Orietta Estrada

RAY Program Director

Orietta C. Estrada (she/her/ella) is the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Program Director at ELP.  Orietta has always been passionate about conservation and the environment. Her experiences on the margins of the mainstream, abroad and in the U.S., has informed the way she travels through life—seeking justice and equity via BIPOC liberation, focused within the conservation and environmental movements.

Orietta is an ELP National Fellow (2021); an ANS Environmental Champion (2022); co-founder of Amplify the Future and the Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship/Birders Fund; and is a trustee at Manoment. She holds a B.A. in Literature from New York Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Postcolonial Literary Theory from Stockholms Universitet, and has both undergraduate and graduate coursework in geographic information systems and environmental biology from Hood College.

In her free time she tinkers with the latest in tech-media, reads, takes courses, spends time with her daughter and their three dogs (Poochies, Princesa, y Frijolita), swims, skates, plays the upright bass, and volunteers in her communities.

Yamina Nater-Otero

RAY Partnerships Manager

Yamina (she/they) is a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Partnerships Manager at ELP. Inspired by her Puerto Rican heritage, lifelong residence in Newark, NJ and her time as a paraprofessional in both high- and low-income school districts, she strives for equity in education and conservation. They have been interviewed by various podcasts, education publications and newspapers about topics such as urban birding and biodiversity, redefining “the outdoors”, and equitable environmental education.

Before joining the RAY fellowship team, they worked at Audubon NY delivering education programs to NYC students and engaging various communities across the 5 boroughs. As co-chair of the Birds Fund, they are able to support BIPOC birders in STEM both financially and through networking.

Outside of work Yamina enjoys spending time with her Boston Terriers, birding locally, all things spooky, terrible puns, and consuming vast amounts of pop culture. 

|ma Otudor

RAY Partnerships Manager

|ma (she/they), RAY Fellowship Partnerships Manager, is a halfrican and southern(US)-raised, western(US)-born environmental experientialist. Their current skill-set includes roles such as sustainability specialist, waste stream coordinator, program facilitator, and artisanal crafter. Her experiences have given her a well-rounded, socially-minded view of the environmental field -often with a focus on bolstering/involving/increasing the presence and capacity of historically excluded groups. That in mind, Ima seeks to incorporate humanist-naturalist-wholistic environmental awareness, conservation, and sustainability into much of their day-to-day life.

They have a bachelor's in Wildlife Conservation Biology from the Fort Valley State University and a master's in Natural Resources and the Environment with a focus on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan. She also has topics such as sustainable development, food access, and renewable energy "under her belt."

She enjoys reading and listening to a variety of media, dancing around her apartment and sometimes in public, volunteering with local community orgs, catching up on the latest news with family and friends, and trying to get in at least a small bit of nature daily.

Nia Thomas

Nia (she/her), RAY Communications Manager, is a proud Caribbean woman who calls both St. Thomas, USVI and Atlanta, Georgia home. Growing up with such a strong connection to her people, she always felt moved to fight for sustainable and equitable change in her community.

Her journey in communications began once she realized how the right messaging can move thousands to action. Upon receiving her degree in Communications: Public Relations from Columbus State University she understood where her newfound skills belonged. Nia has gained her experience working to amplify the voices of small business and nonprofits that aim to improve the position of Black people across the diaspora. In addition to her communications knowledge, Nia has spent time leading instruction in youth agricultural education programs in both Michigan and Arizona. This work led her to becoming a part of the RAY Fellowship team.

When she is not so busy, Nia enjoys painting and filling her home with colorful canvases, listening to music or podcasts, and exploring the world around her.

Chun-See Tsao

Program Manager

Chun-See Tsao (he/him), RAY Program Manager at ELP, grew up exploring the U.S. and Hong Kong countryside. Drawing from his experiences in the sciences and humanities, he is passionate about finding systemic, people-based solutions to ongoing challenges of climate change and environmental justice. He is committed to supporting emerging environmental leaders and shifting organizational cultures towards more just and equitable outcomes.

Chun-See is an ELP National Fellow (2021) and serves on the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC) Young Lands Professionals Committee. He was also previously exhibition co-curator for Ecology in the Making: A History of Amateur Naturalists in Hong Kong; English editor for The Pulse of Nature – Mid-Levels West; board member of Madison Community Cooperative; and founder of community-led art-commissioning startup CrowdArt. He holds a B.Sc. Chemistry & Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.Sc. Environmental Management from The University of Hong Kong.

In his free time, he enjoys reading, drawing, birding, herping, volunteering on local lands and taking meandering side-adventures into cultural history.