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Tanish Peelgrane

Being lucky enough to have two homes—Australia and the U.S.A.—has given Tanish (who goes by Tani) a deep love for diversity among ecosystems and cultures and a desire to learn about them.

For decades, she could be found both at work and play climbing and skiing in the Andes or Rockies; running rivers in the U.S., New Zealand, or Central America; sailing across oceans; sweltering in deserts in the American Southwest or Middle East; diving among reefs; struggling through rainforests (once, memorably, on a transcontinental trek with a steep learning curve); or teaching in the wilds of a high school classroom.

Nowadays, Tani can more often be found on mini-expeditions with her young daughter to explore tiny ecosystems around San Francisco. She still sneaks in some bigger adventures, though, especially scuba diving (something she began at age 11). She firmly believes that education and exploration are inextricably linked and that the opportunity for wonder is everywhere.

Tani is an award-winning photographer, an angler for the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP), and a yoga teacher—but her fundamental mission is to teach communication and environmental sustainability. In her recent work for the California Academy of Sciences, Tani developed Citizen Science programs for underserved youth, providing them support to explore and understand nature and helping foster the next generation of stewards.