D.C. where she worked on issues concerning adaptive management in the regulation of international fisheries. In 2009, Renée completed a Coral Reef Crime Scene Investigation training programme held by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) on investigation, data-collection and assessment skills to respond to natural resource impact events. She speaks English and French and enjoys kitesurfing, tennis and hiking.


Natalya Lawrence serves as Coordinator for the Offshore Islands Conservation Program (OICP), based at the Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua and Barbuda. The offshore islands are home to some endangered and globally significant species of fauna and flora, including the critically endangered Antiguan Racer Snake (Alsophis antiguae) and the vulnerable West Indian Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arborea). Natalya and her team focus on promoting the conservation of key offshore islands and their unique ecosystems through education, species monitoring, public awareness campaigns, and invasive species monitoring and control. Natalya holds a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from La Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Tabasco, Mexico. Although she is fairly new to environmental conservation, she has always been fiercely proud of her country’s natural beauty. She knew that upon her return home from university, her career focus would be on conserving Antigua’s natural heritage. Natalya’s other passions include learning other languages, bird-watching, and playing the piano.


Clarissa Lloyd graduated from the Albena Lake- Hodge Comprehensive School (ALHCS) sixth form program in 2010 with an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Science from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). During her time at the ALHCS, she was the recipient of the Youth Environmental Leadership Award in 2006 and 2008. She is the Terrestrial and Wetlands Conservation Officer at the Anguilla National Trust where she has had the opportunity to work on a number of species and ecosystem conservation initiatives that have ranged from (but are not limited to) the initiation of a nursery that focuses on growing native and culturally-important trees and plants, island-wide wetland, terrestrial, and sea bird monitoring programmes, a nesting sea turtle monitoring programme, a rat eradication project on Dog Island (one of the top seabird nesting islands in the Caribbean), a campaign to raise public awareness about the need to sustainably use the island’s coastal resources, and is the lead on a wetland conservation project. She has a strong passion for youth and their involvement in environmental issues.


From his early childhood days David Mahabir has always have a passion for animals. He grew up in the beautiful island of Trinidad in which he did his first conservation studies in Forestry at the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry ( E.C.I.AF ). In 2008 he was selected as the one of the country’s top scholars to pursue his Bsc in Forest Conservation at Lakehead University Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, which he completed in 2010. Since 2004 he has worked at the Wildlife Section Forestry division as a Forest Officer where he is involved in numerous wildlife conservation projects and protection work. One of his duties includes managing turtle nesting beaches with the communities in Trinidad which is essential in conserving and protecting nesting sea turtles. He also does conservation educational work and developing of policies to conserve and protect the flora and fauna of Trinidad and Tobago. David was awarded the best research project in ECIAF in 2001 for the research he did on the Red Howler Monkeys which he still continues to study. He is also part of the research team that studies sea turtles mostly the Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) which he uses the information to better manage and understand this prehistoric beauty. He is looking forward to being part of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Program which he would use the knowledge gained to better perform wildlife conservation works in the Caribbean and across the world.


Andres Jimenez Monge, a photography enthusiast and a biologist deeply in love with his home country of Costa Rica. His first passion is for herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), a group he feels that is often misunderstood with many species critically endangered, but his conservation works have been many and varied over the years.

Starting when he was just a teenager, he has been an active member of UESPRA (Special Unit for the Protection of Animals) volunteering in wildlife rescues and helping coordinate teams of rescue volunteers during natural disasters. He is also no stranger to environmental campaigning having volunteered with Greenpeace on their Save the Whales campaign in Costa Rica and PRETOMA on their anti-shark finning campaign. Most recently his activism has seen him meeting with the President as part of a small group to discuss the ongoing campaign he has helped to initiate and coordinate, demanding the complete reform of INCOPESCA (Costa Rica’s ‘marine ministry’).

While volunteering kept his spare time busy, Andres graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Costa Rica and then went on to use his knowledge, passion and infectious enthusiasm to inspire others. He has taught Natural History field classes in Costa Rica for Aquinas College, Michigan; taken part as an editorial member for Metodos de Ecologia y Sistematica, and worked as a member of the field staff for Global Volunteers International (GVI), living in Tortuguero National Park leading volunteers in projects including turtle, bird and jaguar monitoring. He is currently the Project Developer for International Student Volunteers (ISV) and the producer and presenter of the weekly marine conservation show ‘Tsunami ‘, on rainforest radio.


Darshanjit Singh Narang has worked in the conservation field both locally and in the wider Caribbean for eight years. Darshanjit acquired a master’s degree in Tropical Biodiversity with a distinction at the University of the West Indies, where he also holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management with Marine Biology. For his master’s thesis, he documented the distribution of an introduced species of capuchin monkey in Trinidad. He first worked as an ecologist in Trinidad where he managed and conducted environmental impact assessments, ecological surveys, and environmental monitoring projects. He was then employed as the protected areas manager in the Turks and Caicos Islands where he was responsible for the overall management of the islands’ protected areas. Mr. Narang is currently employed as the Head of the Biodiversity Unit at the Environmental Management Authority in Trinidad and Tobago where he declares and manages Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Environmentally Sensitive Species such as the West Indian manatee, the Trinidad piping-guan and the ocelot. He also develops and facilitates the implementation of management plans and enforces restrictions on the use of these areas and species, through a network of NGO’s, CBO’s and sister agencies.


Feria Narcisse-Gaston works as an environmental educator attached to the Department of Forestry in St. Lucia in which she empowers individuals to take positive action towards protection and preservation of the islands natural resources. She holds an MS in Practicing Sustainable Development from the Royal Holloway University of London and a Diploma in Conservation Education form the University of Kent.

Feria is trained using the RARE Pride methodology, which inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique and also changing the way the communities relate to nature, while introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. She also developed the “St. Lucia Iyanola Campaign” to save the endangered St. Lucia Iguana, a unique species of historical importance which scientists consider doomed for extinction. The objective of the Iyanola Campaign was to create protection for the threatened and endemic wildlife species occupying the North East Coast dry forest habitat using the iguana as the flagship species. The campaign also seeks to increase public environmental knowledge and to build community support and action for the conservation of endangered species population island-wide, with a focus on the Northeast coast of St. Lucia.


Angela Randazzo was born in Honduras, Central America, and has been since child fascinated by the exuberant nature and diversity of this beautiful country. At 13 years old, she discovered the coral reef in the North of Honduras. This experience made her choose marine biology as her career. She studied for 7 years in Marseille, France and she currently holds a Master degree in Marine Ecology and Biology. In 2010, she returned to Honduras and has being working developing conservation and education tools in communities of the North of Honduras (Utila and Cuero y Salado). Currently, she is working for ProTECTOR (USA NGO which aim is establishing national sea turtle conservation efforts in Honduras) in collaboration with local NGO FUCSA (which manage the wild life refuge of Cuero y Salado) and the University of CURLA in the city of La Ceiba; doing a research in marine turtles diversity, distribution and threats in the zone. Linked to her research is the development of environmental education with adults and children of the community in order to create awareness in the respect and use of natural resources.


Paul Watler works for the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. As the Environmental Programmes Manager, he is responsible for the management of all the Trust’s protected areas and the biodiversity harboured therein. A former Overseas Territories Environment Programme Fellowship recipient, he attended the University of Exeter and received his MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity. Prior to this, Paul had been employed as a Field Officer at the National Trust after graduating with a degree in Biology from Hiram College.