Meet the Team

We are a pioneering nonprofit founded by Bruce Calhoun and other educators and students in 1988. Since inception, more than 10,000 students have participated in our high-quality and sustainable trips AND we have donated more than $500,000 to rainforest conservation efforts! 

Led by Andrea Luecke, an early student founder and program participant, we re-launched with renewed vigor on World Rainforest Day 2021! Connect with us for intern and volunteer opportunities or to lead a trip to the tropics.

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Executive Director

Andrea Luecke is a distinguished and nationally recognized trailblazer with a remarkable 15-year track record creating highly complex and innovative clean energy, conservation, and poverty reduction initiatives. Andrea spent seven years overseas working in international development before she “discovered” solar energy and went on to lead the City of Milwaukee’s solar program for two years and then The Solar Foundation for over a decade, where her work was widely considered pivotal in earning public acceptance for solar and clean energy in the US.

Andrea is a nonprofit business and change management expert, Board Vice-President for Cleantech Leaders Roundtable, and Founder & CEO of ALL Impact Consulting where she coaches and mentors brave clients (individuals & organizations) seeking to make major transformations. She is Spanish bi-lingual, mother to a wonderful rascally daughter, a gardening and fitness extraordinaire, and is based in Washington, DC.

Andrea's connection to Save The Rainforest is personal. As one of the founding students in the late 1980s, Andrea stuffed hundreds of envelopes with informational packets, went on one of the first trips to Belize, and served as a Student Ambassador for the program. For Andrea, this is a real passion project, one that she believes has the power to change the world by empowering youth to be hopeful, courageous, independent, and solutions-minded climate entrepreneurs.

Christopher James

Program Director for Disadvantaged Youth and Ecuador

Chris likes to joke that he —as most people are— was born a biologist, but as he grew he never stopped searching streams and looking under rocks for all the hidden beauty of life, so he had no other alternative but to become a professional one.

Chris is bilingual in English and Spanish, and speaks just enough French, Quichua and ASL to get himself into trouble.

Chris has worked as a zookeeper with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, as a photographer and writer specializing in the environment, a research station director in the high Andes, an extensionist in community agroforestry, an environmental educator, a consultant in community ecotourism, and as coordinator of a stream research project working with an indigenous community of the upper Amazon, among other ventures.

His travels have taken him to various countries within Europe, North America, the Caribbean and South America. Chris has led numerous trips for Save The Rainforest in the Galapagos Islands and other regions of Ecuador, where he lived for twenty years. He now lives with his Ecuadorean wife, son, and accompanying pets in Tucson, Arizona, where he teaches Environmental Science.

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Director of Strategy and Technology

Steve is among the very best at helping to make companies and brands stand out.

An expert digital strategist and technologist, Steve has 10 years of digital marketing experience - working across multiple industries - where he has gained recognition as a "data wizard" and  "search guru."

Gravely concerned about climate change, Steve considers rainforest conservation to be among the most important things we can do to maintain a stable climate and is eager to contribute his talents where they are needed most.

Programming Consultant

Juliet (Schraeder) Whitsett is a highly accomplished art and environmental educator with years of experience teaching and leading study abroad programs. She has her Master's in Community Arts & Education and has worked at the High Line, the Thinkery, LEAPnow, the Austin Discovery School, and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Based in Austin, Texas, Juliet is Spanish bilingual, an avid salsa dancer, a loving twin mom and step-mom, a cancer survivor, and an artist currently focused on endangered and threatened species in Texas and beyond. Her artist portfolio can be found here.

As a student participant of one of the early Save The Rainforest trips, Juliet feels the experience was foundational for her life and career trajectory. Juliet is a proponent of study-abroad and gap years and is excited to be working with the Team to expand programming.