MEET OUR BOARD
Douglas Alderfer, M.Ed.
Doug joined LandHealth’s Board in 2020. A lifelong Philadelphia area resident, Doug is Executive Director of CADEkids—a prevention provider teaching life skills and emotional literacy education for more than 10,000 K-9th grade Philadelphia public school students each year. Programs focus on substance abuse and violence prevention, along with problem gambling awareness. Doug previously coordinated HIV/AIDS Support Services at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia, designing and conducting educational programs for youth and adults—on cultural diversity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and STIs.
Doug earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Temple University, while his passion for plants and the environment has guided an ongoing pursuit of horticultural education. At Temple Ambler, he studied native plants in the landscape and the history of landscape architecture; he also volunteered as a youth programs docent at Morris Arboretum. Doug recently graduated from the Barnes Foundation’s three-year horticulture certificate program, at the Barnes Arboretum of St. Joseph’s University.
Christina Jackson, PhD
Christina joined LandHealth's board in 2020. A resident of Cobbs Creek, Christina is an urban sociologist and scholar-activist with an interest in the relationships between poor and middle class neighborhoods of color, their environments, and city entities and institutions. Christina's social justice approach centers the stories and lives of residents through immersion in community struggles. A professor of Sociology at Stockton University, Christina graduated from Temple University, earned her doctorate at UC Santa Barbara, and completed her postdoctoral work in Africana Studies at Gettysburg College. Christina is an active board member with the Camp Sojourner Girls Leadership program.
Tonya joined LandHealth's Board in 2020. Born and raised in Philadelphia to working-class parents of African American and Italian descent, Tonya's activism was further fueled by her late husband, an educator born and trained in The Gambia, West Africa who studied and worked in the US as a controller in the hospitality industry. Together they have twins who attended public schools in Philadelphia and the Community College of Philadelphia. Tonya graduated from Philadelphia public schools, Simon Gratz High School with a full scholarship to Temple University. She worked for more than twenty years in hospitality industry, and later in adult education. While living in Washington DC and in Prince George's County, she worked for the US Senate, the Senate Republican Conference, and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Dept of Homeland Security. Tonya is passionate in her fight for social, economic, and racial justice for all. A leader of Opt Out Philly, Tonya educates families, communities and students about standardized testing, gerrymandering, gentrification, mental and emotional trauma, and surviving city life in a capitalist, poverty-promoting, environment.
As a mother of twins with special needs, Tonya is a particularly forceful advocate for inclusive education. Tonya received the
Unsung Hero Award in 2016 from the Johnson House, serves as Vice Chair of Concerned Citizens for Change, a Steering Committee member and Education Committee Chair of Philly
Neighborhood Networks and a stalwart organizer for progressive policies through Win the City, IMPACT, Philadelphia Climate Works, and the Alliance for Phila Public Schools. She is the Home and School President for Widener Memorial School, the School Advisory Council Facilitator for Wagner Middle School, and a member of the Caucus of Working Educators. a member of the 35th District Town Watch and the Broad and Olney Business and Community Association.
Joshua Moses, PhD
Joshua joined LandHealth's board in 2016. A professor of anthropology and environmental studies at Haverford College, Joshua has worked on the religious response to human, spiritual and natural disasters in the “New Age of Anxiety.” Joshua worked with Nunatsiavut Inuit communities in northern Labrador on inequality, dispossession, community wellbeing, migration and identity in the context of land claim settlements and large-scale resource extraction. With a methodological foundation in action research, collaborative research methods, and community-engaged research around migration, housing and homelessness, Joshua has worked with Philadelphia-area community and environmental organizations, including the US Forest Service Philadelphia Field Station to develop youth-driven environmental studies curricula. His work on anthropology of mental health has focused on the production of knowledge in the context of disaster, intersections of spirituality/religion and mental health, environmental ruptures, and inequality. Through the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaborative in collaboration with the North Philly Peace Park, Friends of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, East Park Revitalization Alliance, and Philadelphia artist Li Sumpter, he developed the Urban Ecology Arts Exchange.
Ilan studied environmental science and technology when she was in high school, and shortly after, she went to and graduated at the Pennsylvania State University.
Ilan joined LandHealth's board to continue her mother's legacy.
Watching movies, going to the concerts, and spending time with her son are Ilan's hobbies and passion!
Patty West, RLA
A mother, landscape architect, graphic designer and self-proclaimed bricoleur, Patty joined the board of directors in 2017.
With build work in Philadelphia and across the country, she specializes in ecologically responsible design including plant communities and stormwater infrastructure.
She lectures on plant ecology and planting design at the University of Pennsylvania and has recently joined forces with the National Parks Service.
A professor of environmental studies at Haverford College with a background in computer science and paleobiology, Jonathan’s research is focused on the co-evolution of plants and the planet over the last 400 million years. His research applies many tools, including mathematical models and chemical analysis, to plant fossils, to determine how the evolution of land plants shaped, and responded to, Earth surface environments.
Jonathan has conducted scientific research and led field courses around the world, from Australia to Trinidad and Tobago.
Jonathan teaches, and has taught, a cross-section of environmental subjects, from “plants and people” to studying the leaf microbiome. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University, earned his doctorate at Harvard University, and completed his postdoctoral work at Caltech.
Alyssa Schimmel (she/they) joined LandHealth's board in 2020. She is a resident of West Philadelphia, a community herbalist, licensed massage therapist, PA Master Gardener, EarthActivist permaculture designer, and a teacher passionate about regenerative ecosystem design and exploring regional food and medicine ways. She currently teaches two, land-based multiseason programs at Awbury Arboretum (Wild Wisdom, and Herbal Aid Ed with the Many Hands Apothecary & Garden Program). She formerly served as Education Director of the Philadelphia Orchard Project, where she coordinated educational outreach through curriculum and workshop development, network building with universities and community groups, event planning, grant writing, and POP publications with POP's School Orchard Program, serving 14 Philadelphia K-12 schools. She led garden therapy programs at Kirkbride Center and Guild House West, a senior resident facility. With a background in media studies, community building, and regenerative education, she specializes in partner-based, ecological, educational content creation. Her work explores methods of sustaining health at the intersection of ecology, community, and personal levels. Her studies include a B.A. in communication and media studies from the University of Maryland, an apprenticeship with botanical sanctuary Mountain Gardens in Burnsville, NC, herbal education from Sky House Apothecary and Wild Ginger Herb Center and advanced clinical herbal studies with David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies.
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