Current Board Members:
Narayan Dhakal, President
Narayan is a biological scientist trained in the complexity of ecological processes involving human communities, with an internal, emic perspective on human dimensions of natural resources management. Interested in research to integrate multiple approaches to understanding, communicating, and resolving complex human induced ecological and economic problems so people could build strategies to adapt with the climate change. His research explores how economic, social, cultural, religious, and spiritual fabrics of the society and the rural community can contribute to solve the global social and climate change problems. Narayan developed an interdisciplinary experiential learning program course curriculum based on his study findings. The anticipation of this course is to introduce hands-on experiential learning to the students so they could add the value to the existing environment with creative way. My research interest has been in human dimensions of wildlife conservation, natural resources management, and assessment of biological and socioeconomic loss and gain in conservation and resettlement. Narayan's PhD research findings provide theoretical underpinnings in dealing with the human settlement in the national parks and protected areas. If people’s social ties are maintained; fair compensation provided, and access to health, education and market guaranteed, then people are willing to resettle voluntarily. This research finding provides important guidelines to incorporate culturally-held values into people’s understandings so that they support biological conservation. Narayan is a current member board of directors, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences (CFAN), University of Minnesota.
Fabrizio Frascaroli, Vice President
Fabrizio Frascaroli earned a BA and MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Iceland and an MSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Zurich. He is currently about to complete his PhD in Ecology at the University of Zurich. Over the last years, Fabrizio’s research interests have focused on the attitudes towards nature within different Christian traditions, and the conservation potential of sacred sites in European contexts. He has worked extensively on sacred natural sites in Central Italy, and collaborated with NGOs and photographers equally interested in the interface between religion and nature. Fabrizio is co-founder and co-editor of the Sacred Sites Research Newsletter (SSIREN).
Stephen Mufutau Awoyemi, Board Member
Tropical Conservancy, Nigeria
Stephen Mufutau Awoyemi is a Tropical Biology Association Alumnus and Earthwatch Fellow. He had his first degree in Zoology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters in Ecology and Environmental Biology from the same university. He first became a member of the SCB in 2002 and later in 2004 became a member of the Board of Directors of the SCB Africa Section in his capacity as Information Officer. In 2007, Stephen became a founding board member and Membership Coordinator of the Religion and Conservation (RCB) Working Group. He contributed ideas and momentum to the building of RCB, developing a concept note entitled: Religion and Conservation Biology in Africa: Reaching Faith-based Communities for Collaboration and Dialogue. The concept was presented at the IUCN/ABCG workshop on the Future of Biodiversity in Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2008. The idea was later incorporated into the Dar Vision Statement for 2025. He was also an active member of the Outreach Committee of the RCBWG.
Chantal Elkin, Board Member
Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), United Kingdom
Chantal is Manager of the Religious Forest Sites Programme at the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), based in the UK. She was with Conservation International for eight years as the Washington-based Manager of the Indo-Burma program and then as Director of CI’s Wildlife Trade program, focusing on the illegal trade in Asia. Chantal holds two Master’s degrees from the University of London, the first in Environment and Development in Southeast Asia and the second looking at Buddhism and conservation. Prior to working with CI, Chantal co-authored the 1998 publication, “Logging Burma’s Frontier Forests: Resources and the Regime” for the World Resources Institute.
Paul Simonin, Board Member
Cornell University, United States
Paul is an aquatic ecologist by training and is currently studying fisheries ecology and management in pursuit of a PhD in Natural Resources from Cornell. He is currently leading several Christian and interfaith organizations at Cornell, including a group that connects conservationists with Christian and other religious organizations, and generally creates a space in which to discuss the intersection of faith and environmental issues. Paul's current research includes work in Southeast Asia, where he is studying fisheries management in several Islamic and animist communities. Paul's other research includes studies of the effects of nonnative fish species in freshwater systems, and he is a member of the Ecological Society of America, the American Fisheries Society, and the International Society for Ecological Economics.