Natalie Fobes - Photographer

With a third book in progress, a traveling museum exhibit, and a thriving assignment and stock business, Natalie Fobes is one of the most diverse photographers in the country.

Natalie's ideal assignment is one that explores the complex relationship between humans and the environment. Her dedication to this theme is exemplified by her award-winning coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and her ten-year project on salmon and the people of the salmon, published in National Geographic Magazine and her book Reaching Home, Pacific Salmon, Pacific People. Her traveling exhibit based on the book has been displayed at 18 museums.

In the last few years, Natalie has photographed the construction of the Seattle Mariner's new stadium, komodo dragons in Indonesia, Tarahumara Indians in Mexico's Copper Canyon, humpback whales in Alaska, and the people who live on "the loneliest road in America"--Route 50 in Nevada. Her most recent book, I Dream Alaska, is a series of Polaroid transfers from 15 years of journeys in Alaska.

Concerned that the number of magazines willing to commission documentary projects was declining, Natalie co-founded Blue Earth Alliance in 1996. The non-profit foundation is dedicated to helping photographers pursue stories about endangered environments and threatened cultures.

Natalie has received more than 200 awards and honors for her work: she was a Pulitzer finalist; she won the Alicia Patterson Fellowship and the Scripps Howard Meeman Award; she was second in World Press. Many print media and television stories have been done about Natalie and her work, including a 15-minute piece on CBS Sunday Morning Edition.

While not on assignment, Natalie lives with her family on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and wishes she was sailing.

Susan Zwinger - Writer

Susan Zwinger is the author of The Last Wild Edge: One Woman's Journey from the Arctic Circle to the Olympic Coast, 1999, Johnson books; Still Wild Always Wild, 1997, Sierra Club, celebrating the California Desert Protection Act; Stalking the Ice Dragon, A Solo Journey through Alaska, 1991, U. of Arizona Press. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies: American Nature Writing 2000 and 1997, The Seacoast Reader, Grand Canyon, Writing Down the River, Gifts of the Wild, The Last New Land: Stories of Alaska, Women in Wilderness, which she co-authored with Ann Haymond Zwinger. She has written for a number of journals, including Sierra, California Wild, Orion, New Age, and Backpacker. Her first book received the Governor's Author's Award in 1992. Seventy of her poems have been published in various literary magazines; she has just put together a collection. She is also working on a novel and another volume of natural history.

Across the West, Susan Zwinger is known for her ability to teach workshops in natural history, natural history writing, advanced writing, art, and illustrated journaling. She has been hired by The Nature Conservancy, Audubon, various National Park Institutes, the Smithsonian, and schools -- from grade school to college -- to combine the skills of art and writing into the science of natural history.

Her museum experience includes volunteer work as a docent and workshop coordinator in Austin; as a professional, Curator of Contemporary Art, she curated and prepared catalogues for the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She lives on an island off the coast of Washington, where she speaks with eagles and loons daily.

Ian McAllister - Writer, guide

Ian is a founding director of the Raincoast Conservation Society, an organization dedicated to the protection of temperate rainforests and all its life forms. Since 1990 Ian has spent most of each year exploring and documenting the ecological values of the endangered valleys of B.C.s mainland coast as well as leading voyages into the Great Bear Rainforest area.

Ian is co-author of The Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast (1997), which won the "Best BC Book" award, was named Advocacy Book of the Year by Canadian Geographic, and was also dubbed as "Year's Choice" by Utne Reader.

As a full time forest campaigner and Project Coordinator for Raincoast, he has lectured throughout North America and Europe on the Great Bear Rainforest issue. Ian was a 1998 winner of the Vancouver Island Human Rights Award, and with his wife Karen was chosen by Time Magazine as "Leaders for the 21st Century" for their efforts to protect the Great Bear Rainforest.

Prior to working for Raincoast, Ian was involved in the successful campaigns to protect the Tsitika and Tahsis rivers on Vancouver Island.

As an accomplished award-winning photographer and writer his images and articles have appeared in many of the top nature magazines in the world.

Ian currently lives on Denny Island in Heiltsuk territory and is vice-president of the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Richard Friedman - Capitan of the Explorer

Richard has been on the water for over 40 years, since he first sailed as a young boy on Long Island Sound.

As a young man, Richard served as cook and engineer aboard commercial fishing boats in Alaska. For 10 years, starting in 1972, he fished salmon, tuna, and herring on the Pacific from Santa Barbara to the Bering Sea. For five years beginning in 1978, he captained his own purse seine boat as a commercial fisherman in those waters.

In 1984, Richard secured his U.S. Coast Guard Master's License and began running both power and sailing charters in Washington and British Columbia during the summer cruising season. He and his wife, Nancy, purchased Explorer in 1994 and spent two years circumnavigating North America with their three young sons, Julian, Gabriel, and Asher. In 1996 he and his family brought Explorer through the Panama Canal to the west coast. He has been chartering in southeast Alaska since then.

Widely read, Richard is a lively conversationalist, drawing especially on his passions for natural history, anthropology, history, and literature. He is an avid bird watcher, a talented photographer, and an enthusiastic sport fisherman. He is certified as an Alaska Naturalist.

With experience from the remote waters of the Aleutian Islands to the rocky coast of Maine, he can comfortably navigate any waters. In addition, he astounds folks with his ability to fix almost any mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, or plumbing problem. Chef pat jokingly calls him the Bob Villa of boating.

Russell Sparkman
President/CEO, Digital Photographer

Russell Sparkman is the founder of FusionSpark Media and One World Journeys. Mr. Sparkman began his career in photography as a staff photographer at Northeastern University in Boston where he also received a bachelor of science degree in Political Science. He later served as an instructor at the Kodak Center for Creative Imaging in Camden, Maine, before moving to Nagoya, Japan, where he became a sought-after consultant, author, and speaker in digital imaging trends and technology. Mr. Sparkman is the co-author of the book Essentials of Digital Photography and has played a significant role in the growth of the professional digital photography industry in Japan. Mr. Sparkman is a founding member of the Multimedia Consortium of Central Japan (MCCJ) and serves on its Board of Directors.

Toby Malina
Field Technician

Toby has spent the past twelve years working in the technical/computer field. She is the principal of MacDaddy Consulting, and works with a variety of companies including Thunder Lizard Productions, a Seattle-based conference production company, as technical director. She is responsible for the coordination and execution of all event audio visual including computer systems, lighting, sound, and projection. In addition, she is coauthor of the 3-volume "Web Site Graphics" series and works as a technical/copy editor for many publishers including Peachpit Press, IDG Books, and Que Publishing. This will be her third expedition with One World Journeys.

Denise Rocco
Executive Producer, Digital Photographer

As Executive Producer, Denise Rocco brings FusionSpark Media web productions to life. She is known as one of the leading documentary photographers working on the aggressive edge of digital expedition photojournalism for the past several years. Her work has been recognized by respected photography publications such as Photo District News, Vogue Magazine, American Photo and National Geographic's Online Visions Gallery, She was a key contributor to the online adventure travel projects, TerraQuest and Expedia's Mungo Park. Her work has also appeared in the photography books, One Digital Day, Passage to Vietnam and 24 Hours in CyberSpace. She is the recent winner of an Addy Award for photography she created for a promotional campaign for the Girl Scouts of America.

Michael Zilber
VP of Technology

Michael Zilber oversees all aspects of FusionSpark Media's web technology and development as well as key components of field production for One World Journeys expeditions. Originally from Boston, Mr. Zilber relocated to California in the early 1990's and experienced a variety of careers including caring for sharks at Marine World Africa USA. He launched his career in the Internet world by working on the award-winning virtual expedition site TerraQuest. He later started WOBE Productions, based in Sausalito, Calif., as a web design company specializing in travel and photography web sites, and has worked with clients such as Yahoo and Casio Research.

Jade Michael Carter
Director of Interactive Design - Japan

Jade Carter has been working at the leading edge of interactive media design and planning since the early days of the Internet boom in Japan, spearheading numerous online projects for major Japanese corporations including the Toyota Motor Corporation, Yamaha Corporation, and NGK, to name a few. Mr. Carter has passed the highest level Japanese Language Proficiency Test and has expanded his professional activities to include translation, interpretation, and bilingual narration in addition to design. Mr. Carter, who in recent years has channeled his diverse talents into producing multilingual promotional media content for Japanese audiences, will play a role in localizing FusionSpark Media content for the Japanese market. He is the recent winner of the Best Web Film award at the Cannes Film Festival International Critic's Week.

Marian Blue

Marian Blue brings thirty years of editing and writing experience to FusionSpark Media productions. Ms. Blue began her career as a journalist in Western Colorado in 1972. Since then, her award-winning journalism, essays, fiction, columns, interviews, and poetry have appeared internationally, in both English and Spanish, in publications such as Snowy Egret, Raven Chronicles, Wildlife Conservation Magazine, Cruising World, A Hundred White Daffodils (Graywolf Press), and Eureka Literary Magazine. Her editorial work includes that for newspapers, magazines and books. Ms. Blue was a founding partner of Blue & Ude Writers' Services in 1993; she also teaches writing and literature for Skagit Valley College and Writers Digest Schools.

Kevin Sparkman
Vice President of Marketing

Kevin Sparkman is co-founder of FusionSpark Media and responsible for marketing, public relations and business development programs. Prior to joining FSM, he served as Director of Community Relations for the Gift of Life Donor Program, America's largest organ donor program. At Gift of Life, Sparkman managed all aspects of the program's marketing, public affairs and media relations activities; he also was responsible for the organization's legislative affairs. Mr. Sparkman has more than 15 years of experience in public relations in both the agency and non-profit sectors and has received special recognition and awards for his work in communications and public relations. Mr. Sparkman received a bachelor of arts degree in Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia.

RoseAnn Alspektor
Vice President of Business Operations and Licensing

RoseAnn Alspektor's corporate and entrepreneurial experience plays an important role in the development of FusionSpark Media's strategic alliances. Ms. Alspektor's experience in new and interactive media began in the mid-1980s when she worked for AT&T Consumer Products developing interactive user interface guidelines for Videotex collaborations with CompuServe, national newspaper syndicates such as Times-Mirror and Knight-Ridder, and others. She was later recruited to join the first Bell Labs intra-preneuring start-up, now known as Truevision, in Indianapolis, to build the market for image capture and digital video technology and was then subsequently recruited by Pixar Animation Studios, in Northern California, to become their Marketing Communications Manager. In 1991, Ms. Alspektor founded The VALIS Group, Inc., where she led the development, publication, and marketing of award-winning software products, two of which were subsequently acquired by major software firms. Prior to entering the computer field, immediately after graduating UCLA, Ms. Alspektor conducted social science research for three years at the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, Washington D. C.

Sherry Mays
Writer and Copy Editor

Sherry Mays found her love of environmental journalism and photography in 1994 at the University of Nevada, Reno. With the Desert Research Institute, Mays produced internationally-distributed materials for the McMurdo Long-Term Ecological Research Project in Antarctica, coordinated the 1995 Science On-Line Antarctica workshop and was published in the Antarctic Journal of the U.S. She continued documenting environmental issues as newspaper editor in a rough-and-tumble California town, winning media awards for her writing and photography. In an effort to help others appreciate their mountain environment, Sherry was instrumental in creating the Truckee River Legacy Foundation to develop seven miles of nature trails along the Sierra's Truckee River. Later, she followed eco travel trends as editor of Voyage magazine.

Kim Ainsworth

Kim Ainsworth is a 6th grade Math/Science teacher at Howell Middle School North in Howell Township, N.J. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Elementary Education, and has been an educator for more than15 years in both formal and non formal education. Kim's career began as a 6th grade teacher in Norfolk, Va., where she was awarded the School Bell Award for her outstanding contributions to education. She later moved to Delaware where she worked for the Delaware Museum of Natural History and the Delaware Nature Society, developing and managing educational programs. She is a member of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.