Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.
Solomon Endlich is a passionate physicist who, through his research, has journeyed from the beginning of the universe to the swirl in a toilet bowl. Born and raised in Northern California, he exchanged the sun and his surfboard for a PhD in theoretical physics at Columbia University as a National Science Foundation Fellow. Now, as a research scientist in Switzerland at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, he is using the modern mathematical tool set of quantum field theory (which is the natural language of particle physics) on a broad set of physical systems. When not exploring the world mathematically, he does so in person. Highlights include hiking up volcanoes, skiing across glaciers, climbing sheer cliff faces, swimming with hammerhead sharks, and fishing for wild steelhead.
Alan Weisman has written several books and won numerous international awards for his work in journalism and literature, including the critically acclaimedThe World Without Us, which describes a post-human scenario of the planet. His next book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? was released in September 2013 by Little, Brown and Co. Among his other works are Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World (1998), winner of the Social Inventions Award from the Global Ideas Bank, An Echo In My Blood (1999), La Frontera: The United States Border With Mexico, and We, Immortals (1979). His reports from around the world have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, Orion,Audubon, Mother Jones, Discover, Condé Nast Traveler, Resurgence, and several anthologies, including The Best American Science Writing 2006.
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations, and is the mother of three children. She is also the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups.
A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Author of now six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011), Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), the non-fiction book All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999, South End Press), and a novel - Last Standing Woman (1997, Voyager Press). She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves, as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization. In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time magazine as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age, and in 1998, Ms. Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth.
Skylar is sixteen years old, and moved to Sitka a year ago from South Carolina. Since moving to Sitka, she's been impressed with how tight knit and safe the community feels, and loves being close to the water. She attends Pacific High School, and Skyler wants to pursue a career that involves writing.