Staff and Board

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Adam Blachly

Adin Buchanan

Angella Gibbons

Ama Peyman

Beverly Little Thunder

Ethan Rubin

erika (Exquisite) moore

Hannah Billian

Mary Zentara
 

STAFF & BOARD BIOS

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Yasi Zeichner

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR & PROJECT CHRYSALIS COORDINATOR

Pronouns: she/her

Yasi came to EarthWalk in 2011 as a student in the Teen Land Project and Mentor in Training programs, and the EarthWalk community has played a large role in her life ever since! From 2012-17, she attended Vermont Technical College for in Equine Studies and Business Management, filling summers as a mentor at EarthWalk summer camps and occasionally mentoring during the Village School. She’s now rejoining EarthWalk as Administrative Director during EarthWalk's Project Chrysalis* stage, helping to coordinate the project to guide the organization towards rebuilding a decolonized, inclusive, cooperative leadership for the future, and serving as an important hub of communication and planning (and possibly being a mentor in the field for future EarthWalk programming). Yasi’s passion for the outdoors and nature mentoring is shared with her love of traditional music, and she works for Vermont music non-profits Young Tradition VT and Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture, as a board member and program manager. Between her non-profit jobs, Yasi plays Irish fiddle and practices Irish sean nós dance, teaches fiddle lessons, wanders the land around her home, and tames chickadees at her sit spot. yasi@earthwalkvermont.org

*Click here for more on Project Chrysalis

Angella (Ange) Gibbons MA.Ed

FOUNDER & BOARD CO-CHAIR

Pronouns: she/her

Angella founded EarthWalk in 2005, and was the Executive Director until 2019, when she chose to step aside and move to a part-time role. In March 2020, due to Covid 19, and Vermont stay-at-home orders, EarthWalk went into dormancy with no programming and no staff. Ange has been supporting the board through the slow process of re-building the organization, through the pandemic and beyond. Eventually, she plans to re-focus on mentoring educators through the Institute, documenting curriculum and ensuring long-term land stewardship. Ange has over 30 years of field experience mentoring children and adults that inform EarthWalk's educational framework and vision. She is featured in the book Greening Vermont: The Search for a Sustainable State by Elizabeth Courtney and Eric Zencey, which traces 50 years of the state’s environmental movement. Her coursework includes: Herbal Roots Apprenticeship (2019), and Family Herbal Training Program (2020) with Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism; MA in Education from Goddard College (2018) and a BA from UVM in 1983. She has certification in Wildlife Track & Sign (level III) with Cybertracker Conservation and certification in Wilderness First Aid. Ange is an earthwalker at work and at home, following tracks and finding nature mysteries, and trying to be helpful to and with her husband Dennis to raise good food. 

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Adin Buchanan

BOARD CO-CHAIR

Pronouns: they/them

Adin Buchanan was born and raised in occupied Abenaki land / central Vermont, just over the hill from where EarthWalk meets. As a seven-year-old at EarthWalk's first summer camps, Adin could often be found covered in mud and scampering around the woods. Now, as a Board Co-Chair, Adin can be found sending emails on behalf of their beloved EarthWalk, wishing they were covered in mud and running barefoot through the woods. In addition to board duties, Adin manages to find some time to complete their day job as a sexual violence prevention educator at Mosaic Vermont, cook delicious meals, enjoy bonfires with pals, practice martial arts, and occasionally, sleeping. 

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Adam Blachly

BOARD MEMBER

Pronouns: he/him

Adam was born and raised in central Vermont, in the same town in which Earthwalk was initially held. He grew up attending Earthwalk summer camps and village school. He then went on to serve as a mentor in training for three summers and as a staff member in 2019. Adam is honored to be a member of the Earthwalk board, dedicated to issues of conservation and its intersection with decolonization and environmental justice. When not working with the board, Adam can be found taking classes at Middlebury College, playing piano, buried in a field guide, or galivanting through the woods of Vermont.

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Exquisite

BOARD MEMBER

Pronouns: all pronouns

I first want to acknowledge any and all Abenaki ancestor or descendant of ancestor for the privilege to nestle here in Central Vermont. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow and serve here. I travel to the east coast, being born and raised in Oakland, California, after being in the Pacific Northwest for the past six years. I've been a child and family social worker all my life and have a deep love of the family and for every child. I am honored to humbly serve on EarthWalk's Board, offering my experience, strength and growth to foster its mission and forward its vision. I am grounded by the Ocean, the rhythms and teachings of the Orisha, Thich Nhat Hanh and all places wooded. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you.

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Beverly Little Thunder

BOARD MEMBER

Pronouns: she/her

My name is Beverly Little Thunder. I am a great grand mother, advocate for the empowerment of BIPOC people, women and LBGTQIA, Two Spirit individuals. I believe as an elder it is my responsibility to encourage and support our next generations in any way we can. I currently live in Huntington, Vermont and am a current member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. I am enrolled at Standing Rock Agency, a Oglala and Hunkpapa band of the Lakota. My life has been that of an activist around Social and Racial injustices, with special attention to Indigenous rights. I worked in the field of medical services as a nurse since 1980 until 2010 when an injury required I retire. Having served on non profit boards since 1976 , I continued to offer my services, most recently with Peace and Justice Center in Burlington. I have published a memoir “One Bead at a Time “ and written for several publications. Somewhere out there are films I have been interviewed for and been part of. I have also traveled through out the USA  and Canada speaking on Indigenous issues and Two Spirit identities. I am honored to be a board member for EarthWalk and look forward to working towards providing our youth with skills they can then use to create a better planet for those who come in the future.

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Mary Zentara

BOARD MEMBER

Pronouns: she/her

Joyfully stomping through backwoods brooks as a child seeded Mary’s desire to mentor children in the fields and forest of what is now called Vermont and unceded Abenaki land. Her beloved work with children outdoors has spanned nearly two decades. The belief that children need nature and nature needs children fueled Mary's effort to found the licensed Forest Preschool at North Branch Nature Center. Currently, Mary is focused on addressing resilience development and the widespread impact of trauma through N.E.A.R Science Education, community and program collaboration efforts, and nature connection. She is pursuing her masters in Early Childhood Special Education and a certificate in Resiliency-based and Trauma-informed Practices at the University of Vermont. Mary is also a second year student in the Somatic Experiencing certification program at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. She is dedicated to embodied anti-racism practice, anti-racism education, and decolonization work, developing cultural agility, and addressing the impact of historical trauma. Mary lives with her family in Montpelier, and on occasion, can be spotted perched in a tree with her daughter.

More Board Member Bios Coming Soon!

Ama Peyman

Ethan Rubin

Hannah Billian

Elders

Jane English

Jim Kelso

Jerri Nash

Deb Bogart

Karen Starr

Duncan Tingle

Wilmer Brandt, Ancestor