We are a group of core staff and consultants with diverse areas of expertise working together to realize a common goal: Environmental Literacy for All.


Will Parish, Founder and President

Will Parish is a credentialed public high school science educator with a 35-year record of innovative accomplishments in the environmental and educational fields. He taught environmental science and civics at Gateway High School in San Francisco for ten years, and served on its Board of Trustees. He served on the California State Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission and then founded Ten Strands as a nonprofit organization to support California’s efforts to achieve statewide integration of high-quality environment-based education into all California’s public K–12 schools.

Karen Cowe, Chief Executive Officer

Karen Cowe is an education-industry executive with over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, professional development, business development, and operations. She most recently acted as President and CEO at Key Curriculum Press. She has worked with curriculum leaders and teachers to introduce innovative, inquiry-based math and science instructional materials and learning tools to students. Karen combines her deep personal interest in environmental stewardship and place-based education with her education industry experience.

Jennifer Carlin, Director of Development

Jennifer Carlin has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years with a focus on development, fundraising, organizational capacity building, and cultivating philanthropic partnerships. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Elios Charitable Foundation. As the mother of three children, Jennifer is very involved in San Francisco public schools as a parent and volunteer, and is committed to helping ensure that all K–12 students in the state of California are environmentally literate.

Kim Moon, Senior Project Manager

Kim Moon has a background in communications, and more than 20 years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors. At the East Bay Community Foundation, she oversaw the creation, marketing, and management of the James Irvine Foundation’s Conference Center, which provides sliding-scale meeting space to community-based nonprofits. She later joined a small family fund where she oversaw project management, program development, securing funds for San Francisco Unified School District classrooms, and creating and supporting school gardens. She believes deeply in the power of young people, and is grateful for everything she has learned from them in her volunteer roles as mentor and tutor.

Ariel Whitson, Advocacy and Project Management Specialist

Ariel Whitson has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than eight years. At Ten Strands she manages projects in program, advocacy, and marketing communications. Before transitioning to program work, she was a member of the development team, helping to build a strong base of funding for the organization. Prior to working at Ten Strands Ariel served as a project coordinator at University Research Co., LLC in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw the finance and administration of a $65 million USAID tuberculosis project in South Africa. She currently serves on the board of Literacy for Environmental Justice, based in southeast San Francisco.

Antonia Smith, Development Associate

Antonia Smith has a background in anthropology with a cultural concentration. She also has a deep interest in environmental issues, and believes in the importance of recognizing the interdependence of human societies and natural systems. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Antonia worked as a tutor and mentor for K–12 students in San Francisco, as well as for a public relations firm and start-up in New York City. Since joining Ten Strands in early 2018, she has loved contributing to and building support for programs that combine her interests in education, environment, and community, and that will encourage new generations of environmentally literate young people.


Joel Gingold

Joel Gingold is a finance and accounting executive with more than 35 years of experience in both public and private industry. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Joel worked at Key Curriculum Press for 17 years as the Chief Financial Officer. Joel also spent 17 years at Bregante + Company, a San Francisco-based CPA firm, where he specialized in accounting and taxation for small business, including nonprofits.

Maya Gingold

Maya Gingold is pleased to provide bookkeeping services for Ten Strands, where she is able to combine her interests in environmental education and background in early childhood and elementary education. Maya grew up with an appreciation for the outdoors and a commitment to environmental stewardship. As a parent, Maya is looking to the future for not only her children, but all children in California. She recognizes that Ten Strands can and will make a difference for every one of them.