Our team is composed of passionate individuals that have worked in a variety of environmental and sustainability fields. We started Together for Nature because we want to help our community improve their social and environmental impacts in holistic manners.
Katia Pilar Carranza
Katia Pilar Carranza is a sustainability researcher and organizer focused on improving the reciprocal interconnections between people and nature while increasing equity for underserved and Indigenous people. Sustainability became her passion fifteen years ago when she learned that climate change is threatening the health of our people and environment. Since then, Katia became impassioned to take action, and she has directed transdisciplinary initiatives focused on advancing the environmental and social vision of her communities. Last year, she founded the Together for Nature nonprofit in her hometown that is working on connecting underserved people and youth to nature and sustainability leadership. Katia is now pursuing a Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences because she wants to better prepare for advancing the vision of her communities in sustainability planning. She is currently collaborating with Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance in conducting research that supports the socioecological resilience of Indigenous people, and she is serving a grasslands Indigenous Working Group in compiling their priorities into strategy and implementing equitable engagement across North America. Katia is committed to continue collaborating with her underserved, migrant, and Indigenous communities to advance their vision for equitable sustainability that heals our social and environmental relationships.
Gloria Charland is an environmental activist and organizer centered on clean water and youth involvement. They are a founding member of Together for Nature and work with the mentorship program and weekend events for TFN. In addition to Together for Nature, Gloria is on the board of directors for Monarchs, Milkweed, and More and the Illinois Beaver Alliance. They are the Chair of the Sierra Club National HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) Team, the Co-chair of the Manitou Creek Watershed Alliance, and a member of the Grant Woods Stewardship Team. Gloria loves the way all of their activities overlap and how the different teams collaborate and support each other. In their free time, Gloria kayaks, hikes, does Crossfit, yoga and belly-dancing. Gloria lives on Long Lake in Northeastern Illinois with their three dogs.
Andrea Mendez is a recent graduate from Lake Forest College with a degree in Environmental Studies. Her involvement with Together For Nature started in the Fall of 2021 when she became part of the Mentorship Program. She became part of the Beaver Project alongside her mentor Gloria. This project opened opportunities for her! She was invited to attend BeaverCon in Baltimore, presented on beavers at the IMLA conference, and was invited to be part of the board of the Illinois Beaver Alliance. Since then she continued to volunteer with the organization and is now part of the Board of Directors. Andrea is passionate about conservation and youth. She hopes that through Together For Nature she can help change and influence the lives of many youth since she believes raising up the youth is always important for the future of society. Andrea loves to kayak, read books, and study the biodiversity of her own backyard!
Julian Martin first connected with Together for Nature through their Mentorship for Sustainability Program as a mentee in Fall 2022. Having enjoyed being a part of the program, Julian found it easy to continue volunteering with TFN as a community leader. As such, he works with a team to educate and provide leadership opportunities to communities on environmental justice and conservation. Working with TFN has allowed him to explore pathways that build community while working toward sustainability. In his free time, Julian enjoys reading, hiking, and attending live events.
Lead Volunteer/Community Council
Lead Volunteer/Community Council
Alondra is a recent graduate of Lake Forest College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Biology and Visual Science Communication and a Spanish minor. She began her involvement with Together for Nature during its founding after completing her involvement with the first Youth Mentorship program cohort and has since continued volunteering for the organization as part of the Education, Mentorship, and Events team. Alondra is passionate about conservation work and finding ways to involve and bridge gaps for underserved and underrepresented communities. As such, she hopes to help expand the organization into other communities such as back in her hometown, Chicago. In the near future, Alondra also plans to continue her academics and seek out graduate education either in ecology/conservation field research or scientific illustration. She believes visuals are an important tool for education and hopes to someday work to illustrate material that can be used to teach science. In her free time, Alondra likes to hangout with friends, draw, play music, hike, and explore the city.