Forest Ambassadors with Leonardo@Djerassi | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

Forest Ambassadors with Leonardo@Djerassi

By Gloria Florez

On a winter's morning in Lovett Bay, NSW, I find myself preparing my suitcase for the life-changing journey to Leonardo@Djerassi's unforgettable residency. A rush of thoughts, emotions, and memories floods my mind, and the weight of anticipation hangs in the air. Questions about what to pack, what essentials I might need, and what I would truly miss occupy my thoughts, leaving me yearning for a magician's hat.

As I reflect on the past, the memory of writing my application in late December 2019 and early January 2020 resurfaces. During that time, both California and Australia were ravaged by devastating bushfires. Deep within my soul, a profound sadness stirred, compelling me to contemplate how, as an artist, I could contribute to the healing process. It was from this introspection that my Leonardo@Djerassi proposal blossomed into an ongoing community project titled Forest Ambassadors. This platform serves as an action-oriented initiative, promoting reflection, sharing knowledge, celebrating our cultural diversity, and emphasizing the critical importance of conservation and adaptation to our native habitats. 

Now, as I prepare to embark on this transformative journey, which will take me 11,948 kilometers away from home, Forest Ambassadors with Leonardo@Djerassi will focus on Climate Change, Fire, and Fire Mitigation.