Five content creators stand against a railing on the Academy living roof, with a grassy hill in the background.

The selected creatives will create digital content and host in-person programming to spark conversations about environmental issues. (L-R) Kaua Hermosura, Desiree McGill, Vishal Subramanyan, Chloé Stowell Colón, Kiana Kazemi. Nicole Ravicchio © California Academy of Sciences


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 16, 2024) — The California Academy of Sciences is thrilled to announce the inaugural cohort of the California Creators for Nature program, launched this year to initiate digital and in-person conversations about nature, climate, environmental justice, and similar topics.

Selected from more than 130 candidates, our inaugural California Creators for Nature cohort consists of:

  • Chloé Stowell Colón, sustainable fashion & slow living
  • Kaua Hermosura, community-centered nature advocacy
  • Kiana Kazemi, data science & environmental justice
  • Dezz McGill, sustainability & environmental advocacy
  • Vishal Subramanyan, wildlife photography & human-nature connection

California Creators for Nature (CCN) is a paid, year-long program through which cohort members will leverage Academy resources, collections, and expertise to host in-person events and craft original digital content that helps connect audiences to California nature.

The program is part of the Academy’s Thriving California initiative, which aims to regenerate biodiversity, build resilience to climate change, and advance equitable access to nature across our state and in Sierra forests; coasts; and cities, starting in San Francisco. All five cohort members are based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch year-one of the CCN program with this lineup of thought-partners, storytellers, and creators,” says Laurel Allen, the Academy’s director of digital engagement. “Each brings a unique perspective and deep community connections, collectively offering a range of entry-points for more people to connect and engage with California nature in ways relevant to them. With this cohort—plus broader support from our CCN advisory board, and a coalition of more than 100 incredible CCN applicants who’ve chosen to stay involved this year—we can’t wait to see what California Creators for Nature accomplishes in its first 12 months.”

CCN members are planning a range of live events at the Academy. Chloe Colón and Vishal Subramanyan will moderate and participate in panels at the Big Bang Gala and Party After Dark, the Academy’s flagship fundraising events on April 18. Colón and Subramanyan will also invite their audiences for a bioblitz at Pillar Point, hosted on April 29 by the Academy’s community science team.

For NightLife’s Earth Day celebration on April 25, Kiana Kazemi will craft a slate of programming featuring sustainability platform Beaker and Intersectional Environmentalist, a nonprofit Kazemi co-founded to increase diversity in the environmental field. And at the end of April, CCN creators will mobilize communities across the state for the City Nature Challenge, encouraging local Californians to reconnect with nature and record species observations.

Get to know this incredible cohort of environmental activists, changemakers, and storytellers below.

Slow living in a fast tech world

Chloé Stowell Colón is a scholar and digital content creator with a passion for bridging academia and activism. As a PhD Candidate in political science at Stanford University, Chloé specializes in the intersection of history of political thought and contemporary tech ethics, with a focus on content moderation practices. Integrating her academic insights with her creative pursuits, Chloé uses her platform to inspire her audience to cultivate a deeper connection with the natural world while also promoting ethical and sustainable practices in the fashion industry.


To give and to care for

Kaua (cuh-oo-ah) Hermosura is originally from the island of Kaua’i in Hawai’i, and has lived in the Bay Area for the last five years. Being raised in the ocean and off the land nurtured Kaua’s passion for and stewardship of nature, with a particular focus on marine life and conservation. Mālama (a Hawaiian word meaning “to give back or care for”) is one of the principles that guides his approach to family, friends, the Earth and all its inhabitants. Kaua hopes to use his platform to give Earth a voice, and to help people feel the same passion for protecting the biodiversity that helps us live here.


Multi-hyphenated environmentalism

Kiana Kazemi is a multi-hyphenated environmentalist and data scientist whose work focuses on democratizing access to environmental justice resources and solutions. Kiana is the co-founder and CEO of Beaker, a technology company empowering people with sustainability and ethics data. She is also the co-founder of the nonprofit Intersectional Environmentalist, through which she developed projects and resources that have reached millions of community members. Kiana plans to leverage both her background in data science with the Academy’s resources to motivate data-driven climate action and create access to nature for diverse audiences.


Steward for Earth

Meet Dezz McGill, a dedicated steward for our planet Earth with a deep-rooted passion for sustainability. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Dezz pivoted her career from kinesiology towards climate advocacy in 2022. Currently serving as a recycling and outreach coordinator at Dublin, California-based Amador Valley Industries, she plays a pivotal role in reducing emissions destined for landfills under the state’s SB 1383 law. Besides serving as a “professional dumpster diver” passionate about recycling and waste management, Dezz channels her energy into climate communication through her dedicated social media platforms, inspiring individuals to reevaluate their actions for a brighter, more sustainable world.


Naturalist first, photographer second

Vishal Subramanyan is an award-winning 21-year-old wildlife photographer and undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. Using camera traps, telephoto lenses, and other photography techniques, Vishal captures unique imagery of nature’s diverse flora and fauna, which raises awareness about conservation and the need for climate action. With an academic background in ecology, Vishal integrates science into his storytelling efforts, using his knowledge of animals and environments to create compelling narratives about the natural world. He is excited to integrate the Academy’s depth of collections, research, and scientific knowledge into his storytelling as a member of the CCN cohort.


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About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement—all under one living roof. Museum hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For daily ticket prices, please visit or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.

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