Our Team

Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim

Co-Founders and Co-Directors

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale in the School of the Environment, the Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies. They teach in the MA program in religion and ecology and co-direct the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Mary Evelyn's concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard (1995-1998). They were series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences. She co-edited Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000). After these conferences she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology. They wrote Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and with Willis Jenkins they edited the Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology (2016). They also are series advisors for the Ecology and Justice Series at Orbis Books.

Tucker and Grim studied with Thomas Berry and worked closely with him for 30 years. Tucker edited Berry's books: The Great Work, Evening Thoughts, The Sacred Universe, and with Grim, The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth and Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community. Tucker and Grim also wrote Thomas Berry: A Biography with Andrew Angyal (Columbia 2019). To extend Berry’s work, Tucker created a multi-media project with Brian Thomas Swimme called Journey of the Universe, which includes an Emmy award winning film, a book from Yale (2011), Journey Conversations, and online classes.

John Grim teaches courses in Native American and Indigenous religions and world religions and ecology. He has undertaken field work with the Crow/Apsaalooke people of Montana and Salish people of Washington state. His published works include: The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) and, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, a co-edited volume entitled Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994).He edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The InterBeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001) and co-edited the Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). He is co-founder and co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology with Mary Evelyn Tucker.

View Mary Evelyn Tucker's Press Kit page
View John Grim's Press Kit page

Tara C. Trapani

Chief Administrator

Tara C. Trapani has been the Chief Administrator of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology since 2007. She also runs The Thomas Berry Foundation and serves as Project Coordinator for the Emmy Award-winning Journey of the Universe film and multimedia project. She has 20+ years’ experience in non-profit and educational administration and is a veteran event planner and organizer, having run countless events, large and small, including the 2009 memorial for Thomas Berry at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. She has also prepared academic manuscripts for many publishers, including: Yale University Press, Columbia University Press, Island Press, Orbis Books, and Haworth Press.

Tara has a Master’s in Ethics from Yale University and her undergraduate work in Comparative World Religions included a focus on West African tribal religions in the diaspora, Gnosticism/esoteric Christianity, and embodied expressions of the sacred. She also holds a certification in Administration and Community Development from Sunbridge College. She writes voluminously and is also a BFRP (Bach Flower Registered Practitioner), reiki master, genealogist, visual artist and artisan, and folk herbalist. Tara lives in the woods of Vermont with her family and a whole heap of frogs.

Elizabeth McAnally

Newsletter Editor and Website manager

Elizabeth McAnally, PhD has been the newsletter editor and website manager for the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology since 2008.  She also manages the websites for Journey of the Universe and Thomas Berry and the Great Work.  Elizabeth is the author of Loving Water across Religions: Contributions to an Integral Water Ethic (Orbis Press, 2019).  Her work has also been published in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Nature (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), as well as in the journals World Futures and Integral Review.  Elizabeth received her MA in Philosophy and Environmental Ethics from the University of North Texas in 2007. She received her PhD in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2017. Elizabeth has taught classes on philosophy, religion, and environmental ethics at Pacifica Graduate Institute, the University of North Texas, Diablo Valley College, and the University of San Francisco. She practices yoga and Chinese internal arts (taiji, qigong, bagua, xingyi, and yiquan) and offers Integral Taiji & Qigong classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and online.  Elizabeth is an avid musician who loves singing and playing the flute.

Sam Mickey

research associate and Spotlights Podcast Host

Sam Mickey, PhD, is a teacher, author, and editor working at the intersection of religious, scientific, and philosophical perspectives on human-Earth relations. He is an adjunct professor in the Theology and Religious Studies department and the Environmental Studies program at the University of San Francisco, in San Francisco, California. He is the Reviews Editor for the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, and he is an author and editor of several books, including On the Verge of a Planetary Civilization: A Philosophy of Integral Ecology (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2014), Whole Earth Thinking and Planetary Coexistence: Ecological Wisdom at the Intersection of Philosophy, Religion, and Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Coexistentialism and the Unbearable Intimacy of Ecological Emergency (Lexington Books, 2016), Women and Nature? Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body, and Environment, edited with Douglas A. Vakoch (Routledge, 2017) and The Variety of Integral Ecologies: Nature, Culture, and Knowledge in the Planetary Era, edited with Sean Kelly and Adam Robbert (SUNY, 2017). Sam is the host of the weekly FORE Spotlights podcast series.

Anna Thurston

Research Associate and FORE Liaison, UNEP Faith for Earth Initiative

Anna Thurston is the liaison between the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology and the Faith for Earth Initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As a Research Associate for the Forum, her work also centers on furthering global access to the field by developing curriculum and facilitating the development of Yale/Coursera Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Religion and Ecology. In 2019, Anna received two master’s degrees: a Master of Environmental Management from Yale School of the Environment (then Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies), and a Master of Arts in Religion and Visual Arts from Yale Divinity School. In tandem with her joint degree in Religion and Ecology, Anna also obtained a certificate from Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music where she researched ritual performance in relation to environmental ethics. While in her graduate programs, Anna organized the Religion and Ecology Colloquium at Yale, chaired Yale's third Graduate Conference in Religion and Ecology, and was a Teaching Fellow for six courses on the intersection of environmental history and religious thought. Currently, Anna serves on the Board of Directors for the Norwalk Tree Alliance, a nonprofit that provides environmental education to public schools and advocates for tree canopy health in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Samuel King

Research Associate and head of Journey of the Universe outreach 
Sam King is an environmental educator, writer, and activist. He serves as lead mentor for the Yale/Coursera online courses in Religions and Ecology, which he helped develop with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. He is also Project Manager for the Emmy Award-winning Journey of the Universe film and multimedia project, hosting the Journey of the Universe: 10 Years Later podcast and editing the monthly newsletter.
Sam received a Master of Arts in Religion and Ecology with a certificate in Educational Leadership and Ministry from Yale Divinity School. He also served as a Teaching Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment. A former Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, Sam taught at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and researched agrarian Buddhist rituals. He has also taught English, Environmental Science, Philosophy, and Religion at The Hotchkiss School and Phillips Academy Andover Summer. He holds a B.A. in Religion and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College. An avid gardener, forager, and outdoorsman, Sam lives on ancestral Quinnipiac land in New Haven, CT.

Fatima Aw

Social media and marketing assistant 
Fatima is a current student at Yale University, pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science and Psychology. As a member of the class of 2026, she is excited to be a part of such a dynamic and intellectually stimulating community. One of her main interests is media and marketing, and she has always been fascinated by the ways in which technology and psychology intersect in these fields. In her studies, she is constantly seeking to better understand how people interact with and consume media, as well as the ways in which technology can be used to optimize marketing strategies.
Beyond her academic pursuits, she is also deeply passionate about using technology and media to promote social change. Fatima believes that the digital world presents us with incredible opportunities to connect with and learn from others, and is committed to using her skills to make a positive impact on society. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and exploring new technologies and media platforms. She is also an avid runner and loves to spend time outdoors, whether hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisurely walk. She is excited to see what the future holds and looks forward to continuing to learn, grow, and make a difference in the world.

Oliver Mesmer

Research Associate

Oliver Mesmer began his interest in Religion and Ecology while a student at Yale Divinity School. A recent graduate of the Masters of Divinity program, Oliver has been working with the Forum on a series of initiatives, including maintenance of the Yale/Coursera Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Religion and Ecology as well as research within the field of “Ecological Civilizations.'' Oliver is passionate about working with faith communities to integrate and put into practice the values of intimacy and stewardship with the more than human world. A resident of the Quinnipiac River watershed and the ancestral land of the Quinnipiac people, Oliver lives in the city of New Haven, CT. His favorite local hike is at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT.