Front row, left to right: Esha Chiocchio, Denise Fort, Ruby Lopez; Middle row: Sarah Buie, Janika McFeely, Claudia Borchert, Genie Stevens; Back row: Bobbie Besold, Chrissie Orr, Bianca Sopoci-Belknap, Mary-Charlotte Domandi, Merle Lefkoff.

Launched 2017 | Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center, Santa Fe

The Santa Fe CUHF met for the first time in November 2017, and after completely a full round of CUHF sessions in 2018, has continued to meet with some regularity since then. Its members include educators, attorneys, civil servants, environmental activists, writers, artists and others with strong environmental commitments.


Bobbe Besold community and eco-artist

Bobbe Besold is an artist/activist working in all media (including photography, visual art, performance, ceremony, writing and public art). She is a creative catalyst and community collaborator whose work focuses on ecological and social issues; Rivers Run Through Us is a recent and ongoing community engagement project with artists Valerie Martinez and Dominique Mazeaud.

Claudia Borchert hydrologist and sustainability leader

Claudia Borchert was recently named Santa Fe County’s Sustainability Manager. In that capacity, she is working with the County’s administration and our community to “green” the place we call home in areas of recycling/solid waste, energy efficiency & renewable energy, transportation, and water resources. For the three previous years, Ms. Borchert was the director of the County’s water and wastewater utility, a 10,000-customer operation. As a water manager and planner for the City of Santa Fe for over 10 years, she worked on policies like the Living River Ordinance, the Long Range Water Supply Plan, and shortage-sharing agreements.

Esha Chiocchio photographer and environmental educator

Esha Chiocchio is a photojournalist focusing on culture, food and climate; she has worked for a range of clients including National Geographic, Newsweek and Lonely Planet. She is Climate Solutions Coordinator for the Santa Fe Watershed Association, where she wrote the Forest and Water Climate Adaptation plan for Santa Fe and leads the Climate Masters program. She is also former vice-chair of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and co-founder of Renewable Energy Day at the NM State Capitol.

Mary-Charlotte Domandi radio and podcast producer

As an award-winning radio producer, Mary-Charlotte Domandi interviews authors, activists, scientists, and artists from around the world. Her current podcast series focus on science, climate change, regenerative agriculture, activism and local issues. She is also a Latin music DJ, and has studied AfroCuban dance and culture in Cuba.

Denise Fort attorney and environmental activist

Denise Fort has an extensive background in environmental and natural resources law; her 40 years of practice, politics, reflecting and writing are animated by a belief that society must turn toward a more sustainable relationship with its environment. She is a Professor Emerita at the UNM School of Law, where she directed the Water Resources Administration Program and the Utton Center. She was also the director of the New Mexico Environment Department and of the Department of Finance for the state.

Merle Lefkoff social change entrepreneur

Merle Lefkoff is a social change entrepreneur whose practice is devoted to the application of nonlinear complex systems thinking to whole system change. She has been a mediator, facilitator, and leadership trainer in conflict zones around the world, and led the planning group of NGO leaders at the United Nations launch of the Gross National Happiness index. She is the founder and co-chair of the Center for Emergent Diplomacy, presently in partnership with the Swedish group, Timeless Knowledge.

Ruby Lopez student and environmental educator

Ruby is a recent Santa Fe High graduate who is working for Earth Care as a sustainability educator for after school programs for kindergarten through 6th grade students. She is starting college in the spring of 2018.

Janika McFeely architect, sustainability specialist and facilitator

Janika McFeely is an architect, sustainability specialist and facilitator committed to earth-based experiential learning. Formerly a sustainability specialist for the University of California Office of the President, she is now Senior Sustainability Consultant at Integral Group. She guides wilderness rites of passage programs and facilitates environmental leadership trainings for young adults, and has trained with the School of Lost Borders and Joanna Macy.

Chrissie Orr artist and activist, beautiful troublemaker

Chrissie Orr is an artist, animateur and creative investigator focused on developing a relational aesthetic around community and site with issues relevant to both. Orr has created community-based art projects in diverse areas of the world and is recognized internationally for her pioneering work. She is a founder of the SeedBroadcast Collective, co-founder of the Academy for the Love of Learning’s EL Otro Lado Project and Living Story Collaborative. Chrissie was born in Scotland, a descendant of the Picts (the painted ones).

Bianca Sopoci-Belknap sustainability and community development leader

As a Santa Fe native, Bianca Sopoci-Belknap has been involved in community development and organizing efforts in her hometown for over a decade. She is the Executive Director of Earth Care, where she and her staff offer youth empowerment, social justice and environmental stewardship programs and projects. She is also the Associate Director of New Energy Economy. She is the former chair of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and served on the Santa Fe Food Policy Council for three years.

Genie Stevens educator and social change catalyst

Genie Stevens is an educator and social change catalyst who has founded and led non-profit arts and education organizations for over thirty years. She is now Executive Director of the award-winning Global Warming Express, offering climate change and civic engagement education to children in association with the Sierra Club through a By Kids/For Kids think tank.

Photo by Andrea Multari

Kathryn Harris Tijerina attorney and community leader

Attorney Kathryn Harris Tijerina has been a leader in community building, education, and Indian affairs throughout the public and private sectors of New Mexico. She served as the First Leader of the Comanche Nation College Council, directed the Indian Resource Development program for the State of New Mexico’s colleges and universities, and served as President of the Institute of American Indian Arts. Kathryn worked for the Chief Justice of the NM Supreme Court, and was Deputy Secretary of the NM Natural Resources Department, where she created the state’s first endangered plant species law. She is an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation.

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