People

Manuela Zamora

Manuela Zamora, Executive Director
Director of Education Programs
M.Ed. Cambridge College; B.A. Universidad Mayor de San Andres (History)

Ms. Zamora is a consultant in gender, education and development. She was born and raised in Bolivia, where she studied history, before earning a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College in 2001. In Bolivia, she was founder of Fundación Carmen, where she created El Dorado: the Route of Fair Trade, a program that promoted sustainable development by training low-income women artisans in production and marketing. Prior to her work with Fundación Carmen, she coordinated the division of cultural events and volunteer programs in the Office of the First Lady of Bolivia. Manuela lives now in New York City with her husband and two children who attend public school. She is one of the founders of The Greenhouse Project.

Nathaniel Coburn, Development and Program Associate

A former line cook, baker, and chef, Nathaniel sought to merge his passions for food and social justice at New York University’s Food Studies program, where his studies primarily focused on food justice and scalable local distribution systems. Upon completion of his graduate work at NYU, Nathaniel worked as a grant writer and contributing reporter for Heritage Radio Network, a non-profit Brooklyn based internet radio station dedicated to food issues. He also worked as a New York City delivery truck driver for The Fresh Connection, transporting CSA shares and local farm produce to restaurants, homes, and institutions throughout the five boroughs.

Matt Weisberg, Growing Systems Associate

B.S. Computational Biology, Brown University

Matt is so excited to be working at NY Sun Works. NYSW’s programming combines his love for hands-on education, sustainable design, social equality and good food. As a teacher aboard the Cell Motion BioBus, Matt has seen the amazing creativity and energy that students bring to project-based learning experiences. He is thrilled to be building systems that will help students, and their classrooms, to grow and flourish.

Kevin Olsen, Intern

Born in Brooklyn NY, Kevin studies Public Policy and History at Gettysburg College. He became interested in hydroponics and aquaponics through a club at school. NYSW has given Kevin the opportunity to combine his interests in Public Policy and sustainable forms of agriculture. He is thrilled to be working as an intern for NYSW, learning more about the systems they build and how they benefit the community.

Joshua Brosnan, Intern

Joshua is a rising senior at Middlebury College and is originally from Lexington, Massachusetts. He am super excited to be joining the NY Sunworks team! This summer, he is living in New York City working several different farm and food related jobs. In his free time he loves swimming in lakes or the ocean (a bit of a challenge in NYC but he is figuring it out), playing volleyball and doing improv-comedy.

 

Sidsel Robards

Sidsel Robards, Director, Development and Events

Born and raised in Denmark, Mrs. Robards enjoyed a long successful career as an international fashion model before retiring to focus on other interests. Her children inspired her to get actively involved in improving education opportunities, which lead her to co-found The Greenhouse Project in 2008. After several years of volunteering Mrs. Robards joined the NYSW staff in 2013 where she is responsible for partnership alliances and the expansion of The Greenhouse Project Initiative to partner schools. She also oversees fundraising events and is the organizations Public Relations liaison.

Ashley King, Greenhouse Project Manager

Ashley King’s background is heavily rooted in hydroponic growing systems and alternative, urban agriculture. While studying bioresource engineering at McGill University, Ms. King worked on a family farm in Massachusetts before joining New York Sun Works’s The Science Barge. Here, Ms. King started as a sustainable systems intern, where she learned the basics of hydroponic agriculture and systems engineering. This cultivated her interest in combining the two fields, agriculture and engineering, in an urban environment. Ms. King was a researcher at The Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. During her stay she aided the management of their aquaponics system and construction of the system’s expansion.

Maisha Salam, Intern

Maisha works at Queens County Farm Museum, and is studying horticulture at Bronx Community College. She is interested in botany, nature and herbal medicine, aromatherapy and “apothecary” products, and fitness. She genuinely likes people, enjoy peoples’ company, and like learning new things. She enjoy good food of any kind. She love sunshine and anything outdoors, especially anything active. She want to learn more about garden architecture: building solid structures using power tools.

Jorge Burgos, Intern

Jorge is a fourth-year Architecture student at the City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. Currently residing in NYC, his architectural educational extends back to Newark, NJ. At Essex County College he participated in a student-led proposal that was awarded the $25,000 Ford C3 grant for reducing usage of city water at a model urban hydroponic food project through a rainwater harvesting system. This among other projects have helped Jorge develop a deep knowledge of the sustainability challenges faced by many American cities due in part to an outdated industrial infrastructural model that is incapable of meeting twenty-first century challenges. In the remainder of his architectural education Jorge plans to continue concentrating in the sustainability field to further strengthen his ability to design, lead and build strategically