Special Shoutout to Prof. Puglisi’s PR Portfolio Class! Climate Crusaders Stephen Shelesky and, Christi Cooper

by | May 17, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Extra special shoutout to Prof. Puglisi’s PR Portfolio Class! Plus climate crusaders, Stephen Shelesky and, Christi Cooper!



This past semester at American University in Washington, DC, Professor Gemma Puglisi’s “PR Portfolio” Class offered its services to help promote The Climate’s 50/100 Campaign—(You might have heard about it—our push for massive crowdfunded, reforestation around the globe, 10,000 trees at a time.)

Throughout the semester, Nichole Alfonso, Melina Calarco, Molly French, Leah Naod, Cy Maceda, Madeline Foglia, Amaya Bartette, Nina Chen, Isabella Maamari, Jinyuan Liu, Mikayla Bradley, Yasmeen Jabara, Grayce Crick, Rebecca Oss, Jaxon Knotek, Kelsey Swan, Maya Richman and Tatiana Papadopoulos toiled away. They created TikTok posts, organized and produced a well-attended panel on climate change and nature-based solutions, engaged on all Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with lively and fun posts, arranged for participation by The Climate in Earth Week events held on AU’s campus. And they even negotiated with a yoga studio and one coffee shop and one restaurant to create events where their customers could donate to our 50/100 campaign. 

Not only did their efforts help raise awareness, it contributed to planting 1,100 trees of our 10K goal. And because of them, we brought that restaurant concept to a group that owns a grip of restaurants, Your Neighborhood Restaurants. They gave it a whirl, and over 180 patrons helped us get to 5,400 trees planted! We’re over halfway there! And that’s why we’re so grateful to Prof. Gemma Puglisi for choosing The Climate, Inc. as its non-profit client spring semester 2023. Those extra 106 thousand social media impressions, those trees planted, and the care and effort put forth by your 18 students—truly priceless.

(ACTUALLY, had we contracted those 18 students as PR professionals for the 15 weeks of work they put in for us this past semester, we’d be on the hook for almost half a mil!) 

If you want to be part of something special, visit us at theclimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on “Climate Champions” and make your donation there. And thanks!

DEEPER DIVE: 50/100 Campaign, Trillion Tree Project



CLIMATE CRUSADER Stephen Shelesky (he/him) is a photographer based in Jackson, Wyoming. He grew up skiing, and upon coming out as gay, made a movie about his experience called “Out West.” Shelesky grew up in Northern Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. area, and snowboarded as a kid, spending weekends at Whitetail, Wisp, and other mid-Atlantic ski resorts. (His transition to skiing was just three years ago.) Eventually, his dad started taking the family to Steamboat, Colorado, about once a year as an introduction to the western U.S. and skiing on a bigger scale.

His goal for much of his work is to “evoke an emotional attachment to the environment by capturing human connection to the outdoors.” The ski community is exclusive in multiple ways; it is inaccessible to people both financially and geographically, and Shelesky points out that for many, it is inaccessible socially, too. 

Shelesky’s imagery is vibrant, happy, and colorful, and reflects his mission to bring positivity and inspiration to others’ lives. Stephen is openly gay and proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, weaving an additional layer of depth into his work. He prioritizes storytelling that promotes the outdoors as a space that uplifts, accepts, and includes everybody.

DEEPER DIVE: OutWest, SkiMag



Director Christi Cooper is a PhD scientist, documentary filmmaker, and Emmy-award winning cinematographer. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where she claims she was fortunate to be surrounded by people who helped her develop a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. Her passion for science resulted in a M.S. in microbiology from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Regensburg, Germany. After spending years in research, she followed her dream of documentary filmmaking by pursuing an M.F.A. in the Science and Nature Filmmaking program at Montana State University.

She is the co-director of iMatter’s Trust: Calling for Climate Recovery (Mountainfilm 2012) documentary series that features young climate change activists from across the U.S., and, Youth v Gov (Mountainfilm 2021). Why does Christi Cooper matter to us? She focuses her storytelling and visual narratives on issues of justice and impact by creating human connections to the most pressing issues of our time. 

Her film awards include Wildscreen’s Panda Award for Best Campaign Film; Jackson Wild’s Grand Teton Award; Cleveland International Film Festival’s ReelWomen Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman; Wood’s Hole Film Festival’s Best of Festival, Audience Award, and Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary; EarthxFilm’s Impact Award for Feature Film; among others. Christi was both the inaugural SFFilm/Vulcan Productions Environmental Film Fellow and the first Jacob Burns Film Center “Focus on Nature” Artist-in-Resident. 

DEEPER DIVE: IMDB, YouthvGov, Scribe.org



We’re making progress with our Climate Champions 50/100 reforestation campaign, so we’re keeping it going!


Thank you to the listeners of The Climate Daily who donated to The Climate Champions 50/100 campaign! There’s still work to do to get us to 10,000 trees. That’s why we’re extending the campaign through May to give more of you the chance to become climate champions. What’s a climate champion, you ask? A climate champion proves that a small group of people can make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time.  

How? Our company, The Climate, is partnering with over 30 international tree-planting organizations–ALONG WITH our climate champions– to re-plant, and regrow forests all over the world, by planting ten thousand trees at a time. Why? Because science says the best way to combat climate change is to restore nature. And the fastest way to restore nature is to plant and grow a trillion trees by 2030, and the fastest way to do that is to plant ten thousand trees at a time. So, we’re looking for folks to donate $50 or $100 one time, to help us plant 10,000 trees at a time, in one of seven regions around the planet.

(Which our tree planting partners will do. They’re the tree-planting professionals.) 

Please visit www.TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Then click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. Again, visit TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. And if you want to start your own team of climate champions, reach out to us at info@ We’ll help you put together your own small group of climate champions to make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time. 

(Planting 10 thousand trees–a 20-acre forest!) 

Wouldn’t it be great to be the change you want to see in the world? Become part of something special. Become a climate champion.  Thank you!!

DEEPER DIVE: 50/100 Campaign, Trillion Tree Project