Who is Samantha Elie?
Samantha is a badass botanist and relentless researcher. Currently located at the tip of the Salish Sea, between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.
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Plants Can Change The World
Samantha believes that plants, with humans as their stewards, can change the world. The ecosystem services provided by plants can be strategically implemented to alleviate the effects of climate change. Samantha researches applications of these services and grows plants to perform them.
After a large disturbance, ecological succession heals not into what was, but into a new or third state of being. As the human population attempts to recover from centuries of resource abuse and struggle against the changing climate, Samantha’s goal is to plant our third state with an adaptive and dynamic community — not with a monoculture.
When working with plant-hands, we can filter air and water, stabilize coastlines, regrow with resilience on burned landscapes, nourish people’s bellies and respect of place. This array of positive outcomes are only achievable when a biodiverse array of plants and ways of knowing are put into practice. Learn about more ways plants are changing the world here! www.samanthaelie.com/plants-can-change-the-world/
Samantha believes that key environmental health solutions are community initiated and empowered by science. Samantha credits community knowledge for guiding much of her research and is committed to its leading light.
Samantha’s spark was ignited at a youth-led sustainable farm in Rwanda, when she traveled there as a student in 2011. That spark gained oxygen the following year, as she wrote sustainable development policy recommendations with the Working Group on Girls at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Both of these influential experiences showcased the overwhelming power of people, of intra-ecosystem collaboration, how we are stronger together. They also lead to a life committed to community, asking questions, listening, and observing, then action with impact.
Samantha was a Washington State Running Start student; then rounded out her undergraduate studies in the Peruvian Andes, the Nepali Himalayas, and the Olympics of Washington State, earning dual degrees in economic botany (BA) and montane ecology (BS) from The Evergreen State College. She is a first-generation college student with ambitious goals for MSc and PhD programs.
Many community initiatives — including centuries of indigenous land stewardship — around the globe are successfully caring for the land in adaptive and legacy-minded ways. As a pair of boots on the ground, Samantha sees the disconnect between successful stewardship and directives from the powers at be.
Samantha is working towards a future that integrates grassroots activities and bigger climate change solution initiatives.
Samantha weaves community and science. She mentors students, manages a native plant nursery, and volunteers avidly in the Pacific Northwest, United States. Learn about current and past projects here. (Link to come)
Samantha aims to inspire legacy-minded, community stewardship through accessible plant-based science. Samantha promotes plants changing the world under the handle @SamanthaElieBotanist on Instagram and Facebook and publishes articles on this website. Why is accessible plant-based science important? www.samanthaelie.com/plantscanchangetheworld/
Independent Research Goal
Samantha’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal is to be an independent researcher. This will open gates for the research that matters, not being restricted to the red tape of government or academic institutions, or starving the small budgets of grassroots initiatives. As an independent researcher Samantha will be free to initiate projects and collaborate with the best agencies to achieve project goals and tangible plant-powered positive impact.
Samantha’s first goal is to have 500 people donating $10 a month. This will allow independent research on a full-time basis to begin. Support independent botany research as a Patreon supporter. www.patreon.com/SamanthaElieBotanist