These 10 featured participants will be interviewed by Ruth Chase about how they find a sense of belonging through the land in Nevada County. Radu Sava and Chase will produce a short film that documents their inspiring stories.

Rick Berry
Rick Berry

Rick Berry began with the Tracker School in 1986 at the age of 15 and has been teaching these skills for the past 25 years. After graduating from Humboldt State University, Rick tested his skills in the remote Klamath Mountain range where he immersed himself for 12 years in indigenous life-ways–passed on to him by Gary Morris who himself had lived with Yurok Elder Calvin Rube for 20 years. Rick taught with both Jon Young and Tom Brown, Jr. through the Tracker School, and moved on to serve seven years as Director of The Children of the Earth Foundation. Rick now lives in the Sierra foothills of Northern California where he shares dynamic teachings and philosophy of living as one with the Earth through 4 Elements Earth Education and its Fox Walkers program for school-aged children.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

Jeff Brown is the Sagehen Station ManagerSagehen Creek Field Station is a research and teaching facility of UC Berkeley. Sagehen was established in 1951 with the signing of a long-term special use permit from the Tahoe National Forest within the basic for research and teaching. Research activities are multi-disciplinary and onsite facilities are occupied year-round. Flora, fauna, and insects of the area have been well-studied, and there is substantial climate and hydrological data collected since the 50’s.

Sagehen serves as the hub of a much broader network of research areas known as the Central Sierra Field Research Stations – Sagehen Creek Field Station, Onion Creek Experimental Watershed, Checking American Reserve, and North Fork Association Lands.

Jonathan Collier
Jonathan Collier

Jonathan Collier was first initiated into a basic business foundation by growing up in a successful entrepreneurial family. His formal education focused on operations management and marketing at the Leeds School of Business, and philosophy at the University of Colorado. He also extensively studied behavioral sciences, social justice and poetry. Later he developed an avid interest in consciousness studies, human potential and holistic health becoming a certified massage therapist, yoga instructor, EDGU teacher and practitioner of various healing modalities. He has combined his years of experience and knowledge into a consulting company, and as a political and community advocate engaging with individuals, small businesses, organizations and local communities to cultivate a harmonic and prosperous balance between self, social, ecological and spiritual interactions.
He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance. He also holds seats on the Board of Directors for the California Growers Association, Board of Directors for the Nevada County Arts Council, Board of Directors for the Briarpatch Food Coop, the Advisory Board of the Yuba Village Building Convergence and sits on the Steering Committee for the Nevada Food Policy Council.

Shelly Covert

A longtime local, born and raised in Grass Valley. My family goes back long, long time – countless generations before the Gold Rush. We are from the original people who were here, the Nisenan Indians. Glad to meet you all. Really happy to be included in the project and am looking forward to making new connections. (Spokesperson and Tribal Council Secretary – Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and Executive Director of the 501c3 non-profit organization, C.H.I.R.P or the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project.

Nancy Tieken Lopez

Nancy’s love for the arts and attachment to the landscape stems from early childhood lessons from her mother, a biology teacher and poet, and her father, a music director. Nancy created the art hikes for her thesis project in 1994 while receiving her Masters of Fine Arts degree from San Jose State University, and in 2004 founded Trails & Vistas Art Hikes in Truckee Tahoe.
“My art is about connection – to a place, to the earth, to people’s lives. The art hikes and my earth paintings are inspired by place, a place that is found by walking and learning to see more, hear more, and feel more of the land that is around me. Place is discovered by a shirt in feeling inspired by the landscape. My earth paintings are often inspired by a pattern on a rock or soil that is collected from a place and worked into the canvas. The stunning landscapes of Lake Tahoe inspire the site-specific performance and installation works of the art hikes.

Philip Oyoung July 19 2017 copy
Philip Oyung and Ruth Chase

Philip Oyung is a descendant of the first Chinese family in Nevada County.

Elisa headshot
Elisa Parker

Elisa Parker, media maven, speaker and a visionary for women and social justice is the co-founder, president & host of the award-winning program, See Jane Do, co-founder of Indivisible Women and Leadership Ambassador with Take the Lead Women. Elisa’s work takes her around the world to discover and share the extraordinary stories & solutions in each of us. She hosts her weekly show for nationally acclaimed radio station KVMR & is the co-founder & director of the Passion into Action™ Women’s Conference, TEDxGrassValley, Raising Jane and the See Jane Do Media Lounge. Elisa reaches thousands through a partnership with other like-minded organizations and develops organizational-wide initiatives, communications strategies for events & digital media campaigns that support women’s leadership & gender equity. She designs, creates and facilitates training programs in hi-tech, media, healthcare & non-profit organizations to optimize performance outcomes. She is an alumna of the Women’s Media Center Progressive Women’s Voices program, Take the Lead Women & The White House Project’s Go Run program. Elisa holds a BA in Communications from San Francisco State and an MA in Organization Development & Leadership at the University of San Francisco. Elisa lives in the Sierra Foothills with her husband and two daughters.

Mike Stewart

Mike is a Fire Captain with Cal Fire at Washington Ridge Conservation Camp where, between wildland fire assignments, forestry management, and fuel reduction are his top concerns. Mike has grown up near the town of Washington and knows the terrain and forest better than most. Washington lies alongside the South Fork of the Yuba River, in a deep canyon, as the Sierras ascend steeply to the Donner Pass which separates East and West Nevada County. He has made it his personal mission to educate the public about what real forestry health should look like, how to repair the man-made damage and move forward with integrity.

Rob Thompson


Nevada County Arts Coucil logo 2017   CAClogo_stackedRGB_2