At 8 Billion Trees we’re passionate about fighting the climate crisis through forestry and carbon offset projects. Our team members around the world are zealous about carrying forward the 8 Billion Trees mission while planting a brighter, greener tomorrow for all.
Meet the 8 Billion Trees Team
Jon is an avid conservationist and has a passion for nature and the environment. He and Mike Powell founded 8 Billion Trees in November, 2018. Driven by the current environmental and ecological crisis, they came together to create something with the potential to affect real, powerful change and reverse the accelerating destruction of forests and animal habitats.
Mike was born in Massachusetts, but moved to Las Vegas as a child. He studied business and marketing at the College of Southern Nevada and is “extremely thankful” to work with a passionate team of people who are part of such a bold mission, focused on saving the planet. During his free time, he enjoys taking weekend picnics at Mount Charleston and getting off the beaten track.
Holding degrees in business administration and computer science, Georgette has spent over 10 years studying emissions calculations and plants and tree species, especially those native to the Appalachian Mountain range. Her expertise in this area has enabled her to orchestrate the construction of over 30 carbon footprint emissions calculators. When asked to join the 8 Billion Trees team, she was thrilled to find a place where her passionate love of nature and desire to conserve our national and global resources could flourish. She currently resides near a National Park and is an avid hiker and fitness enthusiast, while also enjoying home gardening, crocheting, and baking.
After years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Mario joined the 8 Billion Trees Team to explore his passion for the planet and nature. Growing up in the Texas plains, on a farm, Mario learned early on the value of hard work and the importance of conserving our planet, as well as caring for the land, family, and livestock. Mario spends his free time playing sports, spending time with his family, and volunteering at various local veteran organizations.
Nathan grew up in Dallas, Texas but moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2018. He enjoys taking long walks up mountains and is always seeking adventure, whether that’s trying a new sport, taking a road trip, or just hiking around town. An avid hiker, Nathan has witnessed the beauties the earth has to offer, as well as the damage humans have done. He joined 8 Billion Trees knowing that healing the planet can happen through forestry projects.
Raised by a horticulturist on a sustainable homestead and inside of a state park, Vivian has been filled with a love of nature since her earliest years. Having lived in three countries and four states, her experiences have strengthened her deep passion to protect the environment. This is why she was ecstatic to join 8 Billion Trees’ team as an editor who could make a difference to the planet. With a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing and an Oxford education, she loves the process of perfecting content. In her free time, you can find her tending her “humble jungle” of plants and pets, or doing yoga or roller skating (not at the same time).
Ashlyn enjoys many things about nature, including gardening, trees and flowers. Her favorites are Weeping Willows, Wisteria and Cherry Blossoms, which she loves to photograph. Her passion for making environmentally conscious choices leads her to incorporate green practices in her daily life.
Lindsey Latimer is originally from Dallas, TX, but has lived in D.C. and Atlanta. He studied animation and design at Academy of Art University, and can be found most days creating motion graphics, illustrations, and other fun things. He lives in Decatur, GA with his wife and their two young rabbits.
As Warehouse Manager for 8 Billion Trees, David’s favorites things to do include hiking at Red Rock Canyon when he’s not making sure shipments are on time. Although living in a busy city has its perks, it’s often overwhelming, so he enjoys getting out into the solitude of the mountains to enjoy nature.
Having grown up in Arizona and now living in Las Vegas, NV, all Aliaja has ever known is the desert. But, she has a passion for making life a little bit greener everywhere she goes. A recycling advocate, Aliaja knows how precious our planet is, and is working to help save it. She spends her free time outside roller skating.
Lead Web Developer
David holds a degree in Web Design and Development and has spent most of his time in the field working with marketing agencies. When asked to join the team, he was excited to shift gears and work on actually making a difference for the environment and is thankful to be able to use his tech skills to help usher in changes that will benefit the planet. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, and “geeking out” by building computers and gaming on them.
Priya Sable, MS
Environmental Science Contributor
With a Master’s Degree in Science and Bachelor’s in Life Science, Priya is a hardcore nature conservationist, dedicated to making a difference with her own choices. Having worked with various environmentally related NGOs, she was employed as a Forest Range Officer and actively fought illicit activities, along with raising plant nurseries and undertaking plantation drives. A strong advocate animal rights, veganism and sustainable lifestyles, her hobbies include bird-watching, photography, swimming, and connecting with nature in every possible way.
Natália G.R. de Mello, PhD Environmental Science
Former Environmental Science Contributor
Holding Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Environmental Science, Natalia is passionate about forest restoration. In addition to previously publishing academic papers and book chapters, she has offered her expertise to a number of electronic magazines and websites. She believes humans have all means to create more harmonious relationships with nature and is passionate about sharing information on sustainable life choices. Born in the heart of the Amazon, she loves movies, books, yoga, black and white photography, and treehouses, and is thrilled to help spread the word about all things environmental.
Samson Opanda, MS Engineering
Samson L. Opanda is an Agricultural Engineer with a passion for solving Climate Change. In his practice, he has designed, implemented and supervised sustainable development projects, including dams, water pans and boreholes in Kenya. Samson is also the founder of Agricultural Engineering Cloud Repository, an online platform, for agricultural engineers to share filed experiences. During his free time, Samson writes about climate change and other sustainability issues of interest. He brings onboard experience in agricultural infrastructure to support forestation activities.
Jazmin Murphy, BS Zoology
Jazmin “Sunny” Murphy, is a science communicator and web content writer, adept at producing scientific content that is written in plain English. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, her love of life science has influenced her professional and academic aspirations since childhood, and she’s currently working toward a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy & Management. Learn more about Jazmin’s work at her website, Black Flower Writing Services.
Around the World
Hement Raj kaphale
Nepal Projects Director
Hement loves to give trees and plants as gifts. A the 8 Billion Trees planting director in Nepal, he operates a green campaign nursery, providing saplings and seedlings to others. The District Forest Department of Nepal is also involved in the distribution. So far, he has helped distribute more than 60,000 plants, including one to the prime minister, as well as various officials, the former king and also the Honorable President of Nepal.
Marjun grew up on a family farm and has been an environmental advocate since finishing college. His hobbies include hiking and other outdoor adventures, and he dedicates most of his free time to joining clean-up drives in mountains, rivers, and ocean as well as tree planting activities with different local groups. He is also very active with groups that volunteer in environmental education in remote communities and responsible tourism.
Kenya Projects Director
Kenya Director, Sammy Mutua, credits his love of trees to his mother, who ‘planted’ the desire in him as a child. She frequently planted fruit trees on the family compound to provide shade and “bring people together.” Now Sammy is using that passion to transform communities by working with Green School Alliance and local governments to conduct wide spread tree planting initiatives and education outreach programs about protecting these natural resources.
Sergio left the big city to move closer to nature and now lives near the Mt. Apo National park. As a an advocate of veganism and fighting climate change, he spends most of his time educating people on how to reduce their carbon footprint through lifestyle and diet changes, as well as backyard farming. He also supports local animal rescue groups in his area which also fight against animal cruelty. His work at 8 Billion trees “is a dream come true.”