Jodi Eller is a naturalist at heart and enjoys spending time outdoors surrounded by the biodiversity that is all around. She is driven by the saying “live simply so others may simply live” but views others as referring to all forms of life. She holds a strong environmental ethic, where biocentrism blends into ecocentrism. She not only feels humans and other species have a right to exist and are worthy of protection, but she feels that there should be an intrinsic value given to the importance of ecosystems as a whole.
Her love of the outdoors led her to earn a M.S. in Environmental Education from Florida Institute of Technology as well as to become the first woman to section paddle and complete Florida’s 1,515-mile Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Jodi’s outdoor experience and education has led to a career in teaching and facilitating grades kindergarten to post-secondary in formal and non-formal educational settings. Jodi currently volunteers in a work-for-stay exchange at Cypress Farms in St. Augustine and continues to find new ways of sharing her passion towards wildlife and outdoor recreation with the community around her.
Matt Keene is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. His work focuses on environmental, social justice and counter-culture issues, particularly those affecting his home state of Florida. Keene has written news, features, profiles and personal essays that have been published in the Earth First! Journal, the Florida Times-Union and the Flagler College Gargoyle. In 2016, he was honored as St. Johns Riverkeeper’s 2015 Advocate of the Year. In 2014, his investigative article State Road 313 threatens St. Augustine’s Twelve Mile Swamp received a Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence award in the Southeast region, for In-Depth Reporting. Keene’s multimedia project, River be dammed–a 17-minute mini-documentary and 10,000-word investigation on the Kirkpatrick (Rodman) Dam in north-central Florida, went on to wide acclaim and use in the case for a free-flowing Ocklawaha River.
In addition, Keene is a long-distance adventurer that has spent more than 13 months in a tent, writing and raising awareness of environmental and social concerns. Keene has hiked more than 3,500 miles, paddled more than 2,000, and holds the world record for being the first person to complete Florida’s 1,515-mile-long Circumnavigational Trail. He is regularly invited to speak at environmental events, seminars and workshops.
See more of his work: amkeene.com