scientific director

Heather is our scientific director and advisory board member. Growing up in a New Jersey suburb she was often confronted with the emotions of seeing her favorite natural area converted to another human-modified habitat. This has fueled her life's learning in biological sciences, ecology, and geography. Heather graduated from the University of Vermont in 1998 with a B.S. in wildlife biology. In 2002 she earned an M.S. in biology from Florida International University, and in 2012 she received a Ph.D. in geography from Florida State University. While obtaining these degrees, Heather conducted field research in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Mark Izeman

Mark Izeman is director of NRDC's New York urban program and a senior attorney. He has worked at NRDC for more than 20 years on a wide range of environmental issues, including gas drilling, green jobs, recycling, brownfields, transportation, and drinking water. He is currently spearheading NRDC's New York regional food project.

Mark is the author or coauthor of many publications, including The New York Environment Book. He started out as a research associate in NRDC's New York office in 1989. After graduating from New York University School of Law in 1992, he clerked for a federal judge and returned to NRDC a year later as a staff attorney. From 2006 to 2009, Mark lived in Moscow, Russia and continued to work for NRDC on energy efficiency and climate change issues.

He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University.

Nicolas Vidal-Naquet

Nicolas graduated in veterinary medicine from the Alfort Veterinary Faculty in 1987. Since then he has worked in veterinary practice in Paris.

At present, he works as an emergency vet (in an "at home" veterinary emergency service). In 2007, he started to specialize in honey bee medicine. He set up a veterinary blog dedicated to honey bee pathology (www.apivet.eu) and in 2008 he obtained a diploma in “Apiculture-pathologie apicole” from the Veterinary Schools of Nantes (Oniris) and Alfort. In 2011, he contributed to the book Invertebrate Medicine by Gregory A. Lewbart (Blackwell-Wiley), one of the most comprehensive works on invertebrate husbandry and veterinary care.

Since 2009, he has been a member of the beekeeping commission for the Groupement Technique Vétérinaire, and he has chaired the working group on honey bees for the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe since 2012. Since 2010, Nicolas also teaches honey bee biology and pathology to students in the Veterinary School of Alfort and to veterinarians in the Veterinary School of Oniris in Nantes.


Noah is the founder and chief scientific officer of The Best Bees Company. Dr. Wilson-Rich has given two TED talks about bees, at TEDxBoston 2012 and 2014. His book The Bee: A Natural History was published in September 2014 by Princeton University Press (in the United States) and Ivy Press, Ltd. (in Europe).

Dr. Wilson-Rich founded The Best Bees Company as a means to fund his research to improve bee health. His team of beekeepers and researchers deliver, install, and manage honey bee hives for residents and businesses throughout southern New England and southwestern New York. Funds from these beekeeping services go toward the many research projects happening under Dr. Wilson-Rich’s supervision at the world’s first Urban Beekeeping Laboratory & Bee Sanctuary, in Boston.

In 2011, Dr. Wilson-Rich completed his Ph.D. in biology at Tufts University. He has since held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Simmons College, and Northeastern University, teaching biology, animal behavior, microbiology, and evolution.


Sarah Red-Laird is the founder and executive director of the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. She is a graduate of the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation with a degree in resource conservation, focused on community collaboration and environmental policy. 

Aside from running Bee Girl, Sarah is the U.S. ambassador of the International Bee Research Association's BEEWORLD project; the Kids and Bees director for the American Beekeeping Federation; and a New York Bee Sanctuary advisory board member. She is also an active member of the Northwest Farmers Union; a mentor in the Oregon State Master Beekeepers Program; and regional representative for the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association.

When she is not tirelessly working with bees, beekeepers, kids, farmers, land managers, and policy makers, Sarah heads for the hills with a camera, large backpack, fishing rod, bike or snowboard, and her best friend, Sophie the Yellow Labrador.

Dan Carr

Dan Carr is part of the livestock team at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture where he cares for all the farms animals including the bees. He was born in Broomfield, Colorado and graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. in history and political science. He started working on farms when dumb luck landed him on a Scottish Dairy farm and he discovered the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program. He spent three years as an Agriculture/Environment Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, where he fell in love with beekeeping and confirmed the notion that he wanted to spend the rest of his life working the land.


Chris Harp is an organic beekeeper, “Bee Doctor,” beekeeping teacher with 27 years of experience, and Co-Founder of HoneybeeLives. HoneybeeLivesʼ in-depth workshops nurture beginning beekeepers and encourage veteran beekeepers to adopt a natural/Biodynamic approach. Harp is a consultant on hive health for troubled colonies and concerned beekeepers.
Harpʼs work comes from a deep caring and concern for the fragility of the Honeybee population, and a profound respect for the structure of their collective lives and their impact on the health of Mother Earth. Harpʼs goals are focused on the wellbeing of the colonies he nurtures, and through teaching others he raises the awareness of and caring for these amazing creatures.
He was a consultant for the CNG (Certified-Naturally-Grown) Apiary Standards for their Certification Program and the ensuing publication Handbook for Natural Beekeeping.