american environmental leaders 2008
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Ron Mader is humbled by his selection in American Environmental Leaders.

Mader is an environmental journalist specializing in ecotourism and sustainable development in Latin America as well as the Mexico–United States borderlands. In 1994-1995 Mader created the expansive “ Global Journal of Practical Ecotourism." This was the Web’s first site focusing on ecotourism and responsible travel. It has won numerous awards and has served as an online workshop for those working toward sustainability around the world. is probably the most complete Internet source for this type of information.

The website creates incentives for communication, opportunities for conversation and rewards for participation among travelers and locals who share a vision of eco-friendly, people-friendly and place-friendly travel. spotlights what is local across the globe and is a model of what Mader calls “decentralized communications,” encouraging engaged direct conversation among all the players or stakeholders working toward responsible travel and ecotourism. Playing the role of a communication catalyst since its inception, provided an example of how Web 1 and later the social web communication could empower readers to generate their own content in the form of announcements, essays, travel features, photography and video. has hosted twenty online conferences since 2000. The discussion with the greatest number of participants was the Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference, conducted online as a precursor to the 2002 World Ecotourism Summit. More than 900 people registered for the discussion. Other noted e-conferences include Ethical Marketing of Ecotourism, Financing Sustainable Tourism, Food, Health and Building Communities and Tourism and Climate Change.

In 2001 launched the Colibri Ecotourism Award to highlight those working in Mexico. The award is announced in celebration of World Environment Day (June 5). Mader says that awards highlight best practices and offer benchmarks that others can follow.

Ron’s work has received recognition from Outside magazine, the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, PC Computing, and most recently the Mexican government, which awarded Mader the Lente de Plata (Silver Lens) award two times for the website’s exhaustive coverage of Mexican ecotourism and environmental travel options.

In addition to his on-line work, Mader has written two ecotourism-oriented guidebooks, Mexico: Adventures in Nature (1998) and Honduras: Adventures in Nature (coauthored with James D. Gollin, 1998). These books, which emphasize the natural history–oriented destinations within each country, offer information about the history, culture, economy, and ecology of the respective nation and instruct visitors on how to keep their impact as positive as possible. Mader contributed several chapters to the Responsible Travel Handbook (2006), published by Transitions Abroad.

Mader lives in Oaxaca City and works as a correspondent for Transitions Abroad . In Oaxaca Mader co-created the Oaxaca Options speaker series and annual Rural Tourism Fairs which showcase Oaxaca’s cultural and biological diversity. For Mader working on the ground is as important as publication as he believes environmental leadership needs practical application to be meaningful.

Mader is active on the lecture/conference circuit, having keynoted at the 2007 Ecotourism New Zealand Conference and a presenter at the World Ecotourism Summit (2002). He also has led workshops for indigenous tourism leaders to share lessons learned on using the Web to communicate points of view that are often left out of mass media.

About the book

American Environmental Leaders is a comprehensive collection of biographies of the most important figures in American environmentalism. Updated in 2008, this book presents nearly 400 biographies of men and women who have devoted their lives to studying, debating, and organizing these and other controversial issues over the last 200 years. In addition to the scientists who have analyzed how human actions affect nature, readers are introduced to poets, landscape architects, presidents, painters, activists, even actors and musicians, along with others who have forever altered how we think about the environment.

Highlights of the second edition:
  • Completely updated with nearly 400 biographies, 64 new to this edition
  • Biographies range from scientists to advocates, businessmen to musicians, politicians to actors
  • The easy-to-use A–Z format provides instant access to these fascinating individuals
  • Frequent cross-references indicate others with whom individuals worked (and sometimes clashed)
  • A full range of Illustrations and Photos provide more context
  • A Historical Timeline detailing important events in the environmental sector
  • A new Primary Documents section includes articles, speeches and legislation, for easy reference
  • An annotated Bibliography rounds out the rich resources available in these two volumes