ES 50th Anniversary Biographies

The folowing is a list of the biographies of some of the guest speakers and award winners featured in the ES 50th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion

Kip Evans (’90), Director of Photography and Expeditions at Mission Blue
Russell Galipeau, Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park
Christopher Gavigan (’97), Co-founder of The Honest Company and Founder and CEO of Prima
Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org
Michael Reynolds (’85), National Park Regional Director – Western States
Leila Salazar-Lopez, ('98) Executive Director of Amazon Watch
Will Shafroth (’80), President and CEO, National Park Foundation 


Kip Evans (’90), Director of Photography and Expeditions at Mission Blue

An award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and explorer, Kip Evans has led or participated in more than sixty expeditions throughout the world, including recent assignments in Antarctica, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, and the Galapagos Islands. In 2008 Kip joined Mission Blue as the Director of Photography and Expeditions, documenting “hope spots,” critical areas around the world’s ocean that need protection. As a photographer, he has worked on dozens of National Geographic Society projects since 1998, including the five-year Sustainable Seas project where he spent over 300 hours diving submersibles at depths down to 1,800 feet. 

Kip’s images have been featured in hundreds of books, exhibits, travel guides, advertisements, and magazines worldwide including, Alert Diver, Huffington Post, National Geographic Magazine, Patagonia, Outside, Rolex and Coastal Living to name a few. He has been a photo expert with National Geographic’s expeditions program since 2006. As a cinematographer, Kip’s films have been featured at film festivals around the world and he has shot for several natural history networks including National Geographic, PBS and Discovery Channel. His Mission Blue documentary, “Isla Holbox – Whale Shark Island,” won best non-broadcast documentary at the 2010 BLUE Film Festival. In addition to his photography experience, Kip has worked as a naturalist and an educator for the National Marine Sanctuary Program. 

As a diver and submersible pilot, Kip holds a number of certifications including PADI Scuba Instructor, Diver Medical Technician (DMT,) and Scientific Research Diver. Kip has also logged nearly 4000 hours underwater, mostly during research and photographic expeditions, including a 17 - day assignment where he saturated at the Aquarius Habitat as part of Mission 31. From 1996 – 2008, he served as a volunteer rescue swimmer and diver with the Pacific Grove Ocean Rescue Team. In 2002 he received a commendation for saving the life of a young teen that had been swept out to sea. 

Kip was recently honored as the 2017 Ocean Champion by the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival for his work in ocean conservation. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1990, with a degree in Environmental/Marine Studies.

Russell Galipeau, Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park

Russell Galipeau, a 40-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), served as Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park for fifteen years, from 2003 until his retirement in 2018.  The park includes five islands off the coast: Santa Barbara Island, the southernmost point of the park, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel, which has one of the biggest pinniped rookeries in the world.  "The hardest learning curve here for any manager at this park is: Logistics," Galipeau said. "It’s all about logistics."  Prior to moving to Channel Islands Galipeau was the chief of resources management at Yosemite National Park, where he has coordinated a resources program rich in biological, botanical and cultural elements and been challenged with the natural resources rehabilitation of Yosemite Valley after the 1997 flood. 

He also has worked as chief of resources at the largest national park in the system – Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska and in the Service’s Southeast Regional Office. He also conducted field work as a specialist at Everglades National Park and Canaveral National Seashore. Galipeau is a native of St. Augustine, Fla. and has a degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Florida.

Christopher Gavigan (’97), Co-founder of The Honest Company and Founder and CEO of Prima

Christopher Gavigan is a 1997 graduate of UCSB and the Environmental Studies Program and Geography and our 2019 recipient of the Environmental Studies Program’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.  He is a husband, father, renowned environmental and human health champion,​ acclaimed ​best-selling ​author​,​ speaker, and ​successful ​social entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder of The Honest Company with actress Jessica Alba and Founder + CEO of PRIMA, an industry-defining health company safely supporting wellness, stress, mood, skin health and balance with proven hemp CBD products.  His commitment and consciousness have been instrumental in spreading awareness about environmental health.  ​

​Christopher translated ​this passion ​and commitment ​into a best-selling book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home​ with leading contributions from Dr. Philip Landrigan, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, First Lady Michelle Obama, and many others. He has authored numerous pieces on environmental health, sustainability, and the non-toxic marketplace for national publications, including People Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Parenting, Treehugger, Discovery, and Fit Pregnancy to name just a few.  He has been featured as a speaker and expert at national conferences, including Sustainable Brands and Green Biz and has been featured on many national and international radio, podcast, and television programming.

Christopher has received the numerous recognitions: NY Times Bestseller List - 2009, Mt. Sinai Champion of Leadership Award - 2018 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, WebMD’s Health Hero Award – 2010, Men’s Fitness Game-changer Award - 2014, and Elle Magazine’s Green Award - 2007. Christopher is a father of four children and lives with his wife, Jessica Capshaw, in Pacific Palisades, California.

Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org

He is an author, environmentalist, and founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty  thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. In 2014 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. 

Michael Reynolds (’85), National Park Regional Director – Western States

Michael T. Reynolds (Mike) became the Regional Director of the National Park Service (NPS) Interior Regions 6,7,8 in December 2019. This NPS region includes 8 States and approximately 90 units with over 5000 NPS employees. It includes such well known parks as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and the Grand Canyon among many other gems of the NPS.

He was previously the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park in California since March of 2018. Yosemite is one of the most well-known and visited National Parks in the Nation.

Mike was named Deputy Director, Operations for the National Park Service in August 2016 and served after the transition of the 2016 election as the Acting Director for the Agency overseeing all operations and programs from January 2017 to February 2018 from the headquarters of the NPS in Washington DC. He has served for 34 years with the Department of the Interior.

In  2014, Reynolds had been assigned to the National Park Service Headquarters in Washington DC as the Associate Director for Workforce and Inclusion overseeing the entire NPS’ human capital, diversity and inclusion, training, youth programs, and recruitment nationwide.Reynolds has also held appointments as National Park Service (NPS) Midwest Regional Director in 2011. During his time as Regional Director of the Midwest Region, Reynolds focused on leadership and change efforts for the parks and programs in 13 States.

Prior to his appointment as the Midwest Regional Director, Reynolds served as Deputy Regional Director for all operations in the Northeast Region based in Philadelphia for 4 years.  Earlier in his career when he was Superintendent of Fire Island National Seashore, Reynolds created innovative ways to work with the local community and park partners.

His NPS career also includes stints as a resource manager, planner, and a division chief at Yosemite National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Cape Cod National Seashore, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and the NPS Denver Service Center which is the National Park Service’s planning, design, project management and engineering office. He also spent two years with the Bureau of Land Management as a Legislative Affairs staff.

The third generation of his family to work for the NPS, Reynolds grew up in Yosemite National Park.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MBA from Regis University in Denver.  He was a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University in the spring of 2011 and was named an Honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2017. Reynolds is married and has two daughters.

Leila Salazar-Lopez ('98), Executive Director of Amazon Watch

Leila is a mother; proud Chicana-Latina woman; and passionate defender of Mother Earth, the Amazon, indigenous rights and climate justice. Since 2015 she has served as the Executive Director of Amazon Watch, leading the organization in its work to protect and defend the bio-cultural and climate integrity of the Amazon rainforest by advancing indigenous peoples' rights, territories, and solutions, including solar for energy, communications and transport in the Amazon. 

For 20+ years Leila has worked to defend the world's rainforests, human rights, and the climate through grassroots organizing and international advocacy campaigns at Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, and Green Corps. She is currently a Greenpeace Voting Member and a Global Fund for Women Advisor for Latin America. In April 2019, she was acknowledged in Make it Better Media’s “17 Bay Area Environmentalists Making a Difference.” 

She has recently given keynote addresses at Yale’s International Society of Tropical Forestry Conference 2019; Global Ayahuasca Conference 2019; Bioneers 2019; Rainforest Action Network’s Revel 2019; and a TEDx Berkeley 2020 presentation entitled “Amazon Fires Ignite a Global Movement to Protect the Planet.” 

Her work and writings have been featured in national and international media including: Democracy Now!, The New York Times (Op-Ed), CNN, CNN International and Andalou Agency, among many others. 

She is a 1998 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies, Political Science and a minor in Global Peace and International Studies. Leila lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two young daughters.

Will Shafroth (’80), President and CEO, National Park Foundation 

Will is a conservationist and outdoor recreation enthusiast whose professional career has been in preservation and protection of public lands. Shafroth is a fourth-generation Coloradan and great-grandfather, John F. Shafroth, was a former member of the US House, US Senate, and the Governor of Colorado, and best remembered as one of the  authors of the Antiquities Act.

After graduating from UCSB in 1980, Shafroth launched his career by serving as Western Regional Director of the American Farmland Trust for 8 years. There he worked with private landowners to conserve their land, establish local land conservation organizations, advance statewide farmland conservation policies, and increase public awareness of the need to conserve high-quality farmland.  He also served as Assistant Secretary for Land and Coastal Resources under Governor Pete Wilson from 1991–1994. His responsibilities included developing statewide wetlands, rivers, and farmland conservation plans, serving on the CA Coastal Commission and State Coastal Conservancy boards, and representing the state in the establishment of the 5400 square mile Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Shafroth then moved back to Colorado to serve as the first executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), an organization that funds conservation, recreation, and education projects and programs.  In 2000, Shafroth created the Colorado Conservation Trust (CCT), a statewide community foundation focused on land conservation in Colorado. 

After an unsuccessful run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Shafroth served as principal deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks under Secretary Ken Salazar at the Department of the Interior.  In this role he advanced the work of the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and later led the Department’s work on America's Great Outdoors Initiative, President Obama's initiative focused on conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors.

After a brief stint as a consultant to foundations and conservation groups – Shafroth became President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.  There, Will leads the organization’s work to inspire all people to connect with and protect America’s national parks.  In the past four years, he oversaw the successful conclusion of the Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, raising more than $550 million over five years.

Among the signature projects that have been completed on Shafroth’s watch include the establishment of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, the restoration of Pullman National Monument outside Chicago and the acquisition of birth and life homes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In addition to his profession pursuits, Shafroth has served as Marin County Planning Commissioner and Chair of the Land Trust Alliance and the Resources Legacy Fund.

He is the father of three children and enjoys biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing and playing tennis.  In addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Shafroth received a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1991.

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