Board of Directors

Christopher Nye (Chair) holds a PhD in American studies, was for many years a professor and then college administrator, and is a published poet. In addition to volunteering at Orion and serving on its board, he is vice president of an operating foundation, The Myrin Institute, and is the unofficial steward of its nature preserve. With other retired educators, he heads the Institute’s initiative, Educate the Whole Child, which seeks to develop and promote alternatives to the accountability paradigm in public education. While working at colleges, he instituted environmental programs incorporating place-based education and service learning.

Donna Curling is an activist from Georgia, working proactively to insure that voting rights are respected in her state. This does not keep her from having a deep appreciation of nature. She represents the committed readership Orion seeks to cultivate, describing the magazine as beautiful, inspirational, and thought-provoking in a way that makes her want to be “a better inhabitant of the earth.”

Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. is a writer, performer and cultural geographer. She has taught at University of California-Berkeley and at University of Kentucky. Deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience, her book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014. Initially pursuing an acting career for eleven years, she undertook a backpacking trip around the world which changed the course of her life. She returned to school to complete a B.A., M.A. and PhD. Carolyn has appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, MSNBC, NPR, and has been interviewed for numerous newspapers and magazines.  Along with public speaking, writing and consulting, she serves on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board that is working to assist the National Park Service in engaging in relations of reciprocity with diverse communities.

Claudia J. Ford holds a PhD in Environmental Studies and is on the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design. Claudia teaches ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, global sustainability, environmental justice, and environmental literature in classrooms and workshops. Claudia has worked in international development and women’s health on all continents, and is the director of an agroecology program, on 700 acres of productive farmland in New England, that links ecological and social systems with agriculture, for healthy food and farming communities. Claudia is a published author and poet and a visual artist, and has shared decades of global work and travel with her four children.

Merloyd Ludington is Editor and Publisher of the Imprint Merloyd Lawrence Books co-published with the Perseus Books Group. Ms. Ludington serves as a Director at Woods Hole Research Center and Island Press and Northeast Wilderness Trust. Ms. Ludington is editor and publisher of the imprint “Merloyd Lawrence Books” co-published with the Perseus Books Group. These books have included works in psychology, health, science, environment, and biography, by such authors as Sissela Bok, T. Berry Brazelton, Robert Coles, M.D., Children’s Hospital Boston, Stanley Greenspan, Susan Love, and Lennart Nilsson. 

Barrie Ryan taught writing and (she hopes) love of literature at Green Fields School, Pima Community College, and the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona. For some years she was a social worker with homeless persons, as well as those living with HIV, and for twenty years she was a volunteer hospice caregiver. She has published three books of poetry, including Creek Ceremony (Pima Press, 2001).

Martha Schubert has an Association Montessori Internationale elementary diploma and teaches at Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She is co-owner of the Art Farm, a small-scale family-run sustainable farm where she grows herbs and other garden produce for sale to local restaurants, and for many years was the farmer and manager of a Community Supported Agriculture program. She advocates for healthy families through her volunteerism with La Leche League of Ohio. Martha spent five years living off the grid outside of North Fork, California, before returning to her native Cleveland, where she lives with her husband and their two children. Martha holds a B.A. in Geography from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Josh Stearns is the director of journalism and sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where he works to support and expand community-driven local news. Prior to joining the Dodge staff, Josh served as press freedom director at Free Press, where he spent seven years running national advocacy campaigns in support of digital rights, freedom of expression, and media diversity. His articles have appeared in the Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, PBS MediaShift, Orion, and Boing Boing. Josh is a visiting scholar in the Journalism and Communication Departments at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has a BA in creative writing from St. Lawrence University and an MA in American studies from the University of Massachusetts.