Rob Greenfield is an adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference. He is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world. His activism creates eye catching visuals that cause people to self reflect on how they make positive changes in their lives to be a part of the solution to our current environmental and social problems.
From cycling across the USA on a bamboo bicycle for sustainability, to dumpster diving and displaying the $1,000’s of good food he finds in artful mandalas to bring attention to food waste and hunger, to wearing 30 days worth of trash while living like the average American to create a visual of how much trash just one person creates, he’s inspired countless people to be the change they wish to see in the world. He lives a near zero waste lifestyle with just 111 possessions to his name and donates 100% of his media income to grassroots environmental nonprofits.
Sarah Red-Laird is the founder and Executive Director of the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. She is a graduate of the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation with a degree in Resource Conservation, focused on community collaboration and environmental policy. Aside from running the Bee Girl organization’s programs, Sarah is the US Ambassador of the International Bee Research Association’s (IBRA) BEEWORLD project, the Kids and Bees Director for the American Beekeeping Federation, a New York Bee Sanctuary Advisory Board member, is an active member of the Northwest Farmers Union, and is a mentor in the Oregon State Master Beekeepers Program, and the Regional Representative for the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association. When she is not tirelessly working with bees, beekeepers, kids, farmers, land managers, and policy makers, Sarah heads for the hills with a camera, large backpack, fishing rod, bike or snowboard, and her best friend, Sophie the Yellow Lab.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Bee-anca
Hailing from Tennessee, Jon Snow is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Barnard College. For nearly two decades, Snow has focused his research on cellular stress responses in various contexts. Appreciating the challenges faced by pollinators, he now focuses on honey bee health and, since 2012, he has taught cell and molecular biology and immunology courses and run the Snow Lab. Awarded this year’s Tow Award for Innovative and Outstanding Pedagogy and the Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching, he has published scholarly articles on honey bees. He works with students, primarily biology and neuroscience majors, at the Snow Lab to provide an opportunity for closely mentored scientific investigation. Outside the laboratory, you’ll likely find him hiking, running, snowboarding, and spending time with his family.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Millie
Clare Cady’s work rests at the intersection of higher education and human services practice. She directed the Oregon State University Human Services Resource Center, a nationally-recognized program focused on serving students experiencing poverty, hunger, homelessness and food insecurity. Clare co-founded the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), and NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community, and has supported over 60 campuses in starting programs to support students in need. Clare currently serves as Senior Program Officer for National College Program at Single Stop, an anti-poverty nonprofit that partners with community colleges across the United States to serve low-income students
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Bee-saurus (she loves dinosaurs)
Rachael E. Bonoan
Rachael Bonoan is a Ph.D. Candidate who studies honey bee nutritional ecology in the Starks Lab at Tufts University. She is interested in how seasonal changes in the distribution and abundance of flowers (i.e. honey bee food!) affect honey bee health and behavior. Rachael is also the President of the Boston Area Beekeepers Association and enjoys communicating her research and the importance of pollinator health to scientists, beekeepers, garden clubs, and the general public.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Hermione
Suzanne is an Assistant Dean of Students and Sustainability Council co-chair at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Under her guidance, the highly competitive Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) has accepted Commitments to Action developed by FIT students for three consecutive years: the FIT Natural Dye Garden in 2014, the FIT Muslin Compost System in 2015 and, in 2016, FIT HIVES.
Suzanne serves on the Community Advisory Board of WFUV, a public radio station in NYC where she is also an active volunteer. If she’s not working or traveling, you can find her enjoying live music around NYC!
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Boudicca
Nick works as a Chef Teacher at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA, teaching youth. One of his favorite lessons includes students eagerly observing a beehive with their noses pressed against the glass and tasting fresh honeycomb.
He studied biology at Williams College in rural, western Massachusetts. There, surrounded by small organic farms producing incredible vegetables, meats, and dairy, he found himself with half a pig in his freezer and a weekly CSA box on his doorstep. After visiting the farms and meeting the people behind those foods, he dove into the sustainable food movement and helped start an organic garden and food advocacy group on campus.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Ayesha B.
Jan is a beekeeper, an amateur mycologist and microbiologist working with Newtown Creek Alliance, BeeVillage, New York Mycological Society, Brooklyn College Soil/Microbiology Lab, and Genspace to innovate ways to communicate with each other and the larger public.
Jan is also an accomplished artist who creates social sculptures using a combination of artistic and scientific processes that manifest in the form of interactive installations, photography, performance, and bio-art. Her art project, ProfileUS: Invasive Species, includes BeeSpace: Audio Observation, a unique installation that houses live honeybees inside an observation hive that responds to the presence of viewers by producing and amplifying the sounds of the bees.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Cleopatra
Susan is an urban beekeeper, gardener, and Docent at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since 2008 she’s kept bees on her rooftop and works on the hives at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Meanwhile, at the Met, when she is not giving tours, she’s always looking and discovering bee imagery in works of art from cultures around the world, ancient and new.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen ElizaBEEth
As a young girl growing up in Egypt, Nicole Toutounji was fascinated by bees and the delicious honey they made on her family’s farm. After a long career as a photographer and photo editor at UNICEF’s headquarters in New York, Nicole took classes in beekeeping, joined an urban beekeeping organization and apprenticed with seasoned beekeepers. She’s presently the head beekeeper at the Cathedral of St John the Divine where she tends two beehives and conducts various events and seminars on the value of bees and beekeeping. Nicole is a founding member of BeeVillage in Battery Park, which consist of six beehives.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Nazli
A beekeeper and certified NYC Master Composter, Rebecca is the author of Compost City: Practical Composting Know-How for Small-Space Living. A former features writer at The New York Daily News and arts editor at Vibe magazine, Rebecca is the recipient of numerous writing awards. She splits her time between New York and the Catskill mountains and enjoys cooking, snowboarding, traveling, and making things grow.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Isabella
Aisling is a teenager on a mission to save the bees. A California native, Aisling visits grade schools as a Honeybee Conservancy Bee Ambassador. She is spearheading a Girl Scout project designed to inspire a new generation of beekeepers and bee advocates.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Maeve
A Pittsburgh native, Kristin now lives, works, and plays in the Green Mountains of Vermont. She teaches at Champlain College and has created an apiary on campus where she invites students, community members, and pretty much everyone she knows to spend time with the bees. The Champlain College Apiary also provides experiential learning opportunities for environmentally-responsible entrepreneurship and community-driven development work in the Peruvian Amazon.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Barb (after her Grandmother)
Past Selection Committee Members
2016 – 2017 Selection Committee
Orren Fox is a 20-year-old beekeeper, chicken wrangler, sustainable-food advocate, longboard builder and student. He grew up in Newburyport, MA, and has been keeping bees and chickens for most of his life. He was a speaker at the Do Lectures USA in 2012.
Orren is the author of Do/Beekeeping andhappychickens.com, a blog on raising healthy chickens and bees, naturally. He has written several articles for Edible Boston, Handpicked Nation, and has been interviewed for the Huffington Post, NPR and Yankee Magazine to name a few.
🐝 Queen Bee Alias: Queen Chicken
Shelagh Nichols Traill
2017 Selection Committee
A southern California native, Shelagh Nichols Traill is an outspoken vegetarian who practices pro-bono disability law and dedicates her time to art and environmental causes on Florida’s Treasure Coast. A former resident of New York, Paris, and London, she is married to a Scottish Silicon Valley visualization pioneer and together they independently educate their four gifted, autistic children.
Her teen and tween daughters initially piqued her interest in the plight of the honey bee. For three years they have been developing and expanding a garden to provide essential fats, proteins, and vitamins via select pollen sources to coastal honeybees – no small feat in an area with ample sand and little soil. Shelagh is an active member of the Florida State Beekeeper’s Association, the International Dyslexia Association, and the American Bar Association.
Nancy Rathbun Scott
2016 Selection Committee
A native of many places with decades of writing experience, including at the American Nursery and Landscape Association, Nancy engages with our partners and helps run day-to-day operations. She enjoys walking, blogging, lively conversation, and watching documentaries. She has never been afraid of bees.
🐝 Queen Bee Name: Queen BeeStill