John DawsonCo-Founder and Board Chair
John divides his time between Palo Alto and his family land in Vermont, which is managed and unmanaged forest, cropland (hay and corn), sugarbush (2000+ maple taps), and quite a bit of wetland including three ponds and some streams. John is a retired entrepreneur who has helped to create several successful startup companies. He has spent the past 20 years serving as a board member and donor for various leading-edge nonprofits, including Island Conservation, One Reef, Sustainable Conservation, DRev, Vipani, Partners in Excellence, and Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). He currently serves as a board member of Freshwater Life and One Reef, and is on the advisory boards of Nexleaf, Sustainable Conservation, Island Conservation, and Equalize Health. He has been a lecturer for the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program. Dawson has contributed to conservation through his engagement with organizations he recognizes as innovative and impactful.
Bernie Tershy Co-Founder and Board Member
After failing at commercial fishing and professional surfing, Bernie pursued his Plan C – becoming a scientist. He’s now a serial conservation entrepreneur. Before co-founding Freshwater Life, he co-founded the: Conservation Action Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz; the nonprofits Island Conservation and Conservación de Islas that together have protected over 460 insular endemics from extinction, and formed over 1,665,000ha of new marine and island protected areas; and the for-profit social venture, Conservation Metrics. He also helped develop the: Henry Arnhold Fellows Program which finds great people with proven conservation solutions and helps them go to scale; and, California Biodiversity Initiative a Governor’s Directive that commits California, the world’s 5th largest economy, to no new extinctions of native species and protecting and restoring 30% of each California ecosystem.