Melissa Macarages, Chair

Administrative Specialist, University of Florida

Melissa is a wanderlusting, adventuring, fishing, hunting, ocean-loving Florida woman who is always ready for the next adventure. Two little boys call her Momma. She graduated with a degree in biology and currently works as an administrative specialist for the University of Florida College of Medicine. She previously worked as an executive assistant at Florida Sea Grant.


Jennifer Adler

Conservation Photographer 

Jennifer Adler is a conservation photographer and underwater photojournalist. Her work is informed by her scientific background, and she uses her imagery to communicate science and conservation. She has a degree in marine biology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida. She specializes in underwater photography and is a trained freediver and cave diver. Her grant-funded and assignment work has taken her all over the world to document science and conservation for The Nature Conservancy, National Geographic, HuffPost, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Jenny is a freelance photojournalist and is represented by National Geographic Image Collection.


Cynthia Barnett

Author & Environmental Journalist in Residence, UF College of Journalism and Communications

Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning environmental author and journalist who has reported on water, oceans and climate in Florida and around the world. Her latest book, “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” was nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for literary science writing. Forthcoming from W.W. Norton in 2021, her fourth book, “The Sound of the Sea,” is about seashells, the fascinating animals that make them, and what they’re telling us about the oceans we share.

Cynthia also has written for National Geographic, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Salon, and many other publications. She is an Environmental Journalist in Residence at the UF College of Journalism and Communications. She is a Florida Woman—a fifth-generation Floridian, raising a sixth-generation in Gainesville.


Silvana Ordoñez

Strategic Partner Manager, Facebook 

Silvana Ordoñez is part of Facebook’s Local News Partnerships team and is responsible for the platform’s relationships with local video and broadcasting news publishers in the United States. Before joining Facebook, Silvana worked at CNBC as a business reporter and producer.


Audrey Peterman

President, Earthwise Productions, Inc.

Audrey Peterman is a national award-winning conservationist and a leader in the movement to engage more Americans of color in the enjoyment, care and protection of our National Parks and public lands system, and our environment.

A resident of South Florida since 1985, Mrs. Peterman and her husband Frank drove 12,500 miles around the country in 1995 and “discovered” the National Park System. Finding that only a minuscule percentage of Americans of color know about or feel comfortable utilizing these invaluable resources, Mrs. Peterman consistently challenges the Park Service to live up to its mission of “preserving . . .for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”

Mrs. Peterman’s third book, “From My Jamaican Gully to the World,” tells the story of her carefree childhood in Jamaica that set her up for life as an advocate for Nature.


Leslie Poole

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College 

Leslie Poole is assistant professor of environmental studies at Rollins College. A fourth-generation Floridian, her research focuses on the state’s history, environmental history, and the role of women and their grassroots activities. She is the author of “Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century.”


Laurel Schulman

Data Strategist, Triangle Community Foundation

Laurel Shulman is perpetually fascinated by the power of money to do good in the world. As a donor organizer and data strategist at Triangle Community Foundation, she provides quality connections between donors and nonprofits to cultivate relationships across the diverse demographics in the Southeast. She is a Florida native and graduate of New College of Florida.

In her free time, she can be found establishing a food forest in her backyard, finding as many books as she can get her hands on, and reading them to her daughter.


Tommy Thompson 

Chief Writer & Photographer

Tommy Thompson is a professional photographer and outdoor writer. He serves as an editor, writer, and developer for several outdoor websites, including a monthly column for Florida Sportsman Magazine. Tommy is the author of two books: “The Saltwater Anglers Guide to Florida’s Big Bend and Emerald Coast” and “The Saltwater Anglers Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida.” Tommy has also served as an adjunct instructor in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication since 2002.


Daniel Ward 

Of Counsel, The Marjorie 

Dan Ward is an attorney specializing in environmental, property and business organizations matters. Dan has provided legal counsel to The Marjorie since 2017.