Nadia Nazar


Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director, & Art Director, Zero Hour

I love nature, the environment, and every soul in it. It is such a tragedy that something so beautiful and innocent is being destroyed. No one deserves to live in a world where nature has died and climate change is killing the world that we need. The issue of climate change is now simply about survival. Climate change is killing souls and it will continue to do so. This is not okay. So I am not waiting for someone else to save the future.” Nadia is a Girl Scout Senior who has been a vegetarian since age 12 and loves to paint and create art in her free time.

The Zero Hour movement started with our founder, 16-year-old Jamie Margolin. Frustrated by the inaction of elected officials and the fact that youth voices were almost always ignored in the conversation around climate change and the profound impact that it would have on young people, Jamie started gathering several of her friends in the summer of 2017 to start organizing something big, something hard to ignore! Nadia Nazar, Madelaine Tew, and Zanagee Artis joined her in her efforts.

Jamie realized that a national day of mass action, led by youth, would be an ideal platform to ensure that young voices were not only centered in this conversation, but that elected officials and adults would hear their voices loud and clear! By the end of the summer, young activists from across the country, from diverse backgrounds, had joined the team and the Zero Hour movement had started taking shape. Nadia now serves as the co-founder, co-executive director, and art director.


Justine Ammendolia


Explorer, National Geographic

Justine Ammendolia is a marine biologist, plastic pollution researcher and science communicator based out of Toronto, Canada. In 2014, she was awarded the National Geographic Young Explorer Grant to travel to Eastern Greenland to research Arctic seabirds and lived off-grid for 6 weeks. During this time, she fostered a deep passion for protecting the corners of our planet and their unique ecosystems, particularly those in our Northern environments. For the past few years while living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Justine helped develop the Placentia Bay Ocean Debris Survey, a research team focused on monitoring plastic pollution on the coastlines of Newfoundland. Using a combination of citizen science methods and working with locals, her work aimed to better understand the presence and movement of plastics in coastal waters. Justine is also passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences in STEM with younger audiences and has keynoted a number of youth leadership events. Through her research and communication, Justine aims to inspire others to care about protecting our aquatic environments.


Liz Hoke


Molecular Microbiology Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health

Liz Hoke is a molecular microbiology research fellow at the National Institutes of Health studying cryptococcal meningitis. Since attending WYSE herself in 2012, she obtained a Biology B.S. from the University of Minnesota in 2017. She has worked on a soil microbiology field study in Costa Rica for Kean University’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, a behavioral toxicology study at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences, and has done protein development work within the private sector. Outside of research, she has been a canoe guide for the National Parks Service, a communications assistant for UMN’s Institute on the Environment, an olive farm hand in Italy, and a holiday baker in Switzerland.


Anna Layden

Assistant Photographer

Anna Rose Layden is a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, concentrating in Photojournalism, with a minor in Political Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in Henrietta, New York. She is an active member of the National Press Photographers Association, as well as the Asian-American Journalists Association of New York. Her work reflects a fascination with the extraordinary moments in everyday life, as well as coverage of current news events. She is constantly seeking out ways to further her understanding of the cultures around her, meet new people, and find the nearest Chick-Fil-A.


Denisse Guitarra


Maryland Conservation Advocate, Audobon Naturalist Society

Denisse Guitarra is the Maryland Conservation Advocate at Audubon Naturalist Society (Chevy Chase, MD). As an ornithologist, she has studied the impacts of climate change on birds and has been conducting bilingual bird walks in Maryland. She is now focusing on creating a bridge that connecting Latinx communities in Montgomery County, MD to science and advocacy. She holds a bachelor’s in biology from Hood College and a master’s in biodiversity, wildlife and ecosystem health from the University of Edinburgh.


Candace Garthee


Graduate Research Assistant, Honey Bee Initiative, George Mason University

Candace Garthee is the Graduate Research Assistant for the Honey Bee Initiative, a program at George Mason University that encourages social development and environmental protection through educational beekeeping. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and is currently working on her M.S. in Nutrition. Through the Honey Bee Initiative, Candace has found an opportunity to bring together her passion for food security and environmental sustainability by working on projects that teach low-income farmers how to generate an income through sustainable beekeeping methods.


Scott Peterson


Co-Founder, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

After 15 years on Wall Street, Scott joined a handful of other like-minded souls to launch the nonprofit Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) in 2013. Starting in the basement of a congregation in Oakton, Virginia, FACS has grown into a network of 70 congregations in Virginia’s largest jurisdiction — Fairfax County — that represent a wide spectrum of voters, including Jewish, Muslim, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other faith traditions. Through its programs, FACS helps congregations organize their own members into green teams while participating in campaigns of direct advocacy (visits with government representatives and staff, public testimony) and earned media (press events, letters to the editor, and op-eds). FACS has earned tremendous credibility and influence to move local elected officials.

Scott also serves as executive director of the investigative watchdog blog Checks and Balances Project, where he focuses on issues relating to climate change, government ethics and good government. His previous work as managing director of communications at New York Stock Exchange Regulation and director of communications at the Nasdaq Stock Market provides a valuable foundation for his current activities.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and a Certificate in Financial Planning from Georgetown University.


Pat Money

Student Support

Patrick Money is the Associate Director of Admissions for George Mason University. After starting as a student employee at the Admissions office, he has spent the last decade as a member of the Mason Admissions family helping students and families find the right college destination.

Patrick has lived in Northern Virginia his entire life and attended high school at Lake Braddock Secondary. He had an amazing experience as an undergrad while earning his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology here at Mason. This area is an incredible place for young people to explore options both professionally and socially – an opportunity he took in full, which ultimately led to a college career he thoroughly enjoyed and would not trade for anything.

One of his favorite memories was when he made his initial decision to come to Mason back in 2006 after he saw the Men’s basketball team reach the final four live at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.! (He still talks about it like it happened yesterday!!)

Patrick has a passion for higher education and even more so for George Mason University, and he hopes to share it with all those who are interested.

Junior Faculty Advisor Staff

Stephen Taglieri


Junior Faculty Advisor

Stephen Taglieri was a delegate at the WYSE 2017 Conference and has since pursued an education at George Mason University.  Going into his Sophomore year, Stephen is majoring in Biology with a Concentration in Conservation and Ecological Biology as a well as minoring in Journalism.  On top of this, he also co-hosts a podcast about theoretical science, has written a book, and is a student ambassador to Japan, France, and England.  He hopes to, later on, work with animals and help with species’ conservation.


John Cook


Research Asst. Professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

John Cook is a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, researching cognitive science. In 2007, he founded Skeptical Science, a website which won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and 2016 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. John co-authored the college textbooks Climate Change: Examining the Facts with Weber State University professor Daniel Bedford. He was also a coauthor of the textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis and the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand. In 2013, he published a paper analysing the scientific consensus on climate change that has been highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2015, he developed a Massive Open Online Course at the University of Queensland on climate science denial, that has received over 25,000 enrollments.

John earned his PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Western Australia in 2016.