The Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda
Raising awareness & promoting sustainable use of natural resources
TAHAMBAY SMITH, President
Tahambay loves the outdoors. When he decided to go to the offshore islands after having been invited, he was amazed at what he saw. Since then, he has not looked back – and this was almost 10 years ago. Now he is serving as the President of the Board of the Environmental Awareness Group.
JOHN ESPOSITO, Vice President
John grew up on an island and started fishing, clamming, swimming, boating and enjoying anything to do with the water from a young age. He moved to Antigua in 2008 and truly enjoy's Antigua's natural beauty. He is an avid diver but also enjoys fishing, sailing, kayaking, hiking and the beautiful beaches of Antigua. He has always believed in the importance of taking good care of the environment. John manages the environmental program at the Antigua Air Station. He joined the EAG as a member in 2011 and became a board member a year later.
CHRIS GUSTAVE, Treasurer
Chris Gustave is currently the Creative Director at More Than Marketing and an adjunct Lecturer at the UWI Open Campus. He holds an International Master of Business Administration (IMBA), Innovation and Entrepreneurship Specialization (with Distinction) from UWI and is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE). He is a senior business professional who specializes in developing innovative strategies that increase revenue and expand market share. He is passionate about issues affecting small developing countries especially the impact that climate change can have on their economies. Chris believes that we must have leaders who not only have a desire to protect the environment but also are willing to put in the effort required so that our grandchildren can also benefit from the region’s natural resources.
DARYL GEORGE, Secretary
My love affair with all things environmental started at an early age, and when I was 10 I was rewarded with the exciting opportunity to be a leader on an EAG field trip past the Sleeping Indian Hills. Since then I have been actively involved as a member of the EAG, including my time in the short lived EAG youth group the Racers. After reducing my involvement due to overseas studying and travel, I resumed my close connection by volunteering as a turtle watch leader with the EAG’s turtle project at Jumby Bay. I first joined the board in 2013, and also became involved in a number of other EAG initiatives such as volunteering for the bio-security monitoring with OICP, and received extensive training on areas such as rat eradication and scientific reporting. I hope that my work on the EAG board will help the local population in Antigua and Barbuda to realise the true value of the local environment in an effort to preserve and cherish it as much as possible.
Ann Ferkin has a passion for the environment and the youths. She is a trained teacher and a counselling psychologist. She has been working in schools for 25 years. She became a member of the EAG 18 years ago and is a past Vice President. She has participated in various EAG projects. She participated in the rat eradication endeavour on Great Bird Island, environmental education in Primary schools and volunteering in the EAG office. Ann is particularly interested in conservation of endangered species of animals and birds. She is a girl guide leader and has her own company.
Ashton is a scuba dive instructor. He has been observing the destruction of coral and marine life for many years. Environmentally his interest is wide. He has worked with mangroves, corals, snakes, sharks, dolphins, turtles and birds. The environment as we know it has become fragile under the hands of man. When he was asked to serve on the EAG board, he knew this would be to an opportunity to reach out and do his bit for the environment. He has been a board member for over four years.
Dr. Brian Cooper has a broad interest in all things natural – from lichens to landscapes. He was a founding member of the EAG, and received the 2003 Euan P McFarlane Award for Outstanding Environmental Leadership in the Insular Caribbean. He has served on the Board as President and in several other capacities over the years. His daughter, Gillian Cooper also served as the first Executive Director of the EAG.
IIza Michael is an Architect and a Karate instructor. She was a youth member of the EAG for a number of years and enjoys hiking and outdoor activities. Iza tries to make the best of every opportunity life has to offer, she believes that through dedication, integrity and hard work, all goals can be reached.
Christine Young is currently the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator of Galley Bay Resort and Spa Antigua and founder and Managing Director of Green Caribe Consulting. From her native Trinidad and Tobago to the Grenadines, Barbados and Antigua, she has participated in several community outreach and hotel greening programs that strive to create Caribbean unity. As a training consultant and hotel advisor, she has communicated in a range of multicultural contexts to captive audiences on a variety of topics. Additionally, she has recently been confirmed as an accredited Green Globe 21 auditor. This energetic and innovative trailblazer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, with a specialization in coastal and Marine Resources.
EAG Board Member Profiles
EAG Staff & Project Co-ordinators
NATALYA LAWRENCE, OICP Project Coordinator
Born and raised on the beautiful island of Antigua, Natalya had always been thankful for the natural beauty which enveloped her. She also wanted to actively contribute to the care of her country’s natural heritage. This desire led her to pursue a career in the environmental conservation field. This banker turned conservationist traded in her suit and heels and has been coordinating the Offshore Islands Conservation Programme for the past four years. She works with schools, tour operators, and fishers, raising awareness of the existence and importance of local biodiversity. Outside of work, Natalya loves to go to the beach. It won’t come as a surprise to know that her favourite colour is turquoise!
SOPHIA STEELE, ECMMAN Project Coordinator
Sophia Steele's interest and respect for the natural world began from an early age and led to a career as an ecologist. Most of her working life to date has been spent as a Fisheries ecologist with the Fisheries Division of her home country, St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Soon after moving to Antigua and Barbuda in 2012, Sophia began volunteering part time with the EAG and has recently started a full time position coordinating the Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Area Network (ECMMAN) project.
J’NAI SPENCER, Conservation Intern
J’nai is 24 and is an alumnus of the St. John’s Catholic Primary School, the Christ the King High School, the Antigua State College, and Midwestern State University. In 2013, she graduated with Cum Laude Honors and gained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Since Marketing plays a very important role in sustainable development and environmental awareness, this opportunity will afford me new experiences and a wealth of knowledge about our environment. Being charismatic and personable are two of my favorite qualities about myself. I love gaining knowledge not only academically, but in everyday life. I also have a passion for people and helping others. I also love to cook, listen to music, dance, and sing. I am a strong believer in living your dreams and being the best version of yourself. "Don't tell me the sky's the limit, when there are footprints on the moon." is a motto I live by daily.